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NEW: Tommy Caldwell Pt. 1


The listeners it's Carter first and foremost I'd like to take a moment to thank you for listening to park. Asked you to make some major adjustments to adapt to these unprecedented times but with your loyalty and the podcast staff. We've been able to do so. We thank you for your patience and that I am pleased to announce that there will be no more interruptions to. You're listening experience due to Kovic. Nineteen bringing you all new episodes today and for the foreseeable future from all of us here at par cast. We hope that you and your families are safe and healthy. Thank you again for your patients. We hope you enjoy these. New episodes are cast listeners. We have big news. Starting may seventh all past and future episodes of hostage or moving exclusively to spotify may seventh also kicks off our gripping three part series on the Iran hostage crisis chronicling the four hundred forty four day standoff that captivated the world. So if you're listening somewhere other than spotify we WANNA make sure you don't miss out on all of these incredible episodes to ensure this you can download the spotify APP for free today. No payment is required. And you can listen to all of your favorite podcasts and music all in one place every podcast on spotify features a follow button so by following. You'll get new episodes right in your library. You'll also be able to access the entire back catalogue whenever you want simply type hostage in the spotify search bar and start listening for free today. New episodes of hostage premier every Thursday. Get them as soon as they come out free. And only on spotify this episode features discussion of kidnapping and violence that some people may find offensive listener discretion is advised especially for children under thirteen at six fifteen am on August twelfth. Two Thousand Twenty. Two Year Old Professional Rock Climber Tommy Caldwell woke to the sound of gunfire. He'd spent the previous day climbing in a remote area of beautiful southern Kirghistan with his girlfriend. Beth Rodman and their friends John Dickie and Jason Singer Smith exhausted and happy. The American climbers fell asleep halfway up. The side of a mountain suspended in two lightweight portable tents called porter alleges hours later they were jarred. Awake by gunshots. Tommy's first instinct was to protect Beth and to quickly get them both to safety but there was no place to run. They were trapped one thousand feet in the air. The bullets hit the rock wall. Above the climbers sending chunks of granite raining down on their tents. They cautiously peaked over the edge of the report. Alleges at the base of the Rock Wall stood three armed men waving urgently for them to come down. Tommy looked at bath. He knew they had no other option. This is hostage a podcast original every week. We tell the stories behind the most captivating hostage situations and the people inside them. We'll also cover. The psychological tactics used in kidnapping situations. And what the human brain does when held captive. I'm Irma Blanco. And I'm Carter Roy. You can find episodes of hostage and all other park asked originals for free on spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to stream hostage for free on spotify. Just open the APP and type hostage in the search bar at par cast. Were grateful for you our listeners. You allow us to do what we love. Let us know how we're doing reach out on facebook and Instagram at podcast and twitter at podcast network? This is our first episode about the kidnapping of twenty two year. Old Professional. Rock climbers. Tommy Caldwell his girlfriend Beth rotten and their friends John Dickie and Jason Singer Smith on August. Twelve two thousand while exploring the Kara Su Valley region of southern Kirghistan. The four Americans were taken captive by a militant organization known as the Islamic Movement of us. Becca Stan or the I M you. This week will learn about the early days and motivation of the Al Qaeda affiliated. I M you will get to know. Professional Rock climber and Avid outdoorsman. Tommy Caldwell and find out how he and his group of Young Adventures became hostages next week will recount the Americans Harrowing six days of captivity. And what they did to survive. We'll also learn how Tommy was forced to make the most difficult decision of his life in order to secure their escape. Kirghistan is a landlocked mountainous country in Central Asia. It's bordered by Ouzbekistan to the West and southwest and China to the East Rock. Climbing and Kirghistan can be traced back to the nineteen thirties when the first Soviet climbers and geographers visited to catalog the region's towering peaks and by the nineteen fifties. The Kirgiz Mountains were a destination for both Soviet alpinists and many of the world's best climbers after the fall of the Soviet Union in one thousand nine hundred ninety one Kirghistan became even more popular with American and European sports climbers breathtakingly beautiful and full of challenging routes. It's southwest region came to be nicknamed the Yosemite of Central Asia by the climbing community. But