Do you think you know about the United States military? Even if you aren’t interested in this defense organization, you should know at least a bit about it. After all, the United States is one of the most powerful and influential countries in the world and they certainly are not afraid to flaunt their military prowess. We are going to uncover hidden secrets about little-known military bases, specialized aircrafts, and certain weapons that not even the entire military or intelligence forces in the United States know about! Our list will span several decades of military history and secrets of the United States. Trust us when we say your mind will be boggled by what you’ll read.
For instance, did you know that there are loads of top-secret sites operating in the United States right now? As you read this, there are prisons, armies, and special operations bases that are performing clandestine experiments and projects. We might not hear about these projects today or tomorrow or even a year from now, but they’re still happening. In fact, some of these special operations and secret bases weren’t revealed to the public until decades after they closed down or were disbanded. So keep reading to learn more and prepare to be amazed. Want to find out how Grand Central Terminal and John Lennon are related to secret military plans? What about the connection between Fidel Castro and a seashell? You're about to find out.
15 Operation Morning Light
This was a top-secret U.S. military mission that took place back in the 1970s during the Carter Administration. In the fall of 1977, the Soviet Union launched a spacecraft called Cosmos 954. This was during the Space Race when the Soviet Union and the United States were scrambling to do all sorts of awesome space stuff. Well, the Soviet Union ended up losing control of Cosmos 954 and as the spacecraft continued to slip out of orbit, the United States could tell that some bad things were going to happen. They used their calculations to predict that Cosmos 954 would crash into North America, but they didn’t know where. They hired a top-secret team to be on-call for that day. In 1978 the satellite crashed in the Canadian tundra and U.S. military crews cleaned up 90% of the wreckage, which was a bunch of enriched uranium. Thanks for that, Soviet Union!
14 Project MK-ULTRA
During the years of the Cold War, the United States CIA was involved in mind-control experiments. Yes, really. Using hypnotic drugs like LSD, Project MK-ULTRA was tested on human subjects, but in 1973, the Director of the CIA, Richard Helms gave the demand that all documents related to the project be destroyed. Even so, the following year, the CIA was exposed for their illegal mind-control experiments and it was discovered that the organization had invested around $20 million into Project MK-ULTRA. The CIA had even worked with university professors who had experimented on human subjects without their consent. The supposed purpose of these mind-control experiments and drugs was to find a way to control human beings to be trained and obedient assassins. Sounds like something out of a science fiction movie! In fact, the project was the subject of The Manchurian Candidate and The Men Who Stare at Goats which starred George Clooney.
13 The FBI Monitored John Lennon
One of the four band members of The Beatles, John Lennon was not afraid to speak out about his opinions and his negative perspective on war. When he released his own songs about protesting the war in Vietnam, the FBI placed John Lennon on their watchlist because he could have been considered a threat to the nation’s well-being. This was prior to the Republican National Convention in 1972, and the FBI was concerned that John Lennon might try to stage a protest at the event (he didn't). Meanwhile, the FBI started deporting people and they even restricted John Lennon’s visa and monitored Yoko Ono and her daughter. The singer was never found guilty of anything, so he was removed from the watchlist after President Nixon’s election to office. Just a few years later, John Lennon was murdered outside his apartment and in 2006 a documentary about the singer and his watchlist status was released.
12 Reagan’s HAARP Initiative
Back during Ronald Reagan’s Presidency, he authorized the implementation of HAARP (or the High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program.) It was carried out by the United States military and was top-secret, although it really had almost nothing to do with the military. Rather, it was a sort of space race project that took place in Alaska. High-frequency beams of light were shot through the ionosphere in order to research and investigate possible defense strategies. Of course, there were loads of rumors circulating around the base, such as the idea that mind-control experiments were being carried out, or that HAARP was creating strange hums and buzzing in the area. Other people suspected that the Reagan Administration was trying to come up with technology to control the climate and weather, or to develop newer geothermal systems and techniques. The base, located in Poker Flats, was supposedly shut down a couple of years ago.
