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Australian held hostage in Iraq.

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posted on Jun, 20 2005 @ 08:45 AM
I thought the conspiracy theorist in me was getting totally out of control with my suspicions on this story and then I saw his wife - she is a bubbly blonde headed American.
Forgive me if I am mistaken but I was sure that the lady in a interview given shortly after it was first confirmed that Mr. Wood had been taken hostage was an Asian and very quietly spoken!?
Yep, crazy little me....until two other people said the same thing without any prompting from me.
I have done masses of searches on this and although I found the lady does have two names - Pearl Wood and Yvonne Given I was unable to find any photos apart from the ones taken with her husband after his release.
Can anyone here confirm or refute the idea of a fake wife??
And why on earth would such a thing be done?

posted on Jun, 21 2005 @ 12:52 PM
Wood raid report under doubt.

A Sunni political leader and former Iraqi army general had no specific knowledge of the events surrounding the kidnapping of Australian Douglas Wood.

Senior government and defence sources have directly contradicted weekend reports by journalist Paul McGeough, who claimed that Australian raids on the home of Sheik Hassan Zadaan had delayed the effort to free Mr Wood from his captors.
The sources also confirmed that raids by Australian and US forces on Sheik Zadaan and a number of other targets in Iraq during the Australian engineer's 47-day ordeal made "no difference" to Mr Wood's fate.

The inflated claims of the high-profile Fairfax journalist about supposed intermediaries are coming under sharper focus in the wake of Mr Wood's dramatic rescue last week. It now appears that claims the raid that freed Mr Wood had damaged the rescue hopes for two other Iraqis are also unfounded, as the men were killed several weeks ago.

It is the second time the reporter has been accused of inaccuracy after senior Bush administration officials discredited a story in July last year in which he claimed the new Iraqi Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi, had pulled a pistol and executed up to six suspected insurgents at a Baghdad police station just days before Washington handed over control to his interim government." target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">Article

Well, all i can say is i'll be watching his 'exclusive' story on Channel 10(Australia) later this week, and will comment afterwards.


[edit on 21-6-2005 by sanctum]

posted on Jun, 21 2005 @ 09:38 PM
I just came to the end of this thread, and without being rude, don't really have the time to research this myself. I find this whole thing very strange. I am an Aussie just for the record, not that it matters.

Anyway, basically I would like to know, if someone could provide a link or debunk the story that 2 of Wood's employees were also hijacked? Basically the Mufti said that if they had waited for another week he could have secured Wood's release. Wood claims not to have met the Mufit at all. I did hear a story that 2 other employees were still with the terrorists and were executed after woods was 'found' Does anyone have any info on this story whatsoever?


posted on Jun, 21 2005 @ 10:07 PM

Originally posted by sanctum

Well, all i can say is i'll be watching his 'exclusive' story on Channel 10(Australia) later this week, and will comment afterwards.

Do you think Australia may have it's very own Jessica Lynch story?
Personally, i'd like to think that i'd have enough respect for Iraq and the situation to want my story to be told on SBS or ABC where it's going to be taken seriously by real journalists but i guess Woods - the business man that he is - has decided to go with Channel 10 The Entertainment Network!

I expect it to be a lot of fluff really and with the comments Woods has made since he got back, things like he's thinking about going back because of 'good business opportunities' and 'i should of stayed in the Green Zone' - it's hard to really see it as anyone's fault but his own.

I just hope they don't disrespect Iraq and the people who tried to help him - ie, not the government who did nothing but call Iraqi's Terrorists for the most part. This better not be used as a way to convince more Australian's that Iraq is bad place full of bad people so they get some support for the war.

posted on Jun, 22 2005 @ 01:43 AM
See I will probably watch it to see how much # this guy comes out with. if he was really serious about getting the facts out and being fully honest and sorting the fact from fiction, he would have gone to ABC or SBS, but he did go commercial. All about the money, which prompts me to be suspicious. I mean really...

Too much doesn't add up...

What kind of work was he doing?

posted on Jun, 22 2005 @ 02:46 AM
Woods is getting ATLEAST $250,000 for his 'exlusive story' on The Entertainment Network (aka TEN).

"Mr Wood has been paid more than $250,000 for the exclusive rights to his story, to be broadcast on Sunday."

