It seems that the businessman apologized only in public, but in fact did not change his mind.
In correspondence with BuzzFeed News via e-mail, Elon Musk called rescuer Vernon Unsworth “child rapist” and accused of marrying a 12-year-old girl. He specified that he “hopes” for the promised legal action on the part of the diver.
Musk returned to attacking the diver in one of the letters he sent “off the record”. For journalists for ethical reasons, it is not customary to use information with such a note, since the speaker does not expect his words to be published after that.
However, BuzzFeed News explained that the practice of “not recording” is possible only when both sides agree to conduct a conversation in this format. The publication noted that they did not agree with this condition in the correspondence, but did not explain whether it was done before or after the message by Musk.
Correspondence of the publication with the entrepreneur began with a comment request. Journalists wanted to know the opinion of the mask about the threat of the trial, which was made by the lawyer of the rescuer in August 2018.
The businessman answered twice, in the first report he called the journalists “fucking assholes”. Musk invited them to contact all friends in Thailand, to find out what was happening and “stop protecting child rapists.” After this, the entrepreneur stated that Unsworth moved to Thailand to marry a minor girl.
“He’s an old, single white guy from England who’s been travelling to or living in Thailand for 30 to 40 years, mostly Pattaya Beach, until moving to Chiang Rai for a child bride who was about 12 years old at the time.”
Elon Musk in correspondance with BuzzFeed News
Head of Tesla separately noted that the threat of legal action for some reason “magically” appeared only when he himself raised this issue on Twitter. On August 28, Musk responded to the user under the pseudonym yoda about the situation with the diver, hinting that he continues to consider him a pedophile, since he did not sue him because of false accusations. At the end of the message, Mask added that he hoped for the promised trial.
You don’t think it’s strange he hasn’t sued me? He was offered free legal services. And you call yourself @yoda …
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 28, 2018
As noted by BuzzFeed News, it is unclear why Musk confidently continues to consider Unsworth as a pedophile. The head of Tesla did not provide any evidence in favor of this version, and the journalists could not find any complaints about the diver in his past.
BuzzFeed News, talked with the migration services of Thailand, where they told that those who violated the law in the country usually do not issue a visa for entry anymore. Also, journalists contacted Woranan Ratrawiphukkun, who had been Unsworth’s girl for a long time. Ratrawiphukkun said she is 40, and declined to comment on Musk’s allegations against Unsworth, and referred a reporter to his lawyers.
However, on this Musk did not stop and sent a second letter with a note “On background”, in which he told about the details of the operation to save children in Thailand. According to the entrepreneur, Unsworth’s statement that the head of Tesla was asked to leave is “utterly false.”
Musk said that in fact the Prime Minister thanked him in writing and attached a copy of the document to the letter. Also, the businessman noted that during his time at the caves, he had never seen Unsworth and was told that the rescuer was banned from the site.
The head of Tesla paid special attention to the mini-submarine, which the diver criticized. Musk explained that it was developed according to specifications, which were obtained directly from the rescue team. The only reason it was not used, according to the businessman, was that almost all the water was pumped out of the caves. Musk also said that the most important in the rescue operation were pumps, which were provided by “some company in India.”
However, the media and the participants in the rescue operation maintain that although Unsworth himself did not dive into the water, but was the only one who knew the caves well and personally hired some divers. For example, the rescuer Richard Stanton, who discovered the children, was referred to by the Musk on the correspondence with the submarine, he denied the entrepreneur’s words.
“I’ve no idea what gave you those concerns about Vern. They are completely unfounded. He was never kicked off site by anyone and worked continuously on the rescue for the full duration. He was pivotal to the entire operation.”
British diver on the rescue mission who had previously been in contact with Musk
Australian experts Richard Harris and Craig Challen, which the Thai authorities have involved in the operation, also opposed Musk.
“Vern seemed like an excellent guy and absolutely vital to the mission. You must be confusing him with someone else.”
Richard Harris and Craig Challen
As noted by BuzzFeed News, photos and videos published in Facebook by Unsworth girlfriend and local media show that the rescuer was in place of the rescue operation. On some of them he poses with other British divers.
In a conversation with reporters, Richard Stanton also denied that the mini-submarine was not used only because of the ability to pump out all the water. The rescuer also began to deny that he gave Musk any technical characteristics necessary to build a submarine.
“We didn’t use the tube because rescue operations were already well underway and it didn’t have the necessary life support systems. Essentially, it wasn’t developed enough. I do think it has promise in certain situations and I hope they keep working on it to get it in shape for evaluation and to be considered as a viable alternative in future underwater rescue scenarios.”
talking to BuzzFeed News
The conflict between Musk and Unsworth began on July 13, when the rescuer stated that the submarine of the businessman was “completely useless” and could hardly have crossed even 50 meters inside the caves. In response, the head of Tesla called the diver a pedophile and said that his submarine could go all the way to the fifth cave where the children were. Soon after, Mask removed all the tweets and apologized, and the diver promised to file a suit against the businessman in court.