I was a Spy for the CIA

     For Weebly with pictures

DISCLAIMER: CIA case files, from time to time, become declassified and are available for public scrutiny via the Freedom of Information Act 5 U.S.C.-552. The author hereby does not deny nor admit that the following stories are based on any of those files. All but two of the names of the characters herein, one woman and one man, have been fictionalized.  The cities, towns and street names are accurate.  The foreign text is accurate.       

 

 

                                 I WAS A SPY FOR THE CIA

 

                                         Chapter 1

                                        THE END

 

CIA Human Resources Form 1427

(Revised 2-2-88) Format CD-ROM

 

          FIELD OPERATIVES STANDARD EXIT INTERVIEW 

 

PURPOSE:

A: This exit interview is to be completed by the individual leaving the service of the Central Intelligence Agency.  The exiting agent/author is to select from his/her various missions, those that might be suitable for the training of new recruits.  The number of missions is unspecified and left to the author’s discretion as to which and how many missions might be viable training aids. 

 

B: It is also to enhance, clarify, and/or correct information already contained in the employee’s personnel jacket.  If the information hereon differs from that existing in the employee’s personnel jacket, an oral interview may be required to explain the discrepancy. 

 

C: All information shall be saved on the CD ROM provided.  It has a matrix to be filled in by the exiting employee.  No data, information, comments may be stored on the hard drive of this Company provided computer.

 

D: This interview is to be completed as accurately as possible and in detail. The exiting individual shall be sequestered in a hotel room and will be accompanied at all times by a member of the CIA.  Upon leaving the hotel for any reason, the CD ROM shall be carried by the accompanying CIA staff member.  No duplicate copies may be made outside of the Agency.

 

DATE:  February 10, 1989

NAME:  Richard Lyons Brand

BIRTH DATE: April 1, 1935

SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER: 217-54-3010

AGENCY SERVICE NUMBER: 662123

BRANCH:  Covert operations

HIRE DATE: September 3, 1957

RESIDENCE UPON TERMINATION: 70 Yukon St., Breckenridge, CO 80402

REASON FOR TERMINATION: Retirement

TRAINING RECEIVED: Martial arts, bomb making, hand gun and long gun instruction, vehicle devices, coding, disguises, surveillance, photography, encipher, Morse code.

COUNTRIES/STATES WHEREIN AGENT OPERATED: Scotland, Germany, East Berlin, Poland, Soviet Union/Russia, Turkey, Sofia, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan.

 

 

                      I WAS A SPY FOR THE CIA

 

                                    Chapter 2
                              THE BEGINNING

 

My Recruitment

  After graduating from high school in Springfield IL in 1953, I enrolled in Chicago’s Xavier Community College with on campus dorms.  My major was political science; my minor was European and Eastern studies.  I planned to travel Europe, learn many cultures, then teach at the college level. 

 

  Four months into my freshman year a man with the CIA approached me.  At that time I was unaware that he was with the CIA.  I was eating at an off campus sandwich shop when he introduced himself.  Striking up the conversation, he asked what I intended to do with my degree after graduation.  Apparently he already knew my courses of study because his polite questions centered on them.  He said that he might have an opening with a national firm that would provide a salary that was above the going rate for graduates with my degrees.

 

  “We will also pay all of your travel expenses,” he added.

 

  We shook hands and agreed to meet again.  I offered my phone number but he said he already had it.  I didn’t think to question how he already had it.

 

  Five weeks elapsed before he phoned asking if I was free to meet again at the same location as before.  I said yes and we agreed on the time and day.

 

  “Our company,” he said, “hires bright young people who have a good head on their shoulders and have a desire to aid in man’s progress.”

 

   He was alluding to my wanting to teach after I traveled through Europe.  Starting salary would be close to $15,000 with health insurance, paid travel, and extensive training to get me started on the right foot.  I said that the job sounded “right up my alley” but I’d like to think about if for a bit.  We agreed to meet again at the same time, there at the sandwich shop, the following Thursday, eight days hence.

 

  He said to call him Phil but left no phone number where I could reach him.  The days until our next rendezvous seemed to drag.  The anticipation of a good job with paid travel had pretty much settled into a ‘Yes’ as far as I was concerned.  I had phoned my folks and told them as much as I could about the job and they were as excited as I.

  I was 30 minutes early for the appointment and Phil was perfectly punctual.  I couldn’t wait to tell him that I would accept his offer. 

 

  “Fine,” he said.  “I have some folks I’d like you to meet next weekend if you’re free.”

 

 “Sure, when and where?” I asked.

 

 

 

 

 

PICTURE OF HOTEL

 

  Phil said we could all gather in the restaurant in the Carlton Hotel next Saturday at 12:09 for lunch, “On us,” he added.

 

  “Why 12:09?” I asked.

 

  “People easily forget regular numbers like 10, 15, and 30.  But 09 is memorable.”

 

  I nodded and thought Wow! THAT makes sense.  This company is really on the ball.’  I shuffled a moment preparing to rise from the chair when Phil said, “Here’s twenty bucks for a taxi.  No need to drive your car.” 

 

  Mentally I said another wow but said simply, “Thanks!”

 

 He placed his hand on my shoulder and said, “Don’t dress up, Dick.  We like casual.” 

 

 A Strange Time to Meet

  Phil was right, I couldn’t forget the time, 12:09.  Near the back and in the corner I saw him beckon me to the table where he sat with two other men.  One guy had on a polo shirt, the other was wearing a short sleeve tan shirt with matching slacks.  After introductions all-round we ordered lunch.  There was no talk about the job even though I probed politely.

 

  “Later,” Phil said smiling.

 

  Later was in a room on the fifth floor.  It was an ordinary hotel room with twin beds, a circular table and four straight back chairs.  The fellow wearing the tan shirt, Hamilton began the conversation.  He repeated everything that Phil and told me about free travel, health insurance, and excellent pay, then added a new word, ‘Excitement!’  That made my ol’ heart, skip a beat!  

 

  Jason, the man wearing the polo shirt, inserted himself into the conversation, “It’s a government job.”

 

  I had never given any thought to working for the government but why not?   I’d always heard that the pay was good and retirement benefits were often times better than in the private sector.

 

  “Sounds good so far,” I replied. 

 

  Everyone smiled and I noticed that the trio was happy with my response.   

 

  Phil got up, walked to the bed and opened a brown briefcase.  He took out a piece of paper, returned to the table and handed it to me.

 

  “Take a moment to read this,” he said smiling.

 

  I read the one paragraph which, in essence, said that by signing this document, I swear that everything I will hear and observe from now on would not be disclosed by me until such time that the Agency released me to do so.   

 

  I felt my face flush and I noticed that everyone witnessed the change in my composure.  No one spoke.  I again read the paragraph.  This is not at all what I had expected.  Now I wondered just who these guys were.  What had I gotten myself into?  Can I get out of here safely?

 

  Phil was quick to say, “Dick, this is routine, standard procedure for everyone we hire.  We are an important arm of the United States government.  Our job is to protect this country and the citizenry.  If you love your country, and want to proudly serve its cause, this job will reward you in so many ways that you can never imagine.”

 

  “Are you the cloak and dagger guys?” I asked. 

 

  Still standing beside me, Phil looked directly into my eyes and smiled.  I could almost hear him thinking, ‘Uncle Sam Needs You!’

 

  I signed the paper. 

 

 My First CIA Beer

  “You a beer drinker?” Hamilton asked.

 

  “Sure, any kind,” I replied. 

 

  He phoned the front desk and ordered four cold ones.

 

  Talking more freely now and clanking our bottles together in a symbolic toast,

Jason asked, “Wouldn’t you be happier living off campus in your own apartment?”

 

  I nodded a yes.

 

  “How ‘bout we set you up with a friend of ours in a nice two bedroom arrangement with full cooking facilities.  Your roommate is Kurt.  He’s German, born and bred; all you have to do is get great grades and learn to speak German.”

 

  “How sweet it is!” I said to myself, adding, “this has to be the all time dream come true”

 

 Phil then chimed in, “In your junior year, we’ll bring in a Russian roommate, who also is a great cook, so you can learn his language.  We want you to be comfortably fluent in both languages.  OK with you?”

 

 “Yeah!  Sounds great to me,” I replied through a smile that wouldn’t leave my face. 

 

  The four years flew by.  My two roommates were terrific mentors.  They spoke only in their native tongues forcing me to learn faster and to use perfect inflection and accents.  The cherry on top was their ethnic foods made with ethnic recipes. 

 

  I graduated fourth from the top of my class in both my major and my minor.  I was pleased and so was my new employer.  After a month at home with Mom and Dad, I presented my airline ticket at O’Hare and was off to Langley, Virginia, home of the CIA.

 

 

 

                          I WAS A SPY FOR THE CIA

 

                                                      Chapter 3

                            INTENSIVE TRAINING

                            9 September, 1957 to 2 February, 1958

 

  Our training was rigorous, Director Allen Dulles would stand for nothing less.  The first eight weeks were basic for everyone.  We than had a two-week furlough then had another eight weeks of training for our individual specialties. I had requested clandestine assignments behind enemy lines and was lucky enough to be accepted into that program. 

 

 

 

 

 

  PICTURE OF ALLEN DULLES

 

 One of our guest speakers was film actor Sterling Hayden.  Hayden was one of the original members of this organization in World War II but then it was named the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). One of his many stories was about the times that he ran guns right through German lines to the Yugoslav partisans. They were communists but at that time were also fighting the Germans.  Not only were his many stories beneficial, they were inspirational as well.  He was red, white and blue all over and made me proud to be a member of the CIA.  I felt that I’d be lucky to ever equal his heroism. 

 

  We had lectures during the day and homework every night.  I thought my professors at Xavier were good but these guys were great.  I felt as though I was in graduate school and I was happy.

 

 

 

 

 

  PICTURE OF FBI ACADEMY SIGN

 

The CIA shared Quantico with the FBI and the Marines. Agents that we recruited in the Orient to work in the Far East were trained on the island of Saipan. At Quantico, we always dressed in Marine fatigues to disguise our identity. We had calisthenics every day and I was constantly tired but I gained weight. Along about the fifth week, the jumping jacks and deep knee bends were no longer a chore. 

 

  Firearms training was all new to me.  Even though I grew up in a semi rural setting, I had never fired a gun.  I had gone fishing but never went hunting.  We were taught how to strip down, clean and shoot every German hand held weapon.  The instructors spoke only in German.  The same was true with the Russian guns.  I did well with the mechanics of the guns but never became a truly great marksman with any of them.

 

  One of my instructors took me aside and said, “Don’t worry, Dick.  You won’t need much of this stuff in your assignments.”

 

  Suddenly a new question mark rose above my head.  What did he know that I had yet to be told? 

 

   “Here,” he said taking a small pistol from his hip pocket.  “try this one.”

 

  I thought that I did quite well shooting at a target not more than 15 feet away.

 

  “Good, that’s all you’ll need,” he whispered.  

 

  The gun was a German made JP Sauer 38H, caliber 7.65 (32 ACP) with internal features that were leap-years ahead of those from other gun makers.  Used in WWII by German paratroopers, it was not much bigger than the palm of my hand.   

 

  Then he said, “Keep this under your hat,” implying it was small enough to put under one’s had.  He kept the pistol, of course, knowing that the Company would choose what weapon I was issued and when.    

 

We Used Soviet Bloc Firearms

  The Agency’s policy, back then, was to issue used guns purchased in the black market in Communist controlled countries.  That way they could never be traced back to the US.  We were instructed that if we ever fired our weapon, even by accident, we were to field strip it into as many individual parts as possible and throw them into a rushing river.  If that wasn’t possible, we were to throw them out of the window of a fast moving vehicle preferably on an isolated road. If we lost the weapon, we were charged for its replacement cost and a black mark would appear in our personnel jacket, never to be removed.  To loose one’s weapon was, and still is, a mortal sin.

 

  In the early years, undercover agents such as me were issued High Standard semi-automatic .22 long rifle caliber pistols with sound suppressors (silencers).  In our covert missions we would never, he hoped, find ourselves in a shooting match with our adversaries, therefore large caliber handguns were thought not to be needed.  All that we required for assignations and such was a small handgun. The problem with the High Standard with the silencer was its bulk.  For a while .25 ACP’s were issued but they proved inadequate.  The next caliber up was the .32 ACP. Those pistols usually weighed twice as much as the .25’s but the bullet was bigger and had more knock-down power.  If we were to assassinate someone, seldom would our target be more than two or three feet away.  The key to a sure kill was the larger lead bullet. Even with the silencer, the .32 Walther and Sauer semi-autos were easily concealed. I note here that we seldom carried a pistol when performing routine tasks such as surveillance or theft. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PICTURE OF WALTHER .32

 

But when we did carry a pistol, it was in an overcoat pocket, a hollowed out book or a rolled up newspaper depending on how we were to use it. It wasn’t until the early ‘70’s that we received custom designed, and highly effective, 24 oz., cancelable, seven-shot,

9 mm ASP 9.  (Extensive notes on the ASP 9 are at the end of this book.) I was fortunate that my first issue weapon was indeed a JP Sauer 38 H, serial number 420781, with German WWII markings which somehow, 32 years later found its way, inside of a hollowed out book at the bottom of my retirement party fruit basket.   

 

  Clifford Tewey worked in our special arms section at Langley.  He issued our hollow point ammunition, which made our little .32’s quite lethal.  The Hague Convention of 1899 prohibited the use of hollow point bullets in “ordinary” warfare.  If we requested it, Tewey would put snake venom into the bullet’s cavity, the kind that constricts muscles rendering the body immobile until death occurs.  Most shooters, though, wanted cyanide in their hollow points because it worked much faster and had a longer shelf life.  In either case, he capped the holes with a little dab of glue to seal in his deadly brews. If the bullet itself did not kill its victim, the Tewey’s “additives” would.  Another handy and cheap way to cause your enemy misery is to pack the hollow point cavity with animal feces.  The non-human bacteria would be harder to discover and harder to treat.

 

  Another of his tricks, at the request of the Navy Seals in Vietnam, was to remove the bullets from captured enemy ammunition that had been sent back the US.  Tewey would

dump out the powder replacing it with an explosive charge then re-seat the bullet.  Seals would then scatter the cartridges helter-skelter in the jungle for the VC to pick up.  When they fired their weapons they would explode killing the shooter.  

 

Using Simple Coding Systems

  When operating in foreign countries with untrained and sometimes lesser thinking peoples, sending ciphered messages is accomplished by using the least complicated methods known.  Generally we used polyalphabetic substitution, one step more complicated that classic/simple substitution but still archaic.

 

  A distinction between ciphers and codes must be made here.  A code is substituting one word or phrase to mean something else.  For instance: The grass is green could be the prearranged signal that the sender is in danger of being captured.  Whereas a cipher uses the wrong letters to spell out a word. 

 

   We used what is known as polyalphabetic substitution ciphers.  They changed the substitution alphabet for every letter. For example “GOOD DOG” can be encrypted as “PLSX TWF” where “L”, “S”, and “W” substitute for “O”. However, even with even a small amount of known or estimated plaintext, simple polyalphabetic substitution ciphers and letter transposition ciphers are easy to crack.  Since most of our recruited field agents needed something simple to use, our alternatives were few. And it was vital that we eliminate the use of plaintext, (e.g. egg, cloud, window) which would give a code breaker a leg up to crack our system.  

 

  Often we had to use the age-old cipher disk system.  That is randomly placing letters and numbers on the outer edge of a disk/wheel.  A smaller disk/wheel was placed on top of the larger wheel and turn to whatever combination the agent desired.  He never used the same combination twice.  The digits randomly placed letters and numbers did not match the placement of those on the outer wheel.  This was one step toward security. 

 

  Other field agents used the same system but no two agent’s cipher disks matched any others.  Therefore, if one agent’s disk was captured it did not destroy the integrity of any one else’s.

 

  In every language, one letter in the alphabet is more commonly used than any other.  When that letter is discovered, the code breaker has an excellent starting point to crack the entire system. For instance, the most common letter in the English language is E with a 12.7% usage compared to, say, the Z with a mere 0.074% usage.  Therefore we would repeat the E three times as well as T, A, O, all of which also score high in usage.  When someone needed to repeat any of those letters, he would use one of the alternatives.  Also,

when there were double letters in any word e.g. tt in the word letter, only one of the t’s would be sent. After he had identified himself, he sent the entire message as one continuous and uninterrupted string of letters and numbers.  This also would help make it more difficult for any code breaker because there were no spaces to delineate words.  Agents would cipher out their entire message on paper, transmit it then burn the paper.  

 

  Then came the problem of how the recipient of the message would know whether the  person sending the message was one of ours and not the enemy.  

 

  To identify himself as a genuine friendly agent, he could not use any type of plain text, which would be beneficial to a code breaker.  As mentioned earlier, words in plain text were never to be used.  Instead he would use his own pre assigned letters or numbers, e.g., 3 M Q R 7 every time he sent a message.  It was his identity.  Each recruited undercover operative had his or her one such identifying code.

 

  Next came the key to the cipher wheels.  After identifying himself as 3 M Q R 7, he would send the key as to how the two disks should be aligned with one another.  For instance he would send any number of letters, numbers or a combination of both, such as O 4 L T.  The first digit is O.  The last digit is T.  Only the first and last digits are to be used no matter how long that code might be.  The person who was to decipher the message then knew to set T on his inner wheel under the O on the outer wheel. Each time that he created a cipher, he would align the two disks differently.  

 

  The undercover agent’s two-wheeled cipher was not put on any hard surface such as plastic, even cardboard or paper.  Instead, the digits on both wheels were hand-printed, using indelible ink, of course, on silk.  Silk can be wadded up and folded into a very small size, making the cipher easier to hide and burn if necessary.  Once a letter from each wheel was in alignment, two straight pins held them in place preventing an accidental misalignment, which would thwart the message.  After the message had been ciphered, he removed the pins so that if the device was captured, no one could decipher the last message sent. 

 

  We needed to know that the sender was indeed who he claimed to be and, equally important, that he was not sending a message with a gun pointed at his head.  This has been standard practice in the modern day world from WWI on.

 

  There is a classic case taught in every country’s cipher school.  During WWII, an American agent, who had been dropped behind German lines, sent messages by Morse code to London asking for guns, ammunition, hand grenades, etc.  All agents have to sign in with a safety code, for example using the word TREE.  This tells the receiver that all is well and the message is valid. The agent, in Germany, had been captured.  The Germans threatened to kill him if he didn’t send false information, etc back to London. The frightened agent purposely omitted the word TREE as he was trained to do. But the receiver in London mistakenly overlooked the missing safety code causing the Allies to air drop whatever supplies the Germans had asked for. 

 

  To keep this from happening, our agents also used safety codes meaning either “I’m ok.” or “I’ve been captured.” But, if the agent simply forgot to send the ‘safe’ code, the person receiving the message would reply with the number 6.  The agent in the field would hear 6 and would know that he had forgotten to send the safety code.  If the receiver sent the 6 three times and had not received the code safety word, he suspected that something was wrong.  Rather than simply breaking off communications and maybe hurting the agent’s chances of survival, the receiver would send back the number 99. This then alerted the agent that HQ was aware of the predicament.  By sending 99 back to the agent he knew that HQ ‘smelled a rat’.  He was then to continue with the message hoping that the enemy with a gun pointed at him didn’t suspect the deception.   

 

When a message was sent electronically, the receiving operator never knew the true identity of the sender. The message would simply be given to someone else to identify and decipher.  It was important that no outgoing message could ever divulge the sender’s true identity.  The person listening with headphones had no time to write down the code, then decipher it.  He had to keep listening for more information, including perhaps, from a different agent.  

 

  All of the techniques above were also used when communicating in writing and left under a rock at a prearranged location. 

 

  I had some really astute agents who took to ciphering very well and thought of it much like a game that they loved playing.  And it gave them a sense of “Ahaa, Ivan, I’ve fooled you.”  Other agents failed miserably and I could not depend on their messages being of any value.  Unfortunately, I had to continue to use them fearing that they may go to the other side and expose me.  I sent them on bogus missions and paid them the same as I would have had they been doing bonafide work. It was seldom that any of our recruited agents in their home country knew of any other agents thereabouts.  ‘What they didn’t know kept the others safe.    

 

 

 

                               I WAS A SPY FOR THE CIA

 

                                                             Chapter 4

                                            My First Mission

                                LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND

                                    Mission effective 11 May 1958 to 17 May 1958                          

 

  The phone was ringing and the red numbers on the alarm clock glowed 4:37. Oh no, and I wanted to sleep late, maybe to eight or eight thirty. 


I mumbled, “Hello.”

 

  “St. Bernard,” it was a woman’s voice. “Prosthetics at 0600. Pack no clothes.” 

 

  The code words, St. Bernard, meant that one of our covert agents has been uncovered, is in hiding and needs to be extracted ASAP.  I needed to be in prosthetics at 0600 for some cosmetic work to hide my identity and I need not bring any clothes because the Company would provide me with attire germane to the country into which I would be going.

  I showered, shaved, shampooed and dressed.  I knew not to use any after-shave or cologne.

 

  It was only 5:30 a.m. so the parking lot at CIA Langley’s HQ was nearly empty.  Only a few lights were on inside the building.  I passed my photo ID card under the optical scanner.  The three-inch, bulletproof glass front door opened.  I had four seconds within which to enter. If I didn’t make it through and scanned my card again; Marines carrying loaded M-16’s would have immediately surrounded me. 

 

 

 

 

PICTURE OF WALL OF HEROS

 

 I passed the wall of hero’s, agents who had given their lives for their country.  But no names were shown so that their identities would remain secret and their families would stay safe.  However, a star for each person was imbedded into the wall to signify his or her contribution to God and country.

 

  Before I could go to the elevators to get to prosthetics, I had to show my ID to a Marine who was flanked by another one holding a cocked .45 at his side. 

 

  My ID passed muster and I received a snappy salute from the first one while his buddy let the hammer down then holstered his Colt.  

 

  My boss, Arthur Cunningham, was waiting for me in the sterile room and Dr. Hammer, whom I knew, stood by a tray of hypos and vials. 

 

  “Dick,” Art said, “ Do you happen to remember Paul Dalakis?  He was in the same basic training class with you?”

 

  “Yes, vaguely.”

 

  “Well, he’s in a pickle in Romania.  He’s hiding somewhere but was able to send out the emergency St. Bernard rescue dog message via the newspaper’s Personal ads.  We don’t even know why he’s hiding.  Has someone found out that he’s one of ours and threatens to turn him over to the Soviets?  Since he used the Personal ads he must still be safe but can’t trust the underground to get him out.  My bet is that that we’ve got a goddamn mole in the underground so obviously we can’t communicate with any of them.  We’ve got to send someone over there to find him and get him home.”

 

  I nodded that I understood, and then he continued.

 

  “Dick, this situation is so precarious that I haven’t even had time to go through channels to send you over there. There’s no paperwork yet.  The Director doesn’t even know that you’re going.  I’m even afraid that there might be a leak here at headquarters so only you, me and the Doc here, know that you are.  So if there’s a leak from here we’ll know that it came from Hammer.  And I’ve promised him that if he says anything, I’ll cut off his nuts with a rusty, dull razor blade; the kind the Muslims circumcise their women with.”

 

  I looked over at the Doc; he looked back and winked.

 

Money for Prostitutes

  “I’m giving you two Swiss bank drafts for $100,000 each.  You need to open bank accounts in Ankara, Turkey and in Sofia, Bulgaria. The monies are slush funds to be used by any of our agents whenever they need quick cash.  There will be times when it becomes necessary to buy black market guns, explosives, to hire assassins, queers, bribe officials, judges, and policemen and hire male and female prostitutes, etc.  Also from those banks, money can be electronically transferred back and forth between all other banks, therefore none of it traceable back to us in the US.  Get the picture?”

 

  I nodded that I did. 

 

  Finished with his instructions, he nodded to Doc Hammer indicating that the he was now in charge. Just before reaching the door he turned and said, “After the Doc finishes with you, pop on up to my office.” 

 

  I said, “Sure.”

 

  “Well now,” the doc said, “we can’t do any cutting because you won’t heal sufficiently by the time you get on station. Soooo then, lets just inject some collagen here and there to reshape your face and lips.  When you get back we’ll suck it out and your mama will never know that we played tricks on Mother Nature.  OK with you?”

 

  “Sounds good to me,” I answered.  I knew that I had no choice in the matter because everything had been discussed and decided before I entered the building. 

 

  “I’m gonna chunk up your face a little and make you look more Eastern.  You want to look like a native in case you meet up with some pretty little gal, don’t you?”

 

  He chuckled and I smiled at his wanting to make this visit as pleasant as possible. 

 

  Doc Hammer was good at his trade.  He desensitized my skin at each point that he inserted his hypo.  I never felt a thing. 

 

  After about five minutes for the collagen to do its thing, he buzzed for Walt Stern, our passport guy, to take my picture. 

 

  That done, I looked in the mirror, “WOW!” I exclaimed, “Doc you’re the greatest.  Hell, I don’t even know me.”

 

  “Off you go, Chum.” he said.  “Don’t bring back anything that you didn’t leave with.”

 

  I went up one floor to Art’s office.  He had a well worn, Romanian made suitcase, sitting beside his desk, already packed with Romanian clothing.  

 

  Getting straight to the point because of Dalakis’ dire situation, he listed my duties. 

 

  “One, get Paul out.”

 

  “Two, IF and only IF, you feel secure in your own safety, stay a while and find out who the sonofabitch is that’s outing our people. When you do, take care of it! Understand?”

 

  I nodded once.  I knew exactly what he meant.

 

  “Think you can handle it?”

 

  I replied, “Piece of cake.”

 

 

 

 

 

  PICTURE OF DC-3

 

 Art chuckled at my flippant reply then said, “Here’s your TWA ticket.

 

  Stern came in and handed my passport to Art who, without looking at it, passed it on to me.  I did look at it; carefully.  The first few pages were already stamped indicating that I was a world traveler.

 

  Waiting until I was satisfied with document, he continued, “Your German name is Karl Prosser and you work for an agricultural machine company based in Trier. There is a company there so if anyone tries to back trace on you, you’re covered.

 

  Now, a driver is downstairs to take you straight to Dulles.  You’ll be in Turkey tomorrow night.  Good luck.

 

  When we shook hands, I noticed that he squeezed a bit harder than he usually did. I squeezed back acknowledging his unspoken ‘be careful.’

 

It’s A Long Way to Turkey

  After 24 hours in three different airplanes, and now with a tired tush, broken back, and legs that refused to move, I checked into one of Ankara’s second class hotels.  Having stored my gear in my room, I walked around the city to get my body back into first class working order.

 

  Turkey was friendly toward Judaism and Christianity, but was 96% Islamic. Their Muslim culture clearly dominated the city’s architecture. And it was an ally so I wasn’t concerned about secret police hiding behind every bush. 

 

  Using my German passport, I opened a bank account with one of the $100,000 drafts drawn on a Swiss bank.  No bank in the world would ever deny money backed by the Swiss. The account name was false, of course, and the money could remain there for years, earning interest.  From time to time money, via many sources, money would be deposited and withdrawn.  This was necessary to keep the account active. Accounts like this one were set up in several cities in Eastern Bloc countries to give our covert agents ready access to funds when needed.

 

  I strolled through the farmer’s market, it seems that every country has them, and bought some lovely oranges, an apple and a just ripe banana.  They would be a welcome treat when I was on the train to Bulgaria.

 

 

 

 

PICTURE OF FRUIT STAND 

 

During our basic training, Dalakis had billeted in my barracks so I knew him by sight and name.  I didn’t know him well but remembered that he graduated one grade above mine.  Now his tit was in the wringer, he was up the creek without a paddle and needed to be rescued.  Looking at my fruit, I wondered if he had enough to eat. I sent him a telepathic message, “Hold on Pal, I’m coming!”