I wonder what terms and conditions you also sign when accepting over a quarter million dollers for telling 'your' story?

posted on Jun, 22 2005 @ 02:52 AM
So the drama continues... (thank God that Australia has

"Why did Douglas Wood and his family sign the controversial deal with Ten to tell his story next Sunday night with Sandra Sully? Sure, it's about money, but just as importantly it's about control – which makes it a deal that could change the nature of chequebook journalism.


The Australian and The SMH missed the point on Tuesday, but The Age had most of the important detail, including the involvement of Steve Vizard, a part-owner of Wood's management company Profile Talent Management.


Nine's 60 Minutes apparently had the deal all but in the bag until the Ten co-production idea and more money surfaced. The Age and TV sources say the Ten bid was around $400,000, but the co-production arrangement makes that difficult to work out. Because of revenue sharing deals from any on-sales, Ten could have bid low and offered PTM a bigger share of revenues at the back end from any on-sales, say to the US, which is interested in the story because Wood lives in California."

Great story about this deal, worth reading the full article plus the one below it. Just goes to show that this 'story' is nothing but a cash cow for Woods.

posted on Jun, 22 2005 @ 03:01 AM
Note to Australians: If you get kidnapped in Iraq, make sure the Australian Government believes you support their view on the war in Iraq, otherwise your story will get buried and discredited.

Douglas Wood is not the first Australian to be kidnapped by insurgents in Iraq — and escape. SBS Journalist John Martinkus was outside the Australian Embassy in Baghdad last year when he was taken at gunpoint by Sunni militants and held for 20 hours. On his return to Australia his terrifying experience was publicly undermined by both the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and large parts of the Australian media. “The Australian Government tried to discredit me because my assessment of the situation in Iraq was directly contradictory to theirs,” he tells MARNI CORDELL.

posted on Jun, 22 2005 @ 06:28 AM
[For non-Australians, George Negus is a very respectable journalist who works for SBS, one of two free to air non-commerical channels. SBS is based on multiculture and has heaps of documentaries and foreign news. Check the site for it's cred. It makes the commercial channel news look like bubblegum]

Did anyone see George Negus just invterview Sheikh Taj Aldin Alhilali on Dateline? (they should have a transcript up next week)

He got the other story about the Woods release which contradicts the current story, which is soon to become 'official' on Woods tell all TV special which he's making around $400,000 plus selling rights via his company to America. His company deals with entertainment management so he should be able to handle those deals quiet well and many specials to screen all over the world.

THe Sheikh Taj Aldin Alhilali, said basically that the story off Woods release is not true and that two Iraqi lives are in danger because of it.

He then called a major Sheikh leader in Iraq via a mobile phone and George Negus got to talk to him about what happened.
He said that it was a stage by America and that the two Iraqi prisoners were killed AFTER Woods was found, not before as is being claimed officially.

What nailed it was George's closing comment:
"And both those interviews cost us just two taxi fares to South Sydney"

What a major crack at the half million doller deal the commerical channels were fighting over for Woods story - cheque book journalism, newstainment.

I think this Woods Special is just meant to get out the 'official' patriot version to the mass public via a big commerical advertisment special. None of these channels have tried to find out the Sheikh Taj Aldin Alhilali version of events which are readily available and offer a completely different account, yet they are quiet happy to pay a half million to trump up our War Spirits and feel good about our work in Iraq. Two Iraqi's died for this story but no one cares, they are worth it if the opinion poll shows a slight increase.

This is getting to be sickening and confirms the theory that what happens in America, is repeated in Australia on a comparable scale 2 years later.

This is our Jessica Lynch.

[edit on 22-6-2005 by TheShroudOfMemphis]

posted on Jun, 22 2005 @ 07:07 AM
Some great post's there TSOM

Did you see this?

Ulf Hjertstrom, also 63, a Swedish oil broker who has lived in Baghdad for 14 years, was released from his own 67-day kidnap drama on May 30.

Swedens Aftonbladet newspaper has reported how Mr Hjertstrom, who was taken to US authorities after his release, was interrogated about his time as a hostage.

