About Spy: The Secret World of Espionage
Spy: The Secret World of Espionage at Discovery Times Square takes guests on a journey through the history of espionage, from World War II to the present, with displays designed to amaze and inform about some of the most important people, operations and gadgetry of the intelligence trade. This quick-moving walk contains dozens of fascinating spy-related tools and artifacts, striking an ideal balance between history and entertainment.
Spy at Discovery proves again and again that James Bond is no match for real life, with spy contraptions on display that are as ingenious as anything Q ever came up with. Some of the more unusual items include a kit for painting an explosive to resemble a piece of coal and a pencil designed to act as a time delay for a bomb. There are also dozens of unique concealment methods on exhibit for cameras, film, and cipher books, as well as spy equipment hidden in batteries, cigarettes, shaving cream containers and even teeth. One case features surveillance tools hidden in everyday objects like shoes, matchboxes and neckties. Many of the devices were designed for use in the cold war, including odd weapons given to World War II spies like a short, heavy fighting knife known as a smatchet.
The exhibit brings to life some of the most famous operations in intelligence history, including the events behind the recent blockbuster film Argo, about a real-life CIA operation to extract six Americans from Iran who were hiding out in the Canadian ambassador’s home during the hostage crisis, using a fake film shoot as a cover. Several displays focus on Project Azorian, an incredible CIA endeavor to unearth a sunken Soviet submarine located deep under the sea while posing as an offshore drilling outfit. Recent operations are also explored, like Ghost Stories, in which the government successfully uncovered ten Russian spies living as Americans. Numerous details and artifacts related to their activities and capture are on display, as well as the stories of captured Russian spies Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames.
A Hall of Fame for spies, the exhibit honors fascinating characters on both sides of the cold war, including Rudolph Abel, a legendary KGB spy whose flawless English, Polish and German allowed him to fade into the background in several countries. A room is also devoted to the role American spy Oleg Penkovsky played in the Cuban Missile Crisis feeding essential information to President Kennedy, which let him know that the Soviets wanted to avoid major conflict.
Interactivity adds a big dose of fun to Spy: The Secret World of Espionage, with consoles throughout that offer a game-like experience, from creating disguises to cracking secret codes. Most notably, there’s a maze that allows users twenty seconds to navigate a room while avoiding a series of laser defenses. Kiosks throughout the exhibit feature a variety of first-hand interviews with former spies extolling various aspects of their craft, including the mysteries of the microdot reader.
Did you know?
Seventeen different agencies make up the US intelligence community, including the CIA, the FBI, the NSA, the Office of Naval Intelligence, Coast Guard Intelligence, the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, and the Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence.
Everyone who served in the Office of Strategic Services in World War II was offered the chance to purchase an OSS pin at the end of the war for $1.
Spy: The Secret World of Espionage is ideal for anyone interested in history, James Bond or the dozens of zany ways in which you can hide a camera.
Good for kids?
The weapons and amount of reading may not be appropriate for very young children but slightly older kids will enjoy the cool gadgets on display as well as the laser maze.
Spy: The Secret World of Espionage at Discovery Times Square Location Information:
226 W 44th Street
New York, NY 10036
1, 2, 3, 7, A, C, E, N, Q, R, to 42nd St/Times Square