help climbers visciously attacked in Peru

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Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Jan 7, 2013 - 01:22am PT
My name is Jennifer Lynne Wolfrom. I am a US citizen, a resident of the state of Wyoming, ... my brother (Joseph Palmer Wolfrom III), and my sister in law (Meghan Moore Doherty).


Okay,

#1. Americans DON'T use their middle names. We keep them secret and usually don't like them.


#2. We don't bother telling our citizenship. We just assume anyone reading with think we are Americans.


I could go on and on.



As far as these hoaxes go, this one is very well prepared and very well written. They have probably made out pretty well for their effort. I expect this whole thing was put up by some clever Nigerians.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 7, 2013 - 01:26am PT
But, Spidey, many Nigerians are educated in England and can be excused such
excesses in the pursuit of gravitas.
crunch

Social climber
CO
Jan 7, 2013 - 02:01am PT
Not a hoax.

Nice work, pat. Your version of events is probably very, very close.

Now in a local Peruvian newspaper, though not exactly front-page news:

http://elcomercio.pe/actualidad/1518317/noticia-cusco-turistas-estadounidenses-fueron-agredidos-campesinos-ocongate

Google's translation:

A group of American tourists was attacked by several residents of the rural community of Pallca, in the district of Ocongate Quispicanchi province, Cusco, the night of December 29.

The correspondent of The Trade Area, Ralph Zapata, reported that the Department of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Cusco confirmed the beating from information from Ocongate police station, but said that did not enter any formal complaint at the above address .

Apparently, tourists entered the community, were not identified and there were problems with the language. Farmers have mistaken the rustlers.

One side of the story is told by Jennifer Lynne Wolfrom, one of the assaulted, in a blog. She noticed that other people are brutally beaten Palmer Joseph Doherty Wolfrom and Meghan Moore.

According to chronicles, were also stripped of their documents and belongings valued at thousands of dollars. The publication says it all happened after they tried to park your vehicle.

He claims that, without further explanation, the unit was locked and suddenly began to rain stones. Subsequently, although the occupants abandoned the truck, the persecution continued.

"There were at least 30 people and chased us throwing stones [...] We whipped and beaten for several hours between interrogation sessions," he says. It is not known if people arrested.
crock

Trad climber
The Windiest Mountain, Wyoming
Jan 7, 2013 - 02:10am PT
I can't find Palca, near Ocongate, on any maps. But here's Ocongate, and the incident is said to have occurred within a few miles of Ocongate.



The place is spectacular; follow this link for a higher resolution version on Panoramio: Ocongate, by jad-ash

The area has an important tourist industry with mountain rescue, tourism development officers, etc. I doubt the women and children went out in the rain at night just to start trouble; there are a few missing pieces of the story.

Refusing to show papers to the village leader, who is vested with law enforcement powers, was a serious escalation. Choosing to run under those circumstances will get you in trouble just about anywhere.

Some social skills and gifts would have probably made for a much happier evening.
drewsky

climber
Seattle
Jan 7, 2013 - 02:20am PT
I should have responded 150 posts ago, but so be it. I'm in complete agreement that we don't know all the facts about this scenario. I don't have any secret knowledge and I don't think that I implied in any way that I did. I mainly restated information that we 'have' (as in, have, for better or worse, been given; feel free to add to it in any way as I'm sure I missed at least a couple of salient details). Arrogance wasn't intended either on my part, but maybe it's a tonal thing? I don't know.

Anyway, the three Americans have made some questionable choices but I guess my main point is: we can't assume that because everything doesn't add up exactly how we would want it to indicates they're perpetrating a clandestine heist via helpers on the internet. They actually do have a travel blog that, at least temporally and geographically, sets the stage for the event in question. I definitely believe there is a non-zero chance that this may be the case, however; we just don't have the necessary info to say for certain. I don't think the 'local perspective' given upstream is any more or less verifiable here than the original narrative, but similarly it can't be entirely discounted either. Americans do often act opprobriously whilst abroad so nothing of that kind can be ruled out.

