Saturday, May 26, 2018

The Great Seal Bug Story - 58 Years Ago Today

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

May 26, 1960 – Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. displays the Great Seal bug at the United Nations.
The Ambassador hung the seal in his office in Spaso House (Ambassador’s residence). During George F. Kennan’s ambassadorship in 1952, a secret technical surveillance countermeasures (TSCM) inspection discovered that the seal contained a microphone and a resonant cavity which could be stimulated from an outside radio signal.
The cavity resonator ‘bug’ microphone found inside.

On May 26, 1960, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. unveiled the Great Seal Bug before the UN Security Council to counter Soviet denunciations of American U-2 espionage. The Soviets had presented a replica of the Great Seal of the United States as a gift to Ambassador Averell Harriman in 1946.

The gift hung in the U.S. Embassy for many years, until in 1952, during George F. Kennan’s ambassadorship, U.S. security personnel discovered the listening device embedded inside the Great Seal.

Lodge’s unveiling of this Great Seal before the Security Council in 1960 provided proof that the Soviets also spied on the Americans, and undercut a Soviet resolution before the Security Council denouncing the United States for its U-2 espionage missions. – U.S. Department of State... 

Read the fascinating full history here.