8 Craziest Declassified Military Projects

From mind control and psychic research to the controversial Operation Mockingbird, plus a trip to Mars these are the craziest declassified military projects ever.

1. Hardtack Teak and Orange

During the height of the Cold War, the U.S. government was determined to win at all costs. This meant that sometimes highly unethical and dangerous experiments had to be done. The Heart Tag One Project consisted of 35 nuclear tests including two high-altitude nuclear weapon tests named Teak and Orange.

These are the two largest high altitude nuclear explosions and they wrecked havoc on radio communications across the Pacific. Communications between the Johnston Island Facility and the Pentagon were cut for eight hours, which was stressful to say the least. The effects of Teak were massive.

Possibly the worst part of the high altitude test was the uncertainty regarding any damage to the Ozone Layer. Scientists were unsure if such a massive release of energy 50 miles up from Earth would create a hole in the Ozone Layer.


NERVA, or the Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application, was an ambitious project undertaken by NASA with help from the Atomic Energy Commission and the Space Nuclear Propulsion Office. While some scientists were excited to go to the Moon, the grain mines working on NERVA set their sights on a much bigger prize, Mars.

The only way that seemed possible was with nuclear energy. The team created multiple working engines that reportedly could travel to Mars in about a hundred days, unfortunately, the U.S. Congress was worried about setting a precedent with a Mars mission. If the U.S. did accomplish such a feat during the Cold War, then the scope of the space race would have tripled in size and it would have put a major strain on the nation’s budget.

Even though the budget for NASA has been cut drastically during the years, the agency has high hopes for their new Orion Project, which would also use nuclear power for their rockets. They have a goal to put men on Mars by 2030.


The scientific Intelligence Division of the CIA and the Special Operations Division of the U.S. Army’s chemical Corps spent 23 years experimenting on human subjects. The program was concerned with the total control of the human mind and behavior. MK ULTRA infiltrated college campuses all around the U.S. and, under the guise of scientific research, conducted highly unethical tests on subjects.

The primary goal was finding a truth serum for interrogation and a mind-control pill to be used on foreign leaders. Throughout the years, millions of dollars were spent on these tests, which included administering high doses of LSD and coming up with depraved ways of torture through isolation drugs and sensory deprivation. We will never know the true extent of MK ULTRA since most documents were deliberately destroyed in 1973 before they could be released through the Freedom of Information Act.

One thing is for sure, the most famous fall back from the program were the social tests conducted at Harvard University. The human guinea pigs had to write an essay on their core beliefs, which will later be used in a friendly debate. What actually followed was brutal; the subjects were brought into a room where an interrogator systematically picked apart their beliefs, mocked them and tore apart everything they stood for.

One of the unlucky test subjects was Theodore Kaczynski, better known as the Unabomber. Even though he tried to lead a normal life after graduating from Harvard, he was only 17 when the tests were conducted. What little social life he had completely disappeared and he moved into the mountains and you kind of know the rest of the story.

4. Project Azorian

In 1974, the Central Intelligence Agency got the crazy idea to recover the sunken Soviet submarine K-129 in secret, under the guise of commercial seafloor manganese mining. It might seem like no big deal but Project Azorian was one of the largest and most expensive Cold War-era operations.

At the time, it costs around $800 million, which is about $3.8 billion in today’s money, as Orion required a special ship that could stay stationary while hundreds of feet of pipe were laid underwater. The Global Marine Development company took on the task of creating that ship and came up with the Hughes Glomar Explorer. The U.S. government wanted to get its hands on some really wet Soviet paper in the hopes of decoding secret communications, plus it was believed that there were multiple nukes that were down there too.

The Russians knew the CIA was planning a salvage operation but believed it to be impossible at the time. They later did change their conclusion from impossible to improbable. The company spent over a month at the recovery site and strangely enough was visited by Russian Navy ships multiple times, but no matter how much they spied on the ship above water they could not figure out what was going on under. The process behind the salvage was designed to be completely underwater.

