April 30, 2009


The Dutch Royal Family looked on in horror yesterday as a car ploughed into a crowd of wellwishers, killing five and injuring twelve.

The car smashed through two police barriers in an apparent attempt to ram the open-top bus carrying the royal party, which included Queen Beatrix, 71.

Dutch media reported that the driver, a 38-year-old man, had been fired from his job and faced eviction from his home.  He was slumped at the wheel when he was arrested. Police said that the man, who was in a critical condition, had no history of mental illness and had acted alone. No explosives were found in the vehicle.

The Royal Family had been visiting Apeldoorn, 60 miles (96 km) east of Amsterdam, as part of the festivities for the annual Queen’s Day holiday.  In a rare television address Queen Beatrix offered her condolences. “We are speechless that something so terrible could have happened,” she said, looking shaken. “My family and I think everybody in the country sympathises with the victims, their families and friends. What began as a great day has ended in a terrible tragedy.”

On Queen’s Day, which commemorates the birth of Queen Beatrix’s mother, millions of people take the day off, dress in orange wigs and hats and hold street parties. 

Last night the parties were cancelled and flags were at half-mast.

Ludo Goossens, a justice official, said: “At the moment of first contact with police on the ground, the man indicated that his action was aimed against the Royal Family.”

Jan Peter Balkenende, the Prime Minister, said: “I think that it has become clear that this happened with premeditation.”

Officials said that the driver had a map of the Queen’s parade route. He apparently tried to collide with the bus carrying the Royal Family. People were thrown in the air as his car ripped through the crowds before hitting a monument and coming to a halt.

Dutch television showed Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and his wife, Princess Maxima, watching in astonishment. No one in the royal entourage was hurt.

Peter von de Vorst, a witness, said that the incident was like watching a Hollywood film. “It was a really nice day. Then you hear a bang. Everyone looks up and you see people indeed flying through the air,” he said. “This must be a joke or a strange prank. Then suddenly panic, and you realise that something really terrible has happened.”


It's ironic that the AHATA addresses and admits serious concerns for their tourism, but never adds the boycott of Aruba into the equation.  At least they won't admit it on paper.  

To add insult to injury, the recently aired Natalee Holloway movie on the Lifetime Network (which reported the highest ratings in Lifetime Network's history) which depicted the cover-up and ultimate scandal in the handling of Natalee Holloway's case has YET AGAIN fueled the fire to Aruba's dire situation.  

The result?  

Reminding the public AFTER FOUR YEARS about this self-serving island and what they did to the Holloway family.  

...And what they are capable of doing to YOUR FAMILY.


ORANJESTAD — Tourism-minister Edison Briesen wants additional funds for the promotion of Aruba as holiday destination, as the prospects for the second quarter have grown worse than that of the first three months of this year.

The sector expects the number of accommodations to decrease with 35 percent during the second quarter.  For the ‘summer months’ such as July, there are hardly any reservations, said branch organization ATCA. 

This organization previously approached the government this year for additional funds for the sector seriously affected by the worldwide crisis. Briesen is now convinced in view of the negative statistics presented by ATCA the hotel sector as well as the airport during the yearly tourism conference last Wednesday.

Last week the Amigoe already announced a strong decline of the number of airline passengers during the past quarter with 11.5 percent compared to last year. It now appears, that the number of tourists accommodated during the first three months of this year, decreased with an average of 6.8 percent. 

Moreover, in January it concerned 4.7 percent less, and in March already a decrease of 10.1 percent. The revenues per accommodation decreased with 15.6 percent. Furthermore, the revenues during March indicated a decrease of nearly 25 percent.

During the presentation for foreign travel agencies and transportation companies of the tourism conference, Ahata indicated that the ‘last minute pick up’ for the months of May and June turn out to be worse than the first quarter of this year. 

“Looks very bad”, said the branch organization. 

Moreover, it remains a guess for the rest of the year, said Ahata, although it is expected that the market will stabilize in September/October.


Last year the sector received an additional 10 million dollars from the government for the promotion and execution of the so-called contingency plan, a joint approach of the government and the business, trade and industry to maintain the number of tourists. 

This amount appears to have been insufficient, says minister Briesen who furthermore not only wants additional funds, but also wants to change the plan. At the same time, he wonders if it all will be sufficient for the sector as the other 38 islands in the region are also busy investing enormous amounts in the tourism sector. 

