The Most Disturbing Projects in CIA History - That We Know Of

The CIA has a long and storied history of committing human rights abuses and war crimes - here are some of their greatest hits.

"Conspiracy theory" is a term that is often thrown around today to discredit ideas that go against the mainstream narrative - while at one time the term was largely reserved for more ridiculous and reality-distorting ideas, nowadays it is used as a blanket term to describe everything from "flat earthers" to anyone that dares question a government or media member's stance on virtually anything.

The truth is that labelling something a conspiracy theory has no bearing on whether that theory is correct or not; in fact, many things society now perceives as historical fact were at one time widely regarded as conspiracy theories, including all of the operations included in this list despite a bevy of evidence and eventual admissions from the CIA and US government itself.

Modern media outlets love to paint anyone that disagrees with their narrative as a conspiracy theorist and it's why everything you hear must be taken with a grain of salt; looking at both sides of a story and evaluating the evidence yourself is essential in today's world of shoddy journalism and propaganda reporting to determine what's believable and what isn't.

When looking at the CIA's dubious past, it can be hard to believe some of the things the organization has done and gotten away with; there's a reason why the people that uncovered parts of the CIA's operations over the years have been so easily labelled as insane conspiracy theorists.

Unfortunately, that doesn't make the crimes that America's Central Intelligence Agency (and its precursor the OSS) have committed over its 70+ year history any less true. From deadly experiments on US civilians to the protection of Nazi war criminals, the CIA is truly one of the most corrupt and detrimental organizations to ever touch North American soil and this list will help you understand why.

So without further ado, here are the five most disturbing operations in the CIA's history (that we know of).

Operation Ajax

Though it's now quite well known for facilitating proxy wars and installing pro-Western dictatorships, the 1953 Iranian coup d'état was the CIA's first ever involvement in overthrowing a foreign nation's government and it came just six years after the organization's creation.

The coup was orchestrated by the United States in conjunction with the United Kingdom, using the Iranian military to oust Iran's first democratically elected Prime Minister and replace him with the monarchical rule of the Shah.

Unsurprisingly, the coup largely revolved around oil along with fears of a communist takeover in Iran.

Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh's attempts to audit a British oil corporation (now part of BP) in the 1950's set off a chain reaction of events: the oil company refused to comply, prompting the Iranian parliament to nationalize Iran's oil industry and expel foreign corporations from the country; Britain responded with a worldwide boycott of Iranian oil that crippled the Iranian economy and caused a massive loss of support for Mosaddegh's government; Mosaddegh then introduced a referendum to dissolve parliament, strip the Shah of his military powers and allow the Prime Minister to pass laws, effectively giving him dictatorial power; Britain then decided it was time to topple the Iranian leader and prevent a probable communist takeover.

Iranian PM Mohammad Mosaddegh

Previously, the Truman administration had opposed prior discussions of a coup, particularly fearing the precedent the CIA's involvement would set; they had even considered stepping in to assist the Mosaddegh government. The newly elected Eisenhower administration however had no such qualms about weaponizing the CIA or working with a dictatorship and went to work in organizing Mosaddegh's removal.

Utilizing propaganda and paid protestors (including high-profile mobsters in Tehran) along with supporters in the Iranian military, the CIA successfully removed Mosaddegh from power and instated a new dictatorship led by the Shah. Mosaddegh was convicted of treason by the Shah's military court and was kept under house arrest for the rest of his life, with the Shah retaining power until the Iranian Revolution of 1979 saw him removed from power.

The clashes between the CIA-backed Shah supporters and Mosaddegh's loyalists resulted in some 200-300 deaths and cost the CIA untold millions in bribes alone, but was, for a time, successful - Iran flourished over the following two decades, becoming an economic force in its own right and turning the third-world country into a prosperous and largely free society.

The coup however sullied the United States' reputation in the region and created strong resentment in the Middle East for their meddling in foreign affairs. The US and British interference became a major driving force of the Iranian Revolution of 1979 that replaced the Shah with a vehemently anti-western Islamic republic under the Ayatollah, which plunged the country into the Sharia-law ruled cesspit that it is today.

The operation's (short-term) success inspired further government topplings orchestrated by the CIA for decades to come, many of which have seen disastrous results and spurred support for Islamic terrorism and anti-western sentiment across the Middle East that continues to this day.

