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Who 'invented' the tin foil hat idea?

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posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 09:39 AM
Once again I had no idea where to post this question so please move it if it belongs elswhere.

The tin foil hat is somehwat of an icon.

Everybody is familiar with the humble tin foil hat but where /who did the idea come from?
Obviously the idea caught widespread attention somehow, it is the first thing most people think of when people talk about aliens.

I just find it interesting that such an idea caught such widespread mainstream attention.
It has been featured in a number of movies etc but when did the first tin foil hat make an appearance??

I have always wondered who is creditied with the idea and was it associated with aliens or mind control or was the tin foil hat multi use?

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 09:56 AM
The first person to write about it was my third cousin, Conspiracy writer Jim Keith.


by Jim Keith (An excerpt from his book Mind Control - World Control. (1997))

"Postscript; last week the buzzing happened again, so loud yet so easily dismissed against the background of city noise. How could I prove to myself that it was not simply just coming from my head, could I possibly have the rare hearing condition, tinnitus, which causes ringing in the ears? I remembered a Mr. Science experiment where the electromagnetic transparency of various substances was being demonstrated. A portable radio was placed into a wooden box. 'Hear that? The radio is still playing, which means? That's right, wood is electromagnetically transparent.' The radio was imprisoned in various other containers to see what would happen. Then finally it was wrapped in aluminium foil, and fell silent. I ran into the kitchen and grabbed the tin foil. Pulling a three foot strip of it, I wrapped it around my head, and the buzzing stopped."

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 10:01 AM
I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination but try this;

My guess would be Robert Anton Wilson, but it's that, a guess and I certainly wouldn't disagree with other claims etc.

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 10:05 AM
reply to post by Malichai

Wow, fascinating stuff thanks ever so much for the link.
Clever correlation to whip out the tin foil, I can at least see the relevance now.

I thought the tin foil hat idea was older than 1997?

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 10:05 AM
I'd imagine it's one of those "inventions" that has cropped up in many, many places with no single inventor. i.e. there are beams going into my brain maybe a tinfoil hat will deflect them. I haven't read much into the "mind control from a distance using beams" allegations, but I did read once that if you put a fresh, unblemished sheet of tinfoil over your window you can see tracer marks from the "beams" being fired at you. Is this codswallop or is there any truth? Anyone tried it?

[edit on 14-9-2007 by wigit]

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 10:34 AM
Shea and Wilson may have written about the Tin Foil Hat in trheir satire "Trilogy" but Paul Bennewitz mentioned it in either "Project Beta" or his interview by Jim McCampbell about Myra Hansen and her abduction to Dulce in 1987.

In any case, Paul told me about when I stayed with him and his wife in the fall of 1987. His suggestion to prevent the greys mind control abilities was to fashion and wear head gear made out of aluminum foil.

Sometime after that I gave a lecture to a MUFON group and I don't remember whether it was in Dallas or where but the question came up, "How do we protect ourselves from the greys" and I related the information Paul had told me about fashioning some head gear with aluminum foil.

There was quite of bit of derision about the suggestion and comment over the next few years and then the Tin Foil Hat kind of fell out for a few years.

I don't remember when it started coming back into the news but I do remember thinking, I remember how that started.

But allegedly Shea and Wilson wrote (1969-1971) about Tin Foil Hats in their satire "Trilogy" which I won't have time to read. This date would have been at least 17 years before Bennewitz started talking about it.

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 10:42 AM
One of the earlier references I found was from a book by Arthur Janov in the seventies talked about a guy who took a lot of acid and liked reading about UFOs.

He came to believe that aliens were trying to influence him by means of 'mind control tones' hidden in TV and radio signals. Eventually someone called the men in white coats who found him hiding in a kitchen cupboard clutching a carving knife, his head wrapped in aluminium foil.

There are a lot of anecdotal stories about tin foil 'hats', but I guess I never will find out just where and when they actually came from.

And why is the idea so widely recognised?
I guess people like to be able to put labels on things so tin foil hats serve a purpose.
Another one of lifes great mysteries.
Hardly life altering but interesting none the less. At least I think so.

