A formerly SECRET report uncovered in the Central Intelligence Agency’s declassified archives shows that in the earliest days of the Cold War, the CIA took an interest in Soviet superstitions. The report, classified for 60 years, details familiar fears such as black cats with more involved customs, such as road bucket etiquette.
MuckRock has previously written about some of the surprising photographic finds in the Central Intelligence Agency’s archives, including a stray cat that was considered a state secret for 50 years. Proving that they’re equal opportunity creature classifiers, records recently uncovered in CREST show photos of World War II military working dogs which weren’t made public until 2013 - nearly 70 years after they were taken.
As we kick off what will hopefully be a very transparent Sunshine Week 2018, we want to take a moment to reflect on one of the more absurd finds in the Central Intelligence Agency’s declassified archive so far, and how the work the #OpenGov community can find itself part of the public record.
In 1963, the Central Intelligence Agency sent an undercover photographer to the Moscow Fair in the heart of the then Soviet Union. While the fact that some of the photos are still redacted 50 years later hints at the secrecy of his assignment, one detail has been made public: at some point he got bored and took photos of a stray cat.