Heavy broke the story nationally on August 12 in their article "Donald Barr: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know."
Donald Barr, the father of Attorney General William Barr, was born in New York on August 2, 1921. He died, age 82, at Langhorne, Pennsylvania, on February 5, 2004.
The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction characterizes Donald Barr thusly:
US author and academic, former assistant dean of the Engineering School of Columbia University, and author of several nonfiction works for children as well as Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty, or The Education of a Headmaster (1971), on US education. His sf novel, Space Relations: A Slightly Gothic Interplanetary Tale (1973), is a space opera interlaced amusingly with "literary" analogues to its tale of a space diplomat, sold into slavery, who is sexually excited by fear, thus enticing a princess, and who also finds out grim secrets about an alien invasion of Earth. A Planet in Arms (1981) is noticeably less elated.
There are other overlapping links. William Barr, the present Attorney General under Trump and the former AG under George H.W. Bush, in 2009, joined the law firm Kirkland & Ellis, the same law firm that represented Jeffrey Epstein in 2008, which ended in a no-prosecution (in Florida, not in New York). Barr's father, Donald, had hired Epstein.
One of the intriguing threads found throughout the Epstein melodrama was captured perfectly in the headline of an Observer article published before his death, in July: "It Sure Looks Like Jeffrey Epstein Was a Spy—But Whose?"
It seems awfully coincidental that Epstein’s best pal and business partner for decades has been Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite and daughter of the late Robert Maxwell, the media mogul who died under mysterious circumstances in 1991. Something of a Bond villain turned real life, Maxwell loved the limelight, despite being a swindler and a spy. British counterintelligence assessed that Maxwell was working for the KGB, while pervasive allegations that he was working for Mossad too are equally plausible.
Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh alleged in his book The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy that Maxwell was tied to the Israeli Mossad. Hersh was sued for the allegation, but then received an apology.
“She was a big part of the jet-set,” said one person who has known her for 15 years. "I would see her in St. Barth’s, on (the late billionaire) Paul Allen’s yacht"—the Octopus, an infamous 414-foot floating pleasure palace then owned by the late Microsoft co-founder—“and at Heidi Klum’s Halloween party in New York.”
The friend described Ghislaine, now 57, as a chic brunette who was friendly, chatty, and part of a fashionable clique. Much like Epstein, her social circle also encompassed Britain’s Prince Andrew; a Palm Beach set which included Donald Trump; and the Clinton family—she even attended Chelsea Clinton’s 2010 wedding. Town and Country.Turning back to the Barrs, William and Donald, have a good history of intelligence connections.
Attorney General William Barr, who spent years at the CIA...helped cover up the Iran-Contra scandal by approving the pardons of Elliott Abrams and other officials who were caught in illegal activity. In 1973, Epstein got his start as a math teacher thanks to Barr’s father, Donald Barr, who was headmaster of the elite Dalton School despite Epstein not having a college degree. Institute for Public Accuracy, July 11, 2019.
William Barr was at the Central Intelligence Agency from 1973 to 1977 as a China analyst. He served as the 77th Attorney General from 1991 to 1993, in the George H. W. Bush administration. In 1973, President Gerald Ford had appointed George H.W. Bush the Chief of the Liaison Office in China and later made him the Director of Central Intelligence, for 1976-1977. The CIA has been in the background of William Barr's life for a long time.
Captured by space pirates future diplomat John Craig is sold into slavery on the planet Kossar where his mistress, the irresistibly sadistic Lady Morgan, almost makes servitude a desirable state; however, Craig stumbles on hints of an alien invasion and must escape to save humanity. Escape he does and returns to Kossar as ambassador with a plan to put an end to [sex] slavery. Dalton headmaster Bart [sic] has converted a space opera plot into a coruscatingly literate tale for grown-ups. Space Relations by Donald Barr, Kirkus Review
Birdwatching and spying were never far apart in the secret world of 20th century intelligence operatives. Former CIA director James Schlesinger and covert actions expert Desmond FitzGerald enjoyed both pastimes (spying and ornithology). Birdwatching could be a useful cover.
Take, for example, a person like S. Dillon Ripley, a noted ornithologist, spy, and postwar Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. Ripley had been the chief of the Office of Strategic Services (the OSS, the forerunner of the CIA) counterintelligence branch for Southeast Asia. Before his death in 2001, Ripley had engaged in espionage throughout the Orient, run the Smithsonian Institution for 20 years, and was involved in several cryptozoological episodes, including the search for the Spiny Babbler (which he discovered), as well as the quests for the Mountain Quail, the Pink-Headed Duck, and the Pygmy Hog (all of which he did not discover). There is little doubt he used his searching for multiple objectives.
Film fiction has shown the employment of ornithology as a cover. In the film, The Dogs of War, based on Frederick Forsythe’s novel about covert operations in an African nation, the hero, played by Christopher Walken, goes to this target country, disguised as a birdwatcher, to do reconnaissance for a mission. The Walken character is shown reading an African bird field guide on the flight to familiarize himself with the names of the local birds.
The 1970 Billy Wilder movie The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes is a story including large components of covert activities and the Loch Ness Monster. Interestingly, it also contains a segment set in the exclusive Diogenes Club where Holmes comments on the members’ uncanny ability to turn up “here, there and everywhere.” Then he later adds, “When there’s trouble along the Indian frontier, some of your fellow members pop up in the Himalayas allegedly looking for the Abominable Snowman."
I have written extensively about how the "Tom Friend" character in the sci-fi movie, The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas, was probably based on the espionage-involved real life of Tom Slick. Slick apparently used his 1950s expeditions in search of Yeti to hide his spy work. The New York Times hinted as much when it saw fit to publish an article reporting on the Russians’ promotion of this theory.