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 10:44 AM
I remember the idea from the 70s. There was a website a few years ago that had complex instructions and high tech tinfoil to use. I think it was a joke but who knows.

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 10:45 AM
Interesting question. Cool answers.
And here all along I thought it started in that Mel Gibson film called Signs.

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 11:14 AM
I heard it was George Baco, the founder of Baco Foil. I might be wrong.

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 11:14 AM
reply to post by lombozo

Me too!!

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 11:18 AM
I think the idea originally came from schizophrenics, who often hear voices and think it's an alien or some kind of radio signal. They wear garbage can lids and tin foil hats to protect themselves from the voices.

I'm serious, I've known several schizophrenics who have worn either garbage can lids or tin foil hats. It became a euphemism for "crazy".

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 11:29 AM
I lived on Vashon Island in the 70's (Vashon/Maury Island is the site of one of the earliest UFO sightings). There was a fellow living in an old house trailer on the island who had sole custody of his young son. He appeared in public with a tin foil hat (actually aluminum foil, I would guess) proclaiming that the government was controlling his thoughts via the telephone wires. CPS (Child Protective Services for the State of Washington) wanted to remove the child from the home. There was a controversy on the Island over whether that was an appropriate thing to do. The guy steadily got worse and I believe he wound up at Western State Hospital as a mental patient diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. This was 1975-1976 or so.

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 11:44 AM
Thank you everyone for your insights.

I wonder if wearing a tin foil hat gave the schizophrenic people a feeling of safety? like a coping mechanism,feeling of control or something.

I find it interesting that such a common theme exists in those who are considered to be mentally ill.
Perhaps it isn't as funny as people would like to think.

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 11:45 AM
Originally posted by forestlady

I think the idea originally came from schizophrenics, who often hear voices and think it's an alien or some kind of radio signal. They wear garbage can lids and tin foil hats to protect themselves from the voices.

I'm serious, I've known several schizophrenics who have worn either garbage can lids or tin foil hats. It became a euphemism for "crazy".

Those were the lids from the 'petite' garbage can series (AlucoAm) designed for the wealthier among us who always dine out or are catered. Rather than a 30 gallon or 55 gallon can they designed a "petite" 1 gallon can. The can was artistically shaped and by coincidence the lid made a perfect hat. You may remember the massive 'garbage can lid' thefts of the early 80's in Manhatten. That was just everybody getting their free 'lids'.

Not all of us were 'schizo' though.

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 11:47 AM
I think the intention was to block incoming signals. However, MIT basically determined that tin foils hats "Amplify" incoming signals:

It would probably be better to line a baseball cap with the same material used to produce a faraday cage.

[edit on 14-9-2007 by Choronzon]

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 11:51 AM
reply to post by johnlear

hahahaha, thanks John, I had no idea that was 'cool' in the 80's!
Wish I had one now! what a momento,
It would probably be worth a fortune on ebay, I can just see it.
No worse than a Jesus face in a cheese sandwich anyway!

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 12:00 PM
reply to post by Choronzon

So I can turn my old beekeeping outfit into a mobile Faraday Cage and wonder the world safe and sound? At least until the guys in white coats come looking?

This is the type of thread that makes ATS so great. True, it exposes no conspiracies, and it doesn't answer burning questions on the "Drone Saga", but it does make people think.

A star and a flag, just for asking about something too many accept as part of the world as we know it.

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 12:10 PM
To perform optimally, your beekeeper outfit would need to be grounded.

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 01:31 PM

Using a sophisticated network analyser to measure the strength of the radio signal penetrating three different models of aluminium head gear – the Classical, the Fez and the Centurion – they found that, while the hats mostly had a modest attenuating effect, they in fact amplified signals on certain frequencies, namely 1.2 – 1.4 Ghz – the range allocated to the US government.

from this story
Tin Foil Helmets

I thought people indicated relief when they donned their hats but this study indicates that the tin foil may indeed amplify the problem?
maybe I don't have the 'pre-requisites' to asses the situation.
I'm just trying to understand if the fundamental basics of using tin foil is based on anything that may actually be real.

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