Student Receives Surprise in Soviet Package

October 17, 1984 1 min read

Christopher Foley, a junior at Milford High School in Oakland County, Mich., received a little something extra when he ordered information for a class project from the Soviet Mission at the United Nations. Nestled among the brochures and pamphlets were microfilmed specifications for a U.S. tank.

fbi agents are now in the process of trying to figure out how the micro-film of M-60 tank specifications got into a damaged package received by the student on Sept. 17. The microfilm was unclassified, according to John Anthony of the fbi’s Detroit office, but “should still be afforded the proper security.”

Mr. Anthony said the General Dynamics Corporation, the prime U.S. contractor for the M-60 tank, was soliciting bids for a portion of the tank that required modifications, so the microfilm showed only part of the tank. He said 42 envelopes containing the specifications were sent to various contractors.

The most prevalent theory as to how the microfilm ended up in Mr. Foley’s package, Mr. Anthony said, “is that the two envelopes, one going to the student and the other going to the contractor, crossed in the mail. Both did cross in the same post office and both were damaged. Someone from the post office could have accidentally put them together.’'

Mr. Anthony said the fbi is now trying to find the one contractor that did not receive the microfilm from General Dynamics.

The microfilm was clipped to computer cards found in the retaped package received by the student, who used a microfilm machine in the school’s library to determine the film’s contents.

A spokesman for the Soviet Mission said that she did not know how the microfilm ended up in the package, but she did say that the fault was no doubt with the U.S. Postal Service.

Parents Charge That

Schools Segregate

A version of this article appeared in the October 17, 1984 edition of Education Week as Student Receives Surprise in Soviet Package