TBR News October 15, 2010

Oct 15 2010


The Voice of the White House

            Washington, D.C. October 15, 2010: “No matter what I write now, within an hour or so there will be more breaking news on the rapidly-growing and enormous American mortgage fraud. The issue? The concrete fact that over 50 million (!) American mortgages have been sold to major banks such as Goldman Sachs and Bank of America. These mortgages have been combined, sausage-wise, into so-called ‘investment packages’ and quickly resold by these banks to overseas investors. The result of all of this slicing and dicing is that it is totally impossible for anyone, ever, to locate the holder of any specific mortgage.

            In order to cover up this criminal activity, the government has set up an organization called MERS which is designed to cover up this mess. And the recent, and growing, scandal wherein major banks, like JP Morgan-Chase, were resorting to completely forged official papers in order to foreclose on properties. Why were these respectable institutions resorting to fraud? Simply because when it came to foreclose on a failing mortgage, the banks were totally unable to locate the holder of said mortgage and as a result, deliberately faked ownership papers.

            And many of these foreclosed properties were promptly resold by the banks to new owners. The problem with this is that the new owners do not have (and can never get) a clear title to their new purchases and, worse, now that the previous owners learn that they were evicted by the use of false documents, the homes legally will revert to the original owners. The new owners, who paid money for the repossessed homes will lose all of their investment and their only recourse will be to attempt to sue the bank to get their money back. Lawsuits are very protracted and very expensive matters as many will soon find out. And the mess is growing worse and more nightmarish day by day.

            There is the classic example of the homeowner in Florida who had his house seized by the bank and was evicted although he had no mortgage!

             From the Associated Press, the public has not learned that JP Morgan-Chase has  stopped using MERS after lawyers have argued in court proceedings that the system is unable to accurately prove ownership of mortgages. “The system lacks the required paper trail to prove mortgage ownership in foreclosure proceedings.”

            In short, legal documentation does not exist.

            And to make this enormous swindle even worse, although the Obama administration has been fully briefed on this, the President has stated (see story below ed.)that he does not want to halt evictions and obviously does not want to interfere with the banks. However, by his deliberate inaction, Obama will not halt the growing avalanche and he  has long passed the point of no return.

            Because Obama will not test the power of the banks, the defrauded and evicted Americans have only one option and that is to refuse to make any further mortgage on a MERS-covered home mortgage unless, and until, the real owner of the deed is identified. The monies given in mortgage payments must be placed in a savings account (easily opened in most banks) and left there until the paper mess is cleared up. And the Americans who have MERS paper must never sign any papers concerning this matter unless they consult with an attorney. Since MERS has hastily moved all of its records to India, they have deliberately made legal investigations nearly impossible. Don’t refuse to pay on a faulty mortgage but put the money in escrow until a deed, not a fake ‘MERS’ certificate, is forthcoming. And if you don’t take care of this, you will end up on the street with your furniture next to you.”

Washington Policy Makers Resist Calls for a Big Fix in Foreclosure Crisis

October 15, 2010

by Lorraine Woellert and Phil Mattingly –


Washington policy makers, who moved swiftly to calm markets during the subprime mortgage crisis in 2008, have resisted calls for similarly broad steps in response to concern that banks may have acted illegally to seize homes.

President Barack Obama and the federal agencies that share responsibility for housing finance are opposing calls for a nationwide foreclosure freeze, fearing further damage to the housing market. Even as bank stocks tumbled yesterday on concern that the mishandled loans will increase costs for lenders, the White House and federal regulators avoided any grand gestures designed to reassure investors.

Obama this week endorsed a coordinated investigation by attorneys general from all 50 states into whether lenders used false documents to justify foreclosures. Mounting a response on the federal level is complicated by the fact that responsibility for overseeing housing finance and foreclosure law is fragmented among U.S., state and local agencies, with no single regulator shaping policy.

“We can see all too painfully the results from that gap,” said Clifford V. Rossi, executive-in-residence at the Center for Financial Policy at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.

U.S. regulators say they are aggressively investigating whether employees of lenders including Ally Financial Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. have falsified documents used in foreclosure proceedings.

‘No Excuse’

“No one should misunderstand the magnitude of our response,” said Federal Housing Administration Commissioner David Stevens. “The administration has been very clear that there is no excuse for not fixing the problem.”

Obama and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair have said it would be a mistake to halt foreclosures while banks and regulators determine whether lenders acted illegally. A nationwide moratorium could do more harm than good, they said, by slowing recovery from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and further destabilizing neighborhoods already roiled by record home seizures.

“I’m not sure it would help anyone,” Bair said in Washington this week. “The market does need to clear and a lot of those foreclosures do need to proceed.”

$2 Billion Monthly

Delays tied to the probes may cost U.S. lenders $2 billion for every month, said Paul Miller, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets in Arlington, Virginia, who put the cost of extending foreclosures at $1,000 monthly for each property in the pipeline.

“There are 2.3 million loans that are out there in foreclosure,” said John Courson, chief executive officer for the Mortgage Bankers Association. “The administration has in fact made the right decision by not pressing for an overall moratorium. They see the debilitating effects that could have from the standpoint of the entire economy.”

Yesterday, investors worried about the foreclosure crisis punished the big banks. Shares of Bank of America, Wells Fargo & Co. and Citigroup Inc. fell by more than 4 percent. Financial stocks in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 1.8 percent.

The federal response to the crisis so far has remained on an agency-by-agency level.

Next Step

Federal banking regulators have been examining the document procedures of individual banks to pinpoint problems. The results of those exams will determine the next step, said Kevin Mukri, spokesman for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The agency has directed seven of the nation’s largest servicers to review their foreclosure processes, including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, HSBC Finance Corp., PNC Financial Services Group Inc., and Wells Fargo & Co.

The FDIC has started an independent review of banks with which it shares loan losses and won’t make payments if it finds foreclosures were conducted unlawfully, the agency said.

“We have contacted our loss-share partners and requested certification that all past and future foreclosure claims filed under the loss-share agreement are compliant with the law,” Andrew Gray, an FDIC spokesman, said yesterday in a statement. “We can and will deny loss-share payments for any foreclosures that are found not to be compliant with state laws or not fully remediated.”

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the largest sources of mortgage funding, has asked loan servicers to make sure they’re complying with the law.

Deep Dive

The Federal Housing Administration, the third-largest backer of mortgages, has launched “a deep-dive review” of servicers to make sure they’re reviewing their processes, FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said in an interview.

“We will hold them accountable,” Stevens said.

The Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force is also reviewing the document problems, Stevens said. The task force, housed at the Justice Department, brings together more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. Attorney’s offices and state and local law enforcement.

In resisting a foreclosure moratorium, the White House finds itself at odds with Democratic lawmakers campaigning to hold control of Congress after next month’s elections.

Several Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, have urged lenders to institute a moratorium. Yesterday, seven senators including Barbara Boxer of California and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, asked regulators including Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke to force lenders to extend cheaper loans.

Foreclosure filings totaled 930,437 in the third quarter, a 4 percent rise from the previous three months, according to RealtyTrac Inc. Filings in the states most affected by court reviews of foreclosure documents accounted for 40 percent of the total in the third quarter.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lorraine Woellert in Washington at lwoellert@bloomberg.net; Phil Mattingly in Washington at pmattingly@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lawrence Roberts at lroberts13@bloomberg.net.

The role of MERS in foreclosure furor

October 13, 2010


(Reuters) – The growing furor in the United States over improper foreclosure documents is focusing intense attention on MERS, a mortgage-record service company that tracks more than 60 million mortgages.

Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems has filed thousands of foreclosure actions around the country on behalf of lenders. Its right to do that is under challenge. Several courts around the country recently have ruled that MERS lacks the right to file such cases. Federal regulators say they are investigating its role. On Tuesday JPMorgan disclosed that it had stopped using MERS.


MERS, based in Reston, Virginia, is a private company owned by leading banks and mortgage processors. They founded it in 1995 to speed up legal record-keeping of mortgages and sales of mortgage loans through securitizations. Its main purpose was to be an electronic registry that would keep track of repeated sales of mortgage loans as the number of new mortgages and refinancings boomed.


MERS, on behalf of the banks and myriad trusts that own the mortgage loans, has initiated thousands of foreclosure actions around the country, as the “mortgagee of record” listed on homeowners’ mortgages. Homeowners’ lawyers and advocacy groups contend that MERS has no right to initiate the actions because it doesn’t own the mortgage loans. Lending laws specify that only the actual owner of the loan can file a foreclosure action. Lawyers also have alleged that MERS bypassed laws requiring mortgages and refinancings to be recorded in county recorders offices. Issues have been raised in several court cases about whether MERS misled courts about ownership of the loans. MERS Chief Executive R.K. Arnold has strongly denied any misrepresentations or legal violations, and contends that its services have benefited homeowners as well as lenders.


Class action lawsuits against MERS currently are pending in at least three states: California, Nevada and Arizona. State supreme courts in Maine, Arkansas and Kansas have ruled against MERS’ right to file foreclosure actions. In an individual borrower’s case in Oregon, a federal judge in September issued an injunction, at least temporarily halting a MERS-filed foreclosure, because of evidence that MERS doesn’t own the mortgage loan in question.

MERS earlier, however, won court rulings in several states, upholding its right to foreclose. In most of those cases the issue raised wasn’t whether MERS owned the mortgage loans, but whether it could proceed even though it wasn’t able to locate and produce documents such as loan assignments.


If court rulings against MERS’ authority to foreclose proliferate, many foreclosure cases may be halted indefinitely, and some homeowners in default may end with up with clear title to their homes. Halts to MERS foreclosures would have a big impact on lenders and loan processors who rely on MERS to file foreclosure actions.

(Reporting by Scot Paltrow; Editing by Leslie Adler)


Foreclosure anger is now hitting election campaign

October 13, 2010

by Laura Wides-Munoz and Tom Raum


            MIAMI – Three weeks before the election, anger over tainted home foreclosure documents is bursting into the battle for control of Congress, especially in hard-hit states such as Nevada and Florida. Democrats in tight races in the worst housing markets are pressing for a national moratorium, putting a reluctant White House on the spot.

Leading the call for a nationwide time-out on kicking people out of their homes is Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is locked in a neck-and-neck re-election contest with tea party-endorsed Sharron Angle in Nevada, which has the highest foreclose rate in the country. Reid is decrying “reports of shoddy and defective affidavit preparation.”

On Wednesday, attorneys general and bank regulators in all 50 states announced a joint investigation into questionable foreclosure practices, including forged documents, apparently bogus signatures and questionable notarizations. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said the Justice Department also is looking into the allegations — but he stopped short of opening a formal investigation.

While the allegations have suddenly become part of the political dialogue in a volatile election season, politicians are all over the map on the issue, some fearing that direct government action could snuff out a fragile recovery. Some candidates appear to be ducking the issue entirely, leery or unsure how to address it.

Tea party activists and many mainstream conservatives strongly oppose any additional government intervention in the nation’s economy, including a foreclosure moratorium. “You’re going to shut down the housing industry. People have to take responsibility for themselves,” said No. 2 House Republican Eric Cantor of Virginia.

For President Barack Obama, it’s a dicey issue.

The White House doesn’t want to be seen as acting to shield banks, which have been a frequent target for both parties. Wednesday’s announcement by JPMorgan Chase & Co. that its profits jumped 23 percent in the July-September quarter — while much of the economy still struggles — won’t win the industry any new fans.

But the administration also doesn’t want to spook fragile housing and financial markets. “There are a series of unintended consequences to a broader moratorium,” said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.

One reason for the White House caution: No matter the outcome this Election Day, Obama will still have two years to try to right the economy. But for those on Nov. 2 ballots, the day of reckoning is a lot closer, the passions hotter.

Also, previous efforts by the Obama administration to intervene in the mortgage market have not fared well. That includes its plans to use $41 billion in money from the 2008 financial bailout program to help people refinance mortgages. Less than $1 billion has been spent and relatively few homeowners have been able to take advantage of the program.

More than 2 million households are now in foreclosure and an additional 5 million have missed at least one mortgage payment, according to Lender Processing Services Inc., a company that helps banks process foreclosures. In few places is the crunch felt as keenly as in Florida.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a top House Democrat whose Florida district includes Fort Lauderdale, backs a foreclosure moratorium and also wants to see direct government talks with the banking industry. A wave of foreclosures has been “extremely vexing” in her state, she says.

Miami native and documentary filmmaker Joe Cardona would probably benefit from a freeze on foreclosures. He said it would be “a respite” for himself, his wife and 3-year-old daughter. Cardona said the bank was unwilling to renegotiate their underwater loan to allow them to stay in the house. “We tried, and there was this complete unwillingness,” Cardona said.

Democrat Joe Garcia is running for a House seat in a nominally Republican South Florida district that includes suburban areas where there is “a foreclosed home a block as a minimum.”

