Springtime. The slip next to our boat was empty. “Tom finally left to sail around the world with his wife,” I thought. A weathered Tayana 37 arrived during the night. The owner had a sun burned face. I introduced myself. In the next few days we talked often. His wife died recently. He needed to talk.

He retired from the “agency.” With some of the buyout money he bought the boat. His plan was to go south. Because of too many repairs, he was forced to turn back. Besides, the rigging was such he could not sail her by himself. There was sadness in his voice as he recognized his retirement dream could not be fulfilled.

Many years ago he was told he was selected by the agency for a mission. He had no choice. He had to go. He went to England where he and a few other guys trained to kill. From the way he described them with his hands, they were giants. They spent their free time cleaning their pistols and long knives (about 12 inches). One day they were dressed in eastern European clothes and boarded an old German sub captured by the British during WWII. Destination: USSR. The mission was to steal the design of radar installations.

They were by themselves. If captured, their identity would not be recognized. They knew exactly where they had to go. They had to kill to steal the information. Bodies were brought back to England. In this way the Soviets thought the missing Russians were deserters.

He was captured. “George, I was tortured, beaten, raped, my bones were broken, my neck still hurts after so many years,” he told me. He showed me his S shaped wrist as he was talking.

When he left the agency his military records had a blank for that year. He went to England where he trained. No one knew of such a project. He did not exist for 12 months. I felt mesmerized. Was I dreaming? “You should write a book about your adventure,” I suggested. “Yes, and I know the title,” he added. “The Gates to Hell,” he ended with a bitter voice. Wow!

(This Observations appeared in the 12-5-2005 issue of The Peter Dag Portfolio ).

George Dagnino, PhD Editor,
The Peter Dag Portfolio.
Since 1977
2009 Market Timer of the Year by Timer Digest
Portfolio manager

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