by the late nineteen ninety s southern Kirghistan was also a political hot zone. The collapse of the Soviet Union in Nineteen ninety-one plunged several newly independent Central Asian states including Kirghistan into economic and social chaos. Meanwhile in nearby. Who's Becca Stan? An ambitious Soviet trained politician named Islam Korea. Mov took advantage of the uncertain times to establish his political power. Karima quickly established authoritarian government severely restricting religious freedoms and jailing anyone who criticized his regime around the same time and is Becky born Muslim named Juma Naaman Ghani became radicalized opposed to Kareem of Policy Naaman Ghani associated with several Islamic fundamentalist groups before co founding the Islamic movement of US Becca Stan or the IMU in Nineteen Ninety eight the IMU's primary goal was to overthrow Kareem. Moths oppressive government and to establish an independent Islamic state. In the Ghana valley the Forgotten Valley is a stronghold of Islamic culture overlapping Eastern. Who's Becca Stan? And the southern Buckton region of Kirghistan. It is just adjacent to Kirghistan rock climbing area. They Yosemite of Central Asia following their founding in nineteen ninety eight the. Im you received the approval of the Taliban who gave them permission to establish a base in Afghanistan they were also given substantial financial assistance from the al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden with money to fund their operations and a safe haven in nearby Afghanistan the. Im you set out to accomplish. Its goals first on the list was rigging Ouzbekistan's of the oppressive Kareem of regime and the. Im you would stop at nothing to accomplish this goal on February sixteenth nineteen ninety nine the. Im you planted a series of car bombs in the capital of WHO's Pakistan. These were men to kill President Karimov but because he was running late for an appearance he was spared nonetheless. The bombs killed sixteen others and injured one hundred. Twenty more Kareem of angrily speculated that any of several anti-government movements could be responsible for the attack including the IMU and in the months that followed Karima and his associates retaliated against anyone. They deemed a potential threat. Human Rights Organizations at the time estimated that between four and five thousand people were imprisoned or killed or their anti-government activities. Nearly all of those arrested were Muslim. The I m. You was livid at Karimov's retaliation and they responded by declaring a Jihad or holy war against Karima of and the government of. Who's Becca Stan? They've vowed to free. The thousands of Muslims held in WHO's MC jails and punish anyone affiliated with Karimov's actions the. Im you also declared a holy war against Kirghistan or allegedly helping Reema's government to detain Muslim refugees. Once this declaration was made I am you. Rebels immediately took action infiltrating the southern Botkin region of Kirghistan. The attacks were chaotic and vicious the. Im you took prisoners indiscriminately including innocent locals who according to eyewitness reports they used as human shields against the Kirgiz armies bullets they also sees the mayor of Auch the Botkin local capital in successfully extorted a ransom from the Kirghiz government in the chaos the IMU kidnapped a group of Japanese who were working in Kirghistan. They held the captives for sixty four days and while the Japanese government denied paying ransom. Many sources believed that a large sum of money changed hands for their release nonetheless. Many western foreigners didn't hear or pay attention much to the terrifying developments in remote Central Asia. Even if they did news reports from Kirghistan were fractured and incomplete. Enthusiastic climbers continued to plant expeditions to southern Kirghistan oblivious to the turmoil in the Botkin region adjacent to its famous peaks. Meanwhile warm weather made it easy for small groups of rebels to slip through. Kurdistan's borders by way of its high mountain passes because of this in the summer of two thousand. The current government increased its military presence in the mountainous southern region. Unfortunately these efforts did not dissuade the radicals by the time Tommy Caldwell and his group arrived in southern Kirghistan in August. Two thousand the. Im you had developed an insatiable taste for spreading terror in the region and they continue to utilize kidnapping as a means to fund their Jihad coming up. Tommy and his girlfriend Beth. Prepare for an ill-fated expedition. It's Carter don't forget that starting may seventh. All past and future episodes of hostage are moving exclusively to spotify. We're also kicking off our three part series on the Iran hostage crisis chronicling the four hundred forty four day standoff that captivated the world. So if you're listening somewhere other than spotify we WANNA make sure you don't miss out on these incredible episodes to ensure this you can download the spotify APP for free today. No payment is required. And you can listen to all of your favorite podcasts and Music. All in one place spotify makes things easy