August 12, 2017

SLEEPER AGENTS

I've often said I prefer the fictional world of spies to the real deal. What really went on during the Cold War (and the new Cold War?) could be pretty grim. But it is interesting to hear stories and learn more about how groups operated. The May edition of Car and Driver, for example, had an interesting article about patrols who would travel in east Germany to report back on movements of troops and equipment. Although there was some small tolerance for mutual reconnaissance, there were many instances of patrols having to make a run for it- often traveling in fast off-road vehicles. And the BBC reported on June 23rd about a Russian KGB man who trained Soviet spies, often over decades, to successfully plant themselves as citizens of foreign nations in order to gather intelligence. One common method in the pre-internet days was to study cemeteries and find names of people who died young and who were the approximate age of the agents. They would then assume those identities and start a new cover life. Amazingly, a group of ten Russian sleeper agents were arrested in New York in 2010. This case apparently inspired The Americans TV series, which I couldn't stand by the way (Any story that relies on violence and sex in the first ten minutes to get our attention is too crass and inauthentic for my tastes. I'm sick of characters acting and talking like "tv people"). My favorite sleeper-agent story is probably The Carriers, episode 10 from the first season of Mission Impossible. The plot centered around the IMF team (with the help of George Takei) infiltrating a fake town, where sleepers were trained to act "American". The government suspected the baddies were cultivating biological weapons, so the team was sent to sabotage the operation and leave undetected. That was the beauty of Mission Impossible: get in, sabotage, and send the enemy back to the drawing board wondering where they made a mistake. I sure hope the movies can capture that someday, rather than relying on gun battles. Below: Cinnamon Carter (Barbara Bain) of the IMF team in The Carriers (1966). Related post: Spy Camera GuideIn other news, my episodes of the Cocktail Nation radio show from Australia are now live: Episode #1(Danger Man) and Episode #2 (The 10th Victim), Epsiode #3 (On Her Majesty's Secret ServiceEpisode #4 (Roger Moore/The Saint), Episode #5 (The Avengers). Enjoy!


Selected Spy Vibe Posts: Roger Vivier FashionSpy Vibe Radio 41960s Pop ModelsBatman GallantsAdam West R.I.P.Village TriangleRoger Moore R.I.P.Spy Vibe Radio 3Sgt Pepper 50thSatanik Kriminal OST60s OverdriveMake Love in LondonSpy Vibe Radio 2Spy Vibe Radio 1James Bond StripsPropaganda MabuseFahrenheit 451 50thInterview: Police SurgeonXTC Avengers1966 Pep SpiesBatman Book InterviewExclusive Fleming InterviewAvengers Comic StripsRobert Vaughn RIPUNCLE FashionsThunderbirds Are Pop!, Interview:Spy Film GuideLost Avengers FoundThe Callan FileMission Impossible 50thGreen Hornet 50thStar Trek 50thPortmeirion Photography 1Filming the PrisonerGaiman McGinnins ProjectIan Fleming GraveRevolver at 50Karen Romanko InterviewMod Tales 2Umbrella Man: Patrick MacneeNew Beatles FilmThe Curious CameraEsterel Fashion 1966Exclusive Ian Ogilvy Interview007 Tribute CoversThe Phantom Avon novels returnIan Fleming FestivalArgoman DesignSylvia Anderson R.I.P.Ken Adam R.I.P.George Martin R.I.P.The New Avengers ComicsTrina Robbins InterviewThe Phantom at 80007 MangaAvengerworld BookDiana Rigg Auto ShowThe Prisoner Audio Drama ReviewDavid McCallum novelAndre Courreges R.I.P.Who's Talking on Spy VibeUFO Blu-rayAvengers Pop Art.

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