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Spooky dangerous times

The recent attempted assassination attacks in Salisbury using nerve agent have created the biggest most frightening espionage confrontation with Russia for many decades. 

As I write this article, the Putin led regime is raising the temperature still further by demanding access to Yulia Skripal on the grounds that she is a Russian citizen and by expelling more than 50 UK diplomats from Moscow. Putin is also boasting about a terrifying new intercontinental missile which NATO calls ‘Satan 2’.

One of the former spies involved in the emerging back story happens to be an American, Robert Eringer, with whom I have had considerable contact.

According to a recent Daily Mirror article, Mr Eringer, in the guise of being a book publisher, attended a “spy summit where details of the plot which would lead to the attempted murders of Sergei and Yulia Skripal were first revealed.” Eringer was actually an FBI Counter-Intelligence agent in Moscow on an undercover mission.

Information on the Internet suggests that Mr Eringer is more recently viewed as an arch enemy of the Kremlin because of his claimed knowledge of money laundering carried out for the Russian Mafia and for his blog attacks on Putin. 

When Eringer first approached me a decade ago, it was as a book publisher and investigative journalist interested in authoring and publishing a book mainly about our website activities focussed on Shell. He went on to publish an ebook and author a related US newspaper article.

I know from Shell internal documents in my possession that Shell did seek assistance about our activities from the US government and *NCFTA, a specialist cyber forensics unit in Pittsburgh set up and financed by the FBI (*The National Cyber Forensics and Training Alliance).

Shell had recently failed in its attempt to seize our Shell related domain names, including Furthermore, it was reduced to being a junior partner in Sakhalin 2 as a result of our intervention and was very concerned about my contact with Bill O’Reilly at Fox News in relation to another sensitive matter.

Hence, although I have a high regard for Robert Eringer, I will never know for certain whether his extensive contact with me and my late father Alfred Donovan, including a meeting in London, was for the purpose he claimed, or was instigated by an agitated Shell Management, which at the time, had extremely hostile intent towards us.

Shell has form in hiring a spying outfit which routinely uses undercover agents posing as investigative journalists. They are deployed against Shell’s perceived enemies.

One thing is for sure. Robert Eringer is a braver man than me.



Daily Mirror article 18 March 2018

Related articles

Christopher Chandler: Russian spy? Money man for Putin and Trump? No — I’m just a shy billionaire | News | The Sunday Times 13 May 2018

Eringer told The Sunday Times he had worked as a tabloid journalist and novelist, but he emphasised he was also a serious spy. “We worked closely with Monaco’s police department and built liaison relationships with 20 foreign intelligence services, including the CIA, MI6 and French DST,” he said. “Prior to serving Prince Albert, I spent 10 years doing private sector intelligence with Clair George [former CIA deputy director, operations], and eight years working undercover for FBI counter- intelligence on missions that took me to Moscow and Havana.” This Billionaire Was Accused Of Being A Russian Spy. Now He’s Suing The Man He Says Is To Blame: 26 Oct 2018


Eringer wasn’t a conventional spy. Born in California in 1954, the son of a Disney illustrator, he has led a career including stints as a bartender, investigative journalist, literary agent, spy novelist, freelance FBI counterintelligence operative, and blogger. In memoirs and on his personal website, Eringer styles himself as a globe-trotting raconteur with a taste for fine wine, five-star hotels, and clandestine adventures. He apparently stumbled into the intelligence world after befriending a former senior CIA officer in the late 1980s.

Eringer agreed to set up a covert unit that would investigate prominent residents, vet public officials, and build relationships with foreign intelligence agencies such as the CIA and MI6.

The Jaw-Droppingly Sketchy Past of America’s Newest Billionaire: 12 Feb 2014: Esquire Magazine


In the early 1990s, as Pottker was starting to plan a book on the Felds, one of the CIA’s top spies was in deep trouble. Clair George, Deputy Director of Operations under Ronald Reagan and a key player in the Iran-Contra scandal, was on trial for lying to a Congressional committee. With a pocketful of legal bills and limited job opportunities, he went to work for the Felds as a consultant. After the Regardies story came out, Kenneth Feld gave him a new job: derailing Jan Pottker.

Over the next eight years, George used a variety of methods to keep Pottker from pursuing her investigation of the Felds. Among other things, he and his accomplices tapped her phones, bugged her house, and had her tailed. Eventually, they took it a step further. One of George’s operatives, journalist Robert Eringer, launched an operation to distract her from the Feld book. Posing as a “book packager,” he arranged for her to write an exposé of the Mars candymaking family.


