A war hero labeled a deserter might have been a high ranking US spy.
In September of 1945, at the end of World War II, Lt. Ray Hickingbotham settled down with his wife, Dorothy, and three year old daughter, Carol, in Arlington, Virginia.
A decorated war hero, Ray was assigned to Army intelligence. The base housed a top-secret radio operation. Ray may have been part of a select group of expert code-breakers. His assignment was monitoring radio communications from behind the Iron Curtain. It was the beginning of the Cold War.
Former CIA operative John Stockwell explains:
In less than a year, Ray and his group were absorbed into the newly created Central Intelligence Agency.
Ray was working long hours and spending little time with his family. In the summer of 1947, he was transferred to another top-secret group, but he didn’t tell Dorothy about the new assignment.
Ray’s daughter, Carol Solstad, remembers her father’s demeanor at the time:
Late that summer, Dorothy took Carol to Long Island for a two-week visit with her grandparents. When Dorothy tried to phone Ray, she was given the surprising news that he had gone on leave. Then, she learned that the military had, without explanation, hired a moving crew to clean out their apartment.
Two weeks later, a moving van showed up at Dorothy’s parents’ house. In the boxes and trunks, there was not one single item belonging to Ray.
Ray’s daughter recalls the incident:
A month later, a man claiming to be from the Army visited Dorothy with shocking news. He said that on October 14th, 1947, Ray was listed as AWOL. Thirty days later, he was dropped from the military rolls and classified as a deserter.
As a result, Dorothy and Carol lost all of their military benefits. Dorothy later tried to get in touch with the visitor, but the Army said they had never heard of him.
Carol Solstad says her mother always felt that the government knew more than they were telling:
Former CIA operative John Stockwell thinks those fears are not over-blown:
After Ray was labeled a deserter, Carol and her mother struggled to make ends meet. Carol grew up, married, and moved to Oklahoma. She became a private investigator, specializing in reuniting families. But she never gave up the search for her own father:
After years of butting heads with government bureaucracy, Carol finally went to the media. An article about her missing father appeared in the local Arlington newspaper. Three hours later, she received a phone call.
The caller identified himself by a code name, Archangel. He provided Carol with what seemed like inside information:
Archangel told Carol that her father had been investigating sensitive leaks regarding atomic energy. He said that in August of 1947, an attempt was made on Ray’s life, so a decision was made for Ray to go underground while making it look like he had been a deserter.
But the most astonishing news revealed by Archangel was that for nearly a year, Ray had lived only three miles away from Carol and her mother. He had been hidden by the government in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. He told Carol that her father was currently living in a NATO country and that his name was now Nelson.
Carol didn’t know what to make of Archangel:
Carol never heard from the mysterious caller again. But she and her son, Ian, have never stopped trying to decipher Archangel’s clues:
Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season two with Robert Stack and season one with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.SUBMIT A TIP
Sounds fishy to me. Wife goes on vacation tries contact husband was told he went on leave?? Then out of the blue the military is packing up all of their belongings. No explanation. No trace of him. How does a guy be labeled as a deserter when the wife was told he went on leave by the military?? The military is hiding something . Hiding behind their code and authority. The CIA is even shadier. Unfortunately any information on the guy is muddled, lost or something worse. Something dark and sinister entered into this guy’s life . Damaging the family that was left behind.
Carol has passed on. I feel so bad for her not ever finding her dad. Why is the CIA and government always allowed to get away with this?
I think the crime was staged and ray died somewhere else and they planted his body their because the hole in the roof and the way he landed just doesn’t seem right
I left a suggestion, but wanted to leave one here as well. Based on the clues provided in the movie, I would try Switzerland. The Swiss Alps are renowned, it has sparkling, crystal lakes, and is a NATO country, and yes, believe it or not, there are Nelsons who live there.
Switzerland is not a nato country, it’s neutral. As is Austria.
My guess is Norway
garbage – dont trust any family stories, he either died, or ran to the USSR
I think he died too. The family lists him as deceased in subsequent obituaries of his surviving siblings and parents. Either she didn’t want to believe it or the family refused to tell her the full story.
I do not feel like this is a coincidence, the CIA does not mess around. Something has clearly happen to this man, all of a sudden she goes out of town and comes home to her house being moved and her husband is never seen again. Please lets go back to how many men and women have “fallen out of their bedroom window” Or had a random heart attack. People don’t want to think the government is capable of this kind of thing…that’s what they want you to think…
Look back in Washington DC, hiding in plane site.
I feel very strongly that Iceland is where she should look, it has a very old democracy possibly the longest continuous running democracy. I hope this man is found
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Seen this recently on Unsolved Mysteries. Wonder what really happened.
Ray lived in Louisiana and had several children. Katherine, would be 58 OR 59. I DON’T remember all the children’ s name.
The homestead where They lived is gone now and so are the children. This story caught my attention because I remember how haunted the man looked.
Also on episode 113 the young krystal, i didn’t get the whole story, but she looked very very familiar. Can you send me a picture and what her age would be now.
Carol died last May 2014. May she be with God and her father, both she and her father R.I.P..
I suggest translating the article printed in the DC newspaper into Swiss German, (Switsche Deutsch), Italian and French but especially Swiss German and send the article to Swiss Newspapers, Austrian Newspapers, Italian and French newspapers, as well as maybe Norwegian and Swedish Newspapers–Also send to the BBC in the UK. Send the article EVERY WEEK to all of them via email and within 3-4 months at least a couple of newspapers will publish it in their own language. If you cannot find a translator, then send it in English. .
This reminds me of the Richard Colvin Cox case, where a West Point cadet who’d previously served in occupied Germany disappeared from the Point under very mysterious circumstances.
Maybe try Bulgaria or Belgium as pertains to the clues of a nato country with high mountains and clear lakes.
this man is my grandmothers twin brother. I have pics of him somewhere.
Judging by the clues from the episode, she might try Scotland, Norway, or Iceland. Scotland would be the strongest possibility due to the surname of Nelson, which could’ve derived from Admiral Nelson.