Sunday, October 10, 2004

Pushing the boundaries of weirdness

A curious tale reaches the Ranter from darkest Papua New Guinea, that nation the size of Germany but without roads and with betel nut, rugby league, over 700 mutually incomprehensible languages and a lot of pigs. It all started when a Cessna Citation business jet landed without telling anybody at the airstrip on Bougainville, home to the world's biggest nickel mine and a long-running rebellion. Due to rebels, neither the mine nor the airfield have worked since 1989. But that didn't put them off. Two men left the aircraft and headed for rebel country.

Later, the PNG government got wind of this. The pilots were arrested and the plane impounded. Investigations linked the whole thing to a curious tax-evasion scheme involving a self-proclaimed state, whose website can be found here: link Apparently, the passengers were on their way to visit a rebel who calls himself King of Bougainville, and is possibly the same man as a fraudster who was involved in various political scandals in PNG. This might be passing curious but no more, if it wasn't for a strange connection. The aircrew have claimed that their passengers were on their way there to discuss a contract to build clinics with a US firm called Majestic Capital Management. (Link)

Weirdly, the only Google results for this firm comprise a reference at a conference on Christians in business, a reference on a discussion forum devoted to scams, and two entries in lists of donors - to George W. Bush's reelection campaign. (Link to evidence) The passengers, for their part, are somewhere in the jungles of central Bougainville, perhaps heading for the Solomon Islands where they are said to have powerful contacts.

Now that's really weird. (edit: link restored)

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