The United States only officially acknowledged their role some 60 years after the coup took place, with thousands of documents and cables released to the public detailing the CIA's actions in Iran. The declassification was seen as an act of "goodwill" by the Obama administration - because revealing the bad shit the government did over half a century prior somehow implies they aren't doing bad shit in the present day...

School of the Americas

Speaking of toppling foreign governments, the School of the Americas has been the literal training grounds for thousands of assassins, death squad operatives, dictators, and other revolutionaries, all paid for and fully supported by Uncle Sam.

Although the school was founded and run by the US military, given the CIA's extensive use of the school's graduates as CIA operators in foreign campaigns along with the long history of the CIA sending instructors and adding to the school's curriculum (including the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques", ie. torture) the program certainly merits a spot on this list.

Beginning in 1946, the US military created training centres in Panama to train Latin American military personnel in the use of artillery and advanced weaponry as well as to provide them education on "nation-building". As the training centres grew in size and scope, the military consolidated the schools into a single entity at Fort Gulick in the Panama Canal Zone under the name of the US Army Caribbean School (later renamed to the School of the Americas in 1963).

In 1961 John F. Kennedy ordered the school to focus on "anti-communism" counterinsurgency training, which included riot and mob control, special warfare tactics, jungle warfare, intelligence and counterintelligence, and public information (propaganda).

The school became increasingly used to train military assets under dictatorships in Latin America, along with soldiers in revolutionary guerilla movements from Honduras, Columbia, Argentina, and more.

The school would face criticism for its teaching of torture and extortion techniques (particularly those taught by CIA operatives), with training manuals later proving the school promoted the use of executions, torture, blackmail, false imprisonment, and bounties. The school served as the world's premier training grounds for aspiring revolutionaries, ruthless dictators and other war criminals.

After increasing public tension in Panama regarding the school's civilian graduates engaging in "repressive and anti-democratic behaviour", the School of the Americas was expelled from Panama in 1984 and relocated to Fort Benning in Georgia, where it remains to this day (it was renamed WHINSEC in 2001).

In 1993 a released list of over 60,000 graduates confirmed the horrendous track record of the military school over the years, prompting a series of congressional investigations and bills to close the school, though all of those bills failed to pass.

The amount of graduates from the School of Americas that had gone on to become brutal dictators, generals, death squad operatives, and assassins was staggering, collectively responsible for tens of thousands of civilian deaths with a high number of graduates being accused of or persecuted for appalling human rights violations.

Panamanian Dictator Manuel Noriega

Some of the most notable graduates include Domingo Monterrosa, a colonel in El Salvidor that led the El Mazote massacre in 1981 which saw upwards of 800 civilians killed; many Guatemalans involved in uprisings and coups including former Guatemalan president Efrain Rios Montt who was later indicted for genocide and crimes against humanity; Panamanian dictators Omar Torrijos and Manuel Noriega along with other dictators in Argentina, Bolivia, Equador, and Peru; the two co-founders of the Los Zetas Cartel in Mexico; and Colonel Julio Roberto Albirez of Guatemala, a CIA asset that oversaw the murder of an American citizen just six months after completing an "elite course for senior officers" at the school.

To say that the School of the Americas has seen a lot of controversy over the years would be an understatement and yet the school is still used today to produce military, CIA, and foreign assets with "questionable" expertise and morals.

The amount of coups, insurgencies, and pure bloodshed perpetrated by individuals trained at the School of the Americas is simply astounding and we will likely never know the full extent of the damage wrought, nor how much damage is currently being done.

The United States' involvement and "success" in overthrowing foreign governments and sparking revolutions throughout Latin America would not have been possible without the School of the Americas and the thousands of elite assassins and revolutionaries that it helped create.

The Phoenix Program

Now to get back to proper CIA operations, the Phoenix Program was an initiative designed and coordinated by the CIA to destroy the Viet Cong via "infiltration, torture, capture, counter-terrorism, interrogation, and assassination" during the Vietnam war.

It was during the program (which was operational from 1965-1972, after which it was renamed Plan F-6 with control shifted to the South Vietnamese government following public outcry in the US) that the CIA honed their reputation for ruthless brutality and reckless disregard for civilian casualties.

The CIA touted at its conclusion that the program had "neutralized" 81,740 suspected Viet Cong operatives, informants and supporters, of which between 26,000 and 41,000 of those were killed with the remainder having either been imprisoned or persuaded to defect.

