30 Unknown Facts about Spies

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1Gareth Williams

In 2010, an MI6 spy named Gareth Williams was found dead, his naked body inside a padlocked bag in his flat in London. The Metropolitan Police concluded that he had accidentally locked himself in the bag and died as a result.


2. Unlike James Bond, real MI6 agents don't need a license to kill because everything they do outside the United Kingdom is already illegal. The United Kingdom spy agency makes Bond-like gadgets for operatives but, as one said after retiring, they "frequently fail to work upon arrival at our destination".


3. Juan Pujol Garcia was a British double agent during World War 2. He told Hitler D-Day would happen at the Strait of Dover, earning him the German Iron Cross. It was actually carried out at Normandy, earning him “Most Excellent Order of the British Empire” from the Allies.


4. British spies used semen as invisible ink during World War 1 and this method was invented by a Captain named Sir Mansfield Cumming.


5. In the 1960s, US spy planes were taking photos of Cuba. Those who analyzed them noticed something peculiar. They were building soccer fields. Cubans don't like soccer, they like baseball. Russians like soccer. This is how the Cuban Missile Crisis started.


6Nancy Wake

Nancy Wake was a secret agent who served Britain during World War 2 and went on to become the Gestapo’s most wanted person. Her exploits included judo-chopping a man to death, and cycling 310 miles undetected through German territory and checkpoints to replace codes which had been destroyed in a raid.


7. During World War 2, British spies posed as fake charity groups to hand out special monopoly games to allied prisoners of war. These games had compasses, maps, real money, and other useful tools for escaping.


8. Sehmat Khan was a young Indian girl and spy who got married to a Pakistani Army Officer during the Indo-Pak war of 1971 to gain confidential information and ended up saving thousands of lives by providing information about a naval attack.


9. MI5 estimates there are as many Russian agents in London now as there were at the height of the Cold War.


10. Indian spymaster Rameshwar Nath Kao was photographed only twice in his entire life, and his junior spies were called ‘Kaoboys.’


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11René Carmille

René Carmille was a punched-card computer expert and French double agent who is believed to have saved thousands of lives by sabotaging Nazi efforts to identify Jewish citizens. He eventually was found out, withstood torture, and sent to a concentration camp where he died in January of 1945.


12. Anatoliy Golitsyn was a KGB agent who defected to the US in 1961. He claimed the Soviets planned a long-term deception strategy to lull the West into a false sense of security by appearing to break apart predicting the fall of the Berlin Wall, the formation of the EU and financial problems in the US.


13. British novelist Roald Dahl was a spy. He seduced American women for Britain, sometimes begging to be freed from assignments because some of the married women were too "frisky". That was before he wrote "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory".


14. An undercover Israeli agent named Mordechai Rahamim who was armed only with a .22 stopped a group of terrorist attacking an aircraft with grenades and AK47. After securing the event, he was arrested and put to trial in Switzerland.


15. A Serbian double agent named Duško Popov knew about the attack on Pearl Harbor months before the attack. The FBI was told about this but they ignored the facts.


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16Christopher John Boyce

Christopher John Boyce was a convicted Soviet Union spy who was sentenced to 40 years in prison. In 1980, he escaped federal prison and was on the run for 1 year and 8 months, during which time he committed 17 bank robberies and studied aviation so that he could eventually flee to the Soviet Union.


17. During World War 2, Krystyna Skarbek became a British spy and smuggled intelligence reports and anti-tank guns from Hungary to the Allies. When she was arrested by Gestapo, she bit her tongue hard enough to bleed and convinced them she had tuberculosis, which made them release her.


18. Avshalom Feinberg was an Israeli spy who helped the British defeat the Ottomans. He was killed by Bedouins in the desert. His fate was unknown until after the 1967 Six-Day War when his remains were found under a palm tree that had grown from date seeds in his pocket to mark the spot where he lay.


19. In 1987, a North Korean spy named Kim Hyon Hui blew up Korean Air Flight 858, killing 115 people. She was sentenced to death, then pardoned, and finally married one of her interrogators. They have two children together.


20. An Israeli Mossad agent by the name Eli Cohen infiltrated the Syrian government and convinced them to plant trees, which were later used by the Israelis as targeting markers during the Six-Day War (1967).


21Ahmed Bouchiki

Israeli agents mistook a Norwegian waiter named Ahmed Bouchiki for a terrorist leader (Ali Hassan Salameh) and gunned him down on the streets in Norway in 1973.


22. George Koval was a Soviet master spy who infiltrated the Manhattan project, stole nearly all of USA’s nuclear secrets, single-handedly provided the key technology for Russia's nuclear arsenal, and was only discovered as a spy in 2002.


23. A Mossad hit squad once carried out an assassination clad only in briefs. They did this to keep their clothes free of blood. The target was Herberts Cukurs, also known as "The Butcher of Riga", a Latvian Nazi. In Brazil, he was lured to a house by an undercover Mossad agent, then killed by the hit squad.


24. A third-string catcher named Moe Berg, toured Japan with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in 1934 while working as a US spy. Berg spoke 12 languages and eventually spied on the Nazis during World War 2. When presented the report to the president, Roosevelt responded: "Give my regards to the catcher."


25. Shi Pei Pu was a Chinese spy. He masqueraded as a woman and had a 20-year long sexual relationship with a French diplomat, whom he used as a source of intelligence. He even convinced the diplomat that he had given birth to a child, whom he had purchased.

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