60 61E Y E S P Y I S S U E 4 7, 2 0 0 7 E Y E S P Y I S S U E 4 7, 2 0 0 7
scientists determined that it had been coatedwith nickel.
Two hollow pennies were found in WashingtonDC. Neither of these pennies, nor the assortmentof other coins which the Laboratory examined,was found to have tool markings or otherdistinguishing features to identify it with thenewsboys 1948 Jefferson nickel.
All enquiries seemed to end in failure, but the FBIrealised the coin and its content were significant.
DEFECTION OF A RUSSIAN SPY
The key to this mystery proved to be a 36-year-old Lieutenant Colonel of the Soviet StateSecurity Service (KGB). Early in May 1957,Reino Hayhanen telephoned the United StatesEmbassy in Paris and subsequently arrived at theEmbassy to be interviewed. Im an officer in theSoviet intelligence service, he said. For thepast five years, I have been operating in theUnited States. I need your help. He explained hehad been ordered to return to Moscow afterserving in the United States, but dreaded thethought of going back to Russia.Now he wanted to defect.
The story of how he managed togain entry and live in the UnitedStates is complex and lengthy, butHayhanen had skilfully crafted a newidentity - as American-born EugeneMaki. Even his wife was unaware ofhis previous name. It transpired thereal Eugene Nicolai Maki, who wasborn in Enaville, Idaho, on 30 May1919, had left the United States andsettled in Estonia. Letters which theywrote to their former neighboursshowed that Mr and Mrs Maki werevery unhappy and sorely missedAmerica.
As the years passed, memories of the Makifamily gradually began to fade, and all butpossibly two or three old time residents ofEnaville, Idaho, forgot that there had ever been aMaki family in that area. In Moscow, however,plans were being made for a new Eugene Maki,one thoroughly grounded in Soviet intelligencetechniques, to enter the scene.
In July 1952 - a passport was issued toHayhanen as Eugene Maki in Helsinki. Using thispassport, he sailed on 16 October 1952, from
Southampton, England, aboard the Queen Maryand arrived at New York City on 21 October1952.
Several weeks before he departed for America,Hayhanen was recalled to Moscow and intro-duced to a Soviet agent, - Mikhail, who was toserve as his handler in the USA. In order toestablish contact with Mikhail, Hayhanen wasinstructed that after arriving in New York heshould go to the Tavern on the Green in CentralPark. Near the tavern he would find a signpostmarked Horse Carts. You will let Mikhail knowof your arrival by placing a red thumb tack in thissignpost, a Soviet official told him. If yoususpect that you are under surveillance, place awhite thumb tack on the board.
HAYHANEN RETURNS TO THE UNITED STATES
Hayhanens story furnished to US officials inParis checked out and he was permitted to returnto the United States.
Following his arrival back in NewYork on 10 May 1957, Hayhanenwas given a thorough physicalexamination; suitable quarterswere found for him, and arrange-ments were made for him to beinterviewed by FBI agents.
Hayhanen said that from the fall of1952 until early in 1954, Mikhailserved as his handler in New York.They met only when necessary -the meeting place being theProspect Park subway station. Toexchange messages and intelli-gence data, they used deaddrops. One of these was an ironpicket fence at the end of 7thAvenue near Macombs Bridge.
Another was the base of a lamp post in FortTryon Park.
In one of the dead drops mentioned byHayhanen - a hole in a set of cement steps inProspect Park - FBI agents found a hollowed-outbolt. The bolt was about two inches long andone-fourth inch in diameter. It contained thefollowing typewritten message:
Nobody came to meeting either 8 or 9th... as Iwas advised he should. Why? Should he beinside or outside? Is time wrong? Place seemsright. Please check.
The bolt was found on 15 May 1957. It had beenplaced in the hole about two years previously,but, by chance, a repair crew had filled the holein the stairs with cement, entombing the bolt andthe message it contained. Questioned about thehollow bolt, Hayhanen said that trick containerssuch as this were often used by the Soviets.Among the items he had been supplied were
FBI photos of the bolt
In July 1952 - a passport wasissued to Hayhanen as Eugene
Maki in Helsinki. Using this pass-port, he sailed on 16 October 1952,
from Southampton, England,aboard the Queen Mary andarrived at New York City on
21 October 1952
hollow pens, pencils, screws, batteries, andcoins - in some instances magnetised so theywould adhere to metal objects.
HOLLOW 50 MARKKAA COIN
In the modest home of Hayhanen and his wife onDorislee Drive in Peekskill, New York, FBI agentsfound such items as a Finnish 50 Markka coinfrom Finland. It had been hollowed out, and therewas a small hole in the first a of the wordTasavalta.
FBI Laboratory experts immediately noted that itbore a great similarity to the Jefferson nickelwhich the Brooklyn newsboy had discovered in1953. Two separate coins had obviously beenused in making the trick 50 Markkaa piece. Thisalso was the case with the hollow nickel. Andboth coins had a small hole in one printed letterso that a sharp-pointed instrument, such as aneedle, could be used to prize them open.
Although the FBI was convinced that it had finallyidentified the Soviet espionage apparatus whichwas responsible for the hollow Jefferson nickel,only one half of the mystery posed by this coinsince had been solved. The coded messagewhich the nickel contained still had to bedeciphered.
Hayhanen and Mikhail met in New YorksProspect Park subway station
Hayhanen wasinstructed to go tothe Tavern on the
Green in Central Park
The dead letter drops in FortTryon Park, New York
The original nickel with the code