Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Is there a doorknob suicide epidemic?

a growing number of celebrities are being found dead  hanging from doorknobs

Or some more sinister explanation?

People with common themes of celebrity, the elite, wealth, notoriety, drugs, depression, pornography, dates and distinctive and unlikely mode of death. Most if not all found to have committed suicide.

Common features usually point to common reasons and operations - the so-called modus operandi - yet maybe it is convenient not to pose this as a possibility?

Thirteen cases are listed here. There may be many more.

And whilst we are at it, is it not just a tad coincidental that the Salisbury alleged Novichok poisoning attack, blamed on Russia, happened to involve a highly suspect doorknob?

Details taken 'Neon Nettle' article here:

November 22 1997.

michael hutchence was found hanging from a doorknob

INXS frontman Michael Hutchence (37) was found dead. 

His body was found hanging from a doorknob in Room 524 at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Double Bay, Sydney.

According to reports, Hutchence had information regarding a "VIP pedophile ring" in the UK that was connected to child killing rapist Jimmy Saville and high-ranking politicians.

June 3, 2009.

david carradine was found hanging from a doorknob in thailand

Hollywood actor David Carradine (72) was found dead in his room at the SwissĂ´tel Nai Lert Park Hotel on Wireless Road, near Sukhumvit Road, in central Bangkok, Thailand.He was in Bangkok to shoot his latest film, titled Stretch. 

A police official said that Carradine was found naked, hanging by a rope tied to the doorknob of the room's closet, causing immediate speculation that his death was suicide.

Reports around the time of his death suggest that Carradine may have been involved in child sex tourism; a rampant issue in Thailand where he was found.

February 11, 2010.

alexander mcqueen

Fashion designer Alexander McQueen (40) (close friend of Annabelle Neilson ex-wife of Nataniel Rothschild below) was found by his housekeeper in the morning  hanging from a doorknob at his home in Green Street, London W1.

January 11, 2013.

reddit co founder aaron swartz was found hanging from a door knob after his discovered child porn on a server

Tech pioneer, and Reddit co-founder, Aaron Swartz (27) was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment by his partner, Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman. 

A spokeswoman for New York's Medical Examiner reported that he had hanged himself from a doorknob.

According to former-CIA agent Robert Steele, Swartz hacked into MIT Computers and found a huge stash of Child Pornography shortly before his death.

March 17, 2014.

l   ren scott was found in almost identical circumstances to kate spade

L’Ren Scott, (49) (former girlfriend of Nate Rothschild - see Anabelle Neilson below) and long-term lover of Rolling Stones Mick Jagger, was found dead by her assistant at her apartment in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.

The New York City Chief Medical Examiner determined Scott's manner and cause of death to be "suicide by hanging."

August 11, 2014.

robin williams was found hanging from a necktie tied to a doorknob

Comedian Robin Williams died at his home in Paradise Cay, California. In the initial report released on August 12, the Marin County Sheriff's Office deputy coroner stated Williams had hanged himself after he was found hanging from a doorknob with a necktie.

Noted for his scathing satire of Obama and other politicians was said to be suffering from depression.

May 18, 2017.

chris cornell was found hanging from the doorknob of his hotel bathroom door

Chris Cornell was found unconscious by his bodyguard, hanging from the doorknob in the bathroom of his hotel room at the MGM Grand in Detroit, after performing at a show with Soundgarden at the Fox Theatre on May 17.

After Chris Cornell's tragic death, evidence later emerged that he was working with his best friend, Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington, to expose an elite pedophile ring.

July 20, 2017. 

chester bennington was working with chris cornell to expose child trafficking

Chester Bennington was found dead at his home in Palos Verdes Estates, California; his housekeeper discovered his body hanging from a doorknob around 9:00 a.m. 

Believing himself to be a victim of child abuse,  Bennington was working with his best friend Cornell to expose a high-reaching child trafficking network.

August 8, 2017

queen maxima s sister ines zorreguieta was found dead in similar circumstances

Dutch Queen Maxima's sister Ines Zorreguieta (33) was found dead in Argentina.

Zorreguieta, 33, was found dead by a friend who discovered her body hanging from a doorknob in her apartment in the Almagro district of Buenos Aires.

