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COMMENT: A peripheral internet search conducted while re-reading Gold Warriors  yielded the sad news that both Peggy and Sterling Seagrave had passed. Peggy passed away in 2016 and Sterling in the spring of 2017.
Authors of a number of ground-breaking and overlapping historical/political exposes, they culminated their remarkable careers with Gold Warriors , which Mr. Emory feels is as important a book as has ever been written and is a MUST read for anyone genuinely concerned with the state of world affairs, past, present and future.
More admirable than even their consummate investigative and literary skills is the fact that they continued their research and reporting in the face of serious death threats and attempts, as well as lethal consequences visited on some of the participants in the “Black Gold” transactions and, apparently, on some of those investigating the machinations of the nations, commercial institutions and individuals involved with the operations.
In FTR #‘s 446  and 509 , we highlighted and reviewed the death threats and hands-on interference experienced by the Seagraves in response to their investigations. In 509 , we also noted the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of the heroic Iris Chang, who aided the Seagraves in their Gold Warriors  project. Having authored a book on the Rape of Nanking and working on another about the Bataan Death March, Ms. Chang had crossed the very power structure delineated at length, depth and detail in the Seagraves volume.
In our last visit with the Seagraves, a 2009 interview that was the focus of FTR #689 , Sterling expressed anxiety about the proximity of their residence in Southern France to the Spanish border and the formidable presence of Opus Dei in Franco’s former domain.
The remarkable Severino Santa Romana, prime mover in the Black Eagle Trust operations in the Philippines and the gold recoveries in those islands was, in addition to his work for U.S. intelligence, an operative of the powerful Vatican order Opus Dei. It appears that Opus Dei was Santa Romana’s primary affiliation and his U.S. intelligence connections were derivative.
With strong connections in Spain, dating to the Franco fascist regime (which maintains powerful presence in contemporary Spain), Opus Dei is a major factor in the contemporary political scene. Sterling opined in FTR #689  that his and Peggy’s proximity to the border might expose them to violence.
His fear turned out to be prescient. On Christmas Day of 2011, he narrowly escaped assassination while returning home. He felt that the attempt on his life may well have been motivated by the publication of the Spanish language edition of Gold Warriors .
. . . . Seagrave will be remembered warmly by Verso staff for his lively correspondence. In a 2011 email, he described an attempt on his life that followed the Spanish publication of Gold Warriors:
“A hired thug tried to murder me on the serpentine road leading up to our isolated house on the ridge overlooking Banyuls-sur-Mer, and nearly succeeded. (We’ve had several serious death threats because of our books.) The road was very narrow in places, with tarmac barely the width of my tires. At 10 pm Christmas night, in 2011, after visiting Peggy at a clinic in Perpignan, as I turned the final hairpin, I clearly saw a guy sitting on a cement block path leading up to a shed for the uphill vineyard. He was obviously waiting for me because we were the only people living up there on that mountain shoulder. He jumped up, raised a long pole, and unfurled a black fabric that totally blocked the narrowest turn ahead of me. I tried to swerve to avoid him (not knowing whether he also had a gun), and my right front drive wheel went off the tarmac and lost traction in the rubble. The car teetered and then plunged down through a steep vineyard on my right side, rolling and bouncing front and rear, 100 meters into a ravine where it finally came to rest against a tree. Thanks to my seatbelt and air bag, I survived. I don’t know how many concussions I got on the way down, but I managed to squeeze out the driver’s door and fell onto the rubble. I got up on my left hand and knees, but my right shoulder caved it. (Turned out later that I had fractured my right shoulder, and all the ligaments there had torn loose.) I passed out and remained unconscious for 14 hours. After 12 hours, a vigneron driving up the next morning saw my wrecked car and body. He called the Gendarmerie on his portable, and I was hoisted out unconscious by a chopper and flown to an old Victorian-era hospital in Perpignan where they did nothing but keep me doped on morphine for two weeks — no X‑rays or serious medical care. Finally, friends in Banyuls got me (and Peggy) transferred to a clinic on the beach there, where Peggy and I shared a room while we both recovered. I got my right shoulder ligaments fixed by an excellent surgeon in Perpignan. (Peggy did not know it then but she had an early stage of cancer.) I still have a hairline fracture in my right shoulder. I attribute the event to staying too long in one place, so the spooks eventually tracked me down. We had been living for years on a sailboat, moving from Holland to Britain to Portugal to Spain and finally to France, where we found — in Catalonia — an ideal village at the Mediterranean end of the Pyrenees. In retrospect, I’m sorry I agreed to move ashore for Peggy’s sake, and sold the beautiful 43-foot boat I had built from a bare hull. It was very comfortable, but Peggy wanted a house. We never did find the right house in Banyuls — so we spent 18 years restoring a 13th century Templar ruin on the shoulder of the mountain. Made me an easy target. Definitely a bad decision. I think it was the Spanish edition of Gold Warriors that made me the easy target.