 

Time To Head North

  I boarded Turkey’s only flight from Ankara to Sofia, Bulgaria.  The plane was a

Well maintained DC-3.  The 21 seats on board were comfy which surprised me.  I later learned that the head of the airline was a former WWII bomber pilot and never lost sight of the necessity of maintaining all aircraft to the highest standards.      

 

  We landed at Istanbul where six passengers got off and four got on.  I noticed that the wing tanks had been topped off with fuel so we could make the trip, non-stop, to Sofia.  While the fueling people did their job, we were allowed to walk around on the tarmac to

stretch our legs. That would have been unheard of in the States.  

 

  The harmonic drone of the two Pratt & Whitney R-1830’s put me to sleep. Before I knew it, we had landed in Sofia with nary a bounce. Inside the one story brick building laid ticket counters, customs and the Bulgarian security check.  My passport worked in Turkey and I had confidence that it would serve me well again here in Soviet controlled Bulgaria. 

 

  My heart skipped a beat when the customs clerk took, what I thought, a very long look at my passport photo then at my face.  He did it three times.  “Shit,” I thought.  “I’ve been had!” 

 

  Without a smile, thank you, or even, kiss my ass, he stamped my passport and pointed to the exit to my right.  “Whew!”

 

  This flight hadn’t been as long as my trip over the Atlantic, nevertheless, my bones needed to do some walking.  At around 1315 I decided to eat light so I ordered only goulash, bread and small glass of red wine.  I didn’t want anything heavy on my stomach just yet.  After a long and enjoyable lunch I went to a local bank to open an account.  The sign above the door read, Sofia’s Most Friendly Bank.  I deposited $100,000 just as Art had directed.

 

  I still had some time to kill because my train northward didn’t leave for four hours.  A pall hung over the city and its inhabitants. The people looked like they had just lost their best friend.  They had.  They had lost their freedom to the Russian bear.

 

  The Bulgarians were under the thumb of the Communists.  They hadn’t wanted to be a part of the Soviet Union, none of the satellites did, but being under the gun sight of Russian tanks and occupying soldiers, what choice did they have?

 

 

 

 

 

PICTURE OF TRAIN 

 

The train took forever to reach the town of Viden, a small town just on the Romanian side of the border. We had stopped at every junction letting people off, letting people on, stopping for water for the engine’s boiler, and at other times, reasons for which I could not conjecture.  

 

  By the time I got to Vidin, I was absolutely worn out.  Then my thought went to Paul.  Was he cold? Did he have a bed to sleep on? Was he hungry?  Suddenly thoughts of my own discomfort vanished like a puff of smoke in a windstorm. 

 

I Met My Underground Contact

  After clearing customs and the Romanian security check, I met my underground contact. Her name was Bengul, meaning I am the rose.  She was Turkish born and owned the newspaper stand where I had been told to meet her. Because she was Turk, even though she lived in Romania, I could trust her.  She would be my last underground contact in Romania because I was afraid anyone else might be the mole that Art had mentioned. I suspected that Bengul was not her real name as few ever are in this line of work.  Mine certainly wasn’t. 

 

  Before WWII, hitch hiking in the US was a common practice.  After the war, the road via the thumb faded away but not so in Europe.  Hitch hiking, even by lone women, remained a common practice.  Therefore my walking alone on a dirt road toward the city of Ploiesti raised no eyebrows and the third vehicle picked me up.  And as luck would have it, he was to make a delivery on the eastside of town.  

 

  I spoke no Romanian and the driver spoke no German but we had a grand time communicating in sign language.  We got so good at it, we exchanged stories about our children.  Of course I had to make up mine, being single and all.   

 

  We drove for a good three hours and I even snoozed a bit.  He let me off near downtown and went on his merry way.  I went to an outdoor café and ordered a sandwich and some port.  I looked on other tables hoping, by chance, that someone had left a newspaper; no such luck. 

 

  I ate, sipped the wine, paid my bill and went looking for a newsstand.  The only way that Paul and I could communicate would be by using the Personals in the daily paper.  We had learned the newspaper coding system in the second half of our basic training.  I needed to remember every nuance of the code and hoped that Paul had remembered them as well.

 

First Contact

  I bought a paper, turned to the Personals and sure enough he had placed an ad.  It read simply, Lost family dog.  Black with white on front left paw.  Respond here if found.

It was today’s paper and he was alive, unless of course he had paid for the same ad to run during the previous days as well.   

 

  I found the newspaper’s phone number that was printed at the bottom of the page.  I called it but it took forever before someone came on the line that spoke German. I could have spoken in Russian but my cover story was that I was German and I dared not put myself in jeopardy.

 

  My ad read: May have found your lost dog. What is your address?

 

   Paul would read it tomorrow then I would read his reply the following day.  There was always a one-day delay between contacts.   

 

  Yes! He had seen my ad and replied, Family very happy.  Give YOUR address and time to meet.

 

  My next ad read, Café on Rubin Plaza near fruit stand 1000 hours Wed.

 

  I was at the rendezvous point early then waited, and waited, and waited.  Finally, after two hours I left disappointed.

 

  An ad in the next day’s paper read, Unable to meet.  Trouble in family. I will reply again.  He had told me in code that there was trouble at his end and for some reason he couldn’t get to me.  All I could do was wait for him to send a follow up message.

 

  Three days went by before he placed another ad: Still unable to meet.  Dog’s name is Pawl.  He gets hungry and cold at night.  Please care for him! 

 

  I now knew for sure that it was Paul (Pawl) who was answering my ads and that he was hungry and cold.  And he still couldn’t get away because he was being watched.  The words he chose for the ad made it plain that he was miserable, under surveillance, and had to bide his time.  How he was able to place the newspaper ads eluded me.  I assumed that he had confidence in a runner of some sort.  And that proved that he had at least one person that he could trust.

 

  I decided to try something in the next ad.  Can a family member meet me?  I will reward him and deliver your dog.

 

  His reply was: Saturday, 0900 at jewelry store on Nordhaussen at Berger Stra. 

 

  I loaded my pockets with dried meats, one orange and a banana.  I hoped to meet with his emissary and have him lead me back to Paul’s hiding place or at least take him some food. I knew that Paul was hungry because he said so in his ad.  He also said that he had been cold so I bought him a warm jacket. 

 

  I was at the jewelry store at 0845 and waited until 1100 hours.  No one showed.  Now I had to wait another day to read his ad to find out why there was a no-show.

 

  The ad read: My helper must have (the equivalent of $20,000 American).  If not, I will never see the family dog again.

 

  “God damn son of a bitch!” I said out loud to myself.  “The assholes were holding him for ransom and had been all this time.” 

 

  I could get the money but it was back in the bank at Sofia’s Most Friendly Bank.  

 

  I telephoned the Sofia bank to transfer $20,000 from my original account to a brand new one that I wanted to open over the phone here and now. I needed this new account so that the kidnappers couldn’t get into the original one and drain its funds.

 

Bankers Are Bastards

  I was told politely that this type of transaction could not be handled over the phone.  It needed to be done in person. 

 

  I wouldn’t give up and kept asking to talk to someone higher up.  Finally, the bank manager, a Mr. Chavdar Gavrilov, came on the line.  He said that he was aware of my request and such an account might be arranged if certain conditions were met. 

 

  I knew that I was being screwed but I had no choice.  “How much will it require for me to meet your certain conditions?”

 

  “$1000”, was his answer.  .

 

  “Very well, then,” I replied, “please transfer the $20,000 into my new account and another $1,000 into the bank’s personal account.  Will that suffice?”

 

  Mr. Gavrilor said that it was a shame that banking rules required that transactions of this nature had to be handled as they are.  “But rules are rules, you know,” he said, followed by “Thank you for choosing Sofia’s Most Friendly Bank.” 

 

  “Friendly bank, my Aunt Agnes’ behind!”  I muttered to myself.  I wrote down the new account number containing the $20,000. Now I needed to put an ad in the paper telling Paul’s captures that I had their booty.

 

  My ad read, Will meet with dog owner and companion, 1200 hours Thursday at the Dumitru tavern.  Funds available.  All parties must be present for exchange.   

 

  My plan was that as soon as Paul was next to me, I would give the kidnappers a note with the bank’s name, phone number and the new account number with the $20,000. I fully intended to meet all of their demands because Paul’s safe return was too important not to. 

  I arrived at the tavern a full hour ahead of time to see if there were any scoundrels lurking about to kidnapped me too.  Noon came and went.  At 1430 hours I went back to my hotel fearful that Paul might have been harmed.

 

  At about 1830 hours I left my room, went across the street and ordered supper.  The waiter returned with a note. 

 

  It read, “If you have the money, walk two blocks west and buy a Pilsner at the Emilian Tavern and Outdoor Café.”

 

I Had Been Discovered

  The sons-a-bitches had been watching me the whole damn time.  They even knew where and when I ate.  “Damn it to hell,” I said out loud.   

 

  I left cash on the table for the food that I had ordered but would not eat.  I walked two blocks west and ordered a Pilsner at Emilian’s.  I sat two tables out from the building and faced the street so that I could see everyone approaching. 

 

  Suddenly I felt a hand on my left shoulder.  I shivered with anticipation.  I turned my head and saw Paul.  He looked like death warmed over.  Two burly guys who, apparently, had pistols in their pockets flanked him.  One of the pockets was pointing toward me, the other toward Paul.

 

  Suddenly a woman sat herself down in the chair next to me.  She snapped her fingers then rubbed them together, the universal sign, “Give me the money.”  I reached inside my jacket then felt a strong push from behind.  They were taking no chances that I might be reaching for a gun. 

 

  I pulled out the paper with all of the banking information and gave it to her.  I guess she was expecting cash because at first she seemed dumfounded by the note.  Then a light bulb came on above her head and she nodded affirmatively. 

 

  Then she said in Romanian, ”Va trebui prietenul tău, când ne-am bani de la bancă. Asta este tot ce am de spus.” (“You will have your friend when we have the money from the bank.  That is all I have to say.”) 

 

  I shook my head and held up my hands indicating that I didn’t understand what she had said.  Paul translated the message.

 

  Then she said, ”Noi plecăm acum cu prietenul tău. Ne vom întâlni aici mâine la 1200 ore dacă ne rost de bani de la bancă. La revedere. (“We leave now with your friend.  We will meet here tomorrow at 1200 hours if we get the money from the bank. Goodbye.”) 

 

  Again Paul translated her words then he was pulled back into the tavern.  They had now left me alone and in a situation over which I had no control.  In this line of work, if you’re not in control, you could find yourself in deep trouble.   

 

  It seemed as though noon the next day would never come.  The clock dragged.  I arrived at the tavern early, sat in the same chair and at the same table as I had yesterday.  The appointed hour came and went.  I looked at my watch a dozen times.  I decided that they weren’t coming so I got up to leave.  Then I heard Paul’s voice.  “Let’s get the hell out of here!”

 

  The bastards had him in the tavern behind me the entire time and were watching me.  They wanted to make me sweat just for their twisted pleasure.

 

 

 

He Needed A Bath and A Friend

  A taxi took us to his hotel.  He had rented his room for six months so, even in his absence; the room had been cleaned and tidied. 

 

 

PICTURE OF MAN IN TUB

 

Paul opened his unsecured briefcase and found that his notes on Soviet activities were in tact. “Whew”, he said.

I went to the bathroom, drew a hot tub and told him to hop in.  He stunk and also needed to get the chill out of his bones.  For the past three and one-half weeks he had slept on a wooden floor with only one blanket for comfort. 

 

  I sat on the toilet next to the tub and began debriefing him.

 

  Paul said that he was traveling with a Dutch passport and was ostensibly working for the Royal Dutch Shell Oil Company to negotiate the price of refined petroleum products produced there in Ploiesti.  At least, that’s what everyone thought.  His real mission, of course, was to spy on the Soviets.

 

  He had a hard hat, the words PETROLEUM ENGINEER were painted on both side of his white pickup truck and he traveled freely with nary a hassle from the Soviets nor the folks from Shell Oil because each thought he was working for the other side.  Routinely, he was sending Soviet troop strength, weapons deployment, and their maneuver tactics back to Langley.

 

  Then I asked, “How and when did they discover that you are CIA?  And who do you think might be the mole that found you out?”

 

His Identity Was Safe

  Looking at me with a questioned expression, he said, “CIA?  The bastards who kidnapped me were common criminals out to make a fast buck.  They figured that if they kidnapped a Shell Oil employee they could garner a handsome reward for my return.”

 

  He went on, “Hell no, no one knows that I’m undercover here.” 

  “Well I’ll be go to hell!” I said astonishingly. 

 

   “But Dick,” he called me by my real name, “I’m so bummed out, I can’t stay here any longer.  I need to get home.”

 

  “Right”, I answered.  “I’ll go to my hotel and check out then come back here so we can make plans to get out of Dodge.”

 

   I could tell that he was still a bit uneasy so I sat on the stool for a bit longer while he told me his story.

 

 

 

 

PICTURE OF B-24’S BOMBING

 

 “During WWII, I was a bombardier on a B-24 named the Lazy Susan.  On August the first, 1943 our ship along with 177 others flew 2,000 miles round-trip to bomb the oil refineries here in Ploiesti.  It was a fiasco.  The Krauts had broken our code and knew that we were coming.  We flew into hell and lost 53 planes, 530 good men died.  The incident shook me up so much that I was declared unfit to fly for a month.  I never thought that I’d ever come here again, but look at me, sitting in hot water after another damn fiasco.”

 

  I asked how it came to be that he drew this assignment.  He said that he was born Romanian in the US.  He was the one of four boys and two girls.  The family spoke both Romanian and English throughout his life.  When he joined the CIA he naturally fit into the slot for Romanian activities.

 

  He was calmer now as he let out some tepid water, added some hot, then slid back under up to his chin.

 

  “I’ll go check out of my hotel and be back within an hour at the most.  OK?”

 

  He said, “OK.” 

 

  I pulled up my left pant leg and unholstered one of my Makarov 9mm’s.  I told him the clip was full and there was a cartridge in the chamber.  The safety was on.  I looked at him and caught the slightest hint of a tear in one eye.  He knew that he was going home.

 

Revenge Is Sweet

  When I got back, Paul had shaved, shampooed, put on clean clothes and looked like a new man.  Now that we knew that his CIA cover had not been blown, we took a leisurely supper at a fine restaurant.  I finished my meal with a cognac; Paul had a Chardonnay.  He joked and said, “Let’s not tell the tax payers that we were drinking on the job.”

 

  I laughed.

 

  Back in his room I proposed a plan.  “Paul let’s get back at the people who held you captive.”  He had told me that they were brothers and sister. The tavern’s name, the Emilian, was the name of one of the boys who owned it jointly with the others.     

  “What do you have in mind?” Paul asked.

 

  I answered, “How about them loosing the tavern due to unexplained circumstances?”

 

  “You’re an evil man,” Paul answered using a lowered, ‘evil’ sounding voice. 

 

  We left the hotel and went to a pay phone.  I called one of our CIA ‘contractors’ and told him what I had in mind.  I told him to pick up an envelope at our hotel’s front desk containing $500 for his services.  My plan was written on the note also inside the envelope.   

 

  On the front page of the next day’s newspaper was a picture of a flaming building.  The words under the photo read, Emilian tavern burns to ground.  Cause of fire unknown.

 

  “That’ll teach the bastards to fuck with the CIA,” Paul said in a happy tone.

 

We Made Plans To Leave

  The next trick was to get back to Bulgaria, then to friendly Turkey and finally, home. 

 

  Paul said he had a plan. 

 

  I asked. “What?”

 

  I had always worked alone but now with Paul, I felt that we were a team.  It made this mission more enjoyable.

 

  “Let’s hire a truck and driver and load it with fruit and vegetables from the farmer’s market here in town.  We’ll tell the driver that the load is to be delivered to Vidin.  Isn’t that the town that we need to go back through?”

 

  I said, “Right.”

 

  “Ok then.  We’ll pay for the food, pay for the petrol and give the driver $300 for his time.    Of course we’ll ride along.  What do you think?”

 

  I said, “I’m jealous.  That’s a brilliant idea.  I’d have never thought of that.”

 

  Then I asked, “What will the driver do with the food?”

 

  “Who cares?” he flipped 

 

Working Our Way Home

  The ride to Vidin was pleasant.  Paul and the driver talked the whole way.  He’d give me an elbow whenever I was supposed to laugh. 

 

  Paul told the driver to stop in the center of town and hawk the food to the good Romanian citizens of Vidin.  The poor fellow was surprised because we had told him that he was to make a delivery and he had expected to pull into a dock somewhere, unload, then dead head back home.  Paul told him that our plans had fallen through.  But he could make 100% profit on the food since we had paid for it; he had no capital outlay.  Then just to make sure there would be no squabble, I gave him another $300. With smiles all around, we shook hands and parted company.  

 

  Secondly, now that we were out of harm’s way and the kidnapping business behind us, we needed to return the 9mm’s and the ammo to Bengul at her newsstand. At any time, during our forthcoming journey, Soviets might check passports and even pat people down if they looked suspicious.   

 

  Finally, we needed to board the train to Bulgaria without raising the suspicions of the Soviet guards. Fortunately for us, they seemed not to care much about their jobs.  Vidin was a small agricultural town and nothing much ever happened there so the guards were not really on their toes.

 

  However, one guard took several looks at Paul’s passport photo then his face.  Because of what Paul had just endured, he looked drawn and older than his photo. Finally, his passport was stamped, so was mine and we boarded the third car behind the engine.   

 

  As soon as the train left the station and the city limits of Vidin, it was in Bulgaria.  It was listed as a Local meaning that it would stop a million times before reaching Sofia.  We dared not act upset because if we did we might call attention to ourselves and we certainly didn’t want that.  After too many frustrating nighttime hours, we finally arrived in Sofia at about noon. 

 

  I told Paul that I was getting low on cash and needed to withdraw some from my account at Sofia’s Most Friendly Bank. My original deposit days earlier had been $100,000.  I had transferred $20,000 to the new account from which the kidnappers had drawn their ransom. Then another $1,000 had been transferred to the bank manager’s special account.  That left $79,000, more than enough for anyone who might succeed me in a later mission.  

 

I Had Been Had

  The banker with whom I had made the long distance telephone transactions back in Romania was Chavdar Gavrilor, the manager.  I asked to speak with him but was told that he had retired and had moved to a newer house at the edge of town.

 

  I just wanted to see the SOB who had conned me out of $1,000.  Oh well, it wasn’t important.

 

  I told the teller that I wished to withdraw $3,000 from account number 73-416-00A.  She went to her card file, pulled out an index card and read it to me. 

 

  “Sir, the account has been closed. No funds remain.”

 

  I looked at Paul and whispered, “The sonofabitch stole $79,000 from the US taxpayers.”

  Paul looked puzzled and I told him I’d explain everything later.

 

  Therefore, it became necessary that I open another brand new account and electronically transfer funds from the bank in Ankara. I elected to open this new one with only $25,000. From that, I withdrew $3,000 in cash, which was more than enough to get us back home.  I had learned a long time ago that Murphy’s Law was in effect in every culture so too much cash was better than possible running short. 

 

  After we had done all of our banking, I told Paul about the bank manager here in Sofia who had stolen $79,000 from the account. 

 

  Paul said, “I have never have trusted bankers.”  Then he added, “Lawyers, neither.”

 

Payback, Big Time

  I knew that Paul’s and my CIA covers were still in tact, so I made a long distance phone call to a CIA ‘contractor’ in Turkey, a fellow that we had used in the past. I asked if he could do a little job for me.  I told him the whole story and gave him the banker’s name and that he had recently moved to a newer house at the edge of Sofia. Using a ‘contractor’ from here in Bulgaria was out of the question because he could have easily been found out. 

 

  I said that I didn’t want the banker eliminated but he needed to be taught a lesson.  The voice on the line assured me that the job would be handled to my satisfaction.  “I’m certain that you will be pleased, as always, with my work.”

 

  Sometime later back in the States, I learned how the job was handled.  My ‘contractor’ had persuaded the banker to take the unspent cash back to his bank, open the same account again and deposit all but $5,000, which was his fee that we had agreed upon. Had there not been $5,000 left, we would have wired the difference to his hometown account.     

 

  After setting up the account again in the same bank with the same account number, my man drove Mr. Gaurilov to a medical clinic where he was shoved out the car door but not before both of his thumbs had been chopped off.

 

  Paul and I now had enough money to fly the DC-3 back to Ankara.  And once that we were over Turkish soil, we were safe. 

 

  We would then pick up TWA in Ankara and be home in about 27 hours.  It would be a three hour longer trip because each of our planes would be bucking headwinds the whole way. 

 

  Like Paul had said a day or so earlier, “Who cares?”

 

  My job was done, Paul was safe, this chapter and this mission was, for all practical purposes, closed. 

 

The World was coming To an End

  When we landed in Ankara, the plane was immediately surrounded by armed Turkish troops.  They ringed the plane with their backs to it so it was obvious that they were protecting it but from whom and why?  

 

  The airport lobby was thick with people.  There was a buzz of fear in the air.  Men were cursing, babies were crying, and women looked to their men to do something.

 

  I asked several people, both in Russian and in German, what was going on.  Paul was frantically engaging people in Romanian and Dutch, also trying to find the reason for the madness.

 

  We finally found out that the United States had gone to DEFCON 2 (one military alert short of all out war). The Russians had launched a long-range missile, which had gone off course and was headed for Germany, one of our NATO allies.  Initially, the US didn’t know that the missile had simply malfunctioned.  They thought that the Russians were starting WWIII.  Even though US observers finally confirmed that the Soviets had safely detonated the errant missile mid flight, America remained on alert for the next 24 hours.  That had a domino effect causing many other countries to go to ‘battle ready.’  As stupid as the whole thing was, we were now stuck in Turkey.

 

  All flights throughout the country were cancelled.  Trains had been stopped at their nearest depot.  All vehicular traffic was halted save that of the military.  There was panic, fear, and desperation on everyone’s face. 

 

  I nudged Paul and said, “This is no place for a couple of old CIA guys.  Let’s go back to the hotel and hole up until the world comes to its senses again.”

 

  Paul nodded in agreement.

 

  Along the way, we bought some dried fruit, bottled apple juice, dried meats, two loafs of hard crust bread along with some cheese, a cheese knife, and a cutting board.   

 

Typically A Mob Mentality

  The hotel lobby was in no better shape.  People were checking out right and left.  They wanted to flee the city because they knew that it would be a target for the Commies. I didn’t know how they were going to get out of town because all of the roads were closed. 

But I wasn’t too surprised.  They were behaving true to form, with a typical mob mentality. 

 

  The desk clerk was very surprised when we paid to check back into our former room. 

 

  We walked up the two flights of stairs, not wanting to be stuck in an elevator should the electricity go out. We plopped our food onto the beds then walked back down to the hotel’s restaurant and ordered supper. 

 

  It took forever to get service.  Half of the staff had gone home to be with their families, while the piano player played a dirge.  But there was a ray of sunshine in the room.  The hooker at the end of the bar gave me a toothy grin and a wink. Paul had seen what she did and burst out laughing.  “Oh you lady-killer you!” I kicked his chair leg in retaliation then I buried my face in the menu.

 

  Our food arrived hot and tasty.  The hooker ordered another drink and the piano player tinkled the keys ‘till he found a Brahms that he liked.  Paul and I enjoyed our meals finishing again with my cognac and his Chardonnay.  The world was on the brink, again, and we were behaving like nothing was wrong.  After we finished our supper, I left a handsome tip.  I thought, “Hell, if the world is coming to an end, the money I had in my pocket was worthless anyway.”

 

  Then for entertainment, we moved our chairs over to the large plate glass window and watched the panic still raging in the street. One fellow, perhaps drunk, was leaning against a building playing his trumpet.  I looked at Paul and he did the circling finger gesture next to his temple telling me that he thought the fellow was just plain nuts. 

 

  The alcohol had made me sleepy and I notice that Paul had yawned twice. 

 

  “Bed time?” I asked.

 

  “Bed time.” He answered.

 

  The sheets were clean and the noise outside was dimmed by the centuries old masonry exterior walls.  Exhausted from the travel and tension, we slept like logs, this time without loaded pistols under our pillows.  

 

 

                          I WAS A SPY FOR THE CIA

 

                                          Chapter 5

                         Their Spies were Capturing Our Spies

                               Mission effective 20 April 1959 to 12 May 1959

 

Scotland

  My next mission was less harrowing but nonetheless a life saving task.  For some time, our undercover agents were being discovered, captured, then disappeared to somewhere behind the Iron Curtain.  Through long and arduous deductive reasoning, we felt that the Commies had spies in Scotland where our people received advanced training in all sorts of skills. 

 

  We felt pretty sure that a man and woman team was spying on the facility, taking photos was of the students and creating dossiers on everyone that they could.  Then when those agents went into the field, they were easily identified and were arrested. The situation was dire.  I was told that the President Eisenhower was in no mood to play Mickey Mouse with these people. “Get them!” he said. “I’ll not have our people trained just to be cannon fodder for the Russian KBG!”

 

  During the Cold War, the US flew many surveillance (CIA spy) flights over the Soviet

Union border in addition to Gary Powers’ ill fated flight in a U-2.  Ten of those flights were shot down and their crews either died in the crashes or were captured. According to the U.S. POW/Missing Personnel Office, which was created in 1992, US efforts to persuade Russia to release the details of 77 missing American crewmen have met with no results. One of those missing was a kid I knew in high school two years behind me; Sam Goldsmith. Upon hearing the news that his son’s plane was lost, of course the CIA couldn’t say where, Sam’s dad had a heart attack and died that very day.  His mom Gladys, bless her heart, wrote letter after letter to Washington trying to find out what really had happened.  The story she received, fake of course, was that his plane went down off the coast of California and all hands were lost at sea.      

 

  My job was to go to Scotland, find whoever the culprits were so we could pick them up and whisk them back to the US for interrogation.  My cover story was that I was doing research on Scottish lore for an upcoming high school textbook.    

 

   

 

 

PICTURE OF CONNIE

 

  I flew coach class on a Lockheed Constellation from Newark to London by way of Greenland where we stopped for an hour to take on fuel.  It was a nice respite.  We could stretch our legs, use a regular size toilet and buy stuff at the duty free shop.  I bought a Leica M1, serial number 979501, 35 mm camera with a focal plane shutter.  It came with the standard 50mm Leitz lens giving me a 1:1 ratio on my photos.  I also picked up a 50-210 mm zoom lens to bring in my subjects up to three times closer.

 

  I purposely chose Agfa film because I knew that it was the most commonly used brand in the British Isles and in Europe.  Had I chosen Kodak, I might have had trouble getting it developed.  “Why take chances,’ I thought.  

 

  The whole rig set me back $280, but Leica is the best and I knew that I would enjoy using it back home.  If you want a good camera, buy German.  If you want a good watch, buy Swiss.  If you want good music, go to Vienna.  I had my standards.

 

  Total trip time was nine and one-half hours compared to the lesser five hours in the Boeing 707 jet that was in service at that time.  But the 707 is a high profile airplane.  If bad-boy agents in London were keeping tabs on arrivals, the 707 would not be a wise choice for me to use.  The “Connie” would be more innocuous.

 

  We landed at Heathrow which at that time was tiny compared to its layout today.  Even with our fuel stop in Greenland, I could hardly walk having been cramped up so long in my seat. 

 

  England was still recovering from the war and airport facilities were severely lacking.  A cabby with a high-class English accent dropped me off at a bread and breakfast on London’s near north side.  I knew not to stay at a hotel where it would be easier to trace me if someone wanted to.  After the hack pulled away and before I checked in I switched to a different passport with a different name from the one that I used to enter the country.   I wanted my trail to end at the airport.  A new identity beginning here might fool or at least delay anyone who might be following me.  Money would be no problem because six months of English cash had been waiting for me in locker 145 at the airport.   

