History 2024

Dumra at Camp Hale: The CIA’s Tibetan Resistance Program

Fri Jun 7, 2024
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

In partnership with the Eagle County Historical Society

From 1958 to 1964, in an effort to support Tibetan freedom fighters, the CIA operated a secret training facility nicknamed Dumra (“the garden”) at Camp Hale. Until very recently, the exact location of the training facility had been lost to history. Now, with efforts by Dr. Carole McGranahan, anthropologist and scholar of Tibet; ret. CIA Agent Bruce Walker, who trained the Tibetan fighters at Camp Hale and with assistance from Vail Valley local Tracy Walters, Dumra has been located. Joining McGranahan and Walker are Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam, filmmakers who have been researching this story for many years using archival material from Tenzing’s father Lhamo Tsering, who was a leader in the Tibetan resistance and a liaison between the Tibetans and the CIA. Ritu and Tenzing will feature clips from their documentary, “The Shadow Circus: The CIA in Tibet.”

Following Friday’s program, join us, our speakers, members of the Tibetan community and International Delegates at a special commemorative celebration at Camp Hale at noon on Sunday, June 9:


It is our pleasure to invite you to a very special event: “Dumra/The Secret Garden.” On Sunday, June 9 at noon, we will hold a memorial gathering at Camp Hale National Monument in Colorado. This event is to commemorate the CIA-Tibet training camp which operated at Camp Hale from 1958-1964. The Tibetan men who trained there were members of the Chushi Gangdrug army, a citizens’ army formed to defend the Dalai Lama, Tibet and Buddhism against the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. The CIA offered training and support to the Tibetan resistance, including this secret project at Camp Hale. The CIA officers called the training camp “The Ranch.” The Tibetan soldiers called it “Dumra,” meaning garden.

In 2010, a plaque was officially installed at Camp Hale that for the first time publicly acknowledged the CIA-Tibet training camp. At that installation ceremony, the actual location of the training camp was lost to time. Recently, we have located the exact footprint of the camp. Our June 9 ceremony will be held at this exact site.

The formal commemorative program will be followed by a Tibetan luncheon picnic. This event is open to the public. All are welcome to join. We welcome you to join us in learning more about this history, remembering those who served here together and honoring all those who fought for freedom in Tibet.

Recommended reading:
Arrested Histories: Tibet, the CIA, and Memories of a Forgotten War” by Carole McGranahan



Bruce Walker

Bruce Walker

Former Agent

Central Intelligence Agency

Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam

Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam

Filmmakers and Artists

Carole McGranahan

Carole McGranahan

Professor, Chair, Department of Anthropology

University of Colorado, Boulder