Spies should never leave a trail.
They should be unseen and unheard.
But now, the entire history of espionage can be explored.
The International Spy Museum is the only public museum in the United States solely dedicated to espionage and the only one in the world to provide a global perspective on this all-but-invisible profession that’s shaped history and continues to have a significant impact on world events.
The non-profit museum opened in Washington, DC in 2002 and moved to new digs in 2019. It explores the craft, practice, history, and contemporary role of espionage while housing the largest collection of international espionage artifacts ever placed on public display.
Many of these objects are being seen by the public for the first time. These artifacts illuminate the work of famous spies and pivotal espionage actions, as well as help, bring to life the strategies and techniques of the men and women behind some of the most secretive espionage missions in world history.
The museum is also home base to the Fun Roads’ weekly TV series… Spy Games. This broadcast TV series not only showcases the International Spy Museum but also travels throughout the DC Metro area uncovering famous and not so famous places and moments of espionage in Washington DC …commonly referred to as the Spy Capital of the World… we call it espionage tourism.
Hold on that’s not the only fun you’ll have in DC. Remember the International Spy Museum is not your typical museum.
It’s fun. It’s interactive. And it’s decidedly un-boring. Which, when you consider most museums, is a bit unusual.
At the International Spy Museum, you can become a spy and see what it’s like to live on the edge–and all without actually putting your life in danger.
The museum is a truly interactive experience; not just facts, figures, and displays.
It’s the real and unadulterated experience of spying. Which is something you can’t get anywhere else. Not even in the movies.
In fact, debunking Hollywood’s version of spies and espionage is one of the primary goals of the museum. Thier goal is to show you that real spying is not what you see in the movies. It’s harder and way more exciting. Which you’ll see when you visit.
The interactivity begins when you enter. At the very beginning of your espionage experience, you have to pick a cover and learn to live it. You must remember vital information about your cover identity and you will be tested throughout your trip.
The International Spy Museum wants you to ask yourself whether or not you think you could be a spy.
And throughout, your growing abilities will be tested. Think of your visit to the museum as a training session.
You’ll learn things you never even thought of before and you’ll see things that you never thought you’d see. It’s about opening your mind and realizing that at the International Spy Museum, as in the world of espionage, all is not as it seems.
The Museum is unique because it strives to not only tell people what espionage is but also allows them to experience it. And you know that the experience is realistic because most of the people who put it together are ex-spies themselves.
The International Spy Museum’s Board of Directors and Advisory Boards include, among others:
· Judge William Webster: former director of the FBI and CIA.
· Major General Oleg Kalugin: former Chief of KGB Foreign Counterintelligence and a regular contributor to Spy Games.
· Tony Mendez: The CIA’s former Chief of Disguise. Incidentally, Mr. Mendez conducted the secret rescue of six U.S. diplomats during the Iran hostage crisis in 1980. That operation was the basis of the Oscar Best Picture winner Argo starring Ben Affleck as Mr. Mendez.
Tony is also a featured contributor to Spy Games. In one episode he transforms the shows 30’s something female host into a 75-year-old man right before our very eyes… fascinating.
And they’re just a few of the people who’ve worked together to create this museum. There’s ex-CIA, ex-KGB, ex-FBI, and a host of others who’ve been involved in making the International Spy Museum as true to life as possible.
And in order to do that, the museum has strived to humanize espionage as much as possible. This museum is about the people who make espionage work… the agents out there in the field risking their lives for their country.
Because without them all this wouldn’t even exist. Espionage has changed the course of history. At the International Spy Museum, they’re giving the people that did it a little bit of overdue credit.
The KGB’s Oleg Kalugin reminds us that: “Spies and their craft have had a huge impact on the world that we live in. But their work has gone largely unheralded. That is until the creation of the International Spy Museum which is a celebration of espionage and the people who practice it”
The museum currently has these exhibits:
· Covers & Legends
· School for Spies
· The Secret History of History
· From Ballroom to Battlefield
· Spies Among Us
· Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains
· The 21st Century
The museum its self is located right in the heart of DC’s infamous traffic headaches. So if you’re RV’ing; coaches aren’t a good idea around here. Best to use your tag/tow vehicle; but parking is expensive even though the Museum does make it a little easier with a prepaid guaranteed parking option. A better bet is to take MetroRail from one of the many campgrounds around Washington DC.
If you’re staying at a vacation rental or a hotel near The International Spy Museum, then walking, the Metro and rideshare are just a few of the transportation options available if you don’t want to drive.
Here’s a quick peek at the International Spy Museum from Fun Roads TV partner Spy Games.