Friday, November 30, 2018


Couldn't find Aunt Tifa anywhere, but delighted to see statues of Teddy Roosevelt and Honest Abe still standing.



Built by the Hughes Aircraft Company and flown only once, by Howard Hughes, on 3 November 1947.

The Hughes H-4 Hercules is the prototype of a giant flying boat made entirely of birch wood.

It now resides at Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018


Enough about Monaco nonsense (unless I am further provoked); time for more important stuff:  road-tripping, which, these days, often starts with a runway...

Monday, November 26, 2018


LEGATUM:  The other party in this story, Robert Eringer, is a former tabloid writer who has been convicted of criminal defamation five times.

ERINGER:  During the late 1970s into the early 80s I worked as a freelance reporter for national UK newspapers, including the Sunday Mirror, News of the World, and Sunday People, developing skills from the People's legendary investigations editor Laurie Manifold.

I infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan, which included initiation into the KKK in Spartanburg, South Carolina, resulting in a two-part front-page center-spread story in the Sunday People that blew the KKK out of the UK forever.  

"Criminal defamation" refers to a bundle of cases from Monaco that were venue-shopped to Paris because of plaintiff-friendly libel laws in France.  

As an American citizen I am protected by the Free Press Act of 2012 and thus would never subject myself to freedom of speech issues in a foreign court.  

Think about it:  I am a U.S. citizen, I am resident in the United States, I write in English, my writing is posted/published in the USA... and they sue me in France!  

If plaintiffs truly believed they were libeled they would have filed their lawsuit in the USA.  And they would have lost, because Discovery would have proven that every word I wrote was true or that I had good reason, without malice, to believe it was true.

LEGATUM:  He has published an article on how to use the Internet to blackmail people.

ERINGER:  Not true.  I wrote a piece on how David could take on Goliath by creating a blog, as I did, to take on Monaco when lawyers representing Monaco tried to discredit me while covering up the corruption that has finally come to light.

LEGATUM:  While Eringer did work for Monaco...

Nice of them to concede this point, but in truth I worked for Prince Albert and was paid directly by Albert for five-and-a-half years, and it was for the Prince that I created liaison relationships with twenty foreign intelligence services, including the CIA, SIS, and the French DST; services that sent senior intelligence officers to brief Albert, in my presence, at our safe house in Monaco, on any topic of the Prince's choosing.  

LEGATUM: ...the Prince has now said that Eringer's fake organisation which he dubbed the 'MIS' never existed legally or administratively.

By design, MIS did not officially exist.  Albert specifically wanted the intelligence apparatus I created for him to exist unofficially so that we could operate with autonomy, secrecy, and without ministerial jealousies.

LEGATUM:  Prince Albert also stated that "the police told me they had very serious doubts about his credibility and competence."

I had an excellent working relationship with senior Monaco police officers Yves Subraud and Jean-Raymond Gottlieb.  It was Albert who put me in contact with Gottlieb, and Albert who authorized Gottlieb to provide me with Monaco Police files, and Albert who authorized me to share such files with other intelligence services.

Subraud and Gottlieb were delighted with this arrangement because, for the first time, their reports were not getting sandbagged by Monaco's  interior ministry but were going straight (through me) to a member of the royal family.

Later, Monaco police chief Andre Muhlberger became jealous of my working relationship with Albert and put his efforts not into policing Monaco but into disrupting our efforts.

Albert, traveling the path of least resistance, finally gravitated to Muhlberger (after our investigations implicated Albert's personal lawyer and the Palace accountant in a scam), so I shut down the Monaco Intelligence Service and departed, and the principality thereafter descended into a cesspool of corruption worse than before.

Six years later, Muhlberger met his end while boating with a group of Russians (death-by-propeller), a few months after getting fired as police chief for disgracing his uniform.

(Jeez, you can't make this stuff up...!) 

LEGATUM:  All Eringer did was to traffic in "baseless rumors" and "amplify them to justify his work."

For five-and-a-half years?   Working with CIA, SIS, DST, the Luxembourg, Maltese, Italian, Romanian and Bulgarian intelligence services (among others), and Monaco's own police department?

(As Fleet Street's John Junor used to say, "Pass the sick bag, Alice.")

LEGATUM:  The Prince also alleged that Eringer tried to blackmail him...

In advance of filing a lawsuit over an unpaid invoice, my lawyer sent a polite letter to Albert asking if he would kindly pay what was owed.  This is called courtesy, not blackmail.  

LEGATUM:  Eringer is a prolific writer and blogger...

Thank you.

