Posts Tagged ‘Brooke’s Point’


Where was Flier 66 years ago today? | Posted by Rebekah
Aug 31 2010

Hey everyone, if I can get 64 more people to visit this site before midnight tonight, that’ll be 4,000 visits this month, a record, and quite a nice one, wouldn’t you agree?

Back to the story.

Midnight passed, and the moon rose higher, causing the people in the kumpit to fear the maru might see them if they were really looking.  Howell kept working the CW Keying on the small radio, and Russo kept flickering the flashlight out into the night, though less enthusiastically than two hours before.

Suddenly Howell, checking his cry of success, told Russo to stop signaling, Redfin saw them!

They heard her before they saw her, she was steaming on the surface from out at sea.  Austin, on deck, ordered Redfin to reverse just before they came up on them to stop the giant steel sub from knocking over these small wooden boats.  They lowered the deck to just above the surface of the water, and Al was so eager to get onboard that he forgot his formal Navy manners and didn’t ask permission to board, just grabbed the first Redfin’s hand that reached for him and scrambled on board.  Of was 0043 (or 12: 43 am) August 31, 1944.  The Flier’s ordeal was over, after 18 days.

Everyone was quickly brought on board, including Mrs. Edwards, embarrassed to be seen without her carefully kept shoes.  Every pair except her best had long since rotted away in the humid environment.  She kept her best pair in their box so she would not have to be rescued, if rescue ever came, barefoot…only to discover, as Redfin approached, that a couple of years barefoot in the Philippine jungle caused her feet to swell so much her shoes would not fit!

Alastair was amazed to be on board a real submarine, though Heather, by most accounts, watched silently from her mother’s arms.

Redfin’s CO had news for everyone too:  faced with Americans needing evacuation, Redfin received orders two hours before to grab the evacuees and head straight for Darwin, Australia, the nearest Allied port, and not to attack anyone or reveal themselves in any way between now and then.

So when the Coastwatchers asked for a few donations (the Redfin agreed during Crowley and Austin’s radio interview the night before to giving a gallon of lubricating oil for the kumpit) the Redfins turned over everything that wasn’t needed for survival for seven days.  The list of things given is really amazing:

(2) .30-caliber Browning Automatic Rifles

(2) .30-caliber machine guns

(2) .45 caliber Thompson Machine Guns

(4) Springfield .30 caliber rifles

(10) .45 caliber Colt Pistols

(3) .30 Caliber M-1 Carbine Rifles

20,000 rounds of  .30 caliber ammo

3,000 rounds of .45 caliber ammo

2,800 rounds of .30 caliber ammo for the carbines

Writing Paper


Typewriter Ribbons

(3) Bags medical supplies including sulpha drugs, quinine and atrabrine to fight malaria




Canned Fruits and Vegetables

200 cartons cigarettes (it was 1944, lots of people smoked)

Playing Cards

Diesel Oil

Sulpheric Acid

Radio Tubes

Toilet Paper


And that’s just the list from the official inventory.  According to the Redfins, the men gave some of their change of clothes and one even handed over his pair of 9-1/2 shoes for Mr. Edwards when he heard Mr. Edwards had none.

If the Japanese feared Brooke’s Point before, they would doubly now, since Coastwatchers and guerrillas were well armed, had real ammo, and were well fed, entertained, clothed and shod.  This list, I think, shows something else: how little these people had been operating with for years.  It really makes their story just as amazing as the survivors.

That Japanese ship just sat there though.  Captain Austin,  who was shocked to see Palacido, who he had dropped off two months earlier a hundred miles south, suggested that his men might need some deck gun practice.  If he did, would Palacido  be sure to be responsible and clean the beach of any and all supplies and capture any men who washed up?

Palacido eagerly agreed, and the men left on the kumpits, now heavily laden with the equivalent of four years of Christmas.

The refugees were hustled downstairs and the civilians were quickly assigned cabins where they were required to stay unless they were escorted by a member of the crew to the head or the Mess.  It may sound cruel, but it was a necessary step to ensure everyone’s safety in case of trouble.  Civilians would not be rushing around, getting in the way of crew members who would be trying to help.

George, Charlie and Red, despite being military, were also confined to cabins, since they were not qualified by the Sub School to be on a submarine.