I think it's far more likely that reality lies somewhere in-between, that these people made a serious error and that they may even have known it at the time. The 'correct' narrative is probably a combination of perspectives, some of which we just haven't seen yet. One thing that just doesn't bother me is that they are receiving money, most likely from people that they know: there's certainly precedent for this kind of action. Some might question why they should donate to help an injured climber, for instance; it's all about target audience and I think even the fund drive in question here is targeted most towards people who don't mind donating $50-100. Of course I agree that fundraising should ideally be undertaken in the most transparent way possible but then again I'm not sure there's anything actually being obfuscated here unless the whole thing is a fraud. Without verifiable information, it's hard to come to any conclusion without skipping a few crucial steps. In terms of 'what I would do': I'm not sure if I would solicit funds other than, perhaps, to secure my return home. But to reiterate, unless we find information to the contrary, it wasn't the victims themselves who solicited funds; the original post was alleged to be part of a statement intended for some official capacity and the list of belongings was not meant as a gift registry (although it does somewhat conveniently double as such). I don't know that I would accept money to replace my stolen belongings with the knowledge that losing money and things is an objective hazard anywhere I go, but I guess we all need help from time to time. Entitlement is an entrenched problem in our society that I doubt we can solve here and now.

I'm still interested in seeing how this pans out. Maybe there will be some kind of information forthcoming that will flesh out the story a bit more. Maybe it will turn out to be a complete hoax! That seems overly bizarre to me, but stranger things have happened. As for the slander here: I suppose that's what the internet is for. I think Ron had it right in that respect. I too am surprised that I linked insight to online forums, although it certainly surfaces here and there amongst all the other flotsam.
mechrist

Gym climber
South of Heaven
Jan 7, 2013 - 02:34am PT
I disagree. I think we have all the facts we need to sort this thing out right now...

Keep your heads up when you travel, and if your sh#t gets stolen don't be a douche bag and ask (or let your f/f ask) the rest of the world to replace your iFukall.
Fluoride

Trad climber
West Los Angeles, CA
Jan 7, 2013 - 02:36am PT
Drew, I appreciate your thoughtfulness and well worded intentions. However I think you're off base.

There's enough info out there now to make their claims VERY suspect.

"Entitlement is an entrenched problem in our society that I doubt we can solve here and now."

Umm...parking on indigenous folks' land, refusing to give them documentation, pepper spraying locals and trying to bulldoze over locals building roadblocks...you're not going to have a positive result from this. They handled this situation in the worst ways possible. Entitlement was a core problem of this incident as it was reported.

mechrist, agreed and you're right
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 7, 2013 - 03:40am PT


"Keep your heads up when you travel, and if your sh#t gets stolen don't be a douche bag and ask (or let your f/f ask) the rest of the world to replace your iFukall."...

+1

Derrell Licht

climber
Around
Jan 7, 2013 - 03:45am PT
It's pretty awful to watch virtually defenseless people get stoned by a blood-thirsty mob. I mean, of course, by all the jerk keyboard warriors and forum trolls. You should all be deeply ashamed of yourselves; how ironic that what you're doing is exactly the same mob behavior. I've personally been involved in an incident much like this one and know exactly what it feels like to narrowly escape with your life and then proceed to get bombarded by a bunch of asshats who try to construe every bit of information they can get their greasy hands on to discredit you and call you a liar, douchebag, or moron. It's just awful in every sense of the word. Awful. Some hapless people were involved in an episode in which some sort of misunderstanding or shake-down for cash led to them getting the crap beat out of them. So the F what? Why does it matter to you? Maybe just try a gesture of a decent human being and wish them well on their way. The endless speculation is disgusting. You might end up sitting around a fire with them one day or crashing at their house or maybe they'll be the next ones down the descent and help you with a stuck rope; they are probably some of the kindest and most well-meaning folks around. Then you'll be the one to feel like a complete knob and hopefully it will cause you to correct your life for the better in the future. Except that most of the negativity probably comes from those who struggle to climb into an office chair and bore the internet with their drivel and the content of their sad and unfulfilled brains.

