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Bio - Kidnapped and Held Hostage by Nigerian Mafia

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Helo_ATP, Nov 6, 2006.

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  1. Helo_ATP

    Helo_ATP New Member

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    I was kidnapped and held hostage by members of the Nigerian Mafia back in 1999. My captors demanded USD 8 million from Shell Oil. Two days later a band of Ijaw tribesmen attacked the original fifteen kidnappers, and took me by boat to their own village. After many days Shell Oil paid the ransom and I was liberated.

    I wish they'd never paid the ransom. It would have been kinder to leave me in the mangrove swamps rather than set me up for how I am at present.

    Glad to be a part of this forum.

    Helo_ATP
     
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  3. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Hi Helo,

    Welcome aboard and glad you found us. Yep, I think we all wish at times that we just suffered to death sometimes, but life after controlling PTSD is all worth it once again.
     
  4. Helo_ATP

    Helo_ATP New Member

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    Farewell

    Anthony --

    Why did you edit my original post? I specifically mentioned that my original fifteen kidnappers were slaughtered by the Ijaw. Why was that left out?

    I have a feeling that my post is too far-fetched for this forum. It's the same reaction I've received when trying to discuss these events with therapists over the past 7 years.

    I apologize for wasting this forum's time.

    Best regards,

    Helo_ATP

    P.S. My kidnapping is in the U.S. State Department Record -- not in my imagination.
     
  5. Nam

    Nam I'm a VIP

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    Anthony is right. There was a point, where I too, wished I could have just died. I wouldn't wish PTSD on anyone. It is such a long and painful road. But I'm here to say that it does get better. Living will soon outweigh being dead. Life with PTSD is liviable and even enjoyable. I hope you find some comfort here.
     
  6. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Hi Helo,

    I haven't edited your original post at all, or else at the bottom of it, it would contain a note: edited by: ....

    You must have left the information out, because if a moderator or myself touches any post on this forum, a distinctive "edited by" note is left for the user to see.

    I am sorry you feel this way so soon Helo... I truly don't understand why. Obviously you are used to being rejected, where by you are rejecting yourself from here, because nobody here is doing anything wrong by you as I can see. Please be patient and let people respond in their own time, as there are hundreds of posts made daily here, and you must remember, most members here have PTSD.
     
  7. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Oh, your information is not too much for people here helo, I doubt it very much actually, considering some of the personal stories contained on this forum off peoples life events, and the sheer destructive nature humanity can show to others at times. Your not alone helo, please just be patient, as we are not here to judge you, we are here to support you and help you. Nothing more, nothing less helo.
     
  8. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

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    Hi Helo,

    I also understand the feeling of wishing to be dead rather than endure life. And I don't think your story is too much for anyone here... at least, it isn't for me. I appreciate reading other people's stories, because it helps me to not feel so alone, and to not feel so sorry for myself, either.

    Anyways, welcome to the forum, I hope you stay. I have found this to be a great place in the short time I've been here.
     
  9. kimG

    kimG Well-Known Member

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    Hi Helo, welcome to the forum.

    I think you'll find that most, if not all, of us here have at some point in time wished we were dead rather than live through what we live through. Thoughts of suicide are not uncommon here, although they are just that - thoughts.

    I'm sorry you got offended by the way your post came out. If you're anything like me, you don't trust easily. Also, if you're anything like me, you have a hard time remembering things - what you were going to get when you went into a room, what you were going to say to someone, etc. Believe me, these two things are just two of the many things we with PTSD go through.

    I hope you stick around; you'll find we're really a great bunch of people. We'll help you and you can help us, all the while helping yourself too.

    Hope to see you back!
     
  10. cookie

    cookie I'm a VIP

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    Hang in there, helo. as far as i can see, nobody was doubting you. IF you want help, it's here.
     
  11. Helo_ATP

    Helo_ATP New Member

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    Better Intro (I Hope)

    Dear Everyone,

    Please accept my apology for the confrontational tone taken in my earlier post. It was the alcohol talking. I hope (your) first impressions are not lasting ones.

    Allow me to begin again...

    In February 1999 I was working as a helicopter pilot for Bristow Helicopters, a U.K. company with contracts throughout the world. My contract was in the Niger Delta in support of Dutch Shell Oil. I'd been on contract since August of the previous year.

