SPYSCAPE

SPYSCAPE Can a museum be fun? Can spy skills help you see the world more clearly? What are your spy skills and what’s your spy role? #QuestionEverything

The world’s largest interactive spy museum features world-class architecture, artifacts, technology and experiences. Test your hacking, code-breaking and espionage skills to discover your inner spy. Opening in Midtown Manhattan in December.

Collection Highlights Advent Calendar. Day 24. Spy Mask. As symbols of rebellion go, few have had as much cultural reson...
12/24/2019

Collection Highlights Advent Calendar. Day 24. Spy Mask. As symbols of rebellion go, few have had as much cultural resonance as this repurposed Guy Fawkes mask. This widely recognized symbol of the Anonymous Hacker collective has become shorthand for Anonymous and hacking itself. Our special collection of Guy Fawkes masks are personalized with the handwritten aliases of some of the most infamous Anonymous members - ‘de-anonymizing’ these global icons.

Anonymous began as an online group of hackers and virtual activists with members who keep their real names a secret. The participants — the “Anons” — join and leave with such frequency, and have such a range of objectives, that it’s impossible to define Anonymous at any one moment. Many of their hacking operations are carried in support of libertarian and anti-establishment causes.

Their "hacktivism" has spread from the virtual to the real world on multiple occasions, and when protesting in public, members frequently wear these Guy Fawkes masks. The mask is a stylised depiction of Guy Fawkes, a member of the 1605 Gunpowder Plot which aimed to restore a Catholic monarch to the English throne by blowing up Parliament. In recognition of the plot’s failure, celebrations take place in the UK every November featuring masks and burning effigies of Guy Fawkes.

Displaying an exaggerated smile and red cheeks, upturned moustache and pointed beard after a design by illustrator David Lloyd, the masks were popularized by the 1980s cult dystopian thriller V for Vendetta. Following the graphic novel’s 2005 film adaptation, the masks have since become a potent symbol of dissent, used by hackers and protesters worldwide. Most recently, protesters in Hong Kong have started using the mask in opposition to the government’s ban of masked demonstrations.

#history #advent #spyscape #spy #espionage #hacking #cybersecurity

Collection Highlights Advent Calendar. Day 23. Spy Sub. In 1942, Allied sailors extracted crucial Enigma code books from...
12/23/2019

Collection Highlights Advent Calendar. Day 23. Spy Sub. In 1942, Allied sailors extracted crucial Enigma code books from this submarine — U-559 — before she sank, taking them and most of her crew with her. Built at a scale of 1:70, this model features the U-559’s distinctive white donkey painted on the conning tower, which made the Type VIIC model submarine easily identifiable.

During WWII, American ships carried vital supplies to Britain across the Atlantic. But they risked being torpedoed by U-boats (the U is short for Untersee, "undersea"). British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called the U-boats "the only thing that ever really frightened me during the war."

German U-boat commanders received their orders in messages encrypted by Enigma machines. The naval Enigmas were even more complex than the army and air force ones. Made with four rotors instead of the standard three, the machines had 890 quintillion possible settings! Breaking the Enigma codes meant that Allied ships could avoid the U-boats.

Spotted by a Royal Air Force flying boat patrol bomber, U-559 was forced to the surface after four Royal Navy destroyers began a lengthy attack. In desperation the crew abandoned ship without first destroying their two Enigma codebooks.

When three members of the Royal Navy boarded the vessel, they found valuable codebooks that helped break the U-boat Enigma cipher, and almost certainly shortened the war. The codebooks contained charts to generate the unique daily settings for the naval Enigma machines. The charts were so important that they were printed on water-soluble paper so that if a U-boat was in danger of capture, sailors could destroy them instantly. The captured tables were passed to the codebreakers at Bletchley Park who used the daily settings to read the Enigma messages with ease.

#history #advent #spyscape #spy #espionage #WWII #spygadgets #spytools #radio #radiohistory

Collection Highlights Advent Calendar. Day 22. Spy Copier. During the Cold War, this photographic document copier was us...
12/22/2019

Collection Highlights Advent Calendar. Day 22. Spy Copier. During the Cold War, this photographic document copier was used extensively by the KGB Soviet intelligence agency and its sister organisations in the Warsaw Pact for covertly making large numbers of photocopies with maximum speed.

