Sunday, February 26, 2012
The Hidden Microfilm
In 1948, admitted former Communist spy Whitaker Chambers testified before the House Unamerican Activities Committee and exposed UN official Alger Hiss as a Communist agent. Hiss promptly filed charges against Chambers for libel. In response, Whitaker Chambers produced more than 60 transcribed and handwritten pages of state secrets which Hiss was planning to sell to the Soviet Union. These were known to the press as the ‘Pumpkin Papers’ because Chambers, fearing that they would be seized by agents of Hiss or the Soviet Union, hid microfilm containing the images in his back yard, inside a hollowed-out pumpkin.