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Cryptonym: AQUATONE

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The production and development of planes and equipment designed particularly for intelligence purposes. A joint procurement project by both the CIA and the Air Force. The objective was to obtain coverage of high priority targets in the USSR.


Clarence William Stuckey (who may or may not be the same Bill Stuckey who participated in the debate with Oswald in New Orleans in August 1963) worked for Lockheed in Burbank, California in or about 1955 in connection with "Project Rock AQUATONE/(OARFISH) project."


1/26/56 memo from General Counsel Lawrence Houston to the Director, Central Intelligence Agency: "Project AQUATONE in its procurement phase consists of the production and delivery of planes and equipment designed particularly for intelligence purposes. Since, therefore, it is of joint interest to the Air Force and the Central Intelligence Agency, the procurement has been joint, with the Central Intelligence Agency entering into all contracts in order to preserve the high degree of security required and the Air Force providing Government-furnished equipment."


7/17/56 memo from Herbert I. Miller, Suggestions re the Intelligence Value of AQUATONE: "...The length of missions that can be carried out inside the USSR, the wide variety of areas and subject matter that can be covered in any one sortie, make the AQUATONE intelligence system one which is capable of studying a culture rather that one solely designed to cover specific targets. There can be no doubt of the value in terms of our national security of the photographic coverage obtained on 4 July 1956 of five of the seven highest priority targets specified by the USAF. This mission was indeed timely in that it revealed no heavy jet bombers at any of the five bases covered, even though current intelligence estimates dictated the presence of regiments of such bombers at at least two of these five bases."


Project AQUATONE - Operational Concept: "Primary objective of the proposed operations is to obtain coverage of 23 extremely high priority targets in the USSR...The secondary objective is to obtain as much useful coverage as possible outside of the primary target areas..."

Bill Simpich

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