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Top 5 CIA Secrets That Were Declassified

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Caitlin Johnson

Even the best-kept secrets get spilled eventually. From Operation Paperclip, to Acoustic Kitty, to the Kidnapping of the Lunik, here are some CIA secrets that were eventually revealed to the public. WatchMojo counts down the Top 10 CIA Secrets That Were Declassified.

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Script written by Caitlin Johnson

Top 10 CIA Secrets That Were Declassified


Even the best-kept secrets get spilled eventually. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 5 CIA secrets that were declassified.

For this list, we’re only looking at secrets reported to have been declassified by the American federal government’s civilian foreign intelligence service and its forerunners. So examples like Operation Northwoods, which was a scheme conceived by the Department of Defense with the government’s Joint Chiefs of Staff in which they wanted the CIA and other operatives to commit terrorist attacks in US cities, are excluded.

#5: Operation Paperclip


Hitler thought that the advancement of scientific and military technologies was one of the most important things that Nazi Germany should undertake. When World War Two ended, many of his former top minds fled while others faced the Nuremberg Trials. However, this period also gave birth to Operation Paperclip, which was run by the Joint Intelligence Agency and CIA precursor Office of the Strategic Services until the CIA itself was formed in 194. The secret program was America’s mission to source the best Nazi geniuses and offer them asylum, ignoring their crimes, in exchange for working for the US. These included Wernher von Braun, who developed the infamous V-2 rockets for Germany. He later created technology that helped America win the space race and put men on the moon.

#4: Acoustic Kitty/h4>

When the Soviet Union sent a dog into space aboard Sputnik 2 in 1957, some people were outraged by the animal cruelty. However, unbeknownst to the public, the CIA was doing their own animal experiments at the same time. This involved fitting a microphone inside the ear of a cat in order to record sensitive Russian conversations. It took several years to develop the technology and train a cat – which is no mean feat – as well as surgically implant it with batteries and wires at a cost of $10 - 20 million. Unfortunately, the first test cat was reportedly hit by a car and killed crossing the street on its very first mission.

#3: The Kidnapping of the Lunik/h4>

The fact that the Soviet Union took the initial lead in the space race galled the U.S. When Russia sent their spacecraft Lunik on a tour of several countries, the CIA took advantage of this. Finding a weak link in the security chain, they managed to “borrow” the spacecraft as it was being transported. Working diligently and precisely, they managed to take it apart in order to photograph the ship in precise detail. They completed their mission, put the ship back together and snuck it back in without being discovered. And the whole, complex process was done overnight. You gotta admire the efficiency.

#2: Area 51/h4>

It’s probably the most famous secret military base in the entire world, and yet the US government didn’t official acknowledge its existence until 2013. Many claim that alien spaceships are stored here. But the truth behind Area 51 isn’t as spooky as The X-Files would have you believe. It is apparently where America builds its high-tech, top-secret aircraft. For example, the famous U-2 spy planes were first developed secretly there in the 50s and 60s. It seems that all the UFO sightings are actually sightings of experimental aircraft. Unless, of course, that’s exactly what they want us to think, and they really are hiding evidence of alien life in the middle of the desert…


#1: Project MKUltra/h4>

By the 1950s, a fear of the Soviets using drugs to affect American soldiers and citizens led to the CIA conducting their own experiments into mind control. Unwitting North Americans were given LSD and other drugs in an effort to brainwash them, and that’s just one of the things MKUltra was studying. Hypnosis, electroshock treatment and potential new truth drugs were also used – all without informed consent from their victims. But in 1973, in the wake of the Watergate scandal and Nixon’s resignation, the director of the CIA ordered all files on MKUltra to be destroyed. To this day, nobody knows the true extent of what the CIA may have done.

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