The CIA had after-work skydiving

The CIA had after-work skydiving

Recently uncovered documents show that Agency employees unwound from the work day with sports cars, horseback riding, and archaeology

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Edited by JPat Brown

Sorry, but your employee softball team is pretty lame compared to what Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employees were up to in 1963.

A list of recreation programs uncovered in CREST shows that CIA employees unwound from the work day by signing up for some bizarre activities. In December 1963, for example, 54 of the agency’s employees were signed up for the “Sky Diving Club.”

The logistics of such an activity are unclear, but thankfully it was one of the the clubs that offered instruction – unlike the archaeology club, where it seems all 36 members had to be previously educated in whatever exactly they were doing (digging up dinosaur bones? Cataloguing ancient artifacts?).

Membership seems to fall in line with traditional gender role divisions that make sense for 1963 – ham radio, sports car club, and touch-football have no women members, while modern dance and the arts and crafts club have no men.

Comprised of only 15 members, the Agency journalism club was one of the smallest, smaller even than the 38 member stamp collecting club. The journalism club also didn’t offer instruction, and there’s no word on what they were doing there, either. If only they knew that 59 years later, journalists would be writing about how cool CIA clubs were, albeit complicated to join.

Read the full list of clubs embedded below.

Image via United Artists