They are also handing out serious discounts of approx. 20 to 25 percent in the struggle for the tourist. Briesen: “I am happy that our sector is not handing out these kinds of discounts yet, as it will become more difficult to increase the prices at a later stage. It now concerns discounts of 10 percent.”

The minister hopes that the extra money expecting to become available from the arbitrary case against oil refinery Valero -though the verdict is not official yet- with regard to the ‘bbo’-tax, is allocated to tourism. 

“Contrary to other islands, our government does not have ample financial means at its disposal, so it remains difficult.” He therefore hopes that the international economy and tourism market will pick up for Aruba in view of the billions invested in the business, trade, and industry by the American and European governments.

Meanwhile the minister is also trying to firm up the South-American market. This in view of the fact that after last week the airport announced that partly due to the embargo on charters by the Venezuelan authorities, the number of passengers from this country has seriously decreased. 

Briesen is therefore flying to Venezuela on Sunday to discuss this problem with the Venezuelan minister of Infrastructure and Tourism. In addition, the minister will visit the huge tourism exhibition in Brazil in a few months to convince the airline companies there to fly to Aruba.


Director Rob Smith of Aruba Hotel and Tourism Authority (Ahata) says that during his twelve years in the tourism sector on Aruba, he has never experienced such an economical decline. “I have experienced nearly everything, such as wars and 11 September, but nothing compared to the current impact on tourism due to the economical instability. We therefore must stand our ground to survive this crisis. This implies that we must stay in the picture (media) and maintain our good relations with our North-American partners.”

Nowadays, the trust of the traveler is replaced by the financial capacity, says Smith. “It is therefore of importance that Aruba is present when consumers decide their holiday destination. We have the advantage that Aruba is a relaxation and recreation destiny for those wanting to relax after stressful times.” Another advantage according to Smith is the large number of timeshare accommodations whereby the island is assured of a fixed number of tourists.

April 27, 2009


Here's the host of the Swine Flu




The Lifetime Movie Network plans to re-air it’s movie about the disappearance of Mountain Brook teen Natalee Holloway.

The movie is the most watched ever for the Lifetime Movie Network.

  • Monday, April 27 at 10 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 28 at 2 p.m.

April 21, 2009


To "Aruba People"

You have my sympathies as you have had more than one girl go missing. You live on an island you can't get off of. I am not jealous of you I am very sorry for you. It's why I boycott your island. So your government will stop treating you, the natural citizens (not dutch born) and the tourists as second class citizens. You are in desperate need of human rights.

You are so obviously wrong in your argument because you are blaming the victim. You have no empathy or sorrow for the victim and her family. This is always the stance of the guilty.

You should not treat those who come to your country with such contempt. No one in their right mind is going to respond well to "Hurry up and give me your money and you've not given me enough, we hate you and if something bad happens to you here then you deserved it."

That really makes me want to go to a Hell hole like ARUBA - a flat wasteland full of prostitutes and drug dealers.

-Cherry Simpson


You obviously don´t have all your facts straight. You should know that you are wasting your time as our island is doing better than ever and we should probably thank the Hollaway family especially Mrs. Twitty for all the free publicity getting her picture taken having fun in the casinos while ¨looking for her daughter¨ I think that makes it pretty clear that you just can´t help having fun on Aruba.

I don´t know where you get that we are in need of human rights. People here are very happy and we travel all the time in this new invetion ¨the airplane¨ I think it´s called.

We do of course live of tourism and that´s why we are very happy to speak four languages and be able to host guests from all over the world. Who we treat with respect and are very happy to help with their every whim. That´s what a vacation is after all. The people who have visited us for so many years some 20, 30 or 40 years are still happy to visit and the new guests that come out of curiosity about the case or any other reason istantly falls in love with the Island and can´t wait to come back.  

But people have to use common sense. 

You are a mom and probably have though your kids not to take drinks from strangers not to get in the car with strangers (I hope) more so if you are not home. It´s not that I blame the victim because of course the blame goes to Joran for being such a big idiot when he knew better not  to take 1 of 200 americans who come crawling out of bars everyday with him.

Anyways I do not plan to keep having this crazy discussion, I just wanted you to know that what you are doing is a waste.

