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From Balloons to Blackbirds: Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Imagery Intelligence: How it Evolved

Brugioni, Dino A.

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ISBN 10: 1884314082 / ISBN 13: 9781884314087
Published by The Association of Former Intelligence Officers, McLean, VA, 1993
Soft cover
From Ground Zero Books, Ltd. (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

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[4], 58, [2] p. Illustrations. Footnotes. Bibliography. This publication is number Nine in The Intelligence Profession Series. From WIkipedia: "Dino A. Brugioni (born December 16, 1921) is a former senior official at the CIA's National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC). He was an imagery analyst and also served as NPIC's Chief of Information. During his 35-year career, Brugioni helped establish imagery intelligence (now called geospatial intelligence) as a national asset to solve intelligence problems. Even after retirement, Brugioni is considered to be the world's foremost imagery intelligence analyst. After retirement, he has been active in encouraging the use of declassified photographic intelligence for historical research. His book, Eyeball to Eyeball is an extensive unclassified history of US imagery intelligence. Brugioni flew in 66 bombardment and a number of reconnaissance missions in World War II over North Africa, Italy, Germany, Yugoslavia and France. He received the Purple Heart, 9 Air Medals and a Distinguished Unit Citation. After the war, he received BA and MA degrees in Foreign Affairs from George Washington University. He joined the CIA in March 1948 and became an expert in Soviet industries. In 1955, he was selected as a member of the cadre of the newly formed Photographic Intelligence Division that would interpret U-2, SR-71 and satellite photography. The American U-2 spy plane began flights over Russia in 1956. Under the cover of an abandoned Washington car dealership, the first CIA analysts were assembled to review the U-2's photos. The founding analysts included Dino Brugioni and small team of World War II photo interpreters, under the direction of Art Lundahl. Analysis of U-2 photography dispelled the "bomber gap" in 1956 and the "missile gap" in 1961. Analysis was also conducted on U-2 photography taken during the Suez, Lebanon, Chinese Off-Shore Islands, Middle East and Tibetan crises. In January 1961, Lundahl's CIA group acquired military imagery intelligence capabilities to form the National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC), as a part of the CIA Directorate of Science and Technology. Brugioni was a key deputy to Lundahl. His first assignments included counting Russian bombers, finding new Soviet airbases and assessing Russian naval readiness. He then was intimately involved in the Cuban Missile Crisis (see below) Dino Brugioni in 1963U-2 photographs taken on October 14, 1962, by some of the first U-2 aircraft piloted by US Air Force members rather than CIA personnel, brought back photographs, in which the NPIC analysts found visual evidence of the placement of Soviet SS-4 medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBM), capable of hitting targets, in the continental United States, with nuclear warheads. This triggered the Cuban Missile Crisis, sending the US intelligence community into maximum effort and triggering an unprecedented military alert. The October 14 high-altitude photographs, taken from the periphery of Cuba, led to the US taking the additional risk of direct overflights of Cuba, at the orders of Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara. McNamara, Chief of Naval Operations George Whelan Anderson Jr and Lundahl concurred that the US Navy's Light Photographic Squadron VFP-62, flying F8U-1P Crusader fighters in a reconnaissance role, were best qualified to take low-level photographs, flying directly over Cuba. As well as the U-2 photographs, the low-level Navy photographs also streamed into NPIC, where Brugioni and colleagues analyzed them around the clock. (Klein) described Lundahl's presenting the October 14 photographs and their interpretation to President John F. Kennedy: "Mr. Lundahl, when Kennedy was shown the photographs, he turned his head, looked at Lundahl, and said, "Are you sure? " And Mr. Lundahl said, "I'm as sure of this, Mr. President, as we can be sure of anything in the photo interpretation field. And you must admit that we have not led you astray on anything that. Bookseller Inventory # 68725

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Bibliographic Details

Title: From Balloons to Blackbirds: Reconnaissance,...

Publisher: The Association of Former Intelligence Officers, McLean, VA

Publication Date: 1993

Binding: Wraps

Edition: Presumed first edition/first printing.

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