Only the Fliers were permitted some freedom, though it was limited since they had no duty stations, the three Flier officers were not going to be part of the decision making of this crew, and at most, they were free to throw themselves in any unoccupied bunk to try and rest.

Redfin soon shuddered under the  thunder of her three deck guns.  The first flash blinded the gunners themselves, who had to rely on the directions given by the lookouts overhead.

The Maru, now in danger, quickly picked up her anchor and headed south,hugging the the coast all the way.  She must have had a very shallow draft, since she glided over coral reefs Austin didn’t dare send Redfin into, or even shoot a torpedo at (they had a tendency to blow up coral reefs ather than ships over coral reefs)

It was over, the Redfin turned her nose south west, heading away from Flier’s last route through Makassar, and away from Flier’s last position.  Of the eight men who would forever remember their shipmates, only one would ever see those islands again.

And Captain Crowley, once again through no fault of his own, faced investigation into the loss of his boat.  The same boat.

Enemy Surprise

Where was Flier 66 years ago today? | Posted by Rebekah
Aug 30 2010

It was the morning of departure.  After Captain Austin and Captain Crowley finalized the last steps to evacuation the message went out to the local people:  if you’re coming, you have 12 hours to get rid of your possessions and report to the base.

The Coastwatchers, of course, were staying.  All of them being on Filipino descent, they at least LOOKED the part, even if they could not speak the language in a tight corner.

Despite being American and having two daughters attending college in the US, Mr. Edwards and his wife and youngest daughter decided to stay too.  Mrs. Edwards, being local to the area, could rely on her family and people to hide her husband if necessary, and the Edwards felt that they could still do a lot of good for the people of the Brooke’s Point area.

The Sutherlands reported to the clearing early in the morning.  Alastair Sutherland was agog that his prayers had come true so precisely, and they were about to go on a submarine.  George, Red and Charlie were ready, as was Henry Garretson, as well as a new member of the party.

He was tall and thin, and likely spoke with an Scandinavian accent.  his name was Vens Taivo Kierson, born in Finland, emigrated with his family to the northwest US when he was about 15, and now experienced world traveler.  He actually left school to become a topper for a lumber company that felled trees for Boeing to build their plane frames.  When aircraft manufacturers started to build frames from steel rather than lumber, he learned to salvage dive and moved to Alaska.  He received a huge bonus from one of his clients when he recovered something from a recent shipwreck which enabled him to tour the Pacific.  Soon, he began working salvage in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and the Philippines.  He fought the Japanese during the (what is now known as) First Battle of Shanghai in 1932, helped the Philippine Army until the invasion of Manila and was Garretson’s partner in the salvage of the SS Panay. Why had the Fliers not seen him before now?

He had been conducting a scouting and trading mission around the island.  A couple of months earlier, a Japanese ship grounded.  The crew got off, but couldn’t take any of the cargo with them.  Kierson salvaged pretty much everything that could be carried off  the ship before the official salvage team could get there.  This haul of rifles, medicine, money, liquor, food stuffs, paper, charts and more was a godsend, and Keirson set off on a tour of the island, gathering intelligence, trading the goods for other needed items and checking in with the local guerrilla factions.

He had one other talent: transforming Japanese mines into ammunition.

Japanese mines of the time period were designed to deactivate if they came loose from their chains and floated to the surface.  This was obviously because a floating mine was dangerous to everyone, friend or foe.  Occasionally, one of these loose mines would come to rest on the beaches of Palawan.  Using a technique he’d invented and developed on Negros, Kierson would dismatle the thing to get at the black powder charge which he would put in the empty ammo shells and top with small, carefully selected and shaped pebbles for bullets, thus keeping the guerrillas on Palawan in ammunition after the official stuff had long since be used up.  It was more than tricky work, and those mines, as it turned out, rarely deactivated when they popped up on the surface, so deactivating the mines was a tricky and dangerous business.

He taught the guerrillas everything he knew, and now, with an opportunity to escape, the guerrillas were insisting that Kierson leave for his own protection.

Eight Fliers, the four Sutherlands, Charlie, Red, George, Garretson and Kierson…seventeen extra people  on an already crowded boat, and more than half unqualified and/or civilians, on patrol for who knows how long.  If Redfin had been assigned a similar length of patrol as Flier, they still had about three or four weeks left.

After breakfast, the group set off for the beach, the Flier’s feet now healed enough that most of them walked a good distance down the mountain.

