HAVE YOU EVER BEEN . . .
the Secret Service?
Under surveillance in a
communist country, like Cuba?
by an earthquake?
In a nightclub
during a shootout?
Trapped in a
Lost alone in a bat cave for 14 hours?
Meet the adventuresome Dusty Pilot
Taping a TV segment when your
balls slip out of your swimsuit?
After years of writing feature stories, and doing public speaking, I miss it. While in the States I am doing freelance writing and public speaking again. If you would like more information fill out the form on the "SEND ME A MESSAGE" page. Or, if you just have a comment, I'd like to hear from you. You can also check it out on his "Public Speaking" page listed in the table of contents.
MY FIRST REASON FOR WRITING THIS SITE: I have chosen to share my interesting and unusual adventures with you, and returning to the States after living in Costa Rica for 11 years, finding long-lost friends not on Facebook or do not show up in Google searches. In the short time this site has been up, and it's not even finished yet, I did find one friend, and a slew of fans from my days of writing a syndicated newspaper column that appeared in hundreds of papers nationwide, and having been an on-air personality with Cleveland's NBC and CBS TV affiliates.
MY SECOND REASON: There is a lot of bogus information about me flying around in cyberspace, as well as here on Earth. This is an attempt to set the records straight, and to help the "people finder" sites get their info accurate.
Okay, after returning to the States, I tried Facebook without much luck. Next I Googled in names only to find ads claiming "We found So and So." There are hundreds of these "people finder" sites professing to be free. Yah, sure. I decided to break down and actually pay for one.
Then, for the heck of it, I typed in my own name, and lo and behold I learned a lot about myself that I didn't know. Wow, I owned a 14-bedroom house at the corner of Payne Ave. and E. 33rd St., in downtown Cleveland (perhaps a bordello?). I actually did own two historic brownstones on Prospect Ave. in downtown, but even if you were to count the bedrooms of both houses it wouldn't add up to 14. Then I went on to discover that I had lived in five states that I had never even visited. There were numerous addresses and phone numbers listed for me, but non were recognizable. It also told me that I use an alias, Dusty Emil. Really? I don't remember doing that.
I thought maybe I had the wrong Dusty Pilot, but how many of them can there be out there? Reading further, they did have my age right, and they came close to being accurate about my past employment. They said I had worked for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Not so. I wrote for The Cleveland Press. This is what I mean about bogus info.
While writing for The Press, the Plain Dealer did write stories about me and I was frequently mentioned in their Mary Strassmeyer's "Mary, Mary" gossip column. This is unusual because normally a competing paper doesn't write about a writer of a
competitor paper, but with all my unusual and unique endeavors to report on, they bent the rules. Maybe that's what got the "people finders" confused.
Back to the ALIAS Dusty Emil. My impression of people who use aliases is that they are up to no good--somebody running from the law, trying to commit fraud or other illegal activity, non of which I had ever done. After hours of pondering over it I came to a conclusion. Here's what happened: Shortly after moving to Costa Rica I went to the Costamicense de Electricidad (ICE), provider of electricity and telecommunications, to have a phone installed in my house. Taking care of this kind of business in foreign countries, especially when you are just learning the language, can be difficult. I filled out the paperwork in Spanglish, describing exactly where on the beach my house was located (they don't have street address in the countryside or on beaches). Not an easy task.
It took me about45 minutes to complete the simple form, which I signed "Dusty Pilot." I proudly turned it in along with my passport for identification. Now, most Spanish people have one or two given names, followed by two surnames. The first surname (considered the primary surname) is inherited from the father's paternal surname, the second is inherited from the mother's paternal surname. It can be confusing.
The only legal document that has my middle name, Emil, spelled out is my passport. Inadvertently the gal typed in my surname as Emil. I didn't realize this until I paid my first phone bill at a nearby country store by the beach. I didn't think it was important enough to make a long trip back to ICE, in the capital city of San Jose some three hours away, jump through Spanglish hoops again to have it corrected. Besides, family, friends and important people had my phone number. I couldn't imagine anyone trying to look me up in the Costa Rica white pages. In hindsight, I think not correcting it sent up a big red flag. It seems I've had a knack of sending up red flags throughout my entire life, of course never meaning to.
Okay, I figured out where the Dusty Emil came from. But what really got me was the fact that someone took time and effort to connect Dusty Pilot to Dusty Emil in a foreign country. All legal documents such as land deeds, bank accounts, credit cards, licences, taxes etc., in Costa Rica and other countries, including the U.S., are in my legal name, Dusty Pilot. In conclusion I'm sure a government agency made the connection. After all the red flags I unwittingly sent up over the years, I sometimes feel that I may have became be a "lowpriority person of interest" even though I have never done anything illegal. You are probably thinking I am just paranoid. Read about some of my experiences (like being under 24 hour surveillance in Grand Cayman and Cuba) plus all the other strange happenings before you make a judgement.
I have already visited over 16 foreign countries and plan on visiting others in the future. This site will continue growing as new things are always happening. It will be easier to share the latest news here rather than sending post cards. I just hope I'm not on the no fly list (lol). If you stop back, and I hope you do, go to the "TABLE OF CONTENTS" page and check for the latest updates.
Also, if you decide to continue reading, please start with the "Introduction Page" for some important background info.
Please keep in mind this site is still
Dusty Pilot Public speaker
| Freelance writer
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Autobiography bu Dusty Pilot