According to reports, Zorreguieta was connected to high-level elites involved in child trafficking. Queen Maxima stepped down after allegations of her involvement in “hunts” where children were raped and massacred by her dinner guests.

April 20, 2018. 

avicii was about to expose an elite pedophile ring before he died

Swedish DJ Avicii, real name Tim Bergling (28) died on near Muscat, Oman.

Although full details of his death were not released, TMZ reports that he suffered cuts from broken glass along with neck injuries. Although it is unclear what the injuries to his neck were, it could have been caused by asphyxiation and hanging has not been ruled out.

After his death, it emerged that Avicii was working to expose an elite pedophile ring.

June 5, 2018.

designer kate spade worked with clintons in haiti

Fashion designer and businesswoman Kate BrosnahanSpade (on the right in above image) was found dead in her apartment on Tuesday 5th June of an alleged suicide by hanging.  It is said she had deep ties with the Clintons and their Haiti connections.

June 8 2018

anthony bourdain was found dead this week

Journalist Anthony Bourdain (61) was been found unresponsive in his Paris hotel room having died of an apparent hanging, by his best friend Eric Ripert, the French chef.

According to CNN, Bourdain was in France working on an upcoming episode of his award-winning CNN TV show, "Parts Unknown" and he was about to expose an elite pedophile ring.

July 12, 2018

Annabelle Neilson (49)  (ex-wife of Nat Rothschild) was discovered hanging from a doorknob in the bathroom of her $4.1 million London mansion on Thursday. It is possible she died the day before.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Beauty and the Beast!

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Has there been a more surreal or uncomfortable visit by a foreign Head of State to Britain ever?

During Queen Elizabeth II's long reign, there have been 112 State Visits and many more of government leaders, yet it is difficult to recall any that has generated greater public protest.

This is extraordinary considering the fact that the list includes some notable tyrants and/or killers and that America is considered to be Britain's 'best friend' and closest ally. 

Could it be we expect more of our friends than our enemies?

Kept waiting....

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Has there ever been a time when there have been more splits and tensions both domestic and international; more self-doubt and uncertainty?

In many ways Trump is the personification of American dissatisfaction with the liberal left consensus, that has dominated its politics since the Second World War. Just because it is labelled 'liberal' and a 'consensus' does not mean it was principled and pacific, nor that it necessarily represented majority opinion. 

Despite all predictions, Trump's election and continuing core Republican support, reflects a deep dissatisfaction with the Washington elite and its policies. 

As I have predicted, I believe the fraud imposed on the American public by the events of 9/11; compounded by the foreign wars falsely predicated on them; the financial crash of 2008 that uncovered a sty of corruption; and the gradually uncovered criminal murk connected to the Clintons and the Democratic Party, have had a profound corrosive effect on public confidence in its governance and governors. 

The result was Trump, not I believe because he was particularly admired but merely because he was, or pretended to be, not one of THEM. He would do well to remember the fact. In some ways he bears a striking likeness to Il Duce, and we know how he ended up!


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Evening Standard:

Trump is undoubtedly a very rich egotist. He has been a property magnet and deal maker, although the jury is still out over whether he was any good at it. After all as Ian Hislop, the editor of Private Eye has pointed out, he is one of the few people who failed to make a go of a Casino!

Clearly what he is not is a diplomat. Nor is he concerned with 'political correctness' and what Jordon Peterson has criticised as 'compelled speech'. Trump is an unreformed white, anglo-American, christian (I use lower case advisedly) of Scottish lineage, which makes his noisome reception even more ironic.

He obviously 'shoots from the hip' and is seen to be offensive particularly to certain 'fringe' groups. (Can we call women, homosexuals, Mexicans, black people, Muslims and immigrants as 'fringe' without being similarly execrated?) 

For all its chauvinism and arrogance, there are also elements that resonate with the public mood and are not unrelated to the British vote for Brexit. Trump knows this and states it, unlike the political elite that are forced to support and commend social developments that have undeniably changed the make-up and belief system of European culture, whether for good or ill is subject to debate still.

Under arrest or just a grab handle?