The Yolka S-64 was a portable document copier manufactured in Belarus from 1985. The copier comprises of a base plate on which the document is placed, flanked on each side by a lamp which provided a steady and constant light from the sides. To the center, an adjustable arm holds a camera with a lens that focuses at short distances of less than 1 metre. The arms supporting the camera and lamps are foldable, so that the entire unit could be stored compactly within the base of the machine.

Once folded, the copier could be easily hidden inside its accompanying briefcase to be carried around inconspicuously. When needed, the setup took place in under a minute. The rounded cassettes to the sides of the camera held up to 40 metres of film, taking approximately 400 photographs at a time!

During the Cold War, making photocopies in the Soviet Union was not as common as in the West. Copies of documents were strictly regulated by the government and reproduction copiers, like the S-64, were kept under lock and key. In addition to use by the KGB, the copier was commonly used by law enforcement forces and border security for discreetly recording and making duplicates of foreigner’s travel documents.

#history #advent #spyscape #spy #espionage #ColdWar #spygadgets #spytools #cameras #spycameras

Collection Highlights Advent Calendar. Day 21. Spy Radio. This miniature spy radio set was used by Allied operatives dur...
12/21/2019

Collection Highlights Advent Calendar. Day 21. Spy Radio. This miniature spy radio set was used by Allied operatives during WWII to communicate with their handlers back in Britain. It became the standard radio equipment for SOE and French Resistance cells.

Throughout the war, the Allies positioned radios behind enemy lines so that civil broadcasts, such as political speeches and news, could be received from Britain. Hosted by the BBC, these broadcasts often included "personal messages," mixed in with the news and entertainment. An unsuspecting listener would never have suspected that these messages were frequently secret codes intended for agents behind enemy lines.

By 1942, the Germans became aware of the true nature of these BBC messages. Designed to counter the German’s subsequent confiscation of shortwave radios and jamming of BBC traffic, the MCR1 ‘Biscuit Tin’ radio was developed by Captain John Brown of the SOE's special signals section. The highly sensitive receiver could cover long, medium and short waves from 19 to 2000 metres. It could be battery powered, allowing it to be used on the move. Unlike a modern radio, the modular design meant that the components—receiver, power supply and coil packs— could be separated out and hidden as individual parts.

The radios were widely used throughout Europe and the Far East by resistance movements. Half of the 30,000 in production were distributed to the French Marquis & other Allied guerrilla forces. To reach operatives in occupied-Europe, the SOE developed a novel delivery method: airplanes piloted by the RAF dropped the radios, which were secured in metal tins, by parachute. The ‘biscuit tin’ nickname derives from the containers of Huntley & Palmers biscuits in which the receivers were stored to make them look inconspicuous.

#history #advent #spyscape #spy #espionage #WWII #spygadgets #spytools #radio #radiohistory

Collection Highlights Advent Calendar. Day 20. Spy Buttons. Surveillance and reconnaissance operations often involve lon...
12/20/2019

Collection Highlights Advent Calendar. Day 20. Spy Buttons. Surveillance and reconnaissance operations often involve long periods in the cold or rain. During the Cold War, a practical trench coat was a must, especially one with a spy camera behind the buttons!

These buttons were made for the F-21 spy camera. Also known as the ‘Ajax’, its small size and simplicity of operation made it ideal for covert operations. During the Cold War, it was used extensively by the KGB Soviet intelligence agency and its sister organisations in the Warsaw Pact.

Designed specifically for spy photography, the camera could be concealed in a coat behind a button opening. The camera would be harnessed to the user behind the coat, with the lens tucked behind a modified button. To take a picture, the wearer would squeeze a shutter cable hidden in the coat pocket, which would cause the fake button, sewn on to the lens in two halves, to open. The remainder of the buttons on the set were attached to the coat so that the lens blended in discreetly.

The camera was ideal for clandestine photography because it could shoot an entire roll of film from one wind of its motor. Once the first picture was taken, the camera automatically wound to the next image, so that agents could take multiple photographs in quick succession.

A range of accessories were developed to allow the camera to be used in other types of concealments, ranging from belt buckles, briefcases and handbags to cigarette packs. Another favorite from our collection is an original KGB umbrella with the Ajax camera hidden in the base!

