BIG BANG CIRCA 1954
And here, but for a number of curious coincidences, my involvement
in this story may have also come to an end, too. However, in trying
to understand the nature of the black gold market and to discover
what was hidden behind the Secret Treaty, I began to uncover a
welter of additional information.
For some time I had been in contact with a BBC journalist about a
story wholly unconnected to World War II plunder and black gold. [i]
This individual had, in the course of his own investigation,
interviewed a former ONI and CIA officer following the latter’s
release from custody by Austrian officials in late 1996. The meeting
had occurred in a forest in Austria, for security reasons, I was
The CIA man was Gunther Russbacher -- regarded by some as
tricky and potentially deceitful but still others, including author
Rodney Stich (Defrauding America) consider him very reliable and
extremely knowledgeable in matters of a "black" nature. Russbacher,
whose father was an Austrian officer in Nazi intelligence during the
war, emigrated to the United States in, I understand, 1954 (although
others have the date as 1950) and settled in Oklahoma City.
Russbacher’s German connection fits the pattern.
In any event, Russbacher told the BBC journalist that huge
quantities of Nazi gold had been shipped to South America, via
Spain, just prior to the close of World War II. The loot had sat in
South America for a number of years, but as soon as its existence
became known to Israeli intelligence the plunder was immediately
transferred to the Philippines and hidden, Russbacher said.
Over a year after my interview with Russbacher, I was put in contact
with Ken Krohn, who I was told was a business associate of
Russbacher's. I telephoned Krohn in California on 27 February 1998,
telling him I was conducting research into black market gold deals.
He immediately asked if I had been speaking to Russbacher. At that
time, I had not, and I told him so. Krohn then stated that he was a
member of "Gunther's Team" and had acted in the role of "Stateside
Anchor." Krohn then asked me to call him back the following Tuesday
so that he could, in the meantime, refresh his memory from his
files. He had, he said "names, dates, files. It'll make your hair
On 3 March 1998, we had a further lengthy telephone conversation.
Gunther's Team was, Krohn indicated, part of the ongoing Nippon Star
outfit headed by General John Singlaub. [ii] Russbacher's team
consisted of five Americans and a handful of Filipinos, who between
them had recovered in excess of 500 metric tonnes of gold stashed in
the Philippines. The Philippine stash included bullion plundered by
the Nazis as well as gold stolen from China during World War II. The
gold recovered by Russbacher's team had, Krohn said, been sold to
the Austrian National Bank at an 11.6% discount from the prevailing
price of gold. Krohn added that the banker at the Austrian National
Bank who handled the negotiations and transfer was Dr. Werner Metz.
On the Philippine side, the deal was handled by Gabriel C. Singson,
Chairman of the Philippine National Bank, acting on behalf of then-
President Fidel Ramos. Krohn said that President Ramos's wife had
travelled to Austria to get the "commission."
The intermediary who negotiated the deal between the two parties
was, Krohn said, former U.N. Secretary General Kurt Waldheim – who,
Krohn said, was a relative of Russbacher. The Austrians wanted the
gold to "support the Eurodollar," according to Krohn. He said that
when he, together with Russbacher, and other members of the team,
travelled to Austria, they were met at the airport by Austrian
security. Russbacher was arrested and taken away, but Krohn and the
rest of the team were merely roughed up and then flown back to the
US on the first available flight. Krohn contended that Russbacher
had double-crossed them all and had disappeared with everyone's
Interestingly, Russbacher's former wife, Rayelan Russbacher, tells a
tale that is identical to Krohn's account in all material respects,
except as to the quantities of gold involved. In early May 2000,
Rayelan Russbacher faxed me copies of about 30 documents relating to
her former husband’s gold deal as described above. The code name for
the transaction was “White Robe/150-920-458." The documents she
faxed show that the intended transaction was, in fact, a series of
between ten and 50 transactions, each involving a quantity of 2,500
metric tonnes of gold negotiated at a discount rate of 10% (rather
than the 11.6% rate described by Krohn). Additionally, the
commitments for these transactions could be “rolled over” and
“extended” up to a total of 500,000 metric tonnes. A first “test”
tranche of 2,500 tonnes with a face value of approximately US$30
billion was called for (giving a price of about $370 per ounce).
This staggering deal, if consummated in full, had a price tag of
US$6 trillion – equivalent to the current US national debt!
Kurt Waldheim's apparent involvement in this deal raises an
additional aspect worth exploring, if only briefly. Waldheim was
appointed Secretary General of the United Nations in 1971, a
position he held until 1981. It is inconceivable that his background
as a Nazi officer would not have been known to the US government,
which would have thoroughly, albeit informally, vetted him at the
time his name was thrown into the hat for the UN job. In all
probability, details of his service in the Wermacht would have been
available to US authorities -- and particularly the CIA -- and the
Gehlen Org since at least 1955, when he took up his seat as the
official Austrian delegate to the UN.
