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 Guide. In 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 Service) Episode #4 (Roger Moore/The Saint), Episode #5 (The Avengers). Enjoy!
Selected Spy Vibe Posts: Roger Vivier Fashion, Spy Vibe Radio 4, 1960s Pop Models, Batman Gallants, Adam West R.I.P., Village Triangle, Roger Moore R.I.P., Spy Vibe Radio 3, Sgt Pepper 50th, Satanik Kriminal OST, 60s Overdrive, Make Love in London, Spy Vibe Radio 2, Spy Vibe Radio 1, James Bond Strips, Propaganda Mabuse, Fahrenheit 451 50th, Interview: Police Surgeon, XTC Avengers, 1966 Pep Spies, Batman Book Interview, Exclusive Fleming Interview, Avengers Comic Strips, Robert Vaughn RIP, UNCLE Fashions, Thunderbirds Are Pop!, Interview:Spy Film Guide, Lost Avengers Found, The Callan File, Mission Impossible 50th, Green Hornet 50th, Star Trek 50th, Portmeirion Photography 1, Filming the Prisoner, Gaiman McGinnins Project, Ian Fleming Grave, Revolver at 50, Karen Romanko Interview, Mod Tales 2, Umbrella Man: Patrick Macnee, New Beatles Film, The Curious Camera, Esterel Fashion 1966, Exclusive Ian Ogilvy Interview, 007 Tribute Covers, The Phantom Avon novels return, Ian Fleming Festival, Argoman Design, Sylvia Anderson R.I.P., Ken Adam R.I.P., George Martin R.I.P., The New Avengers Comics, Trina Robbins Interview, The Phantom at 80, 007 Manga, Avengerworld Book, Diana Rigg Auto Show, The Prisoner Audio Drama Review, David McCallum novel, Andre Courreges R.I.P., Who's Talking on Spy Vibe, UFO Blu-ray, Avengers Pop Art.