25 Astonishing Facts about the CIA You Should Keep to Yourself

CIA or Central Intelligence Agency is one of the most secretive Govt. agencies in the USA. Even though this is a very confidential agency, we know a lot of unbelievable facts about the CIA. Some of them are not highly classified. Whereas some are so secretive that we know those only because the CIA themselves released these information.

However, we will be sharing 25 astonishing facts about the CIA in this post for you. So, if you are ready to learn more about this overly-classified intelligence agency, you can keep reading the rest of the post.

25 Astonishing Facts about the CIA

#1 Operation Mongoose:

fun facts about the cia

Operation Mongoose was also known as the Cuban Project. It was a secret mission by the CIA that began back in the middle of 1960. The aim of this mission was to remove the communists from the power of Cuba. During that period, Fidel Castro was in power in Cuba.

And, the CIA has tried to assassinate him in many ways. For instance, they tried to poison him, sent exploding cigars to him, and so on. All of these were part of Operation Mongoose. However, the CIA was not successful in killing Fidel Castro.

#2 Music and CIA:

It is reported that the CIA uses different songs and music to torture the detainees. For instance, they tortured an Al-Qaeda terrorist by forcing him to listen to songs of Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Another report suggests that the Slim Shady album by Eminem was also used as a torture medium.

#3 Starbucks at the CIA Headquarters:

fun facts about the cia

Starbucks is everywhere. As usual, there is one at the CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia. This is known as the ‘Store Number 1’. But this is one of the most unique Starbucks. Because they are prohibited to ask the name of the customers by the CIA. So, there will be no names written on the cups as well.

#4 CIA & Egypt Former President

fun facts about the cia

Gamal Abdel Nasser was a president of Egypt. He was offered a bribe of about 3 million USD by the CIA to join the ‘Middle East Defense Organization’. Interestingly, he took the money but didn’t join the organization. Funny, isn’t it?

#5 Project Bluebird:

Project Bluebird was a secret program operated by the CIA. The primary goal of this project was experimenting with hypnosis and mind control. However, later, it was reported that the CIA actually dosed around 7000 military personnel with LSD.

And, it was done without their consent or prior knowledge. A couple of years after the experiment, it was seen that more than thousands of those soldiers suffered from various illnesses, depression, and epilepsy. Unfortunately, many of them also committed suicide.

#6 CIA’s Official Motto:

Like every other organization, the CIA also has a motto. And, it is ‘And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free’.

#7 Operation Merlin:

The ‘Operation Merlin’ was also another secret CIA program. The goal of this program was to send flawed blueprints of making nuclear bombs to Iran. In order to do that, they have used a Russian nuclear scientist.

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However, when he noticed the flaws in the blueprint, he actually proposed corrections to Iran on his own. As he didn’t know the plan of the CIA.

#8 Amazon Cloud Services & CIA:

fun facts about the cia

Do you know where all the CIA secrets are stored? In this day and age, we know that they store their data in the cloud obviously. However, to be more precise, they use Amazon Cloud Services for this purpose.

#9 CIA & Nelson Mandela:

fun facts about the cia

Nelson Mandela was one of the renowned personas in the world. However, he had to be in prison for over 27 years. Now, a former CIA agent has leaked that the CIA actually let the South African intelligence service know about the location of Nelson Mandela in 1962. And, that information led to his arrest.

#10 From Released Document of CIA:

CIA has released over 12 million documents because of the ‘Freedom of Information Act’. From those documents, a lot of unknown information has seen the light. Among them, one was pretty interesting.

For instance, the CIA has researched the ‘insane’ patients. And, the focus of that program was to find out whether they experience ‘multiple levels of reality’ or not.

#11 Capturing a Russian Submarine:

fun facts about the cia

CIA carried out a plan to capture a Russian submarine back in 1974. However, that was a challenging project. Because the mission was not only to capture the submarine but also to avoid detection from the Russians. And, the cost of that mission was about 500 million USD.

#12 CIA Torture Handbook:

In a CIA handbook, it was found that the CIA valued psychological torture over physical torture. Because people almost always underestimate the capacity of withstanding pain. Even, the threat of torture would trigger more fear than the torture method itself.

#13 “Freeway” Rick Ross & CIA:

Ricky Donnell Ross aka Freeway Rick Ross was a drug trafficker. He is known for the drug dealing that took place back in 1980 in California. At some point, he was making around 3 million USD per week. But the interesting fact here is the supplier of most of the drugs was the CIA.

#14 Magic Tricks & CIA:

Back in 1950, the CIA became interested in magic tricks. They try to teach their agents some hand trucks. For instance, if an agent needed to slip some pills to anyone’s drink would find the tricks very handy at times.

#15 Invasion of Afghanistan:

Even before the invasion of Afghanistan by the USA, an agent of the CIA made an agreement with a military commander of the Taliban. The focus of that agreement was to kill Osama Bin Laden. But in the meantime, the USA actually began to invade Afghanistan.

