US Contractor Roy Hallmus Freed In Iraq


This is fantastic news out of Iraq; Roy Hallmus has been freed!!! Please read My Pet Jawa for the news accounts and updates as Rusty has done yeoman’s work on efforts to keep Mr. Hallmus in the fore front of the publics eye and has worked directly with Roy’s family in doing whatever he could in support and pressure media and government outlets.

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Posted September 7, 2005 by
Bloggers, War on Terror | no comments

Aruba group seeking divers to search for Natalee Holloway

From The Tuscaloosa news, the Aruba Search and Rescue Foundation seeks more divers to continue to search for Natalee Holloway in waters off Aruba’s east coast.

An Aruba group is seeking divers to continue the search for Natalee Holloway, the Alabama teenager who went missing nearly three months ago on the Dutch Caribbean island.

The group wants to lead the divers in exploring waters off Aruba’s east coast, where Holloway was staying with 124 Mountain Brook High School classmates, said Eduardo Mansur, co-founder of the Aruba Search and Rescue Foundation, which has been helping search for the teenager since she vanished May 30.

Although the waters have been searched before, the group wants to try again with the help of a machine invented by an American who claims it can detect human bones and teeth under water, Mansur said. The inventor, Joe Walker, came to Aruba to help in the search, Mansur said.

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Posted August 24, 2005 by
Natalee Holloway | no comments

Q & A with Dog Handler Expert, Sam Pepenella Part 3

Scared Monkeys continues with the final part of our intial interview and Q&A session with Sam Pepenella, cadaver dog expert. Sam is a part of The K9 Forensic and Recovery Team. San will be back again this Thursday evening with Renee Utley to answer more questions live at Scared Monkeys. Join the discussion forum and participate. Previous Q&A interview: Part 1, Part 2

SunnyinTX wrote: Are either gendered dog more suitable/ trainable…I most often seem to hear females names of S&R and cadaver dogs….

Sam: Depends who you ask. I have a F, she is great, dependable and very good at what she does but she will be the last F I own. From my experience, the males have a stronger drive…..I know I’ll hear it from that statement…..Sorry all the female fans…….

cathicus wrote: Can you let the dogs off-leash to find a scent? I imagine that in dangerous situations such as a landfill, it’s better to keep them on-leash. I own sight hounds – greyhounds who would be no good at this job. My hat’s off to your dogs.
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Posted August 23, 2005 by
Missing Persons, Natalee Holloway | no comments

Q & A with Dog Handler Expert, Sam Pepenella Part 2

Scared Monkeys continues with Part 2 of our interview and Q&A with Sam Pepenella, cadaver dog expert. Sam is a part of The K9 Forensic and Recovery Team and their information can be found here. The Team Members. Searches

Part 1 of the Q&A interview can be seen here.
The Q&A continues:

mskygirl wrote: Are the cadaver dogs similar to service animals. They work and then they are domestic pets around the home? Do they stay with you when you travel on a job or are they caged/kenneled?

Sam: When my girl is not working, she is very much the family pet at the house.

_scott wrote: How do your dog(s) indicate a hit?

Sam: Pending on what the handler decides for their K9, the alerts are different. On our team there are 4 K9′s and 2 different alerts. 3 sit and one lays down.

SunnyinTX wrote: To what depth can the dog find the scent….speaking about at the landfill or buried in the sandy soil…and if the body was wrapped in plastic would that impeded their being able to detect the decomp scent?? Thanks, Sunny

Sam: Sonny, There are many factors effecting what a cadaver K9 can and cannot detect. To what depth: It is not necessarily what depth but what has come to the surface. The gasses rise and that is what the K9′s detect. Often a tree will soak up the nutrients and dispel them in the air. It is not uncommon for the K9′s to “bark up a tree”. Does the plastic effect the chance of detection? Well it can but many of victims have been found in plastic wrap……so …

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Posted August 22, 2005 by
Missing Persons, Natalee Holloway | no comments

Q & A with Dog Handler Expert, Sam Pepenella Part 1

Scared Monkeys would like to thank Sam Pepenella, K9 expert, for joining us this evening and helping us learn more about dog handling and search & rescue in general. Also, his experiences in Aruba dealing with the Natalee Holloway search.

Lets all be gracious to him and each other and listen as well as ask questions.

Next Thursday, August 25, 2005 we will have the President of NNDDA as well!

THolloway wrote: How can the dogs differentiate between human remains and other scents? Are they a special breed? Any comment on their training regimen?

