The Phoenix program was a Vietnam-era CIA operation intended to locate Vietcong in rural villages.
The CIA focused on high-value targets that had in-depth information on Vietcong operations.
Once captured, the Vietcong were interrogated so the U.S. could gather as much information as possible.
From 1950 to 1970, the CIA had assets on the ground in Vietnam conducting operations.
The CIA issued these operatives many pieces of gear and knives, including an important tool that was made by a cookware company.
Hackman Cutlery and Cookware was a company founded in Finland in 1790. The company made the Hackman Butterfly Knife.
And the CIA obtained a large number of these butterfly knives and used them in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.
Not only were the knives used by the CIA, but they were also given to locals as gifts to win favor.
The knife design makes it quick to deploy without someone ever seeing it coming.
The knife had a 3 and 3/4-inch clip point blade, a red plastic handle, and was 8 and 1/8-inches long when opened.
Here’s a little more information on these types of knives if you ever have any desire to get yourself a butterfly knife…
What is a butterfly knife?:
The butterfly (or balisong) knife originated in the Philippines in the early 1900s.
After World War II, U.S. soldiers brought butterfly knives home.
The knife has a folding design and opens one-handed. It doesn’t require any springs or locking mechanism to open.
When the knife is closed the blade is hidden within the grooves of the knife handle.
The butterfly knife was popular in the martial arts community but also became a common utility knife.
The benefits of butterfly knives:
When folded up the butterfly knife can be relatively small. The handles fold around the blade so it can be easy to carry the knife in your pocket or boot.
When carrying the knife, you don’t have to worry about the blade cutting you since it sits between the two handles.
Another advantage of the butterfly knife is that it can open one-handed (made famous by Hollywood with people using the knife in an intimidating fashion).
Finally, butterfly knives are very simple. There is no spring and there is usually a single locking latch.
Plus, there are few moving parts, so you don’t have to worry as much about the knife falling apart.
Drawbacks to butterfly knives:
The biggest drawback to a butterfly design is that you can hurt yourself if you don’t practice with it.
When deploying the knife, you need to be careful not to drop it, or worse, injure yourself with it.
It’s not a knife to give someone who doesn’t regularly carry a blade and train with it.
Additionally, while a fixed-blade knife is ready to use the moment you pull it out, a butterfly knife must be manually opened.
It will take time and practice to become skilled at opening the knife.
Finally, before buying a butterfly knife check your state and local knife laws, because in some places, possession of a butterfly knife is considered a felony.
Like any knife, there are good and bad aspects about a butterfly knife.
Just remember, this specific type of knife requires a good amount of training.