上世纪60年代,正值冷战的高潮,中情局正在寻找监视外国官员,即俄国人的方法。他们想要一种不引起怀疑的方式来监视在公共场合或大使馆谈话的官员。他们意识到街上经常看到猫,人们不会介意流浪猫四处游荡。如果中情局能想办法让一只猫替他们监视目标,他们就能有办法听到目标说的话。

于是开始了一项为期五年的任务,训练一只猫,把它变成一个机器人。第一件事是看这些猫是否能接受训练。在实验室里,处理人员能够让测试猫移动很小的距离,在熟悉的环境中移动和停留在特定的位置。这些最初的训练课程说服中情局继续下半年的行动,把一只猫变成一个半机器人间谍。

把猫变成机器人可不是件容易的事。他们需要设计一种方法来隐藏一个不会被注意到也不会打扰猫的传输装置。如果猫在舔或抓设备,他们可能会把它暴露在警惕的眼睛。他们建造了一个¾英寸的发射器,它将被嵌入猫的颅骨底部。麦克风被放置在耳道中,天线线被设计成缠绕在猫的尾巴上,隐藏在猫的皮毛中。最困难的问题是找到隐藏电池的方法。由于猫很小,它们不能使用非常大的电池,因此猫能够记录的时间非常有限。

一旦这项技术的设计完成,就只需要一个小时的操作就可以把所有的设备装进猫里。手术后,中情局开始训练和观察猫,以确保该装置不仅工作,而且猫是舒适的,可以以同样的方式,它能够在他们的行动之前。灰白相间的母猫随后开始接受训练,成为中情局的终极间谍猫。

他们首先对她进行了一系列不同的操作场景,她可能会遇到或被用作间谍。但是,尽管中情局和培训人员的努力,她在任务中的行为总是前后不一。这使参与这个项目的一些人担心,他们选猫当间谍是个错误。

继续读下去,看看这只代号为声学猫咪的猫在她第一次执行任务时是如何做到的。

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尽管驯养员在实验室里成功地驯养了这些猫,但在实验室外情况就不同了。这只母猫经常心烦意乱,会对别人的命令感到厌烦,或者饿得连执行任务都懒得去做。中情局意识到,他们可以通过另一次行动来解决饥饿问题,但对于猫遇到的无聊和分心却无能为力。

中情局在这只猫的训练、发展和手术上投入了2000万美元,因此尽管训练中存在问题,他们还是决定做一次实地测试。他们把一辆中情局的侦察车停在街对面的一个公园里。从那里他们释放了他们的间谍猫,并指向公园,那里有两个马克坐在长凳上。然而,中情局应该对他们的位置和他们对猫的开发投入同样多的精力。

猫立刻听从命令,跳下车,穿过马路,朝着长凳上的两个标记走去。这只猫随后被一辆出租车撞死。中情局官员只能把他们那只价值2000万美元的猫的残骸从沥青上刮下来,至少是为了保护他们的技术,回到绘图板上。

1967年,“声学猫计划”被彻底放弃,主要原因是部署中情局几乎无法控制的特工被视为一个坏主意。2001年,由于《信息自由法》,与该项目有关的一些细节已经公布,但其中许多细节仍在审查中,因此许多细节仍不得而知。但尽管项目失败了,但参与其中的人还是受到了赞扬,因为他们是科学先驱,证明了“猫确实可以被训练短距离移动”

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