The Story of the von Rosen Story
By Jamie Bisher
In 1986 or 1987, I found documents describing Baron von Rosen's amazing anthrax mission in the old military intelligence files at the US National Archives. The detailed report and photographs were concealed behind an innocuous transmittal letter for some captured enemy equipment that was being consigned to a US war museum in 1919. I was fascinated, and contacted the Norwegian military history center, who graciously forwarded me excerpts from the memoirs of Johannes Sohr, the chief Norwegian investigator in 1917. Thanks to the kindness of the Norwegian Air Attaché in Washington, Colonel Olsen, who translated Sohr's description of events, I wrote a feature-length piece for publication.
Publishing was much more difficult than researching the story. No one was interested whatsoever in anthrax or biological warfare in the late 1980s. I sent my manuscript to a number of newspapers and magazines, to no avail. Finally, in 1988, Military History magazine accepted the piece. And there it sat on the editor's desk for the next 15 years! In the late 1990s Science magazine ran an article mentioning the Finnish mission after some captured anthrax material was found in a European warehouse. I begged the Military History editor to publish my article. No luck. Each time anthrax made headlines in subsequent years, I implored the editor to publish my article and sent copies of this manuscript by email and post to editors at the Washington Post, Washington Times, New York Times, and scores of other newspapers, magazines and journals in the US and abroad. Besides the occasional generic form letter, there was no response. The big media culture was oblivious to all but insider sources and its own old boy networks...
Military History magazine finally published an abbreviated version of my manuscript in 2003 ("During World War I, Terrorists Schemed to Use Anthrax in the Cause of Finnish Independence"). The story has been twisted and distorted by inaccurate repetition in various media ever since. This website presents the facts as known to the Norwegian secret police and the US Military Intelligence Division.