Sunday, September 06, 2009

Cuban Numbers, Enigma Machines and Lancaster Bomber Flypast, all at 70th Anniversary Bletchley Park Event, Saturday 5 September, 2009

Saturday 5 September 2009, place to be: Bletchley Park

for the Annual Enigma Reunion

celebrating the 70th anniversary of the arrival of Alan Turing & Gordon Welchman.

My day began listening to Professor Nick Gesslar's talk on Cuban Numbers Station: The Little Spy Engine . Fascinating story revealed of Ana Belen Montes,

US Defence Intelligence Agency's primary intelligence analyst responsible for Cuba and Latin America, arrested days after the 9/11 attacks for espionage: "She had nothing to do with the terrorist strikes, but her arrest had everything to do with protecting the country at a time when national security was of paramount importance." ( from FBI's Case of the Cuban Spy).

Professor Gesslar discussed Scott Carmichael, Defense Intelligence Agency's senior counter-intelligence investigator covering 2000 intelligence agents including Montes. In his book True Believer, Montes is revealed as a rewarded agent who detested the manner in which the US treated its neighbour, Cuba. She considered US's actions cruel, unjust and overly aggressive. Apparently she has these words on a piece of paper pinned to a wall in her prison cell:

The king hath note of all that they intend by interceptions which they dream not of

Lancaster bomber flypasts, and a 1940s fashion show, were other notable parts of an eventful day, as were the company and reminiscence of Julia and Anna, two wonderful ladies I met at Bletchley's excellent 70th anniversary Annual Enigma Reunion.

9.9.09 postscript:

Bletchley Park features in BBC1's The Week We Went to War.

1 comment:

John Poole said...

Thanks for these photos. Where was that white exhibition structure located, exactly? Presumably on the lawn near the mansion?

It was 1995 or 1996 that I visited Bletchley Park with a few computer science colleagues. Even though the park was closed, they still let us in and gave us a tour of the Colossus rebuild project.

I will attempt to write a few paragraphs recalling my visit there and what I saw and whom I spoke with, and post it on my (rather fallow, these days!) engineering blog. ;-)

Thanks for all the interesting postings! ~John