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Re: Doppelgänger

From: Gary Kern
Date: 26 Sep 1999


I must confess that the term "Doppelgänger" was my insertion, if I recall correctly. Chikov used the term "doubles," but I liked the German term that is used in literary criticism to refer to those sinister figures in E.T.A. Hoffmann, Edgar Allan Poe and Fyodor Dostoyevsky who duplicate the main character in appearance and activity, and sometimes physically take his place. Not so much should be made of the term here. However, Chikov definitely said that the Soviet operation always aimed for more than one source on important matters, especially since Beria was so suspicious of disinformation. The sources should not know each other.

Chikov, of course, had told the story of Morris Cohen recruiting PERSEUS in 1942, and then Lona Cohen meeting PERSEUS in Albuquerque in August 1943. I questioned him repeatedly on the date, which didn't jibe with other data, and he insisted on it. When I put THE WASHINGTON POST onto the MLAD story, Michael Dobbs had trouble with the date of 1943, and I told him it was a problem for me too, but the chief author insisted on it. It caused some confusion, because obviously Hall could not have been recruited in 1942. After Dobbs broke the story that MLAD = Hall, Chikov by phone admitted that the date 1943 was dictated by the need to prevent Western intelligence from making identifications. He never anticipated the release of VENONA, and the KGB/SVR, which blamed him for the exposure of Hall, did not take into account that the FBI was onto Hall in 1951, nor that the VENONA documents that named him outright were there for all to interpret: Joseph Albright and Herbert Romerstein independently made the identification and interviewed Hall before Dobbs, but happened to get into print later.

The question remains, was there someone else--not Hall--recruited in 1942 and contacted in NM in 1943? I think so: Chikov's method was mostly to mix events, not invent them. Laes has presented a number of "sets" that show too many correspondences to be accident. The US grandaddy in atomic espionage has yet to be named.

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