Aruba, One Happy Island forever.



Lifetime Movie Network’s new film “Natalee Holloway” takes viewers back to Natalee’s final days in Mountain Brook leading up to her senior trip to Aruba - then into what are now believed to be her final hours. 

The movie stars Michael J. Fox’s real life wife Tracy Pollan as Beth Holloway Twitty…a mother desperately searching for her daughter, a process that is still ongoing.  The movie, which originally aired Sunday night, is based on Beth Holloway Twitty’s book, Loving Natalee: A Mother’s Testament of Hope and Faith.

Hundreds of viewers have now posted comments on the Lifetime chat boards, sounding off about the movie…everything from support for Natalee’s family and frustration at how the Aruban government handled the case - to anger about the way the Aruban people and the island have been portrayed.

Birmingham attorney Charlie Ratcliff was born in Aruba but now lives here. He says Natalee’s disappearance is still a difficult topic for folks in Aruba.

“To say it’s been devastating to the island is an understatement. Devastating emotionally. A lot of people are heart broken and horrified one of our guests was missing,“ says Ratcliff.

At the end of the movie, the real Beth Holloway Twitty warns parents about how to prepare a safety plan for a child’s trip abroad - lessons she learned fast the hard way.

Lifetime does plan to post the movie, so folks who missed it can watch it online.


Lifetime Movie Network’s premiere of “Natalee Holloway” Sunday night ranks as the highest rated and most viewed movie in the network’s history.

“Holloway,” based on the novel “Loving Natalee: A Mother’s Testament of Hope and Faith,” scored a 1.8 rating and 3.2 million total viewers among viewers P+2. That bested the second part of “Capture of the Green River Killer,” which scored a 1.5 rating and 2.4 million viewers P+2 in March 2008.

Sunday night’s premiere also was the highest rated telecast among women 18-49 in all of basic cable over the last 12 months, scoring a 2.5 rating and 1 million viewers in the demographic.

In addition to total viewers and women 18-49, the film also set network records among households (3.4 rating, 2.4 million households) and women 25-54 (2.7 rating, 1.1 million viewers).

April 20, 2009


My Rating:  

By Michelle

Overall, I think that the Natalee Holloway movie was well done. Tracy Pollan played a very good Beth Holloway in her dire moments of sadness; however, Pollan could have played up the raging anger Beth suffered by the blatant police cover up and the government's plan to protect Joran and the Van der Sloot family.

I enjoyed the beginning sequence during the infamous secret recorded car conversation between Joran and Patrick van der Eem. It was a great use of foreshadowing of what was to unfold.  


After Beth and Jug landed in Aruba and found Joran's house and his father, what happened to the running back and forth between casinos in order to buy Joran time to get back to his house?  

Why wasn't Joran nervous, disheveled and sweaty when he pulled up to the house during the initial confrontation like Beth described in her book?  

Why did he not act defensive while pounding his chest screaming, "What do you want me to do about it?!"    

And what about Paulus Van der Sloot?  

No mention of his arrest, his "pool side chat" with the boys telling them "no body, no case", his "sweaty" meeting with Beth during the first week, his lawsuits against the police for arresting him, his "best friend" in the police department, and the obvious lies used to cover up where Joran was that night and the next morning.

The actor who played Joran didn't come through as evil as Joran really is.  All the features of his psychological demeanor were left out of Joran's character.  Instead the actor portrayed Joran as this charming spoiled brat like someone out of "Gossip Girl", who has a habit for preying and drugging girls.  But oops..."after like 20 times" of doing this (Joran's exact admission on TV), "something bad happened", and he just got scared and lied.  

Joran's character did not display the diabolical, sociopathic, and pathological liar that he is in real life.  The only time he appeared cold and sinister were in the secretly recorded car scenes.

I was also disappointed in the complete absence of the "catch and release" of the other characters such as Steve Croes, Geoffrey Van Comvoirt, Guido Wever, and Lorenzo Zedan-Arambatzis.  These omitted facts add to the pain that Beth and Dave had to endure while trying to find the truth of what happened to Natalee and that could have helped the strength of the film.

However, I do think the movie's perception of how Beth was treated by an angry Aruban mob with signs saying "Get Out", while screaming "Go Home!" was great. This, coupled with the police's lack of investigation has done and will continue to do harm to Aruba's already bad reputation and tourism crisis.

