A feature on the ArmyTimes.com by Jon R. Anderson reveals that a documentary-drama to be premiered on the Discovery Channel will present a different side to a widely popular story that surrounds the pirate-hostage drama involving the Maersk Alabama and its crew.
For our part, the way we understood the story and the situation – based on what we read at the time that the events were unfolding – was that the Alabama was boarded by pirates and that Capt. Phillips, in order to protect his crew, volunteered to stay with the pirates aboard a lifeboat. And the rest is history.
“Somali Pirate Takedown: The Real Story,” however, presents a perspective that is different from the story that has been widely circulated. The docu-drama includes interviews, re-enactments and background music that, brought together, tell the story of what happened during the entire pirate-hostage situation.
The Military Times was reportedly provided with a preview screening, and Anderson shared that instead of the story we all know about Phillips volunteering as hostage, the description of the situation by the crew who were interviewed seem to indicate that it was more of a hostage-exchange deal gone wrong. Apparently, the crew was able to capture one of the pirates, and had been negotiating with the other pirates about the possibility of allowing the men to escape using one of the ship’s lifeboats in exchange for letting the captured pirate go.
Capt. Phillips boarded the lifeboat in order to teach the pirates how to operate the vessel, but didn’t turn out right; the captain was not able to get off.
Capt. Phillips is not one of those who were interviewed for the documentary. His spokesperson, Allison Mc Coll, did not contest the content of the documentary, indicating that while media has painted a rather dramatic picture of heroism on the part of Capt. Phillips, he himself never really said anything of that sort. The captain’s objective was to protect his crew and his ship, and McColl confirmed that he did not volunteer to go with the pirates.
Also glaringly absent from the documentary are the Navy SEALs who brought an end to the saga. As we have already mentioned a number of times, being in the limelight is not part of their credo, and executive producer Chris Doyle expressed admiration for the SEALs.
“Somali Pirate Takedown: The Real Story” is set to premier on Sunday night on the Discovery Channel.