history
Lecture at Los Alamos in 1992: ‘The End of the Soviet Union is the End of Who We Thought We Were’

“Do not buy maps, buy stock in companies that print maps,” Dr Paul Goble told a group at Los Alamos National Laboratory in November of 1992. Read More >>

politics
Trump’s Crazy British Spy Scenario Actually Happened Once Before, in 1983

President Trump claims that the GCHQ were spying on him at President Obama’s request—a substantial charge to be making of an American ally, let alone a former president, without any proof. But do you want to hear a dirty little secret about Trump’s allegations? An identical scenario to the one Trump describes actually happened in the 1980s. Read More >>

weapons
The US Considered Hiding Nuclear Weapons in Iceland (And Not Telling Iceland)

New documents obtained by the American National Security Archive reveal that the US government considered establishing a nuclear weapons storage site in Iceland during the 1950s. The really interesting part? The United States wasn’t going to tell Iceland. Read More >>

history
A Solar Flare Almost Caused Nuclear War in 1967

On May 23rd, 1967, the United States Air Force scrambled to ready nuclear missile-laden aircraft for deployment. Radar systems designed to detect incoming Soviet missiles had just been disrupted, in what the military perceived to be an act of war. But before any nukes were launched in retaliation, it seems Air Force command was told to stand down. Read More >>

history
The CIA Wanted to Kill Fidel Castro by Giving Him a Diving Suit Laced With Tuberculosis

It’s no secret that the US government wanted to kill Fidel Castro many times over the years. But there’s a crazy story about a possible CIA assassination attempt that I’d never heard before: Giving Castro a diving suit that would be contaminated with tuberculosis. Read More >>

wtf
A Girl Wrote to JFK Asking if the Soviets Were Going to Nuke Santa Claus

In 1961 an eight-year-old girl from Michigan wrote to President John F Kennedy. She wanted to know if the Russians were going to bomb the North Pole. JFK responded with the letter below, assuring her that Santa would be just fine. Read More >>

hacking
An Ageing Cold War Policy May Make it Easier to Hack Nuclear Warheads 

Floppy disks. Cheating schemes. Drunken bar antics. The security of America’s nuclear arms is... less than perfect. And now, more critics are questioning the outdated policies that regulate them. Read More >>

collection
10 Classic Cold War-Era Board Games About Spies and Secret Agents 

Spying seeped into every aspect of pop culture in the 1960s and 70s, from TV and movies to comic books and, somewhat intriguingly, board games. Indeed, American families were particularly were obsessed with spy culture during the Cold War, as who didn't love James Bond? Communists, that's who. Read More >>

collection
Inside the Bunker Where Soviets Kept Their Secret Stash of Nukes 

During the Cold War, Hungary was one of the westernmost allies of the Soviet Union. As a member of the Warsaw Pact, Hungary had to station a significant number of Soviet troops and military equipment on its territory. Now we've gone inside one of their most classified bases, and taken pictures. Read More >>

history
The Forgotten Plan to Save Great Art From World War III

A secret treasure trove below a memorial in Washington DC. A retrofitted quarry in Wales. A frozen bunker in Svalbard. Our governments have gone to great lengths to protect precious objects from ruin, and a new trove of declassified documents shine light on a new, little-known project to do just that during the Cold War. Read More >>

monster machines
These Secret Cold War Radio Stations are Still Broadcasting

In the early days of espionage, long before the advent of burner phones, satcoms, and other modern-day spy gadgets, getting word to field agents—especially those working behind the Iron Curtain—proved a dangerous game with global consequences should the agent's cover be blown. But that's where number stations, and their uncrackable radio codes, come in. Read More >>

monster machines
This Electronic Stonehenge Once Divined the Secrets of Soviet Radio

In the early days of electronic espionage, the US intelligence community didn't have the benefit of all-seeing spy satellites; it had to intercept and interpret high-frequency radio waves transmitted by the Soviet Union. To do so, the Americans relied on a network of mysterious structures whose real purpose was kept highly classified throughout the Cold War. Read More >>

space
Fireballs and Wolves: The Horrifying Story of the First Spacewalk

Almost 60 years ago, we took our first steps into the big, black nothingness of space. Or more specifically, Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov had the honour of taking the very first space-dip. But this was a rush job; a means for the Soviet Union to shame the US and win the space race once and for all. Which they did indeed. While nearly killing every single astronaut on board in the process. Read More >>

design
This Home Filled With Cold War Design is Stuck Behind the Iron Curtain

Imagine a parallel universe filled with products you've never seen before, brands you've never heard of. Where everything looks vaguely familiar, yet the logos and styling are just a bit... off. That's what it feels like in this home decked out with Cold War-era products. Read More >>