It, therefore, must have come as a shock to Waldheim to see his name
in headline banners in the world's press, linked to Nazi war crimes.
Details of these allegations were provided to the New York Times by
the US Justice Department and appeared in that newspaper in an
article published on 13th March 1994. Coincidentally -- if one
believes in coincidence, Father Christmas and the tooth fairy -- it
was at this precise point in time that the Russbacher bullion deal
was about to be signed (much the same situation as the Times
newspaper article that appears to have scuppered Johnston's deal
with Credit Lyonnais that was outlined earlier). Interestingly,
Russbacher's colleague, Michael Blinston, who was overseeing the
deal, sent a fax to Russbacher in late February 1994 in which he
voiced his concerns that a "Mr. Pruit," who represented the London
office of Citibank, had arrived in Manila with an authorised "buy
order" to purchase the gold on offer.
Suspicious, Blinston wondered whether their deal was "being delayed
on purpose to allow Citibank to take the deal from us?" He then adds
that it "sounds familiar does it not???" (See the "Russbacher"
Appendices) In any event, on 15th March 1994, two days after the
Waldheim allegations hit the headlines, the Central Bank of the
Philippines finally issued an authorised offer to sell the gold to
the Austrian central bank. One can speculate that a CIA faction
other than the one to which Russbacher belonged decided to try and
scupper the deal and, perhaps, arrange to have its own team get
awarded the contract instead. Such gamesmanship is not uncommon to
large transactions, and, in this case, truly prodigious amounts of
money were involved.
It is also of interest that one of those involved in this
transaction was referred to in documents as “Philippine Passport –
L-506511” and now identified as Imelda Marcos. Her role was not as
seller but as an intermediary who would accrue a fee of .25%.What is
intriguing about this deal is the total quantity involved. Shown in
the exhibits to this manuscript is a letter from the Knights of
Malta entitled “Lansdale Project,” which states in the fifth
paragraph: “Reference 500,000 MT: The reaction on the 500,000 MT
will also be discussed during the meeting.” The meeting referred to
was a “sit down” by the “Washington people” to discuss the
“ramifications” of another Lansdale transaction. Significantly, this
letter was part of Peter Johnston’s papers, although Peter had
absolutely no knowledge of Gunther Russbacher and his involvement in
a similar (or the same) transaction. The connection is, clearly,
Imelda Marcos, who had a finger in both Peter Johnston’s and
Some while after my discussions with Ken Krohn, I was able to make
contact with Russbacher directly. On 30 August 1998, we spoke for
the first time by telephone. This call was followed by two further
telephone conversations. Russbacher listened as I repeated Ken
Krohn's recollection of events. He asked what I knew of the
background to the story. I repeated what I had learned from the BBC
journalist -- that Nazi gold had been shipped to South America where
it had been discovered by the Israelis, forcing its relocation to
the Philippines in 1954 -- and that this led to a "Secret
Russbacher responded to my description with an emphatic "Boom!"
After a pause, he asked if Krohn had given me names. I said he had.
Russbacher then asked if I knew "who the facilitator was" I
responded by asking him whom he meant. He evaded my question and
seemed relieved that I didn't appear to know about Waldheim's role
in the transaction. After confirming that he was aware of Singlaub
and his role in Nippon Star gold recoveries, Russbacher said he
preferred not to answer any more questions. This was a sensitive
subject, he said. According to both Krohn and Rayelan Gunther
Russbacher, (who, as you will see from the exhibits used his full,
original Austrian name of Russbacher Erz Herzog von Esterhaszy) is a
member of the Templar Knights.
In an email message dated 15 August 1998, Rayelan told me that the
500 MT transaction arose following an approach to Russbacher by Sam Nicanor, a Filipino citizen who she believed was also a covert
contract agent for one of the American intelligence agencies or
groups. She added that at that time, “Sam was arranging a gold
transfer that involved gold that was not the Austrian treasury…. It
was gold that belonged to the founder of Krupp.”
Meanwhile, one fact that leapt out at me from all this was the date
1954. It could easily have been a coincidence, but then again it
might have a distinct bearing on Peter Johnston's story. It is of
interest, too, to learn that it was the year 1954 when Mossad boss,
Isser Harel, travelled to Washington to meet with CIA Director,
Allen Dulles. The result of the meeting was the beginning of an
intelligence “partnership” between America and Israel that would
soon benefit the smaller nation with a plethora of state-of-the-art
technical spying equipment. What it did not do, obviously, was
assign Israel any secrets of the American atomic weapons programme
that was heavily protected by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 as well
as prevailing US espionage laws. [v]
The 1954 date also eventually led me to wonder if there were any
trails leading to Martin Bormann and his huge hoard of Nazi plunder.
