Real life 007s’ arms for public eye
From shoes with built-in daggers to cigarette packets that fire bullets, those gadgets in the James bond movies seemed like products of the props department’simagination.But, far from being works of fiction, they are all too real and deadly as revealed in an amazing array of clandestine weapons from a British secret agent’s arsenal that has gone on public show for the first time.the collection has been handed to the Combined Military Services Museum in Maldon,Essex,by captain Peter Mason and his wife Pruce who carried out covert operations for M15 and M16 in careersthat make even a Bond story seem tame.
The gadgetry depicted in the 007 novels and later in the films closely imitated reality because
Mason who really did have a licence to kill had advised Bond author Ian Fleming on the weaponry used in the Secret Service.Mason and his wife are uncerstood to be in their 80s and living at a secret location in Canada.Even now, they remainreluctant to blow their cover and wereunavailable for comment.
Museum curator Marilyn Bullivant said: the museum received an e-mail from them a few months ago and they started sending items.Both were incredible hoarders of their equipment but decided the best5 place for everything was a British museum.
Bond fans will recognize the daggershoes as similar to those in From Russia with Love.the cigarette pistol is similar to one in You only Live Twice.there is a pen which doubles as a gun, a pipe which conceals a gun and a kiss of death gun disguised as a tube of lipstick.
In addition, there is a cigarette holder with a camera and an old coin with a vicious concealed blade.
Other items on display include a poison-tipped umbrella similar to the one used to kill Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov in London in 1978 when his assassin brushed by him and used the umbrella to inject a pellet of deadly ricin into his leg.
Mason joined the Army at 16,but was transferred to the Special operations Executive and later the SAS.As leader of a seek and strike unit based in Germany,he hunted fugitive Nazi war criminals until 1948.Issued with a licence to kill, he accounted for 12 criminals in this period.
He then trained to work undercover as an active measures officer for M15 and M16.Missions included infiltrating the IRA in the 1950s,destroying one of their cells in Southern Ireland, and exposing gun-running routes in Europe.He also trained agents.His wife was approached by M16 after working as a transport pilot in the war.
During Operation Galaxy Prue codename Zoe joined the Circus Americano,touring the Soviet Union where, together with her husband, she smuggled a Polsih diplomat and his family to the west by concealing them in a horsebox.