References in The Dagger Affair by David McDaniel

compiled by Barry & Lee Gold

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Refers to



Don Simpson created a bacronym for DAGGER: "Destruction A-Go-Go And Electronic Revenge".

In reponse to a query, Simpson wrote: "Yes. Technically, this is a "backronym" (unsure of the spelling), i.e., creating a name to go with the desired initials (like UNCLE, SHIELD, etc.; the British TV series Avengers had a lot of fun with this at one point). Organizations used to have initials like CIA or NATO or ASCAP or whatever; I think this changed around the time of CORE. DAGGER's original opponent was CLOAK (Committee, Law & Order, All Kinds), but Ted/Dave asked if he could use DAGGER for a Man From UNCLE book, and I was delighted.

Barry notes that one local femmefan, Jayn Ellern (née Galleon), held monthly parties which she called CLOAK, standing for "Committee for Lovely Orgies, All Kinds". In spite of the name, they were just parties.


Dedication: To Dean and Shirley Dickensheet, Technological Advisors on the Hierarchy

Dean Ward Dickensheet was a Science Fiction fan living in San Francisco, and an old friend of McDaniel. He created the bacronym "Technical Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity" for THRUSH.

More about Dickensheet on the web: Fancyclopedia 3
The Trained Cormorants (Sherlockian fan group)
About Tantalus (Dickensheet's genzine)


By the rally clock on his dash, the time was 0320.

See Wikipedia on "Rallying."
Nowadays rally clocks are accurate not just to the hour and minute but to the second.


driving west on the Long Island Expressway
(It's specified on page 15 that Solo pulled over in the area of the Clearview Expressway.)

The Long Island Expressway is I-495.
The Clearview Expressway was built in 1963 was I-78 and renumbered as I-295 on January 1, 1970.


NYC climate (November)

average monthly high 54°, average monthly low 41°


"Is This A DAGGER That I See Before Me?"

From Macbeth, Act II, scene 1: MacBeth is alone and thinking of killing King Duncan; he has a vision of a dagger.


Kennedy International Airport

John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is a major airport in the borough of Queens in New York City. It is about 12 miles southeast of Lower Manhattan. Dedicated as New York International Airport in 1948, the airport was more commonly known as Idlewild Airport until 1963, when it was renamed in memory of John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States.


Los Angeles

McDaniel lived in Los Angeles when writing this book.
Los Angeles climate (November): average monthly high 73°, average monthly low 50°.


"6:00 AM jet to Los Angeles"

This would have been a Boeing 707, first used by PanAm October 26, 1958. This jet boards at 6:00 AM in what turns out to be November and lands at the end of the day (page 19)
Manhattan and California would have been on Standard Time at this point. Sunset in Los Angeles on November 5th would have been around 5 PM PST (8 PM EST).
The actual flight would have taken about 5½ hours.
A 6 AM JFX to LAX jet flight would have been more likely to land at 1 PM EST, 10 AM PST. It looks as if McDaniel was using a propeller-plane timetable.


"on Wilshire Boulevard near the Country Club"

The Los Angeles Country Club at 10101 Wilshire Boulevard. It includes a clubhouse, tennis courts, and 36 hole golf course.



Wikipedia says that US Helicopter operated regularly scheduled flights every hour between JFK Terminal 3 and the East 34th Street Heliport. New York Airways provided helicopter service from JFK to other area airports and heliports from 1955 to 1979.


battery-powered chronometer

1963: Seiko invents the first quartz-crystal, battery-powered chronometer.


set by WWV

WWV is the call sign of the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) HF ("shortwave") radio station near Fort Collins, Colorado. WWV, using an atomic clock, continuously transmits official U.S. Government frequency and time signals on 2.5, 5, 10, 15 and 20 MHz.


the latest James Bond film (book dated 1965)

Goldfinger's US premiere was December 21, 1964.


"[T]hey stepped off the surface of the taxiway....
Ten minutes later they were in an ordinary-looking black car which bore them north along the San Diego Freeway....

Since 1950 or before, both propeller and jet airplanes at LAX have usually docked at the terminal, not letting passengers get off onto the tarmac. "Taxiway" (= "a paved surface ... used by planes taxiing to or from the runway at an airport") seems to have been an error. Parking a plane there would clog up traffic on the adjacent runway(s).
The U.N.C.L.E. agents presumably did not check any luggage, and the jet may have made a special stop to let them get out on the tarmac and get into that black car. If they had gone through the terminal, it would be practically impossible to be on the freeway 10 minutes after deplaning.


