Tag Archives: malespy

Alan Nunn May

Alan Nunn May

Alan Nunn May - spymuseum.comBorn in 1912, the London native attended Trinity College at Cambridge University from which he graduated with a Ph.D. in physics in1933. While a student, became a member of the Communist Party.

Joined the Tube Alloys Project, helping to perform research on the development of the atomic bomb in 1942. Sent to Canada to perform further atomic bomb research in Ottawa in 1944. Was approached by representatives of Soviet Colonel Nikolai Zabotin, a military attaché for the Soviet Embassy and an intelligence officer for the GRU.

Visited the Chicago-based atomic research center and met with Major-General Leslie Groves, the head of the Manhattan Project. In 1944. Returned several times to Chicago to conduct experiments with atomic piles and would meet several times with top scientists to discuss the design and development of an atomic bomb.

Provided information about the experimental test blasts in New Mexico and then delivered plutonium and uranium samples to Zabotin. In 1945, Igor Gouzenko, a cipher clerk in the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa, defected to the Canadian government. Gouzenko helped to expose spy rings in the United States and Canada. May was placed under surveillance by MI5.

Returned to England in 1946, having arranged with Zabotin to meet with a new Soviet contact at the British Museum in London. Began lecturing in physics at King’s College.

British physicist who passed atomic secrets to the Soviet Union

British physicist who passed atomic secrets to the Soviet Union

Was interviewed by Lt. Col. Leonard Burt, a representative of Scotland Yard. Burt explained that the interview was simply routine, but then stunned May by informing him that MI5 was aware that he had failed to attend his meeting with the Soviet contact at the British Museum. May quickly confessed his espionage activities, explaining that he did so as a contribution to mankind (he had only received minimal payments from the Soviets).

Refused to provide any information about the spy ring, instead admitting that he had passed along information to the Russian, who were allies during the war, therefore shielding himself from a possible death sentence for collaborating with the enemy.

Plead guilty to treason on May 1, 1946 and was sentenced to ten years in prison at the Wakefield Prison in Yorkshire. Was released in 1953 after time off for good behavior. Became a professor of physics at the University of Ghana and was later believed to have returned to the employ of the Soviet Union.


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Aldrich Ames

Aldrich Ames

Born 1941 in River Falls, Wisconsin, the son of Carleton Ames, a teacher at River Falls State Teachers College and grandson of Jesse Ames, the president of the school. His mother was also a teacher. Carleton Ames, struggled with alcohol but introduced his son to the theatre, a passion that Aldrich would follow for years as he participated in plays throughout high school.

The Ames family moved to McLean, Virginia in 1951 when Carleton Ames took a position with the CIA where he worked for a time with James Jesus Angleton. Aldrich enrolled at George Washington University, majoring in history and took a part-time position, arranged by his father at the CIA in 1959. Was believed to be one of the youngest employees ever with the agency. Eventually received a degree from George Washington in 1967.

Continued working with the agency and was assigned to a post in Turkey where he was sent to try to recruit new intelligence agents. Unfortunately, was unable to recruit any new spies. Was considered aloof by those around him. This, along with his tepid performance as a case officer, caused resentment from fellow workers. Was recalled from Ankara in 1972 and assigned to a post at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia where he was given the task of recruiting Soviet officials. At headquarters, Ames was looked upon with disdain by his colleagues, many of whom believed that he was a product of nepotism. Despite this, he was made privy to top secret information on Soviet operatives. Still, he failed to recruit any new agents. Was assigned to the New York office in 1980, instructed to recruit new Soviet agents from the United Nations delegation. Married his girlfriend Nancy in 1980. The couple struggled early in the marriage and Aldrich began drinking, a habit that would become problematic in the years to come.
After being passed over for a promotion (due in part to his ineptitude as a recruiter in New York), Ames applied for and was assigned to a post in Mexico City, Mexico. His wife, however, stayed behind. Met with continued lack of success as a recruiter in Mexico City, prompting him to fall further into his drinking habit. Also was becoming disillusioned with certain activities by the CIA in Latin America.

Met Columbian socialite Maria del Rosario Casas, the cultural attache for the Columbian embassy in Mexico City. Her father was a former member of the Columbian Senate and she was raised in a world of privilege. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of the Andes in 1974 and became a faculty member at the University shortly thereafter. Was extremely close to her mother, Cecelia Depuy de Casas, a lover of music and also a faculty member at the University. Rosario had on occasion loaned out her apartment to CIA operatives for meeting with Mexican spies. After being introduced to Ames, she was recruited by him into service with the CIA. The two were romantically involved and traveled among the more prominent circles in Mexico.

Ames was promoted in 1983, heading up the CIA Soviet counterintelligence branch, and was assigned to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. In his new position, he was given access to nearly all information available on Soviet cases, including U.S. assets operating within the Soviet Union. After a period of time, he brought Rosario to the United States to live with him. She pressured him to divorce his wife Nancy and he consented, keeping most of the couples assets (the divorce was finalized in 1985). Rosario began running up huge bills, shopping and placing calls to her mother in Bogota. Ames was soon almost $60,000.00 in debt, but was earning only $45,000.00 each year. Burdened by his overwhelming debt-load, Ames began searching for means of obtaining additional money. He had once heard that a co-worker had been offered $50,000 to spy for the KGB, and he began to consider that as a possibility.