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There is no doubt European countries, including Britain, are at the receiving end of the huge global issue of mass migration. However political leaders fail to face up to the fact that this has been largely self inflicted. It results in large part from American and European policies pursued by this 'liberal' elite. 

In the history of the world, there have never been more displaced persons or those seeking to travel to the relatively stable and prosperous western countries. Corruption, poverty, violence, drugs, destruction, all lead back to western involvement. 

Trump's response is to build walls and close borders. Europe's is hardly far removed, although with a nod to humanitarianism and integration that has hardly been a great success. With booming birth rates in Africa and little signs of good government, the prospects for improvement are not good.

"The Beast"

While the security features of the new model are a closely guarded secret, the old model had tons of armor plating, run-flat tires, tear gas launchers, and even pints of blood for emergency transfusions

"The Beast" is the term applied to the American President's new bomb-proof car. Even in such a stable, largely peaceful country such as Britain, it is a reminder of his considered vulnerability to attack. On the other hand it may just be another way to project power and influence. 

Certainly 'the beast', in what it is difficult to see as other than a not too subtle snub, kept Mrs May and her husband waiting at Blenheim. Good job it wasn't raining but it might as well have been.

Trump is reported as resenting Mrs May's 'headmistress' manner and advice. On the basis of the saying that 'there is never a better time to kick a man (or women) than when they are down', Trump helpfully commented that he liked and got on very well with the recently resigned Foreign Secretary Johnson, and that he would make a very good Prime Minister.

Of course Boris Johnson and David Davis the Brexit Secretary, both resigned over Mrs. May's Brexit White Paper, and Trump added that his advice to Mrs May had been rejected. She has just revealed in an interview that his advice was to, "Sue the EU"! 

Yet again although simplistic and of dubious use, it might nevertheless flag up a deep discontent within the country, that after fifty years of being one of the biggest financial contributors, both in terms of payments and balance of trade, it will be necessary to pay a further 50 billion just to leave on agreed terms? 

Some might think that is little short of extortion.

He also helpfully added that Mrs May's plan for a 'soft' Brexit, effectively ruled out a special bi-lateral trade deal with the United States, our biggest trading country. In military terms this would be regarded as an 'Exocet' I believe, and is yet another reason why the White Paper is unlikely to succeed.

Despite all this, Mrs May put on what might be considered a very good act of hospitality and friendship. She entertained him in front of 150 transatlantic businessmen, in a venue redolent of past co-operation, and Mr Trump apparently enjoyed sitting in Winston Churchill's chair, in the ancestral home in which he had been born.

Mrs May in her speech paid homage to the wartime relationship between Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt and the two countries, as a model for the future. Whether the analogy remains vibrant is questionable.

Much has changed in the ensuing 70 or 80 years, with Britain no longer being at the head of a great Empire with global military might. It may still have a degree of influence and be able to 'punch above its weight' but this visit emphasised the disparity rather than mitigating it.

In the circumstances her claim had a rather hollow ring. Was this the pleadings of a spurned mistress in distress? 

"Time and again," she said, "the common threats that hold us together - our shared history, our shared values, our shared language and culture - conspire to inspire mutual respect, and to make the United States and the United Kingdom, not just the closest of allies but the dearest of friends."

The "threats" she had in mind were "Daesh terrorists and Russian aggression" for which her term "conspire to inspire" might seem particularly appropriate, as both are fraught with the suspicion of fraud and counterfeit.

At least having abandoned 'the beast', Trump and his wife arrived on time to meet the Queen for 'tea', before flying off to his private golf course. The Duke of Edinburgh (who has resigned from official duties) Prince Charles, Prince William and other members of the Royal family, were all notable by their absence, leaving the diminutive Monarch to meet the two important visitors alone. Trump appeared ill at ease, confused and unfamiliar with Royal etiquette and protocol, as he inspected the Guard of Honour. As usual the Queen appeared un-phased and gracious.

Whilst a good natured festive atmosphere pervaded the anti-Trump demonstration in Trafalgar Square, complete with a blow up diapered look-a-like flying over-head, Trump was kept well away from the public and entertained with marching soldiers in full regalia, that just emphasised the theatrical and bizarre nature of it all.