He said a moratorium on foreclosures could help open “serious negotiations with the banks to keep people in their homes. … People nationwide have lost 30 to 40 percent of their home value and that value goes down even more when the house sits abandoned and the grass is uncut.”

To Cuban-born Jose Martinez, 65, a lifelong Republican from the Miami area who works in liquor manufacturing and export, “It seems like a joke that we are a country with laws and the banks keep stealing.”

Since 2007, both California and Florida have seen average home prices cut roughly in half. But in California, whose economy is more diverse than Florida’s, conditions are slowly improving. In Florida, foreclosures are still on the rise.

The state’s court system is so swamped with foreclosure cases that judges are being called out of retirement to handle the workload. The average foreclosure in Florida takes nearly 600 days, among the longest in the nation. Florida is one of 23 states where foreclosures must be approved by a judge.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics and a specialist on housing and foreclosures, calls Florida the “poster child” for a bogged-down system. “And the Florida economy is still very troubled,” Zandi said.

But Zandi says a moratorium “at this point would be an economic mistake.”

“The sooner we work through these problem loans, the sooner the economy will take off,” he said. “If we prolong the process, it will simply prolong our economic problems.”

A moratorium would give homeowners facing foreclosure more breathing room. But it could backfire, stifling the fledgling recovery and keeping downward pressure on home prices, Zandi and other economists warn.

People trying to buy foreclosed houses could see the sales suddenly suspended. And those considering buying such a property might have second thoughts. Banks that followed sound foreclosure practices would be penalized along with ones that didn’t.

Economists and industry defenders say a freeze could also penalize pension funds, insurance companies and investors who hold mortgage-backed securities. It could make new loans more expensive. And it could further weigh on mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac., putting taxpayers at greater risk of losses.


Tom Raum reported from Washington; AP Real Estate Writer Alan Zibel contributed from Washington.

Robo-signers: Mortgage experience not necessary

Banks hired hair stylists, teens to process foreclosure documents, workers’ testimony shows      

October 13, 2010


NEW YORK (AP) — In an effort to rush through thousands of home foreclosures since 2007, financial institutions and their mortgage servicing departments hired hair stylists, Walmart floor workers and people who had worked on assembly lines and installed them in “foreclosure expert” jobs with no formal training, a Florida lawyer says.

In depositions released Tuesday, many of those workers testified that they barely knew what a mortgage was. Some couldn’t define the word “affidavit.” Others didn’t know what a complaint was, or even what was meant by personal property. Most troubling, several said they knew they were lying when they signed the foreclosure affidavits and that they agreed with the defense lawyers’ accusations about document fraud.

“The mortgage servicers hired people who would never question authority,” said Peter Ticktin, a Deerfield Beach, Fla., lawyer who is defending 3,000 homeowners in foreclosure cases. As part of his work, Ticktin gathered 150 depositions from bank employees who say they signed foreclosure affidavits without reviewing the documents or ever laying eyes on them — earning them the name “robo-signers.”

The deposed employees worked for the mortgage service divisions of banks such as Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase, as well as for mortgage servicers like Litton Loan Servicing, a division of Goldman Sachs.

Ticktin said he would make the testimony available to state and federal agencies that are investigating financial institutions for allegations of possible mortgage fraud. This comes on the eve of an expected announcement Wednesday from 40 state attorneys general that they will launch a collective probe into the mortgage industry.

“This was an industrywide scheme designed to defraud homeowners,” Ticktin said.

The depositions paint a surreal picture of foreclosure experts who didn’t understand even the most elementary aspects of the mortgage or foreclosure process — even though they were entrusted as the records custodians of homeowners’ loans. In one deposition taken in Houston, a foreclosure supervisor with Litton Loan couldn’t define basic terms like promissory note, mortgagee, lien, receiver, jurisdiction, circuit court, plaintiff’s assignor or defendant. She testified that she didn’t know why a spouse might claim interest in a property, what the required conditions were for a bank to foreclose or who the holder of the mortgage note was. “I don’t know the ins and outs of the loan, I just sign documents,” she said at one point.

Until now, only a handful of depositions from robo-signers have come to light. But the sheer volume of the new depositions will make it more difficult for financial institutions to argue that robo-signing was an aberrant practice in a handful of rogue back offices.

Judges are unlikely to look favorably on a bank that claims paperwork flaws don’t matter because the borrower was in default on the loan, said Kendall Coffey, a former Miami U.S. attorney and author of the book “Foreclosures.”

“There has to be a cornerstone of integrity to the process,” Coffey said.

Bank of America responded to Tiktin’s depositions by re-affirming that an internal review has shown that its foreclosures have been accurate. “This review will ensure we have a full understanding of any potential issues and quickly address them,” Bank of America spokesman Dan Frahm said. Frahm added that, on average, the bank’s foreclosure customers have not made a payment in more than 18 months.

JP Morgan Chase spokesman Thomas Kelly said the bank has requested that courts not enter into any judgments until the bank had reviewed its procedures. But Kelly added that the bank believes that all the underlying facts of the cases involved in the document fraud allegations are true.

Litton Loan Servicing did not respond to a request for comment.

Even before the foreclosure scandal broke, the housing market was in the midst of an ugly detoxification. Now the escalating crisis is likely to prolong the housing depression for at least another few years. The allegations are opening the entire chain of foreclosure proceedings to legal challenge. Some foreclosures could be overturned. Others could be deemed illegal.

For a housing recovery to occur, all the foreclosed properties — which could account for 40 percent of all residential sales by 2012 — need to be re-scrutinized by the banks and resold on the market. Now, with so much inventory under a legal threat, the process will become severely delayed.

“This just adds more uncertainty to the whole mortgage process, so buyers are asking themselves: do I want to buy a home in this environment?” says Cris deRitis, director of credit analytics at Moody’s Analytics. “We need to fix these issues before the economy can recover.”

Though some have chalked up the foreclosure debacle to an overblown case of paperwork bungling, the underlying legal issues are far more serious. Yes, swearing that you’ve reviewed documents you’ve never seen is a legal offense. But at the center of the foreclosure scandal looms something much larger: the question of who actually owns the loans and who has the right to foreclose upon them. The paperwork issues being raised by lawyers and attorneys generals have the potential to blight not just the titles of foreclosed properties but also those belonging to homeowners who have never missed a mortgage payment.

So far, JP Morgan Chase, PNC Financial and Litton Loan Servicing have stopped some foreclosure proceedings in 23 states. Bank of America and GMAC, recently renamed Ally, have extended their moratoriums to all 50 states. Wells Fargo and Citigroup have said they are continuing with foreclosures, adding that they are confident in their documents and processes.