 

 

A Beautiful Irish Lassie

  Two Irish girls operated the B&B.  One was rather plain looking but acceptable.  The other was a vision of loveliness that men, the world over, would go to war for.  Her beauty was no less than a sparkle of light shining from a drop of dew resting on a rose.  Her face was that of an angle and her youthful grace was highlighted by her Irish accent.  When she spoke her voice filled the room and my soul. I wanted to lift her by her small waist, place her on the mantel above the fireplace and look with adoration until I fell asleep, hypnotized by her green eyes.   Had I not been on business for my country, I would have renounced my US citizenship and applied for an English one so that I could be with her forever. But spies are not allowed to do that.

 

  The pretty one, Colleen, showed me to my room, which was small but pleasant.  After freshening up and changing clothes I went downstairs to go out on the town.  I asked Colleen if she would join me for supper and perhaps dancing later.  To my great disappointment, she said that she was not able to leave the premises as she was on duty until Sunday night.  This being a Saturday, I would have to dine alone in a city that was still recovering from the Blitz of World War II.  

 

  A short taxi ride back to the center of London, on the left side of the street, I spotted a café that looked quaint and clean so I motioned to the driver to drop me off there.  After I paid the fare plus a generous tip the driver said, “Have a nice time Yank, ya hear? ”  

 

  My light meal was fulfilling and the night air smelled of history.  My thoughts wandered back to Mr. Polanski’s class, The Rise and Fall of The British Empire.  Before I took his course I thought that England’s kings had always been English born.  But that wasn’t so.  For instance, in 1066 William I (the Conqueror) became King and he was from Normandy, a Province of France.  It’s a territory of land, about the size of Massachusetts, adjacent to France with 360-mile of shoreline on the English Channel.  It has no central government but it does have several self-governing towns.

 

  Besides fighting each other to see who would be the King of England and Monarch of the British Isles, the English also fought over which religion had the one and only true

god.  Christian zealots launched their Crusades against non-Christians in 1095 and didn’t stop their merciless killing until 1272. During those horrible 177 years, hundreds of thousands of innocent people were jailed, tortured and killed, all in the name of a god. Religious wars are still being fought but they aren’t called Crusades; they’re referred to as ethnic cleansing. 

 

  “On the dogmas of religion as distinguished from moral principals, all mankind, from the beginning of the world to this day, have been quarrelling, fighting, burning, and torturing one another, for abstractions unintelligible to themselves and to all others, and absolutely beyond the comprehension of the human mind.”  US President Thomas Jefferson. circa 1844  

 

 

 

 

  PICTURE OF STATUE IN THE ROUND

 

  Today, however, Normandy is mostly remembered as the place where the Allies, in World War II, first landed on European soil on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

 

  That was then and this was now and I needed to relax and unwind from the long flight.  It was a chance to stretch my legs and dancing was just what the doctor ordered.   I asked directions to the Hippodrome and was told that it was “Jest down there two and one more to the left Chum; an you can walk it if-in yer-a mind to.”   

 

The Music Played In London

  As advertised, I found it on Charing Crossing Road in Leicester Square.  I could hear the music from the sidewalk out front.  The soft sounds pulled me in as I was already predisposed for a night of music, dancing, and conversation.  Not wanting to hear the blare of the band and preferring the music to be background for any forthcoming conversation, I choose to sit in the balcony.  

 

  The early evening attendance was still light because the fervent crowd had yet to make its appearance.  Several of the small tables were vacant but I choose one further away because I saw the back of a ladies head and thought perhaps that she would care to dance. 

 

  “May I join you?” I asked.

 

  She turned to face me and I saw a very plain faced young woman who quickly smiled and said, “Yes, please do.”

 

  After sitting in the chair opposite of her I ordered an ale from a nearby waiter.  

 

  We chatted and she said that her name was Anne Peters and she was from Holland.  Currently she was employed as a housemaid for some gentry who were taking a holiday on the Continent; somewhere in France I think she said.  I wasn’t quite sure because a trumpet from the band below drowned out her voice.  But I nodded as though I heard what she had said.  I asked her to dance and she said maybe in a little while.  But for now, she just wanted to listen to the music.  Her Cognac ran dry so I ordered her another.  Since I had bought her a drink, I felt that I had paid the customary price of conversation.  All that remained was one courtesy dance then I could legitimately move on. 

 

  Not being the swiftest dancer in the crowd I waited for slow song and asked once more for ‘spin around the floor’ to which she said, “Yes, thank you,” again with a smile, a genuine smile.  I thought, ‘Maybe I might like to have more than one dance with her.’  

Together we admitted that we were not ‘Fred and Ginger’ but we gave it our best shot and enjoyed each other’s company.  We talked more and laughed a lot. 

 

  Then she asked, “What do you do?” 

 

  I replied that I was a soldier on leave from my post in Germany.  I didn’t have to ask what she did because she had volunteered the answer soon after we met.

 

  “How long have you been stationed overseas?” she queried.   

 

   I told her that I had been away from home for a little over a year. 

 

  Then she asked, “Do you like the army?”

 

  “Not particularly,” I answered.

 

  “What most don’t you like about it?” she continued.

 

  “Breakfast!  I hate breakfast in the army!”

 

  She laughed not expecting my answer to be that simple.  She probably thought I’d say, marching, taking orders, or some such military stuff.

 

  I volunteered more information, “We’re served eggs every morning and I hate eggs!”

 

  Again she laughed at my honesty.  I had charmed the lady without even trying.

 

  “Tell you what,” she said, “I’m alone in the house for the rest of the month.  Why not spend the night with me in Chiselhurst and I’ll fix you a breakfast the next morning and leave out the eggs?"”

 

  Now she had charmed me!  I said enthusiastically, “I’d love to!” 

 

  Then we danced some and talked some until there was just enough time to catch the last train to Chiselhurst soon to depart from Charing Station.

 

  It was well after dark when we reached the house.  I had no shaving gear, no under wear and no change of socks but Anne said she would see to my ‘clean up’ in the morning. 

 

I Missed Her Wanton Signals

  Anne showed me to my room; it was picturesque English.  The mattress was high off the floor supported by a sturdy frame and engraved headboard. 

 

  “Everything all right?” she asked.

 

 “Just fine, thanks,” I answered.  

 

  I waited until she left the room before taking off my clothes.  She hadn’t closed the door.

 

  In a few minutes, she appeared in the doorway, “Is there anything you need or want?”

  “No thanks.  I’m just fine,” I replied.

 

  She lingered for a moment or two then disappeared.

 

Breakfast without Eggs

 Anne’s invitation to me at the Hippodrome was for a night’s sleep and a home cooked breakfast.  There had no mention or any body language on her part or mine about a sexual interlude so I expected none. Even though she behaved like Aphrodite standing in my bedroom doorway, her feminine signals went right over my head. 

 

  Morning came and I heard a knock, knock on the bedroom doorframe. 

 

  “The bathroom is right there,” pointing to her left, “come downstairs when you are ready.  She handed me a new toothbrush, I said thanks and told her that I’d be down in about 15 minutes.

 

 Anne was dressed, smelled fresh and stood by the breakfast table pretending to be a dutiful waitress awaiting my order.

 

  “How about pancakes, fried potatoes, and sausage?” I asked.

 

  She smiled and went to work.  We didn’t talk much.  She was busy making me happy and from the smile on her face I thought that she was happy too. 

 

  We ate together.   

 

  I hadn’t planned on spending any time in England because I needed to get to Scotland.  But the newspaper ad for the car I wanted to buy said ‘ring’ Monday thru Friday only.   This being Sunday, I had the day off so to speak.

 

We Toured London Together

 Anne was fun to be with.  She laughed and was full of life.  I asked if she’d like to tour London with me. 

 

  “See the sights!” I said. 

 

  She said she’d love to, so off we went back to the train station for the 45 minute ride back to London.  Once there, we caught a cab and went to my B&B for a change of clothes for me and to pick up my Leica to take pictures just like every other tourist. 

 

 

 

 

 

PICTURE OF BUCKINGHAM PALACE 

 

 We saw Buckingham Palace but the queen didn’t make an appearance.  Unfortunately we were not on the proper schedule so we missed seeing see the changing of the guard. 

Anne pointed out the London Bridge, which is nothing more than an every-day two-lane

concrete bridge.  But Tower Bridge was a sight to behold with it charismatic old-world architecture stretching over the Themes with a grand tower standing guard at each end. 

 

  And of course we went to Westminster Abby, saw the Tower of London and several other usual historic sites.  All in all, we enjoyed the day and each other’s company.

  Then I asked about what it was like to live in London during the war, during Germany’s aerial attacks, buzz bombs and V-2 rocket attacks.  She said she was of Belgium decent and lived there with her mother and brother and sister.  She said the German soldiers that she saw on the street seemed nice enough but everyone was still scared to death of them. 

 

  “One time,” she said,” we saw soldiers coming toward our house.  Mother grabbed us all up and we hid in the basement.  She didn’t turn on any light and told us not to speak even in a whisper.” 

 

  Anne’s voice now seemed far away as she remembered the event, “They came into the house and we heard them clomping from room to room. One soldier even opened the door leading down to the basement and we were afraid they come down and hurt us.  But he closed the door and went away so we were safe.”

 

  I could tell that the story took a toll on her so I didn’t press for any other war stories.

 

  Sometime during the day I said to her, “You know you shouldn’t be inviting strangers, especially soldiers to your home.”

 

  “Why not?” she asked.

  “Because you never know what’s on their mind.  They could take advantage of you.  Even if you asked me back tonight, you might not be able to trust me either.”

 

  Without a pause, she said, “Would you like to spend the night again?”

 

Time Buy a Car

  After another a wonderful breakfast I kissed Anne goodbye and walked to the train station alone.   

 

  Once back in London, a taxi took me to the address in the newspaper where the used car was for sale. The private owner was selling it because his eyesight was bad and he could no longer drive.

 

  The car was old but the engine was sound, just the conveyance that I needed.  I paid cash without haggling over the price.  I needed to be forgettable and haggling would create more memories in the seller’s mind. 

 

  I filled the tank with petrol, checked the oil and headed off to my bed and breakfast.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember exactly how to get back so I had to ask several

people for directions.  That was s huge error on my part because now additional people could identify me.  I vowed not to let that ever happen again.  I had really taken a chance by spending so much time with Anne but felt safe, just the same.  

 

  By now it was too late to drive up the coast to Scotland so I had to stay another night. A quaint fish and chips shop was only two blocks away and a light supper is all that I wanted anyway.  It was silly to hire a cab for such a short distance so I walked, allowing the damp English air settle on my face.   

 

  Bright and early the next morning I packed my bags, ate breakfast then settled my rent with Colleen.

 

Goddess Colleen thou art a flower, not to be picked but to lend thy beauty for the world to see.  To be seen by the many or the few, whomever the Gods will allow.  Ever to grace the eyes of the beholder and etch thyself in the memories of those who gaze upon thee. Ye bonnie young lass Colleen, you make Ireland proud!  Colleen, Colleen!  T. Farley, 1893.

 

 

 

 

 

PICTURE OF SCOTISH SHORE LINE

              

The Drive to Scotland

  During the drive up to Scotland, I was disappointed that I couldn’t spare the time to take pictures of the shoreline and fraternize with the locals.  The beauty of the Scottish shore was to die for.  I vowed to return someday, to take pictures and meet the locals whom I would feature in my book.  Scotland and its ancient beauty has to be at the top of the list for curious world travelers.  The topography varies from plains to pines, from calm to brash and the ocean crashes against the crags giving glistening life to the green velvet moss on the age old rocks. 

 

  But I needed to get to the city of Arbroath, which lies on the coast of the North Sea.  Arbroath is 17 miles NE of Dundee and has a population of nearly 20,000.  The Scottish Royal Marines training facility is at the outskirts of the city.    

  Someone at Langley had earlier perused the town’s newspapers and had given me seven addresses of apartments for rent hoping that at least one would still be available when I got there.  I got lucky, as the third one I visited was available.  It was on the second floor and a mere half block from the training facility’s main gate.   My new zoom lens would serve me well.   

 

I Settled In

  The flat’s décor was befitting an elderly woman.  It had deep red flocked wallpaper on the sitting room walls.  The kitchen was tiny, had a flower patterned linoleum floor and a

two-burner gas stove.  With a small drop leaf table and two straight back chairs, the room was a bit cramped. Two hot water bottles lay next to the sink.  

 

  The bed was a single with two pillows lying on top of a blanket and a heavy quilt.  Scotland is well known for its cold, damp air. There was a small pot-bellied stove in the

sitting room and in the bedroom but there was none in the kitchen. A coal bucket, already filled, stood near each stove. 

 

  The curtains in each room were a 40’s fashion, clean and pleated.  I had one overhead light and one floor lamp in the sitting room plus one overstuffed chair and a rocker.  There was only a small lamp in the bedroom on the table by the bed.  The place was compact but comfortable and quite adequate for my needs. 

 

Find the Two Spies

   My assignment was to locate and document the whereabouts of a man and woman team suspected to be spies for the Soviet Union.  The couple was under cover somewhere near the camp and had eluded our best efforts of finding them. They were good at their job! 

 

  Because Scotland was, and still is, the home of many military training sites for allied nations, it is a great place for adversarial spies. It isn’t that the Soviets wanted to know what training was taking place for it had superb training of its own.  The Soviets wanted the identity and photos of the recruits inside the camps.  With this knowledge, they would have a heads-up if any of those people later tried to cross over into their country at any of their border checkpoints.  In the past two years, four such people had already been caught and were never heard from again.  The Allies wanted these two spies in the worst way. My orders were very plain; find the pair even if it took until ‘Hell freezes over!’

 

  It was a given that the spies I had to find had already photographed, identified, and discovered everything there was to know about the instructors in the camp because these people came and went through the main gate every day.  Scotland was their home and they lived with their families in town.  Keeping secret the identities of the trainees, however, was high priority. 

 

  Recruits being trained for highly sensitive work were billeted deep inside the compound.  They were the Special Ops (Operations) folks learning cryptography, wiretapping, smuggling, hand to hand combat, how to kill in a hundred different ways and much more.  

 

  Those training for jobs as clerks and for positions that would not require them to travel lived among the civilian population.  They came and went everyday until they graduated.  It was suspected that even their identities were forwarded to the Soviets, leaving nothing to chance.    

 

  After only a few days of observation I was able to discern between citizens, tourists, and suspects.  Tell tale signs of spies, of course, might be something like the same vehicle frequently driving by slowly.  Another clue could be when an individual kept showing up for no apparent reason. 

 

  Such was the case with a woman who mingled with the folks on their noontime break at the main gate.  She wore different clothes each time, changed her hairstyle and sometimes carried a bag of groceries to disguise her true intention, that being identifying every student buying goodies from the vendor’s truck.  Sometimes I had trouble seeing her because the street vendor’s truck was in the way.  The flaw in her disguise was the pin in her hair.  No matter what she wore or how she changed her appearance, the pin was always there. If her handler, back in Moscow, had seen that that kind of repetition he would have had her shipped off to a gulag. 

 

She Always Used the Same Route

  I had memorized the three different directions that she took after leaving the area.  Over a period of several weeks, I had staked myself out at stores, restaurants, etc. along each of three routes to find out where she lived.  Finally I discovered that she lived in a duplex but because there was a common door servicing both apartments, I had to wait for telltale signs as to which were hers.

 

  There was a car parked at the curb a few feet west of her door but I didn’t think it was hers because she always walked.  I’d often see a man driving it away but never with a passenger.  Then one day she opened the left-hand passenger door, slipped in and the car sped away.  I then knew she had a partner.  But I still didn’t know if they were spies, the spies, my spies. 

 

  Their habits were not the same as married couples that is to say, going to cinema, grocery shopping together and such.  As one of my favorite instructors at Langley once told me,  “Listen to your gut, it seldom lies.” 

 

  All I could do now was watch and wait.   

 

  I heard from Langley that one of the graduates of the Scottish training facility was picked up at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin trying to cross over into Soviet occupied East Berlin.  That same night I saw the woman and her companion dressed to the nine’s get into the car and drove to the finest restaurant in town.  Bingo!

 

  I notified Langley of my suspicions that the couple had celebrated the capture of one of our people.  I kept my vigil and on the third day as I passed their building I saw a TO LET sign in the window.  Our people had rounded up the couple and whisked them back to the US in a military plane. 

 

  Now I waited for word from home to return to the states.  I was bored but was accustomed to watching the gate to the camp.  Suddenly I realized that a different street vendor was coming to the main gate at lunchtime.

 

  Word soon came for me to return to London, sell the car to a dealer, return the

left over English money to the locker at the airport.  The message also said that a cold beer would be waiting for me.    

 

  At a simple get-together in the boss’ office, I was told that indeed the couple was the culprits we had been looking for.  And the street vendor was their source for smuggling information back to the Soviet Union. 

 

 Surprise of all surprises, Phil, the guy who had recruited me at college, showed up.  I couldn’t have been happier if the president of the United States had shown up.

 

  Phil clanked his beer bottle against mine and said, “Good job!” 

 

  My reward was a week free to travel the US with my camera and a legal pad on which to take notes in case I wanted to include my home country in any future textbooks that I might write.  First I spent two days with Mom and Dad.  Of course I couldn’t tell them the truth.  I said I had been “overseas” researching for my books. Dad looked at me kind of funny but didn’t say anything. 

 

 

 

                          I WAS A SPY FOR THE CIA

 

                                                      Chapter 6

                            MISSION TO GERMANY  

                                Mission effective 2 June 1965 to 15 June 1965  

                                                           

Erika

  “Dick, how about some good ol’ German food made in Germany?” Arthur asked me.

 

  “Sounds great!” I answered with enthusiasm.  “When do I leave?”

 

  “Things aren’t solid yet.  We’ll send the details to you in Frankfort just as soon as we tie up some loose ends.”

 

  I said, “OK.” 

 

  Art finished by saying, “Pick up your plane ticket from Kim down in Travel.  You’ll leave the day after tomorrow.” 

 

  My plane ride to Frankfort was more than pleasant because, Erika, the lovely lady sitting next to me shared my academic interests. She was fascinated with my idea about writing text books based on actual travels as opposed to texts based on plagiarized material. I knew that Arthur had OK’d my having a liaison, if I chose, because the good folks at Langley had packed condoms with my standard kit of goodies that they thought that I would need on this assignment.  I suddenly had the funny thought, ‘I wonder if they counted them and was I required to return in the unused ones?’

 

 

 

 

 

PICTURE OF ERIKA

 

 Erika was quick to giggle and told me stories about her childhood growing up on a farm.   She mentioned that by the age of six, she knew all about the birds and the bees from watching the animals.  I felt relieved that she, not I, was the first one to bring up the subject of sex.  My pseudonym for this mission was Thomas so I told her to call me Tom.

 

 I don’t remember if the airline food was good or bad.  We were having so much fun that it could have been made of frog skin and we wouldn’t have cared.  After we flew over Labrador I guess the drone of the four jet engines made her sleepy because she nodded of with her head on my shoulder.  I did too but when I woke up my neck was stiff because I hadn’t been able to move fearing I’d wake her up.  I felt so ‘macho.’  I was a spy working for the United States of America traveling to a foreign country on a special assignment about which I had yet to be told.  And I was chivalrous because I allowed a beautiful woman to use me for a pillow.

 

 

 

PICTURE OF GOLD COLORED HOTEL

 

She Switched From Her Hotel to Mine

  Kim, in Travel, already had me booked at the Rhine Hotel in Frankfort.  I was to stay there until I got my orders from Langley.  I had been told that it might be a week or more before I had to ‘go to work.’  Art had said that things weren’t quite settled yet.  I’d just have to wait for a courier to deliver my orders. 

 

  I told Erica that I was staying at the Rhine Hotel and asked where she would be.

 

  “Well, I had planned on staying at the Lederhosen House but if it’s OK with you I can stay at the Rhine,” she said in a provocative way. 

 

  “Sure, why not?” I answered calmly.  Unlike my near miss with Anne in London, I picked up on Erika’s innuendo right away.   

 

  We checked in.  I paid with cash; she used an American Express card.   Following the stewardess’ advice not to go to sleep after the flight, we took a long walk.   The advice was sound, because the stiffness in my legs and back had disappeared after only about an hour’s walk.  Erika said she too felt much better.

 

  I had forgotten to bring my Leica and I wanted pictures of Erika so I looked for a shop where I could pick up a camera.  I spotted a big yellow sign emblazoned with the red letters KODAK so we ducked in.  Kodak had nice Retina I, II, and III C’s.  I bought the II C, serial number EK589100.  Like anyone in lust most the first 36 shots were of Erika.   

 

  Two days had gone by and I had not yet heard from my ‘friends’ in the US so I decided to rent a car and travel, take notes and shoot some pictures for a future textbook.  I wanted to rent a Mercedes but Erika said a Volkswagen would be cozier.  We popped down to Bad Kreuznach just a few ‘clicks’ southeast of Frankfort to tour the Schneider camera lens factory.  That’s where the lenses were ground for the Kodak Retina series cameras. 

 

  After the one-hour tour and a stroll around town we were a bit tired so we decided to eat then spend the night in a small hotel.  We both agreed that the grueling 40 mile trip back to Frankfort was way too much trouble and staying overnight made much more since.

 

  Checking in at the hotel, the clerk asked in his native German, “Ein Bett oderzwei?” (”One bed or two?”)

 

  I had instructions to NEVER speak German on this trip so in English I asked him to please speak English.  In his best sign language he asked the same question.  Erika answered the question by holding up one finger. 

 

  Erika’s years living on the farm watching nature fulfilling its destiny had served her well.  She was a lovely woman in many ways. 

 

  It wasn’t ‘till long after lunch that we got the VW back onto Hwy. 48 to Frankfort.

 

The Mission Was Given A Green Light

  There was one message waiting for me at the front desk, Erika had two.

  “From Mom and Dad,” she said.

 

  My message was in a plain white envelope but her’s were colored and scented.  We

waited until we got back in the room before reading our mail.  Erika showed me a picture that had been included in one envelope but I only nodded in a distracted manner.  My assignment had come.   

 

My Instructions Were Explicit

BEGIN: Friday, drive a rental car and park it two blocks East of the Rome Hotel.  Be in room 212 at 1432 hours using the service entrance on the West side of the building.

 

Enclosed is a round-headed key to the service entrance door.  The enclosed square headed key is for room 212.  Buy and take with you three Super 8 movie cameras loaded with color film.  There will be a steel box near the window that faces the street. 

 

Begin filming the café across the street at 1503 hours.  Repeat; turn on your first camera precisely at 1503 hours.  Continue filming, regardless of what transpires, until your film runs out. Do NOT loose time by rewinding the film.  Swiftly switch cameras and continue shooting until you run out of film.

 

Your focus must be on a man, neatly dressed, with a pink handkerchief in his outer breast pocket. Film HOW he is treated and BY WHOM. Although it is important that you capture everything that happens at the café, it is VITAL. Repeat, it is vital that you capture the people, their faces and their behavior toward him. 

 

Do not stop filming until the third 20-minute roll has been exposed.  Then rewind each roll of film, remove them from the cameras, place them in their canisters then put them into the X-ray proof film pouch which you will find in the steel box.  Put the pouch with the film inside into your pocket.

 

Place all three cameras and the two hotel keys into the steel box.  In the box you will find a very small incendiary devise.  Remove the red safety pin.  Lock the lid.   The devise has a ten second delay.   Once you hear a “pop” you will know that the devise has activated.  You practiced this fingerprint eradication scenario during week 12 of your training.  Casually leave the hotel back through the service entrance and walk one block East.  A contact will meet you there to receive the film.

 

Using the methods you were taught to be certain that you weren’t followed, drive your car back to your hotel.  Do not go directly to your room.  Dine in the restaurant, facing the doorway, to make certain that you weren’t followed.  Once that has been verified, drive to the train station and park your car in aisle J, space 44.  It will be vacant.  Leave the doors unlocked and place the key under the driver’s seat.

 

Take train 644 at 2200 hours to Hamburg.  You will be contacted upon your arrival.  The recognition sign is “The weather is wonderful this time of the year.  Your counter sign is: “I wish that I could buy a good Swiss watch.”  After leaving the Rome hotel if you suspect, even without verification, that you have been followed, do not go to the train station.  Use a pay phone and dial 999-4433. After committing these instructions to memory, ignite this flash paper.  End.

 

  After reading the assignment I lied and told Erika that my mother had fallen, was in the hospital and wished that I would come home. I added that I needed to check out today which would end our time together.  

 

 

 

 

 

Picture of shower

 

 Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow!

  Erika’s head dropped and her lower lip stuck out a little and I could tell that she would rather I stay in Germany with her.  But now of course, there was nothing for us to do but exchange our stateside phone numbers and addresses.  Naturally, I had to give her false information.   She said that she understood the importance of family matters and that it was my duty to be with Mom.

 

 Then, with a girlish demeanor, she tugged on my tie, “Before you go, can you spare a poor little farm girl a few minutes of your precious time?”

 

  After showering together, I packed my things and checked out of the hotel.  I felt alone.  Erika and I had touched each other in a loving way.  I knew that I was on assignment and

had no choice in the matter but I truly wanted to stay with her.  Suddenly my mind flashed back to when I was recruited in the Chicago hotel and I had told myself,   “Uncle Sam Needs You!” 

 

  I found the photo shop and bought three Super 8’s each loaded with 20-minute color film.  The proprietor set them on Auto Focus and Auto Exposure.  I verified his settings thankful that my photographic instructors, back at Langley, had left no stone unturned in my tutoring.  

 

I Was On Time

  At 1432 hours I was in room 212 at the Rome Hotel.  I checked the steel box for its contents: incendiary devise and X-ray proof film pouch.  I went ahead and dropped in the two Rome hotel keys.  I could clearly see through the flimsy curtains but knew that I would need to pull them slightly aside when I began filming. 

 

  The outdoor café was typical European.  To shade its customers it had a green awning with white piping hanging over the tables, which were round and small, just big enough for four people to be cozy.  Unlighted candles were in the center of each table.  I assumed, therefore, that evening dining was offered.  Patronage was light because at two in the afternoon, most people were still at work. 

 

  Not too far away I heard a bell gong the 3 o’clock hour. My Bulova said the same.  I watched the sweep second hand crawl through three minutes.  I pulled back the curtain and pressed the camera’s trigger precisely at three minutes past three.  I heard the film advancing.  Good!  As ordered I was 

intent on the neatly dressed man with the pink handkerchief in his outer breast pocket.  There was only one waiter serving all of the tables and he was having a terrible time keeping up.

 

  Then, from the restaurant door, I saw a second waiter emerge carrying a cup and saucer in his left hand, not on a customary serving tray.  ‘Strange,’ I thought.  He approached the fellow that I’d been watching, leaned forward to put the hot coffee on the table, then stumbled.  He would have fallen to the ground had he not steadied himself by putting his free hand on the customer’s upper back.  Now upright and steady on his feet, he retreated, obviously embarrassed, back into the café.  ‘There goes his tip,’ I thought. 

 

  When I looked back I noticed that the fellow with the new cup of coffee wasn’t moving.  He was upright but sitting like a statue.  I kept the camera on him.  It must have been full thirty seconds before anyone else saw that the man was frozen in place.  Someone then must have bumped the table because he crashed face down onto the cup sending the coffee and porcelain chips everywhere.

