From: H. B. Laes
Date: 07 Aug 2000
Theory of Fielding - Set Z - ANTA and ADEN
ANTA and ADEN Vladimir Chikov wrote that Lona Cohen had a meeting with Perseus in New York City in 1947 before she and Morris (LUIS) traveled to Paris in July of that year. At that meeting Perseus told Lona that "he could propose some other scientists who might be willing to work for the Soviets…they work at Hanford and have already given him materials." Chikov's further dialog indicates that Perseus considered these contacts as a "replacement" for him. Then, according to Chikov, sometime later in 1948, Perseus reported to LUIS that ANTA and ADEN, "expressed willingness to hand over data on Enormoz. But with two conditions: their only connection must be with Perseus and their names should not be known to officers of ARTEMIS [the KGB]." Chikov does not give their codenames or indicate that they were husband and wife. However in the book's Afterword Gary Kern, Chikov's co-author, added that Perseus, "recommended in his stead a married couple working at the Hanford Engineer Works in Washington State…Their codenames were Anta and Aden...Their contact was Oldtimer." Mr. Kern's basis for these statements was unidentified "other sources."
The book Bombshell by Joseph Albright and Marcia Kunstel has rather a lot to say about ANTA and ADEN, in the context, of course, that they were recruited and couriered by Ted Hall (Set P refers). Their primary source on this was the French edition of Chikov/Kern as well as personal interview with Chikov. Bombshell does not provide new particulars on ANTA and ADEN that extend the picture from Chikov/Kern, but the authors do say that they received accounts about A&A "similar" to Chikov/Kern from several other confidential sources including an ex-KGB officer.
Finally, if we need further corroboration on ADEN we get it from Christopher Andrew in The Sword and The Shield: "The Volunteer network expanded to include, in addition to MLAD, three other agents: ADEN, SERB and SILVER. Two of these were undoubtedly the two nuclear physicists [ANTA and ADEN] contacted by Hall. Though their identities remain unknown, the Centre clearly regarded their intelligence of the first importance." The foregoing is based on Vasili Mitrokhin's files; interesting that the codename SILVER is new in the literature, unlike ADEN, and not found in Venona, unlike SERB; disappointing that, unlike Melita Norwood, Mitrokhin's archives evidently don't reveal the identities of any of these codenames (or is Mr. Andrew in 'poser' mode pending Rd 2 of the Mitrokhin Archive?).
Caveats. (1) We don't know how to treat the fragment from Kern regarding Oldtimer - aka STAR, aka Saville Sax - other than to point out the complete contradiction between A&A's purported stipulation of working only through Perseus, their fellow scientist, and working through a quirky amateur like Saville Sax. (2) We note, as was done in Set W, that Mr. Andrew and the Albrights reference the 1996 French edition of Chikov/Kern which selectively substituted MLAD for "PERSEUS" in the original, Russian edition. If the Perseus of Arthur Fielding heredity is a hoax, then all is well and good; however, if Fielding is not disinformation then a Perseus, who may have been the recruiter of ANTA and ADEN, remains unidentified.
Set Up This set is based on the assumption that the "Hanover" attribute for ANTA and ADEN is disinformation from the Soviets. It is the type of identifying detail that Chikov pledged to alter. Moreover, it seems incredible that, even under Glasnost, the KGB would make public or leak an agent profile so narrow and specific that identification would be relatively easy and certain. To wit, in 1947/8 how many husband and wife scientific teams were at Hanover? Without a record search even, the Hanford historian was able to mention John and Leona Marshall, who had been at Hanover during the war but who returned in 1947 to the University of Chicago (where Hall was a student).
Ostensibly, Perseus was at Los Alamos during the war; Chikov places him there in 1943. Chikov also wrote that after the war Perseus considered teaching at a university (Set N refers). Then in 1947 Perseus proffered a replacement for himself to the Soviets. Why? Was he stressed out? Had he lost his zeal for the cause? Or was he not in a position to deliver as before at Los Alamos? Our thought experiment in this set goes: Perseus did indeed return to academia and was out of the mainstream of atomic weapons research. Much desiring his mission to continue and being a young master of the universe, his recourse was to recruit two scientist friends who were well-placed and similarly disposed to provide intelligence to the Soviets.
