News and Stories

Innovation and Tech

At CIA, we’ve pioneered bold and innovative technologies for decades. Learn how our cutting edge solutions have helped solve America’s biggest intelligence challenges.

Project AZORIAN

Imagine standing atop the Empire State Building with an 8-foot-wide grappling hook on a 1-inch-diameter steel rope. Your task is to lower the hook to the street below, snag a compact car full of gold, and lift the car back to the top of the building…  without anyone noticing. That, essentially, describes what the CIA did in Project AZORIAN, a highly secret effort to retrieve a sunken Soviet submarine from the Pacific Ocean floor during the Cold War.

And the claw… her name was Clementine.

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About Innovation and Tech

Are you interested in learning more about the technical wizards, scientists, and engineers that call CIA home? Curious how the Agency has tackled unique challenges with creative technical solutions, from World War II through today?

In this section, you’ll explore the inventions and technical marvels our officers have used throughout the decades. Whether it’s disappearing ink, shark repellent, or secretly lifting a wrecked Soviet submarine off of the ocean floor—there’s a story behind it.