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SPY Exhibition at Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley

In December we stopped by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum to check out the new SPY: The Secret World of Espionage exhibit. This 12,000 sq ft display is a collaboration between the CIA, FBI and other organization to provide the public a unique opportunity to see over 300 historic spy gadget and documents. The West Coast premiere of SPY is right here in Ventura County at the hilltop Reagan Library in Simi Valley through March 9, 2014!

Check out how a simple coin has been loaded with a tiny poisonous needle meant to be used as a suicide device; or how an insect-sized robotic dragonfly, called an insectothopter, was designed to gather intelligence from the air as the world’s first miniaturized unmanned aerial vehicle; or what a fake movie script looks like that was created in order to rescue diplomats from Iran and inspired the movie ARGO.  See the actual cockpit from one of the world's nine remaining A-12 Oxcart spy planes. View objects like a KGB poison pellet-firing umbrella, spy cameras, tear-gas pens, shoes with hidden compartments, and even a hollow molar the East German secret police created to conceal a microdot in a spy's mouth.

Bring the kids! There are several interactive features to the exhibit too, including a laser maze to escape from and a voice disguise machine. And of course the rest of the museumis packed with interesting, interactive historical items and exhibits.

The Reagan Library is located at 40 Presidential Drive in Simi Valley.  Public hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.  The Museum is only closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day.  For Museum Admission fees, please visit www.reaganlibrary.com.  Museum exhibit tickets may be pre-purchased at www.reaganlibrary.com/tickets.  For more information, call (800) 410.8354 or visit www.reaganlibrary.com/spies.

The collapsible Welbike was designed for British Special Operations Executive and OSS Agents to use as a getaway vehicle behind enemy lines during World War II. It could be delivered by parachute and deployed in ten seconds. The Welbike could travel up to 30 miles per hour, and go 90 miles on one tank of gas. (Photo courtesy of the Franklin Institute)This family-friendly exhibit includes fun and entertaining interactives for people of all ages, allowing visitors to disguise their voice, disguise themselves, and go through an actual laser maze. (Photo courtesy of the Franklin Institute)

This KGB Umbrella, which fires poisonous pellets, was used to assassin Bulgarian defector and BBC reporter Georgi Markov in London in 1978. (Photo courtesy of the Franklin Institute)This optional CIA-issued suicide pin gave U-2 pilot Gary Powers the choice between life and death. The pin was coated in saxitoxin – a lethal shellfish poison – and concealed in a silver dollar. Upon capture, Gary Powers chose not to use it. (Photo courtesy of the Franklin Institute)

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Reader Comments (1)


There is a new book about SOE available on Amazon.com. Has anyone read it yet ?
Here's the synopsis of the novel entitled Occult House:

The novel opens on May 10, 1941 in Scotland. Rupert Garfield, German translator for England’s Military Intelligence Section 6 ( MI6 ) receives a mysterious call to ready himself for work, while on holiday with his family.
Within an hour, he is rushed to a farm where Nazi German Deputy Reichsfuerher Rudolf Hess has secretly landed in a Messerschmitt flown from somewhere in Occupied Europe. Within moments, Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrives requiring Garfield’s language skills.
After an interview, in which Churchill rejects Hess’ invitation to unite against the Soviet Union, Hess hands over a letter addressed to the King Edward VIII, who abdicated from the throne to marry Wallis Simpson. Churchill directs a new clandestine secret service known as the Special Operations Executive to prepare Garfield for a trip to the Bahamas to deliver the correspondence to the former King, now the Duke of Windsor and Governour of that British Commonwealth; all in an attempt to have evidence which will detain the seemingly pro-Nazi former King as a traitor.
Escaping death and peril, Rupert Garfield delivers the correspondence to surprisingly learn it is a paranormal astrological chart predicting the Duke’s future. Historical fact soon mixes with fiction as Rupert Garfield crosses paths with such famed figures as Ian Fleming, Aleister Crowley, Owen Mosely, the Duke of Hamilton, Unity Mitford, Heinrich Himmler, and Reinhold Heydrich, all in an attempt to protect himself from those who want this information to remain secret.
Ultimately, Garfield finds that the British Government, through its newly formed Special Operations Executive has dedicated a branch to understanding how the Nazis use the black arts in their military and political decisions, named Occult House. And as Garfield familiarizes himself with the personnel and objectives of Occult House, he is sent on a counter-espionage mission that puts his life and well-being in peril, all while his dealings with the paranormal to bring him to certain realities about his life. These realities become especially lucid as he dangerously comes close to the Schutzstaffel (SS) and its attempts at perverting the furtive occultist brotherhood known as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn to gain the powers of sorcery, all in an effort to conquer Europe for Adolf Hitler.

Wilson Broom
St. Kitts

January 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWilson Broom

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