Hemingway's Secret Espionage/ Open Lines

Hosted byRichard Syrett

Hemingway's Secret Espionage/ Open Lines

About the show

While he was the historian at the CIA Museum, Nicholas Reynolds, a longtime CIA officer, former Marine colonel, and Oxford-trained historian, began to discover tantalizing clues that suggested Ernest Hemingway's involvement in World War II-era intelligence work was much more complex than previously understood. He joined Richard Syrett to share his research which brings to light the secret side of Hemingway's life: his recruitment by Soviet spies in the NKVD (the forerunner to the KGB) followed by relationships with the US State Dept., the Office of Naval Intelligence, and the American OSS, a precursor to the CIA. Reynolds said that while Hemingway was not a professional spy or soldier, during the course of his activities overseas, he proved to be "a very skilled amateur." During the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) Hemingway traveled to Spain to report on the conflict and was drawn to the communist side of the war because he thought that they could impose order where loyalists fighting the fascist regime could not.

After Spain fell to the dictator Franco in 1940, Hemingway returned to the US, where he was recruited by the NKVD to provide information on people he met and knew personally. Reynolds said that the Soviets were interested in the author because of his "amazing Rolodex" and his ability to "make his way to the top of the pile and deal with the most prominent people." The American government sent Hemingway and his new wife on a fact-finding mission to China in 1941. On his way back, he stopped at Pearl Harbor, and remarked that the armaments would "go up in flames in a few minutes because they’re not tactically deployed." Reynolds cited this as just one example of Hemingway’s tactical and observant mind, and why he was valuable to the authorities. He moved to Cuba before WWII and recruited an informal band of spies and informants he called "The Crook Factory" to root out fascist and Nazi spies and sympathizers. Reynolds recalled that during the war, Hemingway attempted to use his 38-foot wooden fishing boat to hunt and fight German U-boats, but fortunately never encountered one.


During Open Lines in the latter half, Doug called from New Jersey to describe a disturbing phenomenon that occurred on a nighttime fishing trip. One of his companions said his hook was stuck on an unseen snag. When they got to the end of the fishing line, they saw that the hook was attached to nothing, and hanging in midair "almost as if it was stuck to a magnet that was unbelievably strong." Gary in California said that famous psychologist Carl Jung was hired by OSS spymaster Allen Dulles to psychologically profile all upper echelon Nazis as well as to prepare a detailed astrological analysis, and that the recent mistake at the Oscars was due to a "reversing spell" that was cast to undo the recent curse placed on the White House by witches.

Eric in British Columbia recounted an experience of waking up a few years ago to find that he had an awareness of all life as one. He read a short self-examination of the changes he went through as a result. Mike called from Arizona to talk about the upcoming 20th anniversary of the "Phoenix Lights." He said that he videotaped the lights as they floated over his home in the mountains north of Phoenix and later found what he believes is the wreckage of the craft over the border in Mexico. He said that the doesn’t think that the object was extraterrestrial and added "I’m sure of it." He said that he would send Richard photos of the wreckage and enhanced stills from his video.

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