    We were aware of the potential for hostile action against ex-patriots but never gave this much serious thought. Most of us believed we were more likely to be attacked by goblins or gremlins. The very day I was kidnapped we'd laughed at an article posted in The Vanguard, one of Nigeria's tabloids: "Government to Crack Down on Delta Cannibals." This evoked lots of laughs and a few "Bloody savages!" from my colleagues. In short, I never thought my environment to be unsafe. Surreal, perhaps, but never unsafe.

    Around 2200 I was sitting at a table in the bar, drinking a Heineken and chatting with my mates. I felt a tap on my right shoulder. Thinking it was the bartender wanting to ask me if we'd care for another round of beer and without looking in his direction I waved him off, more interested in finishing the point I was making with the lads. I felt a strong grip on my right forearm and another hand snaking its way inside my beltline, grabbing my belt (and jeans) and yanked me backwards over my chair. I was dragged out of the bar and shoved into a waiting car. After a brief shootout with the police my kidnappers and I sped off into the night.

    10-15 minutes later we stopped at a boat marina. With one kidnapper holding each of my arms we ran to the end of the pier. They pushed me off the edge and I crashed into the back of a speedboat below. Other men covered me with a tarp and sat on it. The motor started and we were on our way. After several hours we arrived at a sleeping village. I was led from the boat and place in a small shed.

    The next afternoon the remaining gang members arrived and we again travelled up river by boat. We disembarked some hours later and walked through the jungle for awhile, eventually arriving at their "safe house." It was from this house that I wrote the first ransom note. They asked me how much I thought they should demand from Shell Oil. I told them they'd taken "the only American on contract" and that they'd be lucky to get USD 1000 for me. They said, "Put 8 million."

    The first night at the safe house was decidedly unpleasant. The gang kidnapped local adolescent girls (8-10 year olds) and had their way with them. They also drank quite a bit. When they were drunk they'd begin fighting among themselves. Whoever lost the fight would take it out on me. These were very large men. They looked light professional athletes: 6'4" on average, 250-plus pounds. I never had a chance.

    The second day (and night) at the safehouse involved more of the same: alcohol, gang rapes on the girls, fistfights. No response from Shell Oil. My kidnappers were obviously "city guys" and were very uncomfortable in the jungle. They'd drink to ease their discomfort from mosquitos and flies, and were constantly putting cocoa butter lotion on their arms and legs to prevent sunburn (or so they thought).

    The safe house used a 5 kw generator to provide electricity to the house. The room where we stayed had a single lightbulb. Whenever the generator would run low on diesel fuel they'd send the youngest gang member out to replenish it. In addition to the change in noise this single lightbulb would dim an brighten. Towards 2300 on my third night with the Mafia I was startled awake by the generator suddenly quiting. I noticed the lightbulb went dark instantly, rather than dimming first. Seconds later a loud explosion disintegrated the room's door. Automatic weapon fire poured in from the hallway. A shotgun blast took out the window above my head. Through the window and the room's entrance men in combat garb ran in. Within 20 seconds all fifteen Mafia guys were killed. The soldiers grabbed me and ran with me out of the house. One of the soldiers fired an M-79 grenade launcher at the house, sending concrete and wood up in a fiery ball. I was marched through the jungle to their boats. Again I was place face-first in the back of a speedboat and off we went into the jungle night.

    I thought I'd been rescued by the Nigerian military. It was a great feeling until my boat went around the bend of a small river and before me stood the entire population of this group's village: old men and women, children, mothers. The tribe is so primative the women go topless. I realized I'd been kidnapped by a second group.

    Anyway, I'll save the details for another time.

    I'm glad to be part of this forum. Thanks for your patience.

    Helo_ATP
     
  12. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Ah yes, don't you just love the Nigerians for their trust and integrity! Not...

    Helo, when where you diagnosed with PTSD? What are your worst symptoms that you endure in regard to your PTSD? What do you perceive as your worst traumatic memory in regard to your entire ordeal?
     
  13. Nam

    Nam I'm a VIP

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    You're doing great helo. Remember that no post here is ever too long.
     
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