#history #advent #spyscape #spy #espionage #ColdWar #spygadgets #spytools #cameras #spycameras

Collection Highlights Advent Calendar. Day 19. Spy Jumpsuit. These clear Mica Goggles and padded helmet are part of a ra...
12/19/2019

Collection Highlights Advent Calendar. Day 19. Spy Jumpsuit. These clear Mica Goggles and padded helmet are part of a rare camouflage jumpsuit worn by Special Operation Executive (SOE) agents while parachuting deep behind enemy lines during World War II.

Formed in 1940, the SOE was a clandestine army of spies who infiltrated enemy-occupied Europe and Asia. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill told them to “set Europe ablaze!” The agents were incredibly brave and resourceful. Working with local resistance forces and Allied intelligence operatives, they were responsible for organizing sabotage and subversion. Priority was given to cutting enemy communications, including blowing up trains, bridges and factories, as well as fostering revolt and subverting enemy morale.

In a progressive step for the time, women were actively recruited, particularly those with language skills. Some were enlisted in the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) to disguise their secret work. These were the only women permitted a combat role during WWII.

After paramilitary training, students completed a parachute course at the Royal Air Force station in Ringway, now Manchester airport. Selected agents were then sent to learn sabotage techniques or to be trained as radio operators. “Finishing schools” in the New Forest also provided general training in clandestine operations.

Following the completion of the gruelling training regime, SOE agents were parachuted into occupied Europe and the Far East. Once operatives landed, they had to work quickly to bury their parachute, jumpsuit and any other traces of landing. One of the suit pockets was designed with a deep, narrow opening to hold a spade for the task, which is still present in our suit! The uniform was nicknamed the "striptease" because its two front zips allowed for quick removal — revealing civilian clothes underneath to blend in anonymously. The goggles and soft helmet were specially designed to be flexible and foldable to aid speedy burial after landing.

#history #advent #spyscape #spy #espionage #WWII #Churchill #striptease

Collection Highlights Advent Calendar. Day 18. Spy Prizes. These prestigious awards, including a 2016 Pulitzer Prize, we...
12/18/2019

Collection Highlights Advent Calendar. Day 18. Spy Prizes. These prestigious awards, including a 2016 Pulitzer Prize, were among those given to The Associated Press after four reporters used shoe-leather journalism and satellite technology to free more than 2,000 fishermen trapped in slavery in South East Asia.

The team - Margie Mason, Robin McDowell, Martha Mendoza and Esther Htusan - were investigating labor abuses in the global seafood industry when they discovered a slave island in eastern Indonesia. Here men had been forced to work around the clock on Thai fishing boats, some for decades. They earned little or no pay and could not escape. Using satellite technology, the journalists tracked a cargo ship full of slave-caught fish across the ocean. Then they tailed trucks delivering the seafood to local businesses that export to the US. Finally, they mined customs records to trace the catch to US supermarket shelves. The story helped spark public outcry. Retail and seafood businesses demanded action, men were freed, captains were jailed and multi-million dollar ships were seized. Policy changes and new regulations continue to be put in place as a result.

People watch the world in a huge variety of ways. The police use networks of CCTV cameras to follow suspects escaping from crime scenes. The military use drones to track extremists travelling through isolated regions. Four AP journalists used satellites to investigate a big issue with extraordinary results. Today, anyone with a smartphone can use intelligence-grade technology to not only locate others using GPS tracking, but also to record injustices once nearly impossible to prove. More than ever before, surveillance has the power to oppress, but also to liberate.

On loan from the Associated Press, Margie Mason, Robin McDowell, Martha Mendoza, and Esther Htusan.

#history #advent #spyscape #spy #satellites #journalism #pulitzer #pulitzerprize

Collection Highlights Advent Calendar. Day 17. Spy Stealth. Need to hide secrets? Put them in something that looks ordin...
12/17/2019

Collection Highlights Advent Calendar. Day 17. Spy Stealth. Need to hide secrets? Put them in something that looks ordinary: a suitcase with a false bottom, a hollowed-out coin, a USB flash drive. The best concealment devices are things that you carry with you every day, like these cigarette packs used by an important 1960s spy ring inside the Soviet Union.