In April 1985, Ames tried to meet with Sergey Chuvakhin, a Soviet arms expert to suggest that he might be willing to spy for the Soviet Union. Instead, he decided to approach Stanislav Androsov, a Soviet agent at the Soviet embassy. Ames passed Androsov a note, offering to provide the name of three Soviets working for U.S. intelligence in exchange for $50,000.00. Androsov introduced him to Victor Cherkashin, the KGB counterespionage chief at the embassy. Cherkashin accepted Ames’ offer and Ames was given a bag containing $50,000.00.

Aldrich Ames  - spymuseum.comAfter being passed over for a promotion (due in part to his ineptitude as a recruiter in New York), Ames applied for and was assigned to a post in Mexico City, Mexico. His wife, however, stayed behind. Met with continued lack of success as a recruiter in Mexico City, prompting him to fall further into his drinking habit. Also was becoming disillusioned with certain activities by the CIA in Latin America.

Met Columbian socialite Maria del Rosario Casas, the cultural attache for the Columbian embassy in Mexico City. Her father was a former member of the Columbian Senate and she was raised in a world of privilege. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of the Andes in 1974 and became a faculty member at the University shortly thereafter. Was extremely close to her mother, Cecelia Depuy de Casas, a lover of music and also a faculty member at the University. Rosario had on occasion loaned out her apartment to CIA operatives for meeting with Mexican spies. After being introduced to Ames, she was recruited by him into service with the CIA. The two were romantically involved and traveled among the more prominent circles in Mexico.

Ames was promoted in 1983, heading up the CIA Soviet counterintelligence branch, and was assigned to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. In his new position, he was given access to nearly all information available on Soviet cases, including U.S. assets operating within the Soviet Union. After a period of time, he brought Rosario to the United States to live with him. She pressured him to divorce his wife Nancy and she consented, keeping most of the couples assets (the divorce was finalized in 1985). Rosario began running up huge bills, shopping and placing calls to her mother in Bogota. Ames was soon almost $60,000.00 in debt, but was earning only $45,000.00 each year. Burdened by his overwhelming debt-load, Ames began searching for means of obtaining additional money. He had once heard that a co-worker had been offered $50,000 to spy for the KGB, and he began to consider that as a possibility.

 

In April 1985, Ames tried to meet with Sergey Chuvakhin, a Soviet arms expert to suggest that he might be willing to spy for the Soviet Union. Instead, he decided to approach Stanislav Androsov, a Soviet agent at the Soviet embassy. Ames passed Androsov a note, offering to provide the name of three Soviets working for U.S. intelligence in exchange for $50,000.00. Androsov introduced him to Victor Cherkashin, the KGB counterespionage chief at the embassy. Cherkashin accepted Ames’ offer and Ames was given a bag containing $50,000.00.

Just days after the meeting, the FBI announced the arrest of John Walker, Jr. on espionage charges. That arrested spooked Ames who feared that he could be compromised by any number of Soviet double-agents. On June 13, 1985 he met with Chuvakhin and gave him the name of every double-agent that he felt was in a position to expose him. He also provided a mound of CIA intelligence reports. As a result, the KGB rounded up dozens of agents, returning them to Moscow for questioning, interrogation, imprisonment and often execution.

The CIA took note that many of its double-agents were disappearing and that some of their communications intelligence apparatus was no longer gathering information (including an elaborate bugging system within the tunnels running underground through Moscow). Initially, the agency believed that the activity was a result of the defected of former CIA employee Edward Lee Howard, a recent defector. Eventually they realized, however, that the information now possessed by the Soviets was outside of the scope of Howard’s limited knowledge.

Although alarmed, the CIA took a cautious approach to searching for a mole, still smarting from the mess stemming from James Jesus Angleton’s previous mole hunt. As such, the security breach was looked upon a chance mistakes by several agents, and not the work of an internal mole.

Aldrich Ames  - spymuseum.comIn order to distance himself from the activities swirling around him, Ames requested a transfer to the office in Rome, Italy. While assigned there, he and his wife began spending lavishly on clothing and accessories. Ames also purchased a Jaguar.

In November 1986, the CIA assigned 32 year employee Jeanne Vertefeuille to help isolation the source of the information flow. She and her small group of analysts focused on known traitors such as former Marine guard Clayton Lonetree, but realized that none of these people possessed the scope of knowledge apparent for the breach.

In 1987, Dan Payne, a young investigator with knowledge in accounting was assigned to her group and decided to look for a money trail to lead him to the mole. Payne began looking into the spending habits of various CIA personnel. When the Ames’ moved back to the United States, they purchased an expensive house and Rosario announced to friends that she intended to add new drapes to the entire house. Knowing how expensive this would be, one of the Ames’ friends, Diana Worthen, informed one of the mole hunter (Sandy Grimes), of the Ames’ sudden wealth. Grimes began researching Aldrich’s past dealing with the Soviets while Payne began digging through the Ames financial records and found that the couple was spending up to $30,000.00 each month, while Aldrich’s annual salary was less than $70,000.00. Further investigation, however, led the CIA to believe that Rosario’s family was considerably wealthy and that this was the source of the Ames’ new finances.

