The First Counterspy: Walter Pickut Book Signing
Join us on Tuesday, April 18, 2023 at 7 p.m. for a book signing event. Walter Pickut co-authored “The First Counterspy” with Kay Haas, which is the story of her father.
During World War Il, the FBI suspected that high Soviet official Andrei Schevchenko was a spy, though he was in the United States as a “legal agent” buying Bell Aviation’s warplanes for Russia’s struggle against Nazi invaders. FBI agents persuaded Larry Haas, a Bell aviation engineer, to let himself be seduced into revealing carefully doctored intelligence that Schevchenko was seeking about Bell’s top-secret P-59 jet warplane.
The FBI also recruited the head librarian at Bell’s technical library for the same task. The FBI eventually discovered that Schevchenko was operating a wide-ranging spy network hidden within a large segment of the American aviation industry. After nearly two years of surveillance and delivering incriminating material to Schevchenko, however, what Washington did was surprising: it blocked the FBI from apprehending him, since embarrassing the Soviet Union, a wartime ally, was seen as unwise.