Exciting news!


Lynn Hodgson, as author of, ‘Inside Camp-X’, was invited to go inside the CIA headquarters in Virginia to attend the 60th anniversary of the OSS. The only Canadian invited!

He attended the opening ceremonies on June 7th. Guest speaker was the Director of the CIA, George Tenet.

The next day, he was a special guest at the ultra secret, CIA Museum which is not open to the public.

Now, here's the story!


Have you ever dreamed about being a secret agent, working at the top secret CIA Headquarters at Langley, Virginia? Well I certainly have, on many occasions, and recently I came as close as I ever will to fulfilling that dream. I got inside the CIA Headquarters!

I was already awake when my alarm went off at 5:00 a.m. last Thursday, June 6, and I jumped out of bed with all the enthusiasm of a young man about to go on a fishing trip with his buddies. Within half an hour, my wife, Marlene, and I were off to the airport, right on schedule.

We pulled up to the curb at Terminal 3 in front of the Delta gate; she wished me a safe trip and drove off. As soon as I walked through the doors, I could see that things had dramatically changed since September 11. Armed officers patrolled the corridors with their dogs, and Customs was now a no-nonsense experience.

“Move,” said the US Customs Officer.

“Move. Now,” he repeated.

I felt like saying, “Give me a chance to pick up my bags, they’re heavy.” But I didn’t. I kept my mouth shut.

When I finally arrived at the gate, my years of exposure to intelligence organizations, as well as my personal training at the hands of WWII secret agents, automatically kicked in. I immediately looked around the room at the faces of those who would be travelling to Washington with me. My secret agent friends had taught me, ‘be in command of your 360- degree peripheral vision at all times.’

Which one was the Sky Marshall? It is now mandatory that every flight destined for Washington has a Sky Marshall on board. I found myself on edge, looking for anyone who might in some small way resemble my notion of a terrorist. And I am certain that my fellow travelers were all doing the same.


My adventure actually started about two months prior with an envelope I received in the mail. It contained a brochure advising me of the Sixtieth Anniversary of the OSS to be held on June 7, 2002, in the CIA Headquarters at McLean, Virginia.

Along with the brochure was a letter advising me that, as the author of Inside Camp-X, I was invited to attend. I put both aside as I had no intention of going. But as I started telling people about my invitation, without exception they all said that this was an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and that, indeed, I must go! So I sent off my application form and promptly forgot about it.

A few weeks passed. One day, the phone rang. I answered it and a woman’s voice inquired, “Mr. Hodgson?”


“My name is Carolyn and I’m with the CIA.” “Excuse me?” “My name is Carolyn, and I’m with the CIA.” “Yes?” “I’m calling to confirm your reservation with us at the OSS Sixtieth Anniversary, and to inform you that you have received the necessary security clearance.” I found myself to be skeptical of the call, was this a trap? Were they just trying to get me down there so that they could charge me with violating the Official Secrets Act with my release of Inside Camp-X just a couple of years before? Well of course I was overreacting but 9/11 was still fresh in our minds. That is the short story of how I found myself on my way to Washington.


After carefully regarding all other passengers in the boarding lounge and determining that none of them fit my notion of a hi-jacker, I began to relax, and silently gave everyone my personal green light to board. I proceeded to my seat, B in Row 12, on Delta flight 5444 from Toronto to Cincinnati, Ohio. Just as the door was about to close, a tall muscular man boarded the plane. Now, he fit my idea of a hi-jacker! His head was shaven, obviously disguising a full head of hair judging by the stubble showing. He wore a black lightweight leather jacket and chose to keep it on and had no bags at all. Had he checked them in? Did he have time to, given his running onto the plane at the last moment? Where are his bags?

I watched him carefully, never taking my eyes off him as my anticipation grew. When would he strike? I had my game plan ready, but in spite of my post-9/11 paranoia, no stealthy action was needed. The first leg of my journey proceeded without incident and we arrived at the Cincinnati airport.

Due to a delay, I now had only twenty minutes to make it to my connecting flight to Washington. I hurried off the plane and to the shuttle bus that would take me to Terminal B, continually glancing back over my shoulder at the man. There he was, right on my tail. ‘Please, tell me that he is not going to Washington!’

As I came up to the concourse level, I was directed to turn right for my flight; he turned left. Thank God! I ran to the gate with ten minutes to spare. I made it!

“Hi, I’m on Delta Flight 2184,” I said.

“Delta 2184?”

“Yes, the 11:05 to Washington.”

“Oh. I’m sorry, sir, but that flight has been cancelled.”

“Weather?” I asked.

“No, mechanical.”

“Oh, well. Better than the alternative, a quicker than anticipated descent.” I said.

“We have you booked on the 12:50 flight, sir.”

As a typical Canadian would, I said, “I’m sorry. Thank you very much.”

And so I found myself sitting in the airport bar, ‘Cheers’, knocking back a tequila at 11:15 a.m.

I made my way to Departures at Gate B13, arriving there at 12:20 p.m., a half-hour before boarding. I had just sat down to await the boarding call, when a man made an announcement on the PA system.

“Will all passengers please vacate the boarding area while the police do a security sweep.” Out we went. The police combed the area with special devices and police dogs. Once they were satisfied, we were cleared for boarding.

The attendant called out that those seated in rows one to five could now board the plane. I looked at my ticket: 1B. The attendant had upgraded the ‘polite’ Canadian to First Class!

“Thank you very much.”