In constitutional terms, was this all representative of the spoilt child that had grown into the overbearing oafish teenager, lording it over the ailing parent? Is Trump the manifestation of covert American control of Britain or actually its biggest hope of rescue from it? The Deep State coalition that has developed behind the scenes, of which his remark that his meeting with Putin might be the easiest of them all, might indicate an effort to untie the gordian knot behind much of what is seen as the terrorist threat. To what extent have terrorist events, alleged to have been from Russian and Muslim sources, actually come from an opposite direction?

Perhaps Trump's visit and predicament, yet another political miscalculation by Mrs May, may well be remembered as the final nail in her political coffin, as the Brexit policy flounders in intrigue and confusion. Even Mr Rees-Mogg claims to have lost faith in her apparently.

AFP The Israeli military struck more than 40 Hamas targets throughout the Strip over the past 24 hours
A smoke plume risisng following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City on July 14, 2018

For all his faults, if Trump manages to reduce tensions with Russia and North Korea, his other faults might be worth putting up with. If nothing else the protests prove how shallow and hypocritical are our moral sensitivities. 

It may be remembered that only few turned out to protest Netanyahu's visit - studiously ignored by the media. He is the instigator of yet more bombing in Gaza, even whilst America and Europe were distracted by Trump's tour. This is a familiar Israeli tactic.  

Clearly British public sensitivities are outraged far more by outrageous speech and opinion, than they are by aggressive military action and a calculated policy of repression and death directed against the Palestinian population. No doubt the governments of Britain and Israel are, disgracefully, rather pleased this is so. END.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Traffic and the road to nowhere.

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Apparently last year vehicles travelled 327.1 BILLION miles on British roads. Now try converting that to CO2, Sulphur dioxide, other gasses and contaminants that pass into the air, soil and water ways! And of course this is only one of many such sources, which is repeated all over the globe.

Because we view vehicles individually, we fail to appreciate it in its entirety. Despite an obvious need to reduce this source of pollution, for every area, apart from urban ones, traffic continues to rise (4.2% in last decade).

As travel is made easier and faster, so journeys are extended. As traffic increases, so does the demand for more and faster roads. Where once few families afforded a car, now most appear to have several. Where a century ago most were content to remain in their parish, and were no more socially deprived by it, now people range far and wide, but are rootless and disconnected.

The effects on nature are there for all to see. With other agricultural changes, in the past fifty years we have decimated flora and fauna, yet we are open mouthed as to how and why this should have happened.

One thing is sure: humans have created this situation and only humans can reverse it. It starts with every driver questioning whether their journey is necessary, whether other alternatives such as walking, cycling or public transport are not better environmental alternatives and by driving less aggressively. That is just for starters.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Duke Visits Flood Disaster Town; And Scavengers At Dump (1968)

As I have suggested elsewhere, the flood was somewhat emblematic of a watershed in our lives and in the social history of the village also, reflecting the more profound changes in the wider world. It was after all the era of student prorest, Woodstock, the Vietnam war and Czech uprising.

"The Chew Valley floods of 1968 The devastation that floods can cause and how you can prepare." Environment Agency. 2008.

Image may contain: tree, sky, outdoor and water
Photo credit: John Watts.

The clock reads five past six which I assume is the evening of the next day given the obvious work that has taken place. Good old bridge, still standing thanks to our efforts at the time!

The restored bridge now.

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Pensford Bridge washed away!
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Church Street, Pensford, the morning after.

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Indomitable spirit.

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Historic Bridge House.

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The house today!

Photo Credit: Jane Flower.

Damaged medieval Woollard Bridge, later demolished and replaced.

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The elegant and historic 'County Bridge' at Keynsham destroyed by flood water.

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Meanwhile elsewhere (Japan) flooding still creating huge natural disaster problems and many deaths.

"At least 100 people are thought to have died after record rainfall caused flooding and landslides in western Japan, a government spokesman says.
"Dozens more are reported to be missing and electricity supplies have been hit.
"Since Thursday, parts of western Japan have received three times the usual rainfall for the whole of July. Two million people have been ordered to evacuate as rivers burst their banks.
"We've never experienced this kind of rain before," a weather official said."

