November 18, 2003
Cats Out of Bags, Bags Out of Paper

Speaking of East Germans, their penchant for documentation is coming to a different end than their secret police ever hoped for. Given the Stasi's abilities to separate signal from noise (like body scent) you might imagine that they'd make sure their own secret documents were irretrievable. You would imagine wrong.

Interesting too, what can be recovered from that period, and what can't.

In the meantime, their secret signals are also out of the bag:


1. Watch out! Subject is coming
- touch nose with hand or handkerchief

2. Subject is moving on, going further, or overtaking
- stroke hair with hand, or raise hat briefly

3. Subject standing still
- lay one hand against back, or on the stomach

4. Observing Agent wishes to be terminate observation because cover threatened
- bend and retie shoelaces

5. Subject returning
- both hands against back or on stomach

6. Observing Agent wishes to speak with Team Leader or other Observing Agents
- take out briefcase or equivalent and examine contents.

Somebody tell me how putting both hands on your stomach is an inconspicuous signal.

Posted by kevin slavin at November 18, 2003 06:10 PM

Kev: Somewhere in your house is a photo I took of the Stasi mechanism for capturing and preserving scents. Very primitive. A chair with a false bottom and an extra piece of cloth. Which scents, I wonder, did they hope to preserve?

Posted by: Kio on November 19, 2003 08:45 AM

Mike Furir Mike 919

Posted by: Mike Furir 16 on March 6, 2006 08:55 PM
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