The most famous (fictional) agent in modern popular literature is based on this ornithology-espionage connection, and the creator of this character has links to our Yeti story. Yeti expedition leader Peter Byrne, thanks to Tom Slick, met with many "former" intelligence individuals in West Bengal, including World War II British Intelligence officer Ian Fleming. Fleming later was to become famous for his series of fictional spy books featuring the British secret agent 007, James Bond. There’s this business about the name itself, “James Bond,” as noted; it is actually the real name of the author of the book The Birds of the West Indies, lifted by Fleming for use in his novels. The “original 007,” by the way, was the English mathematician, astrologer and occultist Dr. John Dee (1527-1608). Dee served as Queen Elizabeth’s personal spy. "007" was, in fact, Dee’s code number, and was adopted by Ian Fleming for "James Bond."
The networks and connections between the 1950s explorers, ornithologists, cryptozoologists and spies are understudied, yet revealing. Ian Fleming was the brother of Peter Fleming, explorer and writer. One of the latter Fleming’s most remarkable books is Brazilian Adventure, a work in the tradition of Percy Fawcett. Another classic is Fleming’s Bayonets to Lhasa, an account of the British invasion of Tibet in 1904. Peter Fleming was a school-years buddy of Ralph Izzard (author of The Hunt for the Buru, new edition 2001), Gerald Russell, and Ivan Sanderson – all individuals deeply involved in the search for the Yeti and, to varying degrees, friends with Tom Slick.
Ralph Izzard led the 1954 Daily Mail expedition to the Himalayas in search of Yeti. Gerald Russell, discoverer of the giant panda, was a member of Izzard’s 1954 trek and headed the 1958 Slick-Johnson Snowman expedition to eastern Nepal. Ivan T. Sanderson was involved in all manner of cryptozoological investigations (including an African expedition with Russell in the 1930s) and writings, authoring the classic book Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come to Life in 1961.
Ivan Sanderson also was a consultant member of Slick’s 1960-1962 searches for Bigfoot, the so-called Pacific Northwest Expedition headed by Bob Titmus, then Peter Byrne. Ivan T. Sanderson was a commander in the British Naval Intelligence Service (the UK’s sister agency to the USA’s Office of Naval Intelligence, ONI) from 1940-1945, assigned to the Caribbean because of his zoological experiences there. The famed cryptozoologist’s wartime connections to spying apparently did not end in 1945.
Sanderson gives a hint that some of his information sources remained in the realm of the intelligence network in one passage in his book Abominable Snowmen. Therein Sanderson (1961) details two curious encounters with the giant hairy Tok, given to him by “a young American, then in the service of his country, who had been born in the Shan States and brought up there, his parents having been missionaries.” Sanderson “was asked not to publish” the man’s name. This individual, it appears, was probably a member of the extraordinary Young family who were responsible for setting up the Burma Baptist Mission.
The Sanderson contact was, no doubt, William Young, who was: " …perhaps one of the most effective agents ever, [who] was born in the Burmese Shan States, where his grandfather had been missionary to the hill tribes. Arriving in Burma at the turn of the century, Grandfather Young opened a Baptist mission in Kengtung City and began preaching to the nearby Lahu hill tribes. Although they understood little of his Christian message, a local oracle had once prophesied the coming of a white deity, and the Lahu decided that Reverend Young was God. His son, Harold, later inherited his divinity and used it to organize Lahu intelligence gathering forays into southern China for the CIA during the 1950s. When William was looking for a job in 1958 his father recommended him to the CIA, and he was hired," (according to Alfred W. McCoy, et.al, in The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, New York: Harper & Row, 1972)
Carleton Coon, the famed anthropologist and investigator of Yeti-Bigfoot reports, whom I met in his home, toured his lab/library, and interviewed him about cryptozoology, was a member of the OSS and apparently remained a consultant to the CIA. Coon’s son was the CIA station chief in India George Agogino, anthropologist and cryptozoologist, author of the preface to Sanderson’s Yeti book, was in the CIA too. The list goes on and on.
Fathers and sons, those they hire, hide in their employee, and protect, for years into their futures, are par for the course, whether they are headmasters, sexual offenders, government killers, in the world of gentlemen and ladies of the intelligence world. Sometimes, they leave a string of bread crumbs for us to find in their spy novels and sci-fi stories.
"I just realized that Jeffrey Epstein and Danny Casolaro were suicided on the same day—August 10th. 28 years apart. Check out our friend Kenn Thomas's great book on Casolaro."
What is the name of this book? The Octopus: Secret Government and the Death of Danny Casolaro by Kenn Thomas and Jim Keith (Feral House, 1996; revised edition 2003).
Tad Reedy responds:
"So, how did the title for Tomorrow Never Dies come about? As Janet Maslin so kindly pointed out in her scathing pan in The New York Times, the title makes no sense. (Not that I remember every single word she wrote or anything.) The truth is that my original title was Tomorrow Never Lies, which appeared in the script as the "All the News That's Fit to Print"–type slogan of Tomorrow, the flagship of an international newspaper chain owned by the evil media baron who was bent on (start macro here) Global Worldwide Domination.
(If you'll forgive me, two more asides: First, most people wrongly assume the villain was based on Rupert Murdoch. In truth, the role model was the British press magnate Robert Maxwell, which is hinted at near the end of film, when Judi Dench, as M, instructs Moneypenny to issue a press release stating that the villain died "falling overboard on his yacht," echoing Maxwell's demise. Aside No. 2: When I was writing the script, I simply couldn't come up with a title. But driving to lunch one day, I heard the Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" on the radio and thought, Hmmm…)" (See more here.)