Tag Archives | Cold War

The Enduring Mystery of the Dyatlov Pass Incident

This much is certain: On the night of February 2, 1959, nine experienced hikers died on the eastern slopes of Kholat Syakhl under highly questionable circumstances. The rest is conjecture, speculation, and mystery.

The ‘Dyatlov Pass Incident’ as it has come to be called is named after the leader of the hiking expedition, Igor Dyatlov.

Initially the group consisted of ten hikers, but Yuri Yefimovich Yudin, the lone survivor,  took ill and had to turn back.

The Dyatlov party prepares to leave on the fateful expedition that would be their last.

The Dyatlov party prepares to leave on the fateful expedition that would be their last. Yuri Yudin, the lone survivor, gets a goodbye hug.

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The Fed’s Cold War Bunker Had $4 Billion Cash For After The Apocalypse

The 1970s fear of nuclear apocalypse has left us with some strange relics. Gizmodo uncovers the Culpeper Switch, where the Federal Reserve Bank stashed $4 Billion in cash so that even if Americans were stumbling around in a nuclear winter landscape, they’d still be in thrall to the banks:

New York and DC are piles of ash, but at least your checks are clearing. That was the idea behind the Culpeper Switch, a sprawling bunker built by the Federal Reserve to keep the banks running after nuclear apocalypse. But even some Cold War-era politicians thought it was silly.


Former Federal Reserve bunker in Culpeper, VA (circa 1992).

The compound was built just outside the small town of Culpeper, Virginia, near Mount Pony, in 1969. The 135,000 square foot facility was officially called the Federal Reserve System’s Communications and Records Center, and it housed about $4 billion of American currency during the 1970s — currency sitting in what was reportedly the world’s largest single-floor vault at the time.

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In Cold War, U.S. Spy Agencies Used 1,000 Nazis

Most disinfonauts will be aware of Operation Paperclip and the United States Government’s recruitment of prominent Nazi German scientists, but now it appears that the CIA was recruiting way more Nazis than previously suspected, revealed in the New York Times:

In the decades after World War II, the C.I.A. and other United States agencies employed at least a thousand Nazis as Cold War spies and informants and, as recently as the 1990s, concealed the government’s ties to some still living in America, newly disclosed records and interviews show.

At the height of the Cold War in the 1950s, law enforcement and intelligence leaders like J. Edgar Hoover at the F.B.I. and Allen Dulles at the C.I.A. aggressively recruited onetime Nazis of all ranks as secret, anti-Soviet “assets,” declassified records show. They believed the ex-Nazis’ intelligence value against the Russians outweighed what one official called “moral lapses” in their service to the Third Reich.

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Media Roots Radio: DC Think Tanks Create New Cold War Tipping Point

On March 3rd, 2014 Abby Martin decided to speak her mind and express her disappointment regarding the Crimea media coverage from all sides of the spectrum live on her television show, Breaking The Set. The story went viral on the mainstream media, only because her show airs on Russian backed RT, and Russia had just stepped into the conflict following the coup in Ukraine. Immediately following this action, a cadre of younger thirty-something neoconservatives in the heart of Washington DC tried to smear Abby after discovering her political views. In addition to the distorted take-down attempts against her, they tried to hijack her stand and manipulate it into anti-Russian / pro-US propaganda.
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The Cambridge Spies

During the Cold War, four affluent men, and at least a possible other (John Cairncross) were recruited by the KGB. They spied for decades and none were caught. One, a cousin of the queen was suspected and interrogated, but treated with kid gloves. Later known as the Cambridge Five. Here is their tale.

English: A USSR stamp, Soviet spies: Kim Philb...

A USSR stamp, Soviet spies: Kim Philby, 1990. Русский: Марка СССР из выпуска «Советские разведчики»: Ким Филби (1990, Рис. Б. Илюхина, ЦФА №6266). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

via Crime Library

The dark, windowless room in KGB Headquarters held nothing more than a chair, rows and rows of file cabinets, and a long table. If the room had had a window, in the near distance the walls of the Kremlin could have been seen, ablaze with lights. The newly appointed officer sat at the table while a filing clerk piled file upon file upon it. As he went through the dossiers, the KGB official was astonished.

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Behind the CIA’s Mission to Secretly Retrieve a Soviet Sub From the Bottom of the Ocean

PIC: The Hughes Glomar (PD)

PIC: The Hughes Glomar Explorer (PD)

IO9’s Charles Strauss has written a great overview of Project AZORIAN: The CIA’s covert plan to retrieve a sunken Soviet nuclear submarine. If you’ve never heard about it before, then I think you’ll find this all pretty interesting. Incidentally, I first became aware of it through Charles Stross’s wonderful Cold War spies vs. Cthulhu mythos series The Laundry Files. AZORIAN becomes a major plot point in the second novel The Jennifer Morgue after negotiations between the Deep Ones and the UK government start to fray over the sub’s retrieval.

Anyway, I particularly like the use of the term “Glomarization” in Strauss’s piece:

Via IO9:

The submarine, if recovered, would be a treasure trove for the intelligence community. Not only could U.S. officials examine the design of Soviet nuclear warheads, they could obtain cryptographic equipment that would allow them to decipher Soviet naval codes. And so began Project AZORIAN.

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How The CIA Used ‘Dr. Zhivago’ As A Cold War Propaganda Tool



Note to self: Convince CIA to serve as book distributor for next Disinformation Company title.

Via Christian Science Monitor:

CIA officials had rave reviews for Boris Pasternak’s classic Russian novel “Doctor Zhivago” — not for its literary merit but as a propaganda weapon in the Cold War, the Washington Post reported on Sunday.
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The US intelligence agency saw the book as a challenge to Communism and a way to make Soviet citizens question why their government was suppressing one of their greatest writers, according to newly declassified CIA documents that detail the agency’s involvement in the book’s printing, the Post said.

The Soviet government had banned the novel and British intelligence first recognized its propaganda value in 1958, sending the CIA two rolls of film of its pages and suggesting it be spread through the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

Keep reading at the Christian Science Monitor.Read the rest

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‘Lack of Genocidal Application’ Keeps Science From Exploring Thorium Energy

Thor Donner Arthur Rackham Wagner Rhinegold Rheingold Ring Nibelungern Norse mythology myth German GermanicHow ‘Thor’ May Save the World:

Unbeknownst to most climatologists that decry nuclear energy for its environmental liability (in the form of radioactive waste and potential Chernobyl/Fukushima meltdown), there is a friendly and feasible cousin to the Uranium reactor that uses Thorium (yes named after the Norse god of thunder).

Thorium is an element much more abundant than Uranium in the Earth’s crust (comparable in abundance to Lead), and is already produced industrially as a byproduct of rare-earth-metals mining.  Thorium reactor designs (using liquid Fluoride as coolant) consume atomic fuel far more efficiently than Uranium reactors using pressurized water as a coolant.  Furthermore, these reactors are ‘incapable of meltdown’ and produce hazardous radioactive materials lasting only 300 years as opposed to 10,000 years for Uranium, in relative quantities of 1 ton instead of 35 tons, respectively.  Unlike Uranium reactors, Thorium does not pose a proliferation risk because none of the products or reactants present viable materials for creating an atomic bomb.… Read the rest

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