But Citigroup has now backpedaled some on that assertion. The bank sent out a press release Tuesday that it was no longer using the law firm of “foreclosure king” David Stern, now under investigation by the Florida attorney general’s office. “Pending the outcome of the AG’s investigation, Citi is not referring new matters to this firm,” the bank said in an e-mailed statement.

Late last week, in an interview with the Florida attorney general, a former senior paralegal in Stern’s firm described a boiler-room atmosphere in which employees were pressured to forge signatures, backdate documents, swap Social Security numbers, inflate billings and pass around notary stamps as if they were salt.

Stern’s lawyer, Jeffrey Tew, did not respond to a request for comment.

Meanwhile, the public outrage continues to mount. In what is perhaps a sign of things to come, a Simi Valley, Calif., couple and their nine children broke into their foreclosed home over the weekend and moved back in, according to television station KABC of Simi Valley. The couple, Jim and Danielle Earl, say they were working with the bank to catch up on payments until they discovered a $25,000 difference between what they owed and what the bank said they owed. The family was evicted from their Spanish-style two-story in July. The home has been sold, and the new owner was due to move in soon.

The Earls and their attorney now allege that they were victims of fraudulent paperwork.

Curt Anderson contributed from Miami.

Iceland to Present Bill to Wipe Out Personal Debt, Minister Jonasson Says

October 13, 2010

by Omar R. Valdimarsson


Iceland’s government will this week present a bill allowing debtors to walk away from obligations that exceed asset values and to nullify personal bankruptcies after four years, Internal Affairs Minister Ogmundur Jonasson said.

“All Icelanders can see that our society is currently in turmoil,” Jonasson said in an interview in Reykjavik. “We’re therefore required to sit down at the table and offer solutions; I don’t anticipate that the people running financial institutions will disagree.”

Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir’s coalition is holding talks with the lenders today to thrash out housing market reforms after about 8,000 protestors gathered outside parliament last week to show their anger over rising homeowner insolvencies. The International Monetary Fund, which is leading Iceland’s $4.6 billion bailout, estimates that 63 percent of the island’s loans are non-performing.

Jonasson, who spoke in an Oct. 11 interview, says he favors a proposal put forward by the Interest Group of the Homes, which represents households demanding debt relief. The lobby group wants lenders to forgive about 200 billion kronur ($1.8 billion) in mortgage debt.

The opposition, which met with the government yesterday, is likely to back the proposals.


IMF Obstacles

“The banks need to be willing to accept that the debts of households are corrected,” said Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, a Progressive Party lawmaker, the country’s second-biggest opposition group, in an interview. “The opposition has been of the opinion that some kind of a general reduction of debt needs to take place; the form and shape of that reduction has to be calculated down to a number that society can agree on.”

Sigurdardottir has already extended by five months a moratorium on foreclosures due to expire in October, a measure that may breach the terms of her government’s agreement with the IMF. The fund won’t be “allowed” to hinder the government’s efforts to reduce household debts, she said on Oct. 8.

The country’s banks are state-controlled successors to the failed lenders that brought down the economy two years ago. The resolution committees of Kaupthing Bank hf and Glitnir Bank hf agreed on behalf of creditors to take stakes in the new lenders, Arion hf and Islandsbanki hf, to cover part of their claims. Creditors of Kaupthing, Glitnir and Landsbanki Islands hf are owed as much as $86 billion in total.


‘Enormous’ Problem

A write-down of $1.8 billion is equivalent to about 8 percent of total assets at Iceland’s three biggest banks, their 2009 balance sheets show.

“The problem is enormous,” Eyglo Hardardottir, a lawmaker in the Progressive Party, told local broadcaster RUV today. “No solution is simple, but this is doable.”

Most of Iceland’s mortgage debt is based on inflation– linked bonds. The consumer price index soared 41 percent from January 2007 through September this year, according to Statistics Iceland. Real wages fell 10.1 percent from the beginning of 2007 through August this year, the last period for which data are available, according to the office. Real disposable incomes slumped 20.3 percent last year, the central bank estimates.

Yet another matter we need to complete in the next few days is how we can rid Iceland of the inflation index, which is atrocious,” Jonasson said.

Footing the Bill

Though most of the country’s non-performing loans stem from Arion, Islandsbanki and Landsbanki successor NBI, according to the IMF, the biggest provider of inflation-linked debt is the state-backed Housing Financing Fund. The HFF accounted for 64 percent of Iceland’s 1.23 trillion kronur in outstanding mortgage debt at the end of June, according to the Financial Supervisory Authority.

HFF Director Asta H. Bragadottir said the mortgage lender isn’t able to withstand a flat reduction of all its home loans, in an interview today. If it is forced to write down the debt, the government will need to cover the loss or the country’s pension funds, which hold most of the bonds backing the debt, would need to agree to take the loss.

To contact the reporter on this story: Omar R. Valdimarsson in Reykjavik valdimarsson@bloomberg.net



Applications for jobless benefits rise to 462K

October 14, 2010

by Christopher S. Rugaber 

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Applications for jobless benefits rose last week for the first time in three weeks, evidence that companies are reluctant to hire in a slow economy.

The Labor Department said Thursday that initial claims for unemployment aid rose by 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 462,000. It was only the second rise in two months.

Despite the ups and down, claims have been stuck near 450,000 all year. Few employers see much reason to create many jobs, and some are still laying off workers. Rail operator CSX Corp., for example, said Wednesday that it can lengthen its trains to handle rising shipments, reducing its need to hire more workers.

In addition, cash-strapped state and local governments are cutting jobs, adding to the ranks of those out of work.

The four-week average of claims, a less volatile measure, rose by 2,250 to 459,000.

The initial claims figure, while volatile, is considered a real-time snapshot of the job market. It is also a measure of the pace of layoffs and an indication of companies’ willingness to hire.

Claims have fallen significantly since June 2009, the month the recession ended. First-time claims topped 600,000 at the end of that month.

But most of the improvement took place last year. Since January, claims have fluctuated around 450,000.

Total unemployment benefit rolls, meanwhile, fell last week, most likely because many of those out of work are using up their benefits.

The number of people continuing to receive benefits fell by 112,000 to just under 4.4 million, the department said. But that doesn’t include several million people who are receiving benefits under extended programs approved by Congress.

The number of people on extended benefits dropped by about 340,000 to about 4.8 million in the week ending Sept. 25, the latest data available. All told, about 8.6 million people received unemployment aid that week.