 

  A woman screamed then another!  I kept the camera grinding making certain that I captured everything that was going on.  Commotion did not accurately describe the scene; bedlam was a better fit.  One young lad raised the man’s head looked into his open eyes then backed away nearly knocking over two tables in the process.  Then an older

fellow, from two tables away, walked over to the scene.  He raised the man upright, 

reached inside his coat and pulled out an envelope.  This newcomer was rather thin, tall and had a large mole near his chin.  His back had hidden the theft of the envelope from those around him but I had seen everything and had captured it on film.

 

  A crowd had now gathered and I heard the unique sound of German police sirens getting closer.  I continued shooting the activity until the film in all three cameras was exposed.  I then rewound each roll of film took them out of their cameras and put them in their round tin containers.  That done I put all three containers in the pouch and put it securely in my inside jacket pocket.  Then, as instructed, I placed all three cameras in the steel box and ignited the incendiary devise and locked down the lid.  I heard the telltale ‘pop’ from the incendiary, which would burn everything inside to a crisp.  I left the hotel by the same service door that I had entered earlier.  

 

 Walking as nonchalantly as possible I saw someone ahead in a doorway.  It had to be my contact.  From three feet away I recognized Erika, her face was mostly hidden behind a

large headscarf. I dropped the film into her open purse then I looked at her face.  With a glint in her eyes and a smile on her face, and for the second time today, she tugged on my tie to pull me close. Then in a seductive tone, she whispered,  “Small world, isn’t it?”

 

Back In The Good Ol’ USA

  I returned my “kit” containing the appropriate “goodies” the Agency had given me to perform my tasks.  Each kit is designed for the individual and his/her mission.  Among other things left over in my inventory was one condom.  “Couldn’t get the last one to come around, huh?” commented Jessup, custodian of inventory supplies. Damn it, they DO count the unused condoms! But Jessup could not know of the emotion and passion that Erika and I shared in the shower that last day.  It had been so spontaneous that using a condom never crossed our minds.

 

  Between assignments, we continued to update our training.  It might be with new cameras just on the market, a better way of obtaining fingerprints, or practicing following someone in a crowd. 

 

  One day, while sitting in my office cubicle I took out some nondescript stationery and sent a letter to Erika at the address written on the paper stored in my billfold.  A week later it came back stamped No Such Address.   I told myself that Erika and I would never marry, have kids or live in a home with a white picket fence.  Truly she had gotten

to my heart and I was down in the dumps for several days.  But I hadn’t been surprised that my letter had been returned.  After all, I had lied to her and she had to do the same. 

 

  However, I did dwell for a while, on which country she worked for.  I knew it had to be an ally but which one.  Her English was flawless.  But so are my German and Russian.  She had left no clues.  She was good at her job.

 

 One dismal and rainy day Art hollered from the doorway to his office, “Richard!  Wanna see a movie?”

 

  He escorted me to a private screening room where eight-millimeter projectors was on and ready to run.  Art nodded to the operator and my movie began.  I was quite proud of

my work as it flashed on the screen.  There was hardly a wobble and the pictures were in perfect focus and well lighted.

 

   “Watch, Dick, and I’ll tell you what happens.  See the second waiter emerge from the restaurant?  He wasn’t a waiter at all.  He was our man hired right there in Germany.  Watch now!  See where he stumbled?  That was an intentional move so that he could put his right hand at the base of the skull of our victim. He shoved a hypodermic needle into his medulla oblongata, the lower portion of the brain stem, squeezed the syringe and Voila, the guy was down for the count.  Smooth, huh?  Our guy is a pro; we use him a lot.  Wanna know how much he cost?  Can’t tell ya.  Now forget about the young man who tried to help.  Instead concentrate on the other man who is getting up from two tables away.  See?  He walked over to our victim, raised him up just high enough to reach inside his coat and take out the white envelope. 

 

  “God I love this job, Dick.”

 

  I could tell that he did.

 

  Still excited, Art continued, “Kurt, the man that we had to ‘take out,’ was formerly with the Stasi, the East German Secret Police, and their equivalent of the Russian KGB.  We caught on to him a couple years back, ‘turned him’ to our side then used him to feed the

East Germans and the Ruskies false information.”

 

  Art sighed then reluctantly stated that Kurt had pulled the wool over our eyes and never truly converted to the West but continued to work for the bad guys. He was using us, the US.  

 

He Had Double Crossed Us

  Continuing, Art said, “We finally found out that he was feeding real info about us to his Stasi handler in Germany but we could never catch him at it.  We figured that he had a ‘drop’ somewhere but we couldn’t find that either. It was imperative that we find out who his handler was.”

 

  Now with a calmer voice, “One of our guys asked why not fix it so that he would have to arrange a face to face meeting to transfer the information directly with his handler.  We’d never been successful at that kind of setup before but we had nothing to loose.  So

we told Kurt that one of our guys was crossing into the Eastern Zone and we needed someone on the other side to pick him up and hide him for a few days.  We said that this

cross over was to take place in four hours from now.  Therefore this time constraint

would force him to schedule a face to face transfer of that information to his handler.”  

 

  “Of course we had planned the ruse months ahead.  Even you went to Germany early and had to wait until we had our Is dotted and our T’s crossed.  Our plan worked!  We got rid of Kurt, he was an asshole anyway, and we found out who is contact is, the guy with the mole on his chin, Klaus Braun.  We have known about him for a long time but thought he was hiding in Canada.”

 

 “And Dickey my boy,” he added, “we found two other Stasi sonsabitches in your movie. Thank God you kept the cameras rolling.  What we didn’t know, my friend, was that they are field operatives.  We thought they were just pencil pushers on the other side of the fuckin’ Wall.”

 

  The projector went off and silent.  The room lights came on and we lifted from our chairs.

 

  Art looked at me, put his hand on my shoulder and asked, “Good job!  How ‘bout a beer?”

 

  NOTE: Trainees who might read this transcript as a leaning exercise: Do exactly as you are told.  Had I not continued filming after the man had been eliminated, the Company  

would not have known about the other two Stasi agents’ things are not always as you perceive them to be.  For several days I was certain that Erica was just a tourist, exploring Germany and wanting to have some fun.  Obviously this was not the case. 

 

  Kim, in our Travel Department, had purposely seated me next to Erika on the flight over.  Condoms were put into my kit giving me permission to have sexual intercourse if I so chose.  Erika’s two scented from home were fakes as was the photo included in one of them. And most importantly, she was there to cover my back in case someone tried to interfere with my mission. Chalk up another one for the good guys at Langley.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

                           I WAS A SPY FOR THE CIA

 

                                        Chapter 7

            SOVIET UNION BALLISTIC MISSILE PROGRAM

                              Mission effective 9 April 1972 to 4 May 1972

 

A Tough Assignment

  Fletcher Cummings, one step above Arthur, called me into his office on Good Friday. 

 

  “Dick,” he said, “I’ve been looking at your record and I think you’re up to bigger and better things.  So does Art and his crew in Special Operations.”

 

  My heart raced a bit then settled again to normal.

 

  “We have something big cooking.  I can’t tell you yet what it is or even what it’s about, but it’s big, B-I-G.” he spelled out.  “Interested?”

 

 “Yes Sir!”  I answered quickly.

 

  “Ok then, we’re going to send you back to Quantico for some additional training. You’re going to become expert in photography, tactics, demolitions, and the .32 auto.  We want you to be able to shoot a nat at ten yards.  Are you up to it?”

 

  “Yes, Sir,” I answered for the second time.

 

  Before leaving my apartment for Quantico, I changed into Marine fatigues.  I had corporal strips on my sleeves.  I wasn’t to appear in public as anything more than an ordinary ‘grunt’.  In uniform, I could come and go without attracting attention.  The Agency didn’t want to chance me being identified as CIA, even on the base.   

 

Training Would Be Intense

  I took a taxi from my apartment to a theater on 42nd Street, got out and flagged down another that took me to Virginia.  My Agency prepared identity card passed me through the guarded gate and I reported to Colonel McGuire.

 

  “Welcome corporal,” the colonel said. We exchanged salutes then sat.

 

  “We’re ready for you.  You will billet with sergeant Frolov.  He is full Russian and you two will only speak Russian the entire time you are with us.  All of your instructors here will do the same.  It’s vital that you re-establish your language skills to the letter.  You must not mispronounce even one word.  Is that understood?”

 

   I snapped back, “Yes sir!”

 

 He continued by saying that he couldn’t tell me what my future assignment was to be because even he didn’t know.

 

  Breakfast with grunts the next morning brought back memories when I was there for my initial training.  There was loud talking: rah-rah the Marine Corps and shouting, ‘we’re the best.’  They made me proud just watching their eagerness and enthusiasm. 

 

  As prearranged, I met Frolov in the sub-basement of building G.  It was a soundproof shooting range.  Frolov handed me a Walther .32 with a sound suppressor.

 

  In Russian, he said, “Демонтируйте оружие.” (“Take the gun apart.”)                     

 

  Not only did I field strip it I pealed it down to its core. 

 

  “Хороший.”  (“Good,”) he said but without any praise in his tone. 

 

“Теперь я скажу Вам российское слово для каждой части. Поймите?”  (“Now I will tell you the Russian word for each part. Understand?”)

 

   I said, ‘yes’ but quickly changed it to ‘Da’.  Every part, even the tiniest screw had a name. 

 

  I wanted to write them down but he said, “Nyet, no writing, remember?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

PICTURE OF TOKAREV FACING RIGHT

 

  I repeated the same procedure with the Russian AK-47 and three of their pistols, the famous Makarov PM, the TT-33 Tokarev, and the semi or full automatic firing Stechkin APS.  I was pleased at my quick study and how fast my Russian language had returned.  If Frolov was pleased, he didn’t show it.  His job was to make me as knowledgeable as himself.  I also fired all of those weapons until I became close to expert.

 

  Finally I got a verbal ‘pat on the back’  "Очень Хороший!"  (“Very good!”), He said.

 

  Then he asked, “Are you trained with our ASP 9?

 

  I answered that yes I was fully trained with that pistol. He then told me that I would be issued that gun for this mission.  I wondered why, then, had I been so intensively trained in the other weapons.  I would find out soon enough.

 

  A small package arrived at my billet.  It was from Colonel McGuire.  A simple note attached read, “You’ll need these.”

 

  He had sent a bottle of APC’s (All-Purpose Capsules-aspirin).  The next morning I found out why the gift; hand-to-hand combat training.  I had done fairly well during basic training years ago but this time it was not going to be a picnic. 

 

They Worked My Tail Off

  My hand to hand combat instructor, Master Sargent Gavrilov was a mean tough SOB.  Right off the bat he had me on the ground so quick that I thought he had moved at the speed of light.  Several throws later and with my bones aching he said, "Теперь ВЫ будете учиться!" (“Now YOU will learn!”) 

 

  From daylight to dark Gavrilov pushed me harder; then harder still.  Three and one-half

weeks later I could have taken on any street gang in New York City. 

 

  The next phase of my intensified training was demolitions.  The US was using a lot of

C-4 but for my assignment, I was taught to use explosives from our enemy countries.

 

  Weapons, ammunition, bomb making materials, communications equipment plus the various and sundry items to be used on this mission would come from Eastern Bloc nations, i.e. USSR, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, and

Romania. To enter the USSR one had to cross from Berlin or across the borders of Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia, and non-bloc countries such as Finland, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and China. On one occasion we sent a team via Finland when the Reds’ were testing their early nuclear bombs.  The team was to take seismic readings and measure radio active fall-out levels.  Soon thereafter, other easier and cheaper methods served our needs equally well.

 

  While crossing the many borders getting to Russia, I would pack no weapons or any destructive material.  If I carried such devices and was caught, I might be tried, if not shot as a spy. Such was nearly the case with CIA pilot Francis Gary Powers.  He was shot down on May 1, 1960 flying a U-2 spy plane over Russian soil.  Fortunately he wasn’t shot as a spy but he did suffer severe treatment for three months before they held a mock trial and sentenced him to three years prison plus seven more years at hard labor.  He got out in 18 months when President Eisenhower agreed to give back to the Russians one of their spies that we were holding in exchange for Powers.   

 

  My training days was long but rewarding.  Before taking these courses I thought I was pretty good at my ‘trade’.  I might even have been a bit cocky having toasted two beers in the boss’ office.  These extra months in training made me smarter and more determined to ‘win one for the USA.’ 

 

I Was Too Tired To Eat

  After each grueling session of hand-to-hand combat training it was my custom to flop in total exhaustion on my bed and sleep.  No supper, just sleep.  One Thursday night, when I

entered my billet, I noticed an 11x14 manila envelope on the nightstand by my bed.  The return address was in pencil reading, “The Company.”

 

  In 1961 President Kennedy appointed John McCone Director of Central Intelligence.  McCone changed our vernacular from The Agency to The Company. The envelope had been licked sealed and

the metal tabs were folded down for additional security.  I opened the envelope flap with my Marine Corps pocketknife and found a photograph inside.

 

  It was of a young child at a birthday celebration.  The backside the photo paper said Agfa Foto so I suspected that the picture had been taken somewhere in Europe.  In beautiful handwriting I read,”Erik Thomas”, which I recognized as the marrying of Erika’s and my monikers that we each used on our assignment together.  “Age 6.  6

March 1972.” There was nothing else.  I guessed that she was catholic because she had not aborted the baby, which is standard procedure in the spy business.  And now that she had a child I assumed that she had to resign from the service six years ago.  If the KGB or

Stasi ever kidnapped the baby; she could be made to spill the beans on any subject they chose.  I hoped that her country had given her a good severance package. I wanted to help but no door was open to me to do that; maybe someday I thought, then went to sleep.  

  My enhanced training was complete and I had passed each course with flying colors, according to each mentor who had worked with me those months.  Colonel McGuire bid me adieu and we exchanged salutes.

 

  My mind was racing during the two consecutive taxi rides home. Besides junk mail in my mailbox in the hallway was a picture post card.  It was of the Statue of Liberty.  On the back it said,” 7:30 a.m. July 5.  That was my call to CIA headquarters in Langley.  I was glad that they gave me the 4th off.  I love a good fireworks show, which might explain why I always enjoyed demolition training.

 

  At work on the 5th I found a 3x5-index card on my desk. Hand printed was, ‘Arthur, 7:35 a.m.’ Art was calling me to his office.  I assumed he would tell me about my next assignment.

 

 I Would Lead A Team of Partisans

  “You look fit, Dick!” he said enthusiastically.

 

 “I am sir,” I said with equal fervor.  “Where on planet earth are you sending me this time?”

 

   He motioned for me to close his office door.  “How about some Russian food?”

 

  My heart skipped a beat and I knew this one had to be big.  

 

  “Our pals on the other side of the Iron Curtain have a big jump on us with their ICBM’s.  Sputnik in 1957 scared the shit out of President Eisenhower.  Kennedy is madder than hell too and wants the CIA to slow them down a bit.” 

 

  Still briefing me he said, “ We know that the Kapustin Yar Missile Test Complex, also known as the 4th State Central Range, is their major missile range.  It’s located along the

banks of the Volga River near the border with Kazakhstan.  Their major test launches began there in ’47, the same year that President Truman changed the name of WWII’s Office of Strategic Services (OSS) to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).” 

 

Background Information On The Soviet Missile Program

  “When the Soviet missile development program got fired up in ’46, they decided that Kapustin Yar would be the location for a new Central Test Range for all jet-propelled weapons. The 1,400 sq. mile site was chosen because there is plenty of empty space all around and its relative proximity to the city of Stalingrad.  And a railway was close to haul in whatever they needed. 

 

Author’s Note: What we didn’t know, at that time, was that one-quarter mile underground, the Reds had built a mammoth labyrinth containing testing facilities for future aircraft and the study of UFOs including the analysis of actual UFO wreckage. This information didn’t come to light until years later when the Russians released some of their Cold War documents.     

 

  “Being the Communist assholes that they are they named the site: The 4th State Central Range but its official name is the Kapustin Yar Missile Test Complex.”

 

  “In October 1947, Ivan’s first launch from Kapustin Yar, was a captured German V-2. Two months later, a total of 11 V-2s had been tested. Over the following years, the Soviets test-launched the SS-1A Scunner, the SS-2 Sibling, the SS-3 Shyster, the SS-4 Sandel, the SS-5 Skean, and the SS-1B ‘Scud A’, all of which were liquid-fuelled. In

April of ’62 they fired off their first solid-propellant ballistic missile, the SS-X-14 Scapegoat/Scamp.” 

 

  “That, dear Dickey, ushered in a new stage in the arms race between us and the Soviet bastards. None of this is in your packet for study.  I’m passing on this information because you have to be as concerned as is Kennedy and all of us here at Langley.” 

 

  Informally I replied, “Gottcha.”  Then I asked about my mission. 

 

  “First you’re going to Kazakhstan then into Russia.  Here’s the information to be studied here at work only.  At night when you’re ready to go home, put it into the Company safe. Each morning you can retrieve it, continuing that routine until you are entirely familiar with your duties.  Do you understand?” 

 

   I replied, “Yes sir.”

 

  Then I asked if there was a time frame within which I need to have familiarized myself with the material.  He said no because perfect execution of the mission was paramount over the timing.

 

  He answered, “Knowing you, you’ll be ready in a week.”

 

  Without saying in so many words, he expected me to be ready in seven days.

 

  Concluding the conversation he said, “Your target date is May Day.  As you know there’s always countrywide celebrations going on in every Russian town and we suspect that their guard might be relaxed a bit.  That should give you an extra edge toward success. And by the way, sorry to tell you this but, we’re rescinding the order for you to carry the ASP 9.  We feel it’s best if you use the same weapons as those under you so they won’t feel like a ‘step child’.” 

 

  I nodded affirmatively to the logic of the decision.

 

  Art then handed me a thick three-ring binder with several tabs visibly running down the pages.  I could tell that this job would require a lot of study. 

Page 1.

                                                      PURPOSE

 

The United States of America and its allies are becoming more and more threatened by the Soviet regime’s ballistic missile system.  Simply blowing up a missile launch site will not solve our immediate problem.  The site would quickly

be rebuilt.  The same is true of their testing labs.  To know for sure where they are in their missile development, we need information.  Our sources on the ground have, so far, been unable to supply us with that information.   

 

This is a three-fold mission.

1.      Train Russia-born underground operatives to assist you in the completion of your mission. 

2.      Travel by the most secret route possible to their testing launch site along the Volga River. 

3.      Photograph or with any means possible, copy information specifically on: propellants and guidance systems. 

4.      Photograph or copy any additional information immediately available to you without risking your return with the primary data.      

 

Page 2

                                  MISSION DETAILS

 

1.         Train Russians in hand-to-hand combat, communications pistol firing with sound suppressors, demolitions, photography, escape and evasion. 

2.         Each member of the team will have a specialty.  After those specialties have been learned, team members will then be cross-trained to fill in a gap if another team member is unable to fulfill his/her duties.  

3.         Personnel will be members of the existing Russian underground. 

4.         All weaponry, clothing, communications equipment will be supplied by us.

5.         You will notify this headquarters one-week before you launch into Russia. 

6.         Every physical item to be used in this mission will have been procured by us from a Soviet Bloc country, save one. Some materials will come from Red China.  

There was no signature at the bottom of the page.

 

  Nine days later I was in Kazakhstan.  I hadn’t known it at the time but all of that training that I had just received at Quantico was to prepare me to be an instructor for saboteurs.

 
They Were All Volunteers

  One by one my band of Russian born trainees filtered into Kazakhstan to my base camp very near the Russian border.  They were scruffy and looked mean.  I welcomed each one with the customary Russian bear hug to get us off on the right foot.

 

  They considered themselves patriots for a new revolution.  Josef Stalin had ruled for 25 years with an iron fist.  Adolph Hitler killed ‘only’ 11 million people, Stalin killed 15

million. Anyone who disagreed with him, including priests and generals were either shot or sent to a gulag as slave labor.  Successive rulers, including the current one Leonid Brezhnev, were little better and cowering under Communism, they felt, was no way to live and raise a family.    

 

Their three-fold mission was:

(A)  Distraction.

(B)   To protect me.

(C)  Insure that “someone”, even it wasn’t me, made it back to Kazakhstan with the secrets that I had filmed on the Minox camera.  

 

I Worked Them Hard

  I trained them as hard as I had been at Quantico.  Everyone was dedicated though some took a bit longer to learn than others.  I was fearful that the women would lag behind the men in hand-to-hand combat but that was not the case.  They took to ‘killing,’

Even thought it was just practice on dummies and on each other, as a duck takes to water.  Their motivation to overthrow their Communist government reminded me of the gung-ho attitude the marine recruits showed when I was at Quantico mere weeks ago. 

 

 

 

 

 

PICTURE OF WOMAN SMOKING

 

 There were seven women in the group, of 32. Two of ‘fairer sex’ were somewhat less than ugly and I might ask for a phone number but only if I was blind-stinkin’drunk. Helena Kashin, the pretty one, was smallish in stature by Russian standards.  To Western eyes, her body might be that of a lightweight wrestler.  Her black eyes shown with intensity, her pony-tailed hair slashed back and forth as she threw to the ground even the largest men on the team.  She was definitely a keeper. I knew that I could count on her if the chips were down.  She’d be my ace in the hole. 

 

  Each of us had a pseudonym so that no one knew our real identities.  Therefore, under torture or duress, we couldn’t reveal anyone’s true identity. And long before leaving the states I had let my beard, mustache and hair grow.  I was also given non-prescription brown colored contact lenses to hide my blue eyes.  A fake mole had been surgically placed just in front of my right ear. I looked as scruffy as they.    

 

 

 

 

  PICTURE OF UGLY WOMAN

 

 Trisha Abromov, was the ugliest of the bunch.  Her parents must have just crawled out from under a rock somewhere to breed.  But she took to the training on a par with the

others.  She, as did everyone, learn everything I could teach them about killing using only one’s bare hands.  And she became expert with the Walther Model 4 in the 7.65 (.32) caliber.  The front sight was ground off so it could accommodate a screw-on silencer. We were to use a variety of pistol makes so as not to link one person to another.  However, everyone on the mission fired the 7.65 caliber hollow point cartridge with its cavity filled with cyanide.

 

  The maximum effective range of the 7.65 is 50 yards. Of course we hoped that our shooting distances would be measured in inches, not yards.  We chose the 73-grain bullet with a muzzle velocity of 1043 feet per second, which is under the speed of sound, 1,100 feet per second. That meant that the bullet wouldn’t break the sound barrier thus creating a sonic bang, as does a jet plane breaking the sound barrier at 760 mph. This lower speed made our silencers even more effective. The loudest noise anyone might hear would be similar to the snapping a wooden match in two.  And by using the larger 73-grain bullet

over the 60 or 71-grain, there is a larger cavity to hold more cyanide in the hollow point.  With our small, easily concealed 7.65’s (.32), no one over three feet away would hear the sound of the gun being fired.  I was surprised, when I learned at Quantico that the accuracy of a bullet actually increases when fired through a silencer.

 

  Sometimes it becomes necessary for a teacher to go beyond talk.  Even though my motley crew was handling their .32 autos with great skill, they still grumbled now and then about its effectiveness in the field.  After all, they had been using larger caliber bullets for years, e.g. 9mm’s, .38’s, and .45’s.  They feared that if they were caught in a firefight with their .32’s, their chances of survival were slim to none.  Lying in bed one night I thought of a way to prove that their little .32’s would work out just fine. 

 

Proof Is In The Pig

  The next day, I drove to a pig farm and bought two pigs.  Back at our secret training location and with my pupils semi-circled around me, I screwed the sound suppresser onto my .32 caliber Beretta.  I chambered one round containing two grams of cyanide in the hollow cavity then shot one of the pigs from at least 25 yards away.  I purposely hit him in a non-vital area as they could plainly see.  The pig jumped with hurt and surprise then ran 10 steps before keeling over deader than a doornail, with the characteristic cyanide foam coming from his mouth.  

 

 Next I tied the feet of the second pig so he couldn’t run.  I took my “L” pill (lethal dose of cyanide) out of my pocket, squashed it between two gloved fingers then held it next to the pig’s snout.  After grunting and sniffing the almond smell for about 15 seconds the pig quieted, grunted once more, foamed at the mouth and died from simply inhaling the cyanide fumes. 

 

  It was a light bulb moment for my troopers because I had vividly proven that if they were caught in a firefight and shot an adversary, even in an arm or leg, he would die.  And, there was an unexpected positive consequence from my simple demonstration.  For those many weeks that we had trained together, they had listened to me teach and preach. 

 

  Words are cheap but now their respect for my knowledge and for me personally, jumped several points.  Ironically, I too, had a more positive feeling that our mission would be successful, because of their heightened sense of enthusiasm.  It was a win, win!

 

  I had been introduced to the “L “(lethal) pill during my initial Company training. I carried one on each of my missions as a matter of course without giving it much pause. 

But now, here in Kazakhstan with these partisans, I pondered its relativity.   If I was about to be captured and feared torture, I could end my life quickly with a simple bite into the pill.  In some religions suicide is forbidden.  But would one go to hell, if in doing so, it would mean safety for others?  Many soldiers have committed suicide by throwing themselves on top of a live hand grenade to save their buddies.  Did they go to hell?  

 

  Trisha was crossed trained with me to use the tiny Minox Model B spy camera so that if I couldn’t carry on, she could. Its attached innocuous carrying chain was actually a

focusing device.  To focus the camera one would simply let the tip of the chain drop and touch the object to be photographed.  It also had a built in light meter powered by a selenium photocell.

 

  Once Trisha and I had secreted us into the missile document center I was to photograph as much data as possible.  Trisha’s primary duty was to be my lookout and bodyguard.  I was to record, on high-speed film, as many secrets as possible.  Once we had achieved that objective, we were to scurry away, hopefully leaving no trace of our ever having been there.  I was then to cross the border back to Western safety leaving my team better trained and better equipped to carry on their work to overthrow the Communists and restore freedom to the Russian people.   

 

  Everyone knew that the most important part of the mission was the film that I shot. It was more important than even my life.  They understood that.  They also understood that their mission was as dangerous as mine. They would be stationed all around the building where Trisha and I would be working.  They were to quietly ‘eliminate’ anyone approaching the building while she and I did our jobs. They were also stationed along the roads, trails, and paths leading back to safety across the border.  And I had also

cross-trained everyone in demolitions and surveillance.

 

  The time had come; the training was complete; everyone was hyped and ready to go.  I notified Langley via an innocuously worded message that we were ready.  Within 30 minutes I received a ‘green light’ to proceed.  Bear hugs, ‘good lucks’, and the customary three-cheek kisses sent our merry band off to do its assigned job. 

 

We Crossed the Border Into Mother Russia

  Over a period of several days, Trisha, 17 others, and myself would filter across the border into Russia and then into Znamensk, the home city of the Kkapustin Yar Missile Test Complex.  There were fourteen snipers spaced out all along the Russian route that we would use for our exit.  The 17 in the city would be stationed, not only around the building I was to penetrate, but in adjacent streets as well.  If it became necessary they

were willing to engage themselves in an old fashioned shootout with the Reds to get me, Trisha, and the film safely out of Russia.    

 

   Each of the snipers along our return escape route would successively ‘hand us off’ to the next one until we made it back to Kazakhstan.  Since they were all members of my team I would know if any one had been killed and replaced with a Commie imposters. 

These staging intervals were at strategic choke points, i.e., places that the pursuing enemy had to pass through not bypass or go around.  Therefore, each sniper would be able to concentrate his fire on a single location without worrying about being outflanked. 

 

 As each one passed us off to the next, he or she remained on station for at least an hour to be certain that we weren’t being chased.  If we were they would use delaying tactics to give us as much time as possible.  By not bunching up into a single unit to stave off the

soldiers, they would individually act as snipers.  Militarily, it’s an accepted fact that a lone sniper can halt an enemy in his tracks for an unpredictable amount of time. And with 14 snipers, each at a different location, we would have 14 delay points.  

