Visit 1 Rep Max Clothing - Heavy duty, high quality and stylish gym wear for the hard training athlete. Clothing designed with bodybuilders and weightlifters in mind!

17-year-old with autism pulls off identity stunt of the decade.

Page: 12 > Showing page 1 of 2
Author
paulthebuilder
Pro-Member
  • Total Posts : 27900
  • Reward points: 9300
  • Joined: 2006/05/06 22:39:09
  • Status: offline
2009/07/19 11:23:06 (permalink)

17-year-old with autism pulls off identity stunt of the decade.

A TEENAGE boy from Yorkshire succeeded in persuading British aviation executives that he was a tycoon about to launch his own airline. Using the pseudonym Adam Tait, the smooth-talking 17-year-old told airport and airline executives that he had a fleet of jets.
Tait, who said he was in his twenties, even flew to Jersey to attend a 1½-hour long meeting with the director of its airport. Their talks were considered promising enough for a further meeting to be arranged, which was due to be held next week.
Other air industry bosses found themselves dealing by telephone or e-mail with Tait’s fellow executives, David Rich and Anita Dash, who proposed to launch a cut-price Channel Islands-based airline servicing most of Europe.
What no one realised was that Tait, Rich and Dash were all the same person: an aircraft buff with the gift of the gab and an overactive imagination.


His exploits are reminiscent of those of Frank Abagnale Jr, who convinced the Pan Am airline that he was a pilot while still a teenager.
The Yorkshire teenager’s six-month-long ruse, which included placing articles in industry magazines, foundered only after one publication, Airliner World, became suspicious. It started to unravel the complex network that Tait had set up of fake websites, “virtual offices” complete with a real telephone receptionist and bogus names.
Last Monday he was questioned by Essex police while trying to gain access to a 93- seater jet at Southend airport, having convinced the plane’s marketing agent that his “company” wanted to lease it.
The police, who had intervened after being tipped off by Airliner World, discovered the boy’s true identity. Although no further action was taken, his fantasy was finally grounded.
The Sunday Times has agreed not to use Tait’s real name at the request of his father, who did not know of his son’s exploits until he was contacted last week.
He said that his son suffered from a form of autism and was “a phenomenal individual who is enterprising and creative” with an ability to recall the exact detail of every airline’s flight schedules. But the autism also made his behaviour highly challenging.
“He has been passionate about aeroplanes for about two years and his whole bedroom is plastered with them,” he said.
“Before that he came within two days of bringing the US cast of High School Musical to a 300-seat theatre in Shropshire by cutting and pasting mastheads from one company to another, masquerading as this or that.
“It would have happened, except when booking the hotel some queries were thrown up. I don’t know why he did it. He is not nasty or vindictive or malicious.”
The case has parallels with that of Gary McKinnon, 43, the Asperger’s syndrome sufferer who is facing extradition to the United States, accused of hacking into the Pentagon’s computers to look for evidence of UFOs (unidentified flying objects).
Tait began his elaborate hoax by buying up websites in the name of American Global Group and Island Airways. He then approached various established airlines to ask whether they wanted to give him a franchise agreement.
He claimed that the American parent company had a readily available fleet of 12 jets of varying size. His e-mails, like his telephone patter, were impressively well informed and persuasive. Each ended with the sign-off “American Global Group, 35 Countries, 22 Languages, One Team”, followed by a list of all the states in which it supposedly had offices.
Malcolm Coupar, the commercial manager of Aurigny, the airline owned by the Guernsey government, said he and Malcolm Hart, his managing director, had conducted discussions over a period of months with Tait, who was using the name David Rich.
“Some of the things he said were the sort of things that were indicative that there might have been some substance to his claims,” said Coupar. “If they were real then there would have been opportunities for us to expand our business and that’s not the sort of thing we are going to ignore.”
Tait also made approaches, with varying levels of success, to other airlines, including Titan Airways and Aer Arann.
When he made contact with Jersey airport, his patter was convincing enough to effect a 90-minute face-to-face meeting with Julian Green, the airport’s director, who said last night: “Jersey airport can confirm it has had discussions with Adam Tait over recent weeks about an ambitious network of services between Jersey, the UK and Europe.
“As further information has come to light in recent days we can now confirm negotiations on the proposal have ceased.”
Tait gained some initial credibility with an article about his supposed airline which appeared in Airliner World.
Richard Maslen, the deputy editor, said: “We spoke to a few contacts in the industry and they had also heard whispers about this proposed start-up and as a result we ran a small news piece in the magazine.”
When Tait suggested further coverage, Maslen smelt a rat. His reporter recorded Tait talking, then played the tape to Coupar, who confirmed it was the same voice as “David Rich”.
The magazine suggested Tait do some photographs and he suggested Southend airport, where he said one of his company’s jets, a 93-seater BAe 146-200, was hangared.
Tait then contacted Airstream, the agent which markets the plane, and said his company wanted to lease it. Airstream took him at face value, even offering to pick him up and chauffeur him to the airport to inspect the plane.
The teenager’s plans were about to crash, however. Concerned about his stated intention to start up the plane’s engines, Airliner World tipped off police. Officers, who intercepted the teenager and a number of colleagues who he had brought with him, warned Airstream that Tait was using multiple names and it should have nothing further to do with him.
When confronted by The Sunday Times at his family’s home in York, Tait initially denied any wrongdoing. He later admitted that he had “done some things in a bad way”, but said he had broken no laws and insisted he still harboured ambitions to make his “aviation business” take off.
His father argued that sufferers from autism have great potential. He said of his son: “People like him are not criminals, they are just misguided — they don’t understand what they are doing. Can someone grab hold of these people and harness their energy and use them for something that could be good?
“If someone with little or no education who has extreme enterprise and talent could have his energy channelled in the right direction, what could they achieve for themselves and our country?”
Sky-high poser
Between the ages of 16 and 21, Frank Abagnale Jr posed as an airline pilot, a lawyer, a college professor and a paediatrician, fraudulently earning millions of dollars. After serving time in jail, Abagnale has since worked for 35 years as a security consultant, advising companies on fraud. His youthful exploits were made the subject of a Hollywood film, Catch Me If You Can, starring Leonardo DiCaprio