Aldrich Ames  - spymuseum.comUndeterred, Grimes continued investigating and noticed that there was a co-relation between the dates of Ames meetings with Chuvakhin and his bank deposits. With this information in hand, the CIA notified the FBI, which put the Ames’ under surveillance. The FBI planted bugs in Ames home, car and office. They also discovered that Ames had neglected to turn off an automated save feature in his word processor, thus leaving a trail of incriminating letters written to the Soviets. The FBI also obtained that Rosario was aware of her husband’s activities and that she pressured him to continue his spying activities.

CIA officials quietly moved Ames into an area where he was not privy to classified information. He was planning however, to travel overseas for a conference and the FBI was worried that he might be tipped off and flee. He was summoned to work on February, 21, 1994 for a routine matter but was instead intercepted and arrested by FBI agents. Rosario was simultaneously arrested at the couple’s home.

Aldrich Ames offered to cooperate with the U.S. Government if they would release Rosario and not charge her with any crimes. The government, however, had enough evidence on her to prosecute so they refused a deal. Rosario was nowhere near as loving towards her husband, blaming him for deceiving and manipulating her. She was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison and was promptly deported upon her parole. She moved back to Columbia where her mother was caring for the Ames’ son.

Aldrich Ames was sentenced to life in a federal prison.

 

Aldrich Ames – Spy Who Betrayed CIA
 

 



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Alfred Redl

Alfred Redl

Alfred Redl - spymuseum.comBorn in 1864, the son of a poor Austrian railroad official and one of 14 children.

Attended Lemberg Cadet School, a military academy and graduated in 1882. Received a commission in the Austrian Army, noted for his abilities with different languages. In 1889, was assigned to serve as a military observer, accompanying the Russian Army. Made a number of friendship and contacts among the Russians.

Was continually promoted until he reached the rank of Colonel. At this point was placed in the Austrian Military Counterintelligence Corps. In 1900, was named the head of the Kundschaftsstelle, the Austrian espionage and counter-espionage service. He immediately set to work modernizing the service, implementing new technologies as well as new methods for obtaining intelligence. Within his office, he often collected information on his visitors, obtaining their fingerprints by way of a special powder on the arms of their chair.

He also photographed and recorded the conversations of visitors to his office. Introduced a new method of interrogation, where he shined lights directly in a suspect’s eye while questioning him – this he called the “third degree.”

Was a homosexual, a fact that was kept a secret from any of his colleagues and superiors. Visited many of the most scandalous homosexual haunts throughout Europe. It is presumed that his homosexuality was discovered by the Russians and that they enticed him with young male lovers and then blackmailed him into providing information. At the same time, in addition to providing him with companions, they also paid him handsomely for providing them with secret information form the Austrian government.

Redl grew to possess lavish tastes and the funding from the Russians helped to afford him the lifestyle he desired. Revealed to the Russians identities of Austrian spies working in Russia as well as secret codes. In 1902, provided the Russians with Austria’s contingency plans in case of a war. The Austrian Foreign Office became aware that their contingency plans had fallen in the hands of the Russians, but had no idea who had delivered the plans. General Baron von Giesl turned the matter over to Redl, the Chief of Counterespionage. Redl was in the awkward position of having to conduct a search – for himself. He advised his Russian contacts of his dilemma and not wanting to lose such a valuable information resource, they gave a list of less-important Austrians spying for Russia. Redl then “exposed” these agents, thus becoming a hero of the Austrian intelligence community.

Promoted to head up all espionage efforts in Austria in 1907. In his position, conferred with intelligence officers from other nations, often discussing secret information with friendly allies, and then passing this information along to the Russians. Promoted again in 1912 to the position of Chief of Staff to General von Giesl. Giesl headed up the Army Corps then in Prague. Redl quickly passed along information about Giesl’s troops to his Russian contacts. For his treachery Redl was well rewarded. He used his ill gotten gains to purchases several houses in Vienna as well as a palatial estate outside of the city. He purchased several of the most expensive cars in the world and a huge mansion in Prague, complete with an assembly of some of the finest champagne in the world.

On March 2, 1913, two letters, identically addressed were delivered to a postal box in Vienna. When nobody claimed them, they were returned to the post office in East Prussia from which they had been sent. The letters were sent back to Austria, this time to Redl’s successor a Chief of Counterintelligence Maximilian Ronge. They were sent to him by the head of German counterintelligence Walther Nicholai who found them to contain large sums of money, with no letters accompanying them. Ronde recognized that the letters had originated from Eydtkuhnen, an area of East Prussia known for Russian espionage. Sensing that the money might be a payoff to a spy, he took the money back to the Vienna Post Office. He installed a button at the post office which rang through to the police station nearby. He instructed the postal clerks to push the buzzer if anyone came in to retrieve the letter.