At that time, Bormann was living in Argentina under the special
protection of its dictator, Juan Peron. Peron was cast out of power
in 1955 and fled to Spain to live in safety where he could count the
$1.5 billion fortune he had amassed from corruption and “donations”
made by the new Nazi paymaster, the former Reichsleiter, Martin
Bormann. Was it conceivable that Bormann had learned of a
forthcoming plot to oust Peron and so took action to secure his
assets? It is admittedly a fanciful idea that has no factual backing
whatsoever. Still, it is often by such curious “brainstorms” that
meaningful connections are unveiled. The Bormann connection would
later prove of considerable importance to my investigation.
Of significance too, was that Ken Krohn stated that the quantity of
gold recovered by the Russbacher team was “nearly” 400 metric
tonnes. This is a very interesting figure. In the international
black market, quantities of “AU” (gold) are often used as an
identifier to a given transaction. A wise seller will, if
unsuccessful the first time around (as often is the case), re-offer
the bullion in multiple smaller volumes -- or in tranches -- to
camouflage the fact that the gold has been offered in a previous,
failed, transaction. As an example of identification by quantity, a
large block of gold originating from Thailand continues to re-appear
periodically in the black market and is immediately identified by
its quantity - marginally above 5,000 metric tonnes.
I will return to the Russbacher–Krohn and Bormann connections
[i] Chemical and electromagnetic mind control technology.
[ii] For a background on Singlaub and Nippon Star, see Sterling
Seagrave The Marcos Dynasty (London: Macmillan, 1988) at 395-396. I
must also offer my thanks to Gunther Russbacher's former wife,
Rayelan, who has assisted in my research and who donated a number of
invaluable documents from Gunther Russbacher's files.
[iii] The implication I have drawn from this "Secret Agreement" is
that the Israelis were given a percentage of profits. To some, this
may sound a cynical interpretation on my part. To those who doubt, I
would recommend reading Loftus and Aarons, The Secret War Against
the Jews (St. Martin's Press, 1994) to understand how Israel
blackmailed Western nations in order to survive during the critical
years of its existence. Of note in this regard is that one of the
certificates Johnston had access to was issued by the Bank of
America, dated November 1984, in the name of Chaim Herzog.
[iv] It is a fact that Israeli agents were in hot pursuit of Martin
Bormann (and Mengele) at this time. Bormann had control of a vast
fortune of Nazi assets and loot, including the "bulk of the treasure
that had made up the financial reserves of the Deutsche Bank,"
according to Paul Manning, Martin Bormann - Nazi in Exile. Manning
had access to an FBI surveillance report that stated "At the end of
1954, Martin Bormann was seen in Mina Clavera, Cordoba in the
company of two men with Spanish surnames. He was calling himself
Jose Perez. "Bormann's head of security, Heinrich Mueller, in order
to put investigators off the scent, periodically would leak stories
to the press that Bormann's body had been located. In one case, in
1955, the remains of an "Israeli agent who had gotten to close to
his target" were exhumed. Manning at 213.
[v] See Gordon Thomas, Gideon’s Spies, (London: MacMillan, 1999) at
29,30 and 81.
PART 2.2 -
In any event, I had already begun looking at stories about Marcos
gold with a great deal more interest. I was also struck by the fact
that of all the certificates in the possession of Dr. Damanik
accessed by Johnston, the oldest was a gold certificate in the name
of Ferdinand Marcos.
This was dated 9 September 1956 and was for a
"deposit" of 7,120 metric tonnes of AU issued by Swiss Bank
Corporation (Schweizerische Bank Gesellschaft M.H.C.). This was some
years before Marcos was elected as a senator and years before
climbing his way to the presidency of the Philippines. It was in the
"early fifties" that Sterling Seagrave has Marcos collaborating with
Japanese-American investigator Minoru Fukimatsu as he interviewed
over 300 witnesses to gold burial troves in the Philippines. Both
men also accessed secret Japanese government archives. Seagraves
adds that Fukimatsu "came up with a map and in November 1953, began
digging. " [i]
Over twenty years later, the CIA had become a partner with [then]
President Marcos in shipping vast quantities of gleaming gold bars
-- bearing the triple A “chop” (a term used to describe hallmarks)
-- to Australia (and elsewhere), courtesy of the Nugan Hand Bank,
which flew the bullion into the giant
CIA/NSA facility at Alice
Springs. [ii] The gold thereafter disappeared at about the same time
that one now internationally well-known Australian media man began
his spectacular march to global tycoon-ship. [iii] Meanwhile, papers
in my possession show that another Australian bank was selected to
hold a very large stockpile of Marcos gold. This is none other than
Peter Johnston's bank -- Westpac.
