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Showing posts from April, 2020

The Avant Espionage Career of Gösta Caroli

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With a bit of viral lockdown time on my hands, I transcribed and translated the first two chapters of the Swedish book on Gösta Caroli. These chapters were most interesting to me for the information it had on Caroli's time in Canada during the 1920s. In late 2018, I had written a blog about Caroli's silver fox farming adventures in the Nicola Valley (British Columbia). I wanted to see what authors Olsson and Jonason had to add to what I had already discovered...

N.B. - See my blog on The Après Espionage Career of Gosta Caroli for the last chapter of this book

Once again, I have relied on Google Translate and the translation is a bit rough in areas, but I think the overall gist is accurate. I am not including the Swedish transcript in the interests of brevity. I've also added some comments in italicized square brackets. I have also added a few extra paragraph breaks as the originals were a bit long. Have also added source notes for the book's footnotes.

The Priest’s Son…

Free downloads from The National Archives

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A few weeks ago, I had posted a blog about The National Archives having free downloads of their digitized files. This was exciting news although... as the weeks went by, and there was no hint of this news on their website I began to think that it had been a cruel April Fool's Day joke (since their original notice had come out on April 1).

But... I am happy to report that... it is legitimate!!!
And the service is open as of today (April 24). Thanks to Traugott Vitz for bringing this to my attention...

Now... there are some caveats... only 10 files can be downloaded per user per day... and only 50 files every 30 days. In order to prevent the system from being overwhelmed. Still... I can work with that!

The Secretaries of Camp 020

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Still chipping away at various avenues for tracking down Robin W.G. Stephens. I thought I'd take a look at Christopher Murphy's article on the Spy! episode again. I remembered him mentioning the names of several former Camp 020 secretaries who defended Stephens vociferously.

While these ladies were alive in 1980 when the Spy! episode came out... that was 40 years ago... and it is unlikely that any of them are still with us today. However, I thought that perhaps their children or grandchildren may have some tidbit of information which might help in the hunt for Stephen's death.

Christopher Andrew article
Before we get to Murphy's article, however, I want to touch on an article written by Christopher Andrew in 2014 as an introduction to a volume entitled Interrogation in War and Conflict: A Comparative and Interdisciplinary Analysis. Andrew quoted the 1980 letter written by the Camp 020 secretaries as well, but only mentions the name of one of them, Kathleen Williams.

Ho…

A few Bella Blips on the Internet Radar

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The waters of the Bella mystery seemed to have calmed quite a bit in the last few months. Obviously, with Covid19 ravaging the world, many things have taken a back seat to the virus. Still... the most recent news on the Bella case was Alex Merrill's second book on the Bella case, which came out last October/November. But it didn't seem to make as big a splash as the first book and... we are left with a dearth of Bella material.

I did a bit of snooping online and came up with a few things... most not worth the paper they are not written on. Sigh.

British News Paper Archives
I did come across a link to the British Newspaper Archives which published a blog about the Bella case on 4 April 2019. The blog article is based primarily on newspaper reports from the archives, so is a bit limited.

Spoiler Country Podcast
There was also a post about a month ago (25 February 2020) on the Spoiler Country Podcast site. There doesn't actually seem to be a podcast on the Bella episode, just …

Free Digital Files on National Archives

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I follow The National Archives (Kew) on Facebook and this post popped up last week. It made my heart skip a beat and then do a happy dance pitter patter!

Due to Covid19, the archives are closed, of course. Many of their digitized files are available for download via their website. But... they cost money. It's not a lot of money but still... £3.50 adds up after a while.

Hence my excitement to read that they are going to be making their digital files FREE! I am going to be working on my wish list while they get the details sorted out... and make sure that I have enough hard drive storage space for this treasure trove.

It does make me wish, however, that more of their files were digitized but... one can't have everything...

Although... I am wondering if this may have been an April Fool's Day joke... although scrolling through the hundreds of FB comments, there was no hint of that... Hmmm...




The Après Espionage Career of Gösta Caroli

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A year and a half ago, I took a research detour into the career of Gösta Caroli. I had come across a reference which suggested that Caroli had been tried, condemned and executed by the British. This was news to me since there is no evidence of a trial, nor an execution. In fact, according to the records, Caroli was repatriated back to Sweden in August 1945. A year later, he married Gerta Bergmann and two years later, the couple had a son. According to Swedish records, Caroli died in 1975 in Asmundtorp. It would seem to be a slam-dunk case but... there are always rumours of cover-ups, etc.

I wrote a couple of blogs about Caroli, one on his ill-fated escape attempt and one on his life and career. Readers are encouraged to take a look at those two blogs before continuing with this one...

Gösta Caroli - Dubbelagent SUMMER
Whilst researching the two previous blogs, I had come across another book by Simon Olsson and Tommy Jonason. I was familiarwith the first book these two Swedish authors h…