The Enigma encryption machine was supposed to be uncrackable. It wasn’t—but the Germans didn’t know that. In 1942, unaware the British had already broken Enigma, they added a fourth rotor to make it harder to crack. This rare machine was made for Japan, Germany’s ally. Piece it together and see if you can spot the Japanese characters.
During World War I, some of the most unusual surveillance agents were feathered. Pigeons outfitted with tiny cameras were released over European military sites. As the birds flew, their cameras continuously clicked away, collecting intel. Piece together this image to reveal one of our favorite feathered friends: Sir Veillance.
Need to enter somewhere without anyone knowing? Real spies know lockpicking is usually a last resort: it takes time, skill, and luck. Much easier to copy a key instead, using this handy CIA tool. Thumbscrews hold the key in place while the “feelers” conform to the shape of the key’s teeth, allowing the agent to then make a copy. Can you guess what this key might have been used for?
“She is the most dangerous of all Allied spies.” That’s how the Gestapo described American Virginia Hall during World War II. Disguised as a milkmaid, she worked behind enemy lines in Nazi-occupied France, evaluating potential landing sites before the D-Day invasion. Put together the pieces to find out what she used to transmit Morse code messages to Allied intelligence.
America’s first spymaster penned this letter establishing the nation’s first spy ring. Who wrote it? None other than General George Washington. In his letter, he asks Nathaniel Sackett to spy for the Continental Army and create a network of agents. Put the letter together to reveal how much he offered Sackett in exchange for his services.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, CIA director James Woolsey told Congress, "We have slain a large dragon, but we now live in a jungle filled with a bewildering variety of poisonous snakes. And in many ways, the dragon was easier to keep track of." See how artist Luis Jimenez captured the spirit of that statement in this drawing.
This banner depicts the “glory and service” of the ChON, the combat arm of the Bolshevik-backed Cheka, or secret police. Created in 1918, the ChOn carried out “special tasks” for the Cheka, including kidnapping, sabotage, and assassination. Can you spot the famous symbol of Communism in the center of the flag?
In the 1930s, G-Men (“Government Men”) were American idols. After the FBI fought back against mob violence, arresting gangsters like Al Capone, federal law enforcement agents became pop heroes in radio plays, films, toys, and books like these—all with the enthusiastic support of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Complete the puzzle to see what kind of nefarious plots these G-Men were busting.
It’s the ultimate car for the ultimate secret agent. James Bond first drove his famous car in the 1964 movie Goldfinger. It came fully loaded with machine guns, tire slashers, oil jets, rotating license plate, and ejector seat. This DB5, used for the promotional tour of the film, is on display in the lobby of the International Spy Museum. Complete the puzzle to reveal some of the car’s gizmos.
In East Germany, the crime of espionage was investigated by trained Stasi “criminalists”—graduates of a very special spycatching course at East Berlin’s Humboldt University. Their graduation gift? A leather case like this containing everything necessary to catch foreign spies and homegrown traitors. What tools can you spot in this kit? How might they have been used?