A Search for Deep Throat's Garage Somewhere in Virginia is the hotel parking lot where the anonymous source lurked, and where Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward went for information. But alas, some secrets of Watergate persist despite tenacious reporting.

A Search for Deep Throat's Garage

A Search for Deep Throat's Garage

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4680745/4680746" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Somewhere in Virginia is the hotel parking lot where the anonymous source lurked, and where Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward went for information. But alas, some secrets of Watergate persist despite tenacious reporting.


The identity of Deep Throat was, of course, revealed this week. Former FBI Deputy Director Mark Felt was Bob Woodward's secret source during the Watergate investigations. But after all the discussion of the case, there's still one big mystery. We went to Virginia to investigate.

(Soundbite of jet taking off)

LUDDEN: So here we are, across the Key Bridge. Washington is across the Potomac River from us. In his Washington Post article this week--Here it is--Bob Woodward writes that he would have an elaborate set of signals with Mark Felt. `The signal,' he said, `would mean we would meet that same night at 2 AM on the bottom level of an underground garage, just over the Key Bridge in Rosslyn.'

We called Bob Woodward to ask which parking garage it was, but he didn't call us back, so we've got to search.

(Soundbite of brakes squeaking)

LUDDEN: We're standing in front of the Marriott Hotel, which looks old enough to have been here in 1972. There's a sign, `Parking Garage Entrance.' Maybe they went here.

Do you know about the Watergate story, the Deep Throat?

Unidentified Man #1: No.

LUDDEN: He closed the window on us. OK. He must not be following the story, or maybe he doesn't want to talk.

We turned back to go to the lobby and find out more and met someone heading into the parking garages.

Mr. JOHN STEITZ (Georgetown University): I'm John Steitz. I work at Georgetown University, and this is my official off-campus parking spot.

LUDDEN: Have you wondered about this garage?

Mr. STEITZ: Yes, I have, because I park in it every day.

LUDDEN: So, do you think this is it?

Mr. STEITZ: Well, it could be. It depends on what buildings were here in 1972. But if it's right across Key Bridge, it has to be this one.

LUDDEN: So does that make your parking experience different?

Mr. STEITZ: Not really, but it wouldn't hurt to put a little marker up or something.

(Soundbite of telephone ringing)

LUDDEN: As soon as we approach the concierge inside, his phone rings.

(Soundbite of telephone ringing)

LUDDEN: It's security.

Unidentified Man #2: Yeah. They want to talk to you. Security. Sorry about that.

LUDDEN: Oh. Hello? Hi. Sorry. We're with NPR. We're trying to find out where the garage that Deep Throat met Bob Woodward is, and we were wondering if it's this one. Yeah. No, no, no, not the Watergate. He says they met across the Key Bridge.

Unidentified Man #2: This is the oldest building in this...

LUDDEN: This garage is only 16 years old? OK.

Unidentified Man #2: All the best information.

LUDDEN: OK. We'll go look somewhere else. Thank you.

So we were just caught on a surveillance camera in the lobby of that hotel. You know, if this happened today, and a reporter was asked to meet a source in the middle of the night in parking garage, there'd be video cameras. I don't know if this would happen today.

Now we're just a bit up the road at the Best Western in Rosslyn. Looks like an old building, but there's a metal door on the garage, so I'm not sure this could have been it. Let's go ask.

(Soundbite of voices)

LUDDEN: Hi, there. Do you have any idea if this is the garage?

Unidentified Man #3: I wouldn't think so.

LUDDEN: Why not?

Unidentified Man #3: ...(Unintelligible) Because I would think it would be in DC.


Unidentified Man #3: Was it in Arl...

LUDDEN: Bob Woodward wrote--right here, look.

Unidentified Man #3: Was it in Arlington?

LUDDEN: It's in the paper, this week. An underground garage just across the Key Bridge, in Rosslyn.

(Soundbite of door shutting)

Unidentified Man #3: That's strange. I didn't know that.

(Soundbite of laughter)

LUDDEN: I mean, if you found out, could you advertise that?

Unidentified Man #3: I wouldn't think so.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Unidentified Man #3: I guess you could.

LUDDEN: Rename it Deep Throat Garage.

Unidentified Man #3: Because back then, they didn't have garage doors.

LUDDEN: Somebody could have just walked in.

Unidentified Man #3: It was wide open.

LUDDEN: Could have been.

Unidentified Man #3: Could have been.

(Soundbite of laughter)

LUDDEN: Thanks very much.

Unidentified Man #3: Good luck on your hunt.

LUDDEN: The Best Western Hotel garage seemed a distinct possibility. But we thought we'd try one more place. We were told the nearby Holiday Inn was built about 35 years ago, and the parking garage there is also unattended. We walked down the ramp.

(Soundbite of car engine)

LUDDEN: I don't see an elevator. I think this might be the lower level. It's very well-lit, actually.

(Soundbite of piano music)

LUDDEN: And you're close to the exit. If this is it, this would not be so scary. It's barely underground. This would be OK at 2 in the morning.

(Soundbite of piano music)

LUDDEN: You can read mini profiles of key players in the Watergate drama by NPR political editor Ken Rudin at our Web site, npr.org.

(Soundbite of piano music)

LUDDEN: This is NPR News.

Copyright © 2005 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.