With that said, I think this movie did everything possible to shed light on this case while destroying Aruba at the same time.

Intentional or not?  We'll never know!  But who's complaining?

End Note:

One thing that I found somewhat creepy was the first time that the Mountain Brook kids went to Carlos-n-Charlies, a "man" was bumping into the girls and Natalee's stepbrother stepped in to push him away.  In real life it is purported to have been Geoffrey van Comvoirt. 

However, if you have a copy of the movie, watch this "man" because he looks exactly like Paulus Van der Sloot.

April 18, 2009


WILLEMSTAD — The Dutch government is checking the possibility of an investigation performed by the Transparency International into Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles. This appears from answers on a list of 46 questions of the stationary committee for the Netherlands Antilles and Aruban Affairs (Naaz) with regard to the letter of State secretary of Kingdom relations Ank Bijleveld-Schouten (CDA) about the status of the policy on the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba.

The world wide non-governmental organization Transparency International is focused on restraining international and national corruption and targets for a world without corruption. Corruption is viewed by the organization as ‘misuse of entrusted power for own profit’.

Besides considering an investigation against corruption, Bijleveld wants to raise the matter of an investigation regarding the experience of corruption with the Antillean and Aruba government. 

“Corruption and integritity are recurring subjects which I regularly discuss with the governors of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. During future conversations I shall bring up the carrying out of an investigation regarding the experience of the population with reference to corruption”, the State secretary answering the question if she ‘will stimulate the governors of the island to investigate the corruption and the influence hereof on the politics so that actual statistics become available.”


“Improvement of the quality of government and the tackling of the corruption are prioritities in my policy”, says Bijleveld. “I follow three routes: 1. I make demands in the process. In that framework the islands must formulate and implement a code corporate governance. In this code it is, amongst other, regulated how to associate with assigning governors. Also now supervision will be applicable to various tasks. The Cft will e.g. supervise on the budget position, performance and responsibility. I offer support. 3. I talk to the governors about their responsibilities and if necessary inform the Public Prosecutor. If these three steps are not sufficient, then there is also the possibility to discuss the integrity of the government management in the Government Council of Ministers.”


Transparency International

Transparency International consists of several regional organizations (also in the Netherlands) and has its centrum in Berlin (Germany). The organization has several work area’s: humanitarian, corruption undermining and disturbs development and leads to increasing of violation of human rights; democratic, corruption underming democracies and in particular the achievement of development countries and countries in transite-phases; ethnic, society; practical, corruption undermining the functioning of markets and refrains people of the advantages hereof.

More information on www.transparency.org


Natalee Holloway' a disappointing TV movie

Posted by Alec Harvey -- The Birmingham News April 17, 2009 1:34 PM

Maybe it's because we lived through it, with wall-to-wall media coverage after Natalee Holloway disappeared in Aruba in 2005.

Maybe it's because there still are no definitive answers as to what happened to the Mountain Brook teen who was on her senior year trip.

Maybe it's just because this Lifetime TV movie was hastily put together.

Whatever the reason, "Natalee Holloway," which premieres at 7 p.m. April 19 on Lifetime Movie Network, is sloppy and uneven, a forgettable look at the tragedy that consumed the nation's attention for months.

Based on "Loving Natalee," the book by Natalee's mother, Beth, "Natalee Holloway" stars Tracy Pollan as Beth and newcomer Amy Gumenick in the title role. Although this is a vehicle for Pollan, it's the youngster who lends the film its most interesting moments.

The main culprit here is Teena Booth's clunky script, part over-the-top movie-of-the-week melodrama and part mystery. The problem is that there really is no mystery - we all know most everything that took place in Aruba, from the body shots at Carlos 'n Charlie's to Natalee jumping in the car with Joran van der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers to Beth Holloway's dogged determination to find her daughter in Aruba.

Since the details are well known, Booth tries to mine interest elsewhere, and the dramatic moments come across as cheesy and manipulative.

For instance, a chaperone for the Mountain Brook High School trip seems to set the travelers up for disaster from the beginning.

"We won't be doing headcounts or bed checks," he says to the parents before the trip. "We're there for emergencies and to do a little gambling in the casinos." This puts much more of the blame for Natalee's disappearance on the chaperone than was the case in real life.

