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Murdered by Umbrella: Death in London

Just a couple of days ago I wrote an article here at Mysterious Universe titled “Pat Price: Killed Because of His Remote-Viewing Skills?” It was an article that suggested Price – one of the most skilled of all the remote-viewers of the 1970s – may have been killed by an agent of a hostile, overseas nation. At one point in the article I stated the following: “As he approached the desk to check-in [at the Stardust Hotel in Las Vegas], a man walked straight into Price. It was a violent collision. He felt a shooting pain in his leg, as if he had been hit with a needle. With hindsight, that may very well have been what happened.” It has been suggested that Price may have been hit by a needle attached to nothing less than an umbrella. If that sounds too far out, I can assure you that it isn’t. This brings us to a case that mirrored Price’s death.

Just a few years after the highly suspicious death of remote-viewer Pat Price, there was a very similar – and equally disturbing – incident that provoked a great deal of alarm within the highest echelons of the U.K. government. It occurred on no less than a bustling street in the heart of London. The victim was a man named Georgi Markov, a Bulgarian writer who went on to incur the wrath of Bulgaria’s government – specifically its intelligence service. As a definitive dissident, Markov was someone who, almost inevitably, was destined to cross paths with the dark side of Bulgaria’s government. And he did. His life was snuffed out after a strange and quite literally deadly encounter.

By the 1960s, some of Markov’s work was outright banned in Bulgaria. It most assuredly did not go down well with Bulgarian authorities. Things were getting very dicey for Markov. They got worse when the Bulgarian Secret Service opened a surveillance file on him. Markov was referred to by those in government who were watching him as “The Wanderer.” With the heat on him, Markov chose to get the hell out of Dodge, so to speak. Fearful of the possibility that Bulgarian authorities would clamp down on him to a serious degree, Markov chose to defect. Luckily for Markov, the U.K. welcomed him, and the Bulgarians were unable to get their claws into him. For a while.

Georgi Markov’s last day on earth was September 11, 1978. At the time, he was just forty-nine years old. The build-up to the end went as follows: five days earlier, on September 7, Markov was crossing Waterloo Bridge, famous for the view it provides of London’s long and winding River Thames. After crossing the bridge, Markov headed to a nearby bus-stop, which would take him close to his place of work: studios of the BBC. It was as Markov waited for the bus that his killer quickly moved in. It was a case of now or never. Sadly for Markov, it was right now. Suddenly, Markov jumped: he was hit by an out of the blue piercing pain in his right thigh. It felt like a needle or a pin had quickly entered his leg, which is exactly happened. Markov turned around to see a man behind him; a man who was in the process of picking up an umbrella. The mysterious figure hailed a cab and was quickly lost in the bustling crowds of London.

By the time that Markov got to the BBC World Service, the pain was still bothering him. He took a look at his leg: there was a circular area of redness, not unlike that of a bite or a sting from an insect. It was far worse. Only a few hours later, Markov began to feel ill. It was as if he was going down with, maybe, something along the lines of flu. It was not flu. As the evening progressed, Markov’s condition deteriorated. He was taken to St. James’ Hospital. Things got worse and worse: Markov spiraled into a serious state and died. Incredibly, it was found after the autopsy of Markov that he had been hit by with deadly ricin, which is produced in the seeds of the castor oil plant. Clearly, the umbrella had been modified to hit Markov with ricin.

An investigation was quickly initiated by the Metropolitan Police. While the police came to the conclusion that a Bulgarian assassin – or, at least, someone hired by the Bulgarians – was the culprit, the matter remained a mystery for years. It should be noted, though, that one man said he knew the truth. His name: Oleg Gordievsky.  Born in Moscow, Russia in 1938, Gordievsky received training with The People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (the NKVD). In 1963, he joined the KGB, achieving the rank of colonel. According to Gordievsky, while the assassin was Bulgarian, the hit itself was planned by the Soviet Union’s ruthless KGB. Whatever the nature of the full story, Markov was gone. And in a fashion that eerily paralleled the death of Pat Price.

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Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.
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