But there were other 1954 "coincidences" that were also equally
striking. Not least was the fact that the London Bullion Market,
which had closed at the onset of war in 1939, suddenly decided to
re-open on 22 March 1954. Even before World War II began, England
was financially barren. Joseph Kennedy, who was the then US
Ambassador to the Court of St. James, reported that England had no
gold, whatsoever, of her own. Six years of harrowing global warfare
could only have worsened that already bleak economic picture. But by
1954, apparently, there was sufficient gold "in play" to warrant the
revival of the London Bullion Market. Where did the gold come from?
Was it just that South African production had reached sufficient
levels to make trading gold in London economically viable once more,
or did insiders know something the rest of us weren't privy to?
Paul Manning -- the highly respected Pulitzer Prize nominee
journalist -- in his book on Martin Bormann and the mystery of
disappeared Nazi assets and war plunder notes" the economic bastions
of power that he [Bormann] established in the neutral nations of the
world in 1944 were the bedrock enabling the West German government
to rise from defeat, once they had again become masters of their
destiny after the Treaty of Paris in 1954." [iv] In other words, the
vast amount of Nazi assets and loot that had disappeared when Martin Bormann fled to South America in 1945 were quietly repatriated to
the newly created Federal Republic of Germany following the Paris
Treaty of 1954.
Whatever else might have happened in 1954 (including the French
defeat at Dien Bien Phu and the arrival in Saigon of top CIA
strategist Edward Lansdale, who fought deadly battles against French
military intelligence for control of the region's opium business),
one event cannot be overlooked. This was the first ever meeting of
the Bilderberg group during 29-31 May 1954. [v] That first meeting
was dominated by American, British and then German participants who
filled 36 of the available 67 slots. This is not the place to go
into detail about the Bilderberg conferences, except to note for
those who are unfamiliar with the Bilderberg group that it is a very
powerful elite Western forum that is surrounded by almost
impenetrable secrecy. The group was headed by one-time SS
probationary member, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, until he
resigned in disgrace following publication of the story about his
acceptance of kickbacks in the Lockheed bribe scandal. Bernhard was
shown to have accepted $1 million as far back as 1962.
In the light of the foregoing, it is hard not to conclude that some
form of “secret treaty” may well have been signed in 1954 that
involved the recovery of World War II plunder -- both European and
Asian -- and that a portion of it was subsequently used in US
military and intelligence "black operations." I note that most of
the certificates that Peter Johnston had access to through Dr.
Damanik are dated between 1980 and 84 -- the very period when the
CIA was actively participating in laundering Marcos bullion. [vi]
All these certificates represented cashes of gold and platinum.
Three certificates, one of which was dated 1963 and the two others
with dates of August and December 1972, were for cash deposits
denominated in Swiss francs, Canadian dollars and US dollars and
running into many tens of billions in equivalent US dollars.
This is interesting, because author Sterling Seagrave in The Marcos
Dynasty observes that Marcos was able to secure "… large loans using
as collateral gold bullion that he was as yet unable to get out of
the Philippines." [vii] But how large is “large”? The "International
Transaction Obligation" certificate that Johnston had access to,
issued by the Union Bank of Switzerland, was dated 17 January 1963,
and was for SFR 92.625 billion. Moreover, this certificate is in the
name of “Adnan Kasogi” and bears the "Special Code”: “Panama Fusse
King." Although Khashoggi's name has inevitably been misspelled, it
is interesting to note that he was "Ferdinand's pal and Imelda's
disco partner, fellow Lockheed agent and business associate of
The ability of Marcos to secure loans against gold still stashed on
the Philippines is not without a historical precedent. In his
best-selling book A Man Called Intrepid, author William Stevenson
discusses the gold reserves shipped by France to the French island
of Martinique – located off the American coast. He says that these
reserves amounted to 50 million ounces, or approximately 1,550
metric tonnes constituting the bulk of French gold reserves. The
British greatly feared that Vichy France under Petain would release
this gold to the Nazis. At the time, England was bankrupt. Intrepid
devised a plan to steal the gold from Martinique, but this proved
difficult. Instead, he decided it was just as easy to effect
“control” over the gold by subjecting it to a naval quarantine and
showing that it was feasible to capture it if necessary. The idea
was to then use the gold to support US loans to Britain for the war
effort, which one historian quipped was “an exercise in constructive
blackmail.” [ix] Interestingly, I asked the Foreign Office historian
who researched and wrote the September 1996 “History Notes – Nazi
Gold: Information from the British Archives” what happened to the
Martinique gold. She had no idea, she said. It remains unclear if
the plan was carried through or shelved, although the latter seems
Let us return to the Marcos documents. To my mind, the peculiarities
in this story abound and multiply. The 1963 Swiss franc cash
certificate was issued just months after Prince Bernhard received
his first known kickback from Lockheed -- which was being used as a
"cloak" by the CIA to funnel political bribe money all over the
world. [x] The certificate is in the name of Marcos's friend, Adnan
“Kasogi,” a "fellow Lockheed agent" of Yoshio Kodama. The latter
was, as Sterling Seagrave clearly demonstrates, a rear admiral in
the Japanese Navy during World War II as well as a member of the
Japanese Yakuza crime clan.
