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Operation Hat: When CIA lost a Plutonium Powered Spy Device in Nanda Devi

The Story dates back to the 60s when the cold war threat perceptions were at their peak. The Communist China had conducted its first nuclear test on 16th October 1964 creating a panic in the western bloc. The American CIA then partnered with the Indian Intelligence Agency (IB) to undertake a top secret espionage mission code name 'Operation Hat'. The mission saw its first leg kick off on the backdrop of the 1965 Indo-Pak War.

The Mission in all likelihood was carried out with the prior knowledge of then Congress Government. Mission objective was to install a plutonium powered spy device on the Nanda Devi hills to gather details of the Chinese Missile and Nuclear program. The best mountaineers from US and India were hired for the task. The mission however ended up in CIA loosing the device in a possible avalance on the Nanda Devi creating a massive threat of plutonium contamination of the Rishiganga waters that feeds into the Ganges. Search and  Recovery missions carried on fo…
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