Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Alaska Woman Used Survival Skills To Escape Mexican Kidnappers


On October 8th 2006, I discussed KTUU's report about Tammy Griffin (pictured at left, with her husband Mike), an Alaska woman who successfully escaped from several kidnappers down in Mexico. However, according to a later story from the Anchorage Daily News, it was more of an ordeal than originally portrayed. It turns out that Moore used Alaskan survival skills learned while hunting bear and moose in Alaska to help make her escape.

Let's recap the kidnapping, based on an account provided to the Anchorage Daily News by 28-year old Amanda Aguilar, the oldest child of Tammy Griffin.

The ordeal began Thursday night (October 5th) about 8:00 P.M., said Aguilar, reached by phone at her home in Eagle River. Several kidnappers, perhaps as many as five, had already robbed a couple in a nearby home. They walked that couple at gunpoint to her parents' beachfront vacation home, Aguilar said.

Mike, curious, walked outside. The men thrust rifles in his face, ordering him in the house, then struck him, Aguilar said. Tammy, asleep in a bedroom, awoke when the men began looking for things to steal. They blindfolded and bound everyone but Tammy, grabbing cash, guns, a laptop, a DVD player, tools, and anything else of value, Tanner said. They also snatched $3,000 in cash, according to The Associated Press.

Then they took Tammy and drove off in the Griffin's rental jeep. They left a cell phone with Mike to arrange a ransom, according to The Associated Press. Those left behind managed to untie themselves.

The kidnappers met up with other men later, left the jeep and drove to a remote area in the mountains about 45 minutes away, then walked on foot deeper into the jungle. They gave Tammy a mat to rest on on the jungle floor. There were as many as seven men in all. They took turns watching her.

Tammy, who speaks broken Spanish, was submissive but confident, refusing to cry, her children said. "She just did what they asked her to do, which is why they never tied her up," Aguilar said. "They figured a petite redheaded white girl (5 feet 4 inches, 120 pounds) isn't going to run into the jungle."

They never blindfolded her, either. She thought that meant they were planning to kill her. "She knew running was her best chance of survival," Tanner said. About 3:00 A.M., when her guard fell asleep, Tammy grabbed a roll of toilet paper and cigarettes -- she didn't know how long she'd be running -- and quietly walked away, Aguilar said
.


That's where her wilderness know-how came in handy. Brought up in Eagle River, Tammy had once lived in a Glennallen house without running water and told time by watching the sun, Aguilar said, and she loves to hunt and fish.

Summarizing the rest of the report, that morning, wearing nothing but the clothes on her back and flip-flops on her feet, Griffin crashed through trees, brush and spiderwebs, stopping to listen often but never hearing pursuers (this technique is taught in military escape & evasion courses). Then she found a creek and followed it, knowing it would flow to the coast and the highway that runs along it.

Later, she headed toward the sunrise, knowing that would also take her to the coast and possible help. Upon reaching a nearby town, she walked into a small store, where the shop owners, upon hearing of her ordeal, gave her a calling card to dial police (the locals down there don't like kidnappers and drug traffickers any more than we do). Subsequently she was reunited with her husband, Mike.

Tammy Griffin, who back in The World is the Alaska Region Director of Operations for The Hotel Group, slashed her feet during her escape but wasn't otherwise hurt. Her husband, Mike Griffin, 52, also of Anchorage, who owns Aurora Construction Services, was not seriously injured either, though I imagine he has a bit of a headache from the pistol-whipping. He plans on remaining in Zihuatanejo for another month to continue building onto the couple's vacation home there. Tammy, who is staying with friends, will remain in Mexico for another week to work with the U.S. Embassy and local officials to find the men.

Commentary: Imagine what would have happened to this woman had she not acquired survival skills and the necessary confidence to apply them in this situation. She'd still be in captivity, raped, tortured, or maybe even dead by now. How many other women do you think could have accomplished such an escape? How many men, for that matter? UAL Flight 93 didn't take out the White House on 9-11 because a few men had the courage to risk it all. But where did Todd Beamer and his fellow heroes get their confidence?

Don't you wish more people received this type of training? Many do, but only because they're interested in survival skills or pursue hobbies requiring such skills, or perhaps they're rich enough to "buy" such experiences. But why doesn't our public education system teach these skills? Or at least emphasize physical fitness much more than they do. After all, isn't the mission of public education to "educate every student for success in life"? Every public high school should at least have an obstacle course and/or confidence course so those students who aren't "jocks" can get more rigorous, confidence-building physical training.

Unfortunately, thanks to an unholy alliance of liberal social engineers and neocon bean-counters, many of our schools have become little more than glorified academic sweatshops where every pedagogical moment is spent either worshipping diversity or taking tests. Yet the rising generation of kids is the most obese in history, who can tell you what Paris Hilton had for breakfast yesterday, but who can't tell you who signed the Declaration of Independence. And where does this get us? If the Anchorage School District, one of the better school districts in the nation, can only manage a 64% graduation rate, you can only imagine what hellholes many of these other schools are.

However, there was one person who understood the problems attendant to public education and who proposed some radical but sensible solutions. However, this person is considered "persona non-grata" in civil society because he is Politically Incorrect. His name - Dr William L. Pierce. As the late Chairman of the National Alliance, Dr. Pierce set forth his vision for education in a pamphlet entitled "What Is The National Alliance?"

A proper educational system serves three purposes: it passes a people's cultural, intellectual, and spiritual heritage from generation to generation; it teaches skills and techniques; and it guides the character development of individuals from childhood to adulthood.

The first purpose is served by teaching facts and ideas: language, history, science, ethics, and so on.

The second purpose is served by teaching the child or young adult how to do things which will be useful to himself and/or society: how to play a musical instrument, how to weld, how to manage a business, how to type, how to repair a motor vehicle, how to fight with and without weapons, how to draw, how to swim, how to raise children, how to grow food, how to build a house.

The third purpose is served by
challenging, testing, conditioning: by forcing the child to exercise his will, to discipline himself, to endure discomfort, to make plans and carry them out, to overcome fears, to accept responsibility, to be truthful, and generally to develop and strengthen those traits of character valued by a healthy Aryan society.

The present educational system in America completely neglects the third purpose and does poorly with the first two, even in those fortunate areas not yet encumbered with an appreciable "multicultural" contingent. The most important reason for its poor performance is that it has lost any clear understanding of purpose.


While originally directed towards a white audience, his proposals, if adopted, would benefit nearly every child passing through the American public educational system, and, in many cases, correct for deficient parenting. Just imagine the benefit to the greater society. The next generation would possess a wider array of skills promoting multiple employability, making them more recession-proof. The next generation would be prepared to marry and parent more responsibly, leading to fewer out-of-wedlock births, fewer abortions, fewer divorces, and more two-parent families (with the parents being of different genders, the way it's supposed to be). And above all, the next generation would have more courage to do what Todd Beamer did aboard UAL Flight 93.

Or merely to do what Tammy Griffin did in Mexico; instead of huddling helplessly awaiting the next move by her captors, she took the courage to escape at the earliest opportunity.

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