Elon Musk responds to Thai cave diver's criticism by calling him a "pedo"

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

On July 2, two British divers finally tracked down the boys’ soccer team that had been missing in Thailand’s Tham Luang caverns since June 23. Heavy rainfall had trapped them in a flooded chamber two miles inside the complex, and there was no easy way to get the kids and their coach safely back out.

Just over one week ago, Elon Musk tweeted that engineers from his SpaceX and Boring Company were heading to Thailand to “see if we can be helpful” to the government. One of Musk’s plans for extracting the trapped team was to use a miniature submarine. He even posted video footage of tests being carried out on the mini-sub.

On July 10, an international team managed to rescue the boys. Narongsak Osatanakorn, the head of the joint command center coordinating the operation, said that Musk’s submarine would have been impractical for the extraction, adding that “it doesn’t fit with our mission.” The billionaire responded by calling Osatanakorn “not the subject matter expert,” and “inaccurately described as rescue chief.”

Osatanakorn’s comments weren’t as damning as those from Vern Unsworth, who played a critical part in the mission. He told Musk to “stick his submarine where it hurts.” The British diver said the sub “had absolutely no chance of working” because Musk “had no conception of what the cave passage was like.”

“The submarine, I believe, was about five foot six long, rigid, so it wouldn’t have gone round corners or round any obstacles. It wouldn’t have made the first 50 meters into the cave from the dive start point. Just a PR stunt.”

Unsworth said Musk was “asked to leave very quickly” after he arrived at the caves during the rescue.

Yesterday (July 15), Musk refuted claims that he was asked to leave. He implied that it was “sus” [suspect] for a British ex-pat to be living in Thailand,” and wrote “Sorry pedo guy you really did ask for it.”

When a Twitter user called out Musk for his attack on Unsworth, he doubled down on the claims. "Bet ya a signed dollar it's true," he wrote in another tweet.

The tweets have since been deleted, though not before several of Musk’s 22 million followers pointed out the dangers of making such allegations.

Unsworth says he is now considering taking legal action against Musk. "Yes, it's not finished," he told Australia's Channel 7 News. "It's not finished. I believe he's called me a pedophile. Well, by definition, you're rescuing 12 young boys, by definition that puts everybody in the same context."

"I'm not going to make any further comment about him, but I think people realise what sort of guy he is."

Permalink to story.

 
W

wolverinewide

Oh no, someone called me a word. LEGAL ACTION!

The world "pedo" by itself means nothing in court, because it could be short for a number of words, including:

pedophile
pedometer
pedogenic
pedocalic
pedologic
pedograph
pedomancy
pedogogic

Did Musk include and reference to underage kids in his tweet? No? Ok then, case closed.
 
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wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
Video of the thing working in a swimming pool is far different from it working in a cave.

I don't believe the diver should have resorted to name calling, and should have simply stated that the sub would not have worked because it could not get around the corners in the cave. However, because the diver called poor Elon names is no excuse for Musk to resort to the same. Then again, Musk started name calling in the first place with the head of the rescue operation.

I would be surprised if the head of the operation did not consult the team and ask for their opinions as to whether it would work or not. In a situation like that, you ask everyone on the team about all options. For Musk to imply that the head of the operation did not know what he was talking about is, IMO, lame at the least.

As I see it, it is far more likely that it was just a publicity stunt - after all, Musk's involvement was sparked by a tweet asking if he was going to try to help, and not by Musk offering out of the goodness of his own heart.
 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
Once again Musk proves the point "once an *****, always an *****". The maps and graphics of the cave made it very clear that NO submersible could have navigated the entire cave, in fact some areas were so small the divers had to remove their tanks in order to get through at least one passageway. Perhaps this was a publicity stunt to promote his tunneling business, which must be considered successful since he's managed to dig himself into a BIG hole ......
 

LemmingOverlrd

TS Addict
There is a massive difference between telling someone to get ****ed and calling them a pedo. The first is not an insult, it's simply disrespect and rude. The latter is derogatory and, in a public forum like twitter, takes on a greater weight. There is a reason Musk had the tweets removed.