Ralph Feldman, the head of the Los Angeles office
San Francisco, Davis






C-minor chord

Barry says this chord is "practically impossible except as a barre chord. And beginners don't have the callouses needed for barre chords."

McDaniel played the guitar.


chill autumn night

No, this doesn't contradict page 19's "the heat of the California day which had just ended." There's usually a 20-30' difference between day high and night low in Los Angeles in autumn.


Keeler polygraph

Leonarde Keeler (1903-1949) was the co-inventor of the polygraph (popularly referred to as a lie detector test) which measures and records several physiological indices such as blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and skin conductivity while the subject is asked and answers a series of questions..
The variable strength "electric shock" (page 25) isn't part of the standard Keeler set-up.


injecting it with a hypospray

a fictional version of a jet injector


Jon and Ben



MacArthur Park



telephone book

Actually, even back then, Los Angeles had at least five telephone books. Garnet Keldur would have been in the West Los Angeles phonebook, but there was also the Central phonebook, San Fernando Valley, Eastern, and South Bay. There are a lot more nowadays, but fewer people use them. Back in 1965, there were no cell phones or Web.


"Did you compose The Firefly?" playing Botticelli

See Botticelli in Wikipedia. We think McDaniel was the first to introduce this as a recreation for Solo and Kuryakin. LASFSians sometimes played it on long car trips.





Channel D

A frequency for U.N.C.L.E. communication devices, reserved for long distance communications.


"a wide enough Theta range"

This sounds reminiscent of the use of "Theta" in its Scientological sense, meaning the spirit or life force, but see page 37 for a wider definition of "Theta." Dave had dabbled in Scientology.








Pierson Associates...San Francisco



Boulder Dam

Hoover Dam: The dam's generators provide power for public and private utilities in Nevada, Arizona, and California.


white suit...

the blazing desert sun

Normally a white suit would be summer wear (Memorial Day to Labor Day), not November

Hoover Dam Climate History: "Throughout the month of November daytime temperatures will generally reach highs of...about 68°F." We suspect that McDaniel hadn't yet decided what month it was.


"He hasn't once used the light meter....And that type of camera doesn't have a built-in meter. Also, I have not seen him make any adjustment of the camera between the dim light in here and the sunlight outside."

McDaniel was a good photographer.





"But He Left His Glass Slipper."

Cinderella reference?


penstock-viewing room

A penstock is a regulator consisting of a valve or gate that controls the rate of water flow through a sluice. At Hoover Dam, before water from Lake Mead reaches the power turbines, it enters the intake towers and then four gradually narrowing penstocks which funnel the water down towards the powerhouse.


at the wheel of their car,... climbing through the tangled hills toward the road back to Las Vegas

Hoover Dam is about 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas. The first leg of the 45 minute trip back to Las Vegas is US-93N. "The road back to Las Vegas" is I-515 N.


Illya leaned forward to push Garnet to the floor.

She wasn't wearing a seat belt. That's because the car didn't have seat belts. They weren't legally required until January 1, 1968.


the Thompson

The Thompson submachine gun, aka "Tommy Gun." Wikipedia says it was "favored by soldiers, criminals, police and civilians alike for its ergonomics, compactness, large .45 ACP cartridge, reliability, and high volume of automatic fire."


"There'll be a truck from town here in half an hour or so."

That implies they got 15 minutes along the way to Las Vegas before being robbed, and that the truck set out toward them when they went off the road. Or maybe when the THRUSH plane showed up.


Kings Canyon

Kings Canyon National Park is a national park in the southern Sierra Nevada This is high Sierra country, only snow free from late June until late October. This looks like McDaniel hadn't decided what month it was when he wrote this section.


Shaver Lake

Shaver Lake is an artificial lake on Stevenson Creek, in the Sierra National Forest of Fresno County, California, at 5,500 feet high.


T-33 jet

The Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star (or T-Bird) is an American jet trainer aircraft, a class of aircraft designed specifically to facilitate flight training of pilots and aircrews.


"Give my regards to Broadway"

a reference to the George M. Cohan song.


Ask a bushman to build a laser.

The first laser was built in 1960.


"Though It Rain DAGGERS With Their Points Downward"

from Richard Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy, Part III, Section 2, Memories 3


"Take Us To Your Leader."



Del Floria's shop

There are four primary entrances to U.N.C.L.E. HQ. In the daytime, field agents are admitted by way of Del Floria's, a small, nondescript tailor/dry-cleaning shop located one flight below street level. (see


neatly dressed in black suits....THRUSH badges.....The men wore theirs like blazer badges on their coat pockets; the woman wore one quite a bit smaller and higher on her jacket.