 

 

 

 

PICTURE OF AK-47

 

I Gave Them AK-47’s

  Not only were these vital 14 people armed with silenced 7.65 caliber pistols for quiet killing, they also had AK-47, 7.62x39 caliber (.30 caliber American) assault rifles.  These were purchased from China by our Eastern CIA operatives whom we had trained on Siapan.  These rifles had shorter barrels with sound suppressors already attached.  The butt stocks folded making them very concealable under clothing.  Each shooter had three pairs of 30 round magazines, i.e. two magazines taped together to facilitate a quick magazine change.  The quality of the Chinese AK’s was not as good as the Russians or East Germans, but were easier to buy than from Soviet Bloc countries. 

 

  Extensive training on these nine and one-half pound Kalashnikovs was not necessary, as it was the basic Soviet assault rifle from 1947 until 1970.  These partisans could take the rifle apart and put it back together blindfolded.  What I did teach them was to fire in three round burst rather than shooting continuously in a left to right spraying motion.  That technique is often referred to as “spray and pray.” Not only did firing in three round bursts conserve ammunition; it lessened muzzle rise, the Achilles Heel in many shoulder fired fully automatic weapons.  Basically every bullet after the third is poking holes in the

sky.  The AK fires at a rate of 600 rounds per minute.  With only 180 rounds and shooting in long bursts, the ammunition would be used up in just 42 seconds including the five necessary magazine changes.  We, in the US, had the ability to go inside the gun and limit the rate of fire to three shots at each trigger pull but by doing so, it might leave a tell-tail sign that the allies were behind the operation. 

 

  Also bought from China were all of the demolition devices we needed.  Since the Chinese invented gunpowder in the mid-8th century, who better to buy explosives from and not have them traced to any NATO country?  China and the Russians hated each other guts and anything we in the West could do to heighten that animosity, the better.

 

The route into the city of Znamensk and out again had three bridges.  Each bridge was wired to be remotely blown up if necessary.  If none of the bridges were blown, the partisans would remove the explosives, take them back home to use another

day.  Such was the case with all of the firearms, ammunition, and communications equipment used on this mission.  Perhaps even more beneficial than the materiel listed above was the training I had given them. If they lived through this mission, they could return home and become teachers themselves making their comrades back better fighters. 

 

H Hour

  Together we pitched in and destroyed all evidence of the camp’s existence.  As the hours passed, my little band of heroes dwindled down to a precious few as they headed into harm’s way. 

 

  Trisha and I left camp last.  It was necessary that we be the last ones to leave because if there had been any trouble with any of our predecessors stationing themselves along the route, we would have been forewarned.  It was vital that we reached Znamensk in the wee hours of May 1st.

 

  The sun had risen on Russia’s border 5,592 miles to the East 11 hours ago but was just now reaching the streets of Znamensk.  As it climbed higher the street traffic increased making it easier for us to mingle with the pedestrians.  Everyone on our team knew his or her assigned post and took up positions accordingly.  Some were on side streets, others in alleys, doorways and some just ambled around ‘trolling’ for anyone who looked like they might spot Trisha and me.

 

  May Day festivities were to begin at high noon.  Days earlier, banners had been hung and preparations made ready for the kickoff of the parade. The floats, marchers, band, and Soviet soldiers marching with bayonets fixed to their rifles would soon make their way through the city.  Because Znamensk’s population was only about 20,000, great hordes of soldiers, like those marching in Moscow, would not be present.  In order to make the event seem bigger; children from surrounding schools participated.  Our intelligence had observed from previous May Day celebrations that the parades always lasted two hours, to the button.  That was the amount of time, then, allowed for Trisha and me to take our photographs and get out of the building, mingle again with the crowd and get out of town.  

 

 Two hours, that’s all the time that Trisha and I had to unobtrusively get into the scientist’s laboratory, photograph documents and get out of the building.

 

The May Day Celebration Began Right On Schedule

  At precisely 12 noon, a Soviet Communist party chief blew a whistle signaling the start of the parade.  At the front of the parade was the Russian flag; the Hammer and Cycle on a red background carried by a stout woman, perhaps an Olympic hopeful. Immediately following the flag were four tanks with their captains sticking half way out of the hatch looking proud and stalwart.  After the tanks came ten five-ton trucks each with soldiers sitting at attention in the back.  They were followed by perhaps 100 troops marching in four parallel columns.  Their AK-47’s were at port arms, their eyes fixed squarely on the

neck of the soldier in front of him in order to march in a straight line. They were followed by the local school bands each playing the Soviet anthem.  The children received the most thunderous applause; parents are the same the world over.

 

   I nudged Trisha and we wove our way through the people that were between us and the building that we needed to get into.  Cautiously, we stole around to the building’s

rear door.  I picked the lock with no difficulty.  It was a common type used throughout the country and one on which I had practiced many times during training.

 

  Three steps down took us to a well-lighted hallway with doors on each side.  I was not happy about the excessive lighting but knew that I was not to break or unscrew any light bulbs or alter the building in any way.  We needed to prevent anyone from suspecting that spies had been there.  Only one door was identified, it had an ‘A’ on the frosted door glass.  I figured that we were down to 1:45 minutes to get the job done. I tried the knob and the door opened!  Following Trisha in, I closed the door behind me. 

 

  Surprise of surprises, the room was the entire length of the building.  The doors we had seen in the hall were all fake to deceive unauthorized people who came in. 

 

   Using a stage whisper, I said to Trisha, “Don’t disturb anything.  No one must ever discover that we have been here.”

 

  With a growl in her voice she replied, “Я знаю это!” (“I know that!”)

 

  I picked the lock on the top drawer of the cabinet standing near a frosted glass window. 

Shuffling through the files I felt that there was nothing there for me to photograph.  The second draw from the top was a treasure trove of information.  The tabs on the manila folders read “Propellant” There were four of them. One by one, I photographed each page, turning them upside down, in order, on top of one another.   The next draw down bore nothing of value, mostly stuff about dirt samples at the launch site. The same was true of the last one. 

 

  Fifty minutes left!  A few feet to my right was a tall cabinet with pigeonholes four across and five down.  Rolls of paper, like wallpaper, were in each of the twenty slots.  I removed the one at the top left; nothing of value.  The same was true of every one until I was down to the third row, the second slot in from the left.  Bingo! It was a beautiful blueprint of their missile’s guidance system.

 

   I couldn’t believe our good fortune.  We all came into town unnoticed.  Trish and I were able to penetrate the building and I had found documents about the two primary goals in my assignment.  Suddenly I heard a loud metal “bang”.  When backing up, I had kicked over a large metal wastebasket.

 

  “Shit!” I said out loud to myself.

 

We Heard Footsteps

  Heavy footsteps were approaching!  Trisha grabbed me by my collar taking us in full view of the entry door.  She reached under her dress, dropped her panties to her ankles, lifted her dress and bent forward.  I suddenly pictured the pig I had shot back at base camp. 

 

  Without hesitation she ordered, “Понизьте ваши штаны и займитесь любовью со мной сзади!” (“Drop your pants and fuck me from behind.”)

 

  Totally startled I replied, “I can’t get a hard-on that quick.”

 

“Сделайте это!” (“Do it!”), she exclaimed.

 

  No matter how good the Company’s training, no one could get an erection that fast. I had to fake it.

 

  A man, apparently the janitor, burst open the door and saw us both naked from the waist down doing what couples do.  He was taken aback and had no suspicion that we were spies.  To him we were just two people fucking on government property.

 

  Gruffly he ordered, "Оденьтесь и пойдите домой!" (Get dressed and go home!”)

 

  Backing out, he closed the door and clomped back down the hall.

 

  Then I felt Trisha’s wrath, Вы человек киски. Вы, возможно, получили нас обоих, убил. Если все американцы походят на Вас, я сомневаюсь, что мы можем выиграть эту холодную войну.  (”You PUSSY man. You could have gotten us both killed.  If all Americans are like YOU I doubt that we can win this Cold War!”)

 

  She was pissed big time!

 

 Thirty-five minutes left.  I continued photographing the blueprint and four others that were continuations of the first.  I had four full rolls of film in my pocket and half of a roll exposed in the camera.  We had put everything back in their place so that the room was  in its original state.

 

  Footsteps again!

 

  Ever dedicated to our mission, Trisha grabbed my belt with both hands and pulled my pant to my ankles. A split second before the door opened, she grabbed my penis in a grip that I thought was too tight.  When the same janitor opened the door he saw Trisha’s back

with her head moving forward and backward in my pubic area.  Little did the intruder know that she was simply making sucking sounds on her fist.

 

"Оденьтесь ТЕПЕРЬ и уедьте немедленно!"  (“Get dressed NOW and leave immediately”), he demanded in no uncertain terms. 

 

  This time he didn’t leave us alone.  Rather, he stood in the doorway and held the door open for us to leave immediately.  Leaving absolutely no room for misinterpretation and in the deepest voice that he could muster, "Если я поймаю Вас два снова, то я переверну Вас к властям!"  (“If I catch you two again, I’ll turn you over to the authorities!)

 

  To be certain that we obeyed his directive, he escorted us down the hall and back out the door from which we had entered.

 

  I looked directly into Trisha’s eyes and said, “Spasibo”, (“Thank You.”)

 

  All I got in return was a disguised look and a haughty upturned chin.

 

My Trusted Ace in the Hole

  Upon leaving the building I looked for Helena, my ace in the hole.  Sure enough as I had hoped she was across the street flanked by two Russian guards like dogs sniffing a bitch in heat.  Had she not had them begging for her charms, they might very well have been near the door we exited from then having our cooked goose for supper. 

 

  She and I spotted each other at the same time.  I scratched my nose as our prearranged signal asking if the coast was clear.  She in turn scratched hers acknowledging by question.  She then swept the hair from her eyes twice telling me that Trisha and I was clear to go.  Had she scratched her nose and coughed that was her signal that we might have been compromised.  If she sneezed we were in deep dew-dew.  I grabbed Trisha’s hand and we melted in with the crowd and made our way out of the city and onto the route back to Kazakhstan. 

 

  I didn’t look back but as per their training, the 17 bodyguards in town also moved in our direction to close a ‘gate’ behind us.  They would remain as innocuous as possible in the area for at least one hour to see if anyone followed us.  Had we been spotted and followed, my people would have radioed ahead to all of the handlers on the escape route telling them to be ready for trouble.

 

  No such distress call had been sent so we walked quickly to our escape route.  Each hour we stopped for eight minutes to rest, drink water and eat survival food that had been given to us by each sniper. Night came and we slept for four hours, huddled together against the nasty chilled air.

 

 Once I opened my eyes and saw Trisha looking at me not as a partisan but as a woman.  I thought, “Oh no!  Please God, no!  I’ll do anything! ”  She must have sensed my mental rejection because she turned away and went to sleep.

 

  Once safe back into Kazakhstan, Trisha and I feasted on canned stew that we had buried before jumping off a few days earlier. 

 

I Felt Bad About Leaving

  Time had come for us to part.  Trisha gave me the three-cheek kiss and a bear hug.  But I noticed that this bear hug was born from affection not just tradition.  She was no longer

pissed at me and I returned her hug also embedded with a touch of my heart.  I walk away then turned to look at her one last time. Her back was to me as she walked toward her mother country, Russia.  I noticed, also, that her gait was a bit slow and her chin was lowered somewhat.  I remembered last night when we were looking at each other as a man and a woman now in hindsight, I realized that “I should have” then murmured, “Sorry, God! I screwed up.”

 

 Home Again!

  After two mandatory weeks in the Bahamas and the fake mole removed from near my right ear I was back in Fairfax county Virginia.  I had no knowledge of a pending assignment and went about the Company’s protocol, i.e., continued training and upgrading covert skills.  I had been waiting for Art to stand in his office doorway, as was his custom when beckoning agents in for a chat. 

 

  The day came, “Dick, come on in and sit a spell.” 

 

  I took a seat in one of the four leather chairs facing his desk.  I wanted to ask, “How’d I do?” but kept silent. 

 

  “Dickey my boy, you did great AGAIN!”

 

  His words were like praise from a father after a child has done something to please him.  

 

   “Our people went over the pictures you took.  Outstanding work, by the way,” he added.  “It’s been four weeks now and our scientists in our missile program agree that the documents that you photographed were all falsified.”

 

  I nearly fell out of my chair, “You’ve GOT to be kidding!,”  I protested.

 

  “Nope Richard, we’ve been had. Tell me about the people that you trained.  Be specific; don’t leave out anything.  Describe the folks that worked with you.”

 

  For quite some time I recalled the training that I put them through, how they took to their assignments like a duck takes to water and never balked at any of my orders. 

I continued by describing each of the 42, including their personal picayunes. After I was finished, he opened his middle desk drawer, removed a black and white photo.  I could see that it was of a woman.  Sliding it across his desk to me he asked, “Know her?” 

 

  “Yeah, sure that’s Helena Kashin, the only pretty one in the bunch, my ace in the hole.”

 

  “Her real name is Metisha Karzov and she’s one of theirs.”

 

  Then added, “She had killed the real Helena and took her place and joined your team.”

 

  Like an atom bomb dropping into my brain I heard but couldn’t believe what he had said.

  My response was “Oh dear God!” 

 

  Arthur continued,

 

I Couldn’t Believe It

“Dick, she wasn’t your ace in the hole, she was the ace of spades, the death card. She had been in contact with the Soviets the whole time.”

 

  Continuing his horrible tale, “Because she can recognize everybody in your group, everyone is in danger, including you.  Some have been caught already.”

 

   “Do we know their fate?” I queried.

 

  “Three tortured to death, one shot in front of other captives. The others, we don’t know yet.” 

 

  Adding more to his sad story, “We’re doing everything we can to get the rest out but chances are slim to none

 

  Before I could ask the obvious, “Yes, we’ll keep trying to get out as many as we can.” 

 

  I sat quiet and motionless for a very long time.  Art didn’t interrupt my pondering for he knew that I was saddened beyond belief.  I had spent weeks with them; we all became

comrades, not just soldiers in a war against Communism. 

 

  Suddenly and without thinking I asked, “Trisha Abromov?” 

 

  Because of my complete disclosure earlier he knew of my admiration for her.  She had been loyal to our mission, to me and saved our butts twice with her quick thinking.

 

  He paused then said almost in a whisper, “Garrote.”

 

 

 

 

 

PICTURE OF ORANGE CANDLE

 

 I lost it.  I became light headed and had to put my head between my knees to keep from fainting.  Tears flooded my shoes and wet his nice clean carpet.  My body shook uncontrollably and my teeth chattered as I shivered.  Then I threw up.  Unaffected that his carpet would need cleaning, Art rose from his chair, walked to mine, put his hand gently

on my shoulder then left the room closing the door behind him. I could grieve as long as I wanted without being disturbed. Suddenly Trisha’s face popped in my mind and I remembered how beautiful she really was.

 

A Compassionate Boss

  For the next two weeks I was assigned to physical training, marksmanship on the rifle and pistol ranges, judo, jujitsu and boxing.  I surmised that the Company had a physically

challenging mission in mind thus the hard work. Art called me in his office, reached into a metal bucket of ice and pulled out two beers.  We clanked bottles.  It was then that I realized that he had me working, sweating, shooting to purge my hatred, guilt if I had any, and remorse over my last mission. 

 

   He took a gulp then asked, “Feeling better?”

 

  Without hesitating I replied, “Yes sir.  Thank you!”       

         

 

                       I WAS A SPY FOR THE CIA

 

                                        Chapter 8

                                    EAST BERLIN

                               Mission date 7 July 1988 to 7 February 1989

 

   When I reported for work one Monday morning after a glorious weekend of theater, jazz, and stout German beer, I found a 3x5-index card on my desk.  ‘Arthur’s office 7:36 a.m.’ 

 

  I knocked on the frame of the open door to Art’s office because someone new was in his office.  Normally I would just walk in if the door were open. 

 

  “Come in, Richard,” a woman in a gray business styled outfit said.  “Please! Call me Kate.”

 

  Formally I replied, “Good morning Ma’am”.

 

  With business-like aplomb she explained her presence.  “Mr. Cunningham has the flu and has asked me to fill his shoes for a couple days ‘till he can return without infecting everyone.  I’m sorry that your last mission turned out the way it did and you suffered greatly at the loss of the people who were captured by the Russians. But, I’m happy to say that we were able to get 12 of your comrades out and they are now settled here in the

US.  They have false identities, of course, and are living the American dream” courtesy of the US taxpayers for the service they rendered.

 

  My shoulders relaxed as if a great load had been lifted from them.  I hadn’t realized that I was still harboring some feelings of despair about their fate.

 

  Kate saw my demeanor change causing her to smile. 

 

  “You may have wondered why we haven’t sent you on any missions as of late.  That’s because we weren’t sure that your identity hadn’t been comprised by the 31 people with whom you worked on your mission to Znamakhan.”

 

  I said, “I’ve wondered about that too, Ma’am.”

 

 “Call me Kate, please.”

 

 “Thanks,” I replied.

 

  Kate continued with her story.  “As each person from your team made it back here to the States, we debriefed them.  Although your mission to recover data regarding the Soviet’s

missile program was a bust; the information we got from your partisans allowed us to puzzle together a mosaic of information that we would have otherwise never obtained.  That’s one issue.”  

 

  My eye’s opened with surprise and delight that my work hadn’t been for naught.  She saw me smile and said, “Right.” 

 

  “Secondly, and equally important,” she said while walking from behind Art’s desk to where I was sitting then putting a hand on my shoulder, “your identity is safe!  You have not, I repeat, not been compromised.” 

 

  My brain went wild.  I knew that I was back in the spy game.  I would not be relegated to some forgotten desk somewhere to forever shuffle papers.  The Company had a policy of never firing anyone because it might make them mad and they might go over to the other side or at least blab stuff about us in a local bar.

 

  I asked, “How can we be sure?”

 

  Now back standing behind Art’s chair with her hands resting comfortably on the top of its backrest she replied, “We gave each Russian 300 or so photos of people, none of who are with us, except for four different poses of you without your disguise.  They were asked to pick out people they knew or even thought they might know.  No one, I repeat, no one picked you.” 

 

 That was the second time she had said, “I repeat” so I felt certain that she was certain about what she was telling me. 

 

A Beautiful Roommate

  Kate leaned forward from behind the chair and picked up a manila folder.  “I see in your file that you have a two bedroom apartment.”

 

  She hadn’t needed to pick up the folder, I’m sure that she had studied it completely last night. 

 

  “Yes, I do,” I commented.

 

  Laying down the folder she asked, “How’d you like a roommate?”

 

  She saw my eyebrows rise.  “Let me change that.  How’d you like to have a beautiful roommate?”

 

 My eyebrows went as high as my facial muscles would let them go.  She just smiled and turned her head as if this conversation and my response were leaning toward the forbidden fruit in religious dogma.  

 

  Continuing she said, “We have a volunteer, yes a genuine volunteer not someone we ‘volunteered’, to move in with you for a month or so until we can finalize your next assignment.”

 

  “What is it?” I asked.

 

  “Can’t say just yet,” was her response, “but we want you to brush up on your German again.  Tweak it, so to speak.”

 

  With enthusiasm I said, “Klänge die gut sind zu mir! “  (“Sounds good to me.”)

 

  Responding in perfect German she replied, “Ihr name ist Ingrid.” (Her name is Ingrid.”)

 

 

 

 

 

PICTURE OF BALLET SLIPPERS

 

 She Was taking Ballet Lessons

  Then reverting back to English she continued, “Her name is Ingrid and she is one of us. She is taking dancing lessons, plays the flute and likes futbol (soccer). You will need to study the details of your next assignment here in the building.  But when you go home you and Ingrid can socialize any way you wish.  Ingrid’s job is to make sure that you are perfect in your grammar, pitch, and inflection.” 

 

  I nodded with approval.

 

  “We thought it best to have a woman move in with you rather than a man so that your neighbors wouldn’t think that you’re queer.

  

   Again I nodded. 

 

  “Any problem?” she asked.

 

  “None,” I said, “when will she move in?”

 

  Kate said, “She’s already packed. 

 

  How’s this weekend sound?”

 

  My answer again and as enthusiastic as before, “Fine!”

 

  After getting up from the chair but just before reaching the doorknob I turned to ask a question that Kate had already anticipated. 

 

  With a woman’s knowing smile she said, “That’s between you, her and your personal gods.”

 

 

 

Ingrid Taught Me New German Words

   Ingrid was full of life.  If I had to guess, I’d say that she was about three years younger than me.  Being of German decent her blond hair complimented her skin.  Her teeth were perfect and I had to laugh at myself for noticing that.  My training in surveillance taught us to notice everything about the person your are following. 

 

 

 

 

 

PICTURE OF SULTRY WOMAN LOOKING UP 

 

Her smile was repeated in her eyes and she lit up every room in my apartment. She seemed to float from one place to another, probably because she was a dancer.  With no effort at all, she made the German guttural language sound as silky smooth as French did.  Often, with an all-knowing twinkle in her eyes, she would tease me by doing her stretches and bends between me and the black & white pictures on my Sylvania TV set.  Frequently I would smell incense wafting from the bedroom which made the tweaking of my German no chore at all.  The words that she used while we made love are not taught in college classrooms. Then I chuckled to myself, ‘I wonder if I will use any of them on my next assignment.’               

 

  We left my apartment at the same time every day.  When I would return, she would be there most generally already having something on the stove.  I never knew if she also went to work at the CIA or what she did.  She said she went to dancing classes

three days a week otherwise just “putzed” around town.  The word putzed doesn’t translate into German. Ingrid had nestled herself into my being.  I was content with her being around all the time.  I even pondered, ‘After I retire…’

 

   At work one morning, waiting for me on my desk, was a manila envelope.  I opened it and took out the picture.  It was another one of my son.  He was wearing a cap and

gown. On the back of the picture it said, “Graduated third in his class at Oxford.  His major was Political Science.  His minor was European and Eastern Studies.  He plans to travel for two years then teach based on his experiences.”  

 

 My heart jumped with joy.  Without any contact at all between us for twenty-four years he was planning his future the same as I had.  I looked at the photo for a long time before putting it in my sock drawer with the others that Erika had sent over the years.

 

  Arthur had known about the envelope, he knew everything that went on in his organization. That’s why the Director rated our covert group at the top of his list. 

 

  When he saw me put the picture in my desk he said, “See you in my office?”

 

   I nodded OK.

 

  “Close the door, Dick.” 

 

   I did and grabbed the chair that I usually sat in.

 

   “How are things at home?” he queried.“ 

 

  “Great, just great!” I replied.

 

  Switching gears a bit he commented, “That last mission of your was a hum-dinger, wasn’t it?”

 

  “Yes, sir!”  I answered.

 

  He laughed then continued.  “As we speak, Ingrid is moving out of your apartment.  Hope you’re not too disappointed.”

 

  I said, “That’s fine, sir,” indicating with the word “sir” that he knew I would follow Company orders like them or not.  Knowing what I meant, he nodded and winked indicating, ‘That’s what I like to hear from my people.’

      

  That’s all that he wanted to tell me so I broke for lunch.  I decided to eat my lunch on the front lawn as did many others.  As I swatted a fly over my left shoulder, I spotted Ingrid.  I almost hollered at her but thought better of it.  She was walking, hand in hand, with a ‘lady friend’.  So much for a ‘forever after’ with Ingrid!

 

 

 

 

PICTURE OF BOMBED OUT CHURCH

 

An Unneeded History Lesson 

  “Dick, the only good thing about this Cold War, as they call it, is that fewer people die than if we were in a shooting war.  I bet you didn’t know that during WWII 62% of the deaths were civilians; roughly 47,661,800 innocent people died needlessly.” 

 

  “Your next mission will be behind the Iron Curtain into East Berlin.  We want you to turn some of their people over to our side.”

 

  I nodded and said, “I figured it would be to somewhere in Germany since Ingrid had moved in with me.”

 

Why Russia Hates America

  “Right,” Art Continued.  “Now,” switching to his official demeanor, “our Department of Defense officially places the start of the Cold War as of September, 2, 1945, the date the

Japs signed their surrender in World War II.”

 

  I butted in and said, “I didn’t know that’s when it started.” 

 

  Art raised his palm to about shoulder level and asked, “Do you know when I think the Cold War started?”  He emphasized the word I.

 

  I shook my head ‘No.’

 

  “Way the hell back in 1917”, he touted. 

 

  “That’s when Russia stopped fighting the Germans in World War I, went back home and started their revolution to oust their corrupt Tsarist monarchy.  Their revolution ended in 1918 after they killed Tsar Nicholas II and all of his family.  Then a civil war broke out that lasted until 1923.  Their civil war was to decide what form of government Russia would adopt.

 

 

 

 

PICTURE OF MARX

 

   The disorganized White Army, sometimes called the White Guard, wanted a democratically elected government.  The red army wanted a Communist society, which was championed by their heroes Vladimir Lenin and Karl Marx. The White Army was not an army in reality; rather it was an unorganized band of renegades.  But they wanted a Democratically elected government whereas the reds wanted Communism.  We here in the US backed the Whites.  Of course the Commies won and they have been pissed off at us ever since. That’s why we still today call the Communists, the Reds.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PICTURE OF LENIN

 

  “Fuck ‘em! Anyway, that’s my opinion.”

 

   He smiled and I did to.

 

   Then he quipped, “And with that opinion and 10 cents I can buy a cup of coffee anywhere.”  We chuckled at the same time.  I knew what he had just told me wouldn’t be in my study file for my mission and I also knew that he wanted me “up to speed” on the

“why’s and “wherefores” of our current situation with the Soviets.  I was grateful to hear his thoughts, as I had not looked at our feud with the Communists in the light he had just projected.   

 

Germany Was On Her Knees 

  “Now to the Krauts”, he said.

 

   “At the end of World War I, the victorious countries, Britain, France, and us, demanded that Germany pay us all for the money we had spent fighting them.  Well, of course they couldn’t because they were broke having spent all of their cash plus borrowed funds to fight the war.”

 

 I said ‘I know’ hoping that he would discontinue his history lesson.  For some reason he felt the need to pontificate.  He was the boss and who was I to tell him to end his lecture.  Still I wanted to say, ‘Art, you’ve read my personnel file and have to know that I aced all my history courses.’

 

  Plodding on he said, “Immediately after World War I, the Germans needed to take a wheelbarrow full of Duetche Marcs to the store to buy a single loaf of bread.  They were ripe for a new Messiah, a new Fuhrer (leader).”

 

I settled deeper into the leather chair and glanced at my watch but only when he was not looking. 

 

 

Picture of Hitler

 

Adolph Hitler to the Rescue

  Art was in full gear now.

 

  “In September of 1919, Adolph Hitler joined the German Worker’s (political) Party.  Being an eloquent speaker, he rose in the party’s ranks and eventually became the party chief. Like all politicians, Adolph told the people everything that they wanted to hear and promised them a Reich (empire) that would last 1000 years.”

 

  “To make a long story short,” I thought ‘thank God’;  “on February 4, 1920 the party’s name was finally changed to National Socialist (NASOS) German Worker’s Party.  A German reporter, Konrad Heiden, held the party in contempt and changed NASOS to Nazi never suspecting that the name he made up out of thin air would live forever in history.” 

 

  Thinking back, I doubt that many Americans actually knew that the Nazi were a political party, as are our Republicans and Democrats. 

 

  In 1933 Herr Hitler was appointed chancellor, the head of state.  Now in absolute control of the country, he began the massive production of war materiel, got the people back to work like he had promised, then started World War II by invading Poland on September 1,1939.  In doing so he was testing the waters to see if the Brits and the US would come to the Pole’s rescue as we each had pledged in a treaty with Poland.  If our two countries didn’t jump into the fray against Germany, Hitler knew the door was open for him to invade other countries and plunder their natural resources too.  Poland was screwed because neither of our two countries went to her aid.  Hitler had won round one.  The German people, of course, thought of him as their hero and began calling him Mein Fuhrer (my leader) instead of Chancellor, his official title.”   

