Geek Trivia

During The 1979 Iran Hostage Crisis American Diplomats Escaped Iran By Posing As?

Christian Missionaries
Airplane Mechanics
Canadian Film Scouts
Humanitarian Aid Workers
The City Of Glasgow Spends $15,000 A Year Keeping What Off Their Most Famous Statue?

Answer: Canadian Film Scouts

In November of 1979, a mob of young Islamists stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and captured dozens of diplomats, holding them hostage. Among the diplomats there, six American diplomats escaped with the aid of two Canadian diplomats and were, precariously, secreted away in a series of homes in Tehran.

With the situation becoming increasingly dire and the window for escape narrowing, a joint covert rescue operation was launched by the Canadian government and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. With swift, but elaborate planning they came up with a brilliant and audacious cover story and fake identities for the diplomats and their extractors: they were all to pose as Canadian film scouts in Iran looking for the perfect setting for a Sci-Fi film known as Argo. The ruse wasn’t just a story, either. It involved an actual script, movie posters, a functioning studio office in Hollywood, fake business cards and stationery, a film party held in Hollywood, and advertisements in notable Hollywood publications like Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. Aside from a select few, no one working on the film had any idea that the entire thing was an elaborate cover story.

Thirty two years after their rescue in early 1980, the story of their escape from Iran under the guise of scouting the movie Argo was released as an actual movie of the same name, directed, produced, and starring Ben Affleck.