CIA spooks tried to spy on Soviet Russia using CATS implanted with microphones under their skin.
Declassified docs show how spy chiefs praised “pioneering” scientists for slitting open moggies and stitching in electronic hardware to uncover their enemies’ secrets.
Dubbed “Project Acoustic Kitty”, the grim £10 million programme was developed over five years in the 1960s as a novel but gruesome new eavesdropping method.
A cat’s tail was used as an antenna and a wire travelled all the way up its spine connecting to a microphone in its ear, while a battery was housed in its chest.
But on its first test, its CIA handlers watched on in horror as their robo-kitty was run over and killed just seconds into the mission.
CIA insider Victor Maarcheti told The Atlantic: “There they were, sitting in the van and the cat was dead.”
The robo-cat scheme — which was never deployed to the field — resurfaced after Wikileaks this week tweeted a link to the archive CIA memos, which were first unveiled in 2001.
Marchetti, a former CIA officer, told The Telegraph that year of the gruesome creation.
He said: “They slit the cat open, put batteries in him, wired him up.”
“They made a monstrosity. They tested him and tested him”, he added.
But the memo hails the “remarkable scientific achievement” reached by the American spy agency.
“The work done on this problem over the years reflects great credit on the personnel who guided it”, the document concludes.
Wikileaks has been carrying out a series of staggered releases of hacked info revealing the CIA’s inner workings.
The Vault 7 project, slammed by the agency as giving ammo to terrorists, earlier unearthed what Wikileaks said was evidence the CIA could hack smart TVs to spy on targets.
This story was originally published in the Sun