Editor-in-Chief’s Note: This post was written by Brett and Kate McKay and originally ran on The Art of Manliness.
In a previous edition of the Man Knowledge series on Art of Manliness, we discussed the fascinating history of invisible ink. In doing the research for that post, we came across an equally interesting tool in the spy’s bag of tricks: the concealment device.
Invisible ink was handy for sending secret messages, but sometimes spies and soldiers needed to hide other kinds of objects, or simply wanted a double-layer of protection for their coded missives.
Concealment devices or CD’s looked like normal, everyday objects but actually contained a secret compartment or cavity, inside which could be placed film, notes, eavesdropping equipment, and various other types of contraband. They were used to smuggle escape aids to prisoners of war, exchange information with friendlies, monitor the enemy, store secrets for safe keeping, and transport items without arousing suspicion. [Read More…]
Today I’m going to share some techniques with you that I came up with for creating dead drop devices during a previous SCG International Tactical HUMINT Operations course.
One of our taskers at the end of one class day was to create two dead drops by the next morning. This assignment was give to us at around 6 p.m., so with limited time, I did what anyone wanting to create dead drop devices would do. I hit the local Wal-Mart. [Read More…]
I’ll admit I’m a bit of an organizational freak, but my wife and those that know me would probably say that’s an understatement. With that being the case, I knew I had to get one of 215 Gear’s Custom Tactical Bags to organize my entry tools.
The Custom Tactical Bag is the Gucci of entry tool bags. Nowhere have I seen a more comprehensive and modular way to carry method of entry equipment on the market today. Up until now, it’s been limited to throwing everything in a big bag, or trying to come up with your own velcro panels to mount all those little items.
While purpose built for carrying entry tools, the Custom Tactical Bag is functional enough to be used for just about anything, including medical supplies or EOD tools. [Read More…]
The graduate school of tactical training you say? really? I was a bit skeptical myself when I first saw the sign upon entering SCG International in Holly Springs, Mississippi, but that skepticism soon faded as I came to understand the level of detail in which the crew from SCG operated.
Rather than focusing on a single class from SCG, I’m going to give you the overall picture of what my experience has been like training with them for a total of 109 grueling hours. This includes, but is not limited to getting rolled up by Law Enforcement, collecting intelligence, operating on little to no sleep, and yes, even being required to get a woman’s phone number. [Read More…]
Did you know that the CIA hired a magician to write a pair of tradecraft manuals for them in the early 1950s?
Magician John Mulholland wrote these once classified manuals to show CIA case officers how to secretly pass documents, hide items discretely, slip pills into enemy cocktails and even covert communication tricks. The real nuts and bolts of espionage!
Once thought to have been destroyed, one copy of each of the two declassified manuals was recovered by the author and appear in their entirety within The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception.
The book is a very good read for those interested in CIA tradecraft history and also its original roots in stage magic.
For more of our book selections, check out our recommended reading list.