In virtually every spy movie, there’s always a big “reveal” moment, either close to the beginning or at the point where the uneducated protagonist is led into the inner sanctum, and then — Voila! Fancy computers! Panel upon panel of important-looking information! Suits bustling everywhere!
Sometimes that’s true, I suppose, but one of the necessary complications of having to travel and work undercover is that sometimes you really do have to work in conditions more or less decrepit enough to avoid attracting attention. That’s what happened to the unnamed CIA spy ship “LCFANGLED” (that’s the code name, not the ship name), in 1953. LCFANGLED left Panama in 1953 under command of Laurence Sillence, and headed toward target “Identity 1” — probably something related to Guatemala, since a related debriefing is coded “PBFORTUNE” after the CIA covert operation there. No details about the LCFANGLED are provided, but it is subsequently stated that the ship cannot be boarded or impounded by any other country because of “the illegality of both vessel and crew.”
Then things went wrong: