The Seattle Post-Intelligencer is running a very cool story about a man named Robert Schaller who was a doctor, and a climber, who was contracted by the CIA to plant a nuclear powered surveillance device on Nanda Devi, a peak in the Himalaya.
The device was suppose to keep monitor Chinese missile tests and keep an eye on it’s burgeoning nuclear program. Schaller entered into a series of covert operations and training missions to support the CIA’s mission, and often left friends and family behind to pursue James Bond style espionage activities. However, when the team was finally suppose to complete it’s mission by putting the device on the summit of Nanda Devi, they were turned back by a blizzard. They made the choice of leaving the device at Camp 4, lashed to rocks, with the thought of returning in the Spring to complete there task. Only one problem. When they returned in the Spring, the device was missing, carried away be an avalanche.
Since that time, the government has been very hush-hush about the activities in the area, but climbers have reported that the mountain is radioactive. The theory is that the device is now bured in a glacier, which is slowly destroying the plutonium core that powers it.
The whole tale can be read in the book The Eye at the Top of the World by Pete Takeda. Sounds like a fascinating read. I may have to add this to my list of books.
Thanks to The Piton for this one.
Update: Regular reader Carl sent me this link to a very cool YouTube video on the book The Eye at the Top of the World This story gets more and more interesting. Thanks for sharing Carl! I appreciate it! Check it out here: