Using a Cover and making a Legend are the most important parts of staying anonymous for a long time. A “Cover” is a second name, and a “Legend” is the story and evidence that backs up the “Cover.”
Your “Legend” is the background information that will “flesh out” your new Cover/alias and make sure it is believable.
If your Legend is from a different country, you should know about politics and news in your own country.
You don’t want to get caught because someone asks what school you went to in your cover’s hometown. You can’t name it, or its mascot, or because you’re visiting Japan as a South Korean but have nothing interesting to say about the conflict over the Dokdo/Takeshima islands or call them by the wrong name for your nationality.
If your Legend has a different accent than you do, you should be able to imitate it without going too far and looking suspicious. Learn how locals say the names of their cities, especially if you have a regional or local accent. For example, if you’re from the area, you don’t say “Baltimore.” Instead, you say “Ballmer.”
Don’t be afraid to use your own experiences as long as they fit with your Legend.
The best stories are the true ones… When you can, tell the truth. This goes a long way toward making your Legend seem more real.
Simple facts about your Legend should come to you quickly and easily. Your birth date, profession, residence and address, details about your home, favorite drink, dish, or place to eat back home, and so on.
For example, a spy whose Cover identity is a Russian accountant would need to speak Russian and know a lot about Russian financial laws. For the Cover to look more accurate, the Legend must be very detailed. The agent will have to remember a fake history of his life.
1. What school did he go to?
2. Does he have a certificate to show that?
3. Where did he come from?
4. Who did he divorce?
5. What does he do for fun?
If the Legend says that the agent likes to fish, he should have fishing gear at home. The success or failure of a Legend can depend on things that seem so small.
Be careful not to be too sure of yourself. After getting a new Cover identity, a person should give up the habits and relationships they had with their old identity. Christopher John Boyce a USSR spy known as “The Falcon” because he liked to compete in falconry.
In the 1980s, there were only about a hundred falconers in the United States, and most knew Boyce. Boyce escaped federal prison on January 21, 1980, and got a new name. He returned to doing what he used to do, which was going to falconry competitions. He used his new name but still hung out with falconers who knew him by his old name. Boyce was arrested again on August 21, 1981.