http://business.timeson...sport/article6719191.ece
#1

27 Replies Related Threads

    1 Rep Max Designer bodybuilding clothing - built to last. Try our popular Hoodie... The 'Utili-Hood' or our hard wearing Training Vests
    essex_chris
    Pro-Member
    • Total Posts : 17318
    • Reward points: 10038
    • Joined: 2005/08/21 13:20:45
    • Location: Essex
    • Status: offline
    Re:17-year-old with autism pulls off identity stunt of the decade. 2009/07/19 11:40:41 (permalink)
    Wow. I'd like to believe that it's simply the flight of fancy of a boy with autism (pun intended) but i can't help but think that is an excuse.

    Incredible that it can get so far, but then it's only the same thiniking as people who believe in ponzi schemes because they see somebody getting a high interest prize payout.

    Fascinating story. Don't think Leo di Caprio will get called in for the film though

    Awesome pic, but Tony you're not doing yourself many favours posting up tips on preventing the gag reflex and then a picture of a guy touching his toes - Ak
    #2
    David
    Administrator
    • Total Posts : 2694
    • Reward points: 11040
    • Joined: 2004/12/26 22:52:22
    • Location: Spain
    • Status: offline
    Re:17-year-old with autism pulls off identity stunt of the decade. 2009/07/19 11:48:59 (permalink)
    How does a kid with autism have the interpersonal skills to pull this off? Even if he only has aspergers he'd struggle to convince anyone in a meeting situation, and he certainly wouldn't be seeking face to face contact with strangers.
    #3
    paulthebuilder
    Pro-Member
    • Total Posts : 27900
    • Reward points: 9300
    • Joined: 2006/05/06 22:39:09
    • Status: offline
    Re:17-year-old with autism pulls off identity stunt of the decade. 2009/07/19 11:55:20 (permalink)
    No idea mate.
    I sometimes teach a boy with *a non-severe form of* autism who, at 12, has the mathematical prowess to be studying A level.
    Aside from one or two character blips which only crop up when certain triggers are placed in his way, you'd simply assume he's an outstandingly intelligent young man.
    He also enjoys social interaction in the presence of many and is noticeably outgoing.
    post edited by rightyho - 2009/07/19 13:54:12
    #4
    MT2006
    Pro-Member
    • Total Posts : 4679
    • Reward points: 4909
    • Joined: 2006/03/21 12:52:33
    • Status: offline
    Re:17-year-old with autism pulls off identity stunt of the decade. 2009/07/19 11:57:14 (permalink)
    David

    How does a kid with autism have the interpersonal skills to pull this off? Even if he only has aspergers he'd struggle to convince anyone in a meeting situation, and he certainly wouldn't be seeking face to face contact with strangers.


