Kansas, Sixteen Hours, Eight Years discussed on Mike Slater


Politics in Kansas this exhibit about Vietnam POW's but really about their wives and how when they were first taken W's they were the wives are told to keep quiet about and pretend like nothing was going on and go on with their life and that's crazy so years went by and finally civil Stockdale should the right dell said nothing this got the women together and they raised awareness of of their husbands who were being tortured and no one knew no one American which is would while for us to think back and think that that would ever be possible so she's in town now filming some of these women who are still with us and and their story and and putting it together for this exhibit and the book comes out a few years which is super excited about as well you you hinted at this this thing that I this this is the part that I think you're making up here he everything else is great very wonderful but you mentioned like spying and stuff what does that give it give us a rundown I love this I I'm a big James Bond fan is here but he's such a missile I love James Bond and so I think of my ladies as Jane bond they're all doing this code for spying for the government but nobody knows about it and even this information was only declassified not all that long ago this is for people just tuning and so these women were told their husbands are missing or prisoners right and don't tell anyone right so for awhile I would imagine I don't put words in civil or Jane or Helen earlier that they don't like the government right I mean I don't know there they go along with their military wives said they do what the government tells them for a long time in some cases several years and they're terrified that they will hurt their husbands chances of getting out of jail or they they will be hurt if they say anything but after a couple of years of this impossible task of not being able to talk about it civil organizes the women in Coronado and says we have to talk about this what should we do and then it still takes two more years till nineteen sixty eight when she finally breaks the silence of the why she's the first she goes to the San Diego union Tribune and says the world does not know about the abuses of the north Vietnamese and they should know and that's the breaking news and then it's like a flood all the wives of the country start telling their story many hours at that so where the spine bar come in said the spine heart so these women had a naval and I'm and mainly focusing on navy wife some Air Force wives because they were pilots wives say they have a naval intelligence contact name Bob or is he will also be in the exhibit some of his artifacts and and items from here he is now he's actually from South Carolina originally but he isn't working out of the Pentagon for naval intelligence and he starts contacting these women and saying please come see me and he he basically we so women kind of interviews and realizes that some of them are capable of learning a coding system and the he's going to get them to code letters to their husbands this is after they've gotten a few letters and identified where the men are in a most of them in the hole in Hanoi Hilton but in some other prisons said he gets some to code letters to them so they can figure out what's going on so who have you got a cell so that your government and the wives by you know extension can figure out what's going on online see civil is one of the first to to sort of start coding these letters with bobber isn't and other naval intelligence folks and she finally when they get one of Jim's letters back they figure out in in code it says leg irons and torture sixteen hours a day what's so people start to flip out hold on so what is it what is the letter that civil sent Saturday and and how do we know what the cold look like one thing about the coding you know I try to be pretty general because some of the coding is still used as a basis today of coding and so the PW community I want to be really sensitive to that that I do I will not in the book where the exhibit we're not going to be revealing the mechanics of coding but there are certain things we we are allowed to talk about like symbols for example that will have in the exhibit symbols pictures of raises so simple would send a picture of roses and these were some neighbors of German symbols that had military connections and say just in a vague way he figured out by the images and the weird thing she was writing she meant this or a reference to a book this means this so it was a lot of guesswork on bass parts and what it really relied on his them knowing each other so well that he knew and she knew these were weird symbols and weird phrases and they didn't make sense how many letters to Jim receiver her before one of these coded letters came you know I would have to check on that but I I knew there were a number of letters that weren't hated that went on before because I don't think like when did he get tipped off that may be there is something called it in here you don't like I think it was so odd in the letters he sent her like they both they were just nonsensical sometimes it without revealing you know the exact hooting and how it works which I don't even know all the dynamics of that but the it was so off search such strange symbols and phrases that he realized it and also to street we had talked about this earlier but the seer school the search of Asian rescue school some of the POW's were taught how to could in Sears school and they all had a basic knowledge of these ways that you could communicate if you were in prison so they were all on alert wow so so do you think the letter that that Jim Stockdale sent back do you think's who even cracked the code because as Bob burrows guy who could recognize right well well what it what it Jim Sagan said the naval intelligence people were all trained in these things so it wasn't just fiber is it was the whole naval intelligence department the Air Force six cetera and I I couldn't give you one example there were a number of different examples actually I could give you one which was the title of a book that was some sort of communist related it was a book that bet civil and Jim had read and I'm not recalling the title but the title was in one of the letters and symbols like oh my gosh I read that book and it's about this kind of thing and so from there civil and barber is would work on it and the naval intelligence people would work on it and between a big team of people they would piece it together what was the what was the Iron sixteen hours a day yes and the line that they figured out from the coding was in leg irons sixteen hours a day experts that torture and not the one that just sends chills through your spot and sent chills through several spine because she knew from then on and they didn't know that at the time the government had no idea that was there well and I and I'd have to check the date on that letter there were a couple there was that and then another big indicator cheered Jeremiah Denton was another one of the the POW's that was well known and he blinks torture in Morse code on television and though the general public didn't know that and this was I believe it was broadcast her on mother's day it was I think in nineteen sixty five so this was one of the early signs naval intelligence saw this and they picked up that this guy was thinking so out of the box he blinked torture and more scared that was the first indicator and then these letters said there were some in these POW's were super out of the box thinkers in years into it yes and it went on for eight years in some cases so they think they're gonna get a lot they did the POW I think they really did not know from day to day they tortured them so brutally and for years on end I think a lot of them I know from reading their diaries and letters a lot of them thought they were gonna die in there right they all brick I think the what they said that I liked is you break but you don't you you bench but you don't so they would you know hold out as long as they could and then give some and knock US information or give miss information this information and then the Vietnamese would think they had gotten something when they really hadn't gotten much yeah that every delicious or to share their story and then the wives story after the whole of the bar and it is Bob Dole in there yeah so so good friend it was good to see this video of him at the inauguration of that it doesn't ladies we have to run it's been a pleasure doing wonderful let's chat again before the exhibit start so when and where Audrey is the this exhibit about these was sure sure the the exhibit will open at the beginning of may on may seventh of the dole institute of politics on the university of Kansas campus it'll be open through the end of the year and this December and thanks to a gift from Harlan an Alice in oaks of Colorado springs who funded the project and Colorado springs pioneers museum in the Virginia Historical Society it will travel to sites and through twenty nineteen at least very good we'll be in touch what is our website dole institute dot org okay get the info that you guys are wonderful thank so much thank you for having a good and seven sixty talking into breaking for.

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