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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C.

I won't bury the lead...

Eric & I learned A LOT about
spying at the International
Museum of Spies in
Washington, D.C.

A spy must seamlessly fit into the environment he or she are placed in.  To do this, a spy must memorize biographical details and have documents to back up the assigned story, or legend. Still, there is much to learn....

We started at the School
for Spies.

"Looking the part"

A Spy will use make up
to help create a disguise
for a covert action.

Clothing is selected to "flesh out" the disguise.  The spy may change his or her walk, add a limp to complete the altered appearance.  Spying is a dangerous occupation and weapons are necessary.

Everyday items are altered
to hide weapons.

 The work gloves, a flashlight,
 cigarettes, an umbrella
 are all lethal.

Spying depends on the gathering of information.  Watching assigned people, businesses and recording observations; electronic eavesdropping and recruiting insiders to gather information are common practices.

Small devices are placed
in buildings, furniture, etc.

Conversations are recorded,
at a distance.

The displayed devices are decades old.  Eavesdropping and surveillance gathering devices must be a lot smaller today.

Transferring stolen information and documents up the line is a very dangerous part of spy's job. Being caught with stolen information will ensure jail time, or death.  The person picking up the stolen information is also at risk of discovery and punishment.

Getting information to the
spy's handler can include
everyday items that are
altered to hide illicit

The hiding places are clever: Altered statue, hollow Shaving Cream can, altered shoe with round container, film hidden in a shaving kit, secret storage in the handle of an umbrella, an altered electrical outlet.  Let's not forget the fake rock....  These are just a few examples of hiding places spies can and do use.

Spies, and sometimes civilians need to be moved covertly.  East Germans used all means of escape to make their way into West Germany after the Berlin Wall was built in 1961. 

Refugees were stuffed into
the front of the car, into
fake luggage & in the
trunk of this car.
Eighteen trips were make with refugees before East German soldiers started more closely inspecting cars for escapees.

Let's take a look back at
the history of spying.
Ever since Moses sent spies into Canaan, around 1250 BC, to gather information on the lands that Jews would settle, there s been infiltration to gather information, secret codes, disinformation and sabotage.

Greek soldiers were smuggled
into the gated city of Troy to
sack the enemy city during
Spies moved through European courts and gathered information used in numerous wars that broke out across the continent in the 16th century.  As the century changed, a new cast of spies arose to provide information to their handlers.

Spying during the
Revolutionary War:

George Washington
commanded troops
& was a spymaster.

American Espionage Fun Facts:

Benjamin Franklin used his extensive contacts throughout Europe to create a back channel relationship with France, which would formerly become America's ally after the Continental Army's victory at Saratoga in 1777.

Americans innovate:  Thomas Jefferson created a cylindrical cipher to encrypt messages in the 1790s.

Every war has spies.  Some are better known than others.

During World War I, Mata Hari
used her charms to extract

The famous Dutch dancer did not provide details of contacts she had with Germans before offering assistance to the French.  She was tried as a German spy and executed by firing squad in 1917 in France.

Americans were 
warned that there
were spies in 
their communities.

German spies came to the United States before World War II, lived among us and sent information back to Nazi Germany.   The Duquesne Spy Ring was especially notorious.

Lilly Stein used her wiles
to extract secrets while
working tin the US

While working aboard the SS AmericaFranz Stigler reported observations to war preparations at the Panama Canal to Germany, acted as a courier to bring US secrets to Germany and tried to recruit amateur radio operators to become channel into Germany.

America and the Allies had spy networks and developed tools to break enemy codes.

A reflection of Eric inspecting
the German Enigma Machine.

The Polish Cipher Bureau, with the help of accomplices, was able to gather enough information to construct a working Enigma machine by 1938.  They shared the information with England and an Allied team, code named Ultra, worked to break the complex coded Enigma messages at Bletchley Park.

was active in America's
espionage program
during World War II.
He became the head of the OSS (Office of Strategic Services, later the Central Intelligence Agency) Field Photographic Branch which performed aerial surveillance and mapping.  Risking his life and the lives of his crew, John Ford filmed the Battle of Midway.  The documentary film that unflinchingly showed the battle from close quarters.  Ford also produced military training films.

Stars of the era assisted the Allied war effort by:
Actress Marlene Dietrich, who recorded raised money for War Bonds, entertained the Allied troops on the front lines and recorded Lili Marlene to be broadcast as part of the OSS MUZAK Project into Germany.
Singer Josephine Baker stayed in France after the war broke out and worked with the French Resistance.  The sheet music she carried included messages written in invisible ink.  The Nazis didn't check the luggage she took with her when she toured.  Josephine often smuggled items for the Allies from one country to another while touring.
Actor Sterling Hayden served with the British Marines and went on OSS assignments.

World War II's biggest, & best
disinformation campaign was
based out of Dover, England.

infiltrated by spies.

a nuclear bomb that was
strikingly similar to US

The years roll on and spying continues.  The methods are technologically more sophisticated, yet spies continue to live among us to cultivate sources and advance foreign agendas.  BTW, the United States has agents around the world working covertly to gather information and recruit those willing to work against their country's interests.

With so much "cloak and dagger" throughout the centuries, spy stories became popular.  The technology changes, but the game of besting others in deception and information gathering continues.

Bond novels have 
entertained millions
for generations.

Starting with Dr. No in 1962,
movie goers have followed
MI 6's best agent,equipped
with the best spy devices &
the coolest cars to the most
exotic places on the globe to
defeat the world's most
 notorious villains.

The bad guys are also well equipped in James Bond movies.

This Jaguar XKR was driven
by by arch-henchman Zao
in the 2002 movie, Die

I think Sean Connery
is the most beloved
James Bond of the
Truth sparks the creative genius that brings spy novels, films and TV series to life.  Eric and I have been watching The Americans television series for several years.  This coming season, we will be watching the show more carefully for elements of spycraft: disguises, surveillance equipment, recruitment of sources and transmission of illegally obtained information.

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