In October 1964, Nikita Khrushchev was suddenly deprived of all political power in the USSR. Leonid I. Brezhnev replaced him as first secretary of the Communist Party and Aleksei N. Kosygin as Chairman of the Council of Ministers.
Naturally, we were aware of rumors concerning this possibility and had briefed Premier Khrushchev about this worst case scenario on several occasions. But it was inevitable. Khrushchev's popularity among the powerful members of the Communist Party began to decline following the humiliating disaster of the Cuban missile crisis.
Aware of the high probability of this event occurring, we were also prepared. Boss disabled the tracking system until one supreme leader surfaced once again and he was able to persuade him to retain the Doubles without any purges or cleanup activities.
The real power turned out to be Leonid Brezhnev. Boss convinced him of the value of our group and the tracking system was reactivated. However, things were never the same as under Khrushchev. He had used us very effectively and he knew who the enemy was, placing missiles ninety miles off their shores and shooting down one of their spy planes.
Actually, the Doubles deserve credit for their involvement in the shooting down of the U2 spy plane. The plane flew so high it was out of range of our surface-to-air missiles. The Americans became confident about our inability to target the plane and flew spy flights regularly. The military personnel were trying to intercept the plane with the missile. Our advice was that the missile did not have to physically hit the plane. We recommended using very large warheads and simply exploding them in close proximity to the target. After all, at locations in the over flights of Russia, the U2 was 1200 to 1400 kilometers from safety. All we had to do was damage the plane.
Yes, Khrushchev knew who the enemy was and so did each of the Doubles. As part of our training we were taken individually into the strategic defense Ready Room during one of the many periodic B52 practice assaults against our nation. It is a scary feeling. Along a huge wall is a large electronic map of Russia. From three sides, streaks of light are slowly inching their way toward the country. Each streak represents a B52 bomber carrying nuclear weapons. Is this the actual awaited attack or just another American drill? You have to assume it's real as you approach the highest state of readiness. Planes are in the air, intercontinental missiles are nearing launch phase, et cetera. We are only seconds from firing when the B52's turn around and head back as they approach within a few kilometers of Russian territorial boundaries. You will never know how close to annihilation you were on so many occasions.
Thanks to MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) the United States had a policy of maintaining at least one wing of nuclear armed bombers in the air twenty-four hours a day, every day of the year. This continued for thirty to forty years until the missile firing submarine became the weapon of choice. Of course, the more often an event occurs the higher the probability there will be an accident.
Sure enough, on January 17, 1966, a B52 bomber and a KC-135 tanker plane collided six miles above Palomares, Spain. Both exploded, showering the earth and sea with 800,000 pounds of debris, including four hydrogen bombs. Three were quickly found and safely recovered. The fourth was eventually found with its parachute still attached on a ledge 2,500 feet underwater off the coast of Palomares. Russia played up the incident in hopes of pressuring the United States to restrict the B52 drills against our nation -- but to no avail. It did give the United States a black eye on the world stage for a few years. Secretly, we were impressed that the safety procedures for all four hydrogen bombs worked, as our procedures were not as extensive as they should be.
Concerning the B52's, you Americans are a funny lot. Shortly after World War II, Northrop Aviation built and demonstrated the flying wing lifting body as a long-range bomber. The propeller powered version (the XB35) and the eight jet engine version (the YB49) could both fly thousands of miles with a 10,000 pound bomb load without refueling.
However, you accidentally discovered what was later to become known as stealth technology. That is, the flying wing was difficult to track with radar. Now this would be great if you were an offensive country planning a sneak attack. However, your needs were to intimidate the other country by your powerful weapons. Mutually Assured Destruction was the political buzzword at the time. In other words, if you attack me, you will be destroyed by my planes which are already airborne. The flying wing did not meet these goals.
Imagine Eisenhower sitting across the summit table from Khrushchev as he states, "You can't see them, but we have hundreds of planes in the air which will annihilate Russia if you dare attack us." We would have thought you were bluffing! No, you wanted your bombers flying toward our country to be easily detectable! What we can see, we can fear. The high, flat sides of the B52 fuselage made for very large radar blips. If we fired first we knew there would be quick retaliation! So all flying wing prototypes, spare parts, plans, everything to do with a flying wing was destroyed and declared top secret. You then spent hundreds of millions of dollars in the following years for onboard B52 defensive countermeasures to make them survivable. This has always suggested to me that you never intended to throw the first punch. If so, you would have built the wing. Later, when stealth technology met your goals, you developed the B2 stealth bomber -- a flying wing with a span of 172 feet. The exact same wing span as Northrop's original.
In any event, times were always exciting during the Khrushchev era. On the other hand, Brezhnev was a very strong advocate of détente with the West. He signed important agreements with President Richard Nixon in Moscow in 1972 and then visited the United States in 1973. "Live and let live" makes for boring times in my field of employment.
Part of the problem may have been the old NIH syndrome (Not Invented Here). We were initially begun under Khrushchev's administration and perhaps Brezhnev resented this fact. In any event, we were infrequently used, morale dropped, Boss began to drink more vodka, and many of us became fat and lazy.
But we would probably survive Brezhnev, as leaders come and go. Since our most formidable adversary, the United States, would almost certainly remain our most dangerous threat in the future, I used this time to study my enemy. My primary goal was to learn how to blend in and become an American. I wanted to learn their habits, accents, mannerisms, and religious beliefs. If I could pass as an American citizen and lose my Russian identity at will, I would be a more valuable secret agent.
With Boss's approval, I spent several years in the United States attending different universities. It was an awakening experience. I came out of your universities with the opinion you will rot from within during the next eight to ten years. Drunkenness, drug addition, promiscuity, and cheating run rampant! We would not have to defeat you in battle since you were destroying yourselves through debauchery. Then it occurred to me that this is your weeding out process, or filtering system. That is, the few people with enough self-discipline and character to avoid these traps become your leaders of tomorrow, while the others remain unhappy drunks and drug addicts. Still, it amazes me.
One year I attended a religious school in Oklahoma. Since your nation is a "God fearing country," I thought it wise to understand what I could regarding your religion. I read the Bible from the first page to the last, like reading a novel. Although difficult to read in spots, it is an incredible book. However, after attending several different churches and one year of religious college, I was amazed to discover the teachings of churches and schools have little connection with what is written in the Bible.
Particularly amusing were the never ending campus debates concerning the Theory of Evolution. To me, evolution is an obvious truth. For example, people who fought in your Civil War were generally shorter than our generation. During those times, Abe Lincoln was a giant at 6'4". Things obviously evolve and change. In any event, the doldrum years of the Doubles presented amazing learning opportunities which would be helpful to me in the future.
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth. And now the Earth was void..." Did God create the Earth void and dark? No, as you can see in the following pages, everything he made was good. Now, how much time expired between the first sentence and the second "And now the Earth was void...?" No one knows exactly, but objects have been carbon dated as over 5 billion years old, and dinosaurs really did exist over 50 million years ago. The six day "creation" described on the next two pages is obviously a recreation of an Earth made dark and void by fallen Angels led by Lucifer (also know as Satan) who instead of maintaining the Earth, revolted against God. Evidently this recreation occurred about six thousand years ago.
The only true point of contention between evolutionists and the religious group is in the origin of life. Did God create the first living beings, or did a spark of lightning into a pool of ingredients form a living cell which slowly evolved into man?
On June 1, 1971, I returned home, as opposed to remaining in the states for a summer school session. Although I could not know it at the time, an event was going to occur on June 30, 1971, which would bring the Doubles out of the doldrums and the United States to the edge of disaster!
Proceed to Chapter Three. Table of Contents. Questions or comments?