As one of the most prominent figures of the 20th Century - not to mention an ardent pacifist during the height of the Cold War - it’s not altogether surprising that Albert Einstein’s Federal Bureau of Investigation file stretches several thousand pages. But while Einstein’s sharp critique of U.S. policy at home and abroad gave the J. Edgar Hoover’s Bureau plenty to work with, some of the other concerns raised in the file were dubious at best. At worst, there were Nazi death beams.
In 1988, as part of the Agency’s ongoing research into weaponized ESP, CIA psychics were tasked with identifying a photo of a famous individual inside of an opaque folder. That individual was Albert Einstein. The individual they came up was a moody hippie pharmacist named Alfer Aferman.