Espionage exhibition gives clues to spies past and present

It gives a fascinating insight into the mysterious world of espionage. Different weapons and devices which have been used to gather intelligence over the past century.

They are on display at the Top Secret exhibition in Oberhausen, Germany. Oberhausen is a city on the river Emscher in the Ruhr area.

People can learn everything there is to know about the legendary secret world, such as the technological achievements of secret services, legends surrounding expert spies and their organisations and current data on espionage.

They can view a collection of espionage gadgets from different centuries, hear stories about spies and learn about successes and failures.

The exhibition also sheds light on the more unusual methods used to gather intelligence - some of which would seem more at home in the fictional world of James Bond, Mail Online reported.

The exhibits include a mock-up of a pigeon with a small camera attached to it, which was used by German operatives to take aerial reconnaissance pictures in World War I.

Another eyebrow-raising tool of the trade is a tiny microphone concealed inside an artificial cherry and placed in a martini glass, presumably used to harvest secrets from a loose-lipped dignitary being indiscreet after one cocktail too many.

Some have surprising uses that are at odds with their appearance. A small lethal-looking pistol is actually used to shoot chemical substances to mark people and objects and allow them to be tracked, used by Germany's Federal Intelligence Service.

Undetected

What at first glance appears to be a simple book is actually a small photo camera that was used by the Central Intelligence Agency to take pictures undetected.

The dark side of spycraft is also explored with a section on some of the weapons used to discreetly - and sometimes not so discreetly - eliminate enemy agents, traitors or those who have outlived their usefulness.