According to the newspaper, information he provided helped secure the release of Mr Wood, who spent several weeks sharing what was described as a cell with Mr Hjertstrom.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade yesterday confirmed Mr Wood spent part of his time in captivity with a Swede.

“We can confirm that Mr Wood was held with a Swedish national who was released about two weeks before Mr Woods recovery,” the department spokeswoman said.

After 47 days held hostage, Mr Wood was discovered last Wednesday during a routine search and cordon operation by Iraqi troops, backed by US forces.


I can see what you mean, TSOM


posted on Jun, 22 2005 @ 12:12 PM
Wood witnessed eight executions.

Freed Australian hostage Douglas Wood saw eight people executed while he was being held captive by insurgents in Iraq, a fellow survivor said.

Swede Ulf Hjertstrom, who was held for several weeks with Mr Wood in Baghdad, said the Australian's health deteriorated after he was forced to watch the executions, News Limited newspapers reported today.
"He did see these executions by himself," he said.

"He was in a very bad shape - psychologically and physically - and unfortunately his captors realised they did have him on a hook."
A family spokesman yesterday said Mr Wood, 63, would not yet comment on reports in Swedish newspapers that information from Mr Hjertstrom led to his rescue.

(bold text added)


posted on Jun, 22 2005 @ 01:50 PM
It's also strange how the hostage said in no way has the Australian Prime minister told him to say this but he regrets telling the AU and US to withdraw their troops and thinks they're doing an awesome job occupying Iraq. Sounds pretty forced to me!! Also, its very strange how this man was considering going back to Iraq! This whole event sounds like a complete coup!! An act!!!

posted on Jun, 23 2005 @ 01:46 AM

Originally posted by ilandrah
Forgive me if I am mistaken but I was sure that the lady in a interview given shortly after it was first confirmed that Mr. Wood had been taken hostage was an Asian and very quietly spoken!?

Now you come to mention it I also recall an Asian looking dark haired 'wife'. Like you I was surprised when I saw a bubbly blond wife. I will search around and see if I can turn up something that leads back to an Asian wife.

I was very happy when Douglas Wood was first released. I am disillusioned now with the chequebook journalism game that is being played. If he were serious he wouldn’t be selling his ‘wares’ for a few golden trinkets. Mind you $400K is one big bag of trinkets.

On the issue of Douglas Wood and his comments with regards to his request to the Prime Minister and President Bush to pull out the troops, which now he says he didn’t mean but was only saying to save his life. Whether he did or didn’t mean it is neither he nor there (and I don’t think for one minute he was pressured into retracting what he said) but it is foolish in the extreme to come out with remakes such as this after he has been released. The next Australian or American taken hostage will only suffer all the more because of stupid statements such as this. It is stupidity in the extreme. I am also very annoyed at the scant regard for the Mufti and I believe what he says that others will now pay the price.

But heck – Douglas will have his money, his smiling wife will have her Douglas and I guess they are saying stuff everyone else.

Just one last comment! What did they feed Douglas on? He obviously wasn’t starving during his incarceration.

posted on Jun, 23 2005 @ 02:35 AM

Originally posted by Lady of the Lake

Originally posted by ilandrah
Forgive me if I am mistaken but I was sure that the lady in a interview given shortly after it was first confirmed that Mr. Wood had been taken hostage was an Asian and very quietly spoken!?

Now you come to mention it I also recall an Asian looking dark haired 'wife'. Like you I was surprised when I saw a bubbly blond wife. I will search around and see if I can turn up something that leads back to an Asian wife.

Hmm, this is interesting, we'll have to see what comes up.

I've found this, i'll update if i find more. I haven't seen a photo of his wife being Asian but she does have two different names:

"Woods wife, Pearl has confirmed his identity on the video tape and their home in Alamo, CA, a suburb of Danville is said to be surrounded by reporters and television crews."

"Wood left Australia 40 years ago and lives in Alamo, California, with his American wife, Pearl. He had worked as a contractor in Iraq for a year before his capture."

"Mr Wood's wife Pearl said she had seen the video and confirmed the man was her husband."

Douglas Wood's wife, Yvonne Given, says she is "ecstatic" that her businessman husband has been released after more than six weeks' captivity in Iraq.

