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Lighter, broke the fate of many people

Зажигалка, сломавшая судьбы многих людей

Started this dramatic story of a Sunny Saturday morning when I was young operative-technical employee of the KGB rezidentura in the US, I decided to do the backlog for a week with current Affairs, without being distracted by repeated requests of the investigators (they are in this day actively worked in the city). I was planning to move on rolls of film accumulated in a week fat American reference books and scientific reports, which had to return to their places of storage.

A call over the intercom made, cursing, to get out of the photo room. Called Eugene, a skilled worker, my faithful assistant for technical protection of the building of the Soviet mission. Eugene a mysterious voice announced that he had found a lost someone from “our” camera. I’m a bullet flew into the basement, where Jack told me in a whisper that his wife early in the morning, putting things in order after the past on the eve of a stormy party meeting, picked up on the floor in the hall someone had left a lighter.

Jack, how meticulous the Soviet techie, tried to refill a disposable lighter, which regularly carved a spark, but not burned. He began to Unscrew the bottom, under which was the region of film characteristic pale violet color. Jack was not surprised and immediately gave the lighter to me, believing that this spy happened to drop someone from the KGB.

I was incredibly happy getting their hands on an unknown machinery, and rushed to the boss. My resident, is also pursuing a weekend at work, didn’t share my joy about the discovery of lighter and dark voice told me gently to be part of the film, hoping to identify the owner at captured. Unlike my boss immediately came to the conclusion that our building works of the enemy.

Using the night vision device, I disassembled the camera, pulled out and lit a piece of film to determine the time of manifestation to obtain the contrast of the negative. The rest of the film, I firmly wrapped in black paper and began to disassemble the apparatus to prepare a detailed report.

The lighter was a real spy microfoliant, but with a clear, unexposed film, and saved the hapless agent-scatterbrain from immediate exposure, but made intelligence and counterintelligence of the KGB actively looking for him.

However, this has proved difficult: ironically, the find was discovered not under the chair, where he sat its owner, and where she had rolled from a random kick. On chairs, under which found a lighter, sitting in most smokers, honest Soviet taranabant, not suspecting that you will get for a long time under the attention of counter-intelligence after his return to his native land.

As I later learned, a lighter was sent to Operational and technical management (OTM) of the KGB, where experts identified already known microfoliant previously discovered by the CIA Gardener, who was arrested in 1977 in Moscow. During the search of his apartment inside of an expensive fountain pen “Parker” was the same camera. However, the death of the Gardener does not allowed the secret service to determine the features of the appearance of this machinery, as well as the methods of preparation for the work is so unusual for the time of the camera for which the cache was discovered a secret container with spare magazines in the Soviet battery.

Now OTU of the KGB was the second mikropotokami already in the lighter. But the absence of the owner of this machinery, as in the case of poisoning of Farmers, did not give important to investigators of KGB operational and technical details. And because both the camera transferred to NILE-11 leading photooptics laboratory Committee. The designers have carefully studied these American products, made the necessary measurements and even made detailed drawings. In 1985, after the arrest of Tolkachev spy in KGB hands got a third embodiment of the camera of the CIA, already in a cylindrical key chain. Tolkachev told investigators about his photographic equipment, including about their own modernization – it was taped with electrical tape a long knitting needle to the camera for rigid fixation of the distance from the surface of the removed documents. To photograph Soviet secrets became faster and better – talented spy showed himself here!

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