by including follow button on every podcast so by following you'll get new episodes right in your library. You'll also be able to access the entire back catalogue whenever you want simply type hostage in the spotify search bar and start listening for free today. Remember new episodes of hostage premier every Thursday with them as soon as they come out free and only on spotify now back to the story by the summer of two thousand. Kirghistan was a dangerous place. Islamic movement of WHO'S BECCA. Stan had declared Jihad or holy war against the country and its government rebels terrorized at southern mountainous region with violent attacks and kidnappings but in the midst of this foreign rock climbers naively continued to mount expeditions. To the region. One of these tourists was twenty two year old. Tommy Caldwell Tommy was born seven weeks premature in Estes Park Colorado. The area is the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park and hosts an abundance of popular hiking camping and rock climbing but young. Tommy was not your average Colorado athlete. It was a small frail child who was slow to develop. It didn't start crawling until age to a delayed milestone compared to his and in his early days of school. Dummies teachers told his parents that their son was developmentally delayed and would have learning difficulties. But they were wrong. Tommy's parents Mike and Terry Caldwell were determined to see their small son. Thrive they encouraged Tommy to be active and curious and to spend plenty of time outdoors. And in many ways Tommy's father. Mike was his greatest champion. Professional Bodybuilder Mountain Guide and rock climber himself. Mike was optimistic about his son's future and he believed that the best way to prepare children for the challenges of adulthood was to simply challenge them early on with this intention at heart. Mike frequently took Tommy and his older sister camping climbing and skiing and every summer the whole family traveled west to Yosemite for a host of outdoor adventures. He encouraged the children to take risks and to push themselves to limits. Tommy would later recount when I was two and a half and still in diapers. He took us deep into the mountains and we spent the night in a snow cave during a raging blizzard but to Tommy. This was not irresponsible. Were callous parenting. From a very young age he understood that his father loved him and was helping him to develop traits like independence resilience and a sense of adventure. And while Tommy likely didn't realize it growing up Mike Caldwell was actively practicing parenting technique known as authoritative parenting in the nineteen sixties developmental psychologist. Diana Bahman identified four different types of parenting styles neglectful permissive authoritarian and authoritative according to bomb rynd authoritative. Parents have high expectations for achievement maturity and cooperation from their children but they are also nurturing actively listening to their children and taking an interest in their ideas and opinions because of this the children of authoritative parents tend to be happier and more independent and they develop healthy self esteem and problem solving skills. Mike Caldwell was an example of this parenting style. He pushed his son to be daring and adventurous anti expected. Tommy to participate in challenging family activities. But Mike was also loving and positive. He turned even the most difficult outings in the fund. Adventures making sure to acknowledge Tommy's efforts in praise his accomplishments as a result. Tommy developed both physical and emotional resilience. He was comfortable in the face of adversity and adept at solving challenges qualities. That would serve him well. Later in life with so much exposure to the outdoors. Tommy was bound to develop an athletic passion and his love of rock. Climbing began at a young age with Tommy's parents traced to get back to when he was just three years old since. Nobody made climbing shoes for toddlers. Mike fashion pair himself by removing the souls of Tommy's hiking boots and gluing on climbing rubber. He then secured Tommy into a homemade body harness made of seatbelts and hoisted his tiny son. One hundred feet up a mountain. It was technically Tommy's I climb and the joy and excitement of that moment became the seed from which a lifelong passion for rock climbing. Grew by the time Tommy was in grade school. It was well on his way to becoming an expert. Rock climber it was also the thing he felt the most good at innes. Tommy grew stronger and more mature so did his innate ability for finding just the right finger in footholds by the time he was fifteen years old. Tommy was already out climbing his experienced. Father Mike was proud of his son's ability and encouraged his passion for climbing. So in one thousand nine hundred ninety five when Tommy was just sixteen years old. The pair travelled to the Outdoor Sports Festival in SNOWBIRD UTAH. Hit was the perfect father. Son Outing a chance to see world. Class rock climbers compete or Tommy. It was a dream. Come true watching. These athletes compete inspired his burgeoning hopes of becoming a professional