Ah, the curious case of Gary Brooks Faulkner, age 52 and his middle Eastern misadventures during the summer of 2010. It will forever be lionized as a cautionary tale about guts, belief and wackiness over reality-based common sense.
By most accounts, Gary was a stand-up dude – the kind of person who’d give you half his money, if you haven’t any. A fun and easy-going man, who likes to joke around and make those around him happy. The one thing that Gary wouldn’t joke around, though, was God. And the one thing that used to get him very unhappy was the late Osama bin Laden. Osama, Gary believed, was the single most evil influence on this world and something had to be done about it. And the fact that no matter how many tries they had, the American Government just couldn’t find him, would drive Gary crazy. So one day he decided to take matters into his own hands.
He decided to track down and kill Osama Bin Laden.
Gary didn’t have military or tactical experience of any kind, nor was he a particularly interested in anything war-related. He was, in fact, working in construction and excelled the most in the fine art of driving nails through wooden planks. So what gave him the confidence needed to set upon a dangerous journey like that? Gary had one big advantage over the CIA and it was God and his blessing. That, plus a pair of night-vision goggles purchased from a home-shopping TV network and a sword completed his preparation.
Faulkner traveled to Chitral, Pakistan first, a country he had visited previously on a number of occasions. From Chitral, Gary took to Kalash Valley, one of the more remote non-Muslim enclaves and got himself a room in one of the local motels. His presence was immediately noticed by the authorities, who would keep an eye on all outsiders and their comings and goings. That practice was implemented the previous year, when the Taliban kidnapped a Greek worker. Later on they released the Greek and he went home unharmed, but it was not a risk worth taking again, so a tail unit was tasked with following Gary around, keeping him safe.
It’s a bit unclear if Faulkner knew he was followed, but regardless – one day he managed to lose his tail and headed for the border.
The police quickly got wind of this and hurried to stop him before something bad could happen. They managed to intercept him before he was able to cross into Afghanistan. Upon arresting him, they realized that good old Gary had a gun, bought, perhaps, during one of his previous visits and hid somewhere ever since. When asked why he wanted to cross the border, Gary answered bluntly – his mission was the decapitation of Osama bin Laden – a holly mission given to him directly by God and because God was leading him towards that goal, Gary was sure that he couldn’t fail. Needless to say, they though Gary was mental.
Of course, the local media loved that story and it spread everywhere like wild fire.
The spokesman for the US embassy had a few well chosen words, which added no new information of substance, but then again – that’s usually the idea. He confirmed what was already confirmed by other sources and didn’t comment beyond that. It’s what’s commonly known as ‘damage control’. Gary was interviewed further, this time by Intelligence officers and later – deported back to the states. In the end it all amounts to just another crazy story for Gary to tell.
H/T – TheGuardian