Most Top 10 Weirdest CIA Programs



Most Top 10 Weirdest CIA Programs


 

Over the years, the American Central Intelligence Agency has gained a reputation for being the most far-reaching, sophisticated, and effective government intelligence agency on the planet. At the same time, the CIA has also become known for its incredible paranoia and propensity to undertake costly, sometimes illegal, and often downright absurd projects in the name of gaining an edge on the competition. From spy cats to psychic hippies, the following are ten of the weirdest spy programs the government has proposed and funded over the years.

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10.  Acoustic Kitty

Most people wouldn’t think of the common house cat as being a potential master of espionage, but the CIA sure did. In the 1960s, American intelligence is said to have spent over $20 million on “Acoustic Kitty,” a top-secret project that used cats as recording devices. The project took a group of specially trained cats and surgically implanted...

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9.  Operation Mockingbird

One of the most ambitious and downright insidious programs ever launched by the CIA was Operation Mockingbird, a propaganda project that was implemented in the early 1950s. It was a massive undertaking that saw as many as 3,000 CIA agents and collaborators attempt to gain some control of the free press by feeding select groups of reporters informat...

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8.  Operation Gold

One of the most audacious intelligence operations of the Cold War was 1953’s Operation Gold, which was a joint effort between the CIA and the British MI6 to hack into the phone lines of the Soviet headquarters in East Berlin. This required the construction of a massive 450-meter long tunnel that would intersect with an underground telephone junct...

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7.  Operation Northwoods

In the early 1960s, when the Cold War was in full swing and fear of communism was rampant, a plan dubbed Operation Northwoods was proposed within the American CIA. In short, it called for the government to perform a series of violent terrorist actions in U.S. cities including bombings, hijackings, phony riots, and sabotage, all of which could then ...

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6.  Project Pigeon

One of the most seemingly preposterous military programs of all time occurred during WWII, when famed behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner was enlisted by the government to try and train pigeons for use in a missile guidance system. At the time, Skinner was known as one of the major practitioners of operant conditioning, a system that used reward a...

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5.  Operation Midnight Climax

In the early 1960s, the youth culture of America was first beginning to experiment with hallucinogenic drugs like LSD, and so was the Central Intelligence Agency. Operation Midnight Climax was one of the government’s most ridiculous and illegal attempts to test the possible uses of drugs like acid by administering them to unsuspecting citizens. T...

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4.  The Stargate Project

The $20 million Stargate Project was a blanket term used to describe a large number of psychic experiments and investigations undertaken by the U.S. government between the 70s and 90s. The biggest goal of the Stargate Project was to investigate the scientific probability of “remote viewing,” which is the psychic ability to witness events over g...

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3.  Operation Mongoose

In the early 60s, communist Cuba became one of the major battlegrounds of the Cold War, and its president Fidel Castro came to be considered one of the most dangerous political figures in the world. After early attempts to overthrow Castro by force failed, the CIA instituted Operation Mongoose, which was a secret war of propaganda and sabotage desi...

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2.  Project MKULTRA

One of the most downright creepy government programs and the fodder for countless conspiracy theories, Project MKULTRA was a sweeping and top-secret CIA program started in the early 1950s that included experiments in “chemical interrogation” and mind control. In short, MKULTRA was a plan that sought to use drugs, psychological stress, and bizar...

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1.  The Bay of Pigs Invasion

For sheer absurdity, wastefulness, and infamy, few CIA projects compare to 1961’s failed Bay of Pigs Invasion. The program was one of the first and boldest attempts to overthrow communist Cuban leader Fidel Castro, but it was also the most disastrously unsuccessful. It started in 1960, when the CIA, under the authorization of the President, began...

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