11 Little-Known And Mysterious Government Activities

There’s a lot going on in government that goes undetected. Here are some of the stranger organizations, jobs, and entities operating in the USA, brought to you by R.I.P.D., opening July 19.

1. Spy Cat Trainer

Hannibal Poenaru / Via Flickr: poenaru

Newly declassified documents revealed that in the 1960s, the CIA fitted cats with listening devices and tried to train them to infiltrate Soviet compounds. Before the first mission could be completed, the pioneering spy cat was hit by a car.

2. CIA Psychedelic Experiments

marcello / Via Flickr: 41582768@N00

During the Cold War, the CIA began a program known as Project MKULTRA, which ran psychological experiments on people using drugs such as LSD and barbiturates. Additionally, in the 1970s, DARPA allegedly funded a secret program to study whether soldiers could learn telepathy.

3. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

DARPA is America’s equivalent of James Bond’s gadget laboratory, and you can tell by the logo that this is serious business. The agency is responsible for the development of new technologies and played a large role in building the infrastructure of the early Internet.

4. Dog Sledding Experts

Alaskan Dude / Via Flickr: 72213316@N00

The National Park Service recently hired someone to manage an Alaskan sled dog kennel. The job required training up to 30 dogs for long-distance sledding.

5. Area 51

dsearls / Via Flickr: docsearls

Area 51, officially known as the Nevada Test and Training Range, is a real place, but it’s probably less important than TVs and movies lead us to believe. The base’s activities are secret, but it most likely supports development and testing of experimental aircraft and weapons systems.

6. Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee

The United States Postal Service’s Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee evaluates potential subjects for U.S. postage stamps and reports its recommendations to the Postmaster General, who makes the final decisions. They’re the ones who signed off on these sweet Yoda stamps.

7. Official US Government Twitter

While not especially secretive, there are teams of people in the heart of the government who write tweets for various agencies.

It gets a little confusing when you can’t tell if the tweets are a “JK” joke, or if they’re coming directly from the Secretary of State.

8. Cryptanalyst

The US government has hired ciphers, or code-breakers, for hundreds of years. Today’s version, cryptanalysts, are professional computer system analysts with hacking skills who decipher encrypted information.

9. The United States Space Surveillance Network

Marion Doss / Via Flickr: ooocha

The United States Space Surveillance Network operates under the military’s Strategic Command. Its mission is to predict when and where space objects will enter the Earth’s atmosphere (which includes man-made space objects like satellites, and natural ones like asteroids).

10. The NSA For Kids

You’d be surprised to learn that many US government agencies have educational websites for children. One of the stranger offerings is the National Security Agencies’ CryptoKids. Apparently the government is recruiting surveillance experts at an early age.

11. Numerous Black Ops Organizations


Various black ops military groups exist, but we only know about them because we’ve seen their patch insignias. It’s natural to suspect that the weirder the patch, the weirder the mission.

These agencies can’t compare to the R.I.P.D., whose mission is to protect the living from a destructive array of souls.

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