Thursday, November 28, 2013

Vintage Computers or life as CIA Secret Agent for 50 years.

Oregon state university
info click
Graduating from Oregon State University OSU 67 years ago in 1963 I had a choice of  public profession / avocation in computers, ham radio, 1000's of fun experiences or the Secret Life of a CIA operative.            Send me A Message CLICK 
Post Updated 9/10/2020

Friends reading my blog know that I choose the public path and GOLLY WHIZ it has been a great 67 years ( 82th Birthday this year 2020) . The 67 years included family, electronics, computers & ham radio.
Central Intelligence Agency
My Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)  adventure began in February 1963 with interview on the OSU  campus by mysterious fellows interested in  my Navy background and technical education. 

Enlarge the photo's by clicking on them and then even more by a right click and select "View image' you can easily read the letters.
CIA Letter
Letter come for CIA testing

I received this letter inviting me to CIA  Headquarters in McLean, Virginia to test my physical health and emotional stability.  This was exciting for me at the time because this would be my first time for a cross county jet plane flight and first time to Washington DC.  I made the flight just fine and the drive from Baltimore Washington International Airport though the Maryland country side was beautiful.

The testing was a marathon of many Psychoanalyst type folks interviewing me and repetitive Polygraph testing.  This testing went on for two days and I was ready to get back home to Oregon.

All the time at CIA Headquarters I was asking - What will I be doing or what is the work be all about ? Their were very few answers and about the most I was able to find out was that I would most likely be working as a military person and wearing commissioned officers uniform most of the time. This also would require being attached somewhere to a military "Embassy or Base" post-  somewhere? - anywhere was a better description. WOW this was getting interesting I could impersonate a military officer.  As to what I would do -- I was not told much but it would be something to do with electronics - maybe tapping phones lines, bugging someone or someplace. 

I returned to OSU - graduated, moved to Palo Alto, California, had a nice job as engineer at an electronics company, moved into a house, set up my ham radio station and was settled in for a career in Electronics.------------------------

CIA Telegram
Telegram - Come to work CIA
Then another clandestine communication  in the form of the Western Union Telegram from  unknown person asking  me to call 351-1100 collect and ask for Miss Giuliani.  When I reached this lady I was put thought to a voice telling I could report to CIA Headquarters for training and assignment.

About the only indication I had that the CIA may be interested after my trip to CIA Headquarters was that all my neighbors around  home had been contacted by FBI agents. The agents were asking a lot questions about my character and was I a good guy. This did concern my parents as they were just old time farm folks and this CIA stuff was beyond their imagination. 

CIA letter
Nice CIA response to Dave
I was really settled into my new environment and work as engineer in the early days of Silicon Valley and a move to somewhere unknown just did not appeal to me.  I responded to Mr. E. D. Echols with a thank you for all the effort  to make sure I was physical healthy, emotionally stable and the FBI checkout . I was just not interested at this time and turned down the offer of employment with the CIA. 
Could it be that I made a deal with the CIA and this was just made to look like I did not accept the opportunity ?

CIA Tool Kit
Tool Kit
This could have been me!!!
Russia seizes ‘CIA agent in Moscow’: US diplomat arrested on suspicion of spying US diplomat named  Joe Noname was arrested last night (May 2013) Russia claims he was attempting to recruit a Russian secret services official.US ambassador summoned to Russian foreign ministry to explain photos of his belongings show he was in possession of two wigs, three pairs of sunglasses, a microphone, knife, substantial amount of money &  a tool kit.

David g larsen
David Larsen
 The CIA adventure was nice to reminisce about however I am so glad I Choose the open life and not the CIA.   I would not have had the dozens of visits to the Soviet Union or been invited by Soviet President Gorbachev to bring computers into the Former Soviet Union in the early 90's. This Soviet vintage computer adventure is coming up in a future blog. You can take a look at this documentary video below made during one of our Soviet trips by Film Maker Jerry Scheeler. You will see why these trips to the Soviet Union were soooooo interesting and rewarding.

                      FAIRS in the Former Soviet Union "CLICK"

                An invitation to visit the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and Dave's Computer Museum in Floyd VA.

   "by David Larsen"  KK4WW Computer Collector Historian           Send Message CLICK   Like us Click

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