Or Beth's admonishment to Natalee right before her senior prom: "You have to be careful around boys and alcohol," she says. "They're liable to take advantage." Yes, Beth Holloway probably taught that lesson to her daughter, but in such an un-subtle, foreshadowing way? Doubtful.

Or the moment when Beth discovered Natalee's cell phone in her backpack: "It didn't work here, did it?," she says immediately, before even turning it on. "Her phone didn't have international calling. I never, I never, I should've, oh, my God. Oh, my God." Would the lack of international calling actually have been Holloway's first thought?

Pollan does look and sound a little like Beth Holloway, but Holloway through the years has come across much more composed, thoughtful and pragmatic than the melodramatic character Pollan creates here. A moment where Holloway flings herself in front of a cross on a hillside in Aruba doesn't help matters. It's a grand, tearful Lifetime TV movie moment, but it's contrived and over-acted.

Gumenick, on the other hand, paints a vivid and likeable portrait of the young Holloway, a bright, focused doctor-to-be who drank too much on a trip with her friends and got herself into a bad situation. Oddly, although he certainly is the villain here, Joran van der Sloot comes off looking not like the instigator of the entire evening, but a guy who took advantage when a drunk Natalee began coming on to him.

In addition to Beth, Natalee and Joran, Joran's cohorts Deepack and Satish Kalpoe are characters, as well as Jug Twitty (Beth's husband at the time) and Dave Holloway (Natalee's father). The rest, including Natalee's friends, seem to be composites, not real people.

It's tough to be objective about a movie that hits so close to home. As soon as one of Natalee's friends refers to her going to "U of A," a term we've never heard used when referring to Alabama, you wonder how credible the rest of it might be.

South Africa locations double as both Alabama and Aruba, so there's no real sense of place, other than the beach in Aruba, which looks real enough.

"Natalee Holloway" is sure to have interest, particularly in her hometown. We only wish that her tragic story had received a little classier and more thoughtful attention.

April 10, 2009


Premieres Sunday, April 19 at 8 pm EST, airing on LMN

Teenager Natalee Holloway vanished in 2005 while visiting Aruba on a senior class trip. In a passionate and relentless effort to discover the truth behind her daughter’s disappearance, Beth Holloway captured the nation’s attention by working tirelessly to solve the mystery that shattered her family’s life.

Today, Holloway continues to speak publicly about the potential dangers of international travel. Her resolve and unwavering strength are at the center of this emotional story that takes viewers behind the headlines and into the heart of an extraordinary woman. The movie, about a mother's search for truth and justice, is based on the book "Loving Natalee: A Mother's Testament of Hope and Faith" by Beth Holloway.


What prompted you to write the book “Loving Natalee: A Mother’s Testament of Hope and Faith”?

The writing of the book actually evolved over a period of time. Shortly after this happened to Natalee, I made a pledge that I would share her story with every high school I could, because I hoped that no other family would have to endure the challenges that we faced during our first few weeks in Aruba. I lived in Aruba for about four months while I was searching for her, and during the fifth month, I thought it was time for me to make good on my pledge as Natalee’s case was now in the hands of John Kelly, attorney at law. I began traveling and, over the course of two years, presented personal safety messages to over 20,000 high school and college students in 22 states. During this time I thought, “How could I reach more travelers?” and I started thinking about writing a book.

How did this movie come to be?

It’s a direct result of the book. We started talking about it with Lifetime, and at first I wasn’t sure if I could take the next step. But then I had the privilege and opportunity to fly to Los Angeles and to sit down with an incredible creative staff from Sony and Lifetime. I knew instantly that this was the next step and the right thing to do.

What was it like being on set?

I was nervous and overwhelmed at first. Even the equipment and the logistics were fascinating to me. I had my camera and took pictures whenever I could. It was really an honor to be there.

Has it been emotional to replay these events?

I don’t think that anything could compare with the first four months of what we endured while searching for Natalee in Aruba. The movie is something I view as an accomplishment, because we are able to help shed light on a lot of things that I wrote about in my book.

What is it like having Tracy Pollan play you?

It’s an honor. I think she’s a genuine, sincere, real person. There could not have been a better choice.

