metaschima May 15, 2019 9:38 AM

I’ve been there, it’s actually pretty cool despite them gearing it more towards kids. I think that’s so adults can bring their kids.

Bond, James May 15, 2019 10:32 AM

Let me remind of the spy museum in Finland

It is privately financed and bee open for decades. — Of course there is always the possibility of secret foreign financing that they don’t tell us. But who know the people in the spy business!

Thunderbird May 15, 2019 2:51 PM

FYI, the comment by “haider” seems to be spam. I saw almost exactly the same comment on an older thread, but pointing to a different URL.

wumpus May 15, 2019 3:38 PM

Local Notes:

Don’t forget the National Cryptologic Museum run by the NSA. It’s out on the Baltimore Washington Parkway (exit 10A).

Unless you are also visiting Baltimore (or passing through there or back again) it is likely too far out of your way for anyone who doesn’t frequent this board. For those that do, don’t miss it. I think it bored my 12 year old niece when she visited for a field trip, there really isn’t much for kids who don’t get excited by Cray machines and Civil War codes.

Also if you do visit the Spy Museum, don’t miss the National Portrait Gallery next door (more for local visitors, those from far away will have far more to see than they have can possibly schedule time). It is one of the easier to miss Smithsonian museums (although it is probably less exciting to kids than the NSA museum).

It's Still Quite Serious May 15, 2019 4:16 PM

The title reads like an oxymoron: a museum about a topic the zeitgeist mandate proclaims does not exist via intimidation and denial and propaganda and preset default alternatives and occasionally even via imprisonment and defamation.

Nevertheless, if you must partake…

That might come in handy for you if you get tired of the sound of your own voice.
However, if you tire of seeing yourself in the mirror, that’s not my bailiwick.

Yet chamelon’s abound. “What’s not to change?”

TIARA GNOME May 15, 2019 8:43 PM

You don’t have to be a student of the history of cryptography to find the National Cryptologic Museum absolutely fascinating. The number of cryptographic machines they have preserved is very impressive, and the staff seems to be able to answer any technical questions about the displays that you could possibly throw at them. A big part of the curious history of cryptography is on full display–and the critical importance of cryptography itself.

If there is anywhere one could go to get the real feel of what espionage is, the Hollywoodesque Spy Museum in D.C. is not the place. The former STASI HQ in Berlin used to serve that purpose very well indeed. Those golden moments of standing there rapt in awe admiring the brutal, formal cool of the office space where Markus Wolf once stood–those days are perhaps over because they turned the building into a refugee center, mostly for folks from Afghanistan, Syria, etc. Try to get your mind around that.

While you are at it, attempt to discover the deeper meaning of the United States renovating a museum to spying in Washington, D.C., in the wake of the CIA’s spying tools being exposed to an incredible degree, and the CIA suffering a catastrophic exposure of its agents globally in a compromise so clown-shoed and shocking that no one wants to talk about it except Yahoo News.

D.C. does not need a new museum to spying; they need a theme park with miniature golf, dog-and-pony shows, a troupe of dancing monkeys, and a nerry-go-round.

George May 16, 2019 4:46 AM

While the museum showcases a lot of gadgetry and 007-eque inventions, the anonymous men and women of these “spy” agencies will never be spoken of. They are forever lost in the history of time despite playing a big role in the shaping of our society. This is an often untold paradox of people with somewhat great intellect and integrity, whom should be honored but weren’t, for the greater good.

Matt May 16, 2019 8:31 AM

@wumpus – It’s reopening because it moved. It’s over by L’Enfant Plaza now instead of near the National Portrait Gallery.

@TIARA GNOME – The “United States” didn’t renovate it. It’s owned and run by a private non profit not the US National Park system. This is also why you need to pay to use it, unlike the Smithsonian museums.

It’s more like an attraction than strictly like a museum, more of edutainment. It’s still fun, but it’s not like going on a deep historic tour. There’s lots of movie spy stuff along with actual historic items. Everything is identified as movie or historic, so there’s no confusion. We’re looking forward to seeing their new space, the old one was a little cramped.

Anonymoose May 16, 2019 1:45 PM

I was wondering why it reopened, I didn’t know it had moved. I visited it in 2012? Thereabouts. It was an amusing visit because I visited it with a friend who retired from 20 years in USAF intelligence then now is in DHS intelligence. After we toured it – both of us for our first time – he said “I just realized why so much of it seemed familiar. I toured the CIA museum.”

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Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.