Half way through the flight, the Captain’s voice came over the intercom. “Ladies and gentlemen, in ten minutes I will be announcing the ‘no stand zone.’ From that point onward, you may not stand up under any circumstances. Should you do so, I am instructed to fly directly and immediately to Dulles Airport, and the individual who stood up will not be happy.”

Ten minutes passed. The Captain came back on and announced that it was now time.

“Until we land and reach the gate, do not stand up.”

We approached Reagan Airport and at an altitude somewhere between three and five hundred feet I saw the Pentagon off to my right. As we drew nearer, I realized how chillingly easy it had been for the 9/11 hi-jackers to simply bank to the right and fly straight into the Pentagon: they could just as well have chosen the Capitol, or the White House.

Once again, we landed without incident and I continued on. Upon my arrival at the Hotel Marriott, I phoned my contact, Alan Simpson, at that time U.S. Editor of ‘Eye Spy’ magazine. He asked where I was calling from and why was I so late. I answered his questions, and he directed me to take the Metro down to the National Press Club, just two blocks from the White House.

I arrived at the National Press Club building and made my way to the thirteenth floor where Alan Simpson greeted me. He and I had a drink at the bar and then he took me on a tour of the building.

Alan Simpson And Lynn Hodgson at the National Press Club

Alan Simpson And Lynn Hodgson at the National Press Club

I must admit that until then I knew very little about the National Press Club Building, but I was humbled to learn that I was about to address the members of the Club in the same locale where every president since 1908 had addressed the world press.

The next morning, Friday, June 7, I awoke early, got myself ready, and went down for breakfast. At 7:00 a.m., I and the other guests of the CIA boarded the bus destined for the CIA Headquarters. The drive was short. Soon we saw a sign that read, “CIA: 1 mile.” That was the first and last such identification we saw.

As our bus turned into a driveway, we could see that the compound consisted of several hundred acres fenced in with barbed wire. Small black boxes were attached to the fence every six feet, and I surmised that these were listening devices, connected to the numerous cameras scattered around the compound. I assumed that they had the technology to target a car and listen to the conversation going on inside it. This same driveway was actually attacked several years ago by a man who jumped out of his vehicle and started shooting with an automatic rifle, killing nine people.

Thus, I was not surprised when we were stopped at the gate and a militia guard walked around the bus as his dog checked under it. As we waited, a commotion began: off to my left, an unmarked car forced another car off the roadway. A takedown ensued, and the young driver was pulled from the car and handcuffed as guards proceeded to pull his car apart. We never heard anything further regarding the incident.

As we entered the restricted area, we were advised that there were no cameras, video recording, audio recording, cell phones, or any other electronic devices permitted beyond this point. Point of interest: I had not been informed of this, and in fact, I had four cameras in my bag!

Once we arrived at the auditorium, I figured I should come clean rather than risk the consequences of having my cameras ‘discovered,’ so I explained to our guide that I had not previously been told of the restrictions. She asked me to wait while she walked over to the CIA officer and had a quiet word with him. He approached me and asked me to follow him to the main entrance of the CIA Headquarters where we entered a huge room with a very high ceiling. It was most unusual, I thought, as the room was completely open, approximately 100 x 200 feet square, and was a simple compounded area with a guard on duty at the desk. To one side was a beautiful statue of William “Wild Bill” Donovan.

The policeman asked me to leave all restricted items with the guard and pick them up on my way out. I then returned to the group and we entered the auditorium.

The OSS Reunion

The OSS Reunion

The day was most interesting and I listened to panel after panel of distinguished guests consisting of OSS personnel and era historians. At the completion of the speeches, the audience was given the opportunity to ask questions. For those who are not aware, the OSS stands for Office of Strategic Services and was formed by President Roosevelt on June 13th, 1942. It was headed by William (Wild Bill) Donovan. The OSS was the forerunner of today’s CIA, (Central Intelligence Agency) and had its roots at Camp-X in Canada.

I asked, “How would you rate the level of contribution to the OSS of the legendary William Fairbairn?”

All five members of the panel had “no comment,” which surprised me. Later, at the break, an Englishman came up to me and said, “Give it to them. They wouldn’t comment because the OSS despised Fairbairn and considered him boorish, a braggart, and a show off.”

Another person confirmed that: when the arena of war switched from Europe to the Far East, the order came down from the OSS, “Do not send Fairbairn.”

Later that afternoon, we were treated to a special tour of the restricted CIA museum, closed to the public, which housed artifacts, uniforms, secret agents’ cameras, and suitcase radios—all used by the OSS agents of WWII. We even got to see some secret devises which are still in use today, but we were not allowed to take pictures.

That evening I went to bed early knowing that the next day I had to address the National Press Club, grant an interview with ‘Eye Spy’ magazine, and in the evening, attend the OSS Reunion Dinner. It would be a long and very full day.

On Saturday morning, I went down to breakfast, then read the paper and awaited my ride downtown. Alan and Linda Simpson were wonderful hosts. They picked me up at 10:30 and we were off to the National Press Club where I met some very interesting people. One such individual was Wayne, an ex National Security Agency Analyst, a very intelligent and very funny man. Although he was to be picked up by a Fox Network limo at 2:00 p.m. and taken to the Fox Studio to be a guest panelist, he said that he wasn’t leaving the National Press Club until after he had heard my presentation.

The National Press Club where every President since 1908 has spoken

The National Press Club where every President since 1908 has spoken

Elizabeth McIntosh, author of, ‘Sisterhood of Spies

OSS Reunion Dinner at the Mariott Hotel

OSS Reunion Dinner at the Mariott Hotel

(289) 828-5529

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