In the movie, we watch Beth change and grow into an activist as she searches for her daughter and for the truth about what happened. Tell us about that experience.

There seems to be a common thread among all of us who have experienced a devastating or traumatic event, and that is the wanting to reach out to others — whether it’s through philanthropic events or in my case, taking Natalee’s story podium to podium, high school to high school and college to college. You want to make a difference and ensure that no other family will have to endure the same tragedy.

What do you really think happened to Natalee?

We have tried to be so careful not to speculate over the last four years. We always go back to the known facts, and the known facts are that we have indentified the three individuals who were last seen with Natalee alive. As she was leaving Carlos and Charlie’s, we know the condition that Natalee was in. And when the suspects took her from the establishment, we have 22 different versions that they have given to the police to explain what they did with her that night. We know the sexual conduct they engaged in with her in the car as she was semiconscious, falling asleep and waking up. So we know it doesn’t look good, the things that were transpiring. Other than this, we have no further information.

You are very involved in helping others stay safe while traveling abroad. As a public speaker, what words of guidance do you give your audiences?

I remind them about the importance of their personal safety and that personal safety boils down to making a plan. Whether that plan is investigating the infrastructure of a country that you will be visiting, securing police numbers and embassy contacts, or understanding what the United States Embassy can and cannot provide for tourists who find themselves in a crisis outside our borders, it’s important to be prepared. I also remind my audiences that a lot of these occurrences transpire in the early morning hours. I cannot tell you the exhausted list of families that I have been working with whose loved one was last seen leaving an establishment at 12:30 am, 1 am or 1:30 am.

It’s the same scenario time after time, and it’s never a good outcome. It sounds so simple and something you’d even tell an elementary child — never go anywhere with strangers, never leave a place alone, and have a time and place to meet with friends before you leave the establishment.

What would you like audiences to take away from this movie?

I think the overall message is the message of hope, the hope for justice and the hope of making a difference in other people’s lives. I think what this movie will do after all is said and done is give my definition of hope — which is the inexplicable empowerment that enables us to move successfully from challenge to resolution with courage. It’s more than just wishful thinking; it’s the guarantee that there’s light at the end of whatever tunnel we’re trying to find our way through. My first phase was a fantasy phase of hope, and I thought I was coming to Aruba and taking Natalee home alive. When I left home, I told my son I’d return with her in a couple of days. As you move through a crisis and your hope is shattered, you have to find a new hope to carry you through. If I had stayed in my fantasy hope for too long, I could have never have fought so hard for Natalee’s life to make a difference.

Another message is the importance of justice. I was going to bring Natalee home whether she was alive or not. I was going to have justice and put her perpetrators behind bars. Well, none of that happened, and I can only hope that it does one day, but if it doesn’t, I still have a real hope — and real hope has actions behind it.

And my real hope is that, when I present to colleges, churches, civic groups and attorney generals, I am making a difference. It’s tangible for me, and that is why I keep going.



WILLEMSTAD — Last weekend, Justice intercepted a group of people in a research that was directed at human trafficking. There were also seven children in this group.

This was confirmed by the public prosecutor Ludmilla Vicento. Details could not be given with regard to the importance of the research, nor if any suspects were detained.

Minister of Justice David Dick (PAR) announced the action of Justice during yesterday’s State meeting. The children, originating from a country in the Caribbean region, were en route elsewhere to perform some kind of slaves’ work. The minister actually talked out of turn as the research is still in progress. According to Vicento, the character of the practices requires more clarity. In any case it has to do with illegality, forgery and human trafficking and/or smuggling.

Prevention policy

A difficult phenomenal to tackle, but a workgroup within the department of Justice is actually in full swing to implement a prevention policy. Momentarily there are advertising spots on the radio and a special telephone number.

Recently, Justice participated with a research by the Surinam authorities regarding human trafficking, whereby Surinamers were recruited and came to CuraƧao via Trinidad where they nevertheless were forced to work.


April 08, 2009




ORANJESTAD — During a drug prevention operation at sea last night, the Navy intercepted 350 kilo of cocaine. The hard drugs were stored aboard a suspected go-fast in de central of the Caribbean Sea.

The specific place cannot be revealed with regard to the continued research in this case, says spokesman Karen Gelijns for the Royal Navy in the Caribbean.

