Joshuah Bearman wrote a great story for Wired. He summarized it for me thusly:
The story is a CIA rescue mission during the Iran
Hostage Crisis, when six American embassy staff escaped the compound and
were on the lam in Tehran for months -- until the CIA rescued them by
creating a fake Hollywood production company and pretended to be in Iran
location scouting for a big-budget sci-fi epic. I swear, it's all true. The
CIA even got an office for their fake production company at Sunset/Gower
studios, had a script and concept art, and took out ads in Variety. There
are many more strange digressions in detail, but I'll let you find out about
them in the story.
In Errol Morris' First Person series, he did a documentary about the CIA agent responsible for the Sci-fi rescue. He talks about it in some detail. The episode is called "The Little Gray Man"
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
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