A resident walks across scattered debris in a flood hit area in Kurashiki, Okayama prefecture on July 9, 2018.

Image captionOfficials say water levels in some areas have receded

Surely nothing to do with government weather modification experiments and technology?

Friday, 6 July 2018

Thai Cave Rescue

I like everyone else was relieved when twelve boys, aged 11 -16 and their leader were located in the Tham Luang Nang Non - 'Great Cave of the Sleeping Lady' - by two British potholers on 2nd July, after being trapped there for over nine days. I hope they will all be extracted safely in the very near future. 

Despite the massive operation supervised by the Thai Military and the obvious heroism of those that have negotiated the perilous nearly three miles of cave system to reach them, serious questions will need to be asked. Certainly many spring to my mind as they must to others.

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His name was Saman Gunan (Guana/Kunan). He has just died taking oxygen to the Thai youngsters trapped in a cave. He didn’t save enough oxygen for himself for the way back. His bravery & inate selflessness represented humanity at its best. Rest in peace Saman.

The most obvious of these is how and why any sensible adult aged 25 would lead twelve poorly equipped young boys into such a dangerous environment? This despite apparently a warning sign at the entrance advising against, particularly in the rainy season, i.e. July to November. They went in on the 23rd June. 

Their 25 year old football coach  Ekkaphon Chanthawong has (the Telegraph reports) recently offered his "apologies to the parents" of the boys in a scrawled note released by the Thai Navy on Saturday. This goes little way towards explaining or excusing the disastrous and reckless decision to lead the football team in there.

Apparently their gear was left at the entrance of the cave which gave indication as to where they were. What I find difficult to comprehend give the extent and difficulty of the cave system as indicated in the above graphic, how so many boys without even the semblence of safety gear but most notably lights, would have negotiated the passage. Remember how far in single file and in presumably utter darkness the 13 would have stretched, crawling in places through very narrow passages in just football vests and shorts!

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Another question relates to how they survived for more than a week without food and maintained their morale in the darkness with inadequate clothing to keep them warm. This is also quite extraordinary. Considering how they must have crawled along passages for so far in darkness their clothes appears remarkably un soiled and their limbs free from scratches or injury. They appear to be remarkably calm given the seriousness of their predicament. It says much for temperament of Thai youth.

At 22.00 hrs local time on the 2nd July, 2018 they were finally located by two British divers/pot holers  Richard StantonJohn Volanthen, with the assistance of Robert Harper. Film of the initial meeting can be seen here:  Also original here: 

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The event has seized the public imagination and gained world wide attention by the media. The sad news that a Thai Navy Seal has lost his life (see image at top) has added to the tragedy and drama. The good news story of a located trapped junior football team is likely to run and run. It just happens to compete with the World Cup in Russia which has been rather too helpful to Putin. Pure unfortunate coincidence of course. Apparently   FIFA president, Gianni Infantino has invited the children and coach currently in the cave to the World Cup final if circumstances allow.

From Wikipedia: "Rear Admiral Apagorn Youkonggaew, head of the Thai Navy's Special Forces, told reporters. On this occasion, a video made by the rescue mission and shared a few hours later by the Thai Navy Seal, shows all 12 boys and their coach introducing themselves and stating their age. Wrapped in emergency blankets and appearing frail, all 12 boys and their adult coach said hello to the outside world in a brief video message. "Sawadee krap," each boy says with his palms together in wai, the traditional Thai greeting." 

We are left to wonder if the reality is quite as portrayed by the official media output. We shall see.

Good reason to smile.
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"This is the last photo taken of Sgt. Saman Kunan, a Thai ex-SEAL who died Thursday afternoon when he ran out of oxygen while returning from delivering oxygen tanks to the boys trapped in the cave. He retired from the Thai Navy and volunteered to help." (I hope he wasn't sacrificed. (Note source.) They were incredibly quick (same day) off the mark with that framed photograph and epitaph. Surely not?)

Elon Musk's specially developed submarine 'pod'.


“This is madness”: A rescue diver on what it was like to save the Thai boys in the cave

The divers searching for the boys almost gave up. Then, they had a near-perfect rescue mission.

