Wednesday, August 7, 2013

My Favorite Cold War Story

If you've ever read the book Blind Man's Bluff, you'll know right off the bat why I love this picture.

If you haven't, there is a riveting chapter about a military espionage operation that took place off the Kamchatka Peninsula.  The operation was highly risky, but the payoff was huge -- it allowed one group of people to listen to another group's communications, which were passed in plain language "in the clear." (Based on the seemingly-obvious assumption that no one could do what had in fact been done).

When I saw this sign while walking across the Longfellow Bridge yesterday, I stopped to take a picture and paused for a quick moment of tribute to the men who left Mare Island (near San Francisco) to undertake these operations.

No one will ever know their names.  But we all ought to be grateful for what they did.

If you're wondering what's special about that sign, just remember this:  Sometimes the thing you're looking for is hiding in plain sight.  


C R Krieger said...
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C R Krieger said...

It slowly came back to me.   Then I thought James Bamford, but checked and that was wrong.  Poor Mr Bamford, Messrs Snwden and Manning are breaking his rice bowl.

Regards   —   Cliff

The New Englander said...

Bamford might've had it too.

Blind Man's Bluff has the better description...and of course Operation IVY BELLS has its own Wiki page (I couldn't remember the Operation name when I wrote the entry).