There’s a subgenre in first-person works of journalism in which the “I” is the reporter on the trail of a story. This sort of story offers readers a look at the reporter’s process and is often about the narrator’s efforts to get access in secretive situations. In this piece, Altman tells the tale of getting close to Site R, an underground government facility reputed to be the location from which the country would be governed if Washington were attacked. After his reporting, Altman receives e-mails from someone inside the facility—and finds himself part of an espionage investigation.

We liked that Altman tells his tale with the tone of someone recounting a good yarn around the dinner table. He has us, his dinner guests, leaning forward as we learn who is probably sending the e-mails.

At the bottom of the article’s page, you’ll find links to follow-up stories, from which you’ll learn more about the investigation.

Read “Chasing Shadows,” by Howard Altman

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