Monte Overacre

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Person.png Monte Overacre ISGPRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Monte Overacre.gif
BornJuly 30, 1955
Idaho, USA
Died5 April 1995 (Age 39)
Cause of death
air crash
Exposedeconomic espionage
Victim ofassassination?
CIA spook who worked in Central America and with recurring foreign technology experts to spy for the U.S. Died in suspicious 1995 plane crash, after starting to talk too freely.

Employment.png Spook Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
1984 - 1992
LocationCentral America
During the very brutal CIA-led counterinsurgencies

Monte Overacre was a CIA spook. In 1992, after nearly a decade of paramilitary work in Central America and Southeast Asia, Overacre was retrained in telecommunications and deployed in San Diego, where he was tasked with recruiting visiting foreign technology experts to spy for the U.S. back in their home countries[1]

After quitting the agency in 1994, he started talking - too freely - to journalist Robert Dreyfuss. Overacre went back on a mission to Guatemala, where he died in a suspicious 1995 air crash.

Central America

Joining the agency in 1984, by 1986, Overacre was in El Salvador, a country which was then in the midst of a brutal counterinsurgency program, where a military-dominated government was in the process of crushing a leftist guerilla group.[1] He probably was active in other countries in the region too.

Asset recruitment

In 1992, Overacre was retrained and posted to San Diego. As a CIA recruiter and debriefer of business executive returning from overseas, Overacre operated in San Diego under a cover provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, using his real name and several aliases.[1]

“Monte Overacre's most important job was recruiting overseas spies. He worked on the campus of a university (though he carefully guarded the identity of the university) in the San Diego area, where he managed a team posing as telecommunications academics, recruiting visiting foreign technology experts to spy for the U.S. back in their home countries-from South America to Europe, Africa to Asia-to keep the agency on top of new technological innovations. Under the guise of running a series of seminars on telecommunications, Overacre and his MXSCOPE team would invite scientists, engineers, and government and corporate officials from all over the world to come to San Diego. Once there, unwitting attendees would be scoped out by Overacre, evaluated, and targeted for recruitment as potential CIA agents, or "assets," after they returned to their home countries. The recruitment efforts were typically unsavory. "The old methods work even with the nerds, sometimes even better," he wrote. "Trips to massage parlors, strip clubs, wild bars with aggressive white women, etc., make these guys come unglued, just like any truck driver. Once you have gotten a guy laid and paid the bill for him, you have a friend for life. Eventually, the recruits would probably be handled by a CIA case officer working out of the U.S. embassy or, more frequently, operating under nonofficial cover, posing as an American businessman. By then, the new agents likely would be on the CIA’s payroll.”
Mother Jones,  Robert Dreyfuss (1998)  [2]

The most attractive targets, he wrote in an e-mail, were the experts in such sought-after technologies as "digital switch architectures, placements, telecom network design and hierarchies, digital microwave frequencies, [and] types and manufacture of digital optical fiber being laid to replace old twisted-pair networks."[1]

Overacre, finding the office job boring, allegedly left the CIA in October 1994.[1]


He was recruited by Crescent Petroleum, running a small, unproductive oil operation in Guatemala. Crescent Petroleum was owned by Glickenhaus Energy Corporation, owned by Seth Glickenhaus. Nearby the operation was a Guatemalan army base, and Guatemalan guerillas were known to operate in the area.[1]

In the last month of Overacre's life, he said was scared. "He started running into people he knew from the old days, people in the Guatemalan army, from the air force, people who knew him from his days with the CIA," said his brother. Overacre started doing countersurveillance to try to make it harder for anyone to tail him.[1]

On April 5, 1995, the experienced pilot Overacre and his two passengers died when their Cessna single engine plane faltered and died. The official narrative is that the plane ran out of gasoline. The crash was never properly investigated.[1]

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