Author tells of kidnapping by pirates he’d gone to interview

502
2555

Sunday July 22, 2018  “Michael Scott Moore is walking a bit gingerly these days, but it has nothing to do with the 2½ years he spent imprisoned by Somali pirates, the beatings he suffered, his time spent in chains or the lousy food that caused him to lose 40 pounds.

“I got thumped by a wave surfing off Manhattan Beach the other day,” the author of “The Desert and the Sea: 977 days Captive on the Somali Pirate Coast” says with a sheepish grin. “I’ve got a cracked rib.”

Otherwise Moore, freed by his pirate captors in 2014 after his mother raised a $1.6 million ransom, looks fine. He’s dressed casually in a dark blue shirt and jeans as he sits down in the shade of the century-old art-deco building that houses Los Angeles’ downtown library to talk about his latest book.
“The Desert and the Sea” goes on sale Tuesday, and its 49-year-old author is about to embark on a cross-country tour of readings and signings.

The page-turning thriller, published by Harper Collins, takes readers on a relentless journey as Moore reveals the squalid living conditions that nearly killed him, the beatings he endured and the thoughts of suicide he weighed, along with other thoughts of grabbing one of his captor’s machine guns (they were careless about leaving them lying around) and seeing how many of them he could kill before they killed him.

“I don’t know,” he says with a smile when asked how he survived it all.

After several seconds of quiet contemplation, he adds that a combination of giving up any immediate hope of freedom and living in the moment helped. So did maintaining a sense of humor while trapped in a very unfunny situation. Thus, the book contains several darkly comic moments.
Like the one when Moore hid the keys to the chains the pirates kept him in after he tried to escape by leaping from an old fishing vessel and attempting to swim to shore. They never could find them and had to buy a new set, something that delighted their captive.

Or the time one of the friendlier pirates, knowing Moore holds dual U.S.-German citizenship, woke him one morning to say excitedly that Germany, that year’s World Cup winner, defeated Brazil 7-1 in the semifinal game. Moore dismissed the news as “more pirate bull—-,” replying that no team scores seven goals in a soccer game. Then he turned on the radio and learned it was true.

Moore first thought of writing a book about modern-day piracy when he came across examples of it in coastal African and southeast Asian nations he visited while seeking out some of the world’s best surfing spots for a 2010 book. “Sweetness and Blood,” documenting how a loose-knit band of hippies, star-struck wanderers and U.S. military personnel helped turn an ancient Hawaiian sport into an international pop-culture phenomenon, has been hailed as arguably the best historical account of modern-day surfing.

His plans to report on piracy weren’t sealed, however, until he covered the trial of 10 pirates captured after abducting a German cargo ship off Somalia in 2010. Their two-year trial, which Moore covered for the publication Spiegel Online, marked the first case of piracy prosecuted in Germany in nearly 400 years.

“I really wanted to write a book that had material that I hadn’t seen. On pirates,” he says now. “And it became an obsession.”

By the time he arrived in Somalia in January 2012, piracy had become a cottage industry for a nation plunged into poverty and lawlessness by years of civil unrest. Young men unable to find other work sailed the high seas in small skiffs looking for people to kidnap and hold for multimillion-dollar ransoms.

Moore says he knew going to Somalia was dangerous, but he thought he’d taken all necessary precautions. A “fixer” with clan connections arranged the trip in which he was accompanied by a large contingent of machine-gun-toting guards.

But a pirate leader Moore interviewed betrayed him, paying off most of his security team. Moore was captured on a dusty desert road by pirates who demanded a $20 million ransom.

As his mother spent years negotiating the price and raising money from family and friends, Moore’s plight went largely unreported. His employer, Der Spiegel, asked other news organizations to withhold the story, fearing publicity would drive up the price. Almost all, including The Associated Press, complied.

“Honestly, I don’t know if it was better or worse to keep it quiet,” he says now.

Tall and trim with graying hair, Moore says he has fully recovered physically from his ordeal, although it took more than a year. He laughs when he recalls that several Asian fishermen he was held captive with remarked, “Michael, you got fat,” when they saw him during an emotional 2016 reunion.

He still struggles with some emotional scars and takes part in a therapy called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, which involves concentrating on what happened to you while focusing the eyes.