More significant still is the fact that Kodama worked for the
Japanese prince who headed the Japanese secret service and who was
overlord of the Japanese plunder teams known as "The Golden Lily."
The Golden Lily operated in Mukden in Manchuria, but had its
headquarters in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Kodama was
tasked with "shepherding masses of war loot in naval vessels ahead
of him under the watchful eye of naval officers seconded to
him." [xi] The loot had been plundered from all over Asia under
Kodama'a authority and was moved "up the coast of Borneo through
Brunei to the Philippines," where it was eventually buried. [xii]
The two other cash certificates Johnston was involved with were: an
International Certificate titled "Commercial Deposit" issued by the
Royal Bank of Canada for Can$ 9.36 billion dated 12 August 1972 in
the name of Hosni Mubarak and an international certificate entitled
"Obligation of Certificate International Certificate of Deposit"
issued by the Bank of England, dated 15 December 1972 in the name of
Mao Tze-Tung for US$16.62 billion. 1972 was an interesting year.
First, President Nixon had closed the gold window only a year
before, in 1971, thereby disconnecting the US dollar from gold. It
is also the year Nixon was re-elected and met, in February, with
Chinese leader Mao Tze-Tung in Peking (now Beijing). One individual
familiar with a great many of Marcos’s secret gold transactions
claims that Nixon gave China 200,000 metric tonnes of gold in
exchange for an agreement that China would “stay out of any Asian
expansion for fifty years.” [xiii] Interestingly, my own records
also show a number of gold transactions involving China but the
nature of its involvement is less than clear.
Of interest in regard to the Lockheed bribe scandal is the fact that
Lockheed's European Sales Director, Dutchman Fred Meuser, had been a
member of Prince Bernhard's wartime air force squadron. Of equal
significance, I think, is the fact following the war, Meuser "…
joined Lockheed, became a naturalised American citizen and in 1954
was transferred to Geneva." [xiv]
Another member of the Lockheed bribe team was Nicholas Deak, a
former OSS/CIA officer who formed the money-broking firm of Deak &
Co. Through this company, Lockheed funnelled funds to Yoshio Kodama
and then on to senior Japanese political figures, including Prime
Minister Nobosuke Kishi -- one of Kodama's protégés. [xv] Nicholas
Deak’s company later joined forces with Lionel C. Perera, who
founded the money firm of Perera, Manfra & Brookes. This led to the
formation of Deak & Co, Perera, Manfra & Brookes. As a young US Army
Major, Lionel Perera was attached to the Chief of Military
Government Finance Office at Third Army in Germany at war's end,
where he interviewed Colonel Rauch. Rauch, an SS colonel, was
responsible for hiding the Reich Bank gold reserves and other war
loot in the Bavarian Alps in the weeks prior to the end of the
In any event, while Lockheed's Fred Meuser may have been the
European expert at political bribery, the CIA's Edwin Wilson was
certainly an expert at political blackmail. Wilson, coincidentally,
also operated out of Switzerland for many years. Wilson's close
buddy in the spook agency, Frank Terpil, told author, Jim Hougan,
that "Historically, one of Wilson's Agency jobs was to subvert
members of both houses [of Congress] by any means necessary…" [xvii]
Wilson's technique of influence normally involved sexual blackmail.
VIPs would be "coerced by living out their sexual fantasies in the
flesh… A remembrance of these occasions [was] permanently recorded
via selected cameras… The technicians in charge of filming…[were]
TSD [Technical Services Division of the CIA]. The unwitting porno
stars advanced their political careers, some of [whom] may still be
in office." [xviii] Wilson's skill in these matters dated back to
the 1950s, when he took over a network of homosexual and paedophile
rings from CIA asset and McCarthy Committee counsel Roy Cohn. [xix]
Yet, Europeans needed no teaching about the art of political
blackmail and bribery -- a practice they had polished and refined
for hundreds of years. An instructive example of this skill is
featured in the story of Italian financier Florio Fiorini, former
Director of Finance of ENI, the huge state-owned Italian Oil
Company. Fiorini, who was later arrested and imprisoned for
"fraudulent bankruptcy," was ousted from ENI for his attempts to
salvage Roberto Calvi's ailing Banco Ambrosiano -- the bank most
closely associated with the Vatican Bank, headed by American-born
Bishop Paul Marcinckus. Readers may recall the volume of persistent
reports of the Vatican Bank's involvement in laundering looted gold
from World War II -- a charge the Vatican Bank denies.
