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Acoustic Kitty, from the CIA project to create a spy cat

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The Operation Acoustic Kitty (Gatito Acústico), was a project created for the Central Intelligence Agency and developed by the CIA Directorate for Science and Technology during the Cold War, consisting of the use of cats to intercept potentially dangerous conversations.

The document that records the development and implementation of the project was revealed to the public in 2001, following a documental declassification process, although it is still potentially censored, since the CIA does not intend to show all the data of the operation

«Abrieron el gato, le pusieron pilas, lo cablearon. The tail was used as an antenna. They made a monstrosity, bye Victor Marchettiexecutive assistant to the director of the CIA in the 1960s, according to a book published in 2001 by Jeffrey Richelson, The Wizards of Langley.

The agency invested around 10 million dollars in the design, operation and training of the acoustic Kitty primer, according to multiple versions related to the facts.

To be able to convert a cat into an animal suitable for intercepting conversations with the greatest efficiency possible, it was necessary to manipulate his anatomy for the purpose of surgeryso that he could implant a microphone in his auditory canal and an antenna around his neck.

Sin embargo, in the first tests that were carried out, it was observed that the cat was often distracted looking for something that could be fed, por lo que los científicos subjected the animal to a new operation to cancel the sensation of hunger. In addition, the animal had to be trained so that it obeyed and could carry out the missions with the maximum possible precision.

“They opened the gate with a door, placed the batteries in it and connected them. They tried one time and another. They discovered that the cat could abandon work when it felt hungry, so they put another cable inside it to cancel it», said Marchetti.

Upon arriving from the moment of the inaugural mission, the CIA agents released their rookie agent from the back of an indescribable pickup truck and watched him anxiously embark on his mission. from the acoustic gate he approached the embassy, ​​making a 10-foot walk before a taxi that passed by hit him and killed him.

“There they were, sitting in the van and the cat was dead”said Marchetti.

The duration of the project was five years, from 1961 to 1966, during which the cat was trained and subjected to the necessary surgical interventions to equip it with devices that could capture conversations. The operation was financed with 20 million dollars, although there are sources that reduce the amount to 15 million.

With the accidental death of the cat, all the money invested during the five years was lost, so later the CIA chose to abandon the project. In the declassified documents it says that “the environmental and security factors that concur in the use of this technique in a real situation, oblige us to conclude that for our purposes it would not be viable”.

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Neil Barker
Neil Barker
Hi there! I am Neil Barker, a tech enthusiast who believes in the power of open-source software.


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