“I don’t know if it’s trendy or cutting edge,” he jokes.

“At times, I think he still has very much trouble sleeping, although he says he doesn’t have nightmares,” his 78-year-old mother, Marlis Saunders, says in a phone interview from the Redondo Beach home where her only child grew up and became an avid surfer.

Another ex-hostage, former Associated Press correspondent Terry Anderson, says it’s unlikely anyone gets completely over such an ordeal.

“That kind of an experience does damage to you that takes a long time to compensate for,” said Anderson, who was AP’s chief Middle East correspondent when he was abducted by Islamic militants in Lebanon in 1985 and held for nearly seven years. “You don’t forget it.”

Anderson, 70, says he’s glad to hear Moore is getting counseling, adding he underwent it himself but still struggled to accept how emotionally damaging his experience was.

For now, Moore is busy with his book tour and working on a feature story about three men recently convicted of plotting to blow up a Kansas apartment building housing Somali refugees.

After that he’d like to get back to some of the travel writing that took him to many fascinating parts of the world when he was researching his surfing book.

“I don’t want to give that up,” he says.

Then he laughs as he quickly adds, “It doesn’t have to be dangerous travel.”

502 COMMENTS

  1. 5a2qea I truly appreciate this post. I?аАТ’аЂа†ve been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You ave made my day! Thx again

  2. You have made some really good points there. I checked on the internet for additional information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this web site.

  3. You can certainly see your expertise within the work you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid to say how they believe. At all times follow your heart.

  4. Thank you, I ave recently been searching for info about this topic for ages and yours is the best I ave discovered till now. But, what about the bottom line? Are you sure in regards to the supply?

  5. This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I ave joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post. Also, I ave shared your website in my social networks!

  6. What as Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found It absolutely helpful and it has aided me out loads. I hope to contribute & aid other users like its helped me. Great job.

  7. Wow, awesome blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is magnificent, as well as the content!

  8. It as not that I want to duplicate your web-site, but I really like the style and design. Could you let me know which style are you using? Or was it especially designed?

  9. You have made some decent points there. I looked on the internet to find out more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site.

  10. You can definitely see your expertise in the work you write. The arena hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren at afraid to mention how they believe. All the time go after your heart.

  11. I think other web-site proprietors should take this site as an model, very clean and wonderful user genial style and design, let alone the content. You are an expert in this topic!

  12. Secondary moment My partner and i acquired and then both of those events happy with %anchor% When important I most certainly will arrangement as a result supplier once again..Fantastic occupation.

  13. You ave made some really good points there. I looked on the internet to find out more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this web site.

  14. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn at appear. Grrrr well I am not writing all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say excellent blog!

  15. Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher! Come on over and visit my website. Thanks =)

  16. Wonderful work! That is the type of info that should be shared around the internet. Shame on Google for no longer positioning this put up upper! Come on over and consult with my website. Thank you =)

  17. You made some good points there. I looked on the net for more information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this web site.

  18. Wow! This can be one particular of the most useful blogs We ave ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Fantastic. I am also an expert in this topic therefore I can understand your effort.

  19. Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I in finding It truly helpful & it helped me out a lot.
    I am hoping to give one thing again and aid others such as you helped me.

  20. Viagra Online Bestellen Gunstig Cytotec Misoprostol 200mcg Buy Real Provera Free Shipping Amex Accepted. Where To Order Legally Provera In Internet San Jose

  21. I am not certain the place you are getting your info, however great topic.
    I must spend some time finding out much more or working out more.

    Thank you for magnificent information I was on the lookout for this info for
    my mission.

  22. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I have truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

  23. I will right away take hold of your rss as I can not in finding your email subscription link or newsletter service. Do you have any? Please let me recognise so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  24. Usually I do not read article on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to take a look at and do so! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thanks, quite great article.

  25. Hey! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with
    hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended
    up losing many months of hard work due to no backup. Do you have any methods to stop hackers?

  26. This particular blog is obviously entertaining and besides informative. I have discovered helluva interesting stuff out of this blog. I ad love to return over and over again. Thanks a bunch!

  27. I think other site proprietors should take this web site as an model, very clean and wonderful user genial style and design, as well as the content. You are an expert in this topic!