Leofs and Serbers The Morris Leof's were a well-known family in Philadelphia who resided at 322 S. 16th Street. The scion of the family, Morris V. Leof, was a general practitioner doctor, who had been born in Russia and immigrated to the United States before the turn of the century. Jenny Chalfin Leof, his common-law-wife, was also born in Russia. The Leof's had 3 children, Madelin, Milton and Charlotte. Madelin married Sam Blitzstein, father of composer Marc Blitzstein. Milton was a Philadelphia dentist who may have gone to Spain as a Spanish Civil War volunteer on the Loyalist side. He later became an American expatriate living in Mexico City (it might be interesting if he also exited the U.S. circa 1950 when Sarant, the Cohens, et al, fled). All of the Leof's were extremely active in socialist politics and communist organizations.
David Serber was born in Russia and immigrated to the United States in 1886. He married Rose Frankel, born in Philadelphia, and they had 3 children the eldest being a son, Robert. David Serber was a lawyer and for a period of time in the 1920's was the American attorney for Amtorg, the Russian trading company. Rose Serber died in 1922. David Serber later married Frances Leof, niece of Morris Leof. Frances Leof Serber was investigated by the Philadelphia office of the FBI and found to be a member of the Communist Party.
Robert Serber was born March 14, 1909, in Philadelphia. He earned a bachelor's degree from Lehigh University in 1930 and a doctorate in physics at the University of Wisconsin in 1934. Charlotte Leof and Robert Serber were married in 1933 following her graduation from college. Hearing an Oppenheimer lecture at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Robert Serber was so impressed that he changed his post-doctoral study plans from Princeton University in favor of the University of California, Berkeley, to work with Oppenheimer as one of his protégés. He later became an associate professor at the University of Illinois, a job he held when Oppenheimer asked him to join the Manhattan Project in 1942. In April1943, when scientists were first gathering at Los Alamos, in New Mexico, Robert Serber presented a series of five lectures which summarized all that was known at the time about designing and building an atomic bomb. At Los Alamos until the end of the war Serber worked in the Theoretical Division as a Group Leader under Hans Bethe and Robert Oppenheimer. Charlotte was appointed by Oppenheimer to head Los Alamos' technical library, making her the only female section leader at wartime Los Alamos. Charlotte Serber died in 1967; Robert Serber passed away in 1997 in New York.
Hypothesis and Circumstance In the context of this set's assumption re Hanover, the facts and circumstances of Charlotte and Robert Serber resonate with the legend on ANTA and ADEN.
Motivation Q. Why would two atomic scientists, ANTA and ADEN, provide secret materials to the Soviets? A. They would be disposed to do so if both were committed Communists as well as of Russian heritage. Charlotte Serber was a member of the Communist Party who evinced an extremely high political profile. From Charlotte Serber's FBI File: "Dr. Oppenheimer advised General Leslie R. Groves while Charlotte Serber was employed by the Mnahattan Porject, that it was known to him that Charlotte Serber came from a Communist family in Philadelphia and was at one time herself a member of the CP." Although not the political firebrand that Charlotte was, Robert Serber's FBI file is likewise replete with evidence that he was in total sympathy with the tenets and goals of Communism. Both were of Russian descent.
Opportunity After Los Alamos Robert Serber joined the Radiation Lab in Berkeley where he worked from 1946 to 1951. The Radiation Lab - where Edward Teller worked - was central to the development of the Hydrogen bomb and Serber was highly involved in the research relating to America's continuing nuclear weapons program. In January 1947 Charlotte was also employed at the Radiation Lab, starting as a Consulting Librarian. Her employment was terminated, however, about a year later for security reasons.
Scientific Couple Charlotte Serber was not a scientist per se. However, she possessed a Bachelor of Science in Education from University of Pennsylvania, a very exceptional qualification for a woman in 1947. She was a very capable and intelligent individual. From her FBI FOIA file: "[she] held a very responsible position at Los Alamos and that she was one of the finest technical librarians in the country and that she had a great knowledge of atomic energy."…. "[she] had been the Chief Librarian, had had access to all secret documents, and had read them over for indexing and filing …. she was an intelligent person [who] knew a great deal of physics." Characterization of the Serbers as married scientists by KGB sources would not be far off the mark and would incorporate a subtle bit of disinformation to boot.
