Squirrels & Lizards Spying on Iran: The Truth About The Military Recruiting Wildlife as Spies
In 2007, Iran detained 14 squirrels near the nation’s borders. These squirrels allegedly had small recording devices on them that were being used to eavesdrop on Iran for spying purposes.
This isn’t the only time that Iran had claimed animals were spies - in fact, this claim has been made by countries all around the world, and in some instances, are completely true.
In today’s fascinating post we will be sharing with you some more instances in which animals have been accused of being spies, the outcomes, as well as some true stories of creatures being used for military spying purposes.
Watch the video version of this post by clicking HERE right now.
You can also download the spy-free podcast by clicking the podcast widget above.
Animals Spying on Iran?
Iran is no stranger to making bold claims about animals being used as spies to gather information about the country and its nuclear program.
Iran has claimed that lizards, squirrels, and birds have been used as spies.
In the example of lizards, lizards were located deep within Uranium mines, and according to the Iranian Military Advisor, they were “attracting atomic waves” and delivering intel on the Iranian government.
This one example is a bit fishy, as scientists have determined that lizard skin isn’t capable of absorbing atomic rays for reporting later.
Arresting Spy Pigeons
Back in 2008 two pigeons landed near a uranium enrichment plant. Iran claimed that they had “invisible strings” and “blue rings,” but failed to provide any more details. It was claimed that these were some sort of communication device.
Further details on these pigeons or evidence was not found.
Pigeons in Combat
While some of these claims are undeniably absurd and lack solid foundation, the notion of using wild animals for spying purposes is not totally unfounded.
Pigeons have historically been used for transmitting information in war-time prior to the development of communications technology.
Some pigeons and wild animals have even received military awards and honors for their service to us humans during combat.
Nations all around the world have claimed that dolphins were being used to spy on them, or even for combat purposes.
While such a claim might seem outlandish, there is actually significant evidence to back this up, as dolphins actually are trained for military purposes.
In 2014 when Russia took over Crimea and infiltrated a Ukranian military unit, several “combat dolphins” were located.
These dolphins were believed to have been used for recon, identifying underwater mines, and preventing access from unauthorized personnel to various locations.
American - Dolphin Military Relations
Back in the 1960s the United States Navy ran programs to research and use dolphins for military purposes.
Dolphins have been used as guards, but also for identifying underwater mines and for recon purposes.
Unlike submarines, dolphins can’t really be detected by radar and are not easy to be caught if identified as spies considering their swimming ability.
Dolphins’ echolocation ability is so precise that they’ve been used frequently for identification purposes in the military.
Dolphins have also been outfitted with gear such as cameras - they can easily and quickly capture footage of submarines, mines, Sea bases, and Sea borders without detection or military threat.
Once collecting the Intel, the dolphins will then return to the base to receive rewards such as food in exchange for the footage.
While such programs may seem absurd, in the case of dolphins they are actually much more intelligent than scientists have ever considered.
Dolphin bodies are far from our bodies, but their brains are quite similar to our own, just slightly less evolved.
Dolphins have languages, names, dialects, care for their old, form groups (called pods), and are highly sociable creatures. This is why they’ve been used extensively for marine research purposes and military purposes - they can be taught and understand more than most people would think.
Silent Spy Cats
At the height of the Cold War, the CIA had plans to deploy cats as spies inside of the Kremlin and Soviet embassies within the United States.
The cats would be outfitted with radio transmitters under their skulls and microphones in their ears mostly undetectable to normal humans.
A test run was conducted in D.C., but then the cat got run over by a taxi. And died.
The 10 million project was later stated to be abandoned.
“Nothing Can’t Be Trained”
Bob Bailey, the first director of training for the Navy’s pioneering dolphin program, is quoted as saying, “We never found an animal we could not train. Never. NEVER.”
Bailey claimed that through various conditioning methods - such as classical and operant conditioning - animals can be taught to perform a variety of tasks.
For example, in one instance he conditioned a spider to curl up the moment a laser pointed was shined near it.
He achieved this by blowing on the spider every single time he had the laser pointer out, causing the spider to associate wind (which naturally causes spiders to curl up) with the laser, eventually making the curling up behavior trigger naturally when the laser was caused.
Using this method of reward and punishment humans can teach nearly every creature - from dolphins to crocodiles to rabbits and spiders - to do actions that are beneficial for us.
Of course, the smarter the creature, the faster they would learn and the more advanced tasks you could request of the creature.
In the instance of spiders, you can only condition it to do so much. The spider has significantly less intelligence than a human and so can only do basic things, and it requires a trigger to perform the actions.
The more intelligent a creature - such as a bonobo or a dolphin - the more advanced tasks you can request of the creature, such as identifying enemy submarines, mines, and performing recon.
Time Bomb Bats
In World War 2 bats were almost used to attack Japan. The bats were intended to be deployed over a strategic target, where they would be outfitted with time bombs and incendiaries.
They would then hide in the buildings, attics, etc. and blow up later, and more importantly the incendiaries would cause intense fires that would be difficult for enemies to handle, and growing quickly causing even more damage.
However, these were never used.
An accident occured at the Carlsbad Army Airfield Auxiliary Air Base when armed bats were accidentally released, setting fire to and blowing up a significant amount of the air base.
As it turned out, the project worked, just not on the right team.
Are Wildlife & Pests Spying On You?
Many American homeowners will discover wild animals and pests infesting their home, hiding in the attic, between the walls, or other locations.
These creatures range from snakes to spiders, raccoons to skunks, possums to ants.
Regardless of what creatures they are, they can cause great damages to your home, even without the bombs and incendiaries attached.
Wild animals can attack you, your pets, your children, damage your home, reduce air quality, and lead to complications down the line.
They’re probably not spying on you or intending to hurt you. These creatures just want a place to stay where they can have easy access to warmth, food, and a place to raise their young, just like you.
We at Wildlife x Team International specialize in safe & responsible removal of wildlife & pests.
We will remove the animals humanely, and if possible, return them to the wild where they can make a proper home.
We will restore any damage caused, and also prevent the issue from ever happening again.
If you think that you have wildlife or pests infesting your home, please contact us at 855-WILDLIFE or by visiting www.wildlifexteam.com.
Thanks for reading!
-Wildlife x Team International