Layoffs are continuing in some sectors. Sanofi-Aventis SA, the world’s fourth-largest drug maker, said last week that it is eliminating 1,700 jobs in its U.S. pharmaceutical business due to growing generic competition.

Conversations with the Crow


            When the CIA discovered that their former Deputy Director of Clandestine Affairs, Robert  T. Crowley, had been talking with author Gregory Douglas, they became fearful (because of what Crowley knew) and outraged (because they knew Douglas would publish eventually) and made many efforts to silence Crowley, mostly by having dozens of FBI agents call or visit him at his Washington home and try to convince him to stop talking to Douglas, whom they considered to be an evil, loose cannon.

            Crowley did not listen to them (no one else ever does, either) and Douglas made through shorthand notes of each and every one of their many conversation. TBR News published most of these (some of the really vile ones were left out of the book but will be included on this site as a later addendum ) and the entire collection was later produced as an Ebook.

            Now, we reliably learn, various Washington alphabet agencies are trying to find a way to block the circulation of this highly negative, entertaining and dangerous work, so to show our solidarity with our beloved leaders and protectors, and our sincere appreciation for their corrupt and coercive actions, we are going to reprint the entire work, chapter by chapter. (The complete book can be obtained by going to:



Here is the thirty-sixth  chapter

Conversation No. 36

Date: Sunday, September 15, 1996

Commenced:  11:15 AM CST

Concluded: 11: 37 AM CST

RTC: Ah, good morning, Gregory. Been to church early today?
GD: No, haven’t been to church for some time. Yourself? I mean someone who lives on Cathedral Avenue ought to have some nearby inspiration.

RTC: No, I get out very seldom these days what with my hip problem and I do have a balance issue. Asthma  makes me short of breath sometimes. Never mind that. Anyway, I was looking for some papers on the Vietnam business….for addition to my book on that sorry time…and I found an analysis of the flying saucer business we talked about.  I pulled it out for you. On the Vietnam business, I’ve finished the manuscript long ago but I keep thinking that I ought to put more documentation with it. Stupid dreams because I can never publish it. Had to sign that paper, you know. Bill has looked at it and thinks it would become a best seller but I am not going to give it to him in spite of what he thinks. Trento would love to lay his hands on it. He wouldn’t publish it, of course, but would run to Langley for that pat on the head and another nice pen set. Joe does love to collect pen sets and get those loving pats on the head.

GD: Could I look at it, Robert?

RTC: Ah….I might consider it but you couldn’t use any of it while I am still kicking. But anyway, this Roswell business…and oh yes, one in Montana about three years later…now the Company had nothing to do with any of this but we did get a copy of an official and very secret report, not because we cared about a spaceship wreck or little green men but because of the methodology used in containing and negating the story. Too many people knew about this so the cover-up had to be through and intense. It was a sort of primer for us. We improved on it, of course, but it was an excellent foundation for other matters.

GD: Such as?

RTC: Now, now, Gregory, one thing at a time. Yes, an excellent primer.

GD: I used to live in Las Cruces which is close by that area and from talking with people down there, it is almost universally believed. I believe a space ship crashed there and the Air Force was involved. The locals are still afraid of the threats they got back in ’47-’48 so I feel that where there is smoke, there must once have been fire.

RTC: What is your understanding of the incident?
GD: There was a big thunderstorm then and much lightening and one of the farmers or ranchers found debris all over his landscape. The Air Force people descended on the place and in essence shut everyone up. I was told repeatedly that bodies of aliens were found. Is that in your paper? Make a wonderful story.

RTC: Yes, as I recall, about four dead ones and one living.

GD: Little green men?
RTC: As I read it, not green but a sort of grayish green or gray. About four feet in height with no body hair, fewer fingers than ours and large eyes. I mean no question because there are original photographs attached. And the dead ones started rotting right away and the stink was monumental. There were complete autopsies, of course, but not in situ. Flew them out, iced up, for work at Wright.

GD: And the live one?
RTC: Died a little later. They were not of this world, Gregory but it was, and is, amazing how they at least resembled humans.

GD: That alone would drive the religious freaks nuts. Human forms from outer space?
RTC: Yes and that’s why in the movies you see giant crabs or whatever. Can’t look like us.

GD: Such closed minds. Darwin was basically right and someday, they will discover the so-called missing link that proves him right. Would that get suppressed, do you think?
RTC: Depends who is in power in the White House at the time. But let me send the report off to you to evaluate. I personally don’t see this as tabloid news about green men but how the story was contained and essentially countered. The one in Montana was much safer because this one crashed into a mountain, way up, with no busybody farmers and local hicks around to pick up dangerous souvenirs

GD: What was the determination there?
RTC: Essentially the same as Roswell. Unworldly metals and other debris, crisped remains of small people…I guess four feet was general…and so on. Again, lightening storms in the area. These things can be detected by a certain form of radar but not by most so there was a fix and that’s how the wreckage was found. The metal in both sites was odd enough. Very light but impossible to bend or even cut into. Equipment containers that were impossible to open or even open. That drove them all crazy because if we could construct aircraft, or even tanks, from such a metal, the advantages would be obvious. No shell could penetrate and the light weight would be a huge advantage in combat. As I understand it, no one could ever figure the composition out.

But again, the methodology…the mixture of threats of death and the cover stories are what this report was mostly about. Of course the press does just as it’s told as do the local police and so on. And no one in the Air Force is going to talk or they’ll end up taking a long walk on a very short pier. Time goes by and everyone but a few forget and that’s the end of it.

GD: Did they have any idea where these things came from?
RTC: No, they never did and therein lies another factor. Truman ordered silence, or rather approved the order on it because no one wanted a panic. The Cold War was just starting and they were afraid of the Orson Wells business all over. No, there could be no mass panic. My God, every attention-starved nitwit in the country would chime in with fictional stories about landings in their yard and so on. That no one wanted so rather than stifle any talk about genuine sightings, they rigged thousands of fakes ones until the public thought it was all too funny for words and went back watching baseball games on the idiot box. We took this and refined it. I wrote some suggestions on this and I will attach them for you. Sometimes we can’t cover up some nasty action so the best way to hide it is to magnify it so much and pass it to so many gabbling idiots that the public is quickly bored. I recall the business of people vanishing and that is true so the story goes out about flying saucers landing in cow pastures and kidnapping cows or fake stories about this or that child vanishing, and then his turning up later in a local candy store. A few dozen like this every year gets the public accustomed to disbelieving abduction stories. Or we could throw in a child molester from time to time just to spice up the pot. Hell, we, and the Pentagon, among others, have full-time departments handling fake stories. We leak them to the supermaket press.

