Va., Dec. 27 (AP) When the Central Intelligence Agency’s gadget makers
a listening device for the Asian jungles, they disguised it so the enemy
would not be tempted to pick it up and examine it: The device looked
like tiger droppings.
The guise worked. The fist-size, brown transmitter detected troop movements
along the trails during fighting in Vietnam, a quiet success for a little-known
group of researchers inside the C.I.A.
The office, known as the Directorate of Science and Technology,
is celebrating its 40th anniversary by revealing a few dozen of its secrets
for a new museum inside its headquarters near Washington.
Keith Melton, a leading historian of intelligence, calls it "the finest
spy museum you’ll never see." It is accessible only to C.I.A. employees
and guests to those closed quarters.
In 2000, the C.I.A. built a catfish called Charlie, a remarkably realistic
swimming robot. The agency will not disclose much about the fish’s mission,
but experts speculated that it collects water samples near suspected chemical
or nuclear plants.
The agency is not showing off just its successes. It invented a remot
dragonfly for delivering tiny listening devices outside windows, but the
so-called insectothopter could not fly straight in winds.
New York Times