Let’s investigate the Hollow Nickel Case

Let’s investigate the¬†Hollow Nickel Case, one of the most famous spy cases in the United States during the Cold War.

In 1953, a newspaper boy in New York, USA, got some change that included a nickel (a 5 cent coin). The nickel felt quite light, and the boy dropped the coin. The coin split open and he found a tiny photograph in it. The boy told his friend, who told her dad, who happened to be a policeman, and an investigation started. The photograph had 10 columns of numbers, and the detectives figured it was a secret coded message. They investigated for four years, but couldn’t figure out where the coin came from or what the message was.

In 1957, a Soviet agent, Hayhanen, contacted the Americans. He wanted to defect, which means he wanted to leave the Soviets and join the Americans. Hayhanen had information that he shared, including some hollow coins. The American detectives were able to connect his hollow coins with the one found by the newspaper boy. It turned out that the message in the hollow coin that was found by the newspaper boy was meant for Hayhanen!

Image Credits: http://www.fbi.gov for the Hollow Nickel images
Sources: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/history/famous-cases/hollow-nickel