Original U.S. Vietnam War Era Operation Igloo White Seismic Sensor ADSID I with Fins & Antenna

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Using the cover of darkness, dense jungle and bad weather, North Vietnamese trucks carried critical supplies down the Ho Chi Minh Trail nearly undetected. Since large numbers of American ground troops were not permitted into neutral Laos to stop the trucks, the U.S. Air Force deployed a system of electronic seismic sensor equipment to thwart the enemy's cover and alert U.S. commanders. This highly-classified electronic system was known as Project Igloo White.

The sensors were dropped from aircraft along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, and were essentially a giant lawn dart. The sensor would fall to earth and then penetrate the ground. The end of the sensor would protrude from the ground, with the antenna pointing vertically. The sensor’s antenna was camouflaged to be mistaken for foliage in the dense jungle undergrowth. The thought behind the project was to estimate movements of vehicles and troops along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, and once large seismic readings were picked up, aircraft would be dispatched to bomb the area.

This sensor is in wonderful condition with a great camouflage paint pattern present, and all complete, which usually they are not! This is one of the harder versions to find, the early issue ADSID I with the fixed aluminum fins and drag flaps. Measures approximately 48 1/2 inches long with a 30 1/2 inch projectile portion and a 18 inch pickup / antenna.

The original camouflage paint on the exterior is well retained, and this example shows a lovely aged patina. We do not believe it was ever dropped in service, as the pictures show that the fin flaps usually would bend upwards as part of the landing "process". All of the exterior components are present, however we have no way to check to see if the internal electronics are still intact and/or present. We presume that all were removed long ago, or never installed.

Comes ready for further research and display!


Project Igloo White:
The system became operational in late 1967, and it consisted of three elements: sensors dropped by aircraft along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, an orbiting EC-121B "Batcat" or the QU-22B aircraft that picked up and relayed signals from the sensors, and the Infiltration Surveillance Center (ISC), which received the data. Operated by Task Force Alpha at Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Force Base (NKP RTAFB), the ISC interpreted the sensor data and passed target information to combat commanders, who sent attack aircraft to the target.

The Igloo White sensors on display are but a few of the many types employed along the Trail. Some sensors detected seismic disturbances created by passing trucks; some sensors used microphones to pick up nearby voices; and other sensors detected both seismic disturbances and voices.

Dropped from F-4 Phantoms, CH-3 helicopters, OV-10s and other aircraft, they were designed to drive into the ground but leave the antenna exposed. The antennas were made to look like a small tree or bush to hide them from the enemy. Over 20,000 sensors were dropped in Laos, and 80 percent of the sensors were operational after dropping.

Types of sensors:

- ADSID (Air Delivered Seismic Intrusion Detector) - Used an internal geophone to detect personnel or vehicles in motion
- ACOUSID (Acoustic and Seismic Intrusion Detector) - used seismic and acoustic devices; could transmit sound from a built-in microphone
- HELOSID (Helicopter Delivered Seismic Intrusion Detector)

  • This product is not available for international shipping.
  • Not eligible for payment with Paypal or Amazon


Cash For Collectibles