More than a month after a Czechoslovak airliner crashed on a mountainside in bad weather, killing 22 people, the Communist government came forth with its explanation of the crash: "Collision of the plane with a balloon which had been sent to Czech territory by American organizations from bases in West Germany." The Czech "evidence": balloons had been seen in the area the day of the crash, and remnants of a balloon and leaflets in scribed "Free Europe" were found about a mile from the site of the crash.

Nobody at Radio Free Europe was surprised. The...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!