Halfway through the process, a catastrophic failure occurred and two thirds of the K-129 submarine fell back to the ocean floor, but project Azorian was not a complete failure. They recovered two nuclear torpedoes, six crew men bodies and various code books and papers.

5. Operation Mockingbird

Mockingbird is possibly one of the most controversial secret actions undertaken by the CIA. Its core mission was and still is the influence and control of the U.S. and international mainstream media. Mockingbird started by recruiting respected journalists into a propaganda network. The CIA also funded magazine’s cultural organizations and foreign media.

They hope to influence political campaigns outside of the U.S. and sway public opinion on certain topics. In 1976, George H.W. Bush became the director of the CIA and scaled back the program drastically. The CIA no longer paid journalists, now they just counted on the journalists voluntary cooperation. Now it might get a bit confusing since the only reference to this operation, Mockingbird, did not come from the CIA itself. It was later found that the CIA referred to it as Operation Family Jewels.

According to some, Anderson Cooper is one of the most important journalists connected with the CIA. His journalistic integrity has been challenged by many trolls and concerned citizens alike, before his insanely impressive career in journalism, for which he had no formal education. Cooper also spent two summers as an intern at the CIA.


For decades, conspiracy theorists have warned about mass surveillance systems being used in the U.S., but they never had any substantial evidence for them. That all changed when Edward Snowden, a private defense contractor, spilled the beans on PRISM, the biggest clandestine surveillance program, which is a weird way of saying something is being done in secret, hidden from the people, and other government agencies.

The full name for the program is the Planning Tool for Resource Integration, Synchronization, and Management. PRISM has collected unimaginable amounts of information from every major cell phone carrier in the U.S.A, social media companies, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo. Pretty much every company that collects information about its user, passes on that information to the NSA.

The NSA had to acknowledge the program after hard hitting articles were published by The Guardian and The Washington Post.

Later on, President Barack Obama simplified the extent to which PRISM is utilized, stating that it was a “narrow system directed at us being able to protect our people.”

The whistleblower, Edward Snowden, currently lives somewhere in Russia and is not looking to come back to the states anytime soon. In 2013, he was officially charged for theft of Government property, and two counts of violating the Espionage Act, the archaic World War I Law allows spies to be sentenced to death.


The official program for the High Frequency Active Auroral Research started in 1990, the first facility was built in Alaska in 1993.

The main goal of the facility was to find an efficient way to control the Ionosphere. A thin layer in our atmosphere that reflects a great amount of High Frequency Radio Signals. Many people theorize that by controlling the ionosphere, the government has a direct way of controlling the weather, anywhere in the world.

Now this is where it gets controversial, and the line between “conspiracy” and “reality” blurs. The research at the Alaska location has proven very effective, and a U.S. Air Force official stated that HAARP had been successful in learning how to “control” the ionosphere. The comment happened during a 2014 Congressional Hearing on de-funding the Alaska facility.

HAARP in Alaska was officially shut down in 2014, since no agencies wanted to claim responsibility for it in their budgets. In 2006, the Missile Defense Agency paid $900 million for the Sea Based X-Band Radar.

Officially, the vessel is a radar used for the early detection of enemy missiles in the Pacific, unofficially, it is a mobile HAARP installation that is conveniently close to every major earthquake and bad weather that has hit the Asian coast in the last 10 years.

8. Project Pegasus

Seattle based attorney Andrew Basiago claims he was part of a time traveling test under the name of Project Pegasus.

The mission of the project was to study the possibility and effects of time travel on small children. They used children because they were more adaptable to traveling thru space and time. The technology was made possible by the last studies of the late Nikola Tesla.

Andrew claims that he visited the 1800’s on multiple occasions, and his proof is an image of a child at Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg address.

Andrew also claims that he teleported to Mars in the 1980’s, accompanied by none other than Barack Obama.

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