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Cryptonym: TOPAZ

In Leon Uris' book Topaz, this was the pseudonym for Phillipe Thyraud de Vosjoli, member of the French intelligence service SDECE.
The alleged defectors were referred to as the SAPPHIRE network. Since Uris' book came out in 1967, at least one CIA document and other sources have informally referred to Vosjoli as "Topaz".


According to Edward Epstein, American and French intelligence relations were damaged after Anatoly Golitsyn's defection in December 1961 - Golitsyn told Angleton that "some of de Gaulle's top advisers were working for the Soviets." Rodney Carlisle's book Brandy: Our Man in Acapulco, p. 215, claims that Vosjoli said just that to Army intelligence officer Frank Brandstetter in 1961: https://books.google.com/books?id=QLdqgDsVio4C&pg=PA214&lpg=PA214&dq=VOSJOLI+AND+ACAPULCO&source=bl&ots=_OHl-4wfbh&sig=IQsNTD-K5FG8cTs8nXqHLYyHucA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjMzv-5jLLKAhUQ7WMKHQnSBf0Q6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=VOSJOLI%20AND%20ACAPULCO&f=false This information was obtained on 2/27/78.

1994.04.28.14:31:55:970005: Reel 8, Folder B - ANATOLIY GOLITSYN

"In 1962 (following letters between JFK and de Gaulle) this Agency arranged secure access for selected French counterintelligence and security officers, who questioned in detail an unusually knowledgeable and experienced defector from the KGB...a somewhat popularized version of the agent in the Presidency appeared subsequently in the book "Topaz", based on information obtained by the author Leon Uris from Phillipe Thyraud de Vosjoli the official SDECE representative in Washington, who has refused to return to France."

157-10014-10003 TESTIMONY OF JAMES ANGLETON, 6 FEB 1976

Angleton testified to the Church Committee: "I was being interrogated by the French that day (11/22/63)...There was some flap we had, so the day of the assassination we were closeted for about three or four days on an allegation of a penetration of their service."


In this deposition, Angleton appears to refer to de Vosjoli as the SDECE's chief's "number two man" and a "Soviet suspect" under active investigation as a penetration on 11/22/63 itself.

Tom Mangold, Cold Warrior, pp. 131-133.

On 11/22 de Vosjoli reportedly panicked on hearing of Kennedy’s death, packed a few clothes into a van, and departed Washington to join Army Intelligence officer Frank Brandstetter in Acapulco. Discussion of Vosjoli and the Sapphire network is at pp. 121-135. Brandstetter had previously worked as resident manager at the Hotel Havana-Hilton (see 124-90068-10122) and then as manager of the Las Brisas Hotel in Acapulco (see 124-10208-10119).


(LIREALM-1 has)...maintained contact for some months with a wealthy Mexican businessman who is a good friend of "Devosjoly" (sic), the ex-French intelligence officer who provided the material for Leon Uris' best seller Topaz. LIREALM-1, in fact, had established (de Vosjoli's) identity as coauthor of the book long before this became known publicly. He was shown by (de Vosjoli's) friend a safe at the latter's house in Mexico City full of documents belonging to (de Vosjoli). This information was reported to Headquarters via 'special channels'."

1994.05.06.08:41:51:430005: Reel 25, Folder B - GARRISON INVESTIGATION - DCD 6 OF 6.

1/9/69 letter from author Harold Weisberg to unknown recipients, re James Hepburn, Herve Lamarre, Phillippe; Topaz: Weisberg discusses "taking the Hepburn story literally" - the book Farewell America and the movie that was also created, commonly attributed to Herve Lamarre of French intelligence using the nom de plume James Hepburn: "...if we take the doctrine and propaganda of the book and the movie at face value, (French intelligence is) in violent opposition to the official and resolutely-held position of the US government. I do not for one minute believe this is the purpose, for I do believe the operation may well be CIA...one of those credited in the book is Phillippe, identified by some of you who have met him as the former head of French intelligence in the US...one candidate comes immediately to mind - the central character of Topaz, the Leon Uris misrepresentation of the Cuban Missile Crisis...I considered it not less than semi-official and quite possibly inspired CIA propaganda...it is certainly tenable to hypothesize that 'Phillipe' is the hero of Topaz, that if this is the case, there is an entirely different perspective to 'Farewell America' in its various forms, and that it would be foolhardy to assume we have heard the last of it. Its by-far worst potential remains." At p. 142, also see HL Hunt's security officer Paul Rothermel letter to Bill Biggio of Dallas: "Weisberg tells me that Bill Wood, aka Bill Boxley, former CIA agent and former employee of Jim Garrison, is assisting a person named Rene Lamarre who is the author of a soon to be published book called Farewell America...(the book) will tend to show that HL Hunt masterminded the Kennedy Assassination."


1970: De Vosjoli wrote his memoirs from his refuge in Lighthouse Point, Florida, in English under the title Lamia. De Vosjoli had been aligned with Allen Dulles and James Angleton, and organized the stay in Washington of French Algerian leader Jacques Soustelle - a staunch adversary of de Gaulle.

1993.08.05.14:39:14:810028: Security File on Frank Sturgis

6/16/75: Vosjoli has 10 minute interview with ORTF reporter Michel Anfrol on the CIA and on "Assassination Attempts and the Kennedy Affair". Vosjoli is identified here as "(TOPAZ) (sic)".


"...the de Vosjoli story Mangold got partly from FBI sources, some from Walter Elder, former aide to Director John McCone (who asked Elder to speak for him), and from de Vosjoli himself, whom Mangold caught up with in Geneva, Switzerland. De Vosjoli threatened to sue Mangold's publisher for millions if the true story were told about him, thus the story in the book is considerably diluted to satisfy Simon and Schuster's legal experts."

See Also:
Bill Simpich

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