The suspected go-fast was spotted Monday afternoon by an American Navy patrol aircraft at sea. (Sounds like the U.S. has to do their job for them!) The crew of the Navy frigate Harer Majesteits Van Amstel received the order to intercept and investigate the vessel. The distance of 75 miles between the station ship and the suspected go-fast was quickly bridged, and the vessel stopped.

On board the vessel there were four persons, a large volume of fuel and fourteen sacks of approx. 25 kilo cocaine each. The crew of the go-fast has been handed over to the authorities for further research on the drug smuggling case.


April 05, 2009


These comments and questions were posed by Richard, Aruban Boycott Member:

Let's hope the media get hold of that story ... those poor Arubans whining because Dave Holloway didn't pay for their lunch. I really think that it should get publicity, because if they move to restrict Golba's activities, this will show up how petty they are.

(I don't have any hope for the pond search, but it's worth doing if only to eliminate a possibility.)

One thing that worries me ... the article ends by saying it isn't known where Golba is now searching on the island. How can that be, if ALE is dogging his every footstep, as we were told they were?

Are they going to say: "Okay, you broke the rules ... NO MORE SEARCHES"? That would make perfect sense; try to discredit the Americans, thereby glossing over the true issue.

(I also wonder why the media aren't raising the question I keep posing: Why should the search for a missing American in Aruba be OUR responsibility? But we know why...)

April 04, 2009


Sounds like Search and Rescue Aruba (SARFA) didn't pay attention during their economics class..."there is no such thing as a free lunch." I guess they were bitter about Dave Holloway paying for Fred Golba's lunch...and not giving them anything. (See article below)

And why should he? The only reason SARFA is involved is to "to maintain the image of Aruba towards the outside world. The rescue organization wanted to prevent that the media would publish that they had not participated with the searches for the American teenager."

So, it isn't about finding Natalee. It's about restoring their reputation. GO FIGURE. This article is not only transparent in their actions by helping Fred Golba, but it also shows their selfishness and ultimate bitterness towards the whole situation.

BITE THE BULLET PEOPLE! Get with the program and DO THE RIGHT THING! Quit the bitching and moaning! It only makes you look like insensitive bastards!

Search for Holloway continues without help of Sarfa

ORANJESTAD — Fred Golba, who was hired by Dave Holloway to search the island for his missing daughter Natalee, is still on the island. After the search had produced nothing new, he initially was scheduled to leave on Tuesday, but postponed his departure. The agreement with the authorities was that Golba would perform his search, amongst others, in the so-called Dam of Monserat until Tuesday, but suspect Joran van der Sloot was seen by a witness during the night that Natalee disappeared.

This dam is originally known as Tanki Real by the surrounding habitants. Golba searched the environment with a tracker dog and also used water pumps. These pumps as well as the generators were supplied by the rescue organization Search & Rescue Aruba (Sarfa).

However, Sarfa was not satisfied with the cooperation. The volunteers arranged for the material, but had to arrange for fuel, says a co-worker. Moreover, Golba enjoyed lunch at the expense of Dave Holloway, while not a penny was spent by Dave Holloway on the Sarfa-people as well as other volunteers.

Sarfa says they also participated in the search to maintain the image of Aruba towards the outside world. The rescue organization wanted to prevent that the media would publish that they had not participated with the searches for the American teenager.

It is unknown where Golba is now searching on the island.

April 02, 2009


Read below the correspondence between Aruban Boycott Member, Richard (our God to letter writing!) and the Netherlands State Secretary for Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations.

The Hon. Ank Bijleveld-Schouten
State Secretary for Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations
Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninksrijkrelaties
Postbus 20011
2500 EA Den Haag
The Netherlands

Dear Madam Secretary:

In a recent news article you were quoted as saying that the Netherlands has done "everything possible" in the case of Natalee Holloway, missing in Aruba since May 2005.

As an American concerned about this tragedy, I find this statement frankly astonishing. I therefore wish to submit for your consideration some additional measures that the Netherlands could undertake, particularly since, I understand, Aruba has handed over to it jurisdiction in this case:

1. Help provide funding for the search offshore Aruba. I have never understood why the financial burden for this mission should be the responsibility of the family and of American supporters and volunteers. Texas Equusearch, as you are aware, has carried out efforts in this regard. Before funding was exhausted, it had identified a number of sites of particular interest. Since the initial search was made possible by American generosity, perhaps the Dutch government could assist with the investigation of an obvious crime that took place in Aruba.

