I was able to make it to the International Spy Museum.
It took about two hours to go through. There were exhibits on all aspects of spying. They began by explaining how important it is to have a good cover story, and to sound believable when telling people small details about your assumed identity.
There were other sections about the importance of being undetected. They talked about eavesdropping, security systems, opening locked doors, sending secret messages, disguises, and a multitude of other techniques used by spies.
There were displays that showed an assortment of spy-related hardware ranging from weapons which were disguised as ordinary looking items such as makeup, umbrellas, cigarette packages, and cameras to communication devices hidden in shoes, brief cases, and glasses. They also showed special tools that spies carried such as lock picking sets, small saws, and drill bits. They also showed a special, small, capsule-shaped container which would hold the tools in a concealed place in the event of a strip search.
The majority of the gadgets shown were real, used by various agencies such as the OSS, MI5, KGB, and STASSI. Most of what was on display was old technology, rarely was there anything on display that was newer than 1970s vintage. Most items seemed to be from World War II through the early part of the Cold War.
There were also displays about the history of espionage from the early days of Sun Tzu, through the American Revolution, the Civil War, World War II, the Cold War, up through the present. There was a fairly large display on World War II espionage, as it related to activities of the United States’ Office of Strategic Services (OSS), and how spies were employed within the US to do covert work for Germany. They also had a German Enigma code machine on display and a good hands-on demonstration of how it worked.
Overall the International Spy Museum was worth visiting. I learned a lot about spying in general and about some specific incidents in world history where espionage played a major role. If you’re in the neighborhood, it’s worth a visit.over 5 years ago