Sam: Training…..Training……Training……HRD or Human Remain Dogs must be trained on deceased Human scent. They must be taught to tell the difference between a decomposing body from an animal. There are several chemical compositions which make up decomposition. Dogs noses are so sensitive they can pick these smells up. When they detect the decomposition smell, they give a trained alert.

mrs. red wrote: Hi Sam, Thanks for coming on…. is there a particular breed of dog that is better suited to this type of work?

Sam: Yes there is. Generally there are certain types of dogs suited for this type of work. I work a German Shepherd due to their stamina and all around. There are several more types suited for search work, being the Belgin Malinois, Australian Shepherd, Dutch Shepherd, Labs etc. most of your herding type dogs. There are limitations to all types of dogs, and careful consideration must be made in selecting the right K9

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Posted August 21, 2005 by
Natalee Holloway | no comments

Texas EquuSearch Innocent on All Allegations

AT friday19-08-2005

From Aruba Today, Friday August 19, 2005 The following two front page articles pretty much tell a different story than the original allegations. Pretty amazing what news one can print when they both to get the facts and both sides of the story.

‘Turtle Nest Disruption Not caused by TES’

“Huston also claims they never came near the site of the nest. The spot wjere they searched was not on a beach or close to the water, as turtle nests usually are.”

‘Allegations on EquuSearch Unfounded’

“The allegations on Texas Equusearch (TES) that they started a fire on August 11 on the landfill Parkietenbos are false.”

It appears that according to Falconi that the landfill witness is a smoker and may have started it but he “isn’t sure and doesn’t want to make ungrounded accusations.”

Also more on the painting that was given to Beth Holloway Twitty in ‘A Gift from the Heart from Aruba to Alabama’.

Posted August 20, 2005 by
Natalee Holloway | no comments

Clint Van Zandt Interviews an Emotional Beth Holloway Twitty

Following Clint Van Zandt’s interview on last nights Scarborough Country, Joe Scarborough asked some very interesting questions regarding Van Zandt’s dealings with Beth. MoreBeth interesting than the questions, were the answers from Mr. Van Zandt. The fact that he admitted that one “cannot remove yourself” from the difficulty that Beth goes through while investigation, searching or interviewing her with regards to dealing with the missing Natalee Holloway was so on target and what makes this story so captivating. The emotional involvement by so many that have never met this family is amazing. I found when meeting Beth Holloway Twitty in Aruba how difficult it was to maintain any form of objectivity and feel nothing but empathy for her and her family for what they are going through. Beth would try to carry on a normal conversation and all you find yourself doing is being compelled to hold her hand or give her a hug of support. Last night former FBI criminal profiler, Clint Van Zandt, found himself in the same position.

Video from MSNBC of the very emotional interview.
Full transcript

SCARBOROUGH: Clint, obviously Beth was very emotional in that interview with you, crying at one point. I got to ask you, how tough is it for you as an investigator, not only in this capacity, but as an investigator, for the FBI, to not get emotionally involved in cases like this?

VAN ZANDT: You cannot remove yourself, Joe. I mean, I got to tell you, I got sucked into this as soon as I hit the ground. I mean, as soon as you talk to Beth Holloway, as soon as you talk to other family members, I mean, you know, you and I have talked. You‘re a parent, I‘m a parent, we have children. You know that, you know, there but for the grace of God that‘s one of our kids, and when you see how hard this family is trying, doing everything they can. You know, you look, Joe, we don‘t have a victim, she‘s gone. We don‘t have a crime scene. We don‘t have linking physical evidence. It‘s like, you know, something from outer space came down and grabbed this girl off the surface of the planet and took her away, and yet Investigations 101 says, stay with the people she was last with. Their stories have changed multiple times. Do we have any other suspects? That‘s where you have to stay, but, Joe, we are 80, 81 days into this, and the family do not have any more answers to what happened to their daughter than almost the day they hit this island.

SCARBOROUGH: Clint, the tough question, is this case ever going to get solved?

VAN ZANDT: You know, sitting there with Beth today, holding her hands, probably crying with her, I have cried with other parents who‘ve lost children, and, you know, it‘s an easy thing to do. And I will not turn off that emotional porch light on her front door that says, Natalee, come home. You know, I would never take that away from a parent. I mean, we could have another Elizabeth Smart, we could have a runaway bride. I mean, we can hope, we can pray for all of those. You know, and sometimes statistics be darned, it‘s our kids, let‘s bring them home. The reality, from an investigative standpoint is where‘s the hard evidence that says what happened to this girl? I mean, I have a working theory. Law enforcement has. But, you know, theories are just that. Theories don‘t convict anyone. Hard evidence does, and unless they come forward with some hard evidence to show what happened to this girl, they may walk, the suspects.

