The critically-acclaimed Ben Affleck movie “Argo” opens in theatres today. It’s based on the true story of how six Americans were spirited out of Iran during the Iranian hostage crisis in 1980 by posing as Canadian filmmakers. Their escape, dubbed “The Canadian Caper,” was well-covered then but the full story about how the CIA created an elaborate and fake Hollywood back story for them has only recently been declassified.
This seems an appropriate time to remind people that Roanoke has a tragic connection to that episode of history. The six Americans (who had escaped the embassy compound when it was being seized by militants and hid out at the Canadian ambassador’s house) were smuggled out in January 1980. A few months later came the ill-fated hostage rescue attempt, which ended with the deaths of eight Americans in a helicopter accident at the staging ground code-named “Desert One.”
One of those Americans who lost their life was from Roanoke — Marine Sgt. John Davis Harvey.
Here’s the trailer for “Argo.”