Ben Reymenants, 45, is a professional diver originally from Belgium who helped find the boys 
lay the groundwork for their rescue.
 Ben Reymenants via Facebook

The story of the 12 Thai soccer players and their coach who had to be rescued from a flooded cave in northern Thailand by more than a dozen international divers and Thai Navy SEALs has enthralled the world for the past 10 days.
Though a mission to bring them out through the cave at first seemed impossible, rescuers eventually came up with a scheme that involved fitting the boys with dive masks, and wrapping them on stretchers to transport them out of the cave safely.
“We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what. All the thirteen Wild Boars are now out of the cave,” the Thai Navy SEALs said on their Facebook page on Tuesday after the mission was complete. The boys are currently in recovery at the Chiang Rai Prachanukroh hospital, where some are being treated for mild pneumonia.
The initial search mission to find the boys after they went missing on June 23 was almost called off because the flooded cave was so dangerous to navigate. But then the boys and their coach were found on July 2 some 2.5 miles from the cave’s mouth by a pair of British divers.
The larger search team consisted of Thai Navy SEALs and several international divers, including Ben Reymenants, 45, a Belgian who owns a diving company in Phuket, Thailand.
Reymenants’s search dives helped lay the groundwork for the rescue, and he was closely involved with the entire mission. Vox spoke to him about what it was like in the watery labyrinth with 13 lives at stake.
This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Radhika Viswanathan

When did you get called in to help look for the missing boys, and can you describe the first few days of the search?

Ben Reymenants

We saw on the news that the kids were missing, and then I saw that the British cave rescue group had already come to the site, so I’m like, “Okay, these guys are experienced, they’re in good hands.”
But they were helped by the Royal Thai Navy SEALs, who had less cave experience. So a friend of mine who deals with these guys says, “Hey, they’re going to need support. Can you please come over and advise these guys how to actually move through these caves and fix the lines?”
Of course, I didn’t think twice. Twelve boys with their whole lives in front of them. But then when I arrived, the British cave divers had just come out the cave and they were like, “This is madness.”

Radhika Viswanathan


Ben Reymenants

When I arrived, the entrance looked like the Colorado River, but with mud and with zero visibility, so it was really pulling hand over hand.
There was this really strong outflow, and at the beginning we were advancing about maybe 100 meters a day in zero visibility, fighting the current. And then there are parts where you have to climb up, dragging all your tanks.
I turned around from one unsuccessful dive, and I took out my line and came back and I met the British who were on their way in. And then we decided, “We have to call it off, because it’s not going to happen. People will die, and we don’t even know if these kids are alive.”
We told the Navy commander. And he says, “Yes, but these are kids from Thailand. I can’t face the public and say ‘we’re calling it off.’”
So he said, “I’m going to send in my Navy SEALs and we’re going to try.”
Of course, 19-year-old SEALs ... I could be their dad. So I’m like, “Okay, the least I can do is help them try.”
Then on the third day, the [visibility improved] and the current was less strong. The Navy Seals had come back unsuccessfully; they had swum in circles and couldn’t find the passage. The British cave divers had already said, “We’re going home.”
I managed to push 200 meters of line. And they said, “Let’s work in teams, laying line.” While one team was sleeping, the other continued, so round-the-clock. And we started advancing fast because the rain had stopped, the vis got better, the flow got less, and then we actually went really fast through the cave.
These were still dives of six to eight hours. Very, very tiring.
From left to right: Reymenants, Chiang Rai Gov. Narongsak Osotthanakorn, and Maksym Polejaka 
(another diver on the mission) photographed on July 2. 
Ben Reymenants via Facebook

Radhika Viswanathan

So how was it actually finding them?
Ben Reymenants

The difficult part was to find this T-junction [a narrow part of the cave with a very sharp turn, beyond which was the tunnel that eventually led to the boys]. We got stuck a few times, we freaked out.