SCARBOROUGH: Ok. Such a tragedy. Thanks so much, Clint. We greatly appreciate it. We‘ll be talking to you, obviously, tomorrow night also. Now, we have gotten a lot of questions about how Beth is able to spend so much time away from home, searching for Natalee. Today she told us, it‘s thanks to the generosity of her fellow teachers in Alabama. They have donated their sick days so Beth can stay in Aruba longer, fighting to bring her daughter home. Beth expressed how overwhelmed she is by all of her fellow teachers‘ acts of kindness, and I know she greatly appreciates it, as do we. Such a tough time for you her. Again, friends, you have to remember, right now, all of Natalee‘s friends are going off to the University of Alabama, the University of auburn, such an exciting time in a young girl‘s life, such an exciting time in the life of parents. It‘s a time they can say, “You know what, mission accomplished. We got them through high school. And now they begin an exciting voyage,” and yet tonight, Beth Holloway Twitty, far away from Alabama, down in Aruba, still trying to get answers to the questions that she just doesn‘t have.

Posted August 19, 2005 by
Natalee Holloway | no comments

Dave Holloway; Some Phone calls are Better than others

Especially when they have good news on the other end from Tim Miller. From tonights Abram’s Report on MSNBC we learn from Dave Holloway that sometimes hope is kept alive by simply receiving a telephone call. Dave Holloway tells us of the phone call he received from Tim Miller of Texas EquuSearch who said, I have some good news for you.”

Dave: Late this afternoon, Tim Miller with TES called me out ot the blue. Wanted to know how I was doing, feeling, all that stuff. He wanted to know when I was going back to Aruba. I said, well, when you go back, I’ll go back. We are partners. I have some good news for you. He is working on a deal to move some dozer’s to the landfill from the USA. To possibly get a company to commit some people and assets. It is still in the works, not finalized. Still in the talking stage at this point. I was given a little hope that we can clear that landfill.

Dan: How do you keep hope alive at this point?

Dave: It is just like the phone call I received today from Tim. That was a big concern for me, the landfill was not properly searched. I spent 50 days on the island continually searching, a lot of time with TES and a lot of people involved with TES. They have done a great job. Landfill was the last issue, other than that…we are probably looking at the ocean as the last place.


No one needs to know any more about Dave Holloway and what type of individual he is than his comment, “I said, well, when you go back, I’ll go back. We are partners”. He is a real class act and was my honor to meet him and try and help him in whatever way I could.

Hat Tip: sunmoonstars

Posted August 19, 2005 by
Natalee Holloway | no comments

Local Artist Gives Gift To Beth from the Heart

Beth for SM

A Gift from the Heart

Such gifts from the heart and the thoughtfulness is probably exactly what helps Beth Holloway Twitty make it through some of the more difficult times. This is just another example of the kind hearted Aruban people and the caring they have demonstrated to Natalee’s family.

Aruban Artist Richard Tromp airbrushed a rendering of Natalee Holloway as a present from Aruba to Beth Holloway Twitty. Tromp stated that he painted this picture from the bottom of his heart because he knows that Twitty is in enormous pain and that Aruba is feeling the agony along side this mother who has lost her child. Twitty was overwhelmed with emotion upon receiving the gift and thanked Tromp for his gesture and sincerity. The unveiling ceremony lasted just a few minutes as ABC, NBC, MSNBC, FOX, CBS, AP, TeleAruba and Aruba Today covered the intimate event.(Aruba Today)

Special thanks to Aruba Today for the exclusive photo.

Posted August 18, 2005 by
Natalee Holloway | no comments

More Texas EquuSearch Bashing; Now blamed for Landfill Fire

Frankly this is getting rather old rather fast. The latest installment of blame Texas EquuSearch brings us to last nights Fox News’ On the Record” with Greta Van Susteren. It would appear that in a slow news cycle that any rumor or innuendo is some how going to pass for news. During last nights show, Tito Lacle of Aruba Today said the following comments that makes one question why it was said and why Greta provided no follow up questioning such baseless accusations: (Transcript)

Greta: In terms of the search today, any update on what’s being searched?

