How the CIA, Jack Kirby Storyboards, and a fake SciFi flick helped save American hostages in Iran
This story is just so weird I thought it was a joke when I first saw it.
During the first Iranian hostage crises in 1979, a lucky few escaped the takeover of the American embassy, but were unable to escape the country as Iranian students hot for the Ayatollah Khomeini chanted “Allah is Great!” and “Death to America!”
The CIA devised a plan to use the cover of a sci-fi film crew to smuggle the hostages out of Iran, and Jack Kirby storyboards became a prop in the plan. The fantastic story can be found at Wired.
Everyone was in costume before dawn on January 28, 1980. Cora Lijek had used sponge curlers to give herself a Shirley Temple look. She thumbed through the script as they waited. Kathy Stafford donned heavy, bohemian-looking glasses, pinned up her hair, and carried a sketch pad and folder with Kirby’s concept drawings. Mark Lijek’s dirty-blond beard had been darkened with mascara. Anders thought of their escape as an adventure and flung himself into his role as Argo‘s flamboyant director: He appeared in a shirt two sizes too small, buttoned only halfway up his hairy chest to reveal an improvised silver medallion. He wore sunglasses, combed his hair over his ears, and acted slightly effeminate. Schatz played with his lens. During the previous two days, they’d done several dress rehearsals, with a Farsi-speaking staffer from the Canadian embassy dressing up in fatigues for mock interrogations, probing for cracks in their cover. They’d learned the movie’s story line and their characters’ backgrounds and motivations and were now waiting, essentially, for call time…