climber himself. The Perez. Soon learned that the organizers of the event were also hosting the SNOWBIRD citizens competition a rock climbing contest open to the Public Tommy readily entered the competition. It paid off out of all the various contestants of all different ages sixteen year old. Tommy One and the organizers were so impressed that they asked Tommy to enter the national competition the next day nervous but excited the accepted the following day. Mike stood on the ground below the course video camera in hand. He watched proudly as his son competed against world. Class climbers to scale a treacherous one. Hundred Ten foot man made wall. The other contestants were older with much more experience but Tommy had raw talent and his father's determination Mike watched Tommy propelled himself higher and higher crowd cheered as he became the only climber to reach the top overwhelmed with pride. Mike dropped his camera. He missed capturing the historic moment on film but he would never forget the feeling of seeing his once timid fragile son standing confidently on top of the wall for Tommy. The experience was affirming a testament to his ability to push pain and self doubt and it cemented his future as a rock climber. He entered and won more and more competitions before long he was known as of the world's best young climbers and throughout high school. He spent all his spare time at the gym outdoors and in competitions. It didn't care for partying or have a particular interest in dating but before long he would meet his match in early. Two Thousand Twenty one year old. Tommy became acquainted with twenty year. Old Beth rawdon another climbing athlete their paths crossed previously but it wasn't until that spring that their friendships cemented over mutual passion for the sport. The pair especially enjoyed free climbing a variation of climbing in which ropes are used protection but not to assist the actual climb. The two became fast friends and before long. Tommy developed a crush on Beth and when she shared her plans to go climbing in Yosemite Tommy eagerly rearranged his schedule to accompany her in June two thousand. The pair traveled to Yosemite where they attempted to free. Climb the lurking fear route of El Capitan. A famous rock formation in Yosemite it would take a few days to complete but if they succeeded they would be the first to free climb lurking fear and Beth would be the second woman to free ascent El Capitan. It was a dangerous journey but both Tommy and Beth were up to the task their teamwork and individual expertise were perfect match and by the time they reach the top. Tom In Beth or a couple in the weeks that followed Tommy and Beth were inseparable. They had fallen deeply in love and dreamed of traveling. The world together to take on more difficult clive's and they wouldn't have to wait long for their first opportunity within their first few weeks together. Beth delivered some exciting but difficult news. She had been accepted for climbing trip in Kirghistan. That would take her out of the country for at least a month. Her friend and fellow climber twenty two year old. Jason Singer Smith ran an extreme sports division of north face a large mountaineering and skiwear company. He and Beth had recently submitted a proposal to the north face. Marketing Department suggesting the trip to Kirghistan where Beth could climb in north face gear. It was a chance for them to experience the Yosemite of Central Asia and a chance for North face to reap pictures of their products in a breathtaking location. After some time north face it was an exciting venture for best. But it also meant you'd be heading off on a month long adventure without Tommy David Bennett. A certified counselor and relationship expert. Explains I loves are often very strong emotional. Connections in many cases they happened before the logical parts of the brain have been fully developed and when bodily hormones are raging. This creates an almost overpowering emotional bond in the case of Tommy and bath. They were intensely bonded by their new love and obsessed with spending time together. A separation sounded like pure torture and as they mold. Over the circumstances a solution began to form. Why not include Tommy on the trip? Tommy boldly asked North face if he could go on the trip offering to be a rope rigor for the photographer. Twenty five year old John Dickie. North face readily agreed. Tommy and bath were elated and began making plans with Jason and John for their trip which was scheduled just a couple months out in August. They obtain the required travel visas from the Kirgiz Embassy. And Jason even hired a travel agency to arrange travel from the Kirghistan capital of Bishkek to the Pamir ally mountains where they would be climbing. The climbers also did their due diligence with international safety checking with the US State Department website for any warnings about visiting Kirghistan but the information they found was far from straightforward the website reported various warnings of potential danger but from what the four climbers could glean. There was no official travel warning about Kirghistan. The group reason that the area