When people hear the name Perseus, they usually think of the the myth from Ancient Greece of a young man, son of Zeus and the mortal Danaë, who beheaded the gorgon Medusa snd saved Andromeda from the monster Cetus. But what most people don’t know is that there is a second myth about a man by the same name.
Perseus was also the codename of a hypothetical Soviet Spy, who supposedly managed to get through the United States National Security by infiltrating Los Alamos National Laboratory while the Manhattan Project was still under development thus playing a vital role in the development of Soviet Nuclear Weapons. The spy’s profile described him as a young scientist during the time of the Manhattan Project, thus meaning they likely participated in the Spanish Civil War. Allegedly in the early 1940s Perseus would have been in New York City visiting his parents. It was during that time that he was recruited by the GRU (General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia) after looking for and getting in contact with the an American Communist supporter Morris Cohen who worked as a soviet spy. After meeting him in between September 1941 and July 1942 Cohen left for the western front his wife Lona Cohen took it upon herself and traveled to Albuquerque to receive information regarding the Trinity Test which was detonated in July 1945, from Perseus, and took it to the Soviet consul in New York, Anatoli Yatskov.
Although there aren’t any certainties about his identity or even existence there are some alleged confirmation of his existence by individuals like Morris Cohen claim that in addition to Karl Fuchs, there was a second physicist in the Manhattan project who worked as a Soviet spy, who collaborated with Soviet intelligence, and the interaction of said scientist with Lona Cohen to transport stolen information. Other people like United States Cold War historian John Earl Haynes claimed that Perseus was an invention after his study and research of the other 3 spies who breached the Los Alamos Joseph Albright, Marcia Kunstel and Gary Kern. In an index of false names, pseudonyms, and real names of spies, Haynes notes under the Perseus entry that: ““Perseus” also “Mlad”/“Youngster” aka Arthur Fielding: unidentified Soviet source, American physicist in the Manhattan Project. Likely a faked composite by Vladimir Chikov and the SVR combining part of the story of Theodore Hall with misdirection and distortion.” Although her firmly believed in the non existence of Perseus he did acknowledge that there must have been a 4th spy during the development of the Manhattan Project who breached Los Alamos alongside the other 3 spies Klaus Fuchs, David Greenglass and Theodore Hall.
Although we’re not certain of his existence, if he really did part-take in this operation his identity is likely to remain hidden and will be cemented in history as one of the greatest spies ever.
Davide Guida 2Q classico Cambridge 2.0 – liceo Vico Napoli