Denials or not, Peter Johnston was also kind enough to hand me his
files for other bullion transactions he was involved with before he
became entangled with Dr. Damanik's Secret Treaty transactions. In
one of these deals, Johnston met with Imelda Marcos and others
representing her interests to negotiate buying various quantities of
metal. One of these transactions involved a large quantity of gold
(at least 7,500 metric tonnes) held by the Dresdner Bank, Frankfurt.
Johnston was given a written authority by the then current account
holder, Alfredo De Ramos, to validate how much metal was in the
account and if it was free from all liens and encumbrances. The
account was in the name of "Ramon Poirrotte/Alfredo de Ramos," and
showed the client code as "UEB Industries Mex." [xx]
Johnston duly arranged for Dresdner Bank to be contacted and given
the signed authority to verify the account. In a fax dated 6
November 1995 to his Philippine partner, Johnston stated:
"Dresdner Account - Ramos.
1) The account is intact.
2) There is a
lien against the deposit fixed at 80% of the value. This encumbrance
involves the Australian government and an unknown government.
Dresdner Bank request an 'upfront' payment of 20% of the deposits
value before full negotiations can be implemented.
4) There has been
a previous enquiry by a Swiss lawyer approximately three months ago.
This person is now missing, presumed dead."
Johnston closed his message by saying:
"Our buyer is reluctant to
proceed in light of the above. Do you wish to 'open' negotiations
with alternative buyers?"
The reply he received the following day is brief and to the point:
"It is true the account was used by the Government of Australia and
Singapore, but it matures this year, 1995, or matured already. This
is according to the holder/signatory. Also, there is a written
agreement between the bank and the governments and this contract is
with the bank…"
The fact that a Swiss lawyer had disappeared and was now presumed
dead, just for having earlier probed this account, seems to have
attracted little interest on the part of Johnston's partner.
Johnston had earlier been confidentially advised that the proceeds
of the Dresdner Bank account were to be divided as follows:
1) Dresdner Bank
2) Peoples [sic] Republic of Germany
Republic of the Philippines
4) United States Government
6) Owner/holder signatory
Other documents make it clear that the name in which the Dresdner
Bank account is held, i.e. Ramon Poirrotte, is also known as Jose
Antonio Diaz, of the Monte Carlo registered Diaz and Poirrotte
Enterprises. This is none other than Don Severino Garcia Sta.
Romana, a legendary OSS officer who died in 1974. In fact, Romana
had numerous aliases and worked closely with Edward Lansdale in the
Philippines during the early fifties to put down the Huk uprising.
Even though the Huks were not considered any sort of danger and were
not expected to seize power, they were put down with great
brutality. At the forefront of everyone's mind, presumably, was the
great troves of bullion and gems stashed in locations that the Huks
Don Severino Romana's Dresdner Bank deal referenced above was merely
the tip of a far larger iceberg. Other related transactions totalled
over 90,000 metric tonnes of gold. Over 30,000 metric tonnes of this
were represented by gold bullion certificates held in an account at
the Union Bank of Switzerland, Zurich, in the name of Maj. Gen.
Edward Lansdale. [xxi] That such quantities of gold exist outside of
official channels is staggering, because, according to official
figures, no more than 135,000 metric tonnes of metal has been mined
since 4,000 B.C. However, things, as we have seen, are not always
what they seem to be. The official mining figures do not, and never
have, included gold from China, Southeast Asia, India or Russia. Nor
are they accurate as to gold quantities in countries that they
purport to include in the count. For example, Pope Clement possessed
a staggering fortune as far back as 1334 that included 25 million
gold florins. [xxii] Such sums of gold do not figure at all in the
historical mining statistics provided by official sources, which are
either uninformed about the true volume of gold available or, more
likely, engaging in a disinformation campaign for nefarious
A Filipino newspaper, The Inquirer, featured an article published in
1998 entitled "Soldiers of Fortune" revealing that 96 members of the
16th Infantry Battalion had signed a joint affidavit declaring that,
together with members of the 51st Engineering Brigade, they had --
between 1973 and 1985 -- recovered over 60,000 metric tonnes of gold
from thirty out of 172 Japanese treasure sites. Both Army units
operated in complete secrecy as part of "Task Force Restoration,"
which was headed by Marcos's closest henchman, Fabian Ver.
