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July 10, 2008

Not really “New World Order”

srikanth @ 11:10 pm, GMT +0000 ( 1215731415 ) Play

(2) made something that was used in many places to good effect. One of those uses caused a great deal of consternation when it was discovered, and you can see it being discussed in (1).

Identify (1) and tell us why it caused such a hullabaloo (I’ve always wanted to use that word…).

Cracked by Dibyo , Goyal , joe , gammafunction , udupendra , Rohan , VikraM , svgreatest and rajeshvj.


(1) is one model of the seal of the USA that had a passive listening device inside. The bug was activated by beaming microwaves and picking up reflected responses. The responses would have been modulated by the speech of the people in the room before reflection, and the spymasters could demodulate it to get the speech signal back. 

This model was gifted by Russian school kids to the US ambassador ages ago. Look up “The Thing” for more info.

The bug itself was developed by Leon Theremin (2).

9 Responses to “Not really “New World Order””

  1. Dibyo

    1 is The Thing, also known as The Great Seal bug, was one of the first covert listening devices. It was invented by Léon Theremin in the 1940s.

  2. Goyal

    1. Leon Theremin
    2. The Seal is a masked espionage device given to the American Ambassador to the then USSR. It converted sound to radio waves when itself bombarded with some microwave transmission.

  3. joe

    Léon Theremin and \”The Thing\” bug?

  4. gammafunction

    1. is the great seal bug.

    quoting Wikipedia
    “Theremin’s device was embedded in a carved wooden plaque of the Great Seal of the United States. On August 4, 1945, Soviet school children presented the bugged carving to U.S. Ambassador Averell Harriman, as a “gesture of friendship” to the USSR’s World War II ally. It hung in the ambassador’s Moscow residential office until it was exposed in 1952 during the tenure of Ambassador George F. Kennan. It was then that the existence of the bug was accidentally discovered by a British radio operator who overheard American conversations on an open radio channel as the Russians were beaming microwaves at the ambassador’s office. The CIA found the device in the Great Seal carving, and Peter Wright, a British scientist and former MI5 counterintelligence officer, eventually discovered how it worked.”

  5. udupendra

    The Thing / The Great Seal Bug by Leon Theremin, that was used to listen in on conversation in the US Embassy’s Moscow office.

  6. Rohan

    Leon Theremin, “the thing”, a listening device which was a soviet bug

  7. VikraM

    (1) shows the United States’ Great Seal, or rather, the revelation of a listening bug inside it.

    In 1946, Soviet school children presented a two foot wooden replica of the Great Seal of the United States to Ambassador Averell Harriman.

    The Ambassador hung the seal in his office in Spaso House (Ambassador’s residence). During George F. Kennan’s ambassadorship in 1952, a routine security check discovered that the seal contained a microphone and a resonant cavity which could be stimulated from an outside radio signal.

    Considering it was during the cold war that all this happened, it sure caused a hullabaloo…

  8. svgreatest

    The Great Seal (pic 1) had a listening device invented
    by Theremin (pic 2) called ‘The Great Seal Bug’.

  9. rajeshvj

    2. Leon Theremin
    1. “The Thing” – Passive cavity audio bug. On August 4, 1945, Soviet school children gave a carving of the Great Seal of the United States to U.S. Ambassador Averell Harriman. It hung in the ambassador’s Moscow residential office until 1952 when the State Department discovered that it was ‘bugged.’

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