The program may have been effective in killing and scaring the VC, but it came at extreme costs - countless neutral civilians were falsely imprisoned for long periods of time, tortured, and even killed during the operation, and many accounts of Vietnamese civilians falsely reporting their rivals as "Viet Cong" or communist sympathizers in order to get U.S. troops to kill them were later unearthed.

The accounts from journalists and military personnel of the kind of torture utilized by the CIA and their assets are beyond disturbing, with rape, electric shock, water boarding, starvation, dog mauling and more all used during interrogations, with any actionable intel being obtained then used to plan search and destroy missions on potential VC positions.

Stories of wanton murder abound - Lieuteneant Vincent Okamoto, a decorated Army Ranger who served as an intelligence liaison officer for the Phoenix Program for two months in 1968, describes some of the actions from Phoenix operatives:

"The problem was, how do you find the people on the blacklist? It's not like you had their address and telephone number. The normal procedure would be to go into a village and just grab someone and say, "Where's Nguyen so-and-so?" Half the time the people were so afraid they would not say anything.

Then a Phoenix team would take the informant, put a sandbag over his head, poke out two holes so he could see, put commo wire around his neck like a long leash, and walk him through the village and say, "When we go by Nguyen's house scratch your head." Then that night Phoenix would come back, knock on the door, and say, "April fools, motherfucker." Whoever answered the door would get wasted.

As far as they were concerned whoever answered was a communist, including family members. Sometimes they'd come back to camp with ears just to prove that they killed people."

Corruption in the project was also widespread, with many of the Phoenix Program's South Vietnamese chiefs being bureaucrats accused of using their positions to enrich themselves, prompting the CIA to implement monthly "neutralization quotas" which only led to fabrications and even more false arrests.

Regardless of the atrocities it committed, the operation was regarded as a strategic success by the CIA given the reaction to the program from communists in both North and South Vietnam, who saw it as a significant threat to their revolution and their control of the population.

And just like every CIA operation that is revealed to be a disgusting abuse of power, no one was punished or tried for their crimes and the CIA continued business as usual.

Operation Paperclip

Operation Paperclip is one of the most damning indictments of the sheer lack of morality displayed by US "intelligence agencies" throughout history.

Though it's recently been thrust into the spotlight, for those that are unaware Operation Paperclip was a secret program carried out by the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA), the Office of Strategic Services (the precursor to the CIA), and the Army Counterintelligence Corps (CIC) which brought over 1600 German scientists, engineers, and technicians to the United States to work for the government following the conclusion of World War II.

Many of these new government hires were not only members of the Nazi Party, but prominent figures in the evil regime, with US intelligence destroying and falsifying records for many of their new recruits to grant them new lives in the United States without the stigma of heinous war crimes hanging over their heads.

The Russians similarly took their pick of top talent from the spoils of the second great war, snatching some 2,200 Germans for their own programs (though largely by force rather than America's promise of high-paying jobs and a safe place to call home) - indeed, that was the entire argument for the US to employ the Nazi filth, believing that their expertise would be needed for the coming cold war with the Soviets and the impending space race.

Operation Paperclip's new arrivals set out to work for various military endeavors and established their squeaky clean identities from the comfort of their new homes, getting to leave their unspeakable sins behind them without so much as a slap on the wrist.

Former NASA director and Nazi Kurt Debus

When the National Aeronautics and Space Agency was created in 1958, its ranks were quickly stuffed full of top Nazi talent, including many high-ranking SS members such as the NASA Launch Operations Center's first director Kurt Debus.

An interesting way to shock yourself is to take a look at old photographs of NASA's teams and officials to see how many scarred faces you can spot. Duelling scars were worn like a badge of honour by Nazis, who earned them during their time in Nazi officer school and are a telltale sign of a hardcore Nazi; take a look at former SS member Kurt Debus' gnarly duelling scars for an example.

The most famous Nazi to work at NASA however was undoubtedly Wernher von Braun, the man credited for creating Germany's feared V-2 rockets during the war. Von Braun would go on to help create the rockets that sent America's first satelite (the Explorer 1) into space, become the director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, and become the chief architect of the Saturn V launch vehicle that was instrumental in getting humans to the moon.

Wernher von Braun posing with his Nazi pals

His time in Nazi Germany was framed as a sympathetic one - a brilliant thinker whose talent saw him forced to join the Nazi war effort, and later saw him forced to join the SS (a strictly volunteer program) where he joined no political activities, and despite the fact that he was in charge of the entire factory that produced Germany's V-2 rockets using slave labour, he "didn't know" what was going on inside his own factory.