LEGATUM: ...covering topics such as himself in a self published book...

That would be The Spymaster and Me, a memoir of my friendship and close working relationship with former CIA Deputy Director for Operations Clair George.

LEGATUM: ...and conspiracy theories relating to the assassination of JFK, Area 51, the Bilderbergs, the Illuminati and his own theory about the death of Marilyn Monroe.

Early in my journalistic career I took an interest in such esoteric topics.

Legatum is referring to weekly columns I wrote as The Investigator for the Santa Barbara News-Press, columns as timely and as fun to read today as they were ten years ago.

LEGATUM:  Most recently, the Sunday Mirror published an article by Eringer in which he claims foreknowledge of the attempted murder of Sergei Skirpal, hearing about the plot for the first time at a dinner in Moscow in 1997, 21 year (sic) ago.

The Sunday Mirror article was not "by Eringer."  

The article they reference was by Nigel Nelson, the Sunday Mirror's political editor.  

Nelson did not write that I had "foreknowledge of the attempted murder of Sergei Skirpal."  

Nelson wrote about a dinner I had in Moscow with former KGB Chairman Vladimir Kryuchkov at which Kryuchov's sidekick Igor Prelin outlined a plan to hunt down and murder Russians (specifically, Oleg Kalugin) who they believed had betrayed the Motherland.

Fairy Tale Restaurant, Moscow, June 1997
Left to right:  CIA defector Edward Lee Howard, Eringer, KGB colonel Igor Prelin, former KGB chairman Vladimir Kryuchkov

But don't take my word for it, simply read Nelson's story and determine for yourself who is being truthful and who is spinning lies...

And if they lied about this, as they clearly have, they may well be lying about other things.  Liars are liars.  You cannot trust people caught in a lie.

Sunday, November 25, 2018


BUZZFEED:  Chandler, a financier based in Dubai, is suing Donald Berlin and his company, Investigative Consultants, Inc., for $15 million (about £11.6 million) in damages. The libel case was filed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia last month and is reported here for the first time.
A radically different explanation for (the Chandlers) wealth had emerged in the early 2000s, when the brothers lived in Monaco and they came to the attention of Prince Albert’s personal intelligence adviser, an American named Robert Eringer.
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:  I have never been a bartender, not that there is anything wrong with bartending.  I owned a bar in Santa Barbara 2013-17, years after my Monaco experience.
I did not "stumble" into the intelligence world; I slid into it gracefully, operating ten years under cover for FBI Counterintelligence in Moscow, Havana and elsewhere before Prince Albert of Monaco invited me to be his intelligence chief.

BUZZFEED:  In a memoir, The Spymaster & Me, Eringer claimed he was recruited by Prince Albert II to be his personal intelligence adviser over drinks at the Hotel Columbus in Monaco in the summer of 2002. According to Eringer’s account, Prince Albert was eager to rid the principality of shady characters and asked Eringer to help. For a fee of 80,000 euros a quarter, 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. He operated outside formal government structures, working from an office on London’s Marylebone High Street to avoid detection, and styled himself as 'Agent 001' of the 'Monaco Intelligence Service'.

ERINGER:  I did not "style" myself as anything other than what I was: Prince Albert's Senior Intelligence Adviser (June 2002-mid-2005) and Director of the Monaco Intelligence Service (mid-2005 through the end of 2007).

It was Albert's cousin Jean-Leonard de Massy (my deputy from mid-2006) who created ID cards for the purpose of safe passage (if necessary) while in Albert's service, and who designated me "001."

BUZZFEED:  One of Eringer’s first targets, he recounts in The Spymaster & Me, was the Chandlers. Eringer believed the brothers were suspicious partly because so little was known about them and their apartment building was mostly empty. At best, he figured, they were running an unregistered commodities business. But he thought they might be laundering money for Russian criminals. Eringer began investigating the brothers.

ERINGER:  We did not act on a hunch based on a low profile existence and a mostly-empty apartment building. The Chandlers and their company Sovereign were brought to our attention by a well-tested source, after which we discovered the Chandlers appeared to be operating an unregistered investment trading company in Monaco. 

"According to Chandler’s lawsuit, Eringer’s decision to investigate them began a sequence of events that led to Chandler being accused of being a Russian spy in the UK more than a decade later. The dossier that circulated in London late last year consisted of material drawn from Eringer’s investigation, including Eringer’s own November 2004 writeup about the findings of the probe." 

Saturday, November 24, 2018



Why would senior officials in Monaco not be corrupt when their ruling monarch, who sets the standard for his ministers, courtiers and subjects, is the most corrupt of all?

