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8 posts tagged with spies and history. (View popular tags)
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Mr Churchill and Herr Beans

The only known recording of the Cambridge spy Guy Burgess, made just before he defected to Russia in 1951, has been recovered from FBI files by researchers at City University London. Speaking late at night, and clearly the worse for drink, Burgess describes his meeting with Winston Churchill in September 1938, shortly after the Munich Agreement, and recreates Churchill's side of the story with a number of amusing impressions.
posted by verstegan on Jan 24, 2014 - 6 comments

"MI5 trained a specially bred group of gerbils to detect spies"

It doesn't matter whether you hate the spies and believe they are corroding democracy, or if you think they are the noble guardians of the state. In both cases the assumption is that the secret agents know more than we do. But the strange fact is that often when you look into the history of spies what you discover is something very different. It is not the story of men and women who have a better and deeper understanding of the world than we do. In fact in many cases it is the story of weirdos who have created a completely mad version of the world that they then impose on the rest of us.
Bugger: Maybe the Real State Secret Is that Spies Aren't Very Good at Their Jobs and Don't Know Very Much About the World by Adam Curtis. It's about the checkered history of the MI5.
posted by Kattullus on Aug 9, 2013 - 63 comments

This Moment in Movember History Brought to you by the Letter J

In 1941, the Special Operations Executive forged documents, including passports, in order to help the resistance. Here's the one they made for Adolf Hitler, with a better view of the photos available on this site.
posted by gman on Nov 9, 2011 - 16 comments

hatchink fiendish plan to catch moose and squirrel

Interested in Soviet era spying by the KGB in the United States? Bummed that you cant get into the KGB archives? Well it turns out that someone copied all the good stuff already, and you can take a peek. [more inside]
posted by shothotbot on Apr 23, 2009 - 6 comments

The Mystery of Ales

The Mystery of Ales :: a new take on the Alger Hiss problem
posted by anastasiav on Jul 19, 2007 - 11 comments

Navajo Code Talkers

You've probably heard of the WWII Navajo "code talkers" who managed to baffle crack Japanese cryptanalysts and were credited with enabling US success at Iwo Jima. Civil engineer, journalist and photographer Philip Johnston was the determined mind behind the "windtalkers". The son of missionaries, Johnston grew up on a Navajo reservation and was one of only a handful of outsiders fluent in the Navajo language. A bit of his background is included this article, and you can read a complete history of his plan, view an archive of photos by Johnston, and see copies of his enlistment application letter to the Marine Corps commandant, as well as a recommendation letter from the Commanding General. (more inside...)
posted by taz on Jan 22, 2003 - 13 comments

"You will have heard, Dr Sir I doubt not long before this can have reached you that Sir W. Howe is gone from hence. The Rebels imagine that he is gone to the Eastward. By this time however he has filled Chesapeak bay with surprize and terror." - Sir Henry Clinton

Spy Letters of the American Revolution is an excellent site offering such gems as a captured letter written from Rachel Revere to husband Paul, a message from a colonial scientist written in invisible ink, and Benedict Arnold's encrypted message to the British offering to surrender West Point for £20,000. The site includes photos of the documents, back-stories on each letter, profiles of the people involved, and descriptions of methodology, as well as a timeline and route map.
posted by taz on Oct 31, 2002 - 8 comments

"Julia Child and a few of her male compatriots got together and literally cooked up a shark repellent"

"Julia Child and a few of her male compatriots got together and literally cooked up a shark repellent" The "Clandestine Women" exhibit at the Women in Military Service to America Memorial (Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, DC) tells how the French Chef, as well as Josephine Baker and many others, used to work for American intelligence.
posted by Allen Varney on Apr 4, 2002 - 2 comments

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