As I mentioned in an earlier posts, a number of people have been working really hard at developing a new a section on the Mary Ferrell Foundation WEB site – a section to address pseudonyms and aliases.
That work is a major addition to the existing series of Cryptonyms already on the site. We hope this resource will be valuable to anyone researching in CIA documents obtained both from the Mary Ferrell Foundation archives, as well as other major online document repositories.
Pseudonyms and Aliases are a truly tricky area because both involve what appear to be real names and on occasion, even with in the documents, the usage appears to have been blurred.
Normally the distinction is obvious, pseudonyms for internal use and aliases for external. That allows you to make the call as to which which based on usage – the text usually talks about an alias being used in meetings or activities outside the agency, not just in documents.
Of course to be useful, serious aliases need to involve more than just a one time fake name use, they require employment and education covers, work histories, mail backstops and even “pocket litter” carried during field work.
So for all of you who actually dig into documents, we hope this new reference (which will be expanded and likely corrected on some names) will serve as a valuable resource. You can find it at this link: