Monday, October 5, 2009

Stolen Hair Used in Axis Bomb-Sights (1942 Rumor)

Theo Paijmans, "The Phantom Barber of Pascagoula." Fortean Times #254 (November 2009), pp. 30-1.

[In 1942 citizens of Pascagoula, Mississippi, were alarmed by reports that an unknown assailant was breaking into homes and cutting the hair of the occupants while they slept. Some people suggested that the "phantom barber" was actually a "Fifth Columnist, working to collect hair for Axis bomb-sights" ("Steals Their Hair While They Sleep[:] Strange Exploits of the Phantom Barber," San Antonio (Texas) Light, 30 August 1942). A man arrested for using an iron bar to batter a couple in their bedroom was also accused of being the phantom barber, which he may have very well been. He also happened to have a connection to Germany. -- bc]

Evening Tribune (Marysville, Ohio), 14 August 1942, pp. 1, 3.

"Phantom Barber" Caught After Intensive Search

PASCAGOULA, Miss., Aug. 14 -- Police Chief A. W. Ezell claimed today that "the phantom barber" who broke into at least 10 homes to cut the hair of the sleeping occupants is William A. Dolan, 57, a German educated chemist.

Dolan, Ezell announced, has been in jail for three weeks and is charged with attempted murder. His motivation, Ezell charged, was to impair the morale of war workers. [...]

Ezell and Morris Talley, Pinkerton detective who was worked on the case for six weeks, said several persons had signed statements that Dolan had expressed sympathy for Germany.