These Cold War Era intrusion detectors were designed to blend in with the terrain. They can detect movement of people, animals, or objects up to 300 meters away. The devices are powered by tiny power cells and have built-in antennae. Transmitters relay data from the device via coded impulses.
4.5 cm x 3.3 cm x 1.5 cm
(L x W x H)
10.3 cm x 2 cm
(L x Diameter)
The Debrief: Behind the Artifact - Seismic Detectors
Not all concealment devices are used for dead drops. Our officers here at CIA often make technology that has to remain hidden in plain sight.
These seismic detectors were designed by CIA officers to look like animal dung. Very gross, but that was on purpose. They were made to blend in on the Ho Chi Minh Trail during the Vietnam War. Our intelligence saw that an attack was coming as the Communists were building up forces.
We created these so that we could find out movement on the ground and they would pick up the data and actually send it back to our officers. They would know when and how heavy things were moving on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, so they could tell if there was a large troop movement, even things like trucks or elephants. All of this data was then handed over to the U.S. military and it was used to perform airstrikes.