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Camp-X documentary scene re-creation of William Fairbarn, a tough instructor at Camp-X in the art of silent killling , holding the Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife which was adopted by the British Commandos, SAS, and many other elite military and other units
Photo Credit: Yap Films

The mystery of Camp-X, Canada’s secretive spy school

It is widely known as Camp X- but it had several other names including for example STS-103 (special training school) and Project J.

What is was though, was a training school for spies.

A new documentary by Yap Films of Toronto, is called simply Camp X, Robin Bicknell is a producer and director at Yap Films.

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The film producers scanning the actual Camp-X spy manual, just recently de-classified. ” How to search a prisoner if you are armed- kill him” © Yap Films

Silent killing, how to plant bombs to blow up railways and bridges, secret codes, hiding in plain sight, weapons use, all of this and much more was taught at Camp-X

Created in Canada, it taught those who founded the CIA, had close ties to Britains Special Operations Executive (SOE) and MI-6, and inadvertently was connected to the Soviet spy system

Camp X  was a military installation of low, innocuous buildings.  It was built on a large scrub piece of farmland, in a then sparsely populated area along the shore of Lake Ontario in Whitby, about 45 minutes by car from the major urban centre of Toronto.

It was a good place to practice a variety of skills such as blowing up railway lines, firearms, parachute drops, hand to hand combat, and so on, all away from prying eyes and ears.

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Camp-X in a large former farm area in Whitby Ontario, shown in 1943. The isolated area was needed to keep away from prying eyes and ears as people practiced blowing thing up, and shooting, parachute drops, and other facets of being a secret agent © Lynn Hodgson-Camp-x

 It was also a highly sophisticated communications interception and transmitting operation.

During the war, it trained about 500 agents, approximately half of which were sent behind enemy lines in Europe and Asia to cause damage and disruption, and/or spread disinformation, while also gathering information useful to the Allied war effort.

The documentary, Camp-X, uses recreations of scenes along with actual recemt archeological digging at the site to recover artefacts, and interviews with former “agents” and people associated with the spy school.

Camp X airs tonight on Canadian TV on the History Channel, with a rebroadcast tomorrow and subsequent broadcasts.

Internationally it is expected to be presented at various film festivals

CAMP-X website

 

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One comment on “The mystery of Camp-X, Canada’s secretive spy school
  1. Bill Jay says:

    What a delight to find an article by Marc Montgomery after CBC did the disgusting act of killing “The Link”, which was the ONLY radio program that regularly covered news from all parts of Canada, not just Toronto.
    His interview skills are sadly missed as we are now saddled with a morass of second rate interviewers albeit with a FEW really good stars (which is where he belongs).
    Bill J.