Pseudonym: Castelon, Samuel
A dispatch in December, 1966, on the renewal of the LIENVOY Project, stated that Samuel K. Castelon arrived in Mexico in November, 1966, "for a briefing on the LIENVOY mechanism and processing procedures for use in setting up a similar installation in (REDACTION). In addition to the Station briefing, Castelon was escorted through the LP late in the evening by Willard C. Curtis (Winston Scott) and LIENVOY-2 (Luis Echeverria Alvarez) so that Castelon could see the equipment in operation as well as the type of files maintained in the LP."
A dispatch in May of 1969 indicated that Castelon was possibly Chief of Station, Lima, in Peru.
An obituary to Herschel Peak (1924-2014) on legacy.com website stated that "in 1954, he went to Madrid, Spain. Four years later, he was assigned to the Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela. He served there for five years, the last two as Chief of Station, with the Agency serving a key role in helping the Venezuelan government put down the first major Guerrilla uprising sponsored by Cuba and the USSR. He was then assigned to Hqus in Langley, VA as Chief of Covert Action for Latin America: followed by four years as COS in Lima, Peru."
Herschel Peak's CIA service in Venezuela and Peru matches that of Samuel K. Castelon's. In addition, Peak was mentioned in cables in April of 1960 and December, 1963. The cable from Mexico City on December 13, 1963, stated "when could a meeting be set up for Curtis (Winston Scott) and (note: Herschel) Peak to see LITENSOR (Adolfo Lopez Mateos)?" A cable on January 15, 1964, stated "believe 'reliable evidence' likely that given to LITENSOR by Samuel K. Castelon in December briefing." Therefore, Castelon was a pseudonym for Herschel Peak.
04/17/60: Cable from Havana to Director (note: PRITY CARA): REF: DIR 24898 (OUT 65241): RYBAT JMARC: "1. AMHAWK (Tony Varona) will telephone Mr. Herschel Peak at emb on 18 Apr if feasible advising name hotel where he staying which he does not know now since gov providing lodging. CARA then advise HQs for passing to AMWAIL (Justo Carrillo Hernandez). AMHAWK on phone will identify self as Manolo Loredo. In personal contact at emb will use true name. Will expect receive from Peak assistance with visa, guidance on any change of plans and travel advance. 2. For HQs: AMHAWKs wife and daughter have received visitors visas and should experience no difficulty entering. HAVA will cable biog data and ETA separately. C/S Comment: Requested HAVA arrange laterally with CARA for AMHAWK contact instructions."
06/01/60: Cable from Caracas to Director: Slugline RYBAT JMNET JMRAKE: "1. AMHAWK contacted Castelon 31 May. Said departing 2 June for MEXI. 2. AMHAWK wants Castelon meet Sanchez Arango and Salvador Romani. Latter to head his CARA group. Romani also main asset of CIRAKE-1. 3. See some value meeting these two but hesitant because ignorant HQs and AMHAWK plans for CARA ops and do not wish interfere. Also reluctant show too much ODYOKE (U.S. Government) interest. 4. Will proceed introductions by 1600 1 June unless HQs objects."
06/01/60: Cable from Caracas to Director: REF: DIR 32388 (OUT 81321)* HVCA 7373 Para 8: "1. On 31 meeting AMHAWK he had with him Manolo Alcalde Incala who works for Decor International of Miami and apparently AMHAWK right hand man. He was to bring AMHAWK passport to embassy afternoon 1 June on technical problem at which time Castelon was going to tell him whether or not wanted introduction Sanchez Arango and Romani. However Incala came embassy 1100 hours 1 June with Romani and presented him Castelon. According Romani he to head up CARA branch of 'Bloque Unitario' of Cuban exiled political groups to be formed within next 20 days. Romani in addition to heading CARA unity block will serve as rep AMHAWK political group. According AMHAWK and Romani, Sanchez Arango has agreed work within unity block. 2. Romani most desirous continuing contact Castelon but said in view his known anti-Castro view was preferable he never appear in embassy and any future meetings be very discreet. He appeared frank and willing to discuss his activities in CARA and offered provide any info desired. His work in CIRAKE-1 net shows him to an extremely intelligent and courageous person as well as an excellent newspaperman. 3. Unless HQs permits will not meet Romani again. Will not meet Sanchez Arango. 4. It is apparent CIRAKE operation intimately involved above personalities and CIRAKE-1 subordinate to them. In view this situation request HQs guidance. 5. Incala said AMHAWK going Miami 2 June. C/S Comment: *Not aware role, in any, Salvador Romani within FRD complex."
