Cover image for Torpedoed : an American businessman's true story of secrets, betrayal, imprisonment in Russia, and the battle to set him free
Torpedoed : an American businessman's true story of secrets, betrayal, imprisonment in Russia, and the battle to set him free
Pope, Edmond D., 1946-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Boston : Little, Brown, and Co., [2001]

Physical Description:
263 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Personal Subject:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV9715.15 .P67 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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He was a man of mystery: Edmond D. Pope -- former Naval Intelligence officer, then private businessman, in Russia looking for some answers.

It was a top secret operation: The CIA and the Canadian secret service -- out to steal one of Russia's crown jewels: the plans to a submarine torpedo that travels an astonishing 300 miles per hour.

He was the new man in charge: Vladimir Putin -- former head of the KGB, now boss of all Russia and a man who wanted to set an example at almost any cost.

Now, for the first time ever, Ed Pope tells the real story of what led to his becoming the first American since Gary Powers to be convicted of espionage in Russia. Combining a gripping account of his arrest, trial and 253-day imprisonment with a deeply disturbing look at today's Russia, Pope's harrowing story reads like a Le Carre novel come to life. And with a large dollop of espionage-insider information and secret submarine warfare technology, Ed Pope's harrowing memoir will remind readers of the best of Tom Clancy.

Author Notes

He joined the United States Navy in 1969. He quickly rose through the ranks to become an intelligence officer, specializing in high-tech undersea warfare. His many duties over the years included briefing the American generals during the Gulf War. After leaving government service, he started a company that partnered with Russian scientists to develop commercial applications of Russian military technology. He & his wife live in Pennsylvania.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Traveling in the former Soviet Union as a private contractor buying declassified technology that made its way from the military into Russia's newly freed consumer markets Pope trips into the nightmarish world of post-Cold War Russia. Written with Tom Shactman (The FBI-KGB War; Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold), this volume moves as quickly as its name suggests, at least initially: Pope, a former U.S. naval attach? and intelligence officer, gets thrown in prison within the first few pages. Accused of spying for the United States, he suffers indignities (strip searches, "mind games") and intimidation (he's told he belongs with terrorists and "serious criminals") from the new state security guards. The indictment stems from his interest in the country's "sensitive" Shkval torpedo, but what worries Pope the most once he's officially charged with espionage is his memory of "126 special clearances on matters of high importance to the security of the United States." After all, he writes, the interrogations are intense and "you don't just scrub [what you know] from your memory." Pope's fight for freedom is hampered by the questionable justice of the Russian legal system and a frustrating lack of support from the U.S. Embassy, and the book appropriately though unfortunately begins to drag once his days in jail stretch into months. Readers may find Pope's portraits of the new Russians too tiredly reminiscent of the old guard, and the degrading nicknames he uses to designate his interrogators (Little Feliks, Blubber-Butt, etc.) undermine the seriousness of his situation. But overall, this is a page-turner, a great spy story that nearly encourages nostalgia for Cold War spy politics. (Nov.) Forecast: Pope's refusal to grant any interviews since his December 2000 release will likely create intrigue, and his striking story will probably appeal to conspiracy theorists, Cold War history buffs, and James Bond fans alike. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

A former naval intelligence officer turned businessman, Pope spent 253 days in a Moscow prison cell accused of trying to steal secrets from the Russians about their submarine technology. He was released only after being convicted and sentenced to 20 years, whereupon the new Russian president, Vladimir Putin, commuted his sentence and sent him home in December 2000. Here is Pope's detailed account of his months of interrogation and harassment while his health steadily declined. He proclaims his innocence, yet readers may wonder why the State Department was so slow to come to his aid. Only through pressure from his wife and from his local Pennsylvania congressman was the U.S. government inclined to try to save Pope from decades in prison. This is a harrowing tale set within the context of great-power politics at the onset of the new century. Pope is understandably bitter about what happened to him, but one suspects that there is more to his story than he is telling. Nevertheless, this book will send chills down one's spine. Recommended for large public and academic libraries. Ed Goedeken, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Four Days of Hellp. 3
Chapter 2 Behind the Green Doorp. 22
Chapter 3 Interrogation and Incarcerationp. 52
Chapter 4 The Reasons Behind My Arrestp. 79
Chapter 5 Explosives, Exclusives, and Late-Night Visitorsp. 99
Chapter 6 Incidents in Limbop. 111
Chapter 7 August Is Very Hotp. 139
Chapter 8 Life As a Spiderp. 152
Chapter 9 No Themis in This Courtp. 175
Chapter 10 Breaking the Parashap. 197
Chapter 11 Waiting for Putinp. 218
Chapter 12 Release, Recovery, Reconstructionp. 231
Acknowledgmentsp. 251
Indexp. 253