With these Vatican "bones" laid to temporary rest, we can now
briefly return to the previously mentioned and instructive story of
Florio Fiorini. During his enforced retreat at Champ Dollon, Fiorini
set about writing a book revealing his knowledge of insider dealing
and political corruption in Italy and elsewhere in Europe since the
early 1970s.[xxiii] This included his revelations regarding the
infamous "Protection Account" maintained by UBS Lugano, which was
established for the specific purpose of bribing Italian (and other
European) political parties and senior political figures. [xxiv] All
those European banks and businesses that were heavily engaged in
political corruption had devised a method of generating the large
amount of slush funds required, without harming their own balance
sheets. This, Fiorini said, was a "very simple, bomb-proof system
which made the central banks pay…"
This bomb-proof system was in operation from 1967 until 1981 and
revolved around the foreign exchange market that Fiorini describes
as a "rigged roulette wheel," and involved seven major European
transnationals. [xxv][xxvi] These were nicknamed the "Band of Seven"
and were "the terror of the central banks." The Band of Seven
included, according to Fiorini, "myself from ENI; Sexauer of the
Deutsche Bank; Semadeni of the Swiss Bank Corporation; Voroscilov of
the Russian Vanhestorgbank; Roger Fiss of Citibank; Cadario of
Renault Finance [and] Pellegrini of the Union Bank of
Working in harmony -- often using inside information -- and in great
secrecy, the Band of Seven was able to manufacture large profits by
manipulating the various national foreign exchange rates. This was
possible because the exchange rates were "fixed" -- a situation that
allows large speculative forays by an insider group who know the
central banks will intervene to support and stabilise that rate. In
effect, this is equivalent to the central banks placing money in a
large container and handing it over to the seven players. [xxviii]
The unalterable consequence of these covert manipulations is that
the taxpayers in those countries, forced to defend their currencies,
actually provide the money that is used to suborn and corrupt their
own political leaders. [xxix] Fiorini admits the amounts garnered in
this manner were "moderate," a mere $15k a day, or $300k per month,
to "feed the starving of the parties," but adds that these were
dollars of the "seventies," and worth "four times today's value."
Of more than passing interest in these matters is Dr. Alfred
Hartmann, who had run the Banque de Commerce et de Placement (BCP),
Geneva, for many years. As Fiorini explains in his story, the large
sums of money earned by the Band of Seven's market rigging
activities were laundered through the BCP. Hartmann was also the
Vice Chairman and General Manager of Rothschilds Bank A.G.[xxx] and
the vice president of the CIA connected Inter Maritime Bank. [xxxi]
The BCP is also said to have played a part in the Iran-Contra
This cannot come as any great surprise, for Hartmann was known as a
long-term CIA asset. His contact or "controller" was none other than
Edwin Wilson, the CIA operative who we earlier learned specialised
in gay and paedophile blackmail stings against political targets --
presumably those politicians who couldn't be bought as a consequence
of the Band of Seven's market manipulations. He is also known to
have specialised in creating financial “fronts” for the CIA. Dr.
Hartmann, meanwhile, would later become a senior executive in BCCI,
the bank that provided a full service to drug lords, gun-runners,
terrorists, gangsters and the US and European intelligence
BCCI also had the dubious distinction of corrupting
members of both Houses of Parliament (and Congress) at a time when
"brown-envelope" payments of cash of the Al Fayed variety had yet to
hit media headlines. [xxxii]
[i]Seagrave, Sterling, The Marcos Dynasty (London: MacMillan, 1988)
at 139. Seagrave additionally reveals on page 306 that a Japanese
treasure map for the "Teresa II " site totalled 777 billion yen in
1944 values. At that time the exchange rate was about 3.50 yen to
the dollar. For those who wish to calculate weights and prices it is
as well to know that the world price of gold was set at $35.00 per
ounce and that there are 32,150 ounces to each metric tonne.
[ii] Ibid at 316.
[iii] Following the discovery of the "suicided" Frank Nugan and the
subsequent failure of the Nugan Hand Bank, the CIA moved its Marcos
gold laundering activities to Nugan Hand's successor, the
Hawaii-based Bishop, Baldwin, Rewald, Dillingham and Wong (BBRDW).
Many of the former Nugan Hand key executives and consultants moved
en bloc to BBRDW, although Ronald Rewald -- a long time CIA asset
with the code name "Winterdog" -- was selected to be the head man.
This was due to Rewald's gilt-edged connections through sport,
principally polo. Included in the list of dignitaries Rewald had
access to were the Sultan of Brunei, one of the wealthiest men in
the world. See, Seagrave and also Rodney Stich, Defrauding America,
generally, for background on Nugan Hand and BBRDW.
[iv] Manning, Paul, Martin Bormann-Nazi in Exile (Lyle Stuart Inc,
1981), at 292.
[v] A list of participants is available in Robert Eringer's short
but excellent book The Global Manipulators (Pentacle Books, 1980).
[vi]See Seagrave, Sterling, The Marcos Dynasty at 340.
