Pretexts are used by spies at all levels in both the public and private sectors. The millions of bird watchers worldwide provide ideal cover. Birders use binoculars, cameras, digiscopes, directional microphones and miniature tracking devices to study birds. Spies use the same equipment in espionage.
Ian Scott, the main character in the novel, teaches a class titled, 'Wildlife Surveillance With Camera & Recorder' at the local zoo. Many of his students are serious birders, but some of them also have other agendas. The refer to the birding classes as 'Spy School." Terrorists take flying lessons. Spies take spying lessons. Many of the worst threats to our world begin in a class somewhere.
Seen from a spy's perspective, 'The Perfect Pretext' has the following characteristics:
• It can be used by men and women of all ages. Intelligence officers use this pretext. So do private investigators, competitive intelligence agents, and amateur spies with their own agendas. No special attributes or physical characteristics are required.
• Language is usually not a problem. The pretext is based on a legitimate activity enjoyed by millions of men and women throughout the world. Their shared interests bridge most language barriers.
• The perfect pretext can be used any hour of the day or night, and can be adjusted to fit most weather conditions.
• This pretext fits any terrain and almost any location. It can be used on a grassy hillside overlooking an office park, on the roof of a high-rise building in the business district, or on a boat in the bay near the docks.
• The perfect pretext provides a logical reason for having binoculars, night scopes, camera equipment, listening devices, and recorders at the pretext site. In fact, the pretext would be less credible without at least some of this high-tech equipment.
• Reputable organizations in many countries unknowingly support this pretext, though ID cards and official credentials are not required. Many legitimate groups and organizations issue membership cards and sell specialized books and other merchandise used by spies in this pretext. Birding - bird watching - is the perfect pretext. Birders watch birds. Spies use birding as a pretext.
1. Falcons on the 14th Floor
2. The Indagator
3. Spy School
4. Monkey Puzzle Park
5. The Secret of Secrets
6. Bird of Passage
7. Sometimes an Honorable Profession
8. Odd Birds
9. Beauty, Nobility & Death
10. The Nighthawk Pretext
11. The Fools’ Phone
12. Old Crows & Cleaning Stations
13. The Shadowed Owl
14. Owl Pellets
15. Fly Away
16. Bowerman Basin
The author, William M. Johnson, has been a soldier, government investigator, and San Francisco private eye. He is the founder and Executive Director of BECCA, the Business Espionage controls & Countermeasures Association. Bird watchers in Europe were the first to call his attention to birding pretexts during the Cold War era, but new high-tech equipment now makes birding more than ever The Perfect Pretext.
First Book Review
"Tantalizing! From page one we are plunged into layers of intrigue that fan deeper and wider as the story develops - peopled by characters about whom we only want to know MORE. The Perfect Pretext is almost like the perfect precis to a whole series of mystery, mayhem and facination. Read on!" (Review written by HAH Bock)