If I were in a court and told the judge to go **** himself, I'd be ruled in contempt of court. If I were to go online and use my position as a public figure to exact revenge on someone by saying they like to have sex with little boys, you can be sure I'd get slapped with a defamation / libel suit and made to pay a hefty fine.

Finally, unless there is a massive cover-up by both foreign divers, the media in general and the Thai authorities, on a matter this delicate, then Musk is just grabbing headlines for himself. If so, I'd add... "Shame on you, Musk."
 

LemmingOverlrd

TS Addict
Oh no, someone called me a word. LEGAL ACTION!

The world "pedo" by itself means nothing in court, because it could be short for a number of words, including:

pedophile
pedometer
pedogenic
pedocalic
pedologic
pedograph
pedomancy
pedogogic

Did Musk include and reference to underage kids in his tweet? No? Ok then, case closed.
Except when users called him out saying he couldn't call the diver a pedophile and he replied "Bet ya a signed dollar it's true", so basically confirming his slander.
 

mbrowne5061

TS Evangelist
Oh no, someone called me a word. LEGAL ACTION!

The world "pedo" by itself means nothing in court, because it could be short for a number of words, including:

pedophile
pedometer
pedogenic
pedocalic
pedologic
pedograph
pedomancy
pedogogic

Did Musk include and reference to underage kids in his tweet? No? Ok then, case closed.
Except when users called him out saying he couldn't call the diver a pedophile and he replied "Bet ya a signed dollar it's true", so basically confirming his slander.
Even without that, reading into the context is considered valid in most courts. Musk used the term "pedo" in reference to the diver being a 'british ex-pat in Thailand' and it being 'suspect'. That's some nice mental gymnastics WolverineWide, with what else "pedo" might have meant, but the Thailand and British judges give it a 3.
 

Reachable

TS Evangelist
They both have good reason to be angry. The divers had been working for days, risking their lives in a flooded dark cave, when suddenly this billionaire shows up to great fanfare. But remember, things were looking far from certain that the divers would succeed, and there was a tone of desperation. Musk took time off from his undoubtedly busy schedule and flew all the way to Thailand, and, like everyone else in the world, was sincerely concerned about the fate of the boys.

The diver's annoyance was understandable, but it goes outside the bounds of fairness to make accusations of a publicity stunt. Musk's anger is understandable, but it's certainly inappropriate to label the diver a pedo. Musk should not get away scot-free with that defamation, but he also deserves a chance to show what his sub could have done.
 
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LemmingOverlrd

TS Addict
They both have good reason to be angry. The divers had been working for days, risking their lives in a flooded dark cave, when suddenly this billionaire shows up to great fanfare. But remember, things were looking far from certain that the divers would succeed, and there was a tone of desperation. Musk took time off from his undoubtedly busy schedule and flew all the way to Thailand, and, like everyone else in the world, was sincerely concerned about the fate of the boys.

The diver's annoyance was understandable, but it goes outside the bounds of fairness to make accusations of a publicity stunt. Musk's anger is understandable, but it's certainly inappropriate to label the diver a pedo. Musk should not get away scot-free with that defamation, but he also deserves a chance to show what his sub could have done.
2 points I'd like to make.

1) it is not so much a submarine, but more of a "pod".
2) I'd love to see Musk try. If the images captured inside the cave and the infographics provided are accurate, there's no chance in hell that "pod" can get to the kids. But we also know it'll be impossible to replicate the exact water levels from that moment.
 
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captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
Jeez, you guys always climb all over me when I tell you what Musk is all about. Now he's finally proved me right.

If the graphics shown on the news are anywhere near correct, his "pod", would have had to be dragged onto land several times during the extraction. Could making said "pod", from Falcon rocket parts, could be confused with be an ad for Space-X?

Musk likely had nothing better to do, than go annoy people in Thailand. A board of directors actually runs the failing Tesla corp, and many, many, stockholders, want him gone anyway..

