Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Souther-Orlov Famous Unknown Spy

Michael Evegenievich Orlov, (born 30 January 1957, Hammond, IN, died June 22, 1989, Moscow, USSR as Glenn Michael Souther was a US Intelligence Specialist, and a petty officer (an equivalent of a sergeant ) in the US Navy, who spied on US out on purely ideological grounds.

His father was a middle-class businessman. His parents divorced when he was four years old, and he was raised by his mother. In 1975 he studied at a university, but after six months dropped out. Upon joining the USN he studied at the The Naval Marine Intelligence Training Center (NMITC)'s Photography Interpretation School under gaining command, at the end of which was assigned to the 6 th Fleet U.S. Navy.

From 1977 to 1982, Glenn Souther served in a FICLANT unit (Fleet Intelligence Command Atlantic) of the 6 th U.S. Navy based in Italy, handled the public relations, and was the personal photographer to the fleet commander Admiral Crowe. He served on the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, then on the command and control ships USS Albany and USS Puget Sound.

From 1983 to mid 1986 Souther was studying for his commissioning at the University of Old Dominion ROTC in Norfolk, and also served as a reservist at the U.S. Naval Base in Norfolk, where he had access to materials related to US space program.

Since his youth Souther was interested in the culture of the Soviet Union, loved to read Vladimir Mayakovsky, and read Marx. He has formed his own view of the world, which he wished was ruled by justice, equality, supremacy of collectivism over individualism.

In accordance with his convictions in 1980 Souther asked the Soviet embassy in Rome for help in obtaining Soviet citizenship. He did not ask for political asylum, did not indicate any harassment by U.S. authorities. Boris Solomyatin, the KGB resident in Rome, recalls how he recruited Souther: "No, he did not nurture the decision to betray his country - he wanted to find a new one. Souther did not even consider the nature of his service in the U.S. Navy to be secret.

Souther went on to serve on the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, and other warships, and he handled top secret secret documents and imagery. Therefore, the Soviet intelligence services were very interested in Souther and offered him help in obtaining citizenship in exchange for secret information. However, after he flatly refused material compensation for their services, they suspected him to be really working for U.S.

Information received from Glen Souther was genuine, sensitive and extremely important.

In Moscow my friends have found a treasure trove of US Naval documentation whith acronyms and serial numbers pointing to the commands and to the time frame of Souther's access. Note this as a catalog of publications turned over to the KGB:

More to follow, of course.

Souther was placed under surveillance, which lasted about a year, but has not produced success. He has repeatedly briefed at a local FBI office, where he first talked about his views on the world, the USSR, the Soviet culture. Later he was summoned for more questioning, which also yielded nothing. Souther was asked to undergo lie detector test, conducted according to the standards of the FBI, not the Navy's more scrupulous methodology. Because of the threat of arrest June 9, 1986 Souther booked a flight on an Alitalia flight, with a return ticket to the USA, flew to Rome, where the Soviet secret service transferred him to Moscow.

Life in the USSR

By the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet on October 2, 1986 he was officially granted Soviet citizenship. He chose a new name of Michael E. Orloff. The application for citizenship Souther wrote: "With all the responsibility that the U.S. government will never do nothing of sincere and honest intentions to establish peace on earth until, until you are firmly convinced of its total military superiority. U.S. contempt has taken and continues to endanger the fate of other nations.

Orlov-Souther was the only foreign-born agent of Russian intelligence service who received the official title of a KGB officer. He was conferred the rank of a Major. He was given an apartment in Moscow and a dacha in the suburbs.

June 22, 1989 as a summer cottage Orlov wrote several suicide notes, went into the garage, shut all doors and windows and started the engine. His wish was to be buried wearing the uniform of a KGB officer. In honor guard at the funeral were the leaders of the KGB, including the Committee's chairman. Orlov was buried in the cemetery Novokuntsevskom Moscow, next to the grave of Kim Philby.

In a letter written before his death, addressed to fellow spies, Orlov wrote: "I do not in any way regret our relationship. They were long and helped me grow as a person. All were tolerant and kind to me. I hope... you forgive me for what I did...or for not going to the last battle."

This echoes his earlier letter in 1988: "Russia was for me the place where I have lived in their dreams - a country fascinated me, despite the fact that I was sometimes difficult and lonely."

More reading:

* Michael Glenn Souter. Foreign Intelligence Service of Russia. Retrieved April 26, 2010.

* Nicholas Poroskov He gave Russia a thousand nuclear goals. Foreign Intelligence Service of Russia (15 June 2006). Retrieved November 17, 2008.
* William Plummer, Chris Phillips A Moscow Suicide Reveals Glenn Souther's Double Life as a US Sailor Spying for the K.G.B. (English) (July 17, 1989). Retrieved November 17, 2008.
* Esther B. Fine Defector to Moscow Is Dead; Work for K.G.B. Is Lauded / / New York Times: Newspaper. - New York: June 28, 1989.
* David Johnston Ex-Sailor, a Suspected Spy, Granted Asylum by Soviets / / New York Times: Newspaper. - July 18, 1988.
* Soviet Union The Odd Case of M. Orlov / / Time. - July 10, 1989.


Arties32 said...

I was a friend of Glenn's at Old Dominion and I must comment that he was the last person you would ever suspect of being a spy. He was loud, obnoxious and very very noticeable. He was fun and crazy. He wasn't quiet or secretive in any noticeable way. He was a lot of fun. He had the best Halloween parties. I always remember him this time of year.

Vick said...

you've described the man who's best for spying. Reminds you of notes in a yearbook "most likely to..."

I don't believe the Soviets gave him a real rank. It was more like a college vesting someone an honorary degree.

Thank you for dropping in