The maritime company that officially employed Stanek and the other crew members sits at the end of a quiet road in Panama City, Fla. It is surrounded by a barbed wire fence and plastic slats to prevent anyone from seeing inside. Incorporated in 1983, the company claims on paper to buy and sell boats, yet it never seems to have any in its marina.
Local residents say they have no idea what the company does, and phone calls to its office were not returned.
The company is, in fact, a commercial cover for the CIA’s Maritime Branch, according to a former CIA employee. “We build these companies from whole cloth, from the ground up,” the former CIA employee told Yahoo News, which is not identifying its name, since it is still used in ongoing covert operations.