The CIA recently rolled out a new website featuring dozens of real-world spy gadgets used by actual operatives, many seemingly ripped straight from James Bond’s playbook.
The site, which incorporates RSS feeds, a Flickr stream and YouTube channel, also includes photo galleries and information on new and historical spy gear presently on display at the CIA museum in Langley, VA. (The museum is located at the agency’s headquarters, and closed to the general public.) Choice selections include robot catfish built as unmanned underwater vehicles, dragonfly drones equipped with hidden aerial monitoring systems, pigeon cameras and concealed storage and listening devices of every shape and size. From trailblazing robotic technology to efforts at miniaturization and ingenious ways to open envelopes without breaking their seal, they all seem tailor-made for the pages of a paperback thriller.
An eye-opening look back over the state of covert ops and spy technology over the last several decades, these efforts aim to cultivate empathy for and interest in the organization’s fascinating and oftentimes troubled history.