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The CIA Designed A Fake Scrotum To Conceal An Escape Radio Inside

The CIA Designed A Fake Scrotum To Conceal An Escape Radio Inside

***WARNING: CONTAINS IMAGES OF A FAKE SPY BALL BAG***

You may be feeling quite proud of your creativity lately, having invented a lockdown drinking game or rediscovered your love of sewing.

But that's nothing compared to the inventiveness of the CIA's former chief of disguise Tony Mendez (what a job title by the way).

He pioneered the fake scrotum, which was designed in the late 60s as a means of concealing an escape radio after being captured and strip searched.

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The logic behind it was simple - captors are likely to be less rigorous when scouring the sack area.

Unfortunately though, the faux nugget pouch never saw action and only one prototype was ever made, which is now on display at the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C.

The CIA developed this fake scrotum to conceal an escape radio. Credit: Tina Krohn for the International Spy Museum
The CIA developed this fake scrotum to conceal an escape radio. Credit: Tina Krohn for the International Spy Museum

Not a lot is known about the prototype itself, though it is believed to have been made out of latex having been moulded from an actual nut holder. The device was then to be glued on with the escape radio stashed within.

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A spokesperson at the museum said visitors' eyes light up when they spot the phony ball bag.

Speaking to MailOnline Travel, they said: "Some people don't seem to notice it - we have the largest collection of espionage artefacts ever placed on public display, so there is a lot to see and engage with at the museum.

"But if you stand near the artefact, you can see something light up in visitors' eyes when they notice it and you typically get some kind of reaction like 'oh my god!' or 'oh man!' - particularly our male visitors who may have an easier time envisioning wearing the artefact.

Sadly the fake scrotum was never used in the field. Credit: Tina Krohn for the International Spy Museum
Sadly the fake scrotum was never used in the field. Credit: Tina Krohn for the International Spy Museum
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"There is a level of wonder we see when people try to figure out how it would've worked and how/why someone would've come up with such a crazy concept. We love seeing the reactions to it."

But while the object is clearly amusing to look at, given that we're all just big children really, the spokesperson highlighted that it wasn't built with laughs in mind. The success or failure of such contraptions being the potential difference between life and death.

They said: "This artefact speaks to the creative and out-of-the-box problem-solving Tony used to solve challenges that came his way. As goofy as it may look, at the same time, this sort of item could have saved lives."

Truly nuts.

Featured Image Credit: Tina Krohn for the International Spy Museum

Topics: Interesting, US News

Jake Massey

Jake Massey is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from Newcastle University, where he learnt a bit about media and a lot about living without heating. After spending a few years in Australia and New Zealand, Jake secured a role at an obscure radio station in Norwich, inadvertently becoming a real-life Alan Partridge in the process. From there, Jake became a reporter at the Eastern Daily Press. Jake enjoys playing football, listening to music and writing about himself in the third person.