The Merkaba (8)
In Georgia, Tyler Friesen was accommodated at a recreational facility by the Tbilisi Reservoir. He reached the huge counter and took a telephone call to his family in Hartford, Connecticut. Nobody stopped him.
This place was guarded like a fortified barrack, armed guards maintained watch. He was free to ramble in the ground and reach the water below. He was told to wait patiently for the minister to arrive from Moscow.
It took another day for the motorcade to arrive and shortly afterwards he was ushered to meet Minister Sledge.
Robert Maxwell first came across the Georgian TAM representatives in 1959 in the Bahamas. His alliance to these people passed vital information about the secret facility in Nevada in the southern shores of Groom Lake. In those early days Maxwell passed pretty accurate charts of Area 51. By 1963, he wanted to acquire large amounts of rutile ore and Aleksandre Giorgashvili, also known as Alexey, channelled Catay Tours to mediate with Arizona State University. Pier Sivils, Alexey, Robert Maxwell and Jaco Ferre, a shareholder of Catay Tours, met at Tenerife in the Canaries to head on with this enterprise.
Maxwell was the source to money, information and prospects. Due to the nature of his work, he travelled far less and became the idling partner. Neither Pier nor Alexey knew his true identity. After the JFK assassination he became really scarce and information he passed was sketchy.
In July 1963, a fatal earthquake hit Macedonia’s capital of Skopje killing 1070 residents and 200,000 left homeless. Catay Tours lost a great deal of business and assets. However, aid poured in at a scale unprecedented and resources were provisionally abundant.
Soon Pier Sivils came to know that the Stopanska Bank was willing to part with huge loans and if he could make an initial deposit of one million dollars, this bank would finance him in acquisition of aircrafts and run a small transportation company. Aleksandre Giorgashvili negotiated with Aeroflot to procure a Tupolev Tu-104 50 passenger aircraft on instalment basis.
Pier Sivils demanded a two-million-dollar pledge from Arizona University for rutile ore shipments. Robert Maxwell appeared in Barcelona to investigate and he was forced to pass it through. Maxwell lobbied his channels to approve the funds verbally.
Jaco Ferre suspected that Pier Sivils and Alexey wanted both him and Maxwell out of the corporation. He revealed to Robert Maxwell about the MAC – Skopje file. Pier Sivils promised that he would be a shareholder of the transportation company however, Maxwell didn’t believe him. Pier Sivils wanted him out and framed this passport and FBI badge on Jaco Ferre when he was eliminated but Robert Maxwell in truth did not exist.
Had Tyler Friesen captured shots of the MAC – Skopje file, he would definetly read about the Aeroflot negotiations.
Macedon Air took off its first flight in May 1966 painted white with a blue and orange stripe. By this time Catay paid off its lawsuit clearing all debts including two million dollars to Arizona State University. In mid 1966, TAM discovered Aleksandre Giorgashvili had used their roots to operate an airliner in Macedonia. TAM – Tbilisi in collaboration with Russian authorities began to probe into the matter that led to Pier Sivils that led to Jaco Ferre that led to Robert Maxwell, an American, who was already photographed by the KGB passing secret files to Alexey in a stopover meeting at Tenerife in 1962 shortly before the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Sledge spoke in a soft voice, “I have information I wish to share and information I can’t part with. Let me mention something in the balance. The rutile ore cargo was stopped by the Armenian Blue Berets for a request of TAM group because we’ve been advised of those pilots in the Albatross. They were American. We do no business under the circumstance. If Russians did, they won’t seize the cargo but the aircraft and the crew.
“I have some photographs I wish to show. Here are some enlarged photos of Macedon Air in operation at Skopje airport. They have three in the fleet now.”
Tyler noticed to his surprise its livery finished of white with an orange and blue stripe. One of the shots of its front view came in resemblance to what he saw in his sleep projection.
“All this came to my attention with what Salazar passed to me,” continued Sledge, “and an investigation is reaching its end. I found out you’ll be more helpful to us in the States than being here.
“And I will pass you these photos. This is Robert Maxwell. These photographs are taken by KGB as I’ve told you. Do you know him?”
Tyler shook his head, “No sir, I haven’t heard of him.” One of the photographs was very recent and a clear close-up face-shot of the man.
“Perhaps he’s known in that part of the world as Lieutenant Melville Bradley. He often flies in and out from McCarran International Airport. You can bump into him on Haven Street or perhaps watch those flights from the top of Tropicana.”
Tyler decided not to say anything.
“I think we know all there is to know. One thing I don’t know is who sent you and I am not going to ask. I regret not to ask. I have arranged a flight out from here to Ankara where you’ll meet the American Consulate and get papers to go home.”
“Thank you, sir. It has been a long journey.”
“I know. I wish you return home safely.”
Back in the United States, Tyler compiled a brief report in one week to submit to General Howe. He had no solid evidence to prove Lt Bradley passed any damaging information to the Russians or the Georgians. It could be another fabrication of a story. Meanwhile, Tyler Friesen was questioned by the FBI and they inclined not to believe a single word.
Finally, he reached General Howe in Arizona. “I have lost my Colt pistol…”
“I’m sorry about it. I wish I didn’t send you. It is good to see you back, Tyler. I have arranged a cheque for twenty thousand with a bonus. I sure did not expect all this…”
“Thank you,” returned Tyler.
“What is this?” asked General Howe.
“That’s my report, sir,” replied Tyler.
“No. I don’t need a report. We are not looking for Pier Sivils. He has cleared his debt.”
“There is more to it, sir…”
“You are a storyteller. I haven’t got enough time to read this…petty-bourgeois…”
“I didn’t say it…it’s over, Tyler…”
He got up from the chair and picked his report. He tore the cheque and dropped on the table, “I won’t be needing this…” he left.
Tyler thought he was done with it. Nonetheless, when General Howe declined to read his material, Tyler decided to dig in further and find the truth about Robert Maxwell. He got other means to find out Bradley. Soon he got everything there need to know about him, his address and his family. Tyler followed him to Haven Street and a parking lot beside McCarran Airport. Only that Lt Bradley never wore a uniform. His face and lean figure matched too well. Bradley was still assigned to duty at the secret base called Area 51.
The question Tyler asked, how he could uncover the lieutenant! Bug his house, follow his routes and crack his bank account…
As days passed, he dropped his hunt for Robert Maxwell. And now the person in question, ten years later, was a major.
By 1977, they were flying two DC-6 aircrafts with a white body and red stripe. Those flights even located a separate parking area and a terminal at the airport. Tyler booked a room facing the McCarran on the 16th floor of Tropicana and climbed with a Canon AE-1 camera, tripod and a 500 mm Sigma telephoto lens.
He captured grainy photographs of the recently known ‘Janet’ flights coming from nowhere and going out to the lake. He wasted the whole day to capture a trifling shy activity on the ground. JANET – Just Another Non-Existent Terminal. Tyler Friesen loved his new passion of bird-watching; sit by a window and write while observing those birds on an airlift.
– END –