293. Memorandum From Director of Central Intelligence Hillenkoetter to the Chief of Naval Operations (Denfeld)0


  • Project for high level balloon research and development
The Central Intelligence Agency has developed an effective method of penetrating the Iron Curtain with the use of high level balloons.
Naval officers with special technical training and essential background of upper air conditions are required to effectively carry out this project. It is requested that the Chief of Naval Operations issue the necessary directive to implement this project as discussed and approved verbally between representative of this office and Admiral Denfeld, Vice Admiral Price 1 and Rear Admirals Cassady 2 and Inglis. Liaison officers are prepared to furnish detailed information for use in preparation of necessary details.
U.S. Air Force participation will be required and approval for such participation has been given by the Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force. This will include full cooperation with the Navy in implementing the project upon receipt of an official request from the Chief of Naval Operations.
You will appreciate the fact that because of the nature of this project this letter should be shown only to those officers who “need to know.”
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Historical Files, HS/CSG–605, Job 83–0036, Box 4, Folder 10. Top Secret. The source text is a transcript made for the CIA Historian in December 1952.
  2. Probably Vice Admiral J. D. Price, the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Air).
  3. Probably Rear Admiral John H. Cassady, the Assistant Chief of Naval Operations for Air.