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>> Statement: [Page 114-115]

Wright alleges:  “Near Madeira, they were caught up in a fierce tropical storm, which threatened to swamp the Apollo.

Immense waves swept over the funnel and shattered the two-inch-thick windows of the dining room. Water gushed into the engine room, where the seasick officer on watch tied a bucket around his neck. Terrified Messengers hauled themselves along the rails of the wildly pitching deck trying to deliver communications to the bridge; at times the nose of the ship was pointed directly down into the Sea.”

“...The storm lasted ten days, propelling the ship eight hundred miles north, all the way to the Azores.”

>> True Information: Mr. Starkey, long-term Sea Org executive and former Captain of the Apollo, read Wright’s story and responded: 

“There never was a tropical storm in Madeira. The storm was isolated to the Azores, 700 miles away, when the Apollo was anchored off the island of Ponte Delgada in October 1970. The incident is described on page 122 of The L. Ron Hubbard SeriesMaster Mariner.  The ship sailed to the Azores under relatively calm sea conditions and was not propelled there by a storm. During the storm, waves didn’t even reach the forward or aft well-decks, let alone sweep over the funnel—an impossible feat seeing the ship’s stack was about 70 feet above the water level. During the storm, the Apollo encountered 30-foot swells which she crested. No dining room window was ever shattered by a wave and in all her years of service, the Apollo never ever experienced water gushing into the engine room.  Despite some expected rolling and pitching in the turbulent seas, the vessel never took on any water. The storm abated and the ship returned to its anchorage 48 hours later. It did not last a week as Wright’s book states.  The storm incident reported in Wright’s book is a fabrication.”

>> Excerpt

The L. Ron Hubbard SeriesMaster Mariner, pages 114-126