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Leslie Linthicum '95-now
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Copp Says Proof Is in the Footage
Earlier this year, Doug Copp was awarded $649,000, tax free, from the fund set up to compensate victims of 9/11. He says it's not enough. But it's doubtful he deserves anything. A Journal investigation found no evidence Copp did real rescue work in New York. Read the Journal's full four-day series here.
By Leslie Linthicum
Journal Staff Writer
Doug Copp talks for hours about his exploits, dropping the names of foreign countries and recounting the devastation he has seen. His stories ramble across continents, are most often vague on names and details and routinely involve conspiracies. He hardly pauses for a breath.
This, for example, is an answer Copp gave when he was asked to provide the Journal with some documentation to support his claims of rescue experience:
"Well, OK. You know what it is? I got I even have some with me but I've got like 650 documents of thank you letters and all this and everything for what I've done. I've got hundreds of hours of video of me actually doing it, I mean wading across a river with crocodiles in it, I mean on top of a landslide with the thing coming down where the camera's being shot from a mile away. I got film footage of me inside of collapsed buildings. I got film footage of me with the Russians. I got film footage of a Chinese colonel, all big smiles, 'Oh we're very happy, we're very happy, the machine works so good, the machine works so good.' You know? I've got all this video. And why? Because if anybody's to say what you just said, Oh yeah, well, here's letters, here's videos to see with your own eyes, OK? You know, I've got on TV where they're interviewing this guy because the British and the French had said at this landslide, it was a gigantic one, they said, and the British and the French with their dogs, they came around and they said, 'The victim's 15 feet inside of here, this very spot, but it's too dangerous. It's too dangerous and everybody would be killed, we can't remove.' And then they left. And the Red Cross I'm a member of the Mexican Red Cross and different Red Crosses and I've worked with many excellent Red Crosses. It's only the American Red Cross and the German Red Cross that collect money and don't spend it on the victims. So, anyway, I'm working with the Red Cross, in fact they even had a parade for me. I stayed at the director of the Red Cross for the country at his home ... .
"I stayed at his home with him and his family before I left. Now, at any rate, what happened there was I said, yeah, OK, so they said they were going to go, OK, they said the victim was here but it was too dangerous. They said they were going to go do it anyway. I said to them, I talked them out of it. I said, 'They're probably not there.' I said, 'It's just for TV or something, they're probably not there.' And, no, first of all I said, 'They're right, it is too dangerous. It is too dangerous. You'll all be killed. You can't do it.' They said, 'We're going to do it anyway.' And I tried to talk them out of it and I couldn't talk them out of it. I said, 'Look they're just pulling your ... they're just doing it for TV. There's nobody in there. Dogs can't smell 15 feet under dirt. That's why you bury people so you can't smell them.' OK, they're still going to do it. So finally, and this was at night. I spent all night, 'cause I'm very religious, and talking to God I say, 'God, should I do this?' Because I know there's nobody there and I don't want to, I don't want to die for no reason cause there's nobody there, but if I don't do it with them they're all going to be killed. So I went and did it anyway. Anyway. So, there you see the film footage, there I am off in the distance and they interview this guy who's the engineer with the Red Cross and one of the things they say to him, they say, 'How can you do this? The British and the French took off. How can you do this?' And he said, 'Because of rescue engineer Doug Copp.' And then the camera went over to me, panned over to me and then I'm just there working."