Tito: Well, basically we did some research today as to why the group that came in last week had so much trouble getting into the landfill. I spoke to the Minister, I spoke to several people in charge, and the minister didn’t even know this group was on the Island. He thought that the Texas Equusearch people were still here. I spoke to the people of the landfill and they confirmed that they closed the area because of the problems they had with Texas Equusearch people. Lastly, because of that the new guy in town, Fred, is paying the price for what the Texas Equusearch people apparently did. It seems, Greta, that the Texas Equusearch people were the ones that started a fire last Thursday and that caused problems for the landfill people. They decided to close it down until further notice, until they make out a new permit for anybody else to do whatever they have to do for the search. I must say, Greta, they don’t have a problem with anybody as long as they keep themselves to the rule but right now they are just waiting for higher up approval for anybody to be getting in and helping with the Natalee search.

One wonders just how much investigative journalism went into this? Exactly how many sources were questioned during this research and was TES ever even consulted in the matter to get their side of the story? From what I have determined the answer with regards to contacting Texas EquuSearch was no. Some how an accusation from someone at the landfill is allowed to stand as the truth and allowed to be broadcast live on Fox TV. A further accusation by Tito that that Fred Golba “is paying the price for what the Texas Equusearch people apparently did.” Paying a price for incidents that took place after TES left Aruba?

In researching this accusation made the fire at the landfill that they are discussing took place last Thursday or Friday, August 11th or 12th. Anyone researching this story could have contacted TES as I did and discovered that the last member of TES, Joe Huston, left Aruba on August 8, 2005. Joe Huston contacted me via email last night with this comment:

I was the last TES member and I left on 08/08/05.

Miraculously, TES was some how responsible for a fire that occurred in a landfill some 3 or 4 days later after they left. Accusations that were made by individuals at a landfill who were also responsible for the covering up of pre-dug holes that the new search teams were supposed to go through with their dogs. Holes covered up as Fred Golba was reported to have seen right in front of his eyes as he became sickened. The truth of the matter seems to be all based on a false accusation because TES was not even on Aruba to start the so-called fire at the landfill that in turn caused the landfill people to close it and make life difficult for the new search teams. One really begins to wonder what some of the agendas are by some when searching for Natalee Holloway. Maybe these comments were said to create a diversion from the fact that the landfill had filled in the holes and wasted previous valuable man hours? Does anyone not think that simple fact checks like dates and locations could not be done? What makes things even more precarious is that a Minister whom I presume was the Minister of Works did not even know what search team was on Aruba and that TES had actually left according to Tito.

At what point does news become PR or just sensationalism to get any story out at any time? The accusation of the fire in the landfill sounds very much like the TES destroyed turtle eggs story. A baseless accusation with no proof. All this while the further news story coming out at the same time by Tito referencing the upcoming boycott of the American media:

Greta: Alright. In terms of the reaction of the people who live in Aruba, what’s their view today, or at least in recent days, of the American media and of these private search groups coming in?

Tito: The private search groups— they’re ok with that, as far as the media, they still have their problems with it. There was a talk show today on the radio, and people were a little bit livid on the situation of the press. Still, at one point, I must point out, not all the press, some media and some specific names were mentioned that they have a problem with and they are working toward a possible protest, but that is not confirmed yet, until the end of this week.

Greta: Alright, and that possible protest, that would be, at least they’re thinking about it, against the American media. Where would that be located? Where would that happen in Aruba?

Tito: That location is still to be seen, based on a permit that they are still waiting upon, and once that is issued, I’ll be able to give you more information as to the exact date, location, and time frame, but it looks right now as it’s going to be toward the end of the week.

Greta: How much ground swell is there to protect American media? How much enthusiasm is there to protest American media.

How ironic; a boycott of the American media for the views they express yet we have had exaggerated and blatantly false charges made by Arubans as well that have certainly been inflammatory. Seems like there may be enough misinformation to go around on all sides. A boycott of American media? This is once again hardly the image that Aruba wants to portray.

Maybe everyone in Aruba forgot about this article from April 18, 2004; Aruba moving towards full transition of parkietenbos facility

Although spontaneous fires at the site remain a concern, the project has been responsible for bringing an end to the daily occurrence of uncontrolled fires and for the implementation of a Thermal Treatment Unit for the safe disposal of contaminated wastes. CIWS, together with representatives from the Ministry of Public Health and Environment and Serlimar, have approached the issue of how best to handle situations of spontaneous fires, seeking to further revise and implement fire prevention protocol and action plans.

Hat Tip: Molly12

Posted August 17, 2005 by
Natalee Holloway | 2 comments

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