From the Pigeon-guided Missile the Spy Cats. 7 of the Weirdest CIA Undercover Operations
The Stargate Project
The Stargate Project was the umbrella code name of one of several sub-projects established by the U.S. Federal Government to investigate claims of psychic phenomena with potential military and domestic applications, particularly “remote viewing”: the purported ability to psychically “see” events, sites, or information from a great distance
Million of dollars were invested in people who has extraordinary capabilities they could use to predict future events and read hidden documents.
Buchanan was a sergeant brought in by General Stubblebine for two main reasons: firstly he was believed to possess extraordinary telekinetic abilities, and secondly computer software expertise. These made him exceptionally well-qualified to be the database manager for the Stargate project. In this role, Buchanan had the opportunity to work with all the key members of the unit, and in possession of statistical analysis of the session data, was able to properly assess the accuracy of the session data obtained. After leaving the forces, Buchanan founded “Problems > Solutions > Innovations”, contracted Mel Riley to work for his company, and continues to undertake private tuition. link
Project Acoustic Kitty: Spy Cats
Acoustic Kitty was a CIA project launched by the Directorate of Science & Technology in the 1960s attempting to use cats in spy missions. A battery and a microphone were implanted into a cat and an antenna into its tail. Due to problems with distraction, the cat’s sense of hunger had to be addressed in another operation. Surgical and training expenses are thought to have amounted to over $20 million.
The first cat mission was eavesdropping on two men in a park outside the Soviet compound on Wisconsin Avenue in Washington, D.C. The cat was released nearby, but was hit and killed by a taxi almost immediately. Shortly thereafter the project was considered a failure and declared to be a total loss. link
Project Pigeon: Pigeon-guided Missile.
During World War II, Project Pigeon was American behaviorist B. F. Skinner’s attempt to develop a pigeon-guided missile.
The control system involved a lens at the front of the missile projecting an image of the target to a screen inside, while a pigeon trained (by operant conditioning) to recognize the target pecked at it. As long as the pecks remained in the center of the screen, the missile would fly straight, but pecks off-center would cause the screen to tilt, which would then, via a connection to the missile’s flight controls, cause the missile to change course.
Although skeptical of the idea, the National Defense Research Committee nevertheless contributed $25,000 to the research. However, Skinner’s plans to use pigeons in Pelican missiles was considered too eccentric and impractical; although he had some success with the training, he could not get his idea taken seriously. The program was canceled on October 8, 1944, because the military believed that “further prosecution of this project would seriously delay others which in the minds of the Division have more immediate promise of combat application.”
Project Pigeon was revived by the Navy in 1948 as “Project Orcon”; it was canceled in 1953 when electronic guidance systems’ reliability was proven.link
Project MKULTRA: Mind-control Research Program
Project MKULTRA, or MK-ULTRA, was the code name for a covert, illegal CIA human research program, run by the Office of Scientific Intelligence.This official U.S. government program began in the early 1950s, continuing at least through the late 1960s, and it used U.S. and Canadian citizens as its test subjects
The published evidence indicates that Project MKULTRA involved the use of many methodologies to explore the use of “mind-control” and alter brain functions, including the surreptitious administration of drugs like LSD, Heroin, Sodium Pentothal and other chemicals.link
Operation Mockingbird: CIA Media Manipulation
Starting in the early days of the Cold War (late 40′s), the CIA began a secret project called Operation Mockingbird, with the intent of buying influence behind the scenes at major media outlets and putting reporters on the CIA payroll, which has proven to be a stunning ongoing success. The CIA effort to recruit American news organizations and journalists to become spies and disseminators of propaganda, was headed up by Frank Wisner, Allen Dulles, Richard Helms, and Philip Graham (publisher of The Washington Post). Wisner had taken Graham under his wing to direct the program code-named Operation Mockingbird and both have presumably committed suicide.
Media assets will eventually include ABC, NBC, CBS, Time, Newsweek, Associated Press, United Press International (UPI), Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps-Howard, Copley News Service, etc. and 400 journalists, who have secretly carried out assignments according to documents on file at CIA headquarters, from intelligence-gathering to serving as go-betweens. The CIA had infiltrated the nation’s businesses, media, and universities with tens of thousands of on-call operatives by the 1950′s. link 1 / 2
In the early 1960s, America’s top military leaders reportedly drafted plans to kill innocent people and commit acts of terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war against Cuba.
Code named Operation Northwoods, the plans reportedly included the possible assassination of Cuban émigrés, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship, and even orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities.
The plans were developed as ways to trick the American public and the international community into supporting a war to oust Cuba’s then new leader, communist Fidel Castro.
America’s top military brass even contemplated causing U.S. military casualties, writing: “We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba,” and, “casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation.”
Operation Midnight Climax
Operation Midnight Climax was an operation initially established by Sidney Gottlieb and placed under the direction of Narcotics Bureau officer George Hunter White under the alias of Morgan Hall for the CIA as a sub-project of Project MKULTRA, the CIA mind-control research program that began in the 1950s.
The project consisted of a web of CIA-run safehouses in San Francisco, Marin, and New York. It was established in order to study the effects of LSD on unconsenting individuals. Prostitutes on the CIA payroll were instructed to lure clients back to the safehouses, where they were surreptitiously plied with a wide range of substances, including LSD, and monitored behind one-way glass. Several significant operational techniques were developed in this theater, including extensive research into sexual blackmail, surveillance technology, and the possible use of mind-altering drugs in field operations.
The safehouses were dramatically scaled back in 1962, following a report by CIA Inspector General John Earman that strongly recommended closing the facility. The San Francisco safehouses were closed in 1965, and the New York City safehouse soon followed in 1966.
The Cuban Project (also known as Operation Mongoose or the Special Group Augmented) was a program of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) covert operations developed during the early years of President of the United States John F. Kennedy.
On November 30, 1961 aggressive covert operations against the communist government of Fidel Castro in Cuba was authorized by President Kennedy
Many assassination ideas were floated by the CIA during Operation Mongoose.The most infamous was the CIA’s alleged plot to capitalize on Castro’s well-known love of cigars by slipping into his supply a very real and lethal “exploding cigar”
Other plots to assassinate Castro that are ascribed to the CIA include, among others: poisoning his cigars (a box of the lethal smokes was actually prepared and delivered to Havana ,exploding seashells to be planted at a scuba diving site; a gift diving wetsuit impregnated with noxious bacteria and mould spores, or with lethal chemical agents; infecting Castro’s scuba regulator apparatus with tuberculous bacilli; dousing his handkerchiefs, his tea, and his coffee with other lethal bacteria; having a former lover slip him poison pills; and exposing him to various other poisoned items such as a fountain pen and even ice cream .link