The Moscow Signals Declassified: ​​​​​​​Irradiating Richard Nixon

vrijdag, 07 oktober 2022 - Categorie: Berichten Internationaal

September 22, 2022

Soviets Exposed Vice President Nixon to Radiation During Famous 1959 “Kitchen” Debate Trip to Moscow
Secret Service Detected Radiation at U.S. Ambassador’s Residence Where the Nixons Stayed

Washington D.C. September 22, 2022 - The Soviets exposed then Vice President Richard Nixon and his wife, Pat, to ionizing radiation during his famous visit to Moscow in July 1959, according to declassified Secret Service records posted today by the National Security Archive. Using detection devices known as Radiac Dosimeters, Nixon’s Secret Service detail measured significant levels of radiation in and around Nixon’s sleeping quarters at Spaso House, the residence of the U.S. Ambassador, during the first days of his trip. A few hours after the agents initiated what one called “a bluff” by loudly and coarsely denouncing the Soviets’ dirty tricks, the radiation levels “settled down.”

According to the key Secret Service report on the incident, the U.S. Ambassador to Moscow, Llewellyn Thompson, and a senior member of Nixon’s entourage, Vice Admiral Hyman Rickover, decided “not to make this information known to the Vice President.”

The Secret Service records were obtained by Archive Senior Analyst William Burr from a request to the Nixon Presidential Library in California. According to Burr, “this unusual and virtually unknown Cold War episode deserves more attention so the mysteries surrounding it can be resolved.”

The story of the Spaso House radiation incident remained secret for 17 years until the scandal over the Moscow Signal broke in the media in February 1976. A member of Nixon’s Secret Service team, James Golden, believed the 1959 episode was immediately relevant to the State Department’s investigation into the health effects of the microwave beams directed at the Embassy building. On April 28, 1976, he shared the secret history about the discovery of radiation at Spaso House with a State Department Soviet Desk official and medical officers. According to Golden, he was later told that he had been exposed to “massive dosages” of ionizing radiation emanating from an atomic battery that Soviet intelligence “used to power radio transmitters used for bugging purposes.”

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