American Towns In Russia?

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Anonymous

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#1
Help me out here, if possible, folks. I heard that back during the Cold War--especially during, say, the 50s--the USSR had American towns replicated on Soviet soil, used to train field operatives to make them completely acclimated and immersed in American culture. American-style barber shops, grocery stores, what have you. Does anyone here know anything at all about this? I meant to search Google; but to be honest, I don't know where to start. Any and all help is greatly appreciated!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#2
Can't really help but I do remember seeing a movie some years ago that was based on the idea of an American town in USSR as you described.

Kent
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#3
Kent, do you remember who was in it or what it was called? I was thinking of writing a short story based on the premise, but if it's been done....
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#5
Kent, it wasn't Little Nikita, was it? I can'tremember if they showed the parents training to pass as Americans or not.

Anyone have any info on the real town/camps? Maybe they're actually ULs?
 

TVgeek

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#6
You must be thinking of the 1989 John Travolta flop
"The Experts".

Here is the blurb from the Internet Movie Database:

Near the eastern edge of the USSR is a village populated by Russians who speak and act American, where KGB trainees go to practice. The town is mired in the 50's, and the new KGB hotshot fears his agents will fail to learn real US culture. He goes to New York and hires two young hipsters to come to "Nebraska" to open a nightclub. He drugs them en route to Russia, and they think they've awaken in the Midwest. There they turn a tiki lounge into a hip club, teach townies to dance, and introduce pop culture. Both flip for local chicks. Things get dangerous when the townsfolk taste freedom, a KGB faction tries to kill our heroes, but will the guys figure out they're not in Nebraska?

I remember being intrigued with the concept, but the movie
was bad! :(

Hope this helps-

TVgeek
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#7
I found a game on the subject. At least I think that's what it is. It only makes reference to a movie, though, so it may be a UL.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#8
This is one I've heard before. I can even remember where; the 'Sunday Post' a long time ago (before the end of the Cold War, anyway). Never knew if it was true. I do know that in an attempt to emulate America economic success the Russians duplicated the entire roadplan of American towns. Magnitogorsk was based on the layout of Gary, Indiana.
 

FelixAntonius

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#9
I've read at least a couple of books, in which at least part of the plot was about fake Americkan towns in the USSR, I'm trying to remember the titles &/or authors, but for the moment with no luck!!!!!

One I think called U followed by a number, about a Russian submarine & earth quake generating devices the other by the bloke who wrote the "Eagle Has Landed".........
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#10
Or what about the superb episode from the even superb-er series Danger man, 'Colony Three'. Hundreds of British communists are going 'over the wall' and our hero is despatched to investigate. He finds a small English town, ominously reminiscent of Milton Keynes, where agents are trained to blend in, as above.

It stands out as having one of the most downbeat endings in TV history.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#11
The KGB did use many 'sleepers' - agents who pretended to be foreign nationals - but I doubt you would need to build a whole town to train them, and often they were off dual nationality or had firm links with the country they would be infiltrating.
Six months with a decent language teacher, then a couple of months on history and culture, and you should be fine. It was probably a Cold War UL
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#12
Danger Man

Or what about the superb episode from the even superb-er series Danger man, 'Colony Three'. Hundreds of British communists are going 'over the wall' and our hero is despatched to investigate. He finds a small English town, ominously reminiscent of Milton Keynes, where agents are trained to blend in, as above.
That's the one. I was just trying to remember if it was an `Avengers,' or a `Danger Man' episode, that I'd seen.

Before Patrick McGooghan's, `The Prisoner,' there was `Danger Man.' Brilliant, even the music!

Could be, we're seeing the start of an Urban Legend.
 

TVgeek

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#13
chatsubo said:
Six months with a decent language teacher, then a couple of months on history and culture, and you should be fine. It was probably a Cold War UL
About 25 years ago, my brother-in-law retired
as a captain in the U.S. Air Force. In his library, he
has stacks of books that teach "conversational"
Russian. Apparently, because of his very
Scandanavian look, he was part of a program
that trained officers to enter the (then) USSR
as intelligence gatherers.
He will not talk specifics about the program to this day.
He won't wear khaki, olive or beige shirts, either...
or anything with epaulets! :)

TVgeek
 

beakboo1

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#14
This was also used in Star Trek Next Generation (or was it Voyager?). An alien race built a replica of the Starfleet academy in San Francisco. Someone even geekier than me would know all about it.
 