Blazer badges normally appear on the breast pocket. See illo at


small reels of what looked like video tape [referred to on page 74 as "spools of videotape"]

This was, of course, before video cassette recorders. See


a Satrap on the West Coast

This is the first time we learn of this THRUSH term. This terminology was devised by either Dean Dickenheet or by David McDaniel.


mimeographed copies

McDaniel was an expert mimeographer.
In 1963 Xerox introduced the Xerox 813, the first desktop plain-paper copier that could fit on anyone's office desk. It weighed 200 pounds. I haven't found out how much it cost.





Misstraut allen, in welchen der trieb zu strafen mächtig.

Full context: Also aber rathe ich euch, meine Freunde: misstraut Allen, in welchen der Trieb, zu strafen, mächtig ist! (see note)

So I advise you, my friends: distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful!

From Also Sprach Zarathustra (Thus spoke Zarthustra) by Friederich Nietzsche

(Thanks to Roger Dickinson for identifying and translating the Nietsche quotes.)


Geben sie mir die Namen ihren anderen Freunde im DOLCH.

Give me the names of your other friends in DAGGER.


Jeder kleinste Schritt auf der Erde ist ehedem mit geistigen un körperlichen Martern erstritten worden (see note)

Every smallest step on earth has been gained previously with mental and physical torment.



Wo befindet sich der Hauptsitz der Vereinigung?

Where is the association's headquarters located?


Welche seien die Ziele ihrerVereinigung?

What are the goals of your association?


the San Francisco nest of THRUSH

Probably U.N.C.L.E. slang for what THRUSH called a "Satrapy".


The objective of to rule the world....

We don't think this was mentioned in the Man from U.N.C.L.E. TV series.


"The Techological Hierarchy For What?"

See the note on Dean Dickensheet. McDaniel found that most people were incapable of absorbing the full acronym the first time they heard it. Instead, they usually responded by asking, in a stunned voice, "The Techological Hierarchy For What?"
His writeups of several "THRUSH flights" in his zines for SAPS (the Spectator Amateur Press Society) resulted in his getting asked if he'd like to write Man from U.N.C.L.E. books professionally, with this as the first.


the first passengers out

They flew first class.


Bud Carey...a tall, handsomely polished man in a gray suit [television host]



Robin...small and slender, with very long, very blonde hair....Her features were delicate. Her eyes were large and brilliantly blue....

I think that McDaniel is describing Dickensheet's mistress, who (he I think I remember that he told me) was (conveniently) also a good friend of Dickensheet's wife Shirley and who lived with the two of them.


the sunset glowed

Typical San Francisco November temperatures are highs of 63° and lows of 50°. Chance of rain is 25%; chance of clouds is 25%.


the house

Dickensheet's address was (pause to look at my letter of commendation from THRUSH): 1433 Eighth Avenue in San Francisco.
See Google street view. Dickensheet was an ordinary, middle-class resident: his house was out in "The Avenues," a few blocks from Golden Gate Park . But Baldwin, as head of a THRUSH Satrapy, would have had the means to buy a house in the "Western Addition," nearer the center of San Francisco, with a nicer view.


Alamo Square



my wife Irene

Shirley Dickensheet


Waverly's biography

I don't know if this is new material..


a regiment called the Artists' Rifles

...a special forces regiment of the British Army Reserve.... a volunteer light infantry unit, the regiment saw active service during the...World War I, earning a number of battle honours. See Wikipedia


in 1915 you went to serve under that imbecile Sarrail at the Macedonian Front

Maurice-Paul-Emmanuel Sarrail, a French general with (rare) openly socialist views, appointed to command at Salonika. See


when the United Network Command was formed in 1946

This may be new information.


Ward Baldwin

This name was McDaniel's tribute to Dean Ward Dickensheet.


a heavy cane

There's a reference on to Don Simpson's making a T.H.R.U.S.H. cane for Dean Dickensheet.


The First Council was made up by the survivors of an unnamed organization which had been built entirely from nothing by one of the most brilliant man the world has ever known....The Professor was a genius in two slightly related fields—mathematics and crime. In 1879 he began to construct a web of power which covered all of Europe and was extending its tentacles into America by the time he was killed in 1891.

Professor James Moriarty (fictional) in some of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories. Holmes killed Moriarty in "The Final Problem," set in 1891.


1895...Northumberland Hotel

"The Sherlock Holmes is a Victorian era themed public house in Northumberland Street near Charing Cross railway station and Trafalgar Square which contains a large collection of memorabilia related to ...Sherlock Holmes." It was "originally a small hotel, the Northumberland Hotel." (Wikipedia article)
It's referenced in several of the Sherlock Holmes stories.
McDaniel was a member of the Baker Street Irregulars.


an old superior officer of mine in New York...1921




Referring to the 1926 serial film Lightning Hutch by Charles Hutchinson: see
McDaniel regularly attended weekly showings at LA's Silent Movie Theatre's.


