Submarine Spy Scandal

When I was working for a military contractor our cubes were in a large open space that anybody who had building access could wander around in. We had Leper Lights in case of visitors so we’d know to keep an eye out and watch what we were talking about.

One unusual case was when we were building some gear for the German Air Force. They didn’t get the Leper Lights but for a couple months we had black and yellow striped tape marking the limits where the reps could go. We called it the Maginot Line but I don’t think they liked that.

We had smaller labs where the actual hardware was and they had Cypher Locks on the doors. I had at one point six different combinations a month to memorize. Only two things kept me sane. Half changed on the 1st and half on the 15th, and after a couple times my fingers knew the combo without engaging my brain. “Hey, DD? What’s the new combo for [lab]?”

“Um…” Walk over to the nearest Cypher Lock and touch the switches without clicking them. “One seven three five.”

One project we were the sub-contractor for Lockheed and when we brought over the engineering model for their software development, we were the reason for the Leper Lights. It felt strange.

I had assumed “RESTRICTED” is the word used because that is what the statue prohibits. So it would be a statutory word, not necessarily related to executive-order classification schemes. I already mentioned that the accused had Top Secret clearance at the DoD, he had clearance with the DoE too but I forget the level.


The Thresher went down during sea trials, with a literal boat load of people watching from above.

The Scorpion rumor was that it was sunk in retaliation for the supposed collision between a USN boat and the Soviet K129, which caused the latter to sink. It’s a small wold fact: The K129 was the boat recovered in part by the Glomar Explorer.

The truth is probably less spy-movie exciting: Internal explosion, or a hot running torpedo that turned back and sunk the Scorpion. Those that know aren’t talking.

Leper Lights? Is that a kind of light to ID people with disease, or are you talking about Lepro Lights?

I assume is was special lighting or lights that signaled that there were non-cleared people in the area.


But, you are not cleared to know why I need to see schematics of the stealth poggyeoggi, I mean bombardirovshchik. That’s above your pay grade.

Thanks, Just.

The Germans didn’t give a flip about the Maginot line, went through Belgium, just like they did the time before.

All in all, I am still going for Australia as Country-1. The husband may have known the Australians were interested in nuclear boats. We know the couple toyed with the idea of moving to that country. The “translate to your language” thing may have been a red herring.

They are getting the same stuff from the Americans, and they get to piss of the French. What more could they want?

At some point, the Australians were involved in talks about American subs. As far as the husband knew, the talks failed. He figured they would pay for information. Maybe they would pay for information that would help them in negotiations.

It isn’t just “RESTRICTED”. Note the capitalization in the snippet you quoted.

It’s “Restricted Data”. Which very definitely ties the charge to violation of the Atomic Energy Act, which established a separate set of classification markings and corresponding legal restrictions for atomic technical information. The US Code cited is an actual section of the Atomic Energy Act.

It wasn’t violating EO13526 classification.

They were flashing lights in the ceiling warning workers that uncleared people were about and to watch what was said or left in sight on your desk. Uncleared = unclean, lepers. At Lockheed in addition to the ceiling lights, they had portable ones about three feet high that would be plunked down at the end of the aisle where we were.

Yeah, well, the reps could have done that. The area they could wander around in included the bathroom, of course, but there were two entrances to said bathroom at opposite ends. They could have entered the proper side then exited the other one, where there was no tape, and run amok gleefully grabbing papers and taking pictures.

They never did though.

Right, the statutory definition of “Restricted Data” is in 42 USC 2014(y)

all data concerning (1) design, manufacture, or utilization of atomic weapons; (2) the production of special nuclear material; or (3) the use of special nuclear material in the production of energy, but shall not include data declassified or removed from the Restricted Data category pursuant to section 2162 of this title.


I couldn’t get passed this without laughing till I pissed my pants!

I know. It was still funny. :stuck_out_tongue:

Indeed, it was.

Some more info and idle speculation here. It sounds like the wanna-be spies were attempting to live out some romanticized idea of the high-intrigue world of espionage, pulling terms and even full quotes from movies and books.

The author of this article also leans toward France as Country1, for some of the same reasons already mentioned. And in one of his communications, Jonathan Toebbe said “one day, when it is safe, perhaps two old friends will have a chance to stumble into each other at a café, share a bottle of wine, and laugh over stories of their shared exploits.” A café and wine suggest France as the most obvious reference for a guy who’s living out his fantasy, but I could also see Spain or Italy.