TVgeek

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#15
beakboo said:
This was also used in Star Trek Next Generation (or was it Voyager?). An alien race built a replica of the Starfleet academy in San Francisco. Someone even geekier than me would know all about it.
I resemble that remark, Beak! :)

Lets see, that would be the Voyager episode
"In the Flesh" where the trans-dimensional
Species 8472 recreate the Academy as a
training ground for invasion.

I know... the geek-meter just pins out some days... ;)

TVgeek
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#16
On a similar note, we now know that the Soviet's had 'secret cities/towns' - that were never marked on any map or signpost and were full of nuclear scientists, or bio-war experts, or something similiarly dodgy.
I'm wondering did the US have the same thing. Maybe's there's a hidden suburbian town somewhere in the Mojave Desert or Alaska, full of quanutm physicits who can never leave because they know too much about the Philidelphia Experiment or exo-biologists retired from Area 51. Of course Groom Lake is a secret town in itself.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#17
I remember reading about this years ago, the idea being that when (or if) the agents were dropped into existing US towns they would be up to date with the latest of everything (music, films etc) and could naturally speak of a past in an American town. What I also remember, was people from other Soviet friendly countries (Somalia being one) were also in mock up towns, in preparation to be dropped into other African cities, and work as spies or sleeping agents.
 
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Anonymous

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#18
TVgeek said:
I resemble that remark, Beak! :)

Lets see, that would be the Voyager episode
"In the Flesh" where the trans-dimensional
Species 8472 recreate the Academy as a
training ground for invasion.

I know... the geek-meter just pins out some days... ;)

TVgeek
Could be worst TVG - you could have given us the episode code and original transmission dates.
 

TVgeek

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#19
chatsubo said:
Could be worst TVG - you could have given us the episode code and original transmission dates.
I have to draw the line somewhere...
thats what the 'net is for! ;)

TVgeek
 
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Anonymous

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#20
American Towns in USSR

Several years ago, when I was at college, another student showed me a book he'd come across which contained a lengthy description of a fake London in the USSR. It related how Soviet would-be infiltrators living there spoke only in English, rode red double-decker buses past point-perfect re-creations of the Houses of Parliament, ate fish and chips from newspaper, etc -absolutely hilarious.
I think the book was called something like "The Subverters of Liberty" and seemed to date from the 60s/70s, but I can't remember the writer's name. I do remember that there was a lengthy "by the same author" list at the start and that one of the titles on it was "Frogmen Extraordinary"! The guy who showed me the book had probably got it out from either the Cambridge University Library or the Seeley History Faculty Library, and I imagine it's still on the shelves of one of them.
 
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Anonymous

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#22
Of course, anyone trained in that environment would probably stand out for being 'too English'.

Jolly good show, what!
Pip, pip, chin up

Martin 'Vladivostok' Lutzman
 
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Anonymous

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#25
The Russians did train agents this way and the idea of writing books or making movies etc has already been done.
 

Anome

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#26
chatsubo said:
Could be worst TVG - you could have given us the episode code and original transmission dates.
Or he could have mentioned the UFO episode with a similar plot (a replica of HQ in an undersea dome).

There was also a British series with Warren Clarke and Nigel Havers as Russian sleepers, which shows the training centre at the beginning. It seems to be a common theme.

There's a similar story about Intelligence officers in the Second World War reproducing the work environment of the subject they're studying, in order to better think like them, and guess their actions. (I don't know if this one's true either, but it seems to have turned up a few times, including in Dr Who.)
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#27
Maybe this should have a thread of it's own,but I know for a fact that certain train lines in the UK mostly around power stations, refinaries and industrial estates are not marked on maps. Also I have been lead to believe that the main nuclear weapons centres in the UK are not on maps I might be wrong about this though.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#28
I'm sure Conners is right. All of our active nukes are on subs. Though I'm wouldn't be surprised if we had some 50/60's era bombs lying around just in case.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#29
rynner said:
That would be a dead give-away nowadays! How old was that book?
I was in London in 2001, and i got some fish & chips, and it came in newspaper. And it was a small place on a back street, not some tourist claptrap. I don't think.
And it was gooooood.
 

rynner2

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#30
There was a change in the hygeine regs some years ago that required the food to be wrapped in white grease-proof paper, but despite 30 minutes of Googling I cannot find the details! (Any number of refs to fish and chips and 'traditional newspaper wrapping' though, and comments like 'only useful for wrapping fish', etc!)

The shop workers didn't like the paper anyway, because the ink got on their hands. Nowadays you're just as likely to get your fish in little polstyrene boxes.

Perhaps we should start a poll - anyone else here know a chippy using newspaper wrappings? (Or is that a speciality they keep just for American tourists...? :D )
 
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