- One of the jobs of a KGB spy is to transfer
secret messages via something called a dead drop.
Today a KGB spy's gonna teach me how he does this
and be my friend.
My name is Mike and I'm looking for a KGB spy.
- Good luck.
What's the password?
- The password is (singing) "Hey little lady
I like your sweatpants come and dance with me at prom."
- Um, you found me so what do you need? What do you want?
- The only way that I've tried transferring a secret message
is by French kissing a bunch of random people.
And it worked, but I need to know other ways
to transfer secret messages.
- That's probably not good for your health.
I can show you a better way to do this.
We call it a dead drop operation.
But you gotta keep it a secret, were you being followed?
- I was only followed by two camera people.
- Nah they're good. They know how to keep a secret.
- No one's gonna watch this video.
- That's right, okay good. Let's go.
- So what's the first step to making a dead drop?
- You prepare your material
and then you put it in a container.
I use rocks; you just like make a rock
and you put the stuff that you want to hand over inside.
- Let's make a fake rock.
- Yeah, absolutely. It's easy.
- [Jack Barsky] Alright, we can talk about that later.
- How do I make a fake rock?
- There's a number of ways of doing it,
but I always use Plaster of Paris.
- Happy birthday baby.
I got you gloves to protect your skin.
- I'm an artist. I don't work with gloves.
- I don't feel like watching your skin melt off today.
- I'm also a chemist; I have a Master's degree in Chemistry.
This stuff would not melt my skin. (laughs)
- I took a dance class once.
You don't see me bragging about it.
- Now normally we would be in my home, right,
and not out in the open.
You don't do this kind of in the day, you do that in secret.
- You're probably going to need a mixing bowl.
- Oh, this man is totally prepared.
Before we start mixing, I want to have the object
that we embed in the rock and make sure that we have that
ready when the Plaster of Paris is ready to surround it.
- The secret item that I would want to hide inside the rock
is Taylor Swift's new album.
- What is it?
- Well if you could rip it
and put it on a thumb drive maybe.
But a CD is a little big.
- That would make the rock this big,
and it gets pretty heavy. (laughs)
One American dollar bill.
- We have to protect this from harm so we need something
plastic, oh man, you're reading my mind, my thoughts.
Now right now, your fingerprints are in there.
So you busted buddy.
- I don't really care.
- So I'm gonna hold onto this.
I need water. Do you have water?
And I need a spoon or something.
This whole thing is four pounds if I'm not mistaken.
We take at least a pound, put this in the middle,
and then we start stirring it up.
- This is just like cooking.
- It is like cooking, of course.
- If you like baking, you're going to love
transferring secret messages to KGB spies.
- That's right.
- Have you ever made French toast?
- Once. When I was in Paris I toasted.
- Yeah, I toasted in Paris, isn't that what--
- What does toasted mean?
- I toasted bread and it was French toast. No?
- Was that a joke?
- If you're not laughing it wasn't.
Alright, you're good. Now I got this one.
Now take the spoon please.
- Want me to lick it?
- Normally...if you want to.
This is nice.
- [Mark] Malleable.
Want me to get the dollar bill out of your pocket?
- [Jack Barsky] Sure.
And then you hand it to me.
And your fingerprints are still on it.
We need to make sure that nothing sticks out.
See it's already hardening, which is good.
We're doing good here. It's a pretty big rock.
This thing could have hidden probably,
at least five thousand dollars, maybe 10.
That doesn't look natural, now go put some dirt on it.
Awesome. Alright so we're gonna roll this thing in dirt.
See what happens when you do this?
It looks like something that was just there,
not like something somebody put there just recently.
- [Mark] Looks like a gigantic marshmallow
that we've covered in chocolate.
- Fundamentally, you know, you can make it into an odd
little shape so it doesn't look like, too artificial.
It looks like, alright that's good.
We can set this aside.
It will take about 20 minutes to harden.
- [Mark] What should we do for 20 minutes?
- Identify the spot where we put the container.
And secondly, we need a couple spots where we place signals.
When you have a partner you tell them with the signal,
you just put it there or you took it out, that kinda stuff.
- So where's the best place for me
to hide the secret message?
- Well the place A has to be easy to find.
So when you describe it to somebody who's never seen it,
you're not taking somebody by the hand and showing him.
It has to be findable.
So what we have here is a park, and it's the biggest tree
in the park, and it's in a corner.
At the tree, and I use trees with a hollowing, you know,
opening between two roots
where you can just drop this container under.
In addition, what this tree provides,
as you're coming from there you just walk past here,
drop the rock and keep on going.
So you don't have to stop, turn, and do something.
'Cause, God forbid, even though you checked yourself
and you know that you're not being followed,
maybe somebody did follow you.
- Toss it behind me like you're waving off a fart.
- Sort of. Yep.
With one hand.
- 'Scuse me, handsome pumpkins.
- If I'm going to be picking it up,
how am I supposed to do that without stopping?
- Well you can't, and that's--
So the second person is always the one who is more exposed.
There's nothing you can do about it.
- If someone's gonna run up and choke me out,
if someone's gonna come up, slap me in the face,
spit on me, and kill me.
- First of all, the FBI wasn't in the habit of doing this.
Secondly, they would most likely take a picture.
They want evidence, they wanna have a case in court.
Or they wanna have a case to show you evidence to turn you.
If I have enough evidence on you, I'll come talk to you,
nicely and say look, this is what we got.
That'll put you in jail for 10 years.
Or you can help us.
- Now that you've dropped the rock, what do you do next?
- I'm gonna make a chalk mark some place away from the site
so that you can walk past and if the mark is not there,
you keep on walking.
If you see it, you go to the spot, pick up the container.
- Where would you put a chalk mark?
- Well I'm gonna put this outside the park.
So I'm just gonna put this mark in passing over here.
And that's it.
- Now I'm gonna take the rock.
Wow this feel ice cold.
It feels so heavy and it sounds like a rock.
That's wild, I can't believe we made this.
It's like we're playing God.
How do I let you know that I got it?
- Well you make a chalk mark some place else.
- I saw the signal and as far as I'm concerned this is over.
You would go and open this in the privacy of your own home.
- But we're gonna see if they, how easy it is
or hard it is to break that thing open.
- I think it's pretty easy to break.
- Okay, you try it then.
- One. Two. Three.
- Oh I got the money.
- [Jack Barsky] Got it!
- I got the money. I got the money.
I would love to dress you up as a tree
and hide a secret inside you.
- [Jack Barsky] Called proctology (laughs).
It was a lot easier than I thought.
- You gotta change your ways buddy.
- Do you wanna keep this as a souvenir?
- No, let's burn that sh-- (beep)