MIA Facts Site

London Guardian Article:
Abraham's Bogus Story


You should have come to this page from an article about British citizen Tom Abraham, author of a book titled The Cage in which he claims to have been a captive of "the Viet Cong" for several days while he was a platoon leader with the 1st Cav Division in Vietnam.  His claim to have been a prisoner is bogus.  If you have not read the original article, read it at this link.

The following article was published in the London newspaper The Guardian.   Click on this link to read the article on the Guardian site.  The article is quoted below because the link may not work -- I do not know how long they archive articles on their web site.


US claims Briton's Vietnam tale a fraud

Jonathan Sale, Tania Branigan and Andrew Clennell
Wednesday November 20, 2002
The Guardian

A British author who claims he was captured, tortured and then escaped from a prisoner of war camp while serving with the US army during the Vietnam war has been dismissed as a fraud by the Pentagon.

In the best-selling book, The Cage, published last month, former public schoolboy Tom Abraham describes his escape from Viet Cong captors, but although he did serve in Vietnam, a Pentagon official told the Guardian there were no records of him being "held captive or of his having escaped".

Tom "Bud" Abraham's claim to have fought in Vietnam is not disputed. He emigrated with his parents at the age of 19, leaving their Cheshire home for the US where he joined the US army as an officer candidate in 1966.

He served with the 1st battalion of the 7th Cavalry and fought in some of the fiercest battles in the war, including the battle for Khe San during the Tet offensive. However, his claims of capture have angered US military officials and veterans' groups.

The chief of public affairs for the US defence department's PoW-missing personnel office, Larry Greer, said an exhaustive search of US military personnel centre archives in Missouri, prompted by Mr Abraham's book, had shown he was never a prisoner of war.

"There's no record of him being held captive or of his having escaped from captivity during his time in Vietnam," Mr Greer said.

"He did serve in the US army, he did win the Silver Star for gallantry, but [there is] no record of his being held captive. We have searched every scintilla of his military record and it's not there."

Mr Abraham broke down in tears when he told Michael Buerk about his ordeal in an interview broadcast on Radio 4's The Choice yesterday.

Questions over the authenticity of his tale arose when a trail for the programme sounded alarm bells for another US serviceman living in Britain who contacted the BBC with his concerns, forcing the show's postponement.

In the programme, Abraham was asked why the Pentagon did not list him as a PoW. "The incident took place in the aftermath of the Tet offensive. Every major military installation [was] attacked. I think the record-keeping of the day would have been suspect. The physical evidence is there: scars on my torso. I can't say that their records are incorrect. I can only assume they are, because I'm not on it," he says.

US veteran associations have uncovered thousands of "fakes" who have wrongly claimed to have served in Vietnam or who served but falsely claimed to have fought in elite units or won honours. Some have even suggested there are now more impostors than genuine veterans.

Paul Galanti of the Nam-PoWs association - who spent almost seven years in the infamous "Hanoi Hilton" - said Abraham did not appear in his list of the 802 PoWs who returned home. Only 76 of those were foreign nationals.

Mr Galanti added: "I get 10 requests a week as to whether people are genuine ... I think they're sick or else just born losers or con artists."

Abraham was not available for comment. His editor, Bill Scott-Kerr at Transworld, said: "There were documents including photographs, letters on USA army paper and citations about his medals. So many of the building blocks of the story appear to be correct that I can't see why anyone should want to doubt him."


Link to original article Link to Times of London article