A daughter’s 18 year search for her Cold War CIA pilot father

In 1961, members of the Alabama Air National Guard secretly took part in the failed invasion of Cuba by U.S.-backed Cuban exiles known as the Bay of Pigs. This was a covert attempt by the United States to overthrow the Soviet-allied Cuban government of Fidel Castro. Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google PodcastsBecome … Read more

A Mormon missionary in Cold War East Germany

In the early 1980s East Germany had just 5000 members of the Church of Latter-day Saints, many of which had been members since before World War 2. In 1982 East German leader Erich Honecker historically allowed the church to build a temple in Freiberg and in 1988 Mormon missionaries were allowed into East Germany. Ken … Read more

US Navy Cold War airborne electronic reconnaissance

KC flew the US Navy’s airborne Electronic Reconnaissance during the 1980s in the Lockheed EP-3 which is electronic signals reconnaissance version of the P-3 Orion. He flew as a Navigator, Senior Electronic Warfare Evaluator and Mission Commander. We hear about several missions he was involved in including his first detachment  to Athens the then  main … Read more

Arrested by the KGB and taken to the Lubyanka prison

Marti Peterson was the first female CIA operative to be assigned to Moscow, probably the most challenging posting during the Cold War. Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google PodcastsBecome a Patron! This second episode turns to TRIGON, the code name for Alexandr Ogorodnik. He was an official in the Soviet Embassy in Bogota, … Read more

The first female CIA officer in Cold War Moscow

Marti Peterson was the first female CIA operative to be assigned to Moscow, probably the most challenging posting during the Cold War. Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google PodcastsBecome a Patron! Her story begins in Laos during the Vietnam War where she accompanied her husband John, a CIA officer. She describes their life … Read more

Flying for the CIA’s Air America in South East Asia

In 1964, pilot Captain Hansen found himself unemployed. He began to send out feelers to several companies including one that had placed an ad in the Washington Post called Air America. When he was called in for an interview which primarily consisted of two questions – can you fly good and do you drink a … Read more

A photojournalist in Cold War Eastern Europe

  During the 1970s and 1980s, Arthur Grace travelled extensively behind the Iron Curtain, working primarily for news magazines. One of only a small corps of Western photographers with ongoing access, he was able to delve into the most ordinary corners of people’s daily lives, while also covering significant events. His remarkable book Communism(s) A … Read more

Cold War number stations

  You might remember listening to short wave radio during the Cold War and coming across weird transmissions of metallic voices reciting random groups of numbers through the ether.  These are number stations, shortwave radio stations characterised by broadcasts of formatted numbers, which were being sent to spies operating in foreign countries. Number stations were … Read more

The start of the Cuban revolution & the launch of Apollo 8

The phrase “history is human” was coined by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian David McCullough. He says “History is about life. It isn’t just about dates and quotations from obscure treaties and the like; it’s about people”, which is exactly what Cold War Conversations is about. I discovered this phrase listening to the History … Read more