10 Ridiculous Agency Programs That Governments Funded
Government agencies, such as the CIA, FBI and Mi5, conduct all kinds of programs every year as they look for new and innovative ways to approach their work and solve problems. Often this money will be invested in the projects that are most likely to succeed or yield positive results because the funds are provided by governments and paid by taxpayer’s money. That isn’t to say that every agency program has merits though, in fact there have been a huge number of crazy and bizarre projects that seem incredibly foolish now but were actually researched or fully investigated at the time.
This CIA funded program was set up in the 1960s to test the effects of drugs on unsuspecting members of the public. Young men were lured to safe houses by prostitutes with the promise of sex and then given food and drink that had been laced with LSD. The resulting behavior was then recorded by agents who were looking to see whether the drug could have any use in the field. Officials within the CIA eventually shut down Midnight Climax when they realized the damage that would be done to its reputation if details about the project leaked.
Launched by the Directorate of Science & Technology at the CIA during the 1960’s, Acoustic Kitty was an initiative that the agency hoped would help it to spy on foreign officials. As it was the height of the Cold War, the main targets were Russians working in embassies. The project involved surgically implanting cats with microphones and electronic equipment before training them to approach designated targets. CIA officials hoped this would allow them to discreetly intercept communications without arousing suspicion and they spent an estimated $20 million to fund the research before it was abandoned completely.