Austrian head of counter-intelligence blackmailed by Russia into passing secrets

Austrian head of counter-intelligence blackmailed by Russia into passing secrets

After informing his superiors about what had occurred, Ronde, with a group of his men, entered Redl’s hotel room and found Redl writing a note. Redl cordially welcome them in, telling them that he knew why they were there and that he was writing farewell letters. Asked the extent of his treachery, he referred Ronde to the Prague mansion, where he said all answers lay. Redl asked to borrow a revolver and five hours stood naked in front of a mirror surrounded by lights and shot himself in the head. Redl’s last note stated “Levity and passion have destroyed me. Pray for me. I pay with my life for my sins. Alfred….”
The Austrian government attempted to keep quiet Redl’s deeds, but a hotel worker leaked information about the suicide, as did a locksmith brought in to help authorities break into Redl’s house.

An examination of the Prague mansion revealed the level of income he was receiving from the Russians as well as the depth of his disloyalty. Thousand of secret documents were found as well as list of agents and contacts. Most significant was the discovery that information provided by Redl had been passed to Austria’s biggest enemy, Serbia. Included in this was Austrian’s plan in case of a war with Serbia. After a Serbian anarchist assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Austria did go to war against Serbia, but was repelled by the Serbian who knew their plans. Thus much of Europe and the United States was drawn into World War I.



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Alger Hiss

Alger Hiss

Alger Hiss - spymuseum.com
Born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1904, his father committed suicide when he was three years old.Attended the prestigious Johns Hopkins University from which he graduated in 1926. Moved on to Harvard University Law School and after graduation in 1929 served as a law clerk for the esteemed United States Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes and then practiced law in New York and Massachusetts. In 1929 married Priscilla Fansler Hobson. Moved to Washington, D.C. in 1933 where he worked for the Roosevelt administration in the Agricultural Adjustment Administration until 1935. Next moved to the Department of Justice until 1936 and then to the State Department in 1936. Served as Secretary to the Nye Commission on Munitions as well as Assistant General Counsel to the Solicitor General of the United States.

At the State Department, was a very important figure, traveling with President Franklin Roosevelt to the Yalta Conference where Roosevelt met to discuss allied strategies for World War II. Served as a top aide to Secretary of State Edward Stettinius.

Served as the Secretary General for the Dumbarton Oaks Conference in which the United Nations was established. In 1946 was named President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and served in that capacity until 1948.

In 1948, Whitaker Chambers, the Senior Editor for Time Magazine and a former member of the Communist Party went before the House Un-American Activities Committee and testified that Hiss was a Communist and had passed classified State Department documents to Soviet agents.

Hiss denied the charges and offered to testify before the committee. In his testimony, he vehemently denied that he a Communist and stated that he had never even met Whitaker Chambers. Chambers responded by supplying detailed recollections of Hiss and his family with an uncanny accuracy. Hiss corroborated many of these recollections and explained that he may have known Chambers years earlier under a different name and in a different appearance. The highly regarded Hiss was now being viewed with some suspicion.

Chambers made an appearance on the American political television show “Meet the Press.” When asked about Hiss, Chambers repeated the statement he had made before the committee. Hiss immediately sued Chambers for slander. Chambers continued to provide evidence against Hiss, by providing photographs of documents that appeared to be re-typed copies of State Department documents which also included some notes in Hiss’ handwriting.

Chambers further produced undeveloped film which he had hidden in a hollowed out pumpkin on his Maryland farm. The film contained photographs of more classified State Department documents which were referred to thereafter as the “Pumpkin Papers.” The Justice Department was also working with information provided by a Soviet defector named Igor Gouzenko in 1945. Gouzenko had claimed that an assistant to the Secretary of State was a Soviet spy. The FBI had narrowed its search down to Hiss but did not have enough evidence to confront Hiss. The FBI also was able to find the typewriter that was alleged to have been used to retype the classified documents.Hiss was indicted for committing perjury. The trial ended in a hung jury but the second trial in on January 21, 1950 with Hiss being found guilty of perjury (note, Hiss was never found guilty of espionage).

Alger Hiss - spymuseum.comHe was sentenced to five years in prison and after his subsequent appeal and request for a new trial were denied he spent four and a half years in the Federal Penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

The case became a cause celebre, debated across political lines with conservatives believing that Hiss was indeed guilty while liberals felt he was set up with circumstantial and shoddy evidence. Hiss maintained his innocence and spent the rest of his life trying to prove it. In 1996, however, the Venona messages were released, one of which described an assistant to the Secretary of State in 1945 who attended the Yalta Conference but was actually a Soviet spy. Sources at the National Security Agency have stated that this could refer only to Hiss. Hiss died in 1996.

Alger Hiss Spying
 

 



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Anthony Blunt

Anthony Blunt

Anthony Blunt - spymuseum.comBorn in Bournemouth, England in 1907, the son of an English clergyman.