GD: Or one of Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid rags…

RTC: Yes, Rupert can be so accommodating.  He keeps the trailer park crowd in a state of perpetual excitement. Bread and circuses. Always the same.

GD:  Do you know how many actual incidents got investigated?
RTC: I know of the two specifically. The one in New Mexico in ’47 and then the Montana one about two years later. I am sure there are more. The Russians had their own problems but they have much better control over the media that we do. They had less running around and creative writing issues.

GD: Nothing hostile?

RTC: Not that I ever heard about. I think just recon trips. That’s the educated guessing. Roswell was near some of our more sensitive A-bomb areas but I can’t figure out Montana.

GD: Maybe they were looking to kidnap some mountain goats for sexual escapades.

RTC: As I recall, they had no sex organs. I think goats would be out.

GD: No organs? How could they reproduce the species?
RTC: I don’t think the Pentagon was interested in that question. Maybe they just came out of a big machine somewhere, did their routines and died. I understand that they rotten very quickly and the stink when they did made it really impossible to do effective autopsies.

GD: I had that problem with floaters. Or abdominal cancer. God, what stenches from both. I used to wear a mask soaked in bay rum but I have seen techs puke on the spot. You just have to blot it out. A little like waking up after a drunken party and finding yourself in the sack with a really ugly woman. Never happened to me but did to a friend. A quiet departure. And a quick one too. And the forlorn cries of ‘Oh Honey, where are you going?’ echoing behind him. ‘Why outside to puke, my lovely one” might be an appropriate answer. Later, send her flowers you filched out of a cemetery and a zucchini in remembrance of things past. I don’t think Marcel would like that. I think he liked sailors.

RTC: Who?

GD: Marcel Proust. Wrote a book called that. Well, at this point either the visitations have stopped or the little gray men with no dicks have all gone into Congress. Except those thieves stink before they are dead. Well, send it all on and I promise to read it with interest….

RTC: Yes, and keep quiet indeed.

GD: A given.

(Conclusion at 11:37:AM CST)


Comment: Flying Saucers of the Third Reich



The ‘Bellenzo-Schriever-Miethe Disc’.

            The retractable undercarriage legs terminated in inflatable rubber cushions. The craft was designed to carry a crew of three The “Schriever-Habermohl” flying disc developed between 1943 and 1945 consisted of a stable dome-shaped cabin surrounded by a flat, rotating rim. Toward the end of the war, all the models and prototypes were reported destroyed before they could be found by the Soviets. According to postwar U.S. intelligence reports, however, the Russian army succeeded in capturing one prototype. After the war, both Schriever and  Miethe, another German scientist involved in the design of flying disks, came to work for the US under ‘Operation Paperclip.’. Habermohl was reported, by U.S. Army Military Intelligence, as having been taken to the Soviet Union.

            The first non-official report on the development of this craft is to be found in Die Deutschen Waffen und Geheimwaffen  des 2 Weltkriegs und ihre Weiterentwicklung (Germany’s Weapons and Secret Weapons of the Second World War and their Later Development).,  J.F. Lehmanns Verlag, Munich, 1956, pps 81-83.  The author of this detailed and technical work on German wartime weaponry was Major d.R. Rudolf Lusar, an engineer who worked in the German Reichs-Patent Office and had access to many original plans and documents. Lusar devoted a section of the chapter entitled “Special Devices,” to Third Reich saucer designs.

            Among other things, Lusar declared: “German scientists and researchers took the first steps toward such flying saucers during the last war, and even built and tested such flying devices, which border on the fantastic. According to information confirmed by experts and collaborators, the first projects involving “flying discs” began in 1941. The blueprints for these projects were furnished by German experts Schriever, Habermohl, Miethe, and the Italian expert Bellonzo.

            “Habermohl and Schriever chose a flat hoop which spun around a fixed pilot’s cabin in the shape of a dome. It consisted of steerable disc wings which enabled, according to the direction of their placement, in horizontal takeoff or flight. Miethe developed a kind of disk 42 meters in diameter, to which steerable nozzles had been attached. Schriever and Habermohl, who had worked together in Prague, took off on 14 February 1945 in the first “flying disc.” They attained a height of 12,400 meters in three minutes and a horizontal flight speed of 2000 KMH. It had been expected to reach speeds of up to 4000 KMH.

            “Massive initial tests and research work were involved prior to undertaking the manufacture of the project. Due to the high rate of speed and the extraordinary heat demands, it was necessary to find particular materials in order to resist the effects of the high temperatures. Project development, which had run into the millions, was practically concluded by the final days of the war. All existing models were destroyed at the end of the conflict, but the factory at Breslau in which Miethe had worked fell into the hands of the Soviets, who seized all the material and technical personnel and shipped them to Siberia, where successful work on “flying saucers” was conducted.

“Schriever was able to leave Prague on time, but Habermohl must be in the Soviet Union, since nothing more is known concerning his whereabouts. The aged German builder, Miethe, is in the United States developing, it is said, “flying saucers” for the A.V. Roe Company in the U.S.A. and in Canada…”

The Schriever-Habermohl Project

            The project is usually referred to as the Schriever-Habermohl project although it is by no means clear that these were the individuals in charge of the project. Rudolf Schriever was an engineer and test pilot. Less is known about Otto Habermohl but certainly he was an engineer. This project was centered in Prag, at the Prag-Gbell airport Actual construction work began somewhere between 1941 and 1943 This was originally a Luftwaffe project which received technical assistance from the Skoda Works at Prag and at a Skoda division at Letov and perhaps elsewhere. Other firms participating in the project according to Epp were the Junkers firm at Oscheben and Bamburg, the Wilhelm Gustloff firm at Weimar and the Kieler Leichtbau at Neubrandenburg . This project started as a project of the Luftwaffe, sponsored by head of the Luftwaffe’s Technical Section, Generaloberst Ernst Udet. It later came under the control of Albert Speer’s Armament Ministry at which time it was administered by engineer Georg Klein. Finally, probably sometime in 1944, this project came under the control of the SS, specifically under the direct control of SS-Gruppenführer (General) Hans Kammler

            Georg Klein stated after the war to American intelligence investigators that he saw this device fly on February 14, 1945 . This may have been the first official flight, but it was not the first flight made by this device. According to one witness, a saucer flight occurred as early as August or September of 1943 at the Prag-Gbell facility. The eyewitness was in flight-training at the Prag-Gbell facility when he saw a short test flight of such a device. He states that the saucer was 5 to 6 meters in diameter (about 15 to 18 feet in diameter) and about as tall as a man, with an outer border of 30-40 centimeters. It was “aluminum” in color and rested on four thin, long legs. The flight distance observed was about 300 meters at low level of one meter in altitude.

