Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Intelligencer

A blast from the past....my husband's copy of the Intelligencer (Journal of U. S. Intelligence Studies) arrived with an obituary of Mandy Rice-Davies who described her life as "One slow descent into respectability." She was involved in the Profumo Scandal - a collision of sex, wealth and national security that fascinated the world back in 1963. I remember the whole incident very well. She was 70 when she died in December of cancer. 
Mandy Rice Davies 1964

There's an epidemic of books recently written by ex-spies; pages and pages of the journal are devoted to reviewing them. The most interesting one in this issue (in my opinion) was not written by anyone directly involved in espionage, but rather a memoir written by Chapman Pincher, a journalist, at the age of 98. He finished the book in time for publication when he turned 100 in March, 2014. He was a journalist for the "Daily Express". He got scoops from leaks from government officials he cultivated during expensive lunches, pheasant hunts and social occasions. The famous people he met over the years is a who's who of British society and includes Prince Charles, Lord Mountbatten, M16 officers, the Queen Mother, Margaret Thatcher and the Earl of Carnarvon (where Downton Abbey is filmed). Good article about him here: Daily Mail Chapman Pincher
Chapman Pincher

John Walker was also in the obit pages. He sold Navy secrets to the Soviets for 18 years. He was the principal figure in one of the "longest-lived operations in modern espionage". His spy ring included his son and older brother; the family inspired the book by Pete Early, "Family of Spies." Walker was a chief warrant officer whose work gave him access to many of the Navy's most sensitive secrets related to deciphering messages. He died in prison of complications of diabetes and throat cancer. 
John Walker

Anyone interested in the business of spying might enjoy exploring this website: NOIR where you can view video of the principal character from The Falcon and The Snowman, Christopher Boyce, testifying in front of congress. 


  1. Interesting. I knew another character in the Falcon and the snowman, the so called lesbian assassin, Joan Whitney, for a period of time.

  2. Very interesting. How could Mandy Rice Davies be 70!!!
    I'd love to read the book by Pincher - sounds really fascinating.