A number of years ago the Soviet Union toured several countries with an exhibition of its industrial and economic achievements. There were the standard displays of industrial machinery, soft goods, and models of power stations and nuclear equipment. Of greater interest were apparent models of the Sputnik and Lunik space vehicles. U.S. intelligence twice gained extended access to the Lunik, the second time by borrowing it overnight and returning it before the Soviets missed it. This is the story of the borrowing, which required the efforts of many people and close cooperation between covert and overt intelligence components.
This document was released prior by the CIA, but multiple redactions hid an important fact. Three different versions of the release are below for comparison. The un-redacted information reveals that the CIA was able to read factory markings / stamps that allowed them to trace down where the hardware was created along with the components used.
THE KIDNAPPING OF THE LUNIK By Sydney Wesley Finer, 1967 [10 Pages, 3.6MB]