The reality is far less sympathetic, particularly given the numerous inconsistencies with his claims compared to unearthed records and other accounts - not only was it impossible for him not to have been well aware of the slave labour and brutal conditions in his rocket factory, but his joining of the SS appeared to be anything but forced.

The operation was mostly kept a secret since it began, with only a few specific scientists being outed by journalists over the years, such as Walter Schreiber in 1951 who was linked to human experimentation and as a result fled to Argentina with the help of the US military, and Arthur Rudolph who in 1984 was outed as an operations director for V-2 missile production that used forced labour and rather ironically fled back to Germany.

In recent years however much more has come out about the specifics of the operation as the official documentation surrounding the project have been released due to the Freedom of Information Act, once again proving that when it comes to US intelligence agencies, the "conspiracy theorists" are often right.

The public has been made aware of Operation Paperclip recently thanks to several new TV shows, including Amazon's Hunters and Apple TV's excellent For All Mankind series, opening many peoples' eyes to the US governments' lackluster moral track record.

The fact that the United States employed German scientists after the war isn't all that surprising - given that they were indeed a valuable resource in terms of advancing technology and some likely didn't commit any crimes themselves - but the fact that proven war criminals and high-ranking SS members were rewarded with high-paying jobs and benefits while their records were expunged and as a result suffered absolutely no consequences for their actions (many were even celebrated as heroes) is appalling to say the least.

Ironically Russia had the right idea in imprisoning them and forcing them to work, but America's much more appealing method lured the brightest ones stateside - essentially the US bought themselves the best Nazis and it helped them win the space race as a result. Way to go USA?

Project MKUltra

And now we get to the greatest of all conspiracy theories - Project MKUltra.

If one isn't already convinced of the CIA's utter lack of morals, one need only take a look at some of the experiments and operations the organization conducted as part of the MKUltra program.

The project began its vile life in 1953 and was essentially a continuation of the experiments performed on humans at Nazi concentration camps and similar Japanese facilities in World War II.

The CIA's goal? To subdue and control human minds.

Yes, that's right, the CIA dedicated a massive, decades-long operation to experimenting with mind control.

Even today simply saying something like the last sentence will get you labelled as a conspiracy theorist, despite the thousands of documents (disclosed and acknowledged by the US government), Senate hearings in the US as well as an investigation in the Canadian government (who aided the CIA in running experiments in the country), and a high-profile congressional investigation and subsequent payoff for the family of a CIA employee that died (or was murdered) as a result of the experiments.

Unfortunately, the CIA's reckless and criminal experimentation on both American and foreign subjects did happen and we will likely never know the full extent of their damage - the bulk of the files relating to MKUltra were ordered destroyed by CIA Director Richard Helms in 1973, with later investigations relying on documents (mostly budgetary records) that survived the purge and sworn testimony of members involved in the project.

Much of the CIA's experiments involved dosing unsuspecting victims with psychedelic drugs (most often LSD); experimenting on people without their consent is in clear violation of the Nuremburg Code the US had agreed to following WWII after seeing the grisly experiments the Nazis had performed on their victims, but the CIA has proven to have always been an agency with no regard to legality or human decency.

The CIA would regularly use mental patients, prisoners, drug addicts, and prostitutes as their guinea pigs, with their goals being to find drugs or combinations of drugs that would bring out confessions, wipe a subject's mind, or allow for some level of mind control or behavioural "programming".

In one such sub-project of MKUltra designated Operation Midnight Climax, the CIA set up brothels in San Francisco which contained rooms with one-way mirrors. Prostitutes were paid by the CIA to dose men with LSD without their knowledge while CIA agents and doctors watched for changes in behaviour, each session filmed for later "viewing and study".

Some unfortunate military personel and CIA agents that were suspected of working with the Soviets were put through drug-assisted interrogations, where they were subjected to extended "trips" and other mental torture resulting in long term debilitation and even several deaths.

The project also involved the drugging of military personnel, doctors, members of the general public, and even other CIA operatives to study their reactions, often in social situations.

Random acid trips became a frequent occurrence around CIA operatives and regularly put the agency's own personnel in danger, and were continued for years even after the death of Dr. Frank Olson early in the program in 1953.