But an ugly surprise waited for them:  that morning, a Japanese shipping vessel dropped anchor offshore, less than a mile from the planned rendezvous point.  Even more eerie, no one could see any sailors on the decks or pilothouse, it was as if she was abandoned.

Had they been found out?  Was the Maru waiting for Redfin to show herself before blowing them all away?  Was she bait for the rest of the convoy, lying in wait somewhere out of sight?

No one knew, but the three officers of Flier had to make a decision.  If the maru didn’t move by nightfall, would they try to make for the rendezvous point anyway, hoping the maru would miss them in the darkness?  Should they skip the attempt tonight and hope the maru would move during the night or next day and they can try again the following night on the backup date?

In the end, the officers decided to ask the civilians if they would be willing to risk the trip tonight, keeping the small boats further away from the maru and the rendezvous point than previously planned, and using the radio Howell fixed to call Redfin, since there was no way they could safely hang the lanterns in the lighthouse for the “all safe” signal to get Redfin to show herself.    The civilians quickly agreed to try that night.

After sunset, and farewells for a bunch of people who likely would never see each other again, the small crafts took off.   They headed south before looping west in a great arc, keeping a safe distance from the maru.  Howell kept calling with the radio, trying to raise the Redfin, then trying CW Keying (a variation on telegraph) in case there was something wrong.

After an hour of trying to raise the Redfin, Howell suddenly heard a staticy message.  Redfin couldn’t see them, and the CW Keying was coming through more clearly.  Howell abandoned the voice radio to concentrate on the CW Keying, while Russo grabbed a flashlight (some accounts say a shuttered lantern) and began to signal to the Redfin with it.

An hour passed, then another.  It was now midnight.  There was no sign of the Redfin, and no sign of life from the strange maru anchored too closely for comfort.

To Brooke’s Point, now hurry up and wait

Where was Flier 66 years ago today? | Posted by Rebekah
Aug 23 2010

Sorry about last night.  Our wireless router decided to bite the dust, so we were offline for quite a while.  Thank goodness for my genius husband, he rigged the desktop to hardwire into the the Internet so I’m back, but it did screw up the timeline a little bit.

So we left the Flier survivors asleep at Rio Tuba, and by sunrise the next morning, they were treated to another meal by their gracious hosts, who turned out to be a married couple with their daughter who had recently married a young man from Brooke’s Point area.

The daughter and her husband planned to leave that morning on foot to walk the fifty plus miles to Brooke’s Point,but when the family discovered that was where the kumpit was heading, they asked if there would be room for the newleyweds…and all the bride’s dowry.

On a sixteen foot boat that was already hauling twelve people, there wasn’t really, but custom dictated that they agree, and so the Fliers found themselves sharing the little deck space with two more bodies and all the bride’s worldy goods including sacks of rice, bundles of clothes, kitchen goods, and live chickens.

The kumpit was so weighed down that she only cleared the water by a few inches and could only sluggishly lumber through the waves.  In fact, she was so slow, Sailor opted to leave her in the care of de la Cruz and the two deckhands and run north for a couple hours to visit his wife and kids, then swim out to the kumpit later.

They spent a cramped night aboard, and the following they got to Brooke’s Point, where they met the Captain of the guerillas based at Brooke’s Point, Captain Nazario Major.  As it turned out, the abandoned house they sheltered at on Bugsuk Island belonged to Major before the war, and he was the one who poisoned the cistern in case the Japanese landed.

Brooke’s Point had been a small coastal village before the war, but now appeared bombed and burnt, with little sign of its inhabitants.  Posters looking for American and Scottish families Edwards and Sutherland were scattered around, dropped by planes, offering significant monetary rewards for turning them in to the Japanese.  Only Major’s home remained near the beach.

Mrs. Major invited everyone in for a meal, and while they were eating, Mr. Edwards and Captain Armando Corpus, the leader of the American Army Coastwatchers came in and introduced themselves.  Due to the fact that Mr. Edwards was being hunted by the Japanese and there were too many Coastwatchers to stay on the beach, they lived a few miles inland on the slopes of Addison Peak, where the Fliers would be taken after the meal.

