Check out these top secret projects they don't want you to know about! From secret operations and stealth missions to crazy government coverups, this top 10 list of mysterious declassified military projects is absolutely shocking!
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10. Operation Popeye
The Vietnam war saw the US military experiment with a number of new technologies, but one of the most far reached projects was known as Operation Popeye. It was the only known attempt at weather modification that has taken place for military purposes, and was considered a relative success!
For understandable reasons, the government tried their best to keep it under wraps.
This operation took place between 1967 and 1972 and was focused on areas of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. In an attempt to limit the movements of the Vietcong in the region, clouds were seeded with silver iodide to try and extend the monsoon season. The increased rainfall would then soften the road surfaces with mud, cause landslides, destroy river crossings and make the land much more difficult to cross for long periods of time. The program was overseen by Henry Kissinger, the Secretary of State at the time, along with the CIA- but controversially it was done without the knowledge of the secretary of Defence, Melvin Laird, who had expressly denied any attempts of weather modification to Congress. Maybe it was plausible deniability….any way...
The operation was quite successful at slowing down truck traffic in the targeted areas due to the increased rainfall. In some cases, it extended the monsoon season for up to 45 days. Scary to think that this is proof that controlling the weather can actually work, and that the government has actually done it before! The operation was forced to end, though, when the New York Times exposed the details in 1972, and Congress took steps to ban what they called environmental warfare. Weather modification for militaristic purposes is now outlawed under the International Environmental Modification Convention, so all further research has officially ceased.
9. Operation Washtub
With Alaska’s proximity to Russia, it’s perhaps no surprise that extra steps were taken during the 50’s to protect the nation from any attack that might come from the north. At the time, Alaska was still only a US territory, and the operation ran from 1951 through 1959 when it became a fully fledged state. The Soviets were helping North Korea battle the South, but it was thought by many to be a distraction from their true aim- to either attack Northern Europe or America.
The idea was that, if the Soviets were to launch an assault involving bombings and the dropping of paratroopers, there would be a number of civilian agents who could hide in the remote wilderness and transmit intelligence to the American military. These SBA’s, or Stay Behind Agents, would make their way to survival stashes of food, gear, and communications equipment. A second group of civilian agents would be tasked with helping military personnel who had become trapped in Soviet held areas, to escape back to safety. One of the rules of soviet conduct instructed them to eliminate any resistance found in occupied territory. This meant that officials were so worried about the threat, that they also trained reserve agents outside of Alaska who could be dropped into place should the need arise.
The Operation was marked as top secret, and in total 89 agents were trained and paid $3,000 for their involvement. Of course, the plan was never put into action because the perceived threat never came, but it was only in 2014 that the truth behind Operation Washtub was revealed due to a Freedom of Information request.
8. Polyus Battlestation
During the Cold War, the US was involved in the development of countless secret projects, but as we know, as usual Russia was doing the same too. One of the most famous American projects that never saw the light of day, as far as we know, became known as the Star Wars Defense Program- but the Soviets had their own equivalent- the Polyus Battlestation.
This monstrous creation was actually built, and was designed to operate as an orbital weapons platform that could destroy other satellites by using an inbuilt array of lasers. This weapon was seen as being so powerful, that Gorbachev actually expressly prohibited the in-orbit testing of its power, because this in itself could be interpreted by other nations as the development of a space weapon.
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