Recently, the people who ran Wikileaks had unveiled Vault 7 – a devastating amount of classified information that was supposed to remain secret. Part of the Wikileaks revelations involved the CIA’s studies in turning every single Microsoft computer into a spying device, and even going so far as to look into “traceless” murder methods to assassinate enemies of the state. Obviously, many of the revelations that the leaks have brought about both shocked and disturbed the citizens of the US.
Some of the claims that Julian Assange and the Wikileaks crew have made seem very likely, particularly when it comes to government spying via computers and mobile phones. However, others just seem a bit too unbelievable for others to believe. However, as unbelievable as the claims are, media groups and Wikileaks alike ascertain that the claims they’ve put forward are true.
What many people don’t realize is that there have been a lot of instances in which the CIA had readily admitted that there was some truly bizarre, dark, and at times, downright creepy things that they’ve had to deal with through its inception. In fact, many of the files that they declassified in recent years may be just as shocking as the things that have been let loose via Wikileaks in Vault 7.
Ever wonder how deep the CIA’s rabbit hole goes? Well, you’re not alone. Here are some of the strangest documents to ever have been associated with one of the most secretive organizations on the planet.
15 The X-Rated Film Project
When the CIA wants to depose of another country’s military leader, they will often go to insane lengths to do so. It’s been known for a while that the CIA has played a role in a number of South American coups, but what happened to former president of Indonesia Sukarno was just a little bit stranger than most of the other plans they had.
Rather than just arming rebels like they did in South America, the CIA had decided to publish an X-rated skin flick featuring a Sukarno lookalike in Indonesia. The idea behind it was that it’d show that a “woman had gotten the better of Sukarno.” The film had gone to production, and even had stills...but it was never released to the public.
Surprisingly, this kind of discrediting work later resurfaced when the "War on Terror" began to happen. This time around, the CIA considered getting Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein lookalikes to play with one another on camera. This, too, went nowhere, with at least one official saying, ‘“Trying to mount such a campaign would show a total misunderstanding of the target. We always mistake our own taboos as universal when, in fact, they are just our taboos.”
14 Project 1794
Hearing people talking about seeing flying saucers is something that most of us would dismiss right off the bat. However, one CIA declassified report showed that there may have been some legit truth to at least one or two sightings of flying saucers in the past. In 2012, the CIA declassified some documents from the 1950s that showed some of the projects they worked on.
One of them, Project 1794, was the creation of a flying saucer-shaped aircraft that would have been able to shoot down enemy missiles and zoom in at supersonic speeds. The project itself cost $3 million, but was scrapped after scientists pointed out that the disc shape of the craft would have made it an aerodynamic nightmare.
13 Project Acoustic Kitty
The CIA loves having top of the line spies, and they’ll do what they can to transform you into a top tier spy if they choose to hire you. The best spies are the ones you’d never expect, and that’s why the CIA had, at one point, decided to recruit housecats. Yes, as in the same creatures that took over the Internet with their adorable fuzzy faces. Yes, as in the same creature that one mentally unhinged aunt has 20 of. They wanted to make spies out of your pet.
The documents revealed that each housecat was given an antenna surgically implanted in their tails, microphones snuck into their fur, and batteries to power the gizmos in their bodies. One “prototype” spy was let loose, and was promptly hit by a car. The $20 million project got shut down afterwards, since they probably realized that cats will never do anything you try to make them do.
12 Operation Northwoods
What if there was a document that suggested that the US wouldn’t be totally against waging war on its own people? The CIA’s recently declassified document with Operation Northwoods did just that. The document suggested that CIA operatives launch terrorist strikes against the US so that we would have had a reason to go to war with Cuba.
The plan, which was greenlit by the CIA Chief of Staff and all of the board members, suggested framing innocent people for a string of bombings in New York, Washington DC, and elsewhere. Another target would have been John Glenn, during his historic flight to the moon. The goal was to create enough reason for people to believe Cuba was an enemy worth waging war on – and it would have happened, had a certain president not decided against it.
Operation Northwoods is a file that’s regularly cited by conspiracy theorists who believe that 9/11 was an inside job. When you read the file, you’ll probably feel like they might not be so crazy to think that after all.
11 Uri Geller’s Psychic Test
Celebrity psychic Uri Geller was not only a major curiosity among us civilians, it seems. Recently declassified documents showed that part of the “psychic spying” program involved testing out people who claimed to be psychic or clairvoyant to see if it’s actually possible to have psychic powers. So, knowing about Uri Geller’s buzz got the CIA to test him out.