Moved to Paris with his family in 1911. Returned to England where he graduated from Cambridge University in 1932. Became a Fellow at Trinity College and recruited numerous students into his espionage activities, including Kim Philby, David MacLean and Guy Burgess, with whom Blunt was sexually involved (Blunt, Philby, MacLean and Burgess were four members of the Cambridge Five, England’s most notorious spy ring).

Is believed by many to have tipped off Kim Philby about the impending arrest of Donald MacLean which lead MacLean and Burgess to flee to the Soviet Union. Was accused of being a spy for the Soviet Union in 1964 by Arthur Martin. Evidence was supplied by an American, Michael Whitney, who claimed that Blunt had recruited him as a KGB agent in the 1930’s. Admitted to being the “Fourth Man.” Bargained for his freedom by promising to reveal all of his activities and knowledge about espionage activities by the Soviet Union. British officials decided to keep his involvement quiet in order to prevent a scandal from erupted regarding a knight of Britain.

Publicly exposed after the British press investigated his possible involvement in espionage. After the book “The Climate of Treason” by Andrew Boyle was published, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was questioned as to the identity of the “Fourth Man.” Thatcher identified Blunt by name, during a session of Parliament. Was stripped of his knighthood, titles and prestigious positions. Lived out the rest of his life quietly in disgrace and died in 1983.

 

Double Agent Anthony Blunt Press Conference
 

 

 

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Carl Lody

Carl Lody

Carl Lody - spymuseum.comBorn in 1879 in Berlin, Germany.

Served in the German Navy, rising to the rank of lieutenant before retiring. Took a job as guide on a Hamburg-America ocean liner, taking the rich on cruises around the world. Left the cruise at the brink of World War I, moving to Berlin and volunteering for service in the German Navy but was sent to German Naval Intelligence, because of his ability to speak english. Was sent to England to spy on the British fleet.and provide an assessment of its size and battle-worthiness. Lody was promised that this mission would be a one-time event, after which he was free to return to his job on the cruise lines, having fully satisfied his duty to his country.Was trained in espionage and sent to Norway under the name “Charles Inglis.” He continued on to Scotland in 1914 and monitored the British fleet there, counting the number of warships and estimating their military value.

Because of poor training, failed to take the most simple precautions to conceal his intentions and was therefore monitored by British MI5 agents. His mail was intercepted and he was followed by for almost a week before he realized it, at which point he immediately fled Scotland and returned to London, England. In London, he once again made blunders in seeking information. He approached people at military installations and bluntly asked them questions that would unquestionably draw suspicions. Having drawn an inordinate amount of attention to himself while scouting out British military installations, Lody moved on again, returning to Scotland.

Traveling around the British territories, he continued gathering information, sketching buildings and machinery and assessing troop readiness. Eventually he returned to England, whereupon he was arrested and court-martialed. Confined in the Tower of London, he was found guilty of spying and sentenced to death. On November 6, 1914, Lody was executed by a firing squad at the Tower of London.

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Clayton Lonetree

Clayton Lonetree

Clayton Lonetree - spymuseum.comBorn in 1961 in St. Paul, Minnesota, the grandson of the Chief of the Winnebago Native American tribe.

Enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1980 and entered the Marine Corps Security Battalion Guard school, a rigorous, elite training program in which he was instructed in espionage and counterespionage techniques. Was given TOP SECRET security clearance and was assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow in 1984.

As part of his assignment, he signed a non-fraternization agreement, thereby promising not to engage in friendships with Soviet citizens and to report any such contacts. Lonetree apparently received undo attention because most citizens of Moscow had never seen a Native American before. Despite such attention he was described as lonely and somber and was believed to have begun drinking excessively.

Attended the annual Marine ball in November 1985 and was introduced to Violetta Seina, a 25 year old Russian woman who was an embassy employee. The two began dating soon thereafter. Was part of the the Marine unit assigned to provide security for the 1985 summit meeting between Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

Was introduced by Violetta to her “Uncle Sasha”, who in reality was a KGB intelligence officer (named Aleksiy Yefimov). Sasha recruited Lonetree to become a “friend of the Soviet Union.” Lonetree eventually provided Sasha with information about the embassy and the U.S. Ambassador. Sasha also asked him to plant a “bug” in the Embassy but Lonetree allegedly refused to do, but instead provided plans for the building.

Was assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Vienna, Austria in March 1986. While in Vienna, Lonetree met with Sasha and provided him with information about embassy employees and with floor plans to the building. In return he was given $2,500 US. Over time, Lonetree provided TOP SECRET documents as well as a burn bag containing more than 100 documents related to U.S. arms reduction.

On December 12, 1986, Sasha turned Lonetree over to another handler, who promised to aid Lonetree in re-uniting with Violetta. Two days later, however, Lonetree reported his actions to the CIA station chief. He was immediately turned over to the Navy Intelligence Service (NIS) and placed under arrest, charged with espionage.
NIS launched a nine month investigation, during which all of the Marine guards in the Moscow embassy were replaced. NIS also arrested Corporal Arnold Bracy, who signed a confession indicating that he acted as a lookout for Lonetree, while Lonetree secreted KGB operatives into the embassy to plant bugs. Also arrested was Marine staff Sergeant Robert Stufflebeam, who was charged wit failing to report fraternization with Soviet women. The charges against Bracy and Stufflebeam were eventually dropped.

Clayton Lonetree - spymuseum.comNIS was highly criticized for its over-exuberance with its investigation, accused of blowing things way out of proportion in order to show off having disrupted a spy operation. Lonetree was convicted on multiple counts of turning over classified information, was court-martialed in 1987 and sentenced to 30 years in prison. He was the first U.S. Marine Corps member ever convicted of espionage. Because of his cooperation with authorities, his sentence was reduced to 25 years of which he served nine before being released in February 1996.

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Clyde Conrad

Clyde Conrad

Clyde Conrad - spymseum.comClyde Lee Conrad is barely known by the general public but he was one of the most damaging spies in United States history.

Conrad was a noncommissioned officer in the United States Army, a Sgt, First Class from Sebring, Ohio.  He was assigned West Germany where he served as the classified documents custodian to the 8th Infantry Division of the army. He was tasked with maintaining and protecting top secret documents related to the military plans in case of a war with the Soviet bloc.

His superior at the time was Zoltan Szabo, another U.S. Army Sgt. First Class who was a naturalized U.S. citizen from Hungary, but was also a Colonel in the Hungarian Military intelligence. In 1975 Szabo approached Conrad about helping him to provide information to Hungarian and Czechoslovakian  intelligence services. Conrad agreed and began delivering information from the vaults housing the top secret documents he was supposed to be protecting. In return he received payments over the next ten years which allegedly reached into the millions of dollars. Court records demonstrated that by 1978 he had a swiss safety deposit box filled with gold bars.

Szabo introduced Conrad to Hungarian brothers Imre and Sandor Keresik. With their help, Conrad was able to set up a spy ring that operated for more than 10 years. The ring worked so well that it is sill unknown how many people were involved in it.

In 1983, Conrad recruited Sgt. Roderick Ramsey to help him gather and disseminate the classified documents. Ramsey, who official was serving as Conrad’s assisted agreed to do so and aided Conrad for the next two years. In addition to Ramsey, other members of the Szabo-Conrad spy ring were Jeffrey Rondeau, Jeffrey Gregory and Kelly Therese Warren. Ramsey would allege that more than ten others people served the ring including one military officer who would eventually reach the rank of General.

More than 30,000 documents were passed over the course of a ten year period. The documents involved were among the most valuable in the world to the Eastern Bloc. Among these were NATO wartime general defense plans which indicated the positions of many military units and the description of where they were to be deployed incase of war, what their tasks were and what areas they would defend. It also included NATO strategies and nuclear weapon sites, all of which worked its way through the Eastern BLOC intelligence services, all the way up to the KGB.

Around 1979, the United States was alerted by Vladimir Vasilyev, an asset of the CIA, that the Soviet Union had U.S. war plans in their possession. U.S. Army Counter-Intelligence began looking for the person passing the secrets and did an analysis that led them to the V corps. It took several years but finally, in 1986, they narrow their lists of suspects down to Conrad, based in part of his elaborate standard of living.

In 1983, Conrad was arrested by the Federal Republic of Germany and charged with engaging in espionage with the Czechoslovakian and Hungarian governments. Because he had retired from the U.S. Army and was living in West Germany, neither the military nor the FBI had jurisdiction to arrest him. Thus they had to turn to the West German authorities to do so. He was found guilty on June 6, 1990 and because he was viewed as the head of the spy ring was sentenced to life imprisonment. It is estimated that he received over $1.2 million over the years in return for the information he passed. In passing the sentence, Chief Judge Ferdinand Schuth said that Conrad enabled the real possibility that “If war had broken out between NATO and the Warsaw Pact, the West would have faced certain defeat. NATO would have quickly been forced to choose between capitulation or the use of nuclear weapons on German territory. Conrad’s treason had doomed the Federal Republic to become a nuclear battlefield.”

Clyde Conrad - spymseum.comIn addition to Conrad’s sentence, Rondeau and Gregory were sentenced to 18 years each, Warren was sentenced to 25 years and Szabo was given a 10 month suspended sentence, in return for testifying and identifying documents that were passed to the Hungarian government.

Clyde Conrad died in Diez prison in in Koblenz, Germany on January 8, 1998, the victim of heart failure. He was 50 years old.

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Donald Maclean

Donald Maclean

Donald Maclean - spymuseum.comBorn in London, England in 1913, the son of Sir Donald Maclean, a noted attorney and Scottish politician. Sir Donald served as a member of Parliament and was knighted in 1917.

Was educated at Gresham and then moved on to Cambridge where he counted within his circle of friends, Anthony Blunt, Guy Burgess and Kim Philby. Was influenced greatly by leftist teachings and believed early on in the cause of communism. Was introduced, while at Cambridge, to a Soviet controller who recruited him into the service of the Soviet Union. Was convinced to disassociate himself from active communist party membership and activity so as not to draw undo attention to himself.