2. Refer to the Dutch body responsible for legal propriety the behavior of Paulus van der Sloot, who continues to work for the Aruban government despite having provided contradictory explanations for his statements and behavior at the time of Natalee's disappearance. As you are aware, the Aruban government itself overturned his request for additional "damages" following his arrest on these grounds. One would think that this prima facie impropriety would suffice for disbarment; while apparently it does not on Aruba, the Dutch bar may take an interest.

3. Investigate the activities of Jan van der Straaten, chief of police on Aruba at the time of Natalee's disappearance and a known friend of Paulus van der Sloot. It was van der Straaten who said he knew that Natalee was dead "because I've seen the evidence and you haven't"; to my understanding, none of this evidence has been produced. That alone casts suspicion on his statement. Any full-scale investigation of this tragedy must include the sworn testimony of van der Straaten; it is inconceivable that no such testimony has yet been demanded.

4. Natalee's father, Mr. Dave Holloway, said in his book "Aruba" that narcotics detective Dennis Jacobs (after asking "How much money have you got?") warned him that drugging of drinks at Carlos 'n' Charlies was known to occur. One presumes that Aruba, where American tourism at the time accounted for 80 percent of the economy, would have some interest in protecting foreign visitors. Yet apparently this situation was tolerated. Perhaps the Netherlands might investigate this, as well as why a narcotics detective was assigned to a missing-person case.

5. The testimony that various persons in the Netherlands have already provided might be reviewed. In one case, a person tied to the main suspect, Joran van der Sloot, was said to be unable to cause harm to her because he was homosexual. The logic of this statement is elusive.

6. Aruba has said that it has given jurisdiction over this case to the Netherlands. That being so, perhaps as a gesture of good will, attorneys for Natalee's family might be allowed to inspect the Aruban police files. I believe that such access now is allowed only if the case is closed.

7. A review of security tapes from the casino where Natalee was seen in the company of Joran van der Sloot would be in order. It seems that parts of those tapes were made public over a period of time, but the full tapes apparently have not been released. In one shot, a person with a strong resemblance to Paulus van der Sloot appears to be addressing Natalee. Aruba has said that that person was an (unnamed) cook on the island, but the visual identification of that figure with van der Sloot is persuasive. Certainly the Netherlands could resolve this question.

8. The family previously announced a reward for information leading to a solution of this case. Perhaps the Netherlands could contribute to such a reward and help publicize it.

I also wish to remind you of the case of Amy Bradley, an American who in March 1998 vanished from a cruise ship as it was docking in Curacao. The previous day, her ship had stopped in Aruba and certain crew members were urging her to go with them to Carlos 'n' Charlies, the same bar from which Natalee vanished. It is not known whether common factors or persons were involved in the two cases, but photographs, sightings, and other evidence strongly suggests that Amy remains alive, in a situation of duress. Meanwhile, Curacao seems as indifferent to the family's plight as is Aruba towards Natalee.

Should you be interested, I will gladly suggest many more ways in which the Netherlands could act. I send these few merely to show that your statement that the Netherlands has "done everything possible" is anything but accurate. As I write this letter, a news story says that Dutch scientists are testing a pill that erases painful memories. No such pill exists for the families of Natalee Holloway or Amy Bradley, nor does any pill exist that, in the absence of new initiatives, will convince Americans that the Dutch government is devoted to uncovering the truth and prosecuting the guilty in these cases.



cc: Royal Netherlands Embassy to the United States, Washington, D.C.

Dear (Richard),

Thank you for your letter of February 16th 2009 concerning the disappearance of Natalee Holloway with suggestions for further investigation.

Within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Aruba is an autonomous country and is responsible for justice affairs in Aruba. The Netherlands provide assistance whenever requested by the Aruban authorities. I am of the opinion that the Netherlands have provided in this case all possible assistance. For example the case has been extensively reviewed by a joint Dutch-Aruban police team. Unfortunately the case has, so far, not been solved. However, investigations are still ongoing.

on her behalf,
The director for Kingdom relations,
/s/ J. H. Gerritsen

Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations
The Hague, The Netherlands