Dead Lover Walking

Been done to death a thousand times but always worth doing again.

A dead lover walking: US woman conned by 'Irish Army Ranger'
in Cork, and
AMERICAN woman Pamela Olson was so devastated when told that her Irish lover had been killed while saving a child during a gun battle in Iraq that she set up a web page to honour her fallen hero.

Friends from all over the world were heartbroken at her news. They wrote messages of support and pledged to help Ms Olson through her loss. Some reminded her of his sacrifice for Iraqi freedom.

But now she has been told her dead hero is not only actually alive and well, but apparently married and living happily in Cork. He is also not in fact an elite soldier, but a humble Irish sailor serving aboard a navy ship.

And in revenge at his apparent Walter Mitty stories, the pretty but credulous 24-year-old Oklahoma student has told the whole story on the internet, accusing her former beau of being a fantasist.

She says she was furious when she learned that the 25-year-old Corkman was not an Army Ranger, didn't play rugby for Munster, never drove a Harley Davidson across Russia, nor served with gallantry in war-torn East Timor and the Lebanon.

In fact the man, from East Cork - and whose identity is known to the Sunday Independent - was an ordinary sailor with the Irish navy who allegedly created a heroic and often hilarious Action Man persona, nicknamed "Neo" after the character played by Keanu Reeves in the action blockbuster The Matrix.

He may have meant no harm, but Ms Olson is now full of bitterness and scorn for her former lover - whom she has lashed on the website that once honoured him.

She told the Sunday Independent: "I felt I was in love with him and was devastated when I heard by email that he had been killed. I was furious when I realised it was all one great big lie." She added, "I was hurt when I found out the truth."

The Corkman's (Neo's) tales of derring-do had impressed the naive Ms Olson, whom he met while on holiday in Croatia in 2002. At the time he was a single man.

Now, according to Ms Olson, he's "a lying douche bag", but the story of "Neo's" heroic life and faked death has attracted a cult readership to Ms Olson's web page, The Irish sailor also told Ms Olson that he was a "quarter Cherokee", and created another alter ego called "Scott" to break the sad news that her lover had been killed in Iraq.

He appears to have done so after Ms Olson indicated she wanted to come and visit him there. The account which "Scott" posted via electronic mail from the man's own email account reads like a Mills & Boon novel.

Scott wrote that Ms Olson's boyfriend was killed on May 1 while his unit was doing a "recon" patrol in southeastern Iraq, not far from the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

He allegedly wrote: "Out of nowhere a sniper fired on their unit. A radio operator from South Africa was hit in the chest and went down screaming.

"The foreign aid workers nearby dove for cover, as did X's men, but a small Iraqi girl, maybe eight years old, was left crying in the middle of the road.

"The UN soldiers returned fire but had no idea where the sniper was. X knew that the sniper would take a shot at the girl, the wounded radio operator, or the aid workers to draw them out of cover. He couldn't leave them there helpless.

"X leapt to his feet, grabbed the girl, and pushed her through an open door. It drew the sniper's fire long enough to let the medic get the radio man to cover."

But, in Scott's words, "the most unstoppable guy I ever met got stopped".

"X was hit by four bullets, one to the left shoulder, two to the chest, and one to the left hip. His last words were, "Did I do OK, are they safe?"

Ms Olson says she fell for this outrageous tale, which was designed to end their relationship for good. But, bereft and heartbroken at this tragic news, Ms Olson created a website honouring the Irishman she knew, the dashing inside centre who played rugby for Munster, had an honours degree in physics and maths and who saw the first plane crash into the World Trade Centre while on holiday in New York on 9/11. She only learned of the apparent deception when she contacted his mother to offer condolences.

"She told me in no uncertain terms that he was alive, well and recently married. It was quite a shock, but I was so glad he was alive I wasn't even angry. Just extremely perplexed," she explained.

Then, after publishing the details on her website, Ms Olson was contacted by several people in Cork as to the true details of her former lover's life.

"He led me quite a merry dance," Ms Olson has said.

"I've got over it now, but at the time I was very upset. When I set up the website, it was heartfelt and coming from true emotions at the time, but it turned out he was a big-time liar and charlatan who made up almost everything he told me - including his own death."

On the the other side of the Atlantic, the Corkman is clearly embarrassed that what may have started out as the harmless creation of an overactive imagination to spice up a friendship has escalated out of control.

Before packing up and getting out of his home town yesterday morning, he told the Irish Daily Star: "She has ruined my life."

The man was uncontactable for comment yesterday, either at his home or bytelephone.

However, locals admitted that the 25-year-old was "deeply shocked" by the allegations - and was maintaining that some photographs included on the US website of him with Ms Olson were digitally fabricated.

Locals admitted that his parents were deeply upset over the affair.

It's understood the sailor has vehemently denied any suggestion that he claimed to have served in Iraq. "He seemed to be under enormous pressure over the last couple of weeks - he just wasn't his normal cheerful self," one neighbour declared.

The Irish sailor told one person that the Oklahoma girl was determined to destroy his life and his career.

Last night, the Naval Service stressed that it couldn't possibly comment on the matter.

However, it's understood the Defence Forces are set to regard the embarrassing claims as a strictly private matter - and the man is unlikely to face any form of military inquiry.

When it emerged that the story was going to be leaked to the Irish media, the man contacted Haulbowline Naval Base to alert them to theallegations and Iraq claims.

Senior politicians and Defence Force chiefs also expressed "grave concern" at the potential implications for Irish nationals in Iraq or the Middle East of any belief, however erroneous, that Ireland maintains elite military forces in the war-torn Middle Eastern country.

No member of the Irish defence forces is serving in Iraq.
Don't they have Newspapers or TV in the US then? Stupid cow.
Good lad. Reminds me of the guy who worked in a bar and fleeced all those students.

It's not walting if you are getting laid and making money, and/or beating up and frightening dippy students.

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