Declassified files: how the CIA trained pigeons and dolphins were spying on the USSR

The CIA has declassified details of its spy missions during the Cold war, which used pigeons. They are trained to participate in secret missions photos of secret objects in the USSR. About it writes BBC.

Рассекреченные файлы: как натренированные ЦРУ голуби и дельфины шпионили за СССР

Photo: Depositphotos

The declassified documents also alleged that Raven used to drop listening devices on windowsills, and dolphins trained for underwater missions.

The CIA believed that animals and birds can perform unique tasks of the underground operations.

In the headquarters of the CIA in Langley (VA), the Museum is closed to the General public. There is a blue model with an associated camera, and this was reported to journalists who managed to get to the Museum.

Details of the spy missions of the CIA with the participation of pigeons still was classified, but recently this has changed.

Declassified documents tell us that in 1970-ies in the framework of operation under the code name Tacana used pigeons with attached tiny cameras for automatic photographing of secret objects of the Soviet Union.

This helped the amazing ability of these inconspicuous birds — almost a superpower. It consists in the fact that even if they are reset to where they never were, the pigeons still find their way home even hundreds of miles away.

The use of pigeons to exchange messages goes back thousands of years, but in the First world war they were used for intelligence gathering.

During the Second world war a little-known branch of British intelligence — MI14 (d) — had the Secret service pigeons that dropped birds in a container with a parachute over occupied Europe. Each blue was attached to the questionnaire. More than 1000 birds have returned with messages that in particular contain details about the locations of launching missiles V1 and German radar stations.

In one message resistance group called “Vengeful Leopold” (Leopold Vindictive) was a 12-page intelligence report left Churchill. After the war a special “Pigeon Subcommittee” of the joint intelligence Committee the UK has considered options for the Cold war. But while the British operations were mostly discontinued, the CIA continued to use pigeons.

Operation Tacana was the result of work conducted in the 1960-ies, in which explored the use of various animals. From documents it is visible that the CIA taught the ravens to deliver and pick up small objects weighing up to 40 g with sills inaccessible buildings.

To indicate purpose used flashing red the laser beam, and a special lamp was pointing the bird way back. Once in Europe the CIA with the help of birds was secretly taken on the window sill listening devices (although it to do a scheduled recording with it, and failed).

The CIA also considered the possibility of using migratory birds to accommodate sensors that were supposed to help find out, did the Soviet Union chemical weapons. Apparently, also were tested electrical stimulation of the brain of dogs, to control them at a distance, although many of the details regarding these programs are still classified.

In addition, there was an operation called operation Acoustic Kitty, which included placing listening devices inside cats.

Also declassified documents show that in 60-ies of the CIA was considering the use of dolphins for “penetration in the harbour” — as a people, and without them. One of the problems was the transfer of control from Dolphin trainer who worked with animals, operational employee.

On the island of Key West (FL), a team of researchers tried to use dolphins for underwater attacks on enemy ships. Also carried out tests to find out whether the dolphins to carry sensors to record the sounds of Soviet nuclear submarines, or to look for traces of radioactive or biological weapons among neighbouring objects.

Also considered the possibility of using dolphins to deliver and pick up packages from ships while sailing.

Until 1967, the CIA spent more than $ 600,000 on three programs — Oxygas featuring dolphins, Axiolite — birds, and Kechel — with dogs and cats.

One of the documents describes the details of training canadian Sokolov, and then mentioned that before that there were attempts to use Kakadu. “We don’t have any idea about how to use these Pets”, — the document says.

In the end, the efficient birds were pigeons, and by the mid-1970s, the CIA conducted a series of test missions — one to prison and the other on a military ship repair factory in Washington.

Camera was worth $ 2000 and weighing just 35 g, but mounting is less than 5 g. the Tests showed that about half of the 140 images were of good quality — they could clearly see people and parked cars.

The experts found that the quality of these photos was better than the pictures made the then spy satellites. During the tests also had some concerns — in particular about what the pigeons with a camera can find civil and come to the conclusion that the government is spying on its own citizens. Because of this I had to carefully plan how it will be possible to hide the truth.

Pigeons had planned to use against the “priority” exploration in the Soviet Union. The document States that the birds wanted to send to Moscow. The CIA considered the many ways their release — for example, from under a thick coat or holes in the floor of a parked car.

They even considered the possibility of releasing doves from the window of a car moving with a speed of 80 km/h. Birds planned to release a few kilometers from the goal, over which they had to fly before returning to the place that they were taught to regard the house.

In a document of September 1976 stated on the selected target, the shipyard at Leningrad, where he built a modern Soviet submarines.

At that time, decided that the operation seemed feasible. But in this place over declassified documents.

How many actual missions have been performed by the pigeon spy and who intelligence gathered? It still remains a mystery.

Recall, a student from Arkansas, said that these birds no longer exists. Each bird is a drone-spy, with which the CIA is watching the residents of North America. The governments of other countries have similar programs. And they all have the same goal — total control. For this American Agency has destroyed billions of birds in the late 1950s.