Colonel Oleg Penkovsky was the most important spy of the Cold War. Appointed a full colonel at the age of just 31, he became an intelligence officer in the GRU, the Soviet military intelligence agency. Disillusioned with the Soviet system and what he saw as its "deceit of the people,” Penkovsky travelled to England to offer his services to MI6 and the CIA.

In tandem with the CIA, Penkovsky began working for Ruari Chisholm, Moscow Station Chief for MI6, the British Secret Intelligence Service. Photographing top-secret documents with a miniature Minox camera, Penokovsky would deliver the resulting microfilms in packs of cigarettes to Chisholm’s wife Janet at locations around the city, such as her local park off Tsvetnoy Boulevard.

During one "brush contact" at the park he walked casually over to her and offered her children a tin of vitamin C pills, something they ate like sweets to ward off colds in the Russian winter. Janet quickly swapped the tin, which in fact contained military secrets, for another identical one hidden in her baby stroller.

In the 18 months before the Cuban missile crisis, he passed more than 5,000 classified documents to MI6 and the CIA, most of them photographed with his Minox camera. The documents included operating manuals for the R-12 missile (known to NATO as the SS-4). These gave the CIA a sense of how far missiles in Cuba were from launch readiness during the Cuban Missile Crisis. His intelligence gave President Kennedy the confidence to pursue a diplomatic solution to the crisis, backed up by a naval blockade.
#history #advent #spyscape #spy #espionage #ColdWar #spygadgets #spytools #tradecraft

Collection Highlights Advent Calendar. Day 16. Spy Map. This tissue paper spy map was designed to provide Escape and Eva...
12/16/2019

Collection Highlights Advent Calendar. Day 16. Spy Map. This tissue paper spy map was designed to provide Escape and Evasion support to Allied operatives and captured servicemen in enemy territory.

The spy maps were issued to RAF pilots and hidden in their belts or boot heels. Most famously, they were also smuggled into POW camps in parcels mailed from phoney British relief agencies, where they were hidden in an ingenious range of everyday objects, such as game boards and playing cards.

Maps were central to the operations of MI9, a little known British intelligence branch set up to aid prisoners of war. Created in 1939, the agency was charged with facilitating the escape and return of POWs, as well as promoting morale during their captivity. Successful escapes by POWs a generation earlier during WWI had resulted in a shift in attitudes on escape and evasion. Escapers were now considered important sources of valuable intelligence on the state of the German military capabilities, and every effort was put in place to aid their return.

In his memoir Official Secrets, Christopher Clayton Hutton, the head of MI9, recalled his essential requirement for his paper escape maps. The first criteria was durability: the material needed to be crease resistant so that the ink would not rub off, or the edges tear, when folded. It needed to be rustle free to avoid causing unwanted attention when used. And it also needed to take up minimal room.

An intelligence officer tracking Nazi diamond smugglers advised Hutton of a Japanese ship carrying mulberry-leaf pulp, from which an extremely thin, strong paper could be fabricated. The ship was duly intercepted and the pulp rushed to a British paper mill. The paper proved to be extremely useful; it could be soaked in water, crumbled in a ball, and was still readable. Incredibly transparent, the maps could even be printed on both sides using up to seven different colors.

To ensure complete secrecy, even within the British government, Hutton recorded the spy maps as "pork sausages" when submitting his invoices to the Treasury!
#history #advent #spyscape #spy #espionage #WWII #spygadgets #spytools

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928 8th Avenue
New York, NY
10019

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 20:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 20:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 20:00
Thursday 10:00 - 20:00
Friday 10:00 - 20:00
Saturday 10:00 - 20:00
Sunday 10:00 - 20:00

Telephone

(212) 549-1941

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We visited Spyscape to find out what type of spy we are! This is a hugely entertaining and interactive attraction :)
We are F Society...!
The best in NYC!
We had a great time!!
Loved the museum, but don’t buy the overpriced fidgipen. It broke in 6 days and I didn’t even use it that much. The spin top came off twice too if you spin it too much. Was so excited for it too. 😪
Thanks to Sean who works in the NYC location! This 007 exhibit was awesome! #spycatcherdottie
Ok we just entered and the power went out...um...aren’t we supposed to be learning about “intelligence ...” 007, can you get the power back?
Such a great experience... #Uncleling #ParuDigital #NoaTheOperative #Spyscape
Learn the kinds of skills you need to become a professional spy at Spyscape!
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