31 See, e.g., TOM HARPER, JON UNGOED-THOMAS & RICHARD KERBAJ, Brexit, dirty tricks and an international game of
I spy, THE SUNDAY TIMES (Dec. 3, 2017, 12:01 AM),; ROBERT HUTTON & JESS SHANKLEMAN, Brexit-Backing Think Tank Founder Accused of Working for Russia, BLOOMBERG (May 1, 2018, 1:36 PM),; DAN BLOOM, Founder of Brexiteer Legatum Institute think tank ‘was suspected of working for Russian intelligence’, MIRROR (May 1, 2018, 6:36 PM),; LUKE HARDING,
Founder of pro-Brexit thinktank has link with Russian intelligence, says MP, THE GUARDIAN (May 1, 2018, 1:57 PM),; DEBORAH HAYNES & LUCY FISHER, MP accuses founder of pro-Brexit Legatum
Institute of being Russian agent, THE TIMES UK (May 1, 2018, 5:00 PM),; JON CRAIG, MP accuses founder
of pro-Brexit Legatum Institute of Russian links, SKY NEWS (May 1, 2018, 8:51 PM),; DANIEL MARTIN, MP accuses pro-Brexit
think tank founder of being a Russian spy: Tory member uses parliamentary privilege to claim billionaire was an ‘object of interest’ to French intelligence, DAILY MAIL UK (May 1, 2018, 5:49 PM),;
NED SIMONS, Pro-Brexit Think-Tank Founder Accused By Tory MP Of Links To Russian Intelligence, HUFFINGTON POST UK (May 1, 2018, 5:10 PM),; Alleged Russian agent Chris Chandler opened Pilatus account with US$ 5 M after introduction by Brian Tonna, MANUELDELIA.COM (May
2, 2018, 9:27 AM),; PAUL PEACHEY, Billionaire Brexit-backer faces claims of Russia spy
link, THE NATIONAL (May 2, 2018, Updated 4:21 PM),; LATIKA BOURKE, British MP claims Kiwi think tank
owner has Russian intel links, SIDNEY MORNING HERALD (May 2, 2018, 7:19 AM),
p4zcrw.html; Former MI6 chief worked with Legatum Institute’s Chandler, INTELLIGENCE ONLINE (May 2, 2018),,108309053-bre; DEBORAH HAYNES, LUCY FISHER, OLIVER WRIGHT, CATHERINE PHILP, Pro-Brexit
think tank founder ‘suspected of working for Russia’, THE TIMES UK (May 2, 2018, 12:01 AM),; Founder of Legatum, think-tank known for anti-Russia analysts, accused of links to Russian Intel,
REUTERS UK NEWS (May 3, 2018, 10:08 AM),; PETER
GEOGHEGAN & JENNA CORDEROY, Revealed: Legatum’s “extraordinary” secretive monthly meetings with Brexit
minister, OPEN DEMOCRACY UK (May 4, 2018),; PETER GEOGHEGAN, Russianlinked think tank held monthly meetings with leading Brexit minister, I NEWS UK (May 4, 2018),;
OLIVER WRIGHT, Tycoon Christopher Chandler attacks MPs who branded him Kremlin agent, THE TIMES UK (May 4,
2018, 12:01 AM),; REBECCA STEVENSON, Who is reclusive Kiwi billionaire Christopher Chandler? And is
he a Russian spy?, THE SPINOFF (May 4, 2018),; Billionaire accused in UK of being suspected Russian agent
has Maltese passport, INDEPENDENT (May 7, 2018, 2:41 PM),


TOM HARPER & OLIVER SHAH, Christopher Chandler: Russian spy? Money man for Putin and Trump? No – I’m just a shy billionaire, SUNDAY TIMES (May 13, 2018, 12:01 AM),; HENRY ZEFFMAN, Tycoon Christopher Chandler’s firm ‘launched coup with Putin’, THE TIMES UK (May 14, 2018, 12:01 AM),; DAN HODGES, DAN HODGES: Putin really IS coming to get you…and our leaders are doing nothing about it, DAILY MAIL UK (May 19, 2018, 7:59 PM),; GLEN OWEN, We WON’T be bullied by you, MPs tell Brexit tycoon with links to Kremlin, DAILY MAIL UK (May 19, 2018, 7:26 PM),; HOLLY WATT, Pro-Brexit thinktank broke charity rules on politics, watch dog says, THE GUARDIAN (May 31, 2018, 7:01 PM),; PETER GEOGHEGAN, Think tank ‘crossed the line’ on Brexit, Charity Commission finds, THE FERRET (June 1, 2018),; PETER GEOGHEGAN, Legatum breached charity regulations with Brexit work, charity Commission finds, OPEN DEMOCRACY (June 1, 2018),; Legatum Institute criticised by Charity Commission, FINANCIAL TIMES (June 1, 2018),; MARTIN BECKFORD, Brexit’s secret Putin connection: Nigel Farage’s bankroller met Russian envoy three times then hooked him up with Trumps’s team, as MI5 is urged to act, MAIL ONLINE (June 9, 2018, 10:01 PM), (Ex. 10). 32 Pitch at 18 (Ex. 1).


This website and sisters,,,, and, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment.

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