Launch That Pig!

Back when I was an indie consultant writing custom software for clients, I used to use the expression “launch the pig!” to refer to finishing the process of writing the software and giving it to the customer. I just found some photos that cover a literal pig launch:

Click the image above see the entire series of photos.

I have no idea when these photos were taken or who took them (I found them on an obscure private file-sharing site), but they depict the launching of a pig.

Click the image above see the entire series of photos.

These photos are part of a series which you can see either clicking on any of the photos or clicking here.

Click the image above see the entire series of photos.

In case you were wondering, the photos show the pig emerging from the launch unscathed:

Click the image above see the entire series of photos.

8 replies on “Launch That Pig!”

Very interesting photos. Although my first impression tells me these are hoax, nevertheless.

Apparently, these are Soviet Air Defence troops, plying a pig with Russian church wine, Kagor #9, developed at NKVD (former KGB) and signed off on April 22, 1936, and shooting the pig into the air with some sort of cannon.

I am going to ask around russian forums.

I came across your blog post after getting emailed a copy of this, and trying to find out what it is. At this point, my best guess is that it’s an ad.


  • photos far too crisp and clear compared to the grainy stuff the Russians produced in the 30’s;
  • closeup of the Kagor looks like obvious product placement, why else would they emphasize what brand the pig was drinking;
  • Kagor is a variety of East European noble wine which has recently become available in the West, but is still very little known here (hence motive for advertising);
  • Kagor is too expensive to give to a pig, why not give it cheap stuff;
  • Kagor traditionally comes mainly from Albania, Romania and Moldova (hence, you see the East European pig farmer/string and duct-tape jokes), however, none of these countries were part of the Soviet Union in 1936;
  • Even the Albanians don’t do air defence/aerospace research with just 2 guys and three observers;
  • Photographing the projectile leaving the mortar is possible in principle but extremely unlikely without sophisticated electronic switching, as against pulling a piece of string (I have seen exactly one such photo ever taken honestly, which showed the projectile);
  • the headgear worn by the troops is that normally used by eastern bloc tank crews (to avoid banging your head against the hull), not artillerymen; and
  • I am reasonably familiar with East European artillery and have never seen anything like the mortar in the photos. Actually, it bears a slight resemblance to some nineteenth century coastal artillery, but you wouldn’t see one of those in the middle of a muddy field.

— Roger

You just part of coverup, comrade! Capitalist have secret alien base 51 in desert, have mush experience in coverup! This just more of same!

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