So we had to turn around. It was very frustrating.When we came out, the British cave divers were just coming in, and we were like, “You probably can find them. We think it’s just another 400 to 800 meters.” And so they went in right after us, and three hours later, they surfaced in the room where the kids were. You’ve probably seen the footage.And then [our team] found the T-junction, laid another 400 meters of line in the right direction, and then I think we stopped literally not even half a kilometer from the room where we thought they were, and we ran out of line,

I couldn’t believe it. Especially that there were all 13, alive and nobody injured, and their mental status as well, they were all like, “Hey, oh, we’re so happy, What day is it?” Remarkable.


So how did the decision-making process go for the rescue?
Ben Reymenants

Obviously the whole world ... had solutions; you have no idea the messages that I got. I pushed away a phone call, and they kept calling me and they said, “It’s the offices of Elon Musk,” and I said, “Right, is Barack Obama gonna call me next?”

But they said, “No, check your email, it’s actually us,” and it was (someone)@spaceX and I said, “Oh shit, I’m so sorry.” And they said, “We have all these solutions.”

So they were actually trying at four different levels: they were trying drilling, they were trying sonar in the forest to find alternative entrances, they were making a capsule to get them out.


One of the [rescue team’s] options was actually to teach them how to dive. But this is already pretty hard for experienced cave divers. See, the risk is if the boys panic and they pull off the mask, they drown. It’s a mile in; there’s no chance for survival.

And they were so skinny and so weak, there was no way they could have walked over all of this. So we decided to put them on a stretcher, with a full face mask, with pure oxygen on a positive pressure.

And it was quite chilly, so although they were put in wetsuits, their metabolism was so low that they were half-asleep, half-unconscious when they were brought out. So they were put immediately in quarantine and medical care. [Some reports have also claimed that the kids were sedated for the journey.]

And they’re all in good health and it’s amazing. And what I heard was that the coach did long meditation sessions [before leaving the cave] so they could calm down.
Radhika Viswanathan

How did the divers maneuver the stretchers through the narrowest parts of the cave?
Ben Reymenants

The smallest space was actually 2 feet wide, so yes, it was quite high, 60 centimeters high. And these kids are quite skinny and strapped to a stretcher.

I stayed outside of the cave [during the rescue], since I needed to heal my hands and back. But friends of mine, the cave divers, they basically literally pulled and dragged the stretchers and handed them over [to one another]. So 24 divers were actually in the cave, and the stretchers were pulled out one-by-one and handed over to the next group, and the next group.The kids had to be literally pulled and dragged through that part. That’s also why they decided to strap them in and cover their face with a full face mask, so just in case they would panic or whatever. It’s not easy.

It was still a good two hours per kid.
Radhika Viswanathan

How did it end up being so much shorter than the initial dives?
Ben Reymenants

By now, we knew the cave. In the beginning, we were literally looking and searching and fighting current. But now, with all the teams, by the time one team carried the stretcher about 100 meters, they got tired and could hand it over to the next team. So that’s why. It was very efficient.

Also from Camp 3, rock climbers had actually installed hooks in the roof and made a sort of cable zip line where you could attach the stretchers. It was initially installed there to haul more than 500 tanks into the cave. And the stretchers were clipped on there — they’re very light kids — and that made them come out very quickly.

But it was still only four kids a day.
Radhika Viswanathan

How long have you been cave diving? And what drew you to it?
Ben Reymenants

I’ve been diving unofficially for about 20 years, and I became a cave instructor roughly 10 years ago. Not even 10 percent of the submerged caves on the planet have been explored. So it’s really the last frontier for mankind because no machines or animals can go in there. Only humans that are trained can go to that extent, which makes it extra special.
Radhika Viswanathan

How often do these kinds of cave rescues happen and how does this one compare to others?
Ben Reymenants

Luckily these cave rescues happen rarely because a lot of countries have actually put policies in place that prevent non-trained cave divers from going inside caves.

This cave ... is only visited when it’s the dry season; when it’s completely dry, people walk in there. It’s a very long cave—it’s about [5.5 miles] long.

When it’s flooded, nobody dives. There are no lines. Normally, dive caves have a full set of lines and arrows to point to the exit and safety markers in place, but this one had nothing. So it was really finding your way through with a pretty basic map.
Radhika Viswanathan

I’ve heard this will be turned into two movies.
Ben Reymenants

Oh, you have no idea how many requests. Discovery, National Geographic.END.