Captain Crowley asked during this meal if the Japanese knew there was such a large contingent of guerillas here, and everyone laughed.  They knew all right, and had actually landed a group of 20 soldiers on the beach on July 20, looking to quash the rebellion.  The official report of that day read like this:

“Enemy casualties-20.  Our casualties-sore trigger  fingers.”

They hadn’t been back.  Nonetheless, if the white skin of the Fliers happened to be seen by a passing patrolboat, the chances of another landing would be high, along with larger numbers of soldiers.

After lunch, Edwards and Corpus took off for the mountain camp  on foot, but the Fliers were in no condition to take that hike, so a carabao cart had been sent for them.

Before leaving however, Howell, the Radio Technician, discovered that the Coastwatchers beach radio was broken and unable to work, limiting the Coastwatchers ability to contact the outside world.  Howell asked and received permission to stay on the beach to fix the radio there.  Thankfully, there was another one on the mountain, but having the second one was important.

The carabao ride was fairly funny to Al.  The carabao decided to wallow in every mudpuddle it found, and there were a lot of puddles.  The young boy entrusted with bringing the Fliers to Addison tried to encourage the carabao to move in every way he could including beating it with a stick, but the carabao moved when it wanted to, and no sooner.

They finally reached the encampment near sunset.   There were two houses there, once built by Mr. Edwards  for his family, and one built by Captain Major for his if the Japanese invaded the beach.  The Coastwatchers stayed in the Major home in the meantime.

The enlisted guys were invited to stay at the Coastwatchers house and the officers to stay with the Edwards house, which already included Harry Garretson, an American salvage diver who was trapped in the Philippines and now bedridden with malaria.

It was a good camp, and now came the hard part: waiting to see what HQ would do.   Would they be rescued, or would they be asked to wait behind enemy lines for a while–or until the end of the war?

Guerilla Headquarters

Where was Flier 66 years ago today? | Posted by Rebekah
Aug 21 2010

The waters north of Bugsuk Island are riddled with reefs and shallow places.  The charts clearly mark more places that are “exposed at low tide” and “passable at high tide” and “passible by shallow-bottomed boats” than they do the actual path through.

Sula LaHud, who the Fliers quickly re-named “Sailor” in respect for his amazing talents, knew the way, and darkness or treacherous waters were nothing to him, this was his home after all.  He was a Moro Trader, and according to what I can find, a Moro is a general term for a Muslim resident from (mostly) southern Palawan Island.  They apparently do not call themselves Moro, though they will recognize that you are referring to them if you use it (they don’t consider it an insult), and from what little I can find, they have never been united under any one leadership, or political entity.  I guess it’s like being from Michigan, and being called a Troll.  We don’t call ourselves that, but if someone does, we know two things: 1,) They are also Michganders and 2.) They are from the Upper Penninsula.  (People from Lower Peninsula in Michigan are Trolls cause we live under the (Mackinaw) Bridge, get it?)  But we don’t call ourselves that and we certainly aren’t united politically that way (The Troll Party of Michigan.  We believe in eating anyone who crosses our bridge.   Hey, where did everyone go?)

Oh dear, I really am sleep deprived.

Anyway, this man was apparently well known to everyone as one of the best traders and navigators in the area, and Al and the other Fliers marveled at how easily he slipped his boat through the waves, even though, just before sunset, they could see corals just inches below the waters on either side of the boat, but the boat would slide past them quickly with only a few words passing between Sailor and his two young helpers.

Taken from my book, "Surviving the Flier", and based on a map originally drawn by survivor Al Jacobson, this shows the path from the morning they were taken into the care of guerillas to landing at Brooke's Point. Note the really twisted path the boat had to take from the northern tip of Bugsuk Island to the southern tip of Palawan. If you saw this on Google Earth overhead (which I can't access on this computer right now) you would see this path corresponds to the only dark blue (deep water) path from Bugsuk to Baliluyan.

They landed without incident at Cape Baliluyan at 3 am that morning, and the guerillas were waiting for them.  They ran down to the beach, unloaded everyone and everything from Sailor’s kumpit, dragged it under cover and got everyone to the shelter as quickly as they could.

These men, the Fliers quickly learned, were mostly college students or graduates, or even teachers before the war, but now they fought against the Japanese stranglehold on the island.  They did this so well on the southern half of Palawan that they nicknamed it “Free Palawan”.  The Japanese knew they were there, and though they strongly held the northern half of Palawan (where the POW camp was) and Balabac Island, they tended to steer clear of this area so long as the guerillas weren’t too obvious about what they were up to.

