We always talk about disguise as though it’s an onion,
whether you’re building it or whether you’re peeling it off,
its almost transparent layers.
And when you get enough of them going,
you disappear, and this other person is in the room.
My name is Jonna Mendez and I was chief of disguise in the CIA.
In my role as a chief of disguise,
my major concern was always protecting people.
Protecting our case officers who were going into situations that might be dangerous.
But importantly protecting the foreign people that they were meeting with,
who were very often risking their lives.
If you were working in Europe,
and you were meeting with a clandestine source at a cafe,
your biggest concern might be that your next door neighbor,
who’s gonna wander into that cafe at that moment,
and say “hi Bill’ when you were Bill.
And that kind of casual stumbling upon people was an issue.
And so you’d wear what we call the light disguise.
Light disguise can be something as simple as a wig,
胡子 眼镜 也没什么的
maybe some facial hair, maybe some glasses, not a big deal.
The other extreme is advanced disguise,
that you would use for up-close and personal, for an extended period of time,
for the person you were talking to would have no idea
that you were not in true face.
One other thing that was going on when I was the chief of disguise
was an enormous research program into a new advanced disguise system.
It was basically the masks
that everybody always wondered if we used masks,
and this was the beginning.
This is a series of photographs of,
when I met George H.W. Bush in the Oval Office,
and revealed to him that I was briefing him wearing the mask.
When you go to disguise a person,
the general idea
is you’re gonna meet with someone in this disguise.
And they’re gonna write a memo of the person that they just met with.
We want every item in that memo that describes you to be wrong.
If we’re looking at a man and we want to change the way he looks,
start at the top, and the first thing that comes up is hair.
What’s he got and what you want to do with it.
If he has curly hair you’ll want to go straight,
if he has dark hair you might want to go light,
If he is young you might to want throw in some grey,
if he is old you might want cover up the grey.
Do you present with facial hair,
if you don’t, maybe we’re going to give you some,
if you’re gonna be somewhere for a while, maybe we’re gonna have you grow some.
We have made prostheses,
on occasion you could actually change cheek bones,
你可以在这里加些东西 加点额头 弄个鼻子
you can add something here, you can add a forehead, you can do a nose.
We can do what we call dental facades
We can change actually the shape of your face with the right dental facade.
This piece is called the ‘plumper’,
because it increases the plumpness of your gum.
Then when it does that, it changes the profile of your face.
The last thing is artificial palates,
we take an impression of the top of your mouth.
They can change your enunciation,
they can cause a slight lisp, it’s a little bit different for everybody who wears one.
But if it’s enough, it’s very useful.
We very often discover that
older-looking men are considered less threatening than younger-looking men,
so we like the aged person.
With women you have a broader range of what you can do,
you also have one extra step,
and you can turn a woman into a man.
I would mention that it’s almost impossible to turn a man into a woman.
What we do is always additive.
我们能让你长高 增重 变老
We can make you taller, we can make you heavier, we can make you older,
we can’t go the other direction.
You wanna be the person that gets on the elevator,
and then gets off, and nobody really remembers that you were even there.
That is a design goal, at the disguise lab in CIA.
Disguise isn’t just all about the facial level,
it’s about how you dress,
how you present yourself in the public environment.
Americans are oblivious to what it is
that reveals them to a foreign crowd or a foreign intelligence service
when they are out in public.
In terms of behaviors,
there are a lot of small actions that give us away.
The way we eat:
Europeans use the fork in the left hand
and it doesn’t travel back and forth to the right hand.
Whereas we’re constantly putting down our knife, moving utensils back and forth.
The way we smoke:
We put it between our first two fingers,
they tend to hold the cigarette between the thumb and the first finger.
When an American stands,
they tend to support themselves on one foot or the other.
In Europe they stand straight up,
they don’t lean on anything, their weight’s equally on their feet.
Changing the way that you walk requires some amendment to what you’re doing.
You’re gonna need a physical apparatus to make you walk differently.
You can‘t possibly say “OK, now I’m going to limp.”
To change my walk, I put a little piece of gravel in my shoe.
Just a little thing that pinches my toe,
and it changes my walk whether I want to or not.
You can put a bandage around the knee,
something that restricts you will change your walk.
Disguise could be applicable to you and your everyday life
in terms of travelling around the world and, and staying safe.
I would use Paris as an example.
Anytime you approach Notre Dame Cathedral,
or those bridges across the Seine,
those are places where there are groups of people
that either wanna pick your pocket
or they’re gonna make some kind of trouble,
and they cluster at these choke points.
And if they can tell from your sneakers,
and if they can tell from your baseball hat,
or a lot of other behaviors that we exhibit that you’re an American,
you become a target.
You just wanna play it safe.
There is nothing wrong with stopping at a local store and buying some local clothes.
If you smoke, get some local cigarettes.
You can always add a pair of glasses,
you can always add some kind of hat.
Just back yourself off from that American imprint
that we all carry with us in so many ways.
You know all these things we do are unconscious,
and they are hard to change.
If you have some friends who are thoughtful,
you can probably sit down with the friend and say:
“What is it about me that is just a dead giveaway?”
他们会告诉你 “哦 是你的笑声”
And they’re gonna tell you things like, “Oh, it’s your laugh,”
or “It’s the way you sit, ‘cos you always slouch down in the chair.”
They can help you find those pieces of your visual personality,
that will be easy to get rid of once you know they’re there.
People have expectations of what you’re going to present to them when you’re being you.
We try and brush those away.
Quick change is the ability to clandestinely change your appearance.
Typically when you’re out on the street,
you’re using the crowd as a mask.
When we’re doing this we measure it in the number of steps,
and then we rehearse whoever is gonna do it.
You gotta go in a gap,
you have 37 seconds to come out with those changes.
The goal of the quick change is to disappear.
If you had surveillance and they discovered that you were gone,
you didn’t want them to think that you had escaped.
You wanted them to think that they had lost you,
which is their fault.
But in the end it’s situational, depends on where you are,
you need to understand what the commonality is there,
what this tribe is that you want to join.
And once you join that tribe you can typically move around freely
because there is no suspicion.
You can’t summon up a disguise in the middle of an event.
But going to the event, you can say to yourself,
“I think I’ll leave my baseball cap and my sneakers
and I’m gonna leave all that in my room.”
And you can realize that being out on the street as an American
is sometimes dangerous.
One of our officers, probably working out of the American embassy,
would have surveillance 24 hours a day.
They had teams of people following them,
but they had work to do, they had to communicate with people, clandestinely.
And the extremes that we would go to, to disguise those people,
was the most interesting and most challenging part of the job.