Could be the press being wrong of course or 'hiding' her identity, unless we can find a photo of the pre-release Wife? Thou the American-Australian connection does make it smell fishy.

[edit on 23-6-2005 by TheShroudOfMemphis]

posted on Jun, 23 2005 @ 05:13 AM
Read what will be screaning on Channel Ten (aka the Entertainment Network) this Sunday in Australia. Kind of strange that we're expected to take Douglas seriously when you read this and consider the fact he's getting $400,000 and his entertainment mangement company has made deals with Ten for the overseas licensing for this 'Tell All'.

Pathetic state of affairs, this story has ZERO cred in my opinion.

6.30pm - 7.30pm : Douglas Wood - His Story
TEN Current Affairs

"Australian hostage Douglas Wood was rescued in a military operation in Iraq after being held captive for 47 days. The exact circumstances and how events unfolded will be revealed. Only Douglas knows what happened in those frightening 47 days and only TEN will deliver the facts.
Don't miss this worldwide exclusive tonight!"

7.30pm - 9pm : Big Brother
Live Eviction
TEN Real Life *LIVE*

"It's time to go... " Tonight the dream of winning the big prize will end for one of the housemates. Be part of the experience when it occurs at the Dreamworld Amphitheatre on the Gold Coast. Hosted by Gretel Killeen. Assume nothing, expect anything.

posted on Jun, 23 2005 @ 05:30 AM

Douglas Wood wearing US Military issue brown t-shirt?

posted on Jun, 23 2005 @ 05:46 AM
TheShroudOfMemphis, here is that transcript from Dateline.


I'm about to read it.


posted on Jun, 23 2005 @ 10:05 PM

Originally posted by sanctum
TheShroudOfMemphis, here is that transcript from Dateline.


I'm about to read it.


Goodwork, they got that up quick. Glad it was ready before the Sunday night Special on 10 for histories sake.

It's an interesting interview. The Sheik is coming across pretty genuine and sounds closer to what Jesus used to talk about than any neo-con i've heard talk for the last 5 years.

If i was forced to take sides then i'd be confident to take the Sheiks side. His story has no purpose to it but to make releations better between Iraq and Australia and he was genuinly worried about the lives of the 2 Iraqi's and Douglas Wood PLUS he hasn't asked for anything in return.

THe other story cost a half million dollers and is set to make even more money, it's toeing the govenrment line, comes with apologies to the government about the war and hasn't given any empathy to the Iraqi's who were involved and killed also.

It's a choice between a compassionate version or a greedy version of the story. The truth is usually found somewhere in the middle but i can't help but think the Shiek is being honost here.

GEORGE NEGUS: Do you think Douglas Wood was wise to describe his captors as, to use a dreadful Australian term, arseholes?

SHEIK TAJ EL-DIN AL-HILALY, (Translation): Douglas Wood doesn’t know his head from his feet, the poor guy should be excused, because he needs a new program…… he needs to be re-programmed to become a new person.
We are trying to build bridges between the Iraqi nation and its people and the Australian nation, Australian society. We have built many bridges and established good relations for the future. Such talk is irresponsible and very dangerous. It affects the relationship and any future work, involving Australian interests in Iraq.

[edit on 23-6-2005 by TheShroudOfMemphis]

posted on Jun, 25 2005 @ 08:38 PM
Australian authorities secretly negotiated hostage Douglas Wood's release 10 days before he was "accidentally found" by Iraqi troops, a report has claimed.

The Sunday Age said its investigations revealed:

* Mr Wood's snatching from his hideout was carefully planned;

* Iraqi soldiers were used to pick up Mr Wood in a bid to disguise Australia's secret dealings;

* Senior Australian Islamic cleric Sheikh Taj Aldin Alhilali played a key role in negotiations with diplomat Nick Warner;

* Sheikh Alhilali was at personal risk as his communications were tracked, which led the authorities to Mr Wood's hideout;

* The Mufti of Australia negotiated with kidnappers to reduce the ransom from $US25 million ($A32.5 million) to $US100,000;

* Intelligence agencies could monitor mobile phone lines;

* The 47-day operation cost about $US3 million ($A3.9 million).

A Foreign Affairs spokeswoman would not comment on Mr Wood's initial secret plan, adding she could not speak on operational matters.

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