Thursday, February 28, 2013

Case Nr 10-036

Irving Moore is 64 years old (see image to right). He was born in 1949. His biological father, Randolph Lee Gillis (see image below) was a radio operator on a B-17 in the US 8th Bomber Command. During a mission over Germany in 1944, he was badly wounded by shrapnel from an anti-aircraft shell and he was sent back to the USA to recover. The war ended before he was able to rejoin his unit, and he was discharged in 1946. A year later, Randolph married a nurse named Emma Jane Carlton and in 1949 Irving was born. As he was good with radio equipment Randolph applied to work at Moore Electronics where he was employed in the Research Division. He began to work on various military projects, eventually constructing classified electronics hardware for the US military, US intelligence services and NASA.

In 1964 Randolph was part of a small group attending a seminar at Sturgeon Bay when there was an outbreak of the unusual phenomenon called mass psychogenic illness. Hundreds of people in the vicinity of Sturgeon Bay suffered attacks of uncontrollable laughter over the course of several days, followed by a long period (seven weeks) of hysteria, fainting, memory loss and disorientation. When the incident was over, seventeen people were critically ill and four people had gone missing, including Gillis and one of his coworkers (a man named Art Garber). At the time of their disappearance the missing men were involved in the construction of an advanced fluxgate magnetometer.

The police soon called in the FBI, but neither were able to construct a plausible theory as to what had happened or what had become of the missing people. Unknown to both, the CIA also undertook an investigation. Their report did offer an explanation, and pointed the finger at the Soviet Union which they proposed may have deployed some kind of chemical neurological weapon. Reports indicated the Soviets had used similar weapons on several separate occasions at various locations around the globe. In each incident, people had gone missing and in four examples, those people had been involved in sensitive military work for a western power. The CIA report also pointed to the presence of two known GRU operatives in nearby Chicago two days prior to the disappearance. These were named as Nikolai Glinka and Oleg Taneyev.

Another investigation was carried out by a private detective on the behest of Randolph's wife. Lemmy Rogers was a former police detecive from Chicago. His investigation ended after when he also went missing.

No bodies were ever recovered and the official CIA investigation was closed on 24th November 1966 with no official conclusion.


Irving Moore wants to know what happened to his father (Randolph Lee Gillis) who went missing under the mysterious circumstances in 1964. To this end he is prepared to hire the full services of Dyson and Hahn for a period of two months with the possibility of extending the investigation if positive results indicate a favourable outcome.


Preliminary investigation report; filed by Ted Turner. 

Asked to look into the case regarding the disapearance of Randolph Lee Gillis (1964) so I began at the beginning. Interviewed the client and there after his mother (Emma Jane Gillis/Moore) in order to learn more about Gillis. The client does not have a reliable memory of his father, but his mother describes an easy going man who had managed to over come the trauma of war and settle into a comfortable civilian existence. He appears to have enjoyed his work, and was, by Emma Jane's account, a loving and considerate husband. There is no obvious reason why he might choose to disappear of his own accord.

Emma Jane hired a private detective named Lemmy Rogers to find Gillis, but he went missing after ten days. Emma Jane informed the authorities but then heard nothing more until the case was closed in 1966. Unsure what to do next, she then contacted Gillis's boss, Walter E. Moore and persuaded him to help her. Moore wrote a long series of letters to various politicians and government authorities but to no avail. He also hired a private investigator in 1968, though Emma Jane was unable to remember this detective's name. Nothing further was discovered however and Emma Jane, having fallen in love with Walter E. Moore ceased her efforts to find Randolph and married Walter in 1969.

Emma Jane had a clear memory of Lemmy Rogers. He was an ex US Marine and former police detective who had been given the elbow for a drunken shooting in which he accidently killed two African Americans. Plagued by horrific memories of the war in the Pacific, and especially his experiences during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, she remembers him as a gruff, no nonsense kind of man whose tenacious character meant he never backed down. He appeared to be confident when he took on the case but for the first week he had no viable leads until he investigated one of the other missing men; named Ossip Brown. Brown was a guest in the same motel (The Star Shine Guest House) and Rogers tracked down a local prostitute named Bethany Williams whom Emma Jane remembers had been seen several times with Brown.

Emma Jane never met Bethany Williams but she remembers what Rogers told her. He said he had questioned Williams regarding Ossip Brown and had formed suspicions rearging Brown's identity. He learned that for several days preceding the outbreak, Brown would hang around the Bermuda Bar (which adjoined the Star Shine Guest House) every evening and Williams was paid to accompany him and sometimes have sex when the night was over. On only four occasions did Brown leave the Bermuda Bar during the evenings of that time, and in each time it was to follow a man who was described as 'tall and grey'. Williams never met with Brown on the day the outbreak took place, nor did she ever see him again. The owner of the Star Shine Guest House reported Brown as missing when he never returned despite having booked his rooms for a full week. Bethany Williams had no recollection of Randolph Lee Gillis nor Art Garber. Garber however, might fit the description of 'tall and grey'. If Brown was shadowing Garber then he might have been a Soviet agent (Ossip being a Russian name) and I think this may be the basis for the conclusion reached by the CIA during their investigation.

Due to the amount of time which has passed since then I decided that the best course of action would be to read any CIA documents available at the National Intelligence Archives. These were so sketchy that I suspect they have been tampered with, or possibly replaced. The existing document talks about known Soviet GRU agents working in the Chicago and Great Lakes area, with special emphasis on two names; Nikolai Glinka and Oleg Taneyev (see attached images). Neither agent was arrested and both disapeared within weeks of the Sturgeon Bay incident. Also mentioned briefly in the CIA report is a Russian ex-patriot named Ossip Bunin. Bunin is conjectured to be Ossip Brown, but there is no photographic evidence nor any information regarding what became of Bunin.

Nikolai Glinka (first image) is listed in the National Intelligence Archives as having been a high standing officer in the GRU. His case file suggests he was withdrawn from the United States when the Sturgeon Bay Incident drew attention to him and there is no further information about his subsequent career or what beame of him. If still alive, he would be about eighty years old.

Oleg Taneyev (second image) was also withdrawn from the United States but in 1986 he was discovered in West Germany posing as a Finnish business man. He was arrested and held for two years, during which time he was debriefed by Germany and American intelligence services. When told he was to be returned to the Soviet Union as part of a prisoner exchange he inexplicably committed suicide (by hanging) in his cell at Frohenhoff Prison four days before he was due to be released. Taneyev's CIA debriefing notes are still classified, but a copy of a German report indicates the Germans at least were completely baffled by Taneyev's death and were able to think of no other reason than fear of returning to the Soviet Union.

My recommendation is, this investigation be continued by our European branch. Many of the answers required appear to be located in Russian archives, and D&H E have a much better relationship with the Russian Federal Government than we do.


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