Musk chases the spotlight with the same alacrity a cat chases a laser pointer, and this is just another misdirected paw swipe at headlines. Nothing more, nothing less.

Anyway, if the "pod" works as well as he claims, perhaps he could go for a world record speed trial in that Olympic size swimming pool. Hey, if it's headlines you want, a pointless world record would be a good place for Musk to start.

He's not exactly new to that game. After all, doesn't his Tesla already hold the world record for wasted hydrazine, time, air pollution created, and man hours spent trying to make it into an outer space talking point.

And before you start crowing about what a great achievement the "Falcon Heavy" was, keep in mind the Saturn V put men on the moon, while Musk's booster sent his Tesla "somewhere".
 
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captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
...[ ]....The diver's annoyance was understandable, but it goes outside the bounds of fairness to make accusations of a publicity stunt. Musk's anger is understandable, but it's certainly inappropriate to label the diver a pedo. Musk should not get away scot-free with that defamation, but he also deserves a chance to show what his sub could have done.
Spare me.
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
Once again Musk proves the point "once an *****, always an *****".
I think you should have given us at least the first letter of the "asterisk series".

I've spent so much time inserting possibilities, that I've gone and forgotten what the heck I was doing before I read your post
 

Brach Speicher

TS Rookie
Funny how many people complained about Notch and his "big mouth" on social media and how he was bound to get himself into trouble if he didn't shut up, and I simply don't recall Notch saying ANYTHING close to the degree that this ******* just did. Why doesn't he pay Flint's water bill already?

Edit: Auto censorship completely sucks. Don't expect much more commentary from me.
 
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captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
Funny how many people complained about Notch and his "big mouth" on social media and how he was bound to get himself into trouble if he didn't shut up, and I simply don't recall Notch saying ANYTHING close to the degree that this ******* just did. Why doesn't he pay Flint's water bill already?

Edit: Auto censorship completely sucks. Don't expect much more commentary from me.
Aw poor baby, does our censorship really annoy you that much. Are you going to take you profanity and leave? But please understand, we've all heard and used "the seven words you can't say on TV", before.

Why not learn to be articulate without profanity.? That presents a much bigger challenge to get your feelings across.

I think YouTube still lets you drop "the F bomb", maybe that site would be more to your liking.
 

wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
They both have good reason to be angry. The divers had been working for days, risking their lives in a flooded dark cave, when suddenly this billionaire shows up to great fanfare. But remember, things were looking far from certain that the divers would succeed, and there was a tone of desperation. Musk took time off from his undoubtedly busy schedule and flew all the way to Thailand, and, like everyone else in the world, was sincerely concerned about the fate of the boys.

The diver's annoyance was understandable, but it goes outside the bounds of fairness to make accusations of a publicity stunt. Musk's anger is understandable, but it's certainly inappropriate to label the diver a pedo. Musk should not get away scot-free with that defamation, but he also deserves a chance to show what his sub could have done.
2 points I'd like to make.

1) it is not so much a submarine, but more of a "pod".
2) I'd love to see Musk try. If the images captured inside the cave and the infographics provided are accurate, there's no chance in hell that "pod" can get to the kids. But we also know it'll be impossible to replicate the exact water levels from that moment.
Then maybe he should wait until monsoon season is over and the caves are dry and attempt to walk the same route with his rocket pod in hand. That would be an easy test.
 
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m4a4

TS Evangelist
Funny how many people complained about Notch and his "big mouth" on social media and how he was bound to get himself into trouble if he didn't shut up, and I simply don't recall Notch saying ANYTHING close to the degree that this ******* just did. Why doesn't he pay Flint's water bill already?
Edit: Auto censorship completely sucks. Don't expect much more commentary from me.
Aw poor baby, does our censorship really annoy you that much. Are you going to take you profanity and leave? But please understand, we've all heard and used "the seven words you can't say on TV", before.
Why not learn to be articulate without profanity.? That presents a much bigger challenge to get your feelings across.
I think YouTube still lets you drop "the F bomb", maybe that site would be more to your liking.
The problem is that it also auto censors id!ot, like we're a bunch of children lol