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SpyMissions' Story

Stealing planes and saving nuclear power stations, all in a days work for an 8 year old secret agent.

I’m Bob Richardson founder and MD of Spy Missions.

The Spy Missions concept is based on the puzzles I used to invent for my children Matt and Josh.

We can’t remember what the very first one was, probably a treasure hunt gone wrong, but they quickly developed into spy based missions around our home and then out into the countryside

Overnight our house would morph into the secret winter hideout of Youri Krentev: mercenary and gun runner. My children would be told they had a one hour window before Youri returned and in this hour they needed to infiltrate the building, steal a data CD (CD’s back then) and plant a bug in Youri’s office.

Deodorant bottles became cameras and lego bricks stuck to the wall with blutac would be break-beam alarms. Red wool lasers crisscrossed the stairs.

Having reached a target room, my children would be presented with a puzzle, sometimes maths based codes, sometimes lateral thinking.

I remember one where they had to decipher a 20 digit code of the inside of a cupboard door,
They could only open the door for 5 seconds and only once or the alarm would go off.

It took them a whole 20 minutes to work out how and they only just completed their mission in time.

(See solution at the end)

These house based missions soon grew into vast adventures in the countryside. We became agents for UFOCAT (United Forces Of Countries Against Terrorism)

Camping in woods behind enemy lines we would foil attempts to destroy nuclear power stations and kidnap military personnel, while hunting down our arch enemy Karlos Mapan known as 'The Fox'.

Each mission would have to outdo the last, and in an effort to trump the previous years’ successful rescue of soldiers trapped in an automated enemy mine field, I decided one year that we would take a pilot hostage and hijack a plane.

Having completed our objectives, we discovered our recovery agent (My wife) had been captured by the enemy (Bless her for going along with the stories often wearing disguises, being our contact on the radio, setting off giant fireworks and other special effects).

Despite instructions for us to leave her and get out of the area, we headed straight for the airport where she was being held and after a shoot up with the airport staff we rescued her, seized a pilot, marched him out to a plane and flew off into the sunset.

How did I manage that?

Well I called the airfield and asked if we could climb over the perimeter fence have a shoot up with the staff and steal a plane.

And of course they said YES! (Tip. You probably can’t do that nowadays)

When we arrived the staff had all dressed up in military gear with toy guns and after a spectacular shoot out with bodies flying everywhere we reached a hanger untied my wife, collected the pilot and off we went. A big lap of the countryside and landed in a different part of the airfield.

After this particular adventure I was telling someone what we had done and they said I had to do something for other children and that it was unfair if I didn’t.

So after two years of planning we re-mortgaged the house, sold one of the children into slavery (Only joking) borrowed everything we could and with my best mate built the very first Spy Missions just outside Cambridge.

If you have been on a Spymissions adventure, thank you so much for coming and I hope we have captured some of the excitement my children got from those missions long ago.


Read a 20 digit code of the inside of a cupboard door,


You can only open the door for 5 seconds and only once or the alarm would go off.

Solution (And I’m sure you’ve worked it out) Open the door, take a photo and quickly close the door. Now you can decipher the code. Easy when you think of it. (Though this was before smart phones)