must be relatively safe as their July traveled. Date grew closer. They grew more and more excited for the climbing adventure of a lifetime. They had no idea that they were about to put themselves directly in the path of the I. Am YOU COMING UP? Tommy and his travel companions. Find themselves trapped in a nightmare. Now back to the story in late July two thousand twenty one year old Tommy Caldwell had nothing to fear everything to look forward to. He had recently fallen in love with twenty year. Old Fellow. Rock Climber Beth. Rotten and the pair were embarking on an expedition to southern Kirghistan with their friends. Jason and John. They had been tasked with climbing the beautiful Palmyre ally mountains and bringing photos back for their corporate sponsor north face. The four travel companions didn't realize the dangers of the region. They were traveling to be Islamic movement of WHO's Pakistan a militant Muslim organization known for kidnapping foreigners and holding them for ransom was infiltrating the region excited and unaware of any danger. Tommy Beth Jason. John Landed in Kurdistan's capital city of Bishkek from there. They took a helicopter to the southern. Ach Sue and Kara Su Valley region in the heart of the Palmyre ally mountains. The helicopter delivered them to their base camp destination. Beautiful Open Meadow. The four friends tip the pilots twenty American dollars each wave goodbye. They were eager to began the long preparations for their first. Climb the Yellow Wall. The plan was to spend the next few days preparing their gear and planning out there. Climb as the began cataloging their supplies several shepherds and local children visited them at the base camp they brought the climbers fresh bread. Yak Milk Tea which they accepted and happily shared the Americans felt safe. Welcome and at peace. They look forward to the weeks ahead but they were soon met with a frustrating realization. One of their bags was missing. It contained an assortment of equipment including rope harnesses and one of two kerosene fuel bottles and while they could technically continue without the lost items. They preferred not to after much discussion. The group that Jason and John would leave camp to try to find a phone. They're going to call Bishkek to see if the bag had turned up and try to have it delivered and so on July thirty first Jason and John set off. They roamed the countryside from huts to villages to occur Gez Military. But nobody had a phone. What was supposed to be today? Detour gradually turned into a four day. Rabbit Chase along the way Jason and John met friendly locals who fed them and welcome them into their homes and they were regularly stopped by armed soldiers who demanded to check their papers. The soldiers always seem to relax once they realized that Jason and John were American tourists and they usually help them with directions. In the end the mission felt like a waste of time but it wasn't by wandering the countryside and chatting over maps with the Kirgiz soldiers. Jason and John had gathered valuable knowledge about their surroundings. It would soon become crucial to their survival. Even though their friends were gone longer than expected Tommy in bath had plenty to keep them busy. They lug supplies to the base of the Yellow Wall and set up the wall anchors. They would need to secure their climbing ropes during the assent. It was falling one of these trips on the afternoon of August. Third Tommy and Beth returned to base camp to find that they had visitors three. Kirgiz soldiers were waiting for them but similar to John and Jason's experiences. The men were friendly. They simply checked Tommy and Beth's passports and moved on although they didn't realize it at the time one of these soldiers was named to rot and his face would soon reappear couple hours. After the soldiers left Jason John Returned to base camp. The group was back together again. They spent the next several days waiting for rainstorms. To pass in the meantime they visited with locals and a handful of other foreign climbers in the valley. They were eager to begin their ascent. But little did any of them know it would also be their last on August ninth as the group waited out the rain. Storms Twenty eight members of the Islamic Movement of Ouzbekistan. Or I m you crossed into Kirghistan. By way of its high mountain passes they snuck up on three. Kirgiz soldiers patrolling the area killing two and capturing one the next day on August tenth they ambushed a second Kirgiz patrol. The I M you. Rebels made their goals very clear to the captured soldier. They were looking to terrorise and kill. Anyone opposed to them. Anyone left living was expected to help gather information about Kirgiz military forces until lead them to any groups in the area who might be valuable as ransom kidnappings the rebels tortured and questioned the soldiers and mercilessly finally a captured named to rot admitted to seeing groups of foreign climbers the IMU's spared his life so he could show them where the rebels then split into two groups. The larger and more heavily armed group moved on to ambush another Kerr. Gez Army Post the same one that Jason and John had