Our theme for the month of July is “stunt journalism.” Writers were asked to try something new, take on a challenge, or perform some other interesting feat strictly for the purpose of writing about it.
For my stunt, I determined I would follow someone (a friend; don’t worry) around for a day, pretending like I was a spy. I did not tell him I was doing so. In my attempt, I learned a few things. 1) Driving in/through/around Pike Place Market should never be attempted; 2) Being a spy is super boring. I imagined artfully tailing in a vehicle; I ended up posted outside my subject’s office all day; 3) Reconnaissance is pivotal. Most of my difficulties stemmed from lack of intel; 4) This was a fun exercise, and; 5) I would be a terrible spy.
OPERATION CHINGU MISSON BRIEFING
LOCATION: Seattle, WA
TIME ELAPSED: 4:27
OBJECTIVE: Gather information, determine daily movements of subject Denny Porter
9:15 AM PDT: Established position approx. 25 ft from subject’s workplace. Clear view of doorway. Background intel confirms subject is in workplace at this time.
9:47 AM PDT: Associates of subject entering workplace. Unidentifiable figure opens door; possibly subject
10:37 AM PDT: Potential tail sited – white van, approx. 14 feet long, license plate C44J45. Driver young male wearing black sunglasses. Monitoring situation closely
11:08 AM PDT: Holding position – white van confirmed unthreatening
11:32 AM PDT: Woman, 40s, wearing brown, entering location. Door opened from inside. Figure indiscernible; will follow up
11:51 AM PDT: Black Subaru, license plate 5C2940, pulls up to workplace. Exchange of product. Buyer 20s/30s male, short, black hat, baseball t-shirt, seller 20s/30s male, white shirt, sideburns. Seller revealed to be door warden. Subject still unaccounted for.
12:14 PM PDT: Posing as subject’s college friend, placed call to subject’s workplace inquiring about whereabouts. Informed that subject has left the premises; back in 1-2 hours
12:32 PM PDT: Confirm with asset subject’s likely path
1:00 PM PDT: Departed location on asset tip in search of subject
1:30 PM PDT: Arrived on location, subject not visible. Checking secondary site.
1:38 PM PDT: Subject not at secondary site.
1:42 PM PDT: Supplies running low, returning to Regional Center
MISSION TAKEAWAYS: Despite significant effort and time, unable to sight subject… partially attributable to bad intel from recon team, particularly with regard to workplace rear door… sources are good, information was solid – recommend further development of asset… site presents multiple opportunities for future observation… subject proved elusive; recommend three person team going forward… given intel on rear door and larger team, confident in future success of operation
After working in Washington, D.C., for two years, Andrew Orlebeke (’10) is in graduate school in Seattle, Washington, studying public policy. In addition to public service, he has a passion for traveling and an abiding love of sports.