            Joseph Andreas Epp, an engineer who served as a consultant to both the Schriever-Habermohl and the Miethe-Belluzzo projects, states that fifteen prototypes were built in all. The final device associated with Schriever-Habermohl is described by engineer Rudolf Lusar who worked in the German Patent Office, as a central cockpit surrounded by rotating adjustable wing-vanes forming a circle. The vanes were held together by a band at the outer edge of the wheel-like device. The pitch of the vanes could be adjusted so that during take off more lift was generated by increasing their angle from a more horizontal setting. In level flight the angle would be adjusted to a smaller angle. This is similar to the way helicopter rotors operate. The wing-vanes were to be set in rotation by small rockets placed around the rim like a pinwheel. Once rotational speed was sufficient, liftoff was achieved. After the craft had risen to some height, the horizontal jets or rockets were ignited and the small rockets shut off  After this, the wing-blades would be allowed to rotate freely as the saucer moved forward as in an auto-gyrocopter. In all probability, the wing-blades’ speed, and so their lifting value, could also be increased by directing the adjustable horizontal jets slightly upwards to engage the blades, thus spinning them faster at the discretion of the pilot.

            Rapid horizontal flight was possible with these jet or rocket engines. Probable candidates were the Junkers Jumo 004 jet engines such as were used on the famous German jet fighter, the Messerschmitt 262. A possible substitute would have been the somewhat less powerful BMW 003 engines. The rocket engine would have been the Walter HWK109 which powered the Messerschmitt 163 rocket interceptor .If these had been plentiful, the Junkers Jumo 004 probably would have been the first choice. Epp reports Jumo 211/b engines were used . Klaas reports the Argus pulse jet (Schmidt-duct), used on the V-l, was also considered .All of these types of engines were difficult to obtain at the time because they were needed for high priority fighters and bombers, the V-l and the rocket interceptor aircraft.

            Joseph Andreas Epp reports in his book Die Realitaet der Flugscheiben (The Reality of the Flying Discs) that an official test flight occurred in February of 1945. Epp managed to take two still pictures of the saucer in flight which appear in his book. There is some confusion about the date of these pictures. Epp states the official flight had been February 14, 1945 but an earlier lift-off had taken place in August of 1944.

Very high performance flight characteristics are attributed to this design. Georg Klein says it climbed to 12,400 meters (over37,000 feet) in three minutes  and attaining a speed around that of the sound barrier . Epp says that it achieved a speed of Mach 1 (about 1200 kilometers per hour or about 750miles per hour. From his discussion, it appears that Epp is describing the unofficial lift-off in August, 1944 at this point. He goes on to say that on the next night, the sound barrier was broken in manned flight but that the pilot was frightened by the vibrations encountered at that time . On the official test flight, Epp reports a top speed of 2200 kilometers per hour . Lusar reports a top speed of 2000kilometers per hour . Many other writers cite the same or similar top speed.

            There is no doubt of two facts. The first is that these are supersonic speeds which are being discussed.

Second, it is a manned flight which is under discussion.

.           Some new information has come to light regarding the propulsion system which supports the original assessment. Although actual construction had not started, wind-tunnel and design studies confirmed the feasibility of building a research aircraft which was designated Projekt 8-346. This aircraft was not a saucer but a modern looking swept-back wing design. According this post-war Allied intelligence report, the Germans designed the 8-346 to flying the range of 2000 kilometers per hour to Mach 2. .Interestingly enough, it was to use two Walther HWK109 rocket engines. This is one of the engine configurations under consideration for the Schriever-Habermohl saucer project.

            Schriever continued to work on the project until April 15, 1945. About this time Prag was threatened by the advancing Soviet Army. The saucer prototype(s) at Prag-Gbell were pushed out onto the runway and burnt. Habermohl disappeared and is presumed to have  ended up in the hands of the Soviets. Schriever, according to his own statements, packed the saucer plans in the trunk of his BMW and with his family drove into the relative security of Bavaria. After cessation of hostilities Schriever worked his way north to his parents house in Bremerhaven-Lehe. He later worked for the U.S. Army.

            Therefore, the history of the Schriever-Habermohl project in Prag can be summarized in a nutshell as follows: Epp’s statement is that it was his design and model which formed the basis for this project. This model was given to General Ernst Udet which was then later forwarded to General Dr. Walter Dornberger at Peenemünde. Dr. Dornberger tested and recommended the design which was confirmed by Dornberger to Epp after the war A facility was set up in Prag for further development and the Schriever- Habermohl team was assigned to work on it there. At first this project was under the auspices of Hermann Göring and the Luftwaffe.  Sometime later, the Speer Ministry took over the running of this project with chief engineer Georg Klein in charge. Finally, the project was usurped by the SS in 1944, along with other saucer projects, and fell under the control of Kammler. Schriever altered the length of the wing-vanes from their original design. This alteration caused the instability. Schriever was still trying to work out this problem in his version of the saucer as the Russians overran Prag. Haberrmohl, according to Epp, went back to his original specifications, with two or three successful flights for his version.

            Viktor Schauberger [1885-1958], an Austrian inventor who was closely involved with Hitler’s Third Reich, worked on the advancement of a number of flying disc-shaped craft for the Nazis between 1938 and 1945. Based on “liquid vortex propulsion” many of them, according to records, actually flew. One “flying saucer” [fliegende untertassen] reputedly destroyed at Leonstein, had a diameter of 1.5 meters, weighed 135 kilos, and was started by an electric motor of one twentieth horsepower. The vehicle was equipped with a turbine engine to supply the energy required for liftoff.

            According to Schauberger, “If water or air is rotated into a twisting form of oscillation known as ‘colloidal’, a build up of energy results which, with immense power, can cause levitation.” On one attempt one such apparatus “rose upwards, trailing a blue-green, and then a silver-colored glow.”

            The Russians blew up Schauberger’s apartment in Leonstein, after taking what remained following an earlier visit by the Americans. Schauberger supposedly was later involved in working on a top secret project in Texas for the U.S. Government and died shortly afterwards of ill health.

            In a letter written by Schauberger to a friend it states that he once worked at Matthausen concentration camp directing technically oriented prisoners and other German scientists in the successful construction of a saucer. In this letter written by Schauberger, he gives further information from his direct experience with the German military :

            “The ‘flying saucer’ which was flight-tested on the 19th February 1945 near Prague and which attained a height of 15,000 metres in 3 minutes and a horizontal speed of 2,200 km/hour, was constructed according to a Model 1 built at Mauthausen concentration camp in collaboration with the first-class engineers and stress-analysts assigned to me from the prisoners there.

