Hungarian national Istvan Belovai thinks that he is the spy, who saved the world from the third world war. Stars and Stripes wrote that he never said that directly, although the things that he says about his past, prove it.
Hungarian intelligence officer contacted Americans in 1984, not for betraying his country, but for helping it, as he says. He says that he has done everything to break Russians’ plan to invade West Europe. Balovai believes that the implementation of that plan could result in a nuclear war.
In 1975 Belovai received a task to examine a “package,” which was received from a source within the US Army in Europe. This was the day, when Istvan’s mission started. The package contained a microfilm with common military exercises of the American army. Howevr, Istvan realized that there was a very valuable agent working for Hungary and the whole eastern bloc on the part of America. In three years Belovai received the interpretation of the secret information, which was obtained during the operation Snowdrop. This information unveiled the possibilities of the American army, its strategy. The Hungarian officer thought that it could result in a nuclear war, and decided to warn Americans about the grand leakage of information on their part. Belovai believed that NATO had no intentions to attack Hungary. On the other hand, the Warsaw Pact had horrific plans: Hungary was going to Invade Italy via Austria. Belovai was sorry for his country-fellows, who would have to sacrifice their lives for the sake of those insane plans. His fright grew a lot more, when he found out, how many nuclear mines Americans had on the other side of the iron curtain. "If the Soviets would reach the Rhine River, the U.S. would deploy nuclear weapons," Belovai said. "Because what else could they do?" So it is not quite clear, who Belovai was saving the world from - from Russians or from Americans. He was “waiting” until 1984. In 1984 Belovai met with "Richard C," a U.S. contact in a safe house in London. Belovai told him that Russians knew the exact placement of nuclear mines under the responsibility of the U.S. Army’s V Corps. Americans taught him how to write enciphered letters and gave a codename to him: “Scorpion-B.” However, the “scorpion” was stung by Hungarian intelligence the next year. They arrested him at the moment, when Istvan was trying to pick up the “package” that was left for him by the CIA. Many of his colleagues were shocked about his arrest. However, he suspects convicted CIA turncoat Aldrich Ames had already tipped off Moscow about the “savior of the world from Hungary.”
The spy was sentenced to lifetime imprisonment, although the prosecution wanted to hang him. He soon discovered that his risk and energy was not spent for nothing: reading a newspaper article, Istvan found out that the leakage of information, about which he warned Americans, had been stopped. Belovai himself had never known the identity of the spy he had fought to expose.
His anonymous nemesis was Clyde Lee Conrad, a 41-year-old retired U.S. Army sergeant who had worked as an administrator at secret archives in Bad Kreuznach, Germany, the home of V Corp’s 8th Infantry Division. Conrad and his “team” sent over 30 thousand top secret documents to Budapest over a decade. Conrad was arrested only in 1988; he died in 1998.
American army still has bitter memories about Conrad and Snowdrop operation. He was the key figure in one of the most successful spy nets of the Soviet bloc. He managed to supply the Hungarian government with the documents, which unveiled the tasks of almost every NATO division in Europe.
As far as Istvan Belovai is concerned, he is currently living in the States, the post-Soviet government released him in 1990. He says that he is perfectly fine there. He does not want Hungary to consider him and other people, who “stopped the third world war” as traitors. Belovai claims that he was never hired by the CIA, that he started that all for the sake of the peace on the planet. The Hungarian spy is still certain that he helped to stop the nuclear war.
Sergey Borisov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
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