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#16 Area 51:

fun facts about the cia

Area 51 is a highly classified air force base located in the USA. It is known that the area is being used by the United States Air Force. However, it is not known what they do in this area. Matter of fact, the air force even has not acknowledged the existence of this location prior to 2013.

The first one to admit it was the CIA. They admitted to the existence of Area 51 in 2013. They typically call it the ‘Groom Lake’, or the ‘Homey Airport’. But due to the highly confidential nature of this place, it is related to many conspiracy theories.

#17 CIA Memorial Wall:

The CIA memorial wall is located in the CIA headquarter in Langley, Virginia. It is there for honoring the CIA agents that lost their lives in the line of service. At the time of writing this post, there are 133 stars in the memorial wall. Among them, 94 contains name and the other 39 don’t contain any name. They are kept confidential.

#18 CIA & Cold War:

During the cold war era, the CIA and the KGB were involved in many conflicts. Here is one of the interesting facts about the CIA in the cold war. The Soviet Union was building a gas line across Siberia for transferring natural gas. But they needed software to finalize the project and operate the gas line.

However, the USA had the exact software. Thus, KGB wanted to buy the software from the CIA. Eventually, the CIA refused to sell the software. Then the KGB plot an idea to steal the software. Interestingly, the CIA knew the motive of KGB.

So, they changed some codes in the software and allowed the KGB to steal it. Finally, when KGB agents used the software the gas line actually exploded due to the code installed by the CIA.

#19 The Stargate Project:

The Stargate Project was another secret project by the CIA. It begun back in 1978 and it was under operation till 1995. The primary goal of this project was to see any distant target using mind power or psychic ability.

However, they terminated the project when they found out that this was never a useful idea. Later, in 2017, the CIA declassified this project by releasing some classified documents about this project on their site.

#20 Declassified Documents from CIA:

fun facts about the cia

From time to time, the CIA declassify some of their secret documents via their official website. For instance, they released 6 documents in 2016. You could actually download them in PDF format. These documents were from 1917 to 1918.

Those documents were interesting as well. In those documents, you will find how to open sealed letters without getting detected, and the techniques of developing secret inks to write letters.

#21 Cuba vs. CIA:

It was 1962 when the tension between Cuba and the USA was very high. In those periods, the USA wanted to diminish Cuba and communism. Then the CIA came up with a hideous plan.

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And it was to commit terrorist acts against their own country like bombing US ships, US cities, and committing violence in parts of the USA; only to put the blame on Cuba. However, then-president JFK did not support the idea. So, thankfully, it was ditched.

#22 CIA vs. Castro:

As previously mentioned, the CIA was very keen to assassinate Fidel Castro (Cuban President, Prime Minister, and Politician). They even made an agreement with a Chicago Gangster to kill Fidel Castro. And, the prize for this mission was about 150,000 USD, if successful.

#23 CIA & Lockheed A-12:

The Lockheed A-12 is a well-known reconnaissance aircraft in the history of the USA. It was introduced in 1967. This was an advanced aircraft and way ahead of its time. The key material for constructing this aircraft was titanium. However, the USA didn’t have a sufficient amount of titanium to manufacture this aircraft at that time.

On the other hand, the Soviet Union was the world’s top exporters of titanium at that time. Thus, the CIA opened a lot of dummy companies and used lots of third parties to buy titanium from the Soviets unbeknownst to them.

#24 CIA & George Orwell:

fun facts about the cia

Eric Arthur Blair aka George Orwell is known as one of the most popular English novelists. Some of his famous works are 1984, Animal Farm, and Homage to Catalonia, etc. In 1955, the Animal Farm novel was made into an animated film.

However, it is known that the ending of the movies doesn’t match the book. Later, it was known that the CIA actually produced the film by buying the rights of ‘1984’ and ‘Animal Farm’ secretly after the death of George Orwell. It is still a controversial topic to this day.

#25 CIA Mission in Nanda Devi:

fun facts about the cia

Nanda Devi is the world’s 23rd highest mountain peak in the world. It is also the second-highest peak in India. From October 1965 to 1968, both the CIA and Indian Intelligence Service went on a classified mission in the summit of the Nanda Devi. The goal of the mission was to install a nuclear-powered spying/surveillance device at the top of the mountain to spy on China.

But due to bad weather conditions, the team had to leave the mountain without taking the device back with them. As a result, they came back in the next spring to look for the device. But there was nothing on the summit of Nanda Devi. Due to that, this mountain was closed for expeditions till 1974.

Before We Go – Astonishing Facts about the CIA

There you have it. Now, you know 25 unknown facts about the CIA. A lot of these facts about the CIA were confidential once. However, thanks to the ‘Freedom of Information Act’, now we know a lot of secret information about the Central Intelligence Agency. We have tried to give a glimpse of some of the most secretive information about the CIA in this post for our readers. We hope you have liked the post.

So, which one was the most interesting information about the CIA in this post? You can let us known your opinions in the comments section down below!

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About the Author: Jakaria Tiaz

Jakaria brings years of extensive experience in tech and business writing to the team. After working as the chief editor for several very large online magazines Jakaria agreed to take part in Tech 25 and help turn it into the leading Tech news and facts site online.