Rudolph Ivanovich	 Abel			Photo Gallery
The Hollow Nickle Case  (continued)

Hollow 50 Markkaa Coin

In the modest home of Hayhanen and his wife on Dorislee Drive in Peekskill, New York, FBI Agents found such items as a 50 Markka coin from Finland. It had been hollowed out, and there was a small hole in the first "a" of the word "Tasavalta" which appeared on the "tail side" of this coin.

FBI Laboratory experts examined this Finnish coin on May 17, 1957. They immediately noted that it bore a great similarity to the Jefferson nickel which the Brooklyn newsboy had discovered in 1953. Two separate coins obviously had been used in making this "trick" 50 Markkaa piece. This also was the case with the hollow nickel. And both coins had a small hole in one printed letter so that a sharp-pointed instrument, such as a needle, could be used to open them.

Although the FBI was convinced that it had finally identified the Soviet espionage apparatus which was responsible for the hollow Jefferson nickel, only one half of the mystery posed by this coin since its discovery in June, 1953, had been solved. The coded message which the nickel contained still had to be deciphered.

During the FBI's extensive interviews with him, in May, 1957, Hayhanen was carefully questioned regarding the codes and cryptosystems which he had used in the various Soviet intelligence agencies he had served since 1939. The information which he provided was applied by FBI Laboratory experts to the microphotograph from the Jefferson nickel.

With this data, the FBI Laboratory succeeded in breaking through the curtain of mystery which surrounded the coded message. By June 3, 1957, the full text of the microphotograph was known. The message apparently was intended for Hayhanen and had been sent from the Soviet Union shortly after his arrival in the United States. It read:
 

"1. WE CONGRATULATE YOU ON A SAFE ARRIVAL.
WE CONFIRM THE RECEIPT OF YOUR LETTER TO THE
ADDRESS `V REPEAT V' AND THE READING OF
LETTER NUMBER 1."

"2. FOR ORGANIZATION OF COVER, WE GAVE INSTRUCTIONS TO TRANSMIT TO YOU THREE THOUSAND IN LOCAL (CURRENCY). CONSULT WITH US PRIOR TO INVESTING IT IN ANY KIND OF BUSINESS, ADVISING THE CHARACTER OF THIS BUSINESS."

"3. ACCORDING TO YOUR REQUEST, WE WILL TRANSMIT THE FORMULA FOR THE PREPARATION OF SOFT FILM AND NEWS SEPARATELY, TOGETHER WITH (YOUR) MOTHER'S LETTER."

"4. IT IS TOO EARLY TO SEND YOU THE GAMMAS.
ENCIPHER SHORT LETTERS, BUT THE LONGER ONES MAKE WITH INSERTIONS. ALL THE DATA ABOUT YOURSELF, PLACE OF WORK, ADDRESS, ETC., MUST NOT BE TRANSMITTED IN ONE CIPHER MESSAGE. TRANSMIT INSERTIONS SEPARATELY."

"5. THE PACKAGE WAS DELIVERED TO YOUR WIFE PERSONALLY. EVERYTHING IS ALL RIGHT WITH THE FAMILY. WE WISH YOU SUCCESS. GREETINGS FROM THE COMRADES. NUMBER 1, 3RD OF DECEMBER."

 

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