Getting Out of a Tight Spot with the CIA's Rectal Spy Kit

Handle your CIA-issued rectal tool kit with care.

The International Spy Museum, now comfortably moved into a new building in Washington, D.C.'s L'Enfant Plaza, has a massive collection of intelligence gear from around the world. Let's take a look at this Atlas Obscura video about one of the more compelling items in its espionage collection.

In the 1960s, the CIA developed a Rectal Tool Kit designed to give its operatives critical escape tools that probably wouldn't be detected in a standard body search. Museum historian Dr. Vince Houghton takes us through the device and explains the careful machine work necessary to make sure the tool kit had zero sharp edges and wouldn't splinter under pressure.


Surely, a spy was more confident knowing that he or she had pliers, a drill bit, a lock pick, a file and a screwdriver hidden away in a most private cavity, tools that could help facilitate an escape from the most dangerous circumstances.

Take a deep dive with the video below, and we'll bring you more information about the new Spy Museum as its opening date approaches.

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