            It was only after the end of the war that I came to hear, through one of the workers under my direction, a Czech, that further intensive development was in progress: however, there was no answer to my enquiry.

            From what I understand, just before the end of the war, the machine is supposed to have been destroyed on Keitel’s orders. That’s the last I heard of it.

            In this affair, several armament specialists were also involved who appeared at the works in Prague, shortly before my return to Vienna, and asked that I demonstrate the fundamental basis of it:

            The creation of an atomic low-pressure zone, which develops in seconds when either air or water is caused to radially and axially under conditions of a falling temperature gradient.”

Sources and References

Combined Intelligence Committee Evaluation Reports, Combined Intelligence Objectives Subcommittee, Evaluation Report 149,page 8

Lusar, Rudolf, Die Deutschen Waffen und Geheimwaffen des 2. Weltkrieges und ihre Weiterentwicklung, J.F. Lehmanns Verlag, Munich, 1956, pps 81-83

Meier, Hans Justus, 1999, page 24, “Zum Thema “FliegendeUntertassen” Der Habermohlsche Flugkreisel“, reprinted in Fliegerkalender 1999, Internationales Jahrbuch die Luft-und Raumfahrt, Publisher: Hans M. Namislo, ISBN 3-8132-0553-3

Epp, Joseph Andreas, 1994, page 28, Die Realität derFlugscheiben, Efodon e.V., c/o Gernot L. Geise,Zoepfstrasse 8, D-82495

Keller, Werner, Dr., April 25, 1953, Welt am Sonntag, “Erste ‘Flugscheibe’ flog 1945 in Prag enthuellt Speers Beauftrager“, an interview of Georg Klein

Zwicky, Viktor, September 19, 1954, page 4, Tages-Anzeiger52 für Stadt und Kanton Zuerich, “Das Raetsel der Fliegenden Teller Ein Interview mit Oberingenieur Georg Klein, derunseren Lesern Ursprung und Konstruktion dieser Flugkörpererklaert”

Klein, Georg, October 16, 1954, page 5, “Die Fliegenden Teller”, Tages-Anzeiger für Stadt und Kanton Zuerich

Der Spiegel, March 30, 1959, “Untertassen Sie fliegen aberdoch” Article about and interview of Rudolf Schreiver

Dramatis personae:


James Jesus Angleton: Once head of the CIA’s Counterintelligence division, later fired because of his obsessive and illegal behavior, tapping the phones of many important government officials in search of elusive Soviet spies. A good friend of Robert Crowley and a co-conspirator with him in the assassination of President Kennedy


James P. Atwood: (April 16, 1930-April 20, 1997) A CIA employee, located in Berlin, Atwood had a most interesting career. He worked for any other intelligence agency, domestic or foreign, that would pay him, was involved in selling surplus Russian atomic artillery shells to the Pakistan government and was also most successful in the manufacturing of counterfeit German dress daggers. Too talkative, Atwood eventually had a sudden, and fatal, “seizure” while lunching with CIA associates.


William Corson: A Marine Corps Colonel and President Carter’s representative to the CIA. A friend of Crowley and Kimmel, Corson was an intelligent man whose main failing was a frantic desire to be seen as an important person. This led to his making fictional or highly exaggerated claims.


John Costello: A British historian who was popular with revisionist circles. Died of AIDS on a trans-Atlantic flight to the United States.


James Critchfield: Former U.S. Army Colonel who worked for the CIA and organizaed the Cehlen Org. at Pullach, Germany. This organization was filled to the Plimsoll line with former Gestapo and SD personnel, many of whom were wanted for various purported crimes. He hired Heinrich Müller in 1948 and went on to represent the CIA in the Persian Gulf.


Robert T. Crowley: Once the deputy director of Clandestine Operations and head of the group that interacted with corporate America. A former West Point football player who was one of the founders of the original CIA. Crowley was involved at a very high level with many of the machinations of the CIA.


Gregory Douglas: A retired newspaperman, onetime friend of Heinrich Müller and latterly, of Robert Crowley. Inherited stacks of files from the former (along with many interesting works of art acquired during the war and even more papers from Robert Crowley.) Lives comfortably in a nice house overlooking the Mediterranean.


Reinhard Gehlen: A retired German general who had once been in charge of the intelligence for the German high command on Russian military activities. Fired by Hitler for incompetence, he was therefore naturally hired by first, the U.S. Army and then, as his level of incompetence rose, with the CIA. His Nazi-stuffed organizaion eventually became the current German Bundes Nachrichten Dienst.


Thomas K. Kimmel, Jr: A grandson of Admiral Husband Kimmel, Naval commander at Pearl Harbor who was scapegoated after the Japanese attack. Kimmel was a senior FBI official who knew both Gregory Douglas and Robert Crowley and made a number of  attempts to discourage Crowley from talking with Douglas. He was singularly unsuccessful. Kimmel subsequently retired and lives in retirement in Florida


Willi Krichbaum: A Senior Colonel (Oberführer) in the SS, head of the wartime Secret Field Police of the German Army and Heinrich Müller’s standing deputy in the Gestapo. After the war, Krichbaum went to work for the Critchfield organization and was their chief recruiter and hired many of his former SS friends. Krichbaum put Critchfield in touch with Müller in 1948.


Heinrich Müller: A former military pilot in the Bavarian Army in WWI, Müller  became a political police officer in Munich and was later made the head of the Secret State Police or Gestapo. After the war, Müller escaped to Switzerland where he worked for Swiss intelligence as a specialist on Communist espionage and was hired by James Critchfield, head of the Gehlen Organization, in 1948. Müller subsequently was moved to Washington where he worked for the CIA until he retired.


Joseph Trento: A writer on intelligence subjects, Trento and his wife “assisted” both Crowley and Corson in writing a book on the Russian KGB. Trento believed that he would inherit all of Crowley’s extensive files but after Crowley’s death, he discovered that the files had been gutted and the most important, and sensitive, ones given to Gregory Douglas. Trento was not happy about this. Neither were his employers.


Frank Wisner: A Founding Father of the CIA who promised much to the Hungarian and then failed them. First, a raging lunatic who was removed from Langley, screaming, in a strait jacket and later, blowing off the top of his head with a shotgun.


Robert Wolfe: A retired librarian from the National Archives who worked closely with the CIA on covering up embarrassing historical material in the files of the Archives. A strong supporter of holocaust writers.

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