The U.S. military may actually have a plan to stop a zombie apocalypse.
Yes, you read that correctly.
While Hollywood and video games continue to portray a fictional world ravaged by a zombie apocalypse, the United States Department of Defense planned for such a scenario which would necessitate eradicating a zombie infestation. Unclassified documents obtained by Foreign Policy and published on Tuesday show exactly how the U.S. government and military forces would respond to a zombie outbreak.
The document, titled “CONPLAN 8888” goes into great depth to prepare for the number of zombies the U.S. military may encounter, ranging from traditional “pathogenic zombies” to farfetched “evil magic zombies” and “vegetarian zombies.”
While “CONPLAN 8888” may sound like a joke, it dispels that notion almost immediately in a disclaimer near the top of the document.
“This plan was not actually designed as a joke,” the document reads.
In fact, the plan was developed after planners accidentally discovered that “the hyperbole involved in writing a ‘zombie survival plan’ actually provided a very useful and effective training tool.”
Planners found that the plan was so “ridiculous” that students were able to explore basic concepts of “plan and order development very effectively.”
A secondary benefit of “CONPLAN 8888” was political of nature. Planners found that the farfetched scenario was almost impossible to mistake for real military plans, such as ones that used Tunisia and Nigeria in fictional training scenarios.
The document goes to great lengths to describe potential scenarios that could occur during a zombie infestation, taking into consideration how they would affect U.S. military response to the situation.
An excerpt from the assumptions section of the document exemplifies the considerations taken:
“Because accurate intelligence related to zombies will be hard to obtain using traditional methods, planners will have to assume worst-case scenarios derived from popular culture references (books, movies, comic books) to adequately model zombie threats.”
Of course all these assumptions center on the worst case scenario:
“For planning purposes the worst case threat scenario for this CONPLAN is the emergence of a zombie phenomena high transmissibility, high attack rates, high virulence, little or no immunity, and limited effective countermeasures (only suseptible to destruction of the brain stem).” [sic]
While “CONPLAN 8888” may be a useful and detailed plan for the zombie apocalypse, the military stresses that it services primarily as a training tool.
"The document is identified as a training tool used in an in-house training exercise where students learn about the basic concepts of military plans and order development through a fictional training scenario," Navy Captain Pamela Kunze, a spokeswoman for U.S. Strategic Command, told Foreign Policy. "This document is not a U.S. Strategic Command plan."
“CONPLAN 8888” isn’t the first time a U.S. government agency has used the undead to develop training and educational material. Back in 2011, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published several documents which framed emergency preparedness education around a zombie scenario.
Take a look at the 31 page zombie plan below: