39. Deploying Vampires Against the Huks
In 1950, the CIA brought in Air Force brigadier general Edward Lansdale, a pioneer in clandestine and psychological warfare who believed in tailoring psy-ops to the specific culture targeted. The specific culture of central Luzon, where the Huks throve, happened to believe in a mythical shape-shifting vampire called an aswang, which killed by draining its victims’ blood with a long, sharpened tongue.
So Lansdale mimicked aswang attacks by abducting and killing Huk fighters. Puncture wounds were then placed on their necks, their blood was drained, and the bodies left for other Huks to find – and conclude that their comrade had been killed and drained of their blood by an aswang. It proved highly effective in clearing Huk fighters out of an area. Between that and other effective counterinsurgency tactics, the Huk Rebellion was crushed within a few years.