 

  Before Art had a chance to tell more of what I already knew, I stood and like a little boy who really, really had to ‘go’, I gestured toward my crotch and said, “Thanks, Art.  OK if

I get back to my desk and start studying my assignment packet?”

 

  “Yeah, sure, Dick.  Just give me a holler when you’re ready.  In about a week you think?”

 

  Again he had nicely told me that he wanted me ready in seven days. 

 

 

 

Picture of 4 zones

 

Germany Is Divided Into Four Zones

  Under the first tab in my three-ring binder was the summary on Hitler that Art had just told me.

 

  Behind tab number two was the discussion of Germany’s surrender on May 7, 1945 and how the country had been sectioned off between the French, British, Soviets and the US.

Each occupying country, in its own zone, was to provide civil police protection, some limited government and to aid in reconstruction as best it could. The US instituted its Marshall Plan: the actual rebuilding of Germany’s factories, utilities, and life’s necessities.

 

  All of this had been decided by three of the four allies in a February 1945 conference held near the city of Yalta.  Yalta is on the Ukrainian peninsula called Crimea, a small country under the thumb of the Soviets.  President Roosevelt, as sick as he was, plus Winston Churchill, and Josef Stalin attended the conference. At Churchill’s dismay, Roosevelt agreed to allow Stalin to occupy Poland after the war was won.  Churchill lamented that FDR was just too sick to fight ‘Uncle Joe’ on the issue.  Roosevelt died 59 days after the conference ended.  

 

Berlin Also Divided Into Four Zones

  The German capital city is Berlin and is isolated like an island and is deep inside the Soviet zone.  It too is divided into four zones with the Soviets occupying the eastern zone. 

 

  There were three checkpoints through which people could travel between the eastern and western zones.  They were phonetically named A (Alpha) B (Bravo) and C (Charlie). 

The purpose of these portals was to check for valid passports, visas, temporary visitor passes and military credentials.  People freely visited relatives in either zone, tourism was common, and soldiers on both sides passed back and forth as sightseers.  The problem was that hordes of eastern zone citizens were using those checkpoints to flee to the West.  This caused a labor shortage for the East Germans and was a public relations nightmare. 

 

 

 

 

 

PICTURE OF STALIN

 

  Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, who killed 60 million of his own people for political reasons, wanted the entire city of Berlin for himself.  So the Russians closed off all roads and rail traffic into the city in an attempt to force the US, Britain, and France to abandon their sectors.  Two million people lived in the city and would starve if they didn’t receive the daily necessities of life that was already being delivered to them.  

 

  On June 24, 1948 the ‘Berlin Airlift’ officially began.  Planes from Britain and the US flew non-stop, 24/7, carrying everything from coal to fresh milk to the citizens of Berlin. 

 

 

 

 

 

PICTURE OF DC-4

 

  Total tonnage delivered by air in the 15 months of the operation was 2,326,406.  There were 278,228 total flights made with their mileage equal to the distance from the earth to the sun.  An average of 1,500 flights per day was logged, sometimes delivering 5,000 tons of goods in a 24-hour period.  The cost was 101 deaths in airplane crashes and other accidents.  It 1949 dollars the amount spent was $224 million.

 

  Finally the 5’4” Stalin realized that the Allies were not going to give in so they reopened the roads and railways to allow trucks and trains, instead of planes, to deliver the goods. The airlift officially ended September 30, 1949.  The Allies had won the standoff and saved the city.  

 

  Tensions continued to fester over the years until August 13, 1961.  That’s when the Soviets began constructing the first of two Berlin Walls.  They were needed to keep its work force, and some of their soldiers, from escaping to freedom in the West. Even then, people continued to climb over and dig under the wall.  So a second wall was built parallel to the first.  There was a “kill” zone in between.    It was laced with barbed wire, had land mines and soldiers with attack dogs on 24-hour patrol.    

 

  The wall was 27 miles long, 11 feet high, and had 302 watchtowers manned by soldiers with machine guns.  Still, people are still trying to escape the East German rulers who, in fact, are mere puppets of the Soviets. Several citizens tried to run the gauntlet of the kill zone and failed.  One industrious fellow built a glider and flew from the roof of a building on the Communist side, over the walls and landed safely in a grassy park in

the western zone.  Several tunnels have been used too.  One tunnel was found only after a woman accidentally fell into it leaving her baby in its carriage above ground to be spotted by the police.

 

Sneaking Into East Berlin

  The plan called for me to sneak into Soviet held East Germany via Denmark.  There was

a common border between the two countries near the Danish town of Logumkloster but   because I didn’t speak Polish, a route through that country was out.  The train I used was no express.  Rather it is what we in the US call a “milk run”.  So much the better because it would give me time to scan for any “tails” I might have attracted. 

 

  The first stop was Flensburg then Kiel, then Lubeck where I deboarded.  Another train was due in three hours so I took advantage of the time to buy a meal of dark bratwurst, ale, and heavy bread.  By getting off the train if I had picked up a tail, perhaps he would still be on it looking for me.

 

  Right on time, the next train arrived and I boarded with my cloth satchel of clothes and a commonly used fish net style sack containing two apples and one banana.  I wanted to appear as one of the locals. We passed Schwerin, Wittsock, Neuruppin, then eastward to the tiny town of Petershagen.  The planers back at Langley felt that I should enter the city from its eastside.  That’s why Petershagen was selected as my port of entry.  Poland, which butts up to Germany’s eastern border, was under Soviet domination.  It was hoped that the guards at the eastern city gates would be less suspicious of people coming from the Communist side.  

 

  It was near 2300 hours and I was tired.  I wanted to enter Berlin with the natural flow of people, which was between 7 and 9 tomorrow morning.  I rented a sleeping room at a hostile and set my mind to wake up at 6.

 

  Six a.m. came and went.  I awoke at 6:30. 

 

 “Shit,’ I thought.  I was too late to eat, buy a bicycle and travel the one-kilometer to Berlin.  Rather than chancing an arrival after the heavy 08:30 traffic flow, I decided to spend the day in Petershagen. 

 

  The people were pleasant enough but they were under Communist rule, and a pall hovered over the town.  No one appeared to have any vibrancy, no get-up and go attitude. The shops were clean but food was scarce and very expensive.   On one of my earlier missions, I had spent a great deal of time in the other three zones of occupation.  The contrast between our zones and the Communist zone was like night and day.  The clothes in these stores were drab and lacked any sense of fashion. They were mostly available in dark colors and were made of cheap material.  Even the buttons weren’t always sewn in a straight line. 

 

  In retrospect, I was glad that I overslept because I was able to sleep and walk off my train lag, which I hadn’t realized that I had.  No spy worth his salt should ever put himself in harm’s way in less that full physical and mental acumen.  

 

 

 

I Needed To Blend In

  For the next two weeks I bicycled in and out of East Berlin.  I would spend my days at

the library, the park and even the shopping center on Alexanderplatz Str.  I would spend 

an hour or so at one outdoor café then move to another because I wanted my face to become familiar to large numbers of people so they would consider me as a local, one of them.  If I was thought of as a local I would be more free to roam wherever I wanted.   

 

  I nearly always went through the city’s checkpoint at the same time so the guards would get used to seeing me and thus dismiss me as someone innocuous. I conditioned the guards by saying, “Gutten morgan” when I entered the city and “Gutten nacht” when I returned to Petershagen.  Familiarity escalated to the point where they stopped calling me Herr Prosser and switched to using my first name, Freidich.  “Gutten morgan, Freidich,” and “Verdersein Friedich.” Finally they even quit looking at my papers and simply waved me through.  My plan was working.

 

  It was now time for me to earn my pay.

 

  Their parliament building was on Palast der Republic and the city hall was over on Ruthausstrasse.  Both were targets because official records were gathered and stored in each.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Stasi Was Everywhere

  The Stasi, the secret police, seemed to inhabit both buildings night and day.  They were looking for traitors among the populace.  As time went on they had a dossier on nearly

everybody over the age of 18 that lived in the city.  If someone was suspected of defecting, spying, or even criticizing the government, they might end up in jail for months.  Some of those arrested were never seen again.  

 

  Such arrests were a win-win game for the Stasi and a lose-lose game for the poor people who could not escape from the city.  Every time a person was arrested, even if they were falsely accused, the arresting Stasi officer got a pat on the back.  Everybody likes an ‘atta-boy’, even Communists.

 

 Immediately after World War II ended, the Soviets had stripped the city of its manufacturing plants. The plants and machinery were moved lock stock and barrel into the heart of Russia.  About the only work now available to the people was the manufacturing of clothes, simple household items and some firearms.  The weapons were shipped to Soviet Bloc countries and others where the Reds sponsored uprisings.  If there was one thing that the Germans were good at manufacturing it was precision-made goods such as military hardware. They had demonstrated that by manufacturing the first military jet airplane, the first rockets to fly hundreds of miles and the fastest firing machine guns to date.        

 

  What food for sale had to be brought in from the outlying countryside?  Even then, there were no large farms, only small plots maintained, not owned by peasants.  It was small wonder that nearly everyone wanted out.  I quickly realized that there was massive

potential of recruits to work for our side.  I figured that they would work for pay or escape to the west.  My decision as to who to trust would not only be based on my training but a good feeling in my gut.

 

My Task

1.      Recruit people to work for us in order to:

A.    Identify East German and Soviet Bloc spies now working in allied and NATO countries.

B.     Determine what those spies have discovered. 

C.     Identify the handlers/controllers of those spies who are stationed beyond the Iron Curtain. 

D.    Determine what, how much, when, and where military materiel that is made in East Germany, and other Soviet Bloc countries if possible, and where those goods are shipped.

E.     You are not to engage yourself in any of these activities.  You are only to recruit and handle/control those persons whom you recruit.

F.      Relay all data gathered on a sporadic schedule so as not to establish a set pattern of communications. 

2.      You are to remain on station until relieved or if you deem that you may have been compromised.

3.      The safe house for you in Petershagen is 21 Mellin Str.  Your sign is, The kite is blue.  The counter sign is, The birds have returned.  Your safe house in East Berlin is 442 Grell Str.  Your sign is, I would like to buy a cheap watch.  The counter sigh is, My door won’t lock.

 

I Eves Dropped on Conversations

  There is an outdoor café on Palast der Republik Str. one-half block from the Parliament Building and a favorite noon time spot for those workers. It was the perfect location for me to also become a customer so I established myself as a regular. I would sit, drink coffee and read a book or a newspaper.  I noticed that the same people every day sat at the same tables.  I've noticed that habitual behavior in every country that I’ve traveled.  Each day I purposely sat a different table to eavesdrop on different groups to find out who were the most discontented workers.  I needed to narrow my search to the best candidates available. 

 

  One young man, I’d say that he was in his mid-twenties, grumbled a lot.  Surprisingly he didn’t seem to care whom heard him gripe because he didn’t lower his voice much at all.  I took care to notice which direction he went toward home.  

  Then one day, before people began leaving the building, I began strolling in the direction that he would take. My intent was to stay ahead of him just a bit, let him catch up and pass.  I followed him for two blocks then turned away letting him continue

without my surveillance.  Two days later I stationed myself near where I had previously disconnected from him and began walking in the direction that I knew he would take. 

After the third such adventure, I found out where he lived.  He had a first floor apartment in a dilapidated building fit only for people who had lost all hope.  On two separate occasions I watched to see which apartment light turned on after he had entered. 

 

  Posted on his hallway door was the name Karl Boger. My next move was to talk to him alone, away from his regular buddies at the cafe. At noon, like always, Karl left the Parliament building and headed for the café for his schnitzel and beer.  With a chess set under my arm that I had put into a faulty box, I purposely bumped into him on the sidewalk just outside the café.  As I had planned the chess pieces littered the sidewalk.   

 

Our Accidental Meeting On Purpose

 Entschuldigen Sie mich bitte!”  (Excuse me please.), he said. He spoke no English.

 

 I replied, Das ist in Ordnung, kummert sich nicht darum.”(That’s all right, don’t worry about it.”). 

 

He helped me pick up everything and I asked if he played chess.

 

Ja mache ich.” (“Yes I do.”), he answered.  I already knew that he did from listening to his conversations for the past few weeks.

 

  I invited him to a game sometime on his lunch hour and he said that he takes chess very seriously so a noontime game would not be to his liking.  So I asked if perhaps we could meet somewhere on a Saturday or Sunday and challenge each other to a ‘no holds bared’ game.  To my surprise and delight he suggested Saturday, the day after tomorrow. 

 

  “Gut.” (“Good.”) I replied.

 

  Then I asked, “Wo?” (“Where?”)

 

  Surprising me again he said his apartment at 2 p.m.  Pretending that I didn’t know where he lived, I asked for his name and address, which he penciled, on a piece of paper.

 

  I smiled from ear to ear and said, Ich muss Ihnen erzahlen, dass ich sehr gut bin.”  (“I must tell you that I’m very good!”)

 

  Smiling with equal enthusiasm he felt that it was his duty so tell me, “Ich nahme keine Gefangenen!”  (“I take no prisoners.”)

 

  Step one accomplished!  That was to establish a friendly relationship.  Step two would be to gain his trust.  Step three would be to find out what he wanted or needed.  I already

suspected that he wanted out of East Berlin based on his loud talk at the café.  Step four would be to offer him the ‘opportunity of a lifetime’. 

 

  I knocked on Karl’s door at one minute after 2.  I had left my chess set in my apartment figuring that he would be more comfortable using his own.  In a paper sack I had a carton of Lucky’s.  I knew that he smoked heavily but had to buy the awful tasting German and French cigarettes, which sold for four Deutsch Marcs ($1) per pack.  Upon the presentation of my little gift his eyes opened as wide as dollars.

 

  “Vielen vielen Dank!” (“Thank you so much!”) he exuberated.

 

  It was my intent to gradually be ostentatious by letting him witness my hidden wealth.  I wanted him to become greedy.  My fine Swiss watch was visible but only when I purposely stretched my left arm to expose it beyond my shirt cuff.  Now and then I would move in such a way that he saw its 24-kt. gold case shine from the light coming in the window. 

 

  I won the first game rather than purposely loosing.  I wanted to play a second one so we could spend more time chatting.  If I had let him win, he might have called it a day.  By beating him, he thirsted for revenge.

 

 Between chess moves, I casually mentioned that now and then there had been successful escapes to the West.  Very quickly, his eyes focused on mine but he said nothing.  I continued to play with no further comments on the subject.

 

 

 

Picture of chess pieces

 

I Let Him Win

  Karl won the second game but it had been a long one.  I had put on my best thinking cap to make sure that he had to struggle to beat me.  On purpose, however, I made a bad

move upon which he capitalized.  He was to meet his girlfriend at 7 and needed to end

our day together. 

 

  As I reached the door to the hall, he asked, “Haben Sie gehort, wie Luete entkommen?” (“Have you heard how people are escaping?”)

 

  He had taken my bait.  Now I needed to troll with it a bit.

 

  “Ich habe einige Gerüchte gehört“. (“I’ve heard some rumors,”) I replied.

 

  Then before the conversation could continue, I bid him Gute Nacht, and left.  I wanted to give him time to become not just hungry but ravenous for more information. 

 

  As he had no way of reaching me, I made him wait three days until I went to the café at lunchtime.  I sat at a table near the street so that the sounds of passing traffic might hide some of our conversation. 

 

 Karl must have run from the Parliament building because when he reached my table he was a bit breathless. 

 

 We exchanged pleasantries then he boldly asked, “Welche Geruchte haven Sie gehort?” (“What rumors have you heard?”)

 

Pretending that I had no idea what he was talking about I replied, “Vas? (“What?”)

 

“Welche Gerüchte haben Sie gehört, auf wie Leute erfolgreich von dieser Hölle aussteigen?” (“What rumors have you heard on how people are successfully getting out of this Hell?”) he asked with emphasis.

 

  “Ach“, habe ich begonnen, “ich habe von einem Gefährten gehört, der heiß zu erhalten Leute draußen kennt, ist das alle“. (“Oh,” I began, “I’ve heard of a fellow who knows how to get people out, that’s all.”)

 

  He was hooked.

 

  I said that the fellow that I knew would help people get out if they would help him first.

 

  Wer ist er?” (“Who is he?”), Karl asked.

 

  “Ich kenne seinen wirklichen Namen nicht,“ (“I don’t know his real name,”)

 

   I lied because it was me hiding behind a mythical person.

 

  “Sind Sie gegenüber dem Entgehen zum Westen ernst, oder leben Sie gerade in einem Traum?"  (“Are you serious about escaping to the West or are you just living in a dream?”), I asked.

 

“Ich will wirklich aus und ich will Gretchen mit mir nehmen. Sie  ist meine Freundin.”            (“I really want out and I want to take Gretchen with me.  She’s my girlfriend.”)

 

  Continuing he asked, “Können Sie herausfinden, was ich für uns machen muss, zu entkommen? (“Can you find out what I need to do for us to escape?”)

 

  I said that I would but it would take a couple of days before I would see the man.

 

 “Er reist sehr." (“He travels a lot,”), I lied again.

 

 “Danke shon,” he thanked me

 

  He returned to work eating his brats on the run.

 

  Thursday, two days later, I was waiting for Karl at the same café table.  He saw me sitting and waved and bore a big grin.  He was full of anticipation.  I had played him like a fish and he was ready to snap at the bait.

 

  “Hallo mein Freund.” (“Hello my friend”), he said.

 

  I noticed that he called me ‘friend.’  That was an excellent sign that he trusted me.

 

“Guten Tag." (“Good afternoon,”), I replied.

 

   I stood and shook his hand firmly to emphasize our newly formed friendship. 

 

  “Brunnen?” (“Well?”), he asked.

 

  Not wanting to torture him I said,

 

  “Ich traf den Gefährten und erzählte ihm über Ihren Job so am besten, dass ich konnte."   (“I met the fellow and told him about your job as best that I could remember from what you told me.”) 

 

“Er bat mich, Sie zu fragen, wenn Sie wild willilng sein, um etwas Information für ihn zu sammeln. Er sagte, dass, wenn Sie sagten Nein, er überhaupt nicht aufgebracht sein würde."  (“He asked me to ask you if you would be willing to gather some information for him.  He said that if you said ‘no’ he wouldn’t be upset at all.”)

 

  “Welche Art der Informationen?” (“What kind of information?“), he asked.

 

   I spelled out, in detail, what was needed.  Karl was to peruse the files in his keeping for the names and identities of Stasi agents working anywhere on the globe.  In return he would be guaranteed that he and his girlfriend would be smuggled out of the city and into the world of freedom and choice. 

 

  Silence. He sat motionless and said nothing.

 

  I remained stoic.  I could almost hear the gears turning in his head.  Still saying nothing, he picked up his stein and took a gulp of beer.

 

  “Wie viele Namen will er?” (“How many names does he want?”), he asked.  Bingo again! He was on board. 

 

I Recruited Three Additional People

  Over the next few weeks I recruited three more people to perform various covert assignments beneficial to the West.  All were fairly fluent in English but, of course, I always in German. I didn’t want to be identified as someone from the West.  Two of my new people were men and one was a woman, Felicia, a singer at a local bar.  She was very pretty so she was often asked to sit with the patrons.  Stasi and Russian KGB agents were known to frequent the bar and she was privy to gossip that often proved vital to our side. All she wanted was money for her services because her aging parents lived in the city and she didn’t want to abandon them by fleeing to the West.    

 

  Young Karl proved to be dependable, reliable, and trustworthy.  I had lied to him saying that he would need to work for several months in order to gain as much information as possible.  The lie was that even if he had been our employee for only a short time and

was compromised, I’d whisk him to safety anyway. Because of his burning desire to leave East Berlin with his girlfriend he agreed to a long- term commitment.

 

  I was kept busy handling all four contacts.  I got word from my boss, Art back at Langly, to “Keep up the good work!” 

 

I Could Get Them Out

  But after only four months Karl was getting itchy and felt that he had earned his due.  The names that he had gleaned for us proved extremely valuable.  He worked hard to hold up his end of the bargain so I got permission to get him and his girlfriend out.  But first, I needed to recruit someone in his department to carry on his work.

 

  I posed this to Karl who told me of an elderly man who in the German army and fought the Russians when they invaded Berlin.  Karl said that his friend, Walter, hated the Russians and would be more than happy to aid the West in any way he could.  He did not want to escape nor would he accept any gratuity.  He simply wanted revenge against the atheist Reds.

 

  Two days later I met Walter Schwarz.  Walter worked even harder than Karl had.  The flow of information increased significantly.  His zeal to help the West lay in his hatred of the Russians.  

 

  I asked about his background and why he wanted to help the West.  He told me that he had been a simple infantryman in the German army.  He had been in the army since 27 December 1943.  The only weapon he ever fired was his bolt action 98K Mauser rifle. He

fought for The Fatherland on D-Day, 6 June 1944.  He was wounded, on the Normandy frontier, in the right shoulder and was evacuated to a field hospital well behind the fighting.  He recovered quickly and was back on the line in only two weeks. 

 

  He went on to tell me that the Allies kept pushing him and his comrades back and back still farther until they reached the Rhine River.  He was wounded again in the right thigh

and went to a hospital in Berlin.  From there he was given another rifle and was told that the Russians were at the ‘gates of Berlin’ and they must be stopped at all costs. 

 

  He told me that he and his buddies knew that their fight was a lost cause but dying would be better than being captured by the Russians.  So they fought, side by side, house to house, and street by street, comrades to the end. 

 

  Again he was wounded, this time in the head. He lay unconscious, in the street where he fell, for a long time.  When he awoke, three Russian soldiers were standing over him laughing.  Then they began kicking him.  They kicked and kicked.  One soldier even struck him in the rib cage busting two ribs.  Then, thinking that Walter had had enough, maybe even dying, they kicked him once more in the head and left him lying face down in his own blood. 

 

  “Jetzt kann ich sogar mit ihnen werden!”  (“Now,” he said, “I can get even with them.”)

 

  The flow of information that Walter supplied was even greater than I had been receiving from Karl.  Even though he didn’t ask nor want payment, I gave him 100 Marcs ($25) each month.  After a short while he accepted the money with no hesitation. He and his family had become used to a better life that the newfound wealth afforded them.  Now, he too, was hooked!

 

  Getting Karl and his girlfriend Gretchen out of the city was my next project. 

 

  I told my young friend that he and Gretchen needed to be ready to leave in four days.  That would be a Friday, at the end of the workweek, when people would be exiting the portals for two days in the countryside.  I further told him that he and Gretchen should carry nothing more than a small canvas bag, customarily carried by weekend travelers, and a pick nick basket of food.  He agreed.

 

  Suddenly the roof caved in.

 

 

 

 

Picture of German Secret Police

 

Trouble From the Secret Police

  I received word from my contact in the city that the Stasi smelled a rat and were looking into the backgrounds of several people in Karl’s department.  Karl was on their list of suspects; Walter was not.  I had to move fast.  Risking my own exposure, I peddled my bike to his apartment and knocked softly, so that I wouldn’t arouse his neighbors.  I prayed that he would be home.  

 

  He was.

 

  I explained the situation and asked how soon could he get in touch with Gretchen.

 

  “Sie ist hier mit mir jetzt!”  (“She’s here with me now!”) he exclaimed.

 

  “Fantastisch!” (“Fantastic!”) I replied.

 

 I told the pair that the only things that they could take with them would be what they  could stuff in their pockets.  Gretchen put up a fuss wanting to go to her apartment and collect some family mementos.  I told her that it wasn’t possible. 

 

  Karl stuffed some things in his pockets then they followed me out the door.  I had leaned my bike against the building next to his. 

 

  "Folgen Sie mir!" (“Follow me!”), I implored.

 

  With Gretchen seated on Karl’s handle bars, we sped to the city’s waste disposal site.  I looked back and saw the perplexed looks on their faces.  The road that we were on lead only to the city dump. 

 

  I back peddled backward to brake stopping next to a dump truck with its motor running.

 

 "Sie sind dabei, unordentlich zu werden!" (“You’re going to get messy!”),  I exclaimed.

 

  Looking at me as if I had lost my marbles, Gretchen asked,  “Wollen Sie uns, ins hintere von jenem Lastwagen anzukommen, der voll ist von alter übel riechender Speise? (“Do you want us to get into the back of that truck full of smelly old food?”)

 

  “Ja,”  (“Yes.”), I replied.

 

  With total dismay she said emphatically, “Ich komme in dort nicht an!” (“I’m not getting in there!”)

 

  Hastily I replied, "Wenn Sie zwei in diesem Lastwagen nicht kommen, wird Karl sicher durch den Stasi gefangen. Er wird dann wahrscheinlich getötet gefoltert. Wenn er Glück nach der Folter hatte, könnte er die Ruhe seines Lebens in einem sowjetischen harten Arbeitsgefängnis ausgeben. Es ist entweder der Müll oder das Leben von Karl. Schade, es ist das Beste, dass mein Kontakt erwartet unter solcher kurzer Benachrichtigung konnte. Er hatte für Sie geplant, eine nette Zugfahrt aus Berlin zu nehmen. Aber mit dem Stasi hereinbrechend ist das es."  (“If you two don’t get in this truck, Karl will surely be caught by the Stasi.  He will be tortured then probably killed.  If he was lucky after torture he might spend the rest of his life in a Soviet hard labor prison.  It’s either the garbage or Karl’s life.  Sorry, it’s the best that my contact could due under such short notice. He had planned for you to take a nice train ride out of Berlin.  But with the Stasi closing in, this is it.”) 

 

  Karl looked at Gretchen’s forlorn face and said, “Schatz, wir können wie dies nicht leben. Wir können unsere Kinder unter der Regel von den Kommunisten nicht erheben. Wir wollen ein besseres Leben für uns und für die Familie, die wir für geplant haben. Bitte müssen wir uns beeilen! (“Sweetheart, we can’t live like this.  We can’t raise our children under the rule of the Communists.  We want a better life for ourselves and for the family that we’ve planned for. Please, we must hurry!”)

 

  His lovely girlfriend moved to the back end of the truck and said, “Helfen Sie mir auf!”   (“Help me up!”)

 

  Once they were lying on top of the rotting garbage, the driver rolled the canvas top backward from the cab all the way to the rear gate then tied it down.  The stench of the load was nauseating.  Soldiers at the portals seldom stopped the frequent loads because when they did, the smell seemed to linger there forever.  Several trucks each week traversed the roads to drop their cargo to pig farmers in the outlying areas. The farm selected for this load was run by one of our operatives whom we paid in gold coins.

 

  I later received word that indeed the truck went through the checkpoint without having to stop.  Karl and Gretchen bathed at an outdoor pump at the farmer’s house, given fresh clothes and sent on their way to freedom via a prearranged route.

 

  Even though I had not gotten into the truck the smell had permeated my clothes.  I had to burn them.

 

 

 

 

 

PICTURE OF ORANGE MAN ON TOP

 

Felicia’s Story of Survival

  Felicia, the lady singer, kept the information coming and her larder of cash grew in proportion to what she passed on to us.  Now and then gossip would dry up and she was unable to tell me anything.  According to our agreement, I was to pay her only when she delivered something that we could use.  But I didn’t want to loose her as a valuable source of information so I gave her a stipend anyway. 

 

  She was alone in the world, as was I, which fired our occasional biological liaisons.

 

  As was my custom throughout the city, I was a customer at many venues including the bar where she performed.  Whenever she felt the need for romantic companionship, she would blow out the candle on my table as she sang while meandering through the audience.  She blew out other candles as well but to disguise our signal but mine was first.  If I re-lit it, I was signaling that I could not make the date.       

