The latest squib is from Mike Ives of The New York Times, who included an item in the Morning Briefing on Wednesday to coincide with the release of the first 007 "No Time to Die" trailer. He wrote:
"As in any good spy story, there’s a twist: Last year, the BBC reported that newly released records showed an intelligence officer named James Bond had served under Fleming in a secret elite unit that led a guerrilla war against Hitler.
"That Bond, a metal worker from Wales, had taken his spy past to the grave, his family said — and they suspected Fleming had used the bird-watching Bond as a 'classic red herring,' to keep his identity a secret."
Nice theory, but it sounds fishy. You can read the definitive story of the real Real James Bond in my new book next February.
Both Ian Fleming and the real James Bond, by the way, had an interest in fish and knew plenty about red herrings.
Bond collected dozens of fish for the Academy of Natural Sciences, including two false herrings (Harengula clupeola) in Grenada and St. Lucia.