The first test that the documents showed had Geller drawing images that a different person was drawing miles away. The images proved to be accurate, except for when one assistant who hated Geller drew them. Eventually, the CIA also ended up asking the known psychic to do missions – including things like standing outside of Russian bases to psychically collect intel or to try to destroy their weapons using his mind.
10 Flying Saucer Reports
On the CIA website, they made no qualms about admitting that there were legitimate CIA files that were dedicated to documenting unidentified aircraft. The ones that have been declassified include a slew of flying saucer reports from the 1950s that couldn't be attributed to any single government entity.
We're willing to guess that the flying saucer issue was becoming increasingly worrisome during the 1950s, especially considering where they were being spotted. In 1952, one document revealed that there had been saucers zooming around over East Germany. Later on that year, witnesses had also seen the strange aircrafts hovering over a uranium mine in the Belgian Congo.
9 Contacting Martian Shadow People
In what may be one of the most bizarre psychic spy missions that the CIA had ever come up with, members of the government group had asked a clairvoyant to help scan a certain location in an envelope. The location, which was not known to the clairvoyant at the time, was Mars at 1 MILLION years B.C.
The clairvoyant accurately described the Martian landscape as it is now, and noted that he felt like there were once people who lived there. Upon hearing this, the clairvoyant then was asked to "go back" in time via psychic behavior. Here's where things got weird...
The psychic said that he was able to "go back," and that Mars was a greenery-filled place. And, he also described meeting tall, thin individuals who wore strange clothing and lived in a "rabbit warren" hive of pyramids. He said that he couldn't discern features, and that these beings looked a lot like "shadow people" to him.
Weirder still, the clairvoyant claimed to have had a discussion with these beings. The clairvoyant revealed that the beings were "ancient people." He then added, "They're dying, it is past their time or age. They're very philosophic about it. They're looking for a way to survive and they just can't."
The beings were worried because of the geological problems their planet was having. The clairvoyant finally said that many of the martians were going on a "large metallic boat" to a new planet covered in vegetation. Could this new place be Earth?
8 V2K Technology
When you hear about people talking about the voices in their head, your first instinct is to think they're crazy, right? Of course it is. But, if you're a CIA operative, this wouldn't be too far fetched according to one set of declassified records.
The Army's webpage, at one point, showed designs that they had for a "Voice to Skull" nonlethal weapon. This weapon can literally transmit sounds into your mind without actual sound waves being present.
The Army called it V2K technology, and yes, they’ve used it in the past. However, the US Army’s use of it really isn’t that threatening. V2K is used as an “electronic scarecrow” in airports so that birds don’t end up getting hurt by airplane engines. So, it might not be as menacing as it sounds.
Even so, the fact that the Army’s V2K tech webpage got permanently removed makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
For the longest time, MK-Ultra was a project that was discussed only in conspiracy theory groups, and people who believed that the government would try to control peoples' minds were mocked. But, it seems like those tinfoil hat people may have been onto something.
Project MK-Ultra was a CIA-funded project that was all about learning how to control other peoples' minds and improve their intel collection via drugs, interrogation, and more. According to records that were later released, some of their projects included learning what substances get people drunker, what will produce amnesia, and most famously of all, how to brainwash other people.
The way that they looked into these things often involved experimenting on people who were unaware of what was going to happen. Some of these experiments were carried out on civilians that were in mental hospitals, or among civilians that just thought that they were going to a bordello.
6 Operation Midnight Climax
One of the most infamous byproducts of the MK-Ultra sets of experiments was the widespread use of acid into often unwitting subjects. Scientists in the CIA took an interest in the drug after they realized that it caused people to hallucinate, and felt that this drug could have been used to help in the fight against Russia.
In Operation Midnight Climax, CIA agents baited unsuspecting johns looking for a fun time into going into a CIA-run pad with two-way mirrors. After the would-be brothel patrons went into the faux-bordello, they were given drinks laced with gross amounts of acid. Then, CIA operatives would watch them from the mirrors.
The operation also occasionally would go outside of the bordello world, and would lace drinks that were given at parties to see how people would react. At one point, this led to an unsuspecting post office employee guzzling an acid-laced drink, then trying to hold a bar hostage using a gun. So, those experiments probably didn't last too long.