Full disclosure: I used to be a ST poster and bailed out because of the insensitive, childish, know-it-all twits who populate this place. I still lurk but attitudes like this are what drive people away from here.
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Jan 7, 2013 - 04:00am PT
http://www.supertopo.com/inc/view_forum.php?dcid=Ozk-NDc3JSUi

Are you related to Krista Goodsitt by any chance?
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Jan 7, 2013 - 06:53am PT
just tends to confirm that the villagers are sticking to their story,

Blahblah, don't you mean travelers?


and also a quick fading of the 15 minutes fame

Happiegrrrl, amen to that
crock

Trad climber
The Windiest Mountain, Wyoming
Jan 7, 2013 - 07:24am PT
Riley,

What's the point of scouring the Internet for stupid opinions and troll posts and collecting them here?
Bargainhunter

climber
Jan 7, 2013 - 08:25am PT
What Derrell Licht said.
patrick compton

Trad climber
van
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 7, 2013 - 08:26am PT
where is the OP. Patrick Compton these days?

Lurking my own post.

Opinions are like a$$holes... everyone on here has one.

Fun to watch. Fascinating how many like to criticize the travelers for their belongings and how they acted. Most people reading this would have taken patagucci sh#t, iPhones and pads and reacted to aggression with fear and responded with aggression, just like they did.
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Jan 7, 2013 - 08:27am PT
Slayton and others. Perhaps I myself am guilty of being subjective concerning this issue, and even judgmental. It’s not like I despise these three people. But what gets my goat is the crassness in the way they have been trying to raise funds, and not only for their troubles in Peru.

It seems to me, 'seems' I repeat, that they have been wanting people to pay for their holiday, ie a free camper van, is that true? If there was sponsorship involved, okay, but I wonder…

As for their story, something doesn’t sit right with me.

As I mentioned before, I’d like to hear the other side of the story, if possible.

I posted earlier that if I had the resources that a) I could get someone to look after Jennie to b) travel to Peru to c) find an interpreter/local to d) interview the villagers to e) see what their side of the story is… there just about always are two sides (if not more) to a story.

Not blowing my own horn but I have interviewed presidents and prime ministers, captains of industry, union leaders, celebrities, and just ‘regular’ people. I have always strived to be objective in my interviews. That said I have had (dickhead) editors change my copy to their taste/liking/slant. I am never happy with that. I am an experienced interviewer.

There must be some journalist in Peru who could go to the village and interview the villagers. Perhaps there has been such an interview, but I have yet to find it.

The links by chichalimona explains some

http://chichalimona.blogspot.ie/2013/01/what-really-happened-in-ocongate.html

http://www.radiosicuani.org.pe/nacional/item/168-turistas-norteamericanos-fueron-agredidos-por-comuneros-de-pallca-en-quispicanchi.html

http://www.meganoticias.net/cusco-turistas-estadounidenses-fueron-golpeados-por-campesinos-de-ocongate/

http://www.aatccusco.com/boletin.php


Though my Spanish is very rusty.

My gut feeling tells me that there is more to this story than the three travelers are telling.

Cheers, and safe climbing, wherever you are.

Patrick
crock

Trad climber
The Windiest Mountain, Wyoming
Jan 7, 2013 - 08:45am PT
Riley,

Those first quotes brought to light some interesting original material, particularly Jed's alleged intercepted Facebook messages.

The second ones do in fact illustrate that there are stupid people and trolls on the Internet, but if someone doesn't already know that I don't think there's much point in devoting part of this thread to convincing them.

Just my opinion, though, thanks for explaining!
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Jan 7, 2013 - 08:59am PT
There is an element about the three travelers and their story that reminds me of the inexperienced people who can afford to buy a ticket to climb Everest. They crave the adventure but have no idea what they are really getting into.
.
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Jan 7, 2013 - 09:19am PT
Credit: Don Paul
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Jan 7, 2013 - 09:35am PT
Port-a-John
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Jan 7, 2013 - 09:53am PT
ROTFLOL Don Paul, great post.
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