Fascinating new information has emerged about a Cold War CIA programme to harness the power of bad luck.
The project was predicated on theories devised at the beginning of the twentieth century by the eminent Polish physicist, mathematician and fortune teller Madame Zuzu the All-Seeing.
Attempting to demonstrate a scientific basis for good luck, she developed a formula which could be used to quantify 'luck' as a property of every object in the universe. Her work was largely ignored at the time but in the sixties it was revisited by American researchers who realised that the equation also pointed to the existence of objects which had 'negative luck'.
These objects, they reasoned, could be weaponised and so the search began for unlucky rabbits' feet, unlucky wishbones, unlucky charms and so on. The idea was that these items could be deployed in such a way as to cause calamity and despair amongst the enemy.
Recently declassified documents reveal that in 1963 an unlucky horseshoe was actually presented to Fidel Castro, but failed to have any significant effect other than to cause the Cuban leader to stub his toe. This outcome neatly demonstrated a common problem: although objects with negative luck did indeed exist, their influence was not sufficiently powerful to cause the level of mayhem and dismay that was required.
Plans were drawn up to try and amplify the 'misfortune field' through various means, and there was at least one attempt to splice two unlucky four leaf clovers together and therefore double its power, but this was still a long way from becoming a practical weapon. It was calculated that in order to have any appreciable effect, the clover would need to have at least three and a half thousand leaves. Since this was both a logistical and horticultural impracticality, the project was abandoned.