visited days earlier. Meanwhile the smaller party led by. Who's becky named? Abdul set out to look for groups of foreigners to rot acted as their guide and on August Eleventh Abdul Group kidnapped several German and Ukrainian climbers and the Hawks Who Valley Tommy Caldwell and his group would be next August. Eleventh was a beautiful sunny day in southern Kirghistan. It was a welcome sight to Tommy and his group after endless days of rainstorms. Everyone agreed it was the perfect day to make their first ascent up. The Yellow Wall with the day was foreboding from the start while packing up their equipment and securing their base camp for their absence. Climbing group spotted two armed men in camouflage watching them from afar. Off bearded and scruffy. These men looked different from the tidy. Clean Shaven Kirgiz soldiers. They'd met and they made no effort to engage with the climbers. An odd change after every other soldier had insisted on checking their passports. The men simply stood there motionless. The climbers continued packing while the forest strangers. Watch them but Beth was beginning to feel uneasy it lasts. John Waved at the man. He thought that maybe they were waiting. For the climbers to make a friendly gesture I the men waved back solemnly then backed away and slipped into the brush out of sight. Everyone in the group felt uneasy from the experience armed men apparently unaffiliated with local military had been watching them pack their gear and secure their base camp. It didn't bode well for their safety but they did their best to rationalize that just because the men seem strange didn't mean were dangerous. The group brushed off the strange encounter and at one. Pm They set off for the Yellow Wall at only two thousand feet. The Yellow Wall wasn't the most challenging climb in the valley but it was a great warmth for the more difficult routes Tommy and his friends plan to tackle in the weeks ahead at the foot of the wall. They use the anchors and ropes the Tommy and bath already set up and they began hauling themselves and their gear up the mountain then. They began the arduous. Climb for experienced climbers such as themselves. It was thrilling. They joked around as John Dutifully snapped pictures for North face. Time seem to fly by and by the time they reached a thousand feet. It was already nighttime exhausted. They hung their to Puerto alleged ten side-by-side Jason John. Listen to music in one. Well Tommy and Beth curled up in. There's that night Tommy fell asleep next to Beth. Feeling the happiest man in the world but their luck was about to run out as six am rolled around tummy and the other exhausted climbers slept soundly. But they were being watched. Suddenly Tommy was jolted awake by. The sound of bullets was in by took a moment for him to remember where he was a thousand feet up on a mountainside in a tent with Beth. Why on Earth would anyone shooting at them just then? Another shot hit the rock above their perch. It sent chunks of gravel raining down onto their tent startled. Beth sat up and instinctively gripped the rockwall next to her from the nearby tent. Jason Yelled what the hell was that Beth answered back. We're being shot at with nowhere to run. The group cautiously peered out of their portal edges. Far below them on the ground stood three tiny figures shaking. John picked up his camera. He looked through the Telephoto Lens reported. They've got guns there. Signaling us to come down by now. Everyone's mind was racing. Who were these men? Why would they be shooting climbers but it was worthless to ask questions they had no protection and nowhere to go if the men started to shoot again within seconds they decided someone should go down and John Bravely offered. It grabbed a two way radio along with some cigarettes to offer the men and Rappel down the wall to investigate what had taken the group a day to climb now took John Thirty minutes to descend plenty of time for him to question his decision and when he finally reached the ground the situation was worse than he feared on the ground John was met by two bearded men. The third was nowhere to be seen. One of them held a Kalashnikov assault rifle and the other had a much larger weapon that John didn't recognize they were dressed in mismatch collection of army fatigues ragged casualwear and high end climbing close. John hadn't been in Kirghistan very long but he knew by now that these men were dressed like curb soldiers and they certainly weren't local shepherds. John Shakily introduced himself then. The older of the two men stepped forward. He had wild black hair and a full beard. Extra ammunition spilled out of the pockets of his pants. John in the I firmly shook hands and introduced himself as Abdul. The other man pointed to himself and simply stated his name overbid. John held out his peace offering of cigarettes to Abdul and Obe ID but Abdul scowled in decline for them both seemingly all business. Abdul held up four fingers then pointed at the port. Alleges John Nodded? Yes there were four in his group next. Abdul made an hourglass shape with his hands. As if to imply a female figure chill ran down. John's spine terrified for Beth. He