Olson was a former army chemist who had been secretly dosed with LSD by his own supervisor at the CIA, shortly after approaching his superiors to express his doubts over the morality of the project and discuss his possible resignation. He supposedly fell into extreme depression immediately following the incident prompting the CIA to monitor him closely, yet just nine days later he fell to his death from a hotel room in New York City, the CIA agent charged with monitoring him apparently having fallen asleep when the incident occurred.

Olson's family finally received an apology from President Gerald Ford and CIA Director William Colby along with a $750,000 settlement over twenty years later.

Some four decades following Olson's death, his body was exhumed and a medical examiner ruled his death was a homicide given that he had cranial injuries which indicated he had been knocked unconscious before falling from the window. His family contended the CIA had him killed due to him becoming a security risk (particularly after the LSD incident) thanks to his moral objections to the program and other operations the CIA was involved in, such as Operation Paperclip and the precursor to MKUltra, Project Artichoke, which was a similar experiment in mind control whose goal was to get subjects to involuntarily assassinate targets.

The massive program's scope has mostly been revealed through budgetary documents, though much of the specifics of their experiments are still unknown to this day; at least thirty universities and other institutions worked with the CIA as part of the program, which included everything from hypnosis to dosing students with drugs and performing brutal psychological experiments on American and foreign citizens.

Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber

Ted Kaczynski, otherwise known as the Unabomber, was a participant in one such brutal psychological experiment. The study he participated in during his youth was conducted by Harvard psychologist Henry Murray and it was likely being performed under the MKUltra umbrella; his experiences during the program are widely believed to have led to his radicalization and future terrorist acts.

Famous mobster and murderer Whitey Bulger agreed to be a part of the program in the 1950's while he was a prisoner in Atlanta in exchange for a lighter sentence, where he was dosed with LSD on at least fifty occasions while they performed tests on him and asked him a variety of questions including many about whether or not he was willing to kill someone.

Following his incarceration and his time in the project, he became extremely violent and aggressive, going on to commit at least eleven murders (all of which were after his time in Atlanta) - he continued to be plagued by violent hallucinations, paranoia, and nightmares from his time in the project until his death in 2018.

Though unconfirmed, Charles Manson is suspected by many to have been another product of MKUltra, thanks to an extensive investigation and corroborating evidence found by investigative reporter Tim O'Neill.

Charles Manson, probable CIA guinea pig

O'Neill proved that Manson was arrested for serious crimes at multiple points while on parole yet was repeatedly released and not charged for, including at one point in a massive raid where he and members of his cult were arrested on serious charges including sexual assault of minors and were found to be in possession of various stolen cars, illegal drugs, and even a submachine gun, yet were all released just three days later. Their release and lack of charges was reportedly due to a mis-dated warrant, yet the original warrant was later found and shown to be correctly dated.

A mountain of evidence proves that Manson was clearly being protected from law enforcement by high-ranking officials following his release from Terminal Island in 1967, after which he had been transformed from a rather unremarkable career criminal to a charismatic cult leader with a band of fiercely loyal subjects.

He had inspired followers and compelled them to commit crimes using the very techniques being studied and applied by the CIA, including the use of LSD and other drugs, reinforcing the high likelihood of Manson having been a subject of MKUltra.

The CIA also funded similarly horrific experiments in Canada, recruiting British pscyhiatrist Donald Ewen Cameron to conduct trials on patients at the Allen Memorial Institute at McGill University in Montreal.

The creator of the concept of "psychic driving" (continuously repeating an audio message to alter someone's behaviour), Cameron's work was of interest to the CIA, who paid the doctor $69,000 through a front organization (worth nearly $600,000 today) between 1957-1964 to advance his research at the expense of his patients.

Dr. Donald Cameron, psychopath

Cameron experimented on his subjects with LSD and other paralytic drugs along with electroconvulsive therapy at 30-40 times the normal power output, and regularly put victims into drug-induced comas for weeks and even months at a time while taped noise or short statements were played to them on a loop.

Many of his patients had entered the institute for minor problems such as anxiety disorders or postpartum depression and instead suffered permanent effects from his experiments, from incontinence and amnesia to forgetting how to talk or forgetting who their parents were.

His contribution to the MKUltra program was ultimately not about mind control or brainwashing, but about providing a scientific system for extracting information from "resistant" sources - in other words, torture.