In addition to his role as Prince of Monaco, Albert is a long-standing member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The IOC has a Code of Ethics.

It is forbidden for IOC members to take gifts from countries competing for Olympic sites. It is mandatory that any such gifts be declared.

So, when Albert accepted a very generous gift from Russia, which was competing for the 2014 Winter Olympics, he clearly violated the IOC’s Code of Ethics.

The gift: a whole house i.e. a dacha (traditional summer home) built by Russian laborers at Roc Agel, Albert’s private farm.

Albert voted Sochi for the Winter Olympics.

Yes, prosecute Philippe Narmino (disgraced ex-chief of judicial services), prosecute Paul Masseron (disgraced ex-interior minister), prosecute Dmitry Rybolov (disgraced Russian billionaire owner of AS Monaco) for corruption.

But the buck doesn’t stop with Narmino, Masseron, and Rybolov.

It was Albert who made it all possible!

It was Albert who showed them the way.

It was Albert who opened the door to corruption in Monaco on an ultra-grand scale.


1. Unless I have indicated otherwise, the statements I make are within my own knowledge.

2. Between 2002 and 2008, I served as H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco’s intelligence advisor and established and directed the Monaco Intelligence Service. In this capacity and through several investigations, I became aware of and tried to combat a growing invasion of Russian organized crime and corrupt officials pouring into Monaco and influencing its politics.  Through my intelligence operatives inside Russia, I was informed of the details of Russian intelligence services’ profile of Prince Albert and their plan to place or compromise key people within Prince Albert’s friends and advisors with the aim of influencing and directing his decision-making.

3. Through my intelligence sources and operatives in Russia and Monaco, I have learned that several of Prince Albert’s aides and advisors have developed business interests with Russians of high government position and individuals suspected of involvement with Russian organized crime.

4. During several meetings I warned Prince Albert about Russian designs to influence him and my concerns that certain of his aides and advisors have been compromised by corruption or conflicts of interest.

5. In 2006, Sergei Pugachev was trying to develop personal and business ties with Prince Albert and to buy Monegasque nationality.  At Prince Albert’s request, I investigated Mr. Pugachev, a Russian with interests in banking, industrial and commercial properties.  In my investigation I learned that Mr. Pugachev was a member of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle and had links to Russian organized crime.  Separate and independent from my investigation, Monaco’s police force also investigated Mr. Pugachev and concluded he had links to Russian organized crime.

6. Prior to Prince Albert’s North Pole Expedition, on 10 April 2006, I emailed Prince Albert’s Chief-of-Staff, Jean-Luc Allavena, a memo on how Russian intelligence will spy on the entourage. Mr. Allavena was to brief Prince Albert on the memo.  In particular I warned that any intimate socializing with men or women would likely be video-recorded to be used later as “leverage.”  I was particularly concerned for Prince Albert who frequently engaged in intimate socializations.  In order to protect him, I had obtained reports from foreign intelligence agencies in which surveillance caught Prince Albert with men and women.  I worried that the Russians would obtain similar surveillance and use it to influence the Prince.

I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct, and I have executed this affidavit in Santa Barbara, California on 10 December 2010
Robert Eringer

Prince Albert finds new best buddy in Putin

Matthew Campbell
21September 2008, (UK) Sunday Times
RUSSIAN officials sent a team of builders to Monaco to erect a three-bedroom "dacha" in Prince Albert's garden earlier this year as a sign of the growing friendship between Moscow and the tiny principality on the Riviera, according to sources close to the palace.
The simple wooden building has the function of a pool house at Albert's estate in the hills behind Monte Carlo and reflected growing bonds with Moscow that have helped to turn Monaco, a glamorous tax haven, into the favourite playground of Russians.
Albert's spokesman declined to comment but a former adviser saw the dacha as evidence of the warm friendship that has developed between the 50-year-old bachelor prince and Vladimir Putin, 55, the Russian prime minister.
The two spent a week together last summer, fishing and hunting in Siberia, where the Russian leader was photographed posing without his shirt. Albert was given two freshwater seal pups from Lake Baikal.
They met again last month in St Petersburg, when Putin thanked Albert, a member of the International Olympic Committee, for supporting Russia's bid to host the winter Olympics in the Black Sea port of Sochi in 2014.

Thursday, November 22, 2018



Consistently voted Best Airport in the USA.

And here's why...


Non-generic (and pristine) Food Court

A movie theater?


Without a doubt, Portland is the coolest city in the United States (and maybe the world).