There had been almost no news in this area since the fall of Manila in 1942, and these men were desperate for news of the outside world and hung on to every word the men could tell them about the defeat of the Japanese in Guadalcanal, the Bismark Sea, the Coral Sea, the Marianas, even as near as the Philippine Sea.  All news was censored and highly classified here, and these men knew none of what had happened and were jubulient to learn that, despite appearances here, the Japanese hold was weakening.

The next morning, after breakfast, the head of these Guerillas, Seargent Pasqual De la Cruz, gave them a gift.  All the guerillas donated every spare bit of clothing they had so the Fliers could walk around in something other than their boxers and t-shirts.  Again, these men had no new clothing in four years, and they didn’t know how soon they might get more, so this was an incredibly generous gift.  Each Flier man found a pair of pants that would fit him, and Al was one of the few who found a shirt that fit (though he said it was so tight it would not button across his chest).

Then de la Cruz started to question the Fliers, asking their names, ranks, serials, boat’s name, how long at sea.  There wasn’t much Captain Crowley was permitted to tell him, even though he was an Ally.  One never knew if he would be captured and tortured in the next few days or weeks after all.  But during this time, everyone discovered something no one suspected up until now:  De la Cruz had sent his men to find submariners from a boat he heard rumors of sinking OVER A MONTH BEFORE.  Sarmiento and the Bugsuk Battalion was looking for sailors that had escaped another submarine, not Flier.

De La Cruz, away from the other Fliers, gave Captain Crowley news saying he had spent the better part of the last two weeks on Balabac Island chasing down rumors of captured navy men.  He didn’t know the name of the boat, though he was certain it was a submarine, but he did hear two names: Tucker and Martin, and that they had been captured while the others with them had been killed (depending on who he interviewed, either they were killed trying to escape or killed in cold blood after their capture.  There were also rumors of two more men, but he didn’t get their names).  He also told Crowley that the submarine these two had been on had been in Darwin Australia on or around June 28.  If Crowley got back to the Allied territory, he was supposed to pass that information on.

After a dinner of, yup, more rice, and a special treat of thinly slicked and cured carabao meat (Jacobson said despite being so thin either the meat was so tough or their jaws were so weak they could barely chew it) it was time to go.  Sarmiento decided to go back to Bugsuk to keep an eye out for more survivors and resume his duties.

The Fliers were on schedule to get to Brooke’s Point, the Coastwatcher’s place, the following morning.

But there ended up being a snag.  Shortly after leaving Cape Baliluyan, Sailor’s boat came across a Japanese patrol boat.  With twelve people on such a little craft (eight Fliers, Sailor and his two boys plus de la Cruz who came to give a report to Brooke’s Point) the Filipinos knew that there was no way the Japanese patrol would think this was a fishing boat if they spotted it.  Sailor pulled his craft closer to shore, where he had to maneuver more delicately through the corals, and had the boys drop the sail to make their craft harder to see.

The patrol boat took its sweet time, plodding slowly down the coast of Palawan, and by the time Sailor thought it was safe enough to raise the sail, the wind had died.  De la Cruz, the boys, and Sailor took turns rowing through the sea, but they just couldn’t make enough progress.

In the end, Sailor decided that since they weren’t going to make Brooke’s Point before the first aerial patrols the next morning, it was better to stop for the night.  Sailor knew of a family that lived nearby, and so they landed at Rio Tuba, a tiny two-hut village three miles up the Tuba River.  The men were quickly ushered into one of the houses, where they fell asleep.

The Robalo and the Coastwatchers

Where was Flier 66 years ago today? | Posted by Rebekah
Jul 19 2010

Well the days of R&R for the Fliers and the Redfins are drawing to a close, so we’ ll leave them to their amusements and go to the Coastwatchers and the Robalo.

The Coastwatchers, who left the Redfin and landed on Ramos Island on June 8, found more trouble than they had been prepared for.  To begin with, it was the rainy season, and they day after they landed, it POURED.  Rain, plus electronic components wrapped in non-waterproof cases equals…well, nothing I can write here.

They had to open all the containers and spread everything out all over the  campsite to dry.  It was hot and extremely humid and as anyone who has ever tried to dry clothes on the line in those conditions, or in a steamy bathroom can tell you, it takes forever.