 

  Her apartment above the bar was small but well appointed.  She said, that thanks to me, she had been able to fix it up more than she would have been able to had we not met. Before we retired to her bedroom, with its small double bed, we would share a snack;

nothing heavy of course, that would hinder our performance.  We might have cheese,

crackers and a taste of wine appropriately selected to compliment our food.  I appreciated her attempt to make the best of a bad situation in Hellish East Berlin.

 

  In the afterglow, Felicia would cuddle up to my chest, take my arm and drape it over her shoulder letting my hand rest on her breast.  On one occasion, she confided something of which I had not suspected.

 

 “When the war ended and the Russian bastards occupied Berlin we Germans had to survive any way that we could.”

 

  I said nothing so that she could reminisce and tell the story in her own way.

 

  “Food was unavailable,” she continued, “and we ate rats whenever we could catch them.  I would walk the streets and kill them by throwing bricks at them.”

 

  I had read stories about the Berliners and how hard it had been for them, but at that time, I felt no sympathy for their lot.  After all, they had started the war, killed 20 million people in concentration camps, and they murdered captured allied soldiers.

 

  Sad but true, I later found out that our American soldiers also killed captured Germans because they had no way of caring for them. It was not uncommon for German soldiers to shoot a GI then surrender hoping to be sent to a stateside POW camp.  Once the word of that reached our troops, if a German soldier did shoot then surrender, he was immediately shot by one of our boys. Our General Omar Bradley had quietly sanctioned these executions.   

 

Her Story Touched My Heart

  But now, in her bedroom lit by a single candle, compassion found a soft spot in my logic and altered my previous thoughts about the German people.

 

  “I was 15 and it became necessary for me,” she continued, “to sell myself to Russian soldiers.  They paid me with food not money.  I not only had myself to feed, I was the only hope for my mother and father.”

 

  I felt my eyes beginning to water.

 

  “I got pregnant.  There were no doctors available so I had to do the abortion myself using a long handled spoon.”

 

  Her words made me mentally reach out and touch her heart.  She must have felt something in me just then because she placed her hand on mine and squeezed it.

 

  She continued her story.

 

  “I bled for a long time.  I was weak and couldn’t get out of bed for two days.  Lack of food made me even weaker.  If it hadn’t been for Mrs. Kraus next door, who was worried

because she hadn’t seen me in a while, I would probably have died.  She let herself in and

found me covered with blood and near faint.  She fed me broth and boiled rat meat for two days until I was able to stand and care for myself.”

 

 She added that boiling as opposed to frying rat meat was preferable because it made the meat more tender and left a broth that could be fed to infants.  The thought of feeding rat

broth to babies turned my stomach.  I turned toward her with tears on my cheeks

then pressed my lips firmly into her hair and kissed her head.  She squeezed my hand again.  She finished by saying that a doctor has since told her that she could never have children.  Then she broke down allowing her own tears to gush down her lovely body.

 

 

My New Recruit Proved To Be A Valuable Asset

  Klaus Obermann had become invaluable because as a former electrical engineer he had found a way to tap into the phone lines in the Red’s city hall on Rathausstrasse.  But he didn’t understand the Russian language and Langley had forbidden me to become directly involved in the day to day details of the operation.  So I bought a tape recorder and gave

it to Klaus who held the recorder’s microphone next to the phone’s ear piece to record the conversations.  It was a hit and miss operation but now and then I was able to pick up orders to Soviet Bloc countries which I relayed back to the US. 

 

  One piece of information proved to be a real boon to us.  I alerted NATO that the Soviets were going to test NATO’s reaction by launching a fake military probe into a specific area in order to find out how we responded.  NATO, thus warned, secretly watched the sneak attack but it didn’t respond to it.  That was to make Ivan think that he had found a soft spot in our defenses.  Then if the “balloon went up”, meaning that there is a genuine Soviet attack, we would be prepared to fight at that location.  Score a big one for Klaus.

 

Hermann Turned Out To Be Winner Too

  During World War II Hermann Schloss was third-deputy in charge of recording the 20 million people killed in Germany’s concentration camps.  There were 1,600 such death camps on German soil with another 15,000 camps in the countries that they conquered.  Selected to die were Gypsies, Soviet citizens, Jews, captured soldiers (POW’s), Communists, Poles, Slavic people, disabled persons including the mentally retarded, homosexuals plus political and religious dissidents. 

 

  One day in conversation, Hermann confirmed what I had read in my college history textbooks. 

 

  He said, “You know that we Germans love our music, especially Bach and Wagner.  So when musicians came into the camps they were pulled aside to form bands and orchestras to entertain the camp guards.  Instead of being killed, they were treated somewhat better because they served a purpose.”

 

 Then after a very long pause he added, “On the other side of the coin the musicians were also stationed at the gates and played happy music for the new arrivals. This was meant

to give them a false sense of security. Little did they know that they were mere human flesh for the Nazi’s crematory fires.”

 

  He concluded by saying, “Danken Sie Gott, den ich nie irgendein davon bezeugen musste! (“Thank God I never had to witness any of that!”) 

 

  I had heard stories that most Germans, now that the war was over, lied and claimed that they had nothing to do with the murders.  But, somehow, I believed that Hermann did truly regret being a participant in that part of his country’s history.  

 

  Because of his skill at keeping records, the East Germans had put him to work tracking all traffic coming and going from the city with the title: Chief Traffic Manager.  His job was a plus for me because finally I’d be able to find out exactly what went in and out of the city.

 

  Hermann had access to records that accurately accounted for every shipment of foodstuffs, machine guns, ammunition, loads of clothing, even the boxes of lice killer. The East German military were fanatic about keeping accurate paperwork.  They had so many files and dossiers on people that after only four years they had completely filled two large warehouses and were working on the third.  In truth, most of the data was never read but that didn’t matter.  They wanted everything recorded.  And they wanted everyone so scared that they obeyed every order given them.

 

  The benefit to us in the West was that we knew what was in their inventory of war making materiel.  My friend Hermann updated the information every month.    

 

  I had, by now, been in and out of the city for nearly a year.  I was tired.  Handling four agents was exhausting.  I asked Langley to be relieved.  I received word from Arthur that the ‘calvary’ is coming.”  I had to laugh at his message.  Good ol’ Art, always there to lift my spirits.  He was a great boss and I’d have done anything for him.  He loved his wife Cindy, whom I had met, and is one son, Josh. 

 

  The word was, “Your replacement will arrive in two weeks.  Break her in and come home.” 

 

  ‘Come home’, how sweet the words.

 

  I would introduce my replacement, whomever she was, to all of my people.  It was vital that they felt as comfortable working with her as they had been with me.  But there was one person who deserved more attention than an ordinary change of command procedure;  Felicia. 

 

  She took a week off from her job.  She feigned sickness but her boss knew of our relationship so he wasn’t fooled.  He smiled at her and said, “Genießen Sie Ihren Urlaub.”  (“Enjoy your vacation.”)  

 

  We didn’t talk much.  We didn’t make love much either; it wasn’t needed.  We just stayed close.  I had never been much of a hand holding kind of guy but with Felicia it seemed natural. We looked into each other’s eyes, together acknowledging what wise Shakespeare had written; “parting is such sweet sorrow.”

 

 

 

                          I WAS A SPY FOR THE CIA

 

                                         Chapter 9

                                         Poland East (Formally East Prussia)

 

  I had proven my metal to Arthur and the Company.  But only a handful of upper echelon folks knew of my missions.  Although I was not allowed to discuss my work outside of the agency, I had been a long time friend with Rollie Osborne in the Secret Service.  We went to different high schools and had competed in basketball back home.  Rollie was one of the handpicked agents assigned to guard the President of the United States..  He was with Vice President Johnson aboard Airforce One when he was sworn in while flying back to D.C. We’d get together now and then for a late supper and swap ‘war stories,’ one of which was the following.

 

  I had been sent to Poland, one of the provinces in the German Empire, to turn a Russian KGB agent over to our side.  Her name was Alla Ivanov.  The inch thick dossier that I had studied revealed that she was a romantic.  She was also a killer.  We knew that she liked to read poetry and had written several that were printed in Pravda.  She liked the ballet and the .380 caliber silenced Makarov.  It was rumored and annotated in her file that, while on a date in a nightclub, she had shot the man she was with because he was looking at another woman. Aside from her native Russian,she was fluent in English, French, and German; she was one smart cookie!

 

  We wanted her to come over to our side because we suspected that she knew the names of many KGB agents working in the NATO countries. Our efforts to learn those names had been met only with frustration.  Before seeing me off at Dulles, Art said, “Bring her over to our side, and I’ll buy a fuckin’ truck load of beer.”  I laughed, we shook hands and I walked across the tarmac and boarded Pan Am flight 1216 bound for Tempelhof in West Berlin. 

 

 

Picture of German Passport

 

  My fake German passport and birth certificate, both courtesy of our forgery department, were snug inside the vest pocket of my jacket.  All of my clothes had been purchased in Poland some time in the past and bore no resemblance to Western styles.

 

Once in West Berlin, I would pass through the Brandenburg Gate, enter East Berlin, then make my way to adjacent Poland.  Because Poland had been populated with Germans for centuries, my lack of Polish made no difference.  I would still fit in nicely with my fluent and perfectly accented German tongue.

 

  My cover was as an electrical engineer.  My high school calculus and introductory classes in both electrical and mechanical engineering in college would make it somewhat easy for the Company to tune me up, so to speak, on those subjects before launching into my assignment.  Still, I would have to be cautious when I was with Alla because she was a bonafide engineer. 

 

  We had worked it out, while planning my mission, that I would not present myself as an expert but someone able to work at a lower echelon of any company in which I could find employment.  Our research showed that the Poles were desperate for skilled workers.  Most of their good ones had fled the country just before the Soviets took it over in 1945, making it a Soviet puppet state.  

 

  We knew in which Warsaw plant Alla worked.  Our data showed that all I needed to do was to present my fake resume to their personnel department and go to work the next day.

 

  The train ride through East Berlin proved to be a dismal one.  The Germans had no liking of the Russians and they didn’t want to be under the thumb of the Russian Bear.   But they had no choice.  President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill had ceded that part of the city to the Stalin earlier at the Yalta Conference. 

 

  The East Germans’ poor work ethic and horrible attitude toward their jobs was immediately evident in the way they took care, rather the lack of care, of their railway cars, the stations along the route and the water closets at the rear of each car. 

 

  There was a two-hour delay crossing the border from East Germany into Poland because the guards scrutinized each passenger’s papers.  One would think that they were looking for spies! 

 

  After three more hours of torture sitting on hard bench seats, we arrived in Warsaw.  I couldn’t wait to get off the train and find some out of the way place to stay. Our boys back in Virginia had told me to go to Dzika Str. (Wild Street) as there were several boarding houses there.  Thankfully, the Poles were cleaner and neater than the East Germans. 

 

  Mrs. Dabrowski’s flat was neat, a tad cozy, and had comfortable furniture.  Even the bed was nice.  The she had told me that the mattress was brand new.  I could feel that she was telling the truth.  While it is my custom to walk off long plane, bus, and train rides, I was so exhausted and ‘beat up’ that when I laid down just to rest for a minute, I immediately fell asleep.

 

  At 6 a.m. there was a knock on my door.  It startled me and for a moment; I had forgotten where I was. 

 

  “Just a minute,” I answered.

 

  Then I heard a woman say, “Breakfast in fifteen minutes.”

 

  “Thanks you,” I acknowledged in German.

 

  My goodness sake the food was good!  In fact, it was delicious!  The table was set family style with a sturdy chair with a padded seat for each border. 

 

  There was ham, Polish of course, eggs, gravy, boiled potatoes, hot cinnamon apples, and a chilled un-peeled orange above each plate.  Everyone was chatting, in Polish, German, and one couple was speaking French.  I joined in by telling a joke to which everyone laughed.  I wanted to ingratiate myself into their inner social circle. 

 

  Of course everyone wanted to know all about me.  Was I married?  “No.”  What was I doing here?  “Looking for work as an engineer.”  They all seemed to be pleased to hear that I was a professional man, not just a common laborer.  Everyone so wanted their country to pull itself up by its own bootstraps and become a viable sovereign nation again, one in which they could be proud.  They all said that they could do just that too, IF only the Russians would let them be to their own devices.  I said, “I’ll drink to that,” and raised my glass of tomato juice.  Around the table I heard, “Hear, hear!”  One fellow even said, “Tally-Ho.” to which we all laughed.    

 

  I felt comfortable in this new environment but I knew that if I made even a tiny slip up, someone there would turn me over to the KGB.  For if they didn’t, they would be tried and shipped off to one of Mother Russia’s gulags for harboring a spy. ‘En garde’ I said to myself.  

 

  My belly full, the sun shining and a new day ahead, I asked directions to Plac Zelaznwj Bramy (Iron Gate Str.).  I needed to work in the same factory as did Alla there in the 1500 block.

 

Getting a Job

  At the plant’s front gate I was told, “Come back after lunch. The man who does the hiring is out until then.”

 

  I strolled the city carrying my worn leather satchel with two straps, each with a sliver buckle, holding down the flap. To my surprise and delight, the streets were clean, the shops had wares for sale, people seemed polite, and were not constantly looking over their shoulders as did the unfortunate citizens of East Germany.  Refreshing!

 

  I had a light lunch at a stand-up diner and listened to the chatter around me.  I could tell from their words and the tones with which they spoke them, that there was no love lost between them and the Reds.  Yet, I also denoted an air of optimism.  I overheard several people talking about a man named Lech Walesa.  It was a name I had never heard so I dismissed it. My fluency in Russian as well as German would serve me well while I was here.

 

  I returned to the factory gate, satchel in hand, at ten past one.  The guard passed me right through without fanfare and pointed to the door behind which, he said, I would find the office of the fellow who did the hiring.

 

  Piotr Nowak was a small man, balding, wearing a tie and a clean white shirt.  His jacket hung on a hanger on a clothes tree by the door.  He was neat, not a piece of paper out of place.  Even the phone was cocked just so, to reach easily. 

 

  “I’m sorry Herr Berger, we have no openings for someone with your qualifications.” 

 

  My heart sank.  The boys at Langley were certain that I would have no trouble getting a job here.   

 

  “Perhaps Herr Berger, you should go home and think very hard about how much you would like to work for our fine company.  After you have done that, come back again and we’ll see what we can find for you.  Thanks you so much for coming in today.  Auf Wiedersehen.”

 

  Nothing changes.  I’m always amazed at the plethora of greed in the world.  Mr. Nowak wanted money.  Maybe he wanted just enough to buy his little woman at home a nice new dress or simply treat her to a night out on the town.  My quandary was how much should I slip into an unmarked envelope to get the job but not go overboard so that he might, later, come to me for more, thinking I was rich. 

 

  One hundred dollars, Polish, got me in.

 

I Needed to Work My Way Into Alla’s Section.

  The plant manufactured custom-made metal parts for Soviet prototype weapons under development.  This was an opportunity for me to so do some extra spying outside of my mission’s parameters.  But my hopes were dashed as my department only had blueprints for the specific parts that we were making but none for the completed item.

 

  At noon, a whistle blew three short blasts.  Lunch was for one hour and people ate either in the common cafeteria, brought their own lunches, or ate at near by cafes.  The cafeteria was undecorated, but did have walls painted in bright colors, which I suppose, was to lift the spirits of us, the proletariat.  However, the dining quarters for Communist Party chieftains was decorated with pictures of Stalin and Lenin.  Trotsky’s face was visibly absent.  Also, their fare was better cooked and served by stewards wearing near-formal attire.  So much for the Communists’ “Classless Society.’

 

  It was nearly a month before I spotted Alla eating in the workers’ cafeteria.  She looked just like the picture in her dossier.  But what hadn’t shown in the photo was her stature.  She was short.  I had read that she was 5’1” but for some reason it never ‘clicked’ in my mind how small that really is.  This Red soldier, a verified killer, feared by many, and adored by the Politburo, was almost a wisp of a woman. I suddenly shuttered as a vision of a coiled cobra flashed across my mind.  

 

I watched her every day for a week to see if she had a pattern to which I could make to my advantage.  She did. 

 

  Every Monday and Friday she ate with us common folk.  Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s, and Thursday’s she ate with the upper crust.  I couldn’t figure out why this pattern until I further noticed that on the days she ate with us, she seldom spoke.  Instead she appeared to ‘tune in’ to the conversations around her.  I deduced that she was listening for anti-Soviet talk among the plant’s personnel.

 

  Being a loyal Party member, it was her duty to report anyone who might be a troublemaker.  Now, knowing her pattern, I waited to eat my lunch prepared by Mrs. Dabrowski.

 

  Quickly I grabbed a seat next to her by bumping away another man who had vied for the space. I said nothing but listened to the table chatter, as did she.  Purposely I motioned for   her to pass the salt.  I wanted her to notice me and hopefully remember my face.  One other time, she turned her head in my direction and I smiled a little.  She didn’t smile back. 

 

  I waited another week before repeating that scenario.  But this time I sat directly opposite her so that she could see me more easily.  Again I smiled and this time she affirmed my polite gesture by nodding once, but still, no returned smile. 

 

  Two weeks went by and I again sat across from her.  We each finished our lunches at about the same time.  I took a penknife from my pocket, cut my apple in half and handed her one piece still clinging to the knife blade.  Surprisingly, she took it and said, “Spasibo,” (Thank you) in Russian.  I replied in German that I didn’t understand Russian.  Quickly her brain changed to German and she said, “Danke schon.”  I answered with a your welcome. Step one done—establish contact.

 

  Another week went buy and I waited until a Friday to make contact.  My plans were spoiled, however, as there were no seats next to her.  I had to sit opposite and down five seats to her left.  But it turned fortuitously for me.  I had brought two oranges that day and intended to hand her one across the table.  As she began to rise from her seat to leave the room, I coughed very loud hoping to get her attention.  It did.  I held up my two oranges and stuck out one hand in an offering to her.  Still on the other side of the table, she walked my way, stopped directly across from me, took the orange, smiled, and said thank you in German. I felt like a kid who had just received a great big thank you from his mom for the handkerchief that he had given her for her birthday. 

 

  She had taken my bait.  Now I had to let my line lay in the water to see if she would bite once more.  Again, I was in the cafeteria before she arrived and sat facing the doorway from which she would come. I had purposely placed a book on the chair next to mine and refused to move it even when several people had wanted to take that seat.  I had reserved it reserved for Alla.

 

  While slurping my soup with my head bowed, I kept my eye on the door.  There she was.  She was just standing there, looking around the room.  I saw that she saw me but I didn’t acknowledge that I saw her because I didn’t want to be too obvious.  I watched as she approached carrying her food tray in both hands. 

 

  “May I sit here, please?” she asked in German.  I replied, “Oh yes, please do.  Here, let me move my book.”

 

  She noticed that I had two pears by my bowl.  She asked, “Is one of those pears for anyone special?” 

 

  I answered, “Yes, someone special.”  Without asking for my permission, she picked up the smaller of the two.  I tapped the back of her hand, waved my finger indicating ‘No-no” and gave her the larger one.  She blushed, not much, but it was a blush nevertheless.

 

  Half way through our meals, she finally noticed the cover on my book.  It was THE PROPHET by Kahlil Gibran.  She became excited and clamored in Russian, then realized her mistake and changed to German.

 

  “You read Gibran?” she asked. 

 

  I gave it my best shot and began a quotation: “And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.”

 

  For a moment she was silent, seemingly in thought. Then she quoted the next line:  “Love has no other desire than to fulfil itself.”

 

Bingo, common ground established!

 

Every Woman is Different, Yet the Same

  I knew better than to ask her, in front of everyone at our table, for a get-together some sunny afternoon. So I slit open an apple, inserted a hand written note asking her to meet me at Polinski’s restaurant and café on the other side of town at noon Saturday.  The eatery was far from the plant and I felt secure that we would not catch the attention of anyone who might know us. 

 

  We ate our lunch, she saw two apples and reached for the one to her left.  I caught her eye and unobtrusively shook my head back and forth to indicate ‘no’.  I nodded to the  one on her right.  At first she seemed puzzled then she understood my intent.  She nodded ‘I understand’ and took the one the correct one.   

 

  I waited at Polinski’s four hours past our rendezvous time then went back to my boarding house. 

 

  The following Monday, Alla sat next to me at lunch and slipped a piece of paper into my pants pocket.  I nodded.  We chatted, like everyone else, then having finished our lunch just as the return to work whistle sounded, we went back to work.

 

  Back at my workstation, with no one looking, I read her note.  “I am truly sorry that I was unable to meet you last Saturday.  I so wanted to discuss Gibran with you.  But I had a previous engagement, which I was unable to break.  I ask your forgiveness.  Please, I will meet you at the previous named location at 12:30 next Saturday. If this is agreeable, please position three pebbles in a triangle at the north side of the guard shack at the factory entrance.  I will then know that this arrangement is satisfactory.”  The note was not signed.  

 

  That night, Friday, I read and re-read THE PROPHET.  My earlier quotation was merely one line from my 105-page pocket-sized book.  If I could retain a few more quotes and remember the gist of the rest of the book, I thought I might be able to squeak by. It was like cramming for a final.

 

Our First Meeting

  I was 15 minutes early, she was only five minutes behind me.  Her being early was a good sign because it meant that her anxiety level was up.  Score one for the women in our seduction classes at Langley. 

 

  All field agents are given two weeks of classes on The Art of Seduction. Lovely ladies teach the men’s classes and handsome men and prostitutes teach the women.  Karma Sutra was also included in the lectures shown on 35mm slides to indelibly imprint the many sexual positions in our minds. There was no homework assigned but I know of several people who managed to get together after each class.

 

  We made small talk, some about poetry some about the senselessness of wars, even about how hot it was to work in the plant with no air conditioning. 

 

  At one point during our conversation, without knowing that I was doing it, I reached over and touched the back of her hand to make a point in what I was saying.  Suddenly she froze.  She didn’t move and I immediately moved my hand away.  “Sorry,” I said.  She made no reply.

 

  I told her that I had gone to the US twice, to facilitate the installation of some German made equipment, in a Chicago hospital.  I said that the city was vibrant, the people friendly and many of their streets had Polish names.

 

  She said she had read a little about ‘Shee-Cago’ and added that the pictures of the buildings there were not very pretty.   “They look like tall boxes standing on end.”

 

  I said, “No-no, not all of them.  Many are marvelous structures.

 

  Our conversation shifted to the times when we were younger.  Once, when she was talking about her childhood, she leaned toward me and lay her hand on mine.  I couldn’t tell if she was apologizing for her earlier emotion when I had touched her or if she sincerely wanted to touch me.  Regardless, I made certain that my hand remained still and supple. 

  Then she said softly and with fiery lust in her eyes, “I must go,” followed by a quotation from Gibran, “Of time you would make a stream upon whose bank you would sit and watch its flowing.” 

 

   Aroused as she had made me, I knew that I should not to press her to stay.  I nodded ‘OK’ and she walked away.  Then, still with her back to me, she wiggled her fingers backwards, waving ‘goodbye.’

 

  Her flirtatious gesture raised two questions in my mind.  One: Was she being seductive simply because she wanted sex? Two: Was she teasing my testosterone so that I would help her escape to the West?  My suspicious nature pointed me to the latter.

 

Our Second Rendezvous

  For two weeks there was no sign of Alla in the lunchroom.  Had she had second thoughts about our getting together?  Had my mentioning that I had worked in Shee-Cago put her off because the Russian Bear had a fervent hatred of the United States? Perhaps she was embarrassed that she had overtly sent sexual signals when we last parted.

 

  I had to think of a way of contacting her again.  But for the life of me I was stumped.  Upon leaving the factory that Friday, I just happened to glance down at the base of the guard’s shack.  Three pebbles were positioned in a triangle, our sign to meet. 

 

  Things were looking up!

 

  I wanted to be early again so that I could watch her walk toward me.  Even though she was near diminutive, she was indeed alluring.  She had gorgeous hair, small breasts, shapely legs, and a toothy grin often followed by throaty chuckles.   

 

  But my thirty minutes ahead of time wasn’t good enough.  She was already there.  She was already at our table.  She had already ordered white wine. She wore a white blouse and a red skirt. One her tiny feet, was a pair of black patent leather high heels held on by buckled straps around her ankles.  

 

  I walked to her chair.  She sat very still.  The air around us was filled with chemistry.    My legs gently and purposely bumped her chair whereupon she raised her right arm with her hand and fingers draped downward exposing the back of her hand, waiting to be kissed.

 

  There was very little conversation.  We fiddled with the hard crusted bread, anxiously sipped the warm red wine, allowing it to make sensual tidal waves in our brains.  I felt a rush on my scalp, sat down my glass and snapped my fingers to the waiter to bring the check.

 

  “Ready?” I asked.  Her eyes said, “Yes.’

 

  I pulled back her chair, took her hand in mine and gently squeezed it; she squeezed back. 

 

  I started to hail a cab but she said her flat was only a short walk away. 

 

  She had a downstairs flat with its own outdoor entrance.  I noticed that she failed to hit the keyhole on the first try.  She turned to me in embarrassment, her face flushed with anticipation. I sensed that my cheeks were ablaze as well.     

 

  There was no warm up, no kissing and no prelude to the sexual symphony that we were about to compose.  We began tearing off each other’s clothes.  In mere seconds we were naked except for her shoes.  She sat on the edge of the bed while I dropped to my knees to unfasten the buckles.  But I was so shaky that my fingers wouldn’t work. I started to rise and ask for help but she had other ideas.  She put her hand firmly on the top of my head, her fingers woven into my hair and said, “Stay.” She had made her wish and I was to make it come true.        

 

We Would Work Together

  Back at work Monday I ate without her beside me.  After we had exhausted ourselves Saturday and Sunday, we decided that our eating together at work should be less frequent.  After all, I was German she was Russian.  She and her Comrades were the masters of the territories over which they held sway.   

 

  When I arrived back at my workstation, the foreman came to me and said that I was to report to the administrator on the fourth floor.  I asked why and he said that he didn’t know.

 

  Bolestaw Wuzniak was the administrator’s name.  “Sit down Herr Berger.”

 

  I looked around his office and saw that it was neat but not to perfection.  I could tell by the way the papers lay on his desk that he was a hands-on administrator, someone who took his job seriously.

 

  “I’ve heard that your work downstairs has been above standard since the very first day you came with us.”

 

  I answered that I’ve always been addicted to perfection.  “Good man,” he said.

 

  “Now as to why I’ve asked to see you.  We will soon have some very special work coming to us from the Russians that will require very special people to bring the job to fruition, under schedule and under budget.”

 

  I nodded that I understood.

 

  I’m told by your foreman that you’re very good at reading blueprints.”

 

  I answered, “Yes sir, I pride myself in that.”

 

  “Good my boy.  If it’s ok with you, I’d like to assign you to work in the same department as does Alla Ivanov.”

 

  My heart jumped.

 

  “I believe that you know her.  Is that correct?”

 

  I said firmly, “Yes sir.”  It was obvious that he knew about us but I didn’t know how much.  There was no sense in lying for that would only cause him to be suspicious. 

 

  “Just so that you know, Herr Berger, my brother-in-law owns the Polinski’s café on the other side of town.”

 

  I started to say something but he held up his hands stopping me, “What you do after you leave work is your business as long as you are very discrete.  Do we understand one another?”

 

  Inside I was smiling with relief. “Yes sir,” I said in an obviously fake military tone. 

 

  Then to let me know that nothing in his plant went unnoticed he said, “By the way, I wish you two would quit tearing up our streets to find pebbles to signal one another.”

