Walt Pickut is a New Jersey native, raised in the Essex County town of Bloomfield. Growing up, he watched the sunrise outside his bedroom window to start each day, and every night he watched the Empire State Building take its place to light the eastern horizon. He and his late wife, Patricia Winter of West Orange, New Jersey, raised their three children, Dr. William Pickut, the late Rev. Matthew Pickut, and Dr. Catherine Lamberton, in Upper Montclair, New Jersey, though the job wasn’t quite finished until they moved to Wellsville, one of Western New York’s historic old oil towns. Country life can cure nearly every illness endemic to the madding urban crowd.
A graduate of Bloomfield College and Seminary (biology and chemistry) and Houghton College (communication), Walt added graduate training at Fairleigh-Dickenson University (cardiopulmonary physiology) and the State University of New York-Amherst (mass communication) to pursue parallel careers in medical sciences and radio broadcasting. Adjunct faculty appointments at NYU School of Medicine and Graduate School, faculty service at Houghton College, and hospital practice, including clinical diagnostics and therapeutics, management, and research in respiratory care and sleep medicine, back Walt’s experience for writing in the sciences, medicine, and communication.
As a freelance writer, Walt now lives, in Chautauqua County, New York, with his wife, Nancy Juriga, MSW. He has served as editor and contributing editor at the Jamestown Gazette since its founding in 2011, published various book-length works—memoir and history—as a non-fiction ghostwriter and author, and has written extensive content on healthcare for online and print media. He also currently serves on the board of directors at the Martz-Kohl Astronomical Observatory in Frewsburg, New York, committed to education and research.
The First Counterspy: Larry Haas, Bell Aircraft, and the FBI’s Attempt to Capture a Soviet Mole By Kay Haas and Walter W. Pickut
The First Counterspy is the pulse-quickening and traumatic story of spy, counterspy, and an American family unwittingly caught in its web.
Until this case, the FBI had never recruited civilian counterspies to catch a Soviet agent. The first two were Larry Haas, a leading aviation engineer at Bell Aviation, and Leona Franey, head librarian at Bell’s technical library. The FBI pitted them against a Soviet agent, Andrei Ivanovich Schevchenko, a Soviet agent operating legally as one of the highest Soviet officials in the United States during WWII, and illegally as the secret head of a wide-ranging spy network hidden within the American aviation industry.
His target was Larry Haas, working inside Bell’s top secret jet aircraft project. The Soviet Union’s only higher priority was to steal America’s atomic bomb.
The First Counterspy lays out this exciting story, and later, the consequences of Schevchenko’s deadly threat against Haas, the counterspy who betrayed him. That threat was uttered in a mere fourteen seconds but generated lethal consequences that long outlived Schevchenko, tormented Larry Haas, killed his wife, and subjected his daughter, Kay (the co-author of this book), to decades of nearly fatal harassment.
And thereby hangs a tale of spy vs. spy intrigue against a backdrop of the home front during WWII.
Jim Roselle - The Best Times of My Life: Sixty Years with a Microphone and a Cup of Happiness2014
Awards and Recognition
- Paul Harris Fellow - Rotary International