SPY IN TIMES SQUARE
With the release of SKYFALL the new Bond film just one day away, everyone is looking for a tie to the movie.How about SPY artifacts from the vaults of the CIA and FBI that are now on display at SPY: The Exhibit at Discovery Times Square, here in New York City.
This is the first-ever exhibit that has the participation of the CIA and FBI with never-before-seen artifacts, including James Bond gadgets and six of the real artifacts from the Argo operation.
Visitors can learn about the tools, technology, and tricks that make espionage possible, with hands-on activities that let them experience this covert world for themselves.
SPY includes extraordinarily rare items including:
Man’s shoe with hollow heel for film cassette: In the 1960s, this shoe with a cavity in the heel and machined metal compartment was of a size capable to conceal a Minox film cassette. Such a device was used by an agent who had photographed MI6 handler.
· SMERSH (“Death to Spies”) credentials: in the Bond books and movies SMERSH was the villainous foe. The artifact is an original set of credentials carried by a SMERSH officer.
· MK.-123 Transciever: The MK.123 was a highly compact valve-based self-contained transceiver, which went into service in 1955 for diplomatic and clandestine services use. This is a small, easily concealable, portable radio set that an MI6 officer would have used for covert communication while working abroad.
· MI6 Covert Key Cutting Kit: A special-purpose small key cutting kit designed for use in a motel room to allow an MI6 intelligence officer to duplicate keys for a covert entry. It was small enough to be portable, easily concealed, innocuous, and would draw no attention if packed in the boot of his car.
PMI6 Key Impression kit inside a Soviet Cigarette case: Picking a lock is the last choice for an intelligence officer when making a covert entry. More preferable, is to obtain, even for a few seconds, the original key and make an impression of it. In this artifact from the 1950s-60s, MI-6 has placed modeling putty inside a conventional Soviet cigarette case to be carried in his pocket without attracting attention. When the officer (or agent) had access to the target key they would simply open the case and press the key into it. Later it would mold a temporary key that would fit into the key cutting kit to produce a duplicate key.
· NAGRA SN miniature tape recorder: This precision miniature audio tape recorder with extremely good audio quality was built in Switzerland to the highest possible standards. As a very slim device, it could be worn inconspicuously under normal clothing. During the Cold War the NAGRA was very popular with MI6 for covert recordings of meetings and surreptitiously in conjunction with a hidden microphone for bugging rooms.
· Modified Minox EC camera: MI6 modified this commercial Minox camera for use in photographing documents. The commercial version of the EC camera was intended only to focus from 3 feet to infinity. By replacing the lens, MI6 was able to use the camera for clandestine “doc-copy”. The plastic construction of the camera made it appear to be of commercial origin, and concealed it’s clandestine capability.
· Ashtray concealment for Minox-A camera: MI6 gadget makers machined this aluminum ashtray (with reverse threads) to conceal a small Minox-A camera. When used, it would be filled with dirty cigarette butts and could be left in an agents home or office. Such concealments were of critical importance since intelligence officers had to provide their agents with the ability to conceal a covert camera in their residence.
· MI6 Lock picking kit: A small, portable assortment of lock picking tools could be easily concealed were necessary for covert entry.