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)