1947 Yes, 1948 No A distinguishing aspect of the ANTA and ADEN legend from Chikov/Kern is that, in 1947, these persons were prepared to be direct sources for the Soviets, but a year later their stance changed significantly: there would be no direct contact with the KGB, they would work only through Perseus and Perseus should not disclose their names. This timing and change of heart is consistent with events occurring in both Serbers' lives. In August of 1948 Robert Serber was subjected to an AEC Personnel Security Board hearing at Berkeley. Although he retained his clearance it was a close thing and troubling experience. Not only that, but earlier in the year Charlotte's employment at the Lab was terminated due to continued communist associations. Follow on to these events, in December 1948, Perseus reported to Claude [KGB resident in NY] the significant change in terms under which ANTA and ADEN would cooperate with the Soviets.
Volunteer Group In Set Y, The Volunteers, we argued the case for Steve Nelson as the de facto origin of the Volunteer Group. From Mitrokhin's archive we learn that the KGB conferred Volunteer Group membership on ADEN. Through his association with Oppenheimer and the radical left political cell at Berkeley Robert Serber would certainly qualify for such approbation and nomination by the Soviets.
"the stuff" In 1947 the Atomic Energy Commission asked the FBI to conduct an employee internal security investigation on Robert Serber. In connection therewith the Bureau instituted a telephone wire tap on the Serbers' residence. During an otherwise very normal, commonplace telephone conversation in August 1947 with Jackie Oppenheimer (Robert Oppenheimer's sister-in-law, and a communist) Charlotte Serber "stated that she had seen 'Oppie' as he was in town [Berkeley] with the Commission [AEC]; however, she explained that, 'I never saw him alone on Sunday, so I couldn't ask him about the stuff - there was always someone around - I couldn't ask him what he thought and so on.'" No doubt there is an innocent explanation. However, when abstracted, it seems a thought provoking episode: one communist, departing from routine conversation, to broach something sensitive to another communist; something involving Robert Oppenheimer, a communist, that could only be discussed with him in private.
Scientist Z As mentioned at the top of the set, Chikov wrote that Perseus first proffered ANTA and ADEN to Lona Cohen in New York just before the Cohens' July 1947 trip to Paris. In Set M we expressed the belief that Perseus was in NY to attend the Shelter Island Physics Conference in June of that year. All of the conferees rendezvoused in New York City for a group bus ride to Shelter Island at the end of Long Island. Robert Serber and Scientist Z, both former members of the Theoretical Division at Los Alamos, attended the Shelter Island Conference, This meeting between Serber and Scientist Z gives the occasion for Lona's claim that, "they have already given him materials." Similarly, almost a year later in 1948, Scientist Z was a house guest of the Serbers in Berkeley, a visit coinciding with the security problems hanging over both Serbers' heads.
California In October 1989 the Cohens gave a recorded English-language interview in Moscow. On the topic of their July 1950 "Flight from America" they discussed their sources that needed to be turned over to Rudolf Abel, their controller. Morris stated that 2 were in California and 1 in New York. Lona chimed in that the main one was in California. During this time frame Serber and Scientist Z were in California, SERB in New York (Ted Hall resided in Chicago). Since the Cohens were based in NY it seems curious, possibly evidential, that 2 of their espionage contacts should wind up in California.
Conclusion The problem, as we see it, is that there is exactly zero 'connective tissue' in the literature between Ted Hall and a scientific couple recruited by him. Nor is it helpful that Hall cannot be Fielding, the progenitor Perseus from Chikov. Say what you will, the facts and circumstances surrounding the Robert Serbers offer a modicum of possibility and explanation where none has been offered.
If the introduction of Scientist Z rankles, factor him out and replace with Hall. In his memoirs Robert Serber mentions his close familiarity with two of Hall's Harvard classmates, Ray Glauber and Freddie de Hoffman (they all arrived at Los Alamos together in early 1944). Ted Hall was charged with calibrating the Ra-La experiments which were a result of theory from Serber. Certainly Hall and Serber were acquainted with one another. But we still can't get excited about this possibility (including the Marshall's) for reasons given in Set P.
References Comment Staline A Vole La Bombe Atomique Aux Ameicains: Dossier KGB No. 13676, Vladimir Chikov and Gary Kern, 1996 Bombshell, Joseph Albright and Marcia Kunstel, 1997 The Sword and The Shield, The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB, Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, 1999 Peace and War, Robert Serber with Robert P. Crease, 1998 Robert Serber, FBI FOIA file Charlotte Serber, FBI FOIA file
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