How To Sniff Out a Spy

Joe Navarro, former FBI spy-catcher and the author of What Every Body Is Saying, helps you determine whether your next-door neighbor is a secret Commie…or just a weirdo.

He Talks Funny

“The guy might tell you he’s originally from Canada or Australia, but there are still some tell-tale signs in his pronunciation of certain words that won’t match with any part of the English-speaking world. That’s actually how we caught one of these guys.”

His 20s Are a Blur

“You know they’ve been training, so there’s usually a four- to six-year period in their life that’s missing—generally from the time they’re 21 until they’re 27. Ask him where he was during those years. There’s also an absence of photographs from that precise period.”

He’s Too Smart

“These guys are usually very sharp, but they often don’t want a job that is high-profile or going to take up their time, because they need that time for their real work. So they’ll get a normal job. It’s like, ‘OK, you’re a parking lot attendant, but you know who Nabokov is?’ ”

He Wanders

“Spies engage in what we call counter-surveillance. They may take the subway, ride the bus, or walk for two hours. They do a lot of meandering and stopping. If you’re a plumber, what are you doing downtown for three hours and then going to the park?”

He’s Old-School

“You would think today’s spies would be high-tech, but almost all of them have a shortwave radio. If everything turns to shit—if a war really does break out—the only thing that will ever get through are signals that are bounced off the stratosphere.”

Photos by John Ueland | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2014