Hairy Situation Pt 2

I placed my second helping of Dave’s cake on my plate when I heard a knocking sound come from the front door.

“Are you expecting someone?” Alice asked.

“Yes, who among us doesn’t like coming in the back door?” I said.

Everyone raised their hand. “But we do.”

“I mean to stay. Who refuses to come through the back door?”

A glaring stare came in my direction from my friends. I peeked through the hanging beads. A man six-foot four tall man wearing a business suit and a flat top haircut stood outside the waiting. It could only be one person: Mister Beck.

The four of us first came to know him once as Colonel Beck. Alice and I would coordinate with the Colonel Beck concerning special operation in Vietnam. The time a certain General wanted to hang us for treason, he arranged for all of us to get an honorable discharge from the Army.

Back in the states, the now Mister Beck enlisted us to do recon for a group of government agencies. I called them Alphabet Soup, because they included FBI CIA and NSA. Mister Beck even arranged for me to have a full scholarship at the University of California at Berkeley and inherit the photographic studio we now use for our meeting place.

Mister Beck has a standing invitation to our monthly potluck. Seeing him at the door of The Studio and in a business suit meant one thing. He has something he wants us to investigate for him.

I opened to front door and said, “You better hurry, there’s not much food left.”

Mister Beck didn’t waste time filling his plate. He set in the empty chair at table. While he ate, we filled him in on recent observations. Beck didn’t ask questions or make any comments.

When Mister Beck finish eating, Alice, and the group got up and cleared the table. Dave packed leftovers in Tupperware containers. Leroy put the paper plates in the trash. Alice set a few of leftovers aside to take home. I made sure I had the studio’s refrigerator stock for the next couple of days. When finished, we looked over at Mister Beck. Still sitting watching and waiting. We retook our seats.

“Have you heard anything from Saul?” Mister Beck asked me.

“Yes, he finally sign The Studio over to me along with a warehouse full of stuff. I don’t believe he is planning on coming back from Israel.”

“Are any of you considering taking a vacation anytime soon?” Mister Beck asked.

“Alice and I have talked about it. We thought about taking a couple of weeks at the end of the month and drive up to Idaho to visit my parents.”

Mister Beck reached down to his briefcase sitting on the floor. He pulled out a large vanilla envelope. “I have something rather important. I need your help with a situation.”

He pulled a paper out of a vanilla envelope and slid it across the table to me. “Jason, Here is the missing person’s report. It came to me because of the sensitive nature of the missing individuals.”

“What does this report has to do with us?”

Alice leaned against my right shoulder. I could hear her softly reading the high points of the report.


Dr. Otto Spitz

Missing Since March 8, 1977

Sex: Male

Race: White

Age at Missing: 68

Missing From: Seattle, WA

Height: 6’0″ (182.88 cm)

Weight: 195 lbs (88.45 kg)

Eyes: Blue

Hair: Gray

Contact Agency: Seattle Police Department

Phone: (425) 555-0200

Information and Details:

Dr Otto Spitz left Livermore California on March 1, 1977, with a friend with the goal of arriving in Seattle by March 5, 1977. The purpose of their visit was for Dr. Spitz to have a vacation and see the Space Needle. On March 8, 1977, friends where the two were to stay got concerned and filed a missing person report. If you have information or have seen this. If you see this missing person, please contact the law enforcement agency listed below:

Submitting Agency and Phone:

Seattle Police Department – (425) 555-0200


Alice asked, “This report is from the Seattle Police Department. Why would this missing old man concern us?”

My elbow tapped Alice in the ribs. I gave her an “I told you so.” smile.

I asked, on top of Alice’s question. “Shouldn’t this be a matter for the FBI to investigate?”

“My bosses don’t want a formal investigation. We don’t want the press to get hold of the details about this old man and his escort.

We figure two young people on vacation taking a road trip through Northern California and Oregon on their way to Idaho won’t raise much suspicion.”

“What about that Frank Church Commission requiring all of us to be accountable to Congress?” Leroy asked.

Mister Beck stared at the table. “What they don’t know will only help them.”

“So you want us to go looking after the old man and his escort?” Alice asked.

“That’s correct.”

“What do you know about the escort?” I asked.

“He’s a Marine sergeant. That’s what makes this whole situation even more concerning.”

“This report shows they have been missing for three months.” Alice noticed. “They could be anywhere by now.”

“Government bureaucracy moves slow. The assignment kept getting passed around until it came to me. And I am passing it to this group. I believe this group can handle it.”

“But we only do recon in the San Francisco Bay Area. Why now do you want us to go to Seattle?”

“You are the best I have on the west coast. I need my best team to find out what is really going on.”

When Mister Beck said, “We were the best team he had on the west coast,” it only confirmed what we suspected. You could of have heard a pin drop. Over the past years, we suspected we were not the only team Mister Beck supervised. We knew he did intelligence gathering up and down the west coast, but we wanted to believe we were his only team.

Mister Beck broke our silence by answering questions he knew we had. “Over the past several years, I have limited your recon to the Bay Area. The four of you know this area so well and have brought me some excellent recon. The four of you have amazed me how you diffused a potential threat. This assignment could be basic recon or it may need something more. That is why I need you.”

Alice slide the missing person report so Dave and Leroy could read it. Dave read the name of the person missing aloud. “Doctor Otto Spitz. Otto Spitz, I’ve heard of this guy. He’s the German scientist who did radiation experiments on Jews back under Hilter.”

“Yes, he is.” Mister Beck said.

Dave’s set up straight. “Why is a Nazi scientist doing in the United States?”

“At the end of World War II, we brought him over here, along with several Nazi scientists. They were to help us advance our knowledge in atomic energy and other areas of science.”

“The Nazi Scientist from World War II. Shouldn’t they be dying off by now?” I asked.

“Some of them are. A few were in their late twenties and early thirties when working for Hitler.”

“What harm could an old guy like this Otto Spitz be doing in Washington state?” Alice added.

“We don’t know. That is why we need you to find those answers for us.”

“What is specialty?” Alice asked.

“He experiments with the effects of radiation on the human body.”

“Like atomic bomb medicine?” Leroy’s eyes popped big.

“I don’t understand all this atomic, nuclear stuff myself. What I know is he has been working on a specific type of radiation.”

Dave injected, “I have read some articles about the use of radiation in curing cancer and other diseases.”

I gave Mister Beck a cold look. “What’s an old Nazi scientist doing traveling around the Pacific Northwest?”