Graduated from Cambridge in 1934 and immediately gained a position in the Foreign Service (despite having acknowledged having had leftist leaning while in school). Through contacts loyal to his father, Maclean moved his way up though the ranks of the Foreign Service, attaining a level where he was privy to classified information. Passed this information to his Soviet handler.

Was assigned to the Foreign Office Central Department, responsible for Germany, Belgium and France and was assigned to an office in Paris in 1938. Met Melinda Marling, the daughter of an American oil executive, while in Paris and the couple married in 1940 but immediately fled the country due to Nazi occupation. After working for the foreign office for nine years, Maclean was appointed the first secretary for the British Embassy in Washington, DC. He also served as the head of chancery on occasion making him privy to even more information as all material delivered to the British ambassador was easily within his reach. After having a child, Melinda moved to the United States, living in New York with her mother. Donald routinely visited New York City on weekends, ostensibly to visit his wife, but also to pass information to his New York based Soviet contact.

Served as Britain’s secretary on the Combined Policy Committee, gaining access to classified information about British and American plans regarding atomic energy and nuclear weaponry. He was also given access to information from the United States Atomic Energy Commission. Worked alongside Alger Hiss, a U.S. State Department official regarding plans for the United Nations. Discussed U.S. policy on a number of topics, including U.S. Military participation in South Korea.

Continued his trips to New York, unaware that passages in the Venona documents described a Soviet spy who also visited New York at the same time (in July 1946).

The documents were transmitted accidentally with a lower security encryption and included information from transmissions between British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Harry Truman, including specific serial numbers for those transmission. The serial numbers helped to narrow down the number of people who would have had access to the documents. This information, in addition to his constant requests to participate in meetings of the Atomic Energy Commission led the CIA to maintain surveillance of him.

James Angleton, head of the CIA’s counter-intelligence program, determined that Maclean was indeed a Soviet spy and caused his pass to the Atomic Energy Commission to be revoked. Angleton informed MI5 of his suspicions and Kim Philby was apprised of the situation. Philby warned Soviet officials and they informed Maclean of the situation.

Maclean, a known bi-sexual, was observed in drunken stupors, prowling for homosexual liaisons. His drinking grew to a dangerous level until he was recalled by the British government and returned home in 1948. He was transferred to Cairo, Egypt where he served as chancery for the British Embassy but again suffered from drunken episodes and was again recalled to London in 1950. Nonetheless, in early 1951 he was assigned a new position, this time as head of the American Department of the Foreign Office.

Donald Maclean - spymuseum.comMaclean’s drinking became problematic once again as he vociferously denounced the capitalism of the west and espoused the virtues of communism during dinner parties and formal affairs. Word of his behavior circulated around London and in January 1951, Kim Philby learned more about the information in the Venona documents and worried that he was in impending jeopardy of being arrested. Concerned that telephone calls or cables to London might be intercepted, Philby sought another way to warn Maclean. Guy Burgess, also enjoying a reputation as a drunkard, engaged in sufficient misbehavior to merit being sent home from the United States where he was serving with the British embassy. Burgess immediately informed Anthony Blunt of Maclean’s impending danger and Blunt likewise informed their Soviet handler Yuri Modin.

Modin immediately set into motion an escape plan and three days before Maclean was to be arrested by MI5, Burgess drove him to Southampton where the two climbed aboard a ferry boat, the S.S. Falaise that took them to St. Malo. Eventually the two made their way to Moscow where they hailed as heroes to the Soviet people. Maclean was given the rank of KGB Colonel. He was joined in September by his wife and children. Maclean and Burgess were put on display for the western press by the Soviet government in 1956. Maclean worked hard to adapt to the Soviet culture and was rewarded by the government with salary and accommodations.

He wrote several publications on economics and was published in the Soviet Union and Britain. In 1966, Melinda Maclean began an affair with Kim Philby, Philby having defected in early 1963. She moved in with him two years later but returned to the United States in 1979.

Donald Maclean died of a heart attack on March 6, 1983. His ashes were buried in England months later.

Double Agent Donald Maclean
 



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Earl Pitts

Earl Pitts

Earl Edwin Pitts - spymuseum.com

Earl Edwin Pitts was born on September 23, 1953  and hailed from Urbana, Missouri. He attended Central Missouri State University from which he received a Bachelor of Science degree. He followed this by receiving a Masters degree from Webster College and a Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri Kansas City. From 1975 until 1980 he served in active duty for the United States Army. He joined the FBI in 1983 and worked in the Alexandria, Virginia field office. He moved on to the Fredericksburg Resident Agency and remained there until 1987 when he was assigned to the New York office. In 1989 he received a promotion (to Supervisory Special Agent) and was transferred to the  FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. and served in the Records Management Division. In 1992, Pitts, also an attorney, was moved to the Legal Counsel Division where he handled civil litigation as well as matters that related to DNA evidence. Finally, in 1995 he was transferred to the Behavioral Science Unit at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA.