On an official level, the US government claimed that acid was extremely dangerous and had the potential to cause birth defects. In reality, though, it seemed that they thought it was safe enough to give to random people.
5 Operation Paperclip
World War II was a time period that saw some of humanity's worst sides, especially in the German and Japanese armies. Perhaps one of the most brutal and horrific sides of the war was the common practice of performing extremely cruel, inhumane, and potentially lethal experiments on innocent men, women, and children.
Under normal circumstances, the experiments that were carried out by Axis groups would never have been doable. And, in many cases, they revealed important medical information that could be potentially life-saving. As awful as those experiments are, many of them carried vital information that was later used to create both medicine and weapons of war.
The CIA recognized how crucial many of the experiments were, and also realized that most of the scientists that worked with Nazis would end up being tried for war crimes. In order to recruit their talent and take enemy secrets, they launched Operation Paperclip.
In exchange for giving the US secrets from the laboratories they once worked in, CIA officials would grant Axis scientists immunity from war crime prosecution. To this day, scientists that performed those experiments walk free among us as a result.
4 Project 4.1
As bad as it is to have Nazi criminals walk free, it's still not as bad as actively performing lethal experiments on your own people. Sadly, the CIA can't exactly say that they're innocent in this either. After the nuclear bomb had dropped, America realized that this wasn't any ordinary weapon. As a result of the devastation the Japanese suffered from the fallout, the US military quickly became curious about what the full effects were of radiation.
Coincidentally, this curiosity happened around the same time that America began to build nukes, test them, and occasionally just detonate them for additional data. The majority of the experiments during the 1950s took place on Bikini Atoll and the surrounding Marshall Islands.
As the local natives got exposed to the radiation after repeated blasts, they began to show symptoms of radiation poisoning. Project 4.1 was about cataloging and studying the biological response of humans that were exposed to high grade nuclear weapons. The government denies it was intentional, but one has to wonder whether that's really the case.
3 The Guatemalan STD Experiments
The CIA has long been known to help create coup d'etats in countries that the US is not fond of, and during those coups, there have also been moments where CIA operatives would decide to do experiments on the local population. One of the most famous examples of this happened in Guatemala about 70 years ago.
In a bid to find out more information about the spread of syphilis, gonorrhea, and other similar ailments, CIA officials infected several hundred Guatemalans with diseases. Many of the infected were also encouraged to have unprotected sex with others in order to spread the diseases they were given. To make matters worse, they weren't told they were sick - and many were mental hospital patients.
Though most did get treatment, around 1/3 of all the people who were infected in the Guatemalan study never were treated for the disease. Many died as a result. The White House officially apologized for the study in 2010.
2 Poltergeists In France
You'd never expect to see the CIA taking a page from Ghost Hunters, but declassified papers definitely show otherwise. Around 7 papers published by the CIA show that they were interested in the phenomenon - more specifically, they wondered what was going on with poltergeist activity. In 1980, one particular string of unexplained events that occurred in France got the attention of the CIA.
The report read: “The poltergeist manifested itself over the years in well-known uniform patterns: beds were moved about, pillows and covers were pulled off, locked doors were inexplicably opened, the contents of cupboards were found to be in disorder, objects disappeared and reappeared, sounds were mimicked, penetration phenomena occurred and so on."
According to the now-declassified report, they were going to investigate the source of the high strangeness using electromagnetic fields and other similar tools. However, due to the family leaving, the investigation was never carried out.
1 1.The JFK Coverup
One of the most commonly cited tinfoil hat conspiracies out there was that the CIA had played a major role in the Kennedy assassination, and that it was done because the President was no longer willing to allow the CIA to do certain things. In recent years, a number of people claimed that they were government operatives who worked alongside Lee Harvey Oswald directly before and after the assassination.
As luck may have it, those conspiracy theories might have had some granule of truth to them. One of the documents that was quietly declassified in recent years showed that the head of the CIA did withhold information about the Kennedy assassination. However, the firm maintains that it did not assassinate Kennedy, but rather, kept things hush-hush as a matter of national security.
And, as far as the CIA director's role in the coverup goes? Well, there's a good chance that he was directed to do so under the Johnson White House directive out of concern for the president's well-being...or something.
Sources: nsarchive.gwu.edu, livescience.com, cia.gov, wired.com, politico.com