Cameron's experiments laid the foundation for the CIA's two-stage psychological torture method; the method relies on first disorienting the subject before creating "self-inflicted" discomfort which the subject can alleviate simply by capitulating.

Dr. Cameron would go on to serve as the first chairman of the World Psychiatric Association and the president of both the American and Canadian psychiatric associations while he was actively torturing his patients in Montreal.

Despite many people not being aware of the program itself, MKUltra has inspired and been alluded to in all sorts of popular culture, from the Jason Bourne books and movies to the superb Netflix original Manhunt: Unabomber to Stephen King's Firestarter, and is even a part of the plot of the immensely popular Netflix hit Stranger Things.

The extreme and downright disturbing experiments conducted by the CIA under the Project MKUltra banner and all of its affiliated programs were supposedly abandoned in the seventies, though several different investigative journalists have claimed similar projects continue to this day under different names.

Considering the CIA's long history of disgusting behaviour, it would be shocking if they weren't still commiting heinous crimes - unfortunately we'll likely have to wait a few decades to learn about what kind of disturbing crimes against humanity they're currently committing.

Honourable Mentions:

Operation Mockingbird

A (supposedly) shut down program focused on infiltrating and using news networks for government propaganda. The CIA set up dozens of front organizations and recruited a plethora of journalists and other media members to create their own propaganda network in the mainstream media. Nowadays with propaganda so widespread and easy to buy if you know anyone at the DNC, this program is an obsolete relic of the past.

Cocaine Trafficking

Unlike all of the other operations on this list, the CIA's involvement in drug running has not been declassified and admitted to (likely because it's a much more recent scandal and quite possibly still occurring), but to say there is a mountain of evidence would be an understatement.

Although investigations in the 1980's found some drug running by CIA-backed Contras, in the late 90's journalist Gary Webb exposed the extensive CIA trafficking program that played an important role in the crack cocaine epidemic in the United States.

Despite a bevy of evidence (including photographs catching them in the act) three separate government investigations stated there was no CIA drug smuggling operations in existence and the government has maintained that stance to this day. Webb was systematically smeared by government officials and various media outlets, ultimately leading to his suicide in 2004 by not one, but two gunshot wounds to the head.

Operation Northwoods

Since this was a planned operation drafted by the Department of Defense and Joint Chiefs of Staff that was meant to be carried out by the CIA but wasn't greenlit, the CIA gets a pass on this one since it wasn't technically involved in it but it's worthy of a mention nonetheless.

Operation Northwoods was a heinous false flag operation intended to create public support for a war against Cuba following Castro's ascension to power and subsequent communist takeover. The plan was to stage a series of terror attacks (both real and faked) on US military and civilian targets, including a communist Cuban terror campaign in Miami, the hijackings and downings of airplanes (including a planned hijacking of a plane full of American students), and terrorist bombings in American cities.

Documents released in 1997 show the operation was approved by the DoD and JCS but was ultimately rejected by JFK; the fact that such a disgusting plan that involved killing hundreds if not thousands of innocent American civilians made it all the way to the President's desk is downright astounding. The proposal has also been used to bolster claims that 9/11 was a CIA operation given the similarities between the events of September 11th and the plans found in Operation Northwoods, as well as the CIA's role in ignoring and covering up intelligence that the twin towers would be attacked leading up to the fateful day.

Operation Acoustic Kitty

After all of the disturbing information you've just read, why not cleanse your palette with something a little less serious?

Enter Operation Acoustic Kitty.

Disclosed in 2001 after the project was declassified, Operation Acoustic Kitty aimed to use cats to spy on the Kremlin and Soviet embassies in the 1960's.

No, this is not a joke, this was an actual CIA operation that cost somewhere in the neighbourhood of $20 million (upwards of $150 million in today's dollars).

A veterinary surgeon would implant a microphone in a cat's ear canal, add a small radio transmitter to the base of its skull, and embed a thin wire in its fur that combined would allow the augmented cat to record and transmit sound from its surroundings.

The first official mission saw the CIA attempt to eavesdrop on two men in a park outside of a Soviet compound in Washington D.C. using their furry new recording device, but unfortunately the cat was reportedly struck and killed by a taxi before it even got close to the target.

Subsequent tests also failed and as a result the project was cancelled in 1967, with the difficulties of training a cat to act as required being cited as the main reason for its failure. Perhaps they could have tried giving it some LSD?

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