 

  I burst out laughing!  I couldn’t help it.  We laughed together and he gave me a wink, the kind that guys give to one another when one guy knows that the other guy is out there, getting laid.  A quick look at the family photo on his desk showed a lovely wife,  four strapping sons and a beautiful daughter.  I’d say that Herr Wuzniak was getting his share too. 

 

  Then he put the cherry on top of the whip cream.  Just so that you know, Herr Berger, every man in this factory, except me of course, has tried to gain Alla’s favors.  What is your secret?”

 

  I looked him in the eye, winked and said, “Trade secret.”

 

 To woo a woman: “Tell a woman what she wants to hear, even if it is a lie, and even if she knows it is a lie, that is still what she wants to hear.”  Kalil Gilbran. 

 

 Secret Work from Moscow

   There are no secrets in a workplace.  Everyone seemed to know that Alla and I was an item.  The women at my lunch table snickered when they looked at me even if Alla was not there.  The men gave me a nod; one fellow gave me a thumb’s up. I didn’t respond to any of their prattle or looks of approval.

 

  I needed to divorce myself from the people around me and concentrate on why my country had sent here. And that was to turn Alla to our side or, at least successfully probe her memory for a list of names of KGB agents scattered around the globe.

 

  The lust that Alla and I had for each other was nearly out of control.  Out carnal attraction was overwhelming.  “I must focus on my job”, I told myself.  But when we were together, in bed, on her kitchen floor or standing in a doorway pawing and smothering one another with passion, I was lost to the world outside of our two bodies.

 

    An even bigger problem was that I was sensing that Alla might be falling in love with me.  If she was using me to help her escape from her Communist masters, she didn’t show it.  Her bedroom temperament was still that of an uncaged tigress, yet more and more tenderness was creeping into her movements, into her kisses, and into her voice when she spoke.  This was not good because her emotional attachment and my wanting to reciprocate in kind, was tilting me off balance.  My biological instinct was to return her kindness, gentleness, and affection with like behavior; but that would be trickery, deceit, lying, and falsifying reality.  But that was my job.  I was trained, at great expense, to do just that.  Do whatever it takes to get the job done.  Lie, cheat, steal, murder…anything! If she was in love with me, so be it.  If she was simply using me to get to Shee-Cago, so be it.  Get the job done!          

 

Russian Tank Plans for the Taking

  The special plans that Botestaw told me about came to our department by armed courier.  Every day, an armed guard stood by the door preventing any of us from leaving the area with even the smallest piece of paper.  We were to use the blueprints at will, pass them around for others so they could work on their part of the jigsaw puzzle. But we could not copy them.

 

  About a week into the job I felt that I was getting a handle on what the finished product was to be.  Poland is rich in coal.  For centuries it has been a bed of iron ore and steel works.   

 

  I saw, on one blue print, some of the ores to be used in the forging of this new steel.  One was molybdenum, a steel strengthener.  I also noticed, in the bottom right hand corner of one blueprint, the word резервуар (tank). 

 

 

 

 

NEED PICTURE OF 7-72 TANK

  We, in the West, had heard that the Reds were designing a new tank to replace their outdated T-64. This must be the armament for their new one!  It even had T-72 preceding the word резервуар! Not only was I looking at the blue prints that detailed how the molds should be shaped to pour the steel, I had its model designation and the formula for the steel used for the tank’s armament! I was going out of my mind with my good fortune.  Who could have imagined the luck?  Who, back at Langley, could ever have dreamed up a scenario to get hold of such information? This was like rolling the dice and getting 7’s a hundred times in a row!  The tank’s 125mm gun had an automatic loader reducing the crew by one and the 12 tons of armor to protect him.  The tank would be   that much lighter thus faster and 18 inches lower making it harder to see. All crewmen had to be 5’6” or shorter to fit in the smaller space.

 

  Sometimes we had to work late into the night. I was becoming exhausted, not only because of the workload but also with Alla’s wanton amore.  Now and then, Botestaw would stroll around the floor, gently pat us workers on the shoulder and whisper in our ears, “Ahead of schedule and under budget.”  We worked hard for him because he respected us, unlike some of the foremen, who browbeat everyone to, “Work harder! Work harder for the Party, Comrades!”

 

  I needed to short-circuit my emotional attachment for Alla and focus on why I was seducing her. I knew better than to stifle or even slow down our passionate get-togethers.  But I also needed to whet her appetite about going to Chicago.  I increased my talk about fleeing Communism.  But I was walking a tightrope because Alla was a confirmed Communist. If not careful, I might find myself being whisked away to Mother Russia as a dissident.  But what I found interesting was that she didn’t stop me from musing about it.  Now and then she would ask something about Shee-Cago.

 

  She was unaware that I spoke fluent Russian and didn’t bother hushing her conversations with Party loyalists or stop talking on the telephone. I never heard any conversation about me so I felt somewhat, but not completely, secure in our relationship.

 

  One Saturday night, before making love, lying in her bed, she asked if I was serious about making a new life for myself in Shee-Cago.  I knew that I needed to be cautious with my answer.  I still wasn’t quite sure where I stood with her, not being a Communist,  and how dedicated she was to the Party.

 

  “I think I might like to think about it some more,” I answered.

 

  “Do you have the resources to make this happen?

 

    I said, “Yes, I know someone in East Berlin who could help me.”

 

    “Is this an opened ended arrangement or might the door close for you in the immediate future? ” she asked.

 

  “He said that he would make himself available whenever I wished.”

 

  “Is this something that can be arranged for you alone?”

 

  “No, he said I could bring a friend if I wished.  But there would be a price.”

 

  She hesitated before asking the next question.  “How much?”

 

  “Oh, he doesn’t want money.  He wants information.”

 

  “I see.” 

 

  She continued, “What kind of information?”

 

  “Stuff,” I answered.  “You know, sensitive kind of stuff.”

 

  I felt her body stiffen.  I lay perfectly still and said nothing, forcing each breath to  remain placid.

 

  Our talk of Shee-Cago ended.  The next thing I knew, I was on the floor; she was sitting on my chest and tickling me. I was being made to laugh by a woman who had killed people; a woman who was a Communist Party loyalist, a woman, nonetheless, was very much a woman.

 

I Knew that I Must Not Push Her Too Fast

  Work continued at the factory.  It was ahead of schedule and I assumed under budget.  I felt an urgency to push Alla into the idea of going to Shee-Cago with me but I knew that a push too hard or too fast, might set off alarm bells in her brain. 

 

  It was she who broached the subject while we ate.

 

  “Tell me more about Shee-Cago.”

 

  I told her as much as I could, making the city sound like whipped cream with a cherry on top.  She was in awe that there was a railway system running above the streets.

 

  “It has a wonderful aquarium on the lakeshore, fine restaurants, street peddlers selling fake watches to which she said, “There are scoundrels in every country, aren’t there?” 

 

  My praises of Shee-Cago went on into the night.  

 

  Then she surprised me, “How will you contact your friend?”

 

  “I’ll send him a letter.”  I had a mail drop in East Berlin.  I would send my letters there, that person would reply following the instructions that I had written to him in that very same letter. The return envelope needed to have an East Berlin postmark to convince her that I, indeed, had someone there who would help me get to the US. 

 

  “Do you have any idea when you might want to go to Shee-Cago?”

 

  “I thought perhaps after we finished this special project I would give it some serious consideration.”

 

  I saw her forehead furrow.  “That soon?”

 

  “Yes, perhaps.  But not before then for sure.”

 

  “Botestaw says that we should be completed with our work in eight weeks,” she confided in me.  I was unaware that things were going that smoothly.

 

  “Alla,” I said in a sorrowful tone, “I just can’t stay locked up in this Communist style of life.  It’s so drab.  No one can make enough money to buy decent clothes and the food is scarce and sometimes not fit to eat.”

 

  I poured it on.  “I’ve tasted the good life.  It is good.  My friend can get me to the States, because of my knowledge of Communist production methods and such. I am a valuable commodity to the West.”

 

  She was quiet.  Then, “Write a letter telling him that you have a friend.  Tell him that I am your girlfriend and that I’d like to go to Shee-Cago with you.”

  I said that I would.  Then we made love, softly.

 

It Was Time to Pop the Question

  At lunch at the factory two weeks later, I told her that I had received a reply from my friend in East Berlin.  Under the table she bumped my leg with hers and excitedly asked, “What did he say?”

 

  I said, “Later.  It’s too involved to talk here.”

 

  After work, I met her at the guarded gate.  Party officials always left 15 minutes after the rest of us.  That was so that if any of them had anything to report, they could do so at that time.  Since everyone knew that we were having an affair, there was no longer a need to ‘tear up city streets’ looking for pebbles to signal each other.

 

  As we walked I showed her the letter.  She read down the page and suddenly blanched!  The price for her to exit the Communist regime would be listing the names of as many KBG agents as she could who were stationed around the world.

 

  She stopped walking, her legs buckled.  She would have collapsed had I not caught her.

 

  I cannot do this!  I cannot do this!” she said again.

 

  I remained quiet. 

 

  Finally when she had sucked in enough oxygen, “Some of those agents are my friends, close friends.  I went to primary school with two of them.  I cannot do this!  I cannot do this!”

 

  I said, “OK, don’t worry about it.  I’ll write to my friend that I’ll be alone, that all.  It’s no big deal Alla.”

 

  But it was a big deal to her!.  I knew it and she knew it. She had to make up her mind whether to live her life under Communist rule or escape and live a life fit for normal human beings.

 

  Now was not the time for me to say anything.  Every thought, every emotion, every brain racking decision had to come from within her, within her heart, within her soul and within every fiber of her being.    

 

  Had I indeed touched her heart?  No matter that it was a lie, it was what I was trained to do, it was my job. Had I glorified Shee-Cago to the point that she thought it to be Shangri-La?  Was the thought of a pleasant life in the West worth double crossing friends, some who were life-long friends? Did she think that we would marry, raise children and grow old together?  I never promised those things.  I never used the ‘L’ word or mentioned marriage.  Even so, as time went by, I noticed that her fiery passion had elevated to an emotional need.  We had grown away from our original sin to a more mature sin of understanding and warmth.  What decision would she make?

 

  We didn’t talk of Shee-Cago for nearly a week.  Then she said, “I will go with you on one condition, and you must make it perfectly clear to your friend, that I will not disclose the names of friends no matter how high ranking they are or where they are stationed.   Will you tell your friend that?”

 

  I said that I would.  I wrote a letter to my contact in East Berlin telling him the exact words to use in his reply.

 

  Three weeks went by, as I had planned, before the reply came. I handed it to her.

 

  Your friend’s wish will be granted.”

 

  We made plans to leave soon after the project at the factory was complete.  We would pack only one day’s clothes in a single suitcase, as a guise that we were going to spend only a day or two across the Polish border into East Berlin.  She was to take along no pictures of family and friends, because who would do such a thing while on a short trip?

 

  Come Friday night, we had a delightful supper at Polinski’s.  Lo and behold, who did we bump into, Bolestaw, his wife and their entire brood.  It was a delightful beginning to what would be an exhausting night; not of love making, but of compiling the list of KGB agents, their names, aliases, and locations.

 

   It was three in the morning when Alla finished writing. She told me that she had omitted the names of her friends.  I nodded an OK then she sighed, her shoulders slacked releasing some tension in her body.  She walked to where I was sitting, reading Gibran.  It always pleased her that I took time to memorize his words of wisdom then recite them without notice or fanfare.

 

  She gave me the list.  I made it a point of not paying any attention to it because I didn’t want her to think that they were of any value to me.  After all, to her, I was just a simple East German factory worker. 

 

  Although she was tired, she wanted me; she wanted us.  I surmised that the list that she had labored over so painstakingly made her feel that we were one step closer to being together in a beautiful world on ‘the other side’.

 

  She felt alive, exhilarated and never before more like a woman.  Her world was right, it had substance, meaning, and color. For me, it was a lie.  It was a job.  Basically my work was done but I dared not let that show in my performance in the bedroom. 

 

  Once in bed, her breathing was deep and purposeful. There was an elongated moment when we seemed to be frozen in time, just looking at each other, as might two statues facing one another in a museum.  I gently pulled her body to mine; we were a perfect fit despite our height difference. Passion has always had a way of making things fit.  Her kiss was so subtle that I hardly felt it, yet it swelled my emotions and blotted out that what I was doing was for God, country, motherhood and apple pie.  With the slightest nudge, she pushed herself out of my embrace and disappeared into the bathroom.  I waited patiently for my turn to freshen up. 

 

  I went in, sponged off and purposely took longer than necessary before coming back into the room. I wanted to give her time to present herself in her own fashion.  Women thrive on theatrics and love to be adored by a lover’s eyes.  She had strewn the bed covers on the floor, and was tantalizing me from under the sheet.  I could tell that she was naked.

 

  She had decided to go to Shee-Cago.  She had decided to go with me.  She had decided to become a traitor to her country.  In her mind, this moment, this moment of love was the beginning of a new beginning and it should not to be rushed. 

 

  She scooted over just enough for me to sit on the edge of the bed.  To undo the buttons of my shirt, she had to sit upright; the sheet to fell to her waist. I leaned down and kissed her.  Suddenly the rush of love and passion consumed me.  It pushed aside any thoughts of the mission that had brought me here.  The rest of the night was spent with each of us making certain that the other was not only satisfied but content as well.

 

Mission Accomplished

  The next day was Sunday and I made an excuse to go to my boarding house, leaving her to stroll the city and to rendezvous later at Polinski’s.  I needed to copy the list. I would send the original to my contact in East Berlin, the copy would go to my contact in Hungary.  It was vital that Langley got the list and by doubling my effort, I felt secure that at least one would land in the USA.

 

  On the bottom right hand corner of the envelope to East Berlin, I had placed an X.  That was the signal for my contact there to prepare for Alla’s and my escape to the West.  Once inside the United States, Alla would be provided with a false identity, proper US papers, not forged ones, and given a place to live.  My friends back at Langley, told me that even though my primary mission was to obtain a list of KGB agents around the globe, Alla herself might be able to provide us with additional facts that we could use to thwart the Reds. 

 

  As it turned out, Alla did want to go to the US, which was a coup for me, and a bonus for Uncle Sam. All that was left now was for us to pack up some overnight clothes and ostensibly take our trip into East Berlin.  From there, we would be smuggled out and it would be Shee-Cago bound for Alla.

 

  While my seduction of Alla was duty, I had found it impossible to turn off my emotions as one might turn off tap water.  I was glad that she would soon be free and that I had a hand in her future. 

 

 

ZANNA:  (A song)
 
Nothing done out of love can ever do us harm.
Tis a far,far better thing I do, than I have ever done.
Tis a far,far better world I make, well different from this one.

It may take every ounce of magic, every power in my soul.
And I dont know where this will all lead.
I trust the love of know.

Tis a far,far better thing I do, than I have done before.
Tis a brave new world I make that lies for us.
And the other lived no more.

 

Shee-Cago

  I was a bit early for our rendezvous back at Polinski’s.  I half expected her to be there because she was so anxious for us to be together.  I waited for an hour, then another 45 minutes.  Something was wrong!  I could smell it!

 

  I ran to her house.  Panting like an exhausted racehorse as I reached her flat. I saw that her front door was ajar.  I had no gun.  I cut in close to the building several yards shy of her door.  Cautiously, and with my back touching the brick facing, I inched my way to the cracked door. With my left foot, I scooted it all the way open expecting to be greeted by a hail of gunfire or to be grabbed by KGB agents wearing their customary thick soled shoes.

 

  Nothing, not a sound!  No light from tables lamps, nothing!  Still inching forward, I was finally inside.  I closed the door behind me so that no one could sneak up from outdoors. 

 

  The room was a wreck.  Someone or several people had taken the place apart looking for something.  But what?  She didn’t keep anything secretive here, at least as far as I knew. 

 

  One of her thicker books lay open on the floor.  It had been hollowed out and a microphone was exposed inside.  Goddamnit, they had her place bugged.  For how long, though?  How much had they heard?  Did they laugh when they heard us making love?  Did they share those particular tid-bits with their comrades? 

 

  I looked in the bedroom, the bathroom, then kicked away the clutter on the floor to get to the kitchen.

 

  ALLA!  ALLA, poor dear Alla!  There she was, tied to a straight back wooden chair.  Her ankles were wired together with her feet stuck in a metal bucket filled with salt water.  A sponge, soaked with salt water was tied to her shaven head.  Oh, dear God, she loved brushing her beautiful long hair.  Cigarette butts littered the floor having burnt her once lovely body dozens of times.  Her pubic hair showed signs of having been singed.

 

  She was completely naked with a gag tied tightly over her mouth.  Blood from both ears had congealed below the lobes. Electrodes were clipped to each lobe with their wires running to a hand crank electric generator on the floor by her feet.  This arrangement meant that each time they turned the crank, the electricity ran from her salty head throughout her entire body and down to her salty feet.  The pain must have been excruciating.  

 

  The KGB wanted her to talk, to tell them what she had told me.  We had never talked, in her flat, about the list of agents and there had been no discussion between us when she prepared it last night. So they had no clue of what, if anything, she had disclosed.  Rather than indulge in lengthy interrogation, they had decided to use torture to make her talk.

 

  I saw all of this in a microsecond.  I hurried to her and felt for a pulse.  It was weak but it was there.  I removed the gag, unplugged the electrodes, untied the sponge from her head and freed her feet from the bucket.

 

  I put my hand tenderly under her chin and lifted her face so that I could see her lovely face.  Seeing that it was me, her eyes filled with love and tears.  She tried to smile.  I was crying too and I tried to smile back.  Her lips moved but her voice was so weak that I couldn’t hear her words.  I put my ear to her mouth and she breathed the one word that she had hoped would be her manifest destiny,    

                                                              Shee-Cago”.

 

 

 

 

                               I WAS A SPY FOR THE CIA

                                          Chapter 10

                                                             HOME

                                                       31, January, 1989

 

  My plane landed at Dulles and I took a National taxi to my apartment. I was worn out.  The coach class ride in the 707 was grueling.  I needed sleep.  Then my eyes found a manila envelope on the nightstand.  Inside was one theater ticket for a Broadway play in New York two weeks hence. Attached was a tiny note.  Plainly written in the same hand as on the back of the photos Erika had sent every year,

                                                  “Small world isn’t it?”

 

I Was a Gentleman Spy

  I had been with the Company for 32 years.  Art wanted me to stay three more and teach the new recruits but I declined.  He said that I was always a gentleman, a gentleman in the dirty world of spying and that I had much to offer the new recruits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHOTO OF WOMAN IN BLUE BOUSE

 

  When Erika (in reality a counter espionage agent in England’s MI-5) and I met at the New York Theater, we didn’t know if there was still enough attraction left between us after all those many years.  There was.  I reminded Art that, years ago, I began mortgage payments on a ‘Gentleman’s ranch’ outside of Breckenridge, Colorado.  Now paid off, we would live out our loving lives together in the majestic Rockies.  Art nodded his approval.

 

  Looking back at my 21 missions I had never fired a gun in anger.  I had never physically harmed anyone in any way.  I had answered Uncle Sam’s call and I served him at the best of my ability.  My personnel file was squeaky clean.  The people I had met, worked with, and recruited as covert agents received everything they had asked for, sometimes more.  Since they were putting their lives on the line for us, the least I could do was to make certain that they were paid or rewarded as they chose. 

 

I Received an Honorary Salute

  I packed my personal belongings, including the nice letter from President Reagan, then bid farewell to everyone in the office.  I even phoned Phil, the fellow who had recruited me a long time ago.  He had retired some years back and was living the happy life on Cape Cod. 

 

  As I picked up my box of stuff to leave, Art hollered to me, “Dick!” 

 

  I put down the box and went into his office.  I figured that he wanted one last handshake.  I was wrong.  He had hidden behind his high back chair two bottles of beer

chilling in a bucket of ice.  Neither of us spoke.  He handed me the first one then he took his.  We popped off the metal caps, clanked bottles and took a gulp.  He set down his bottle and I did the same.

 

  To my surprise he came to full military attention and saluted me.  I repeated the gesture.  Then, slowly, I turned and left his office for the last time.  

 

 

Our Son the Soldier
How great a man he must be
To be joined in the fight to
set another part of the world free

Our Son the Soldier
So very proud of you we are
To all of us who love you,
you will always be our shining star


Our Son the Soldier
So far from home and in a foreign place
Just close your eyes to
see a familiar smiling face

Our Son the Soldier
So very far away
We will all be waiting with open
arms on your coming home day

 

Ty Bohls

 

                                                            EPILOG

 

  As I stated on page one, all but two names in these stories have been fictionalized. One is a lady, who I am sure would prefer her name to remain our little secret, and so it shall be.  The other is Secret Service Agent Rollie Osborne. The last time that I saw him, he had retired from the Service and was head of security for an International firm based in Denver, Colorado.  I’ve tried to locate him through friends in Denver and via the Internet but my efforts have been in vain. The loss is mine.

 

  To the people who trained me so successfully, “Thank you.”  Your continuing tutelage throughout my career was worth more than gold. You saved my life many times.

 

  To my boss Arthur Cunningham, what can I say?  Art, you ol’ buzzard, you always had faith in me.  You loosened my reins and let me run each race as I saw fit.  Love is a hard word for some men to use sometimes but, Art…well, you know.  Thanks for the beer.

 

  To Paul Dalakis, buddy it was an honor for me to get you out of Romania!  If I hadn’t, you might never met and married Ruthie and been a great dad to Linda and James.

 

  To Coleen, my sweet Irish lass, what ever happened to you?  I hope that you met a handsome, young, aspiring painter, who captured on canvas, your ethereal beauty.

 

  Anne Peters you not only fed me breakfast without eggs, you introduced me to a special kind of Dutch hospitality.  Thank you.  Wherever you are, I hope that the painful memories of Nazi tyranny have long faded from your memory.  

 

  Trisha Abromov I know where you are.  You are among other angles, which died for a just cause.  May they bask in the glory of your beauty.  Your loyalty to me, to the mission and your hope for a better government has come to pass.  I know that you are looking down upon your Mother Russia with pride because you helped it to throw off the yoke of oppression.  

 

  Felicia your heart of gold kept your mother alive when no one else could.  Your successful struggle to defeat death, your dedication to me and my mission are highlights in my mind.  Your Germany is now free and so are you. Well done!

 

  Alla Ivanov, your death at the hands of the people from whom you wanted to escape was deplorable. War, hot or cold, is hell.  The price you paid has earned you wings just a little bit brighter than those worn by others around you.  May your journey through forever be a trek of love, comfort and joy.

 

 

 

 

PICTURE OF ASP

 

Author’s Note:  Unknown to many historians, in the late 1960’s, the Secret Service asked Paris Theodore, the genius American gunsmith in New York, to come up with a small, powerful pistol to be used by Secret Service agents guarding the President.  Because the pistols of the day were heavy, big, and bulky, the agents wanted a powerful pistol for deep concealment. The result was the ASP 9.  Theodore shrunk and made 275 other changes to Smith & Wesson’s model 39 and its variants. Other agencies, such as the CIA also took advantage of this revolutionary pistol.

 

The result was a near palm sized, barely over six and one-half inches long, seven round, 9mm, semi automatic, double action pistol weighing a mere 24 ounces fully loaded.  It had rounded corners and smooth edges to prevent holster hang-up. And it had Theodore’s patented Guttersnipe sight. Another feature was its Teflon S coating to prevent corrosion and eliminated the need for lubrication.  The grips were made of Lucite so the shooter could see how many rounds were left in the clip. 

 

This pistol never made it into any of the James Bond films but is in several of the novels.

 

This writer interviewed two men who knew Mr. Theodore.  Both said that, despite the speculation that he was an undercover agent, he was not.  They both added that he was “…just weird.” 

 

No accurate figures are available as to how many guns Theodore made in the back room of his New York holster making shop.  But it is speculated on the Internet that he may have made approximately 150.  My source in Florida was Mr. Bob M…..  He knew Theodore and speculates that he made no more than 50. Mr. M…. is a first hand wealth of information on this gun and was a witness to its birth.  An advocate of the gun, Mr. M…. was last known to live in Florida and refurbished ASP’s sent to him from all around the globe.  This author had the opportunity, in 2012, to buy an ASP for $3,000 from a seller in Texas. No money changed hands.  

 

The success of the gun was such that more were ordered for other government agencies and by foreign governments.  However, Theodore could not produce in his small shop the quantity of guns that governments needed. He sold the gun’s patents to Armament Systems and Procedures (ASP) in Appleton, WI.  Theodore also sold the same patent to others who never manufactured any guns, choosing instead, to try to make money by suing each other over who was the real patent holder. None were successful.

 

In the early ‘70’s the gun filtered into other US Departments and Agencies outside of the Secret Service.  No accurate figures are available, including from ATF, as to how many guns Armament Systems and Procedures produced.  But because each gun was bench made (each one hand-crafted) my two contacts think that it was no more than 3,000 during the 11 years of production from 1970 to 1981.  Once ASP began producing guns for the civilian market, expensive liability insurance was required whereas none had been when the guns were made for the governments.  This expense became too much for ASP and they stopped production.     

 

The guns sold to the public were priced at a little less than $500 if the buyer supplied his own Smith & Wesson model 39 for the conversion.  If ASP had to buy a pistol from Smith, of course the price was higher.  No accurate numbers are available as to how many guns made it into the main stream market. Internet speculation is that the figure ranges from 250-300 but this writer is unable to confirm any numbers at all. 

 

My other source was a distributor for a well-known gun manufacturer here in the US.  His first name is Mac.  He didn’t give me his family name.  Mac said that, despite the god-like praise given to Paris Theodore by ASP enthusiasts, the man was a bit of a swindler.  As an example, I mention again his selling the same patents to several people. Mac also told me that Theodore would accept money for jobs on which he never delivered nor did he return the money.  And he said that the quality from gun to gun varied coming out of the Wisconsin ASP plant.  However, Mr. M…. said that all of the Wisconsin made guns were quality pieces; “…it was the shooters themselves who failed to take proper care and provide necessary maintenance that was at the seat of the guns occasional malfunctions.” 

 

Another lesser known gun made by ASP was their ASP revolver.  It was a .44 Special conversion from Ruger’s Speed or Security Six. Less than 100 of these unmarked guns were made.

 

There are photos on the Internet showing a 2000 Smith & Wesson and labeled as an ASP.  It is not.  Smith & Wesson never made any ASP’s.  The gun(s) photographed are ones made by independent gunsmiths.  Whether they have all 276 changes that Mr. Theodore made to the Smith & Wesson guns is unknown.

 

Despite the rumors, speculation, both just and unjust praise of Paris Theodore, the ASP 9 is a remarkable pistol. It deserves its place in history and is the granddaddy of handguns of this type. 

 

Smith & Wesson jumped into that market niche, in 1983, with its well-crafted 9mm Model 469. Production ceased in 1988.  The gun was similar in size and weight to the ASP but did not contain the Guttersnipe 


sights. The grips were not the see-through Lucite, as on the ASP, so that the shooter could not how many rounds were left in the magazine. It also had a front sight whereas the ASP did not.  The bonus however was S&W’s consistent quality control throughout prompted NATO to accept it as their official cancelable weapon for all member countries.  A bounty of these superb pistols was also made for the civilian market therefore many remain available on the used market in the $500 range. The author’s 469, is at the top right, with serial number TAC5886. According to S&W’s records it was first purchased, probably by a GI, in a PX in Germany in 1984 then brought back to the US.  I picked it up for $420 in 2009. My much loved JP Sauer 38H (bottom left) has serial number 420781. Top left is my Leica M-3 serial number M3-896657 and was purchased on my first assignment to Europe.  The Kodak Retina II C, serial number EK589100 is at the bottom right.     

 

                                                           END

 

 

                                                 Finished 4-11-09

                                       Seventy-nine pages, 44,000 words 

                                              Seven months to write

 

 

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