Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Secret Spy Satellites Designed by the Perkin-Elkin Corporation

On September 17, 2011 the United States unclassified documents associated with the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). Included in the release were details naming the KH-9 HEXAGON, commonly known as Big Bird, which produced a series of photographic reconnaissance satellites launched by the United States between 1971 and 1986 and naming the Perkin-Elkin Corporation as one of the secret companies. The effort was a joint venture between the CIA and the Air Force. Operations provided agents with high definition photographs of Soviet Union, Chinese and Cuban military sites between 1972 - 1986.

Perkin-Elmer Corporation - 1980

Perkin-Elkin Corporation was rewarded their first top secret contract from the CIA in 1966 to build highly sensitive cameras and optics used on the KH-9. A nondescript building on the hill by the airport in Danbury Connecticut provided work space, without windows, for over 1,000 employees as well as areas to test the effects of rocket launches on the equipment and create environments of extreme temperatures to mimic the conditions of the cameras in outer space.

The Hexagon project was considered the most successful space spy satellite program of the cold war era. One of the declassified successes mentions "Hexagon providing crucial information for the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks between the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1970s."2

I went through my common certificates and found several for the Perkin-Elkin Corporation. A quick search of the Internet uncovers many samples at near giveaway prices. I am sure there are plenty of inventory in circulation for now. Looking ahead, every history teacher in the country will want one of these stock certificates hanging on their wall. The idea of finding a conspiracy coming to life right in our backyard is at least news worthy and most likely makes these certificates highly sought after for many years to come.

So if you are reading this blog entry, you may be one of the few collectors able to acquire a sample of the Perkin-Elkin Corporation for your collection at bargain prices. Good luck and happy hunting. As the year ends, I would like to wish everyone a safe, happy holiday season. I am really looking forward to 2012 and what it has to offer.

2 Helen O'Neill is a New York-based national writer for the Associated Press. She can be reached at feature(at)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Bill, Great article. Have a great Holiday and a Happy, healthy and Prosperous new Year.