Home/ Resources / Projects / CIA Cryptonyms / bigram: AE / cryptonym: AEDINOSAUR


Return to Main Crypts Page

Soviet Russia Division project. Designed to get censored books, pamphlets and other material inside the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

Luke Harding, 6/10/14, The Guardian: How MI6 helped CIA to bring Doctor Zhivago in from cold for Russians - https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/jun/10/mi6-cia-doctor-zhivago-banned-boris-pasternak

Re 1958-1959: After receiving the manuscript from MI6, the agency secretly arranged for a Russian-language edition of Doctor Zhivago to be printed in Holland. Dutch intelligence helped publication. The edition was distributed in September 1958 at the World's Fair in Brussels, with hardback copies furtively dished out to Soviet visitors from inside the Vatican's pavilion. In 1959 the CIA printed its own paperback version of the novel at its Washington HQ. The edition was passed off as the work of a Russian émigré group in Europe. The Zhivago project had its own secret CIA codename, AEDINOSAUR. It was one of many CIA-sponsored covert publishing programmes that flourished during the cold war. The agency distributed banned books, periodicals and pamphlets and other materials to intellectuals in the Soviet Union and eastern Europe. The soft power goal was to subtly undermine the Soviet system by – as the CIA put it – "reinforcing predispositions towards cultural and intellectual freedom, and dissatisfaction with its absence".

CIA Publishes Doctor Zhivago in Russian and Exposes Life in USSR under Communism - https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/collection/doctor-zhivago

Re 1958-1959: The CIA's Freedom of Information Act Electronic Reading Room - The Doctor Zhivago collection - contains 99 documents on or related to AEDINOSAUR.

Meeting on SR Division project AEDINOSAUR: https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/DOC_0005796413.pdf

9/24/59 memorandum for the record: "(One cannot) really secure rights as such because they cannot be secured in most instances since most of the authors are behind the curtain...as subsidy-purchasers we do not really have to be concerned with this problem."


On 12/17/62, Donald Jameson, Chief of Soviet Russia Covert Action (C/SR/CA) sent CI/OA and OS/Security Support Division (SSD) up-to-date information on Johnson in a new request for a provisional covert security approval (PCSA) for use in the AEDINOSAUR project.

John Newman, Countdown to Darkness, pp. 323-325

...On 17 December 1962, Donald Jameson, Chief of Soviet Russia Covert Action (C/SRD/CA), sent CI/OA and OS/Security Support Division (SSD) up-to-date information on Johnson in a new request for a provisional covert security approval (PCSA) for use in the AE/DINOSAUR Project. AE/DINOSAUR was a project under which SR would be able to debrief Johnson concerning her contacts in the USSR. However, before she was eventually cleared for use on 3 May 1963, someone else (possibly in IOD) submitted a contact report about a meeting with Johnson because she had been “selected as a likely candidate to write an article on Yevtushenko (a popular Russian poet) in a major U.S. magazine for our campaign.”


05/03/63: Memo from Deputy Director of Security (Investigations and Operational Support), Victor R. White, to Chief, SR Division (Attention: Adele Marderosian): Subject: JOHNSON, PRISCILLA MARY POST #71 589: "1. Reference is made to your memorandum wherein a Provisional Covert Security Approval was requested to permit contact with Subject in the U.S. under Project AEDINOSAUR for debriefing regarding her contacts in the USSR. This approval is being issued for debriefing only. Prior to contact, coordination must be effected with OO/C. 2. In accordance with the provisions set forth in Clandestine Services Instruction No. 10-5 and Clandestine Services Instruction Field No. 10-5, a Provisional Covert Security Approval is granted for the use of the Subject as described in your request as set forth in paragraph 1, above. 3. Subjects of Provisional Covert Security Approvals are not to represent themselves as, nor are they to be represented as, employees of CIA. 4. Your attention is called to the fact that a Provisional Covert Security Approval does not constitute complete compliance with the provisions of CIA Regulation 10-210. Therefore, if you should desire at a later date to change the status or use of this individual, a request for approval to cover any proposed change should be submitted to this office. 5. This approval becomes invalid in the event action is not taken within 90 days of the date of this memorandum."


5/3/63: Johnson was approved for debriefing in (AE)DINOSAUR with reference to her Soviet contacts.


12/18/63, memorandum for the record by M.D. Stevens of OS: "(Priscilla Johnson) has been of interest to this Agency in several instances. On 3 May 1963 she was approved for debriefing under Project (AE)DINOSAUR with reference to her contacts in the USSR."

Bill Simpich

© Mary Ferrell Foundation. All Rights Reserved. |Site Map |MFF Policies |Contact Us