Being a grave robber isn’t the most popular profession. He’s been accused of desecrating sites, carrying a skull on a pike, and parading it around the streets of Phom Penh off his head on ecstasy.Although he is a drug free fitness fanatic. A lot of people have an opinion on him whether good or bad. But you must admit, you got to have the touch of the macabre and a thick skin, explains David Victor MacMillan.
“I’ve reenacted Sean Flynn‘s death. I stumbled though a village, blind folded and kicked like a horse by my body guard through the final steps to confirm an investigative time line. I’ve walked though land mine infested jungle with my team. We have heard some go off, and on one occasion been witness to three people being blown into millions of pieces. ”
You could say he’s a a buccaneer of sorts – a modern day pirate – ooking for treasure. He won’t be be offended. “I’ve heard worse. I ride the high seas of intrigue and mystery. I don’t have time for pen pushers, espousing theories. I’m a gun ho type of dude, from the Out Back of Queensland. If I think something isn’t’ gong to work, I’ll say a polite, “Fuck off” and move on to the next possibility. That’s just what I have done.”
This is his tale of a search for a treasure island of sorts.
It’s an unmarked grave, 1 by two meters, which contains the remains of two men who myteriously disappeared 42 years ago on Highway 1 in Cambodia.
“I”m Dave Victor MacMillan, “writes the grave digger, whose recent article in Mutiny, published in Los Angeles today, where Mac Millan confesses in well researched article, that he knows the resting place of Sean Flynn and Dana Stone.
He writes: ” I have spent the last three years heading the Flynn family search team, seeking answers to the riddle among a maze of tangle clues. I have also spent a great deal of time trying to assist Flynn’s family to bring his remains home and achieve closure. Rory Flynn Amir, Sean’s half sister and next of kin, has never given up on the search for her brother or in finding the truth behind his fate. She named her son Sean Rio Flynn after her beloved brother. Sean Flynn deserves the only kind of justice available in the circumstances – justice in death.”
His supporters have called him the Real Life Indiana Jones and have nicknamed him The Swashbuckling Bone Hunter of Cambodia. ” Our detractors in the international press have in the past branded me a mercenary, a voodoo bone shaker, a reckless amateur and a hoaxer.” But Dave isn’t perturbed, branding himself as a ” ex- pub bouncer from the Queensland outback who has made a promise to the Flynn family; a promise I am bound by my hand shake to up hold, which is to find Sean’s remains and to take him home.”
Dave, who has been living in Vietnam for the past decade, says that “Vietnam had a strange and mostly unspoken place in my family’s collective psyche.” He had heard from a young age of the horror stories of Vietnam and had read Tim Page’s Page by Page. “All I knew was that the Vietnamese were evil people who were as cunning as rats and liked nothing more than killing white guys who loved freedom. Though there was never any mention, though, of the long independence struggles and the crimes that had been perpetrated under colonialism/neo-colonialism.”
In his article in the Mutiny Magazine, a Los Angeles based magazine, The Swashbuckling Bone Hunter’s Search for the Son of Captain Blood, MacMillan says he’s 90 percent sure that he has found the resting place of Sean Flynn. In an email, I ask him what made him so confident to assert such a claim. I also asked him if his article is causing a stir in Hollywood, and is he concerned that some of his detractors will come out of the wood work and put his assertions to the test?
“To date information about the fate of the 11 men who went missing in Chi Pou within a 12 hour period has been hoarded, ” replies MacMillian to the first question.” I think its time for some transparency without it the case goes unsolved. And its been 42 years already. So I think its time to attack the goal aggressively.”
MacMillan says he isn’t interested in taking a partisan approach.The publisher has already received emails from anonymous writer, who has made threats towards MacMillan, but the magazine backs him , saying, “Your enemies are ours”. Dave isn’t concerned, and says that all he is doing is putting the facts on the table and welcome an open house debate.
“I’m not concerned with enemies,” he wrote, from Vung Tau, his Vietnamese hideaway, where he is based.
”I don’t see the world in that way, I do what I do and if anybody has any issue with it I like to take the old-fashioned toe to toe approach to diplomacy. That being said I’m open to criticism, but I have done 3 years of work to come to this conclusion and have been able to find witnesses and a chain of movement which was before not identified, other investigators seemed to forget that 11 people went down in the same area withinn 12 hours. ”
He believes that the men captured by the Vietnamese were moved through the chain of custody identified by Zalin Grant. ” But everybody always blamed the disappearance of Flynn and Stone on the Vietnamese and assumed they were moved away.No one ever factored in that they could have been captured by a hostile indigenous element. And simply for lack of better word murdered.”
He says one point that is commonly overlooked, is that Vietnamese Communist elements had withdrawn with the other prisoners across the border by the time Flynnand Stone arrived out there. ” They were unfortunate enough to be captured by bandits not by Vietnamese military. I’m certain that if they had been captured by the Vietnamese we wouldn’t be having this conversation and they would have most likely been released.”
I have followed Dave’s search for Sean Flynn over the past two years( here and here). In that time, we have a forged mutual respect. I have been updated with his investigations, and he’s been very generous with his information. One day, while waiting for a flight back to Australia, sitting at an Airport in Kula Lumper, Dave sends me a document, For Your Eyes Only, was written in the subject. It was the file on Sean and Dana Stone.
Dave says, consequently of his dig in 2010, and a recent foray int the jungle, that he has arrived at a conclusions after years ” of intensive and difficult field investigations throughout South East Asia, and combing through and analyzing declassified and classified materials about case 1588.”
“Case 1588 as far as cold disappearance/ homicide cases go, is 10 out of 10 hard,” writes Dave in his Mutiny article. “Because case 1588 was such a high profiled case, the “facts” have long been taken over by mythology, legend, Cambodian superstitions and village rumors to a point where it’s difficult to disseminate between the two.
He writes that Page’s book Derailed in Uncle Ho’s Victory Garden tells of his “find” of Sean Flynn, “that had essentially defined him (Page), and his biography had hailed him as the man who had solved Case 1588 over 15 years before.”
As Dave has written before, over the last three years, he says that the U.S. Army analysts, Tim Page and many other authors “ have claimed that they were captured at the Arpin-Peugeot Roadblock and processed as prisoners of war by the communist forces and executed after a year in captivity.” He believes that is wrong and puts his reputation on the line in his latest article which concludes about Stone and Flynn’s fate:
Having been cut off and unable to return the way they had come. They trying to navigate their way through the ever-changing front lines, and had no other choice of escape route as they were caught in the middle of an area where the communist guerillas at that time was preparing and bracing themselves to fight a defensive battle against the ensuing ARVN and United States forces. The latter were in the process of launching a major and incursion into southern Cambodia with the objective of capturing the COSVN (Central Office of South Vietnam) headquarters and disrupting communist supply lines and logistic infrastructure.
The two men were forced to run the gauntlet on their motorcycles, making the ten-kilometer trek through Chi Pou, and heading for the safety of the South Vietnamese border and the Bavet/Moc Bai border checkpoint.
The pair were executed by gun shot at dusk on the day of capture by the Santesok under suspicion of being part of a Daniel Boone black operations unit or a small CIA mobile reconnaissance unit.
To Read the complete article of Dave’s Discovery, go the Mutiny Magazine