In the meantime, the local people found them.  One of the first men who found them was a Filipino who had escaped the Japanese Prison Camp at Puerto Princesa on Palawan.  He was the first to tell them about the conditions of the prisoners there.  He also told them that the Japanese were camped too close and that it was too dangerous to remain.  In addition, according to the official report, he told them to not trust any non Christians, since they will happily report their presence for little money.

On June 23, they moved to Mantangule Island, using several kumpits they hired for the journey.  They day after they landed on Mantangule, it rained.  Again.  They had to dry out all of their equipment.  Again.

While they were doing this, Sgt. Corpus left the camp in the care of Sgt. Palacido the second in command, to head for Brooke’s Point, to make contact with the guerilla command in that area.  He also had a message for one Mr. Edwards of Brooke’s Point (He’ll show up again).  It said that his two oldest girls had been safely delivered to the USA and college.

By July 6, when the Fliers were enjoying their first days of freedom and the Redfins were one day from Darwin and the Robalo was already four days past her final transmission, the Coastwatchers finally got their equipment dry enough to contact headquarters and tell them they were fine, and where they were now located.

On July 8, Sgt. Palacido de la Cruz of the Cape Baliluyan guerillas, George Marquez (remember these two, they’ll show up again) along with the police chief of Balabac City found the Coastwatchers on Mantangule, and listened to their first radio news broadcast since the war fell.  In the Philippines, it was easy to believe the Japanese were winning, since their grip was still tight, but it was rapidly breaking elsewhere.

Two days after that, Corpus returned from Brooke’s Point with Captain Nazario Mayor of the Brooke’s Point guerillas (and he’ll reappear too) along with his guerilla contingent with many kumpits and fishing boats, to move everyone to Brooke’s Point.  They said the Japanese, while not stationed on Mantangule, patrolled nearby regularly and would probably find the Coastwatchers before the month was out.  Considering how frequently everyone else found them, they might have been right.  Mayor even said he was shocked to find they were still alive.  He had all but convinced Corpus that his men were certainly killed or captured in the week he’d been gone.

So they packed up one more time, and headed to Brooke’s Point, landing sixty-six years ago today.  But already there was a disturbing rumor that Pasqual de la Cruz started to look into.

Robalo had not returned any calls or radioed her position.  No one was alarmed yet.  Some submarines went several days between transmissions, since it could be too dangerous if they were near an enemy installment.

But on or shortly after July 3, a story started to circulate among the native peoples of Balabac City that there had been four to six submariners that washed up on the beaches of Comiran Island.  Their submarine had exploded and sank in Lumbucan Channel, south of Comiran Island.  Two had been captured, at least two more shot while escaping or shot after capture, and possibly two escaping.  The story was very muddled, some saying only four had made it to Comiran, some four captured and two executed, some all six captured with no executions, and de la Cruz was on his way to Balabac Island to check the truth of this story.

Courtesy of the family of Al Jacobson, and Mr. Jacobson's trip to the Philippines to retrace his and the possibly Robalo survivors steps, we see here the actual beach of Comiran Island. This place is so tiny it doesn't matter how closely you zoom in on Google Earth, it won't show. The only two ways through Balabac Strait is either through Natsubata Channel north of this island, or Lumbucan Channel, south of it. If the 1944 rumors de la Cruz heard are true, Robalo might be under Lumbucan Channel. But some of those rumors listed other places she went down. The proper name for this island is Comiran, despite the caption above.

It was slow going, for apparently all witnesses to this story were Japanese, who obviously were not going to verify anything to him.  He found enough corroborating information to make him think the story was likely true in essentials, and he had some details to back it up.

It took most of the end of July and the first half of August, but he managed to get two surnames of the alleged captured submariners who were being held in Balabac City: Lieutenant Tucker and Quartermaster Martin.  He kept those names to himself as well as two more pieces of information he was able to glean: the name USS Robalo, and the fact her last point of call had been Port Darwin on or around June 29.  This trip took him some time, but it would end up likely saving the lives of some, if not all of the Flier survivors.

I thought a map of the current complex movements might help. You'll be looking at a lot of this area over the next six weeks. Please remember that until the wreck of the Robalo is found, that anything that may or may not have happened to her is part detective work, and mostly speculation.