ANTIQUARIAN was a Special Operations Executive operation in Vichy France notable for the involvement of agents of Network N. Network N was an intelligence network closely associated with the SOE, MI5, MI6, and other branches of British intelligence during the Second World War, but its origins and overall agenda are obscure. “N”, the main spymaster for the network, was not only an exceptionally well-connected individual who appeared to have been preparing the groundwork for his intelligence network years before the outbreak of war, but also had a peculiar knack for psychologically steeling his agents to face extraordinary threats.
On these pages I will be blogging a reconstruction of Operation: ANTIQUARIAN, as can best be pieced together from surviving records and recollections.
The Network N agents involved in ANTIQUARIAN are as follows:
- Emile Dubois, a French inventor who had escaped the Nazi occupation and offered his services to the British out of patriotism, who had come to N’s attention after an experience with a curious artifact exposed during the Blitz.
- Patricia Wilberforce, a medium who had used a combination of genuine psychic talent and charlatanry to part numerous wealthy individuals from their savings. Having come to N’s attention due to an attack on a cruise ship she had been a passenger on by devilish fish-men commanded by a distant cyclopean figure, N was able to secure her co-operation through the judicious use of blackmail. After all, her falsified seances were frauds – and her genuine ones illegal under the Witchcraft Act of 1735…
- Lt. Douglas Hemsbrook, an Army doctor whose previous scepticism had been rattled due to overtly paranormal manifestations during one of Patricia’s seances.