Agent 355. One of the most curious, and yet underappreciated and studied stories from the American Revolution. Agent 355 was a code name/designator for a very elusive female spy that tied to the Culper Ring of spies that was led by Benjamin Tallmadge, and appointed by George Washington himself. Agent 355 was one the more critical elements to the Culper Spy Ring, yet we still know next to nothing about her. Some even say that she was not one person in particular but rather that the term “Agent 355” simply meant there was a woman that had useful information. This theory seems to be disappearing as there are several more credible stories that point to several possibilities to this individual.
While Agent 355 is still a mystery there are several facts that are quite clear. She did in fact work with the Patriots during the war as a spy and that she was recruited into the Culper Spy Ring by Abraham Woodhull. Various deciphered codes suggest that Agent 355 was a woman with a “degree of prominence” and that she more than likely was living in New York City at the time. She frequently made contact with Major John Andre and Benedict Arnold throughout her “career.” Some theorize that it was Anna Strong who was Woodhull’s neighbor at the time or that it could have possible been Robert Townsend’s common law wife by various stories claiming that he (Townsend) was “in love with Agent 355.” There are several other potential claims to the true identity of Agent 355, but for now she continues to hide behind a vail of secrecy…or does she? Enter this week’s guest on The Malliard Report, Travel Channel host, history fan, and all-around great guy, Scott Wolter.
Scott Wolter is a forensic geologist and television host. He is known best as the host of the series “America Unearthed.” Wolter is based out of Minnesota, where he is the founder and president of American Petrographic Services and the inventor of Archaeopetrography (a process used to date and understand the origins of inscribed stone artifacts). In addition to investigating and dating ancient artifacts, Wolter was involved in analyzing fire damage to the concrete at the Pentagon after the September 11th terrorist attacks and has even helped the Las Vegas police investigate a homicide where a victim was found buried in concrete. His first television appearance was as a Kensington rune stone expert on the documentary “Holy Grail in America,” which indirectly resulted in Wolter hosting “America Unearthed.” Wolter is also the author of several books on geology, the Knights Templar and theories related to pre-Columbian contact.
On this episode Scott shares his thoughts and opinions on the Culper Spy Ring, possible candidates as to whom the actual Agent 355 is, life in front of the camera and his work for The Travel Channel, and so much more. Scott has become a regular on the show and for good reason. His insight is top notch, and he brings a wealth of information to the discussion. To keep up with Scott’s latest work, you can follow his personal blog at scottwolteranswers.blogspot.com and of course tune into his show on The Travel Channel American Unearthed on Tuesday nights. For all things Malliard head over to malliard.com to sign up for the newsletter, catch up on past shows, and so much more. You can find Jim across most social media platforms @malliard.