A Mysterious Visit

Dr. Thomas Boghardt, Historian

The International Spy Museum’s permanent exhibition ends with the following quote: “The most successful spies—those too clever to be caught, too loyal to defect, too shrewd to speak up—will never be recognized, their missions never revealed.” This statement is largely true. It is in the nature of spies and secret services to stay covert, and we usually hear only about those spies who were caught. But sometimes we get a glimpse of what lies beyond.

I was recently visited by an inconspicuous-looking gentleman who told me that he used to work for the foreign ministry of a Soviet Bloc nation. He calmly elaborated that, while serving as a diplomat in a Western country in the 1970s, he contacted the CIA and provided information to the agency up to the end of the Cold War. It is a remarkable story, given that most Cold War Human Intelligence (Hummit) espionage operations known to the public lasted far shorter than a decade, and a reminder of how much there remains to be learnt about the “secret history of history.”

Our Museum will remain in touch with the above-mentioned gentleman who has by now returned to his home country. He has already generously donated some of his spy gear to our collection, and we are hoping to tell more of his fascinating story in the future. Stay tuned as an amazing tale of Cold War espionage unfolds!

Nothing is what it seems

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