[vii] Ibid at 345.
[viii] Ibid at 375.
[ix] Stephenson, William, A Man Called Intrepid (London: MacMillan,
1976) at 352-7.
[x] Extracted from Peter Dale Scott's unpublished (and unnamed)
book-length manuscript on Nazi gold and Operation Sunrise.
[xi] Seagrave at 118.
[xiii] This individual adds: “The fear that America had over China's
crossing the border in Korea was that China would invade Formosa and
the Philippines, leading to a nuclear war.”
[xiv] Sampson, Anthony, The Arms Bazaar (Coronet Books, 1977).
[xv] Ibid at 263-279.
[xvi] Sayer, Ian and Botting, Douglas, Nazi Gold (London: Mainstream
[xvii] Hougan, Jim, Secret Agenda as related in The Franklin
Cover-up: Child Abuse, Satanism, and Murder in Nebraska, John DeCamp
(Nebraska: AWT, Incorporated, 1992).
[xix] The CIA operation directed at corrupting members of Congress
and other public figures and opinion makers was called "Operation
George Orwell." This operation achieved nation-wide scope on 4 July
[xx] These and many other papers given me by Peter Johnston are
stored in a secure location.
[xxi] Confidential documents in my possession.
[xxii] Patton, Guy and Macness, Robin, Web of Gold (Sigwick &
Jackson, 2000) at 248.
[xxiii] The ENI/Fiorini story is extracted from a translated copy of
L'Espresso, 21 March 1993.
[xxiv] Prior to 1975, the slush funds gathered in this manner were
stashed at the Banque de Commerce et de Placement, Geneva, 70% owned
by ENI and later sold to UBS. By 1979, BCP had been sold to BCCI.
[xxv] In ENI's case, the influence on the foreign exchange market
was enormous because it possessed 25% of the US dollars then
circulating in Italy -- "it paid 50% of the National Power Bill."
This provided ENI with immense financial clout.
[xxvi] Interestingly, Fiorini says the "system" became operative
again, for a short while, in 1992. His reference, obviously, was
Britain's "Black Wednesday," which resulted in the resignation of
the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and a cost of £10 billion and more
to defend sterling against predators -- one of whom was hedge fund
guru, George Soros.
[xxvii] The number "seven" in this connection appears to be a very
rich vein. For example, according to an article in McClure’s
Magazine, August 1911, entitled “The Seven Men,” John Moody had this
“Seven men in Wall Street now control a great share of the
fundamental industry and resources of the United States. Three of
the seven men, J.P. Morgan, James J. Hill, and George F. Baker, head
of the First National Bank of New York belong to the so-called
Morgan group; four of them, John D. and William Rockerfeller, James
Stillman, head of the National City Bank, and Jacob H.Schiff of the
private banking firm of Kuhn, Loeb Company, to the so-called
Standard Oil City Bank group. The central machine of capital extends
its control over the United States...The process is not only
economically logical; it is now practically automatic.”
Besides this, it is a fact that it is a convention that many of the
data provided by the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
focus only on the seven largest US banks. As at the third quarter
1998, these were: Chase Manhattan, Morgan, Citibank, Nations Bank,
Bankers Trust, Bank of America and First National Bank of Chicago.
Make of this what you will.
[xxviii] Fiorini reveals that the central banks were aware of this
game, but since it "did sometimes happen from time to time that we
gave the [central] banks a hand," the band of seven was "tolerated."
[xxix] Manipulations were not just focused on the FOREX market.
Another "wheeze" was the bullion market, which was dominated in
Switzerland by the Russian Vanhestorgbank. In this case, Veroshilov
would provide advance warning that he was going to (for example)
place 100 thousand ounces of gold on the market. This information
enabled the group to sell gold short first thing in the morning and
then buy it back at noon, netting a healthy profit along the way.
[xxx] Rothschild Bank AG has a long history of criminal
relationships and suspect transactions. It was, for example, the
bank chosen by Conservative Central Office to stash the £200 million
or so received from grateful arms manufacturers during the Iran-Iraq
War. This created a dilemma for the Tory Party. The funds could not
be repatriated to the UK, because they were illegal. The interest
earned on them, however, could be brought back to the UK. This
interest totalled approximately £20 million a year and comprised the
vast bulk of Tory Party funding during the late eighties and early
[xxxi] Hartmann was also Chairman of Banca Nazionale del Lavoro
(BNL), Zurich and worked for the infamous Bank of Credit and
[xxxii] Allegedly included in those well-known persons appearing at
BCCI's Leadenhall Street headquarters for handouts and favours were
Lord Callaghan (good for, allegedly, £25,000 cash – transferred by
brown paper envelope), David Steel and Jeffrey Archer, according to
a former BCCI's cashier.
of Part 2