11 Julia Child Worked for the CIA
Yes, the Julia Child who became the grandmother of celebrity cooking and baking. She was formerly known as Julia McWilliams, and she was employed by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) during the second World War. Apparently, the celebrity chef was hard at work on analyzing and developing military weapons before she turned to baking pound cakes and making French Hollandaise sauce. It seems like a pretty interesting life, doesn’t it? The files on Julia Child (as well as thousands of other former CIA employees) was made public back in 2008. To be fair, Julia Child worked for the CIA back when it was known as the Office of Strategic Services, but the tactics and job tasks were basically the same. It just goes to show that you can’t judge a book by its cover, not even a cookbook cover. The Julia Child biopic should have covered that tidbit about her life in the movie!
10 The USS Jimmy Carter
Ready for something really sci-fi? This impressive submarine was first launched underwater in 2004, and it was even involved in a top-secret excursion to spy on North Korea. The USS Jimmy Carter features some of the most advanced technology and equipment to make it capable of overhearing underwater conversations from other subs, as well as dive into enemy ports without being detected. This could be a seriously dangerous piece of military equipment if it got into the wrong hands. We don’t even know all of the capabilities or elements of the USS Jimmy Carter because the United States Navy is not revealing any information about it. Either they aren’t allowed to, or they are being super secretive about it, probably the former. What we do know is that the sub has enough storage space to keep certain aircraft and weapons, so it might have an important mission ahead of it.
9 Secret Prisons For Afghans
There has been so much debate about the war in Afghanistan, and people have all sorts of opinions and ideas of how the situation should have been handled. And while the Obama Administration claimed in 2009 that they had eliminated all of the “Black Sites” (also known as Afghan prisons), they were probably not telling the whole truth. In 2011, a reporter with the Associated Press, Kimberly Dozier, released an article that outed Pentagon officials for abusing detainees at Afghan sites and basically running Afghan prisons. She further revealed that the Joint Special Operations Command was hiding some 20 Afghan prisons in which detainees were being seriously abused and shamed by guards. The torture and abuse going on in these Afghan prisons came as a shock to the nation and the world, but didn’t fully surprise people who had already heard about other prison sites like Guantanamo Bay.
8 Area 51
Maybe you already know a bit about Area 51, the secret U.S. military base located near Las Vegas, Nevada. The United States has CIA agents working at Area 51 day in and day out. The CIA agents need to take a vow of secrecy that they will never reveal what goes on in Area 51 to anyone. Most experts say that aliens really don’t have anything to do with the military base, but that is not as fun to think about. In the '60s, Area 51 was used as a secret flying zone for testing spycraft like the A-12 and SR-71 Blackbird planes. These days, it is believed that Area 51 is the base where the military still sells spy planes and top-secret weapons, but getting onto the grounds is nearly impossible, so good luck finding out. There will always be rumors circulating around Area 51, and some people may say they’ve seen aliens there, but all we know for sure is that lots of stuff is kept under wraps there.
7 A Secret Base Hidden Even From Defense Experts
In early 2016, it was discovered that there was yet another secret military base located in Nevada, this time on the Yucca Flat of the Nevada desert. Aircraft flying over the area spotted the seemingly small United States military base and investigated to get more information. They found out that the base was referred to as Area 6 and it was known by only a select few people. In fact, not even those in the defense industry were aware of the base, which is home to National Nuclear Security Administration projects. So what are they doing at Area 6? According to reports, this is a large, flat, and empty area where the Administration can test unmanned aircraft carrying sensitive sensors. The aircraft could become very useful in developing more advanced war strategies. The main goal of Area 6 is to get the United States more armed and ready to handle terrorist attacks.
6 Military Database Hack
In 2015, it was reported that there was a huge database hack of the United States military in which the secret and hidden lives of current and retired military service members were exposed. The first sign of the hack was when it was revealed that a former military serviceman had been in a decades-long extramarital affair with his friend’s wife. Apparently, the affair was supposed to be kept a secret between the man and the U.S. military. The nation’s capital was extremely distressed by the revelation, and they suspected that it might be related to a foreign hack or spies from an enemy nation. The United States’ first suspect for the leak was China, but the country denied any involvement in the hack or the leak. The CIA was given permission to do investigations, and after the initial buzz about it, the United States public barely heard anything else about it.
5 A Second Area 51?
Located in Tooele, Utah, the Dugway Proving Grounds are said to be similar to Area 51 in Nevada. This is yet another secretive military base that is flooded with all kinds of rumors. For instance, some say that this is where the United States military tests their latest weapons and aircraft, or that biological and chemical warfare tactics are tested here. The base came into existence right after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and has been the subject of conspiracy theorists for decades. The site also includes the Reginald Kendall Combined Chemical Test Facility, a building where employees test out protective clothing and special devices and equipment that can detect chemical weapons. Even though the base is about the size of Rhode Island, there is still very little that is known about it. But at least aliens haven’t been part of the conspiracies and rumors surrounding the Dugway Proving Grounds.
4 Military Bunker At Grand Central Terminal
If you know your United States history, or you happen to live in New York, then you know about Grand Central Terminal. It’s one of the busiest transportation hubs in the country, shuffling people in and out of the city each and every day. One thing you may not know is that the building is also home to a top-secret military bunker. Nine floors below Grand Central Terminal, there is a military bunker called M-42. It is believed that armed guards stood at the entrance to the bunker during World War II and were told to shoot anyone who ventured into the area. Why was there a bunker there? Because the United States military was transporting soldiers in and out of New York via ferry during the war, and they didn’t want to risk bringing in anyone from the enemy forces. Try asking about that bunker today and the employees will probably play dumb.
3 Fidel Castro Assassination
Back in the '60s, the United States CIA was hatching plans to assassinate Fidel Castro, the dictator of Cuba. There were several different plots laid out, and they were all highly secretive and kept away from public knowledge. Yet one of these assassination attempt plots was fairly strange. It involved using a seashell to take out Fidel Castro. How? The seashell would actually be a booby trap placed at the bottom of a reef that Castro regularly scuba dived in. The shell was particularly attractive and stood out a bit from the rest (but not too much!) and the plan was for Castro to find the shell and pick it up, which would set off a series of explosions. It sounds pretty good to us, but the plan was nixed by the CIA because there were more pragmatic plots that they could try. You know, like using Cuban cigars, pills made of poison, and exported fungi.
2 We Have A Pakistani Army
Most Americans know about the United States’ relations with Iraq and Afghanistan, but what about Pakistan? It is clear that the United States is not on very friendly terms with countries in the Middle East. Yet something needs to be done if the United States is going to amp up their own national security and stop being douchebags to the rest of the world. Bring in the Pakistani Army. The United States has worked with officials and intelligence agents in Pakistan to create an army of soldiers that the U.S. is helping to fund and train. It’s a secret agreement between the United States and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) that even helped to bring down Al-Qaida. The stability of the Pakistani Army has been quite fragile, and given the history that the United States has with nations of the Middle East, this military branch might not even exist anymore. It was worth a shot though (no pun intended).
1 X 37-B
This super secretive piece of aircraft is just floating around in space, orbiting planet Earth, and no one knows why. Well, surely someone knows what X 37-B is doing up there, but there are probably only a handful of people with that kind of knowledge. The aircraft was launched into orbit back in 2010, so who knows if it is even flying up there? There are a few details that we do know: the X 37-B is 29 feet long and is fully robotic. Other countries are aware that we have launched this impressive piece of machinery, but global leaders were annoyed that the United States didn’t mention anything about it. Yeah, we can understand how that could be frustrating. There are, of course, certain rumors about the X 37-B, such as speculation that it’s up there to damage enemy spacecraft, deliver supplies to NASA, or be conducting orbiting science experiments.