|On the next morning, I boarded the Persistence along with Louis Schaefer and Tim Miller staying on the boat for the next 24 hours as they continued to scan the ocean bottom. The staff was impressive—capable, bright, and extremely motivated working essentially through the entire night. Clearly this was going to be one quality search. I can’t say enough good things about the group among others Kyle Kingman and Rob Floyce—the geologists who interpreted the data-- along with Brandon Hernandez of the ROV team already aboard. We had several interesting discussions both on deck and in the relatively small galley. At one point, boat owner and captain John Silvetti voiced his complaints about not having an exact description of the missing “crab cage” which he had been requesting for several weeks—the identical frustration Louis had voiced to me earlier. Tim Miller had come up with an approximate cage size from the best reports he could obtain. The search team was having a model cage constructed along these lines with plans to drop it underwater and obtain as accurate a scan signature as possible to enable quicker identification of the real cage.|
This December 19 entry is actually quite telling:
At one point, boat owner and captain John Silvetti voiced his complaints about not having an exact description of the missing “crab cage” which he had been requesting for several weeks—the identical frustration Louis had voiced to me earlier.
The police said that their investigations revealed that no fish trap was stolen. Tim Miller, Dave Holloway, TJ Ward and now Andrew Hodges seem to be basing so much on a missing fish trap, or cage, they actually vacillate back and forth on which it is on something that has never been declared missing by Aruban Law Enforcement.
Here is Chief Gerald Dompig's statement about the missing fish trap, from October 25, 2005 on MSNBC.
GERALD DOMPIG, ARUBA POLICE COMMISIONER: Well, that‘s basically the reason why we are looking at the ocean right now, because, although we don‘t have an official statement or declaration that a fishing trap has been missing, there are enough rumors out there that we—lead us to believe that maybe that is the case. You should understand that these fish traps are—some of these fishermen have like 200, 100 to 200 of these fish traps, so they might not miss one. What is officially reported as stolen, though, is a big knife, and out of one of the fisher—fisherman‘s huts or—yes, where they keep their stuff, you could say. And that‘s the basis for us to search in the ocean.
This image has circulated on line as what this trap might look like. But still there is no record of one being stolen.
The next day, Louis and I left the boat while Tim Miller went back out. It was clear the first part of the search was going to take longer (before the ROV team was called upon) and we both had business in the U.S. I took him to the airport the next afternoon and he planned on returning after Christmas as did I. That afternoon (December 20th) I met with Diario publisher Jossy Mansur in his office for an hour or more to discuss the case in person. Jossy told me several things in person he had not been able to reveal over the phone—and gave me a good feel for the politics of the investigation and future investigation should Natalee’s body be discovered. We discussed my profile in more depth.
Later that afternoon, I drove out to the Lighthouse and then walked down the beach from the Holiday Inn to Fisherman’s Huts. Indeed it’s not a long walk going right past the nearby marina between the Holiday Inn and Marriott where the Gottenbos boat was moored.
Another troubling aspect to Hodges analysis is this references to discussions with Jossy Mansur. He says they had had been in contact by phone. And now Jossy is telling him details of the investigation in person. Details of what? Just how has Jossy been able to have real details of this investigation? Jossy is not part of law enforcement and yet Jossy has been embroiled into this case like no other and always since day one casting the blame square on Joran van der Sloot and to a lessor degree the Kalpoes. Jossy would only be able to offer up speculation and more theories based either on rumors or some of the false leads which often came from Jossy or Jossy helpers. It is very disconcerting to see how Hodges is linked with Jossy Mansur.