When hunting for lost cities you may well need to disguise yourself. There are times in everybody’s life when a little disguise is called for, even if it is just to beat the snooping of neighbours or the local press, should you perchance become an object of interest to the media. More seriously, facial recognition technology can result in a serious misapplication of justice, should you be picked up through accidental confusion with a known robber or suspected international terror merchant. The fact is, as all police forces know, facial recognition through video footage is very far from perfect. Your best bet is to emulate ‘the General’, the renegade Irish crook who went everywhere in public with his hand hiding his jaw, though this could become tedious and might mark you out as tad eccentric.
There is always the old standby of balaclava and dark glasses but these days, unless skiing, they look very fishy. That leaves false beards, flat caps, neck scarves and ear mufflers. Actually, a deer stalker is a good disguise, when it comes to facial recognition software as it hides both the ears and the eyes. As a general rule, wear dark glasses, ipod earphones to cover your ears and a hat of some sort and most software will not pick you up.
Then there are the more serious possibilities of real disguise. Baden Powell, founder of the boy scout movement but in early life also a spy, was very fond of disguise. The main point he made was to change was one’s skin colour, one’s silhouette and one’s habitual clothing. Skin should be lightened or darkened accordingly, in some cases using flour or shoe polish- but this, the Boyscout founder points out, is only for emergencies. If you have more time use tanning lotion. Changing your aspect or shape is possible by becoming fatter (pillows up the jumper) and older, perhaps with the addition of a walking stick or crutch or even a wheelchair. To change your clothing simply dress in a style you consider in unspeakably bad taste. Even your worst enemies won’t recognise you. The serious point is to look OTHER than your normal self.
When travelling through country where everyone is dark and has asiatic shaped eyes, dye your hair black and wear dark glasses. To offset the movie star aspect of dark glasses put your arm in a sling so you evoke pity and not suspicion. To really meld in dress in dark clothes, but not black, and carry some object used by local farmers such as a bag of corn, a sieve or a can of motor oil. If you look like you have a job to do people will leave you alone.