23 April 1971: HYDRA Diplomatic CCTs

The final document in this series is perhaps the most mysterious. This telegram from Rockcliffe directed towards DCRS 2-4-3 indicates that the HYDRA diplomatic circuits (CCTS) are still in operation, and that Rockcliffe is the “sole DND engineering agency” for these circuits “in the Ottawa area and the connecting facilities between London and Washington.” The writer indicates that notifications of circuit downtimes are being sent in an improper format, and thus may breach the security of the network. They request that these messages be sent in a proper format, and formal notifications of downtime be sent for HYDRA circuits “for record purpose.”


However, a handwritten note on the telegram reads: “Not ours. This is first time I have seen the word HYDRA in print.” Another note indicates that the telegram was forwarded to CFCC (Canadian Forces Communication Command) for investigation and comment.


It is possible that this particular telegram was misdirected to a division unaware of the existence of HYDRA. But then, it is unclear how it would end up in this particular archival folder, clearly created by those who were well aware of the existence of HYDRA. It is also possible the name “HYDRA” had fallen out of use after the closure of the Oshawa station and the loss of certain functions like the Alerts circuits. It is fitting, perhaps, that a system named for a creature of myth also receded into myth. Forgotten, until now. 

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Fixed Communications - Hydra Telegraph Relay System - Relocation of Hydra - Plans and Policy, RG24, S-2723-2, Vol. 2, Library and Archives Canada (LAC)