Pitts had put together a very impressive resume and was well thought of within the bureau as he was continually promoted and placed in positions with access to valuable information. He had access to Top Secret information as well as “code word” clearances for “access to sensitive compartmented information” beginning in 1989. He was also privy to “Sensitive Compartmented information” until 1991. What his colleagues and supervisors did not know was that he was betraying them and passing the information along to a Soviet contact. According to an FBI press release in 1996, while in New York, Pitts was given access to “a wide range of sensitive and highly classified operations” that included “recruitment operations involving Russian intelligence officers, double agent operations, operations targeting Russian intelligence officers, true identities of human assets, operations against Russian illegals, defector sources, surveillance schedules of known meet sites, internal policies, documents, and procedures concerning surveillance of Russian intelligence officers, and the identification, targeting, and reporting on known and suspected KGB intelligence officers in the New York area.”

In July 1987, Pitts conducted surveillance on an official at the Soviet Mission in the United States to the United Nations. He detailed this surveillance in an official report that was classified as secret (the official later became a cooperating witness with the FBI). A week letter, it is believed that Pitts contacted that Soviet official and provided him with information about the surveillance that had been conducted on him and requested that they be able to meet and\or that he be introduced to a KGB agent. The official later introduced Pitts to Aleksandr V. Karpov, a high ranking KGB agent. Pitts began meeting with Karpov in a public library and an airport in New York City. For the next five years he continued to meet Karpov, to whom he turned over classified information including the identity of an FBI agent involved in covert activities related to Russian intelligence matters. In return he was alleged to have paid approximately $224,000 by the KGB (and later the SVRR).

In 1993, the FBI became suspicious that there might be a mole in their ranks because the bureau noticed that a number of their operations ended in failure or were compromised. In some of these cases, the locales of these failures appeared similar, but outside the norms of simple coincidence. Thus, the FBI began an investigation and focused on the years between 1986 and 1990 in the area of New York City. Personnel in the New York office at the time were looked at as possible suspects. In 1995, they hit pay dirt when they conducted an interview with the official that was first approached by Pitts. He tabbed Pitts as an agent spying for Russia which prompted the FBI to look into Pitts financial accounts and monitor his travel records. Both were deemed unusual for someone at his income level. In August 1995, in order to assure that they could “catch him in the act,” the FBI launched a “false flag” undercover operation in which it lured Pitts into a sting by pretending to be Russian agents desiring to work with him again.

The operation began when the cooperating witness approached Pitts at his home in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He told Pitts that he had a guest from Moscow visiting him and that he wanted to meet with Pitts. Soon thereafter, Pitts met with the guest who in reality was an undercover intelligence officer (UCO). The UCO claimed to work for the SVR and requested Pitts help in looking into the behavior of an SVR agent working in the United States. Pitts agreed to help and the UCO gave Pitts information detailing the location where Pitts could leave information at a pre-designated dead drop.

The UCO also lured Pitts with financial gain, saying that “money was available.” Pitts agreed and received a payment of $15,000 in cash.

Pitts thereafter gave the UCO and other undercover agents “sensitive and secret classified documents related to the national defense.” Drawing on his knowledge of behavioral science, he gave the UCO’s “personal, medical, and family information about fellow FBI special agents” which could be used to blackmail or entice them to be turned into Russian spies. He offered a plan by which to smuggle an SVR agent into the FBI Academy in Quantico and presented them with “an FBI cipher lock combination, an FBI key and his own FBI identification badge in order to facilitate the smuggling operation.” He turned over a handset to a FBI telecommunications device that could be used to transmit classified information and a plethora of secret and classified information over the course of 22 dead drops. He also engaged in nine telephone conversations and two face to face meetings with the UCOs. In return he accepted $65,000 for his services. One other item, this one received from his personal computer at the FBI Academy, was a letter expressing a need for an escape plan if necessary.

After one of the visits to Pitts home by the cooperating witness, Pitts’ wife, Mary, approached the FBI about suspicious activity on her husband’s part. Mary Columbaro Pitts, who was a former FBI support staffer and unaware of her husband’s activities, became alarmed when she read the initial letter of instructions given to Earl by the UCO. She  telephoned Tom Carter, the FBI’s resident agent in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Mary later met with him and provided Carter with statements about her husband’s suspicious activities that day and handed over a copy of the letter.

Pitts was arrested on Dec 18, 1996 by the FBI and charged with attempted espionage, conspiracy to commit espionage and lesser counts. He entered a plea arrangement in return for a reduced sentence. He claimed that he had a long list of grievances towards the FBI and wanted to “pay them back.” The prosecutors recommended a sentence of 24 1/2 years but U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis instead sentenced him to 27 years, finding his actions to be especially grievous. “You betrayed your country, you betrayed your government, your fellow workers and all of us, really,” Ellis said, glaring at the defendant. “Every time you go by Arlington (National Cemetery) … every name you see on the Vietnam Memorial … you betrayed them especially.”

Earl Edwin Pitts - spymuseum.comAs part of his plea deal, Pitts was required to participate in a series of briefings with the FBI. In one of these briefings he passed on his suspicion that Robert Hanssen was a spy, but this information was not acted upon. Pitts said of his activities “I do not wish to excuse or explain away my actions. What I did was wrong, pure and simple.” He was sent to  the Federal correctional institution near Ashland, Kentucky.

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