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I Colluded with the Russians.
Again, Again, and Again.

Ten years ago, life took an unexpected turn. I rather accidentally discovered that the world’s first fighter-pilot was a teenage girl named Lilia Litvyak from Moscow. After some secondary research, I realized her short life was an epic story of one woman’s accomplishments in a male-dominated society.

Three years, four trips, and hundreds of interviews later in Russia and the Eastern Ukraine, the book, Call Sign, White Lily was complete. Subtitle: The World’s First Female Fighter-Pilot Becomes Hilter’s Worst Nightmare.

Lt. Lilia Litvyak, 1921-1934

During the next few years, there were more trips, interviews, and photographs which morphed into a book called 7 Days in Russia. Subtitle: One photojournalist discovers everyday Russians and Americans are Not Very Different. The book contains 160+ four-color photographs of daily Russian life rarely covered by the American media.

Coke and pancakes in a Russian park. Russians love pancakes.

Finally, and most recently, with the help of many Americans and Russians, there is Project Zebra. Subtitle: Roosevelt and Stalin’s top-secret mission to train 300+ Soviet airman in a secret mission America. The 18-month mission took place in tiny Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and been called “One of the Last, Great Untold stories of World War 2.” And, contains many never before seen pictures from both the Russian and American officers.

The men of Project Zebra and their huge warplane pose for history in North Carolina.

While my decade long journey was unplanned, this insular American, with no Russian ancestry, learned much about Russian history, customs and traditions, and their determined, self-effacing mindset. I made many my new friends; together we built mutual trust and respect—a far cry from the Russiamania inbred in the American psyche.

There were regular quarterly visits from the FBI. Initially, there were questions: What was I doing? How was I doing it? Finally, a conclusion: No other American had ever completed such a cultural trilogy. The FBI even gave me a little award.

There’s tons more stuff about my adventures and all my new friends at:
Buy Call Sign White Lily on Amazon.
Buy 7 Days in Russian on Amazon.
Buy Project Zebra on Amazon.