06/03/60: Cable from Director to Caracas (Orig: Martha Tharpe, Unit: WH/4/PA): REF: CARA 5232 (IN-46850)* "Info ref indicates may be desirable for Castelon continue contact with Romani to monitor activities these groups. However, defer action this regard for present. Bender will talk with AMHAWK soon re AMHAWK's activities in Caracas. Results these discussions will probably throw some light on relationships CIRAKE operation, Bloque Unitario and FRD. Will advise. WH Comment: Concerned Salvador Romani, CIRAKE operation in (REDACTION) who says he will head Caracas branch of 'Bloque Unitario' of Cuban exiled political groups to be formed next 20 days and will also serve as representative AMHAWK's political group. Requested guidance, especially re further contact with Romani. C/S Comment: *Dissemination applicable to JMNET cables." Releasing Officer: J. C. King, C/WHD. Authenticating Officer: (Unintelligible), AC/WH/1.
08/24/62: Cable from Caracas to Director, Guatemala (Castelon Acting): REF GUAT 2397: "1. (REDACTION) subject ref, reliable Station asset who principal action agent Cuban KUWOLF (Psychological and Paramilitary Staff) project past two years. He leading figure among Cuban exiles and extremely active in these circles. 2. (REDACTION) invited by Mario Barrera to attend exiled Cuban newspaper men's conferences slated for Panama and Bogota during August. Station plans fund his travel these events. 3. Would appreciate any info GUAT receives result Ydigoras audience."
09/15/62: Cable from Caracas to Director (Castelon Acting): Slugline GYROSE AMSPELL: "1. Following from ODACID officer from conversation with Manuel Brana, member of Consejo Revolucionario recently arrived VENE: A. AMHINT-2 (Note: Juan Manuel Salvat Roque) in VENE as result request VENE Govt. Had conversations with rear admiral Armando Lopez Conde. AMHINT-2 attempting negotiate use of Orchila Island for training and operations site for AMSPELLS. Lopez assisted similar operations during Larrazabal regime for Fidel in 1958 and personally favors AMHINT-2 proposal, but Lopez needs Betancourt approval. AMHINT-2 asked use other VENE base if Orchila not available. 2. According to CIRAKE-2, AMHINT-2 and three other members (portion GBLD being SVCD) his parent organization spoke at private meeting of 20 to 30 Venezuelans, Cubans and two Americans 13 Sept. Purpose meeting urge Venezuelans form local organization to purchase boats for AMSPELLS. One pledge of ten thousand Bolivares received. 3. CIRASH-6 (Note: Orlando Garcia Vasquez) tacitly admitted responsibility AMHINT/2 visit Venezuela (portion GBLD) said AMHINT-2 planned depart VENE 14 Sept on Latin American tour. CS Comment: *No evidence support AMSPELL by Betancourt; however, CIARK-1 believes that AMSPELL visit VENE coordinated by CIRASH-6 who CIRATAL-1 advisor on Cuban matters."
12/13/63: Cable from Director to Mexico City (Orig: Unintelligible, WH/3/Mexico): REF: DIR 88863: RYBAT: "1. It has now been decided to send Mr. Herschel Peak with the visual presentation and supporting information and would like him to do the actual briefing in Spanish. 2. When could a meeting be set up for Curtis (Winston Scott) and Peak to see LITENSOR? Peak available to leave Sunday Eastern Airlines flight 305 to arrive MEXI 10:05. Advise by noon 14 Dec re meeting schedule. 3. Amb Mann thinks a briefing of FORMIN Tello would also be helpful. Amb expects return MEXI on seventeen Dec. His presence might facilitate Tello briefing." - - - 12/17/63: Cable from Director to Mexico City: "Mr. Peak may continue on to Caracas." https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=229799#relPageId=1
01/15/64: Cable from Mexico City to Director: REF EMBTEL 1583 dated 14 Jan 64: "1. Note charge Boonstra report of Vicente Sanchez Gavito (Mexican Ambassador to OAS) conversation in which Sanchez Gavito said 'Venezuelan problem is critical for government of Mexico. Although FONOFF has not seen any of the evidence on origin arms cache, said FONOFF has received reliable information to the effect evidence of Castro origin is convincing.' 2. Believe 'reliable evidence' likely that given to LITENSOR (Adolfo Lopez Mateos) by Samuel K. Castelon in December briefing."
12/19/66: Dispatch from COS, Mexico City to Chief, WHD: Subject: Renewal of Project LIENVOY: Project LIENVOY Renewal: Page 12: "L. Other: WOPROP in the renewal review for LIENVOY Project in 1966 commented that this project in their view was a model for imitation by others, particularly in the area of efficient processing and exploitation of raw take. On 21 November 1966, Samuel K. Castelon (ps) arrived in Mexico for a briefing on the LIENVOY mechanism and processing procedures for use in setting up a similar installation in (REDACTION). In addition to the Station briefing, Castelon was escorted through the LP late in the evening by Willard C. Curtis and LIENVOY-2 so that Castelon could see the equipment in operation as well as the type of files maintained in the LP."
12/27/66: Cable from Director to Mexico City (Orig: C. Bustos, Unit: WH/1): "No objection passing Castelon LIENVOY study requested ref provided study for (REDACTION) Station use only. However, HDQS is preparing sterile published version which will go (REDACTION). *Requests permission pass to (REDACTION) COS Lima, sterile copy of study on LIENVOY." Releasing Officer: William V. Broe, C/WHD. Coordinating Officer: FI/INT (REDACTION). Authenticating Officer: W. J. Kaufman, C/WH/1.
05/16/69: Dispatch from COS, Lima to Chief, SB Division (Info: Chief, WH Division): Subject: REDTOP/AEKICK - Forwarding of Intercepted Letter: "1. Forwarded herewith as Attachment A are copies of two letters written by Nikolay Leonov (Handwritten note: 201-132139), a Soviet journalist with 'Novostit' who is currently in Lima on an extended TDY. The letters were intercepted and reproduced by liaison (DUBRIDE) and passed to the Station, with a request for a Spanish translation. 2. The letters were translated for the Station from Russian to Spanish by DUMAGENTA-3. Following the correction of some obvious Spanish grammatical errors by DUMAGENTA-3 and a re-typing for security reasons, the translation was passed to DUBRIDE. A copy of the Spanish translation (marked as Attachment B) is attached for the information of the Desk. The letters give the appearance of being pure propaganda and the information contained therein may well appear in the Soviet press. 3. We assume that the Attachment will be translated from Russian to English and we would appreciate a copy of the English translation being forwarded to the Station. (REDACTION) for Samuel K. Castelon."
Herschel Peak obituary on legacy.com website: "CARMEL, CA – Herschel Peak was born in 1924 in Pittsburgh, PA. He moved to Los Angeles when he was five years old. He attended Los Angeles High and UCLA. He graduated from UCLA in February 1945 with NROTC Commission as Ensign, USNR. He then served on the heavy cruiser Louisville that led the task force supporting the landings at Okinawa. Following the war, he worked with his father until the need for more independence and excitement led to an application to join the newly created Central Intelligence Agency. That led to an Assignment to the Embassy in Mexico City in 1951. In 1954, he went to Madrid, Spain. Four years later, he was assigned to the Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela. He served there for five years, the last two as Chief of Station, with the Agency serving a key role in helping the Venezuelan government put down the first major Guerrilla uprising sponsored by Cuba and the USSR. He was then assigned to Hqus in Langley, VA as Chief of Covert Action for Latin America: followed by four years as COS in Lima, Peru. He returned to Langley for two years as Chief of the Italian Branch. He then went as COS to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, during the period when Emperor Haile Selassie was overthrown, murdered and a communist regime took over. Herschel retired in 1975 and moved to Carmel, but was occasionally called upon for special ops, including an eight-month tour in 1977 to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). He was employed by the Monterey Institute of International Studies in 1978; served in various staff capacities for 12 years, lastly as Director of Public Relations. Herschel was a renaissance man. He enjoyed drawing, carving and building. He had a wonderful voice and started the 'Spring Sing' with three of his fraternity brothers in 1942. This idea spread throughout the other universities in the United States. In 2008, he was honored at UCLA's "Spring Sing". He spoke three languages. He was a voracious reader. He loved politics..."