SPY PIGEONS & KILLER CIGARS: Weird ways CIA tried to win the Cold War

The CIA has declassified paperwork revealing its Cold War spy pigeons program, the newest revelation of the really weird lengths the US went to to win the battle which included killer cigars, skilled dolphins and acoustic kitties.

Pigeon spies

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has declassified particulars of its secret spy-pigeon mission throughout the Cold War, named ‘Tacana’. It used the birds to secretly {photograph} websites inside the Soviet Union. The avian species was chosen due to their capacity to navigate their means again dwelling, and so they apparently flew their missions whereas costly cameras have been strapped to them. 

From the sky … and the sea

The new paperwork additionally reveal how the CIA used ravens to drop bugging units on window sills, and skilled dolphins for underwater “harbour penetration” missions. The mammals have been additionally examined to see if they may carry sensors to detect Soviet nuclear submarines and traces of radioactive weapons. In Key West Florida, the US tried to use dolphins in underwater assaults in opposition to enemy delivery. 

Castro-killing cigars, diving fits & seashells

The US spy company dreamt up numerous unusual – and futile – plots to assassinate Cuban President Fidel Castro throughout the Cold War, together with schemes involving explosive seashells and killer cigars. 

The CIA deliberate to take Castro out with a field of poisoned cigars in 1960. The cigars have been spiked with a powerful botulinum toxin and delivered by an “unidentified person” in 1961, however Castro by no means smoked them. 

The company additionally floated the thought of coating the inside one in all his diving wetsuits with a fungus that produced madura foot, a continual illness, and contaminating the swimsuit’s respiration equipment with tuberculosis bacilli, in accordance to a declassified 1967 report by the Inspector General, a part of the National Archives’ 2017 launch of John F. Kennedy assassination data.

It additionally thought of planting a “booby trap spectacular seashell” which might be submerged in an space the place Castro would typically dive.

Acoustic kitty 

The CIA spent $14 million to put listening units inside cats in the 1960s. The plan was for them to roam round and hear to Russian intelligence. The mission failed on day one, when a cat implanted with such a tool was run over exterior the Soviet embassy in Washington.

Scientologist psychics

Convinced that the Soviets have been researching extrasensory notion (ESP) for espionage, the CIA began the ‘Star Gate’ venture in 1970 that was headed up by a scientologist. It recruited folks, together with many scientologists, who claimed to have psychic powers, to uncover intelligence secrets and techniques. Needless to say, that venture didn’t bear fruit both.

LSD for mind-control

The CIA’s venture MK-ULTRA was a covert human analysis program secretly launched in the 1950s that examined the results of medication like LSD and MDMA for potential thoughts management and torture. The medicine have been examined on human topics, a lot of whom have been unaware they have been being experimented on. At least one participant’s demise – US Army bioweapons researcher Frank Olson – has been linked to the program.

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