didn't answer. Abdul made the gesture a second time more insistently and John realized that there was no point in hiding bath from two men who weren't afraid to shoot at her tent. To begin with there would no sooner or later. John Reluctantly nodded. Yes and Abdul gestured to the port alleges again making it clear. He wanted everyone to come down by now. John felt certain that his friends were safer. Hang off the side of the Yellow Wall on the ground with these men so he gathered his courage and tried to make up an excuse for why it wasn't possible he told Abdul that it would be too difficult and dangerous for his friends to repel down but Abdul was unfazed. He pointed to John's two way radio and said firmly in English radio. Then he pointed in the direction of the Americans base camp and made an eating gesture. John Stared back at Abdul. An Oh bid confused. They were thin and bedraggled but John had experienced Kirgiz hospitality firsthand. It was part of their culture. Could two men be so hungry in a place like this? Was it possible that all they wanted was for the Americans to share their food John Radio up to his friends asking everyone to come down with a mixture of hope and skepticism. He explained that the men only wanted to have breakfast at their base camp up on the wall. Tommy Beth and Jason were relieved to hear John's voice. It had been well over a half hour since he had left them but at the same time he sounded strange into suggestion seemed bizarre. Why would he make them come down for this but there was nothing else they could do? Clearly the men on the ground meant business and they couldn't risk being shot at again. Jason Rappel down I then Tommy then Beth. When she finally arrived it was after eight a m two hours since they're brutal wakeup call. Abdul and Obita greeted each climber politely. Then gesture them toward the base camp unsure what was happening and unable to refuse. The climbers followed their fears. Were compounded as soon as they reached the base camp their tents were in tatters supplies. Equipment and food were open and scattered everywhere. The third gunman was waiting for them to. It was wearing shoes gloves and a hat. Pilfered from Tommy's belongings using gestures noises and hand signals. The rebels gave instructions for the Americans to fill their backpacks with food. And warm clothes obediently. Tommy and his friends grabbed what they could hoping. Maybe the gunmen were just going to take whatever was left and part ways it was the last possible hope the gravity sunk in when Abdul gestured for their passports. It was clear he wasn't interested in looking at them he was taking them. John said aloud what they were all beginning to realize we're hostages. Stunned group sat on the ground. As the rebels finished. Rifling THROUGH THEIR BASE CAMP SUPPLIES. It was then that they noticed a fourth man nearby. It was to rot. Tommy immediately recognized him as one of the three Kirgiz soldiers who had checked his and best passports days earlier. Tommy remember to rod being friendly and pleasant when they met now he was anxious unkempt and his fatigues were covered in what looked like blood clearly. He was a hostage as well seeing Tommy to rot nodded and whispered his name. Then he began gesturing. What appeared to be an elaborate story? But Tommy didn't understand he shook his head apologetically wishing he could decipher what all these hand motions meant to rot. Seemed frustrated by Tommy's lack of comprehension and desperate to be understood so he simplified his message. He pointed to his bloody clothes. Held up three fingers clearly then made a throat slitting gesture with his hand Tommy felt a wave of nausea wash over him and immediately an otherwise unthinkable scenario played out in his head. The captors were going to kill the three American men disappeared with Beth into the countryside. Thanks again for tuning into hostage next week. Will recount the six heroin days of captivity for. Tommy is friends and we'll find out why nobody in the US even knew that they were missing for more information on the kidnapping of Tommy Caldwell amongst them any sources we used. We found over the EDGE BY GREG. Child extremely helpful to our research. You can find more episodes of hostage. Oliver podcast originals for free on spotify. Not only does spotify already. Have all of your favorite music but now but advise making it easy for you to enjoy. All of your favorite podcast originals. Like hostage for free from your phone desktop or Smart Speaker. This tree hostage on spotify. Just open the APP and type hostage in the search bar and don't forget to follow us on facebook and Instagram at podcast. Twitter at podcast network. We'll see you next time. In the meantime don't take your freedom for granted hostage was created by Max Cutler into Depar- cast studios original executive producers. Include Max and Ron Cutler. Sound design by Trent Williamson with production assistance by Ron Shapiro Carleen Madden and Isabel away. This episode of hostage was written by Alex Loan. With writing. Assistance by Kate Gallagher and stars Irma Blanco. Encarta Roy

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