I’m enjoying reading Sting’s memoir which covers the years from his birth in 1951 (he’s 2 months older than me) to when the Police really got going as a band with Roxanne. I’ll do a review in a day or two. Turns out Stewart Copeland the drummer had a dad who was a CIA agent. The following story is either hilarious or tragic depending on how important you think the Qumran scrolls are:
“After the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in a cave near Qumrn in 1947, they [by which he must mean some of them] were sent to the CIA office in Damascus. Miles senior [the father of Police drummer Stewart Copeland] and his fellow spies couldn’t make much sense of them inthe tiny dimly lit office, so they took the first of the scrolls at hand up onto the roof to get a better look. They had just unrolled the mysterious 2,000 year old document from end to end on the flat, scorching concrete when a strong wind picked up and blew the fragile parchment into the air and across the rooftops of Damascus where it fragmented into a million pieces, never to be seen again. Miles senior and the CIA boys retired downstairs in some disarray. The precious scrolls were then entrusted to the more circumspect and cautious hands of trained archaeologists.” (pp. 245-46 in Sting. Broken Music). Clearly, this was not the famed Damascus document (see below), but perhaps that was one of the other documents the CIA had first.