Washington, May 10: People falsely claiming to be veterans of the elite US Navy Seals has “skyrocketed” since the May 1 raid that killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, a watchdog has claimed.
A central Pennsylvania pastor Jim Moats, who claimed to be a Navy Seal and Vietnam vet was recently exposed as a fraud.
He said he was an ex-Seal who has seen combat during the Vietnam War.
A paper published a glowing profile of Moats, who reminisced about being waterboarded and about being reassigned to kitchen duty for bad behavior.
After reading it, Don Shipley, a real ex-Seal in Chesapeake, who spends much of his time identifying and confronting men who claim to have served among the military revealed that Moats was never in the Seals.
He said Moats had served in the Navy during the Vietnam era, but as a sailor aboard a ship in the Mediterranean. He had never been to Vietnam or seen combat.
“It’s always shocking to find this. He’s gotten away with this for a very long time,” ABC News quoted Shipley, as saying.
Shipley also figured out why the Moats’ tales of waterboarding and kitchen duty sounded familiar. They were a mashup of plot points from the Steven Seagal movie “Under Siege” and the Demi Moore flick “G.I. Jane”.
Moats later confessed that he had lied and he never served as Navy Seal.
“I never served as an actual Seal. It was my dream. I have allowed people to assume that, and I have not corrected it,” he said.
Shipley said that even before the Abbottabad raid he found as many as 20 fakers a day who attempted in some way to portray themselves as former Navy Seals.
But since the Seals’ role in Osama’s death has been made public, the group has taken on an even more exclusive significance, and the number of phony Seals has soared. (ANI)