This Gold and Silver CIA Pen and Pencil Set
is available for purchase at the CIA gift shop.
(You must provide your own gadgets.)
According to Robert Wallace, real-life spy gear isn't anything like the showy devices we see in the movies. "The equipment is developed for clandestine use, for use that isn't flashy, that isn't noticed," he says. He should know: During his 32 years at the CIA, some of them spent working undercover, Wallace served for seven as director of the Office of Technical Services (OTS), where spy gadgets are created...Quotes from Mr. Wallace:
"...Spies in Hollywood are built around car chases, seduction, and assassination and the business we really do is communications and information acquisition. That's what real spies do. So the equipment that is developed is developed for clandestine use, for use that isn't flashy, that isn't noticed, that isn't apparent...- Real-Life Get Smart: Q&A With the CIA’s Former Gadget Guru, Popular Mechanics>>
...(Russians) used to say, oh yes, we used to watch the James Bond movies because what we saw there is what we'd be encountering over the next 2-3 years. Before my time at OTS it was commonly said that the day after the airing of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., OTS would regularly get 2-3 folks saying hey, we saw this, if that's really possible, could we get one of those? Fast forward that to this century, what we frequently would receive is calls from folks after they had been on an international trip and reading about high-tech gadgets on the airlines, you know, put this on your phone and you can tell if the person on the other end is lying. Well, we could get calls, saying, can you guys do that?
My favorite pieces of spy gear are the concealments. Folks with wonderful imagination can take the most common object and turn it into a piece of spy gear. So anything that I see anywhere, my first thought is, I wonder if that has a spy application with it.... I look at the pen and say, well, there can be a camera in there, a listening device in there and maybe be a locating and tracking device in there, secret writing, tablets that you can make secret ink for secret writing. Heck, there can be a pad in there. There can be an L-pill, a lethal pill, a suicide pill, who knows?"
- Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIA's Spytechs, from Communism to al-Qaeda, Robert Wallace, Robert Wallace, H. Keith Melton, Henry R. Schlesinger, Amazon>>
- The CIA gift store>>