  28. The move by the sports shoe business that clearly has ravens nfl nike jerseys online concerned, said he thought he was one of the hottest teams in football.

  29. It is in fact a cool and beneficial piece of details. I am content which you just shared this practical information and facts with us. Please retain us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  30. This blog is no doubt interesting and amusing. I have picked up helluva useful stuff out of this blog. I ad love to go back again soon. Thanks a lot!

  31. When I initially commented I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox
    and now each time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the exact same comment.
    Is there an easy method you are able to remove me from that service?
    Kudos!

  32. you are really a good webmaster. The site loading speed is incredible. It seems that you are doing any unique trick. Moreover, The contents are masterpiece. you ave done a wonderful job on this topic!

  33. Thank you for another magnificent article. Where else could anybody get that kind of information in such an ideal way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such info.

  34. Woah this blog is wonderful i love reading your articles. Stay up the good work! You already know, many individuals are looking round for this information, you could help them greatly.

  35. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it
    up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later.
    All the best plenty of fish natalielise

  36. Wow, marvelous blog structure! How lengthy have you ever been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The whole look of your website is excellent, let alone the content material!

  37. My brother suggested I might like this blog. He was totally right. This post truly made my day. You cann at imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

  38. Sweet blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I ave been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Appreciate it|

  39. Your style is very unique in comparison to other people I ave read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I all just bookmark this page.

  40. This is a good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Brief but very accurate information Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read article!

  41. I think other web site proprietors should take this web site as an model, very clean and wonderful user friendly style and design, as well as the content. You are an expert in this topic!

  42. Once I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I get four emails with the identical comment. Is there any approach you’ll be able to take away me from that service? Thanks!

  43. I simply couldn’t go away your site before suggesting that I extremely
    enjoyed the usual info a person supply on your visitors?
    Is going to be back frequently to check out new posts

  44. You have made some good points there. I checked on the internet for more information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this web site.

  45. This is a great tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Short but very accurate info Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!

  46. Your current posts often possess a lot of really current info. Where can you come up with this? Just declaring you might be very formative. Thanks once again

  47. SEO Company Orange Company I think this internet site contains some really good info for everyone . The ground that a good man treads is hallowed. by Johann von Goethe.

  48. Terrific work! That is the type of info that are supposed to be shared around the web. Disgrace on Google for not positioning this post upper! Come on over and visit my web site. Thanks =)

  49. Your style is so unique compared to other people I have read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you ave got the opportunity, Guess I all just book mark this blog.

  50. You could definitely see your skills within the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. At all times go after your heart.

  51. What as Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found It absolutely useful and it has aided me out loads. I hope to contribute & help other users like its helped me. Good job.

  52. IaаАа’б‚Т€ТšаЂаŒаАа’б‚Т€ТžаБТžve read some good stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how much effort you put to make such a fantastic informative web site.

  53. I?ve read some just right stuff here. Definitely value bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how so much attempt you place to make any such great informative website.

  54. That is a good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere. Simple but very accurate information Thank you for sharing this one. A must read article!

  55. This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post. Also, I ave shared your web site in my social networks!

  56. Valuable information. Lucky me I found your website by accident, and I am shocked why this accident didn at happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

  57. I used to be recommended this blog via my cousin. I am no longer positive whether or
    not this post is written by way of him as no one else realize such targeted about my trouble.
    You’re wonderful! Thanks!

  58. This very blog is obviously awesome and diverting. I have found a lot of interesting tips out of this blog. I ad love to go back over and over again. Thanks a lot!

  59. Your style is unique compared to other people I have read stuff from. I appreciate you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this web site.

  60. This unique blog is no doubt interesting additionally diverting. I have picked up many handy things out of this source. I ad love to go back again and again. Thanks a lot!

  61. What as Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I ave found It absolutely helpful and it has helped me out loads. I hope to contribute & aid other users like its helped me. Good job.

  62. Very nice post and right to the point. I am not sure if this is actually the best place to ask but do you folks have any thoughts on where to get some professional writers? Thanks

  63. This very blog is without a doubt interesting and also factual. I have picked helluva useful stuff out of this source. I ad love to return again soon. Thanks!

  64. Wow! This can be one particular of the most useful blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Excellent. I am also a specialist in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here