THRUSH Central

I think this was McDaniel's contribution to how THRUSH was organized.


Jerry Davis, the local [San Francisco] chief of staff



New York's Finest

nickname for members of the New York Police Department


half a dozen GX 40 B9 tubes...unusual tube...a multi-stage internal resonator with a real high inductive resistance field



Charmolian Electronics... Oakland... special-order items




November: average high 65°; average low 49°


Pat Frieden (and Friedan on page 101)



Gloria (see page 138: Gloria Fisher of Ascot Drive, Oakland)




reference to the "butler" from My Man Godfrey?


"flying squad"

This is a term for a branch of the London's Metropolitan Police Sservice (Scotland Yard), but here it's a THRUSH "bird" reference.


the sealing gas-tank that was standard equipment on all U.N.C.L.E. cars

a self-sealing fuel tank that prevents fuels from leaking and igniting after a vehicle (usually a plane or tank) is damaged by enemy fire.


cushion shot

a pool or billiards term, for a shot in which the cue ball is directed to a cushion before going to the object ball


John Whiting



"Old Baldy"

nickname for Ward Baldwin


Peter Horne from Cincinnati, Ohio



sticking plaster

a British term for a bandage


awfully nice weather for November

And so we finally get the month if not the date!


Bruno [the chauffeur]



Waverly Place...tong wars "The most celebrated of the Tong Wars took place in 1875. Ross Alley was, at that time, the pleasure center of Chinatown.... The murder of a member of the Suey Sing Tong at the corner of Ross Alley and Waverly Place --in a dispute over a pretty girl named Golden Peach--brought on a war between the Suey Sings and the Kwong Duck Tong."


Jack Tar Hotel..."One major reason I maintain my position as head of the San Francisco branch of the Hierarchy is so that we do take over, I can have the personal pleasure of razing that abomination to the ground."

A 400-room Jack Tar Hotel in San Francisco occupied a full city block at the intersection of Geary Boulevard and Van Ness Avenue. When built in 1960 it was considered one of the most luxurious hotels in the city, although it was criticized by Herb Caen and others for its modern architecture, which they considered ugly.... In 1982 [less than a year before Dickensheet's death], after major renovations, it became the Cathedral Hill Hotel. A major fire occurred in December 1983 [shortly after Dickensheet's death], causing the hotel to rebuild again. The hotel finally closed on October 30, 2009 and was demolished in November 2013 to make way for an expansion of California Pacific Medical Center.


San Francisco cable car system

see Wikipedia article.


"The Hand That Held The DAGGER."

"On this 10th day of June, 1940, the hand that held the dagger has struck it into the back of its neighbor," FDR speech delivered on June 10, 1940 at the University of Virginia "Final Exercises," referring to Italy's declaration of war on France.


South San Francisco

This isn't part of the city of San Francisco; it's a city in its own right.


As was his habit, he had planted a tiny transmitter....

I haven't watched the show in years. Was that Illya's habit?


a stack of graphite blocks and U-235 slugs which had been constructed on a handball court in Chicago and had been the world's first atomic power pile

Professor Enrico Fermi and his team at the University of Chicago demonstrated that plutonium could be produced. They demonstrated the production of plutonium from U-235 and graphite. (newspaper article)


"Don, Leo" (page 142: Don Chernik and Leo Holt)




bullhorn, megaphone


He saw a band of tally lights on a panel wink amber, and then fade and go out.

In a television studio, a tally light is a small signal-lamp on a professional video camera or monitor. Tally lights are typically red.


shouting A'mhorfhaich

the battle cry of Clan Fraser of Lovat, supposedly taken from the assembly field in front of Lovat Castle


"The object of power is power.".

1984, by George Orwell, Chapter 3: said by O'Brien to Winston Smith


"[We] seek power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power.. [N]o one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end....The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?"

1984, by George Orwell,, Chapter 3, said by O'Brien to Winston Smith, but with a couple of minor changes and some sentences omitted


It was inscribed in dark green ink

McDaniel by choice carried a flow-through pen in dark green ink..


"Now here's another nice mess you've gotten me into."

The catchphrase most used by Laurel and Hardy on film is: "Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into!" The phrase was earlier used by W. S. Gilbert in both The Mikado from 1885 and The Grand Duke from 1896. It was first used by Hardy in The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case in 1930.