Arts, Culture & Media

Animal Espionage: Acoustic Kittens, Pigeon-Cams & Navy Trained Dolphins

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Credit: REUTERS

Luntik, a three-month-old kitten with four ears, looks on in Russia's far eastern city of Vladivostok August 11, 2010. There are no ear canals in Luntik's second pair of ears. The kitten lives at an automobile service station. REUTERS/Yuri Maltsev (RUSSIA - Tags: ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY ANIMALS IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTR2H8CV

Late last month an Egyptian fisherman saw a stork flying near the Nile with what he thought was a suspicious-looking device attached to his feathers.

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Egyptian officials detained the suspicious bird.

Turns out, the device was just a French wildlife tracking device but animal espionage might not be as far fetched as you think according to Peter Earnest, a former spy for the CIA.

Earnest now directs the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC, which is home to another feathered interloper: the pigeon cam.

The pigeon-cam is just that, a pigeon with a camera around its neck. The museum has a stuffed version of the bird spy, which was developed by a German on the eve of World War I.

"The idea was that the pigeon was a homing pigeon, which was released at point which when flying home would take it over the targeted area…there was an automatic shutter release on the camera so it was taken continuous shots," said Earnest.

There have been numerous other attempts to use animals including an attempt by the CIA to embed a listening device in a cat, called Operation Acoustic Kitty.

Anchor Marco Werman speaks with Peter Earnest about these attempts at animal espionage.

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    Credit: Reuters

    A white stork flies to his nest in Soultz, eastern France, January 12, 2009. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen (FRANCE) - RTR23CKO

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    Credit: REUTERS

    Posi, a seven-month-old Persian cat for sale for 3,500 yuan (US$420), is
    about to take a cat nap at the Pet Expo 2003 in Shanghai July 20, 2003. Pet
    ownership, once banned and labelled as too bourgeois for the common man
    during the Cultural Revolution, is once again gaining popularity in China as
    the population becomes more affluent thanks to more than a decade of growth
    and liberalization. NO RIGHTS CLEARANCES OR PERMISSIONS ARE REQUIRED FOR THIS IMAGE REUTERS/Claro Cortes IV

    CC/TW - RTRQJX

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