There seems to be an unprecedented number of stories recently about Teufelsberg and the merry marys who worked there in the 1960s. I don’t know whether this has to do with the fact that a self-proclaimed expert on the field station says 2013 is the 50th anniversary of operations on the rubble pile (this will come as a surprise to some of those who arrived there in 1961), whether it is because a large number of those of us who served there are having a reunion in a couple weeks, or whether it is linked to the increased scrutiny of the National Security Agency.
Whatever it is, it is shining a light on what so many of us were doing on the top of Teufelsberg and couldn’t talk about at the time and maybe later forgot. The veil of secrecy that covered the operations and those who participated held together for an exceptionally long time. As little as five years ago, my wife and I visited the Spy Museum in Washington D.C. – purported to have the most extensive knowledge base on espionage activities within the United States – and were unable to find any reference to the listening post atop Teufelsberg.
An artist who has done a lot of research on Teufelsberg and the NSA listening post that operated there for nearly 30 years postulates that the “NSA is never going to release information from the field station.” That may well be true. But, there are a number of us who have parted the veil on our own.
My novel, McCurry’s War, is based on the activities atop Teufelsberg. Its descriptions of what we were doing and how are based in fact. So that answers one part of question posed by one reviewer of my book who wrote: “I just finished reading the book. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am still not sure if all of McCurry’s exploits are real, imagined, or based on fact.”
So why would the NSA still keep what we did on Teufelsberg under wraps? I guess it kept a lot of people quiet for a lot of years (my book was only published last year, some 43 years after I returned to the states). What secrets are left? Very few if any.