Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Spy: Discover The Secret World Of Espionage And Spy Technology At Philadelphia's Franklin Institue

On assignment for Counterterrorism magazine, I ventured to Philadelphia's Franklin Institue to see their new exhibit, Spy: The Secret World of Espionage. 

The exhibit offers visitors a rare view of more than 200 historical artifacts from the spy game. The artifacts are on loan from the CIA Museum and the personal collection of espionage historian H. Keith Melton.

Some of these gadgets seem to come from the fictional and fantastic James Bond films rather than history, such as Charlie the Catfish, one of two CIA robotic Catfish that were utilized to explore the use of unmanned underwater vehicles for aquatic missions.

As a student of espionage, I was also interested in seeing the Enigma Machine, a cipher machine used by the German Army to develop nearly unbreakeable codes (nearly, that is, as the British did in fact break the code in WWII).

And I was interested in viewing the ax that killed Leon Trotsky in Mexico by a Soviet agent.
There were many other items of interest there as well. It was well worth the visit.
 The exhibit will be open at the Franklin Institute until October 6th.
You can learn more about the exhibit via the below link:
Note: I later interviewed H. Keith Melton, author of Spy Sites in Philadelphia and Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIA's Spytechs from Communism to Al-Qaeda (written with Robert Wallace), about the exhibit. My magazine piece will be out in the coming months.  

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