[TUHS] Peter Adams photos

A. P. Garcia a.phillip.garcia at gmail.com
Sat Nov 10 01:36:54 AEST 2018

On Fri, Nov 9, 2018, 10:19 AM Doug McIlroy <doug at cs.dartmouth.edu wrote:

> > My favorite anecdote that I've read regarding Belle was when Ken
> > Thompson took it out of the country for a competition. Someone,
> > I'm assuming with customs, asked him if Belle could be
> > classified as munitions in any way. He replied, "Only if you
> > drop it out the window."
> That's not the half of it. Ken had been invited by Botvinnik,
> a past world champion, to demonstrate Belle in Russia. Customs
> spotted it in baggage and impounded it without Ken's knowledge.
> When he arrived empty-handed in Moscow, his hosts abandoned
> him to his own devices.
> Late that fateful Friday afteroon, customs called Bell Labs
> security, which in turn called Ken's department head--me. That
> evening I called Bill Baker, the Labs' presi7, at home,
> hoping he might use his high-level Washington connections
> to spring Belle. No luck. Ken was in the dark about the whole
> affair until Joe Condon managed to reach him at his hotel.
> Customs kept the machine a month and released it only after the
> Labs agreed to pay a modest fine. I believe Ken's remark about
> the military potential of Belle was made in reply to a reporter.
> Doug

That certainly puts a damper on the punchline of the joke, but thank you
for sharing this story!

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