    Why?
     
    I have Asperger’s, and I can relate with what you are saying, and I am sure most people with autism struggle on that front. BUT I know of a few people who are very good at communication who have Asperger’s (they do public speaking about Autism). There are some famous people who show traits whom are good public speakers and have decent interpersonal skills - Warren Buffett shows traits, as does Bill Gates somewhat.
    #5
    Dan Nukem
    Pro-Member
    • Total Posts : 14961
    • Reward points: 9229
    • Joined: 2002/09/21 02:08:49
    • Location: Republic of Ireland
    • Status: offline
    Re:17-year-old with autism pulls off identity stunt of the decade. 2009/07/19 12:04:41 (permalink)
    David

    How does a kid with autism have the interpersonal skills to pull this off? Even if he only has aspergers he'd struggle to convince anyone in a meeting situation, and he certainly wouldn't be seeking face to face contact with strangers.


    I was thinking the same thing.
    #6
    Yohimbe
    Pro-Member
    • Total Posts : 3859
    • Reward points: 7105
    • Joined: 2008/05/10 15:36:34
    • Location: North Korea Baby
    • Status: offline
    Re:17-year-old with autism pulls off identity stunt of the decade. 2009/07/19 12:12:24 (permalink)
    He's more likely to be aspergers.  It might be considered a form of autism by the DSM IV but it aint autism autism.  Likewise high functioning autism is not a huge disability compared with full-on autism.  There are many shades of grey.  There are many undiagnosed asperger types (it only became formally recognised in the last 20 years or so).  Autism has been recognised for longer and is easier to spot.  Autistics (but not high functioning autistics) tend to have low IQ's and lack imagination.  Aspergers tend to have at least average amounts of both, many are blesssed with great memories...  a very few autistcs and asperger types are what we call savant i.e. particularly gifted (that boy who draws from memory or Dustin Hoffman's rain man).  Aspergers often have good to very good communication skills.  I'm mildly asperger apparently.  Many teachers (and non-teachers) I know unknowingly exhibit asperger behaviors.  Aspergers tend to be brilliant communicators (albeit rather one-sided and ignorant of social cues i.e. knowing when to shut up because people are no longer listening) with larger than usual vocabularies for their age.  I spent a year working with autistics and aspergers.  Never a dull day.  Huge surprises.  Fascinating range of human behaviors.  Wonderful kids.  We all have these behaviors to some degree, some more than others.

    It's been said that we likely wouldn't have as much engineering/IT or science without asperger type behaviors.  And many famous people in the past have been speculated to have had aspergers e.g. Seurat, Einstein, Gates.  All speculation of course.

    It's whether we should label these behaviors as 'aspergers' that is one of the current debates.  Perhaps these behaviors are still in the range of normal.

    Incidentally, that hacker guy with aspergers..  lost his battle, he's going to be extradited. 
    post edited by Yohimbe - 2009/07/19 12:42:08
    #7
    essex_chris
    Pro-Member
    • Total Posts : 17318
    • Reward points: 10038
    • Joined: 2005/08/21 13:20:45
    • Location: Essex
    • Status: offline
    Re:17-year-old with autism pulls off identity stunt of the decade. 2009/07/19 12:21:45 (permalink)
    There are many forms of this kind of condition - it's not all rain man, and it's also not the other extreme.

    My parents fostered a girl with a fairly extreme case of aspergers but even her symptoms were very polarising at times, It could help her concentration immensely and she would be very focused but also narrow minded. but on the flipside she would be very awkward in certain social situations.

    This guy could have found that in situations within the realms of his control his focus was concentrated and came across very very convincing.

    I tend to think that it's just a very rare case and there is a fair amount of excuse being used.

    Awesome pic, but Tony you're not doing yourself many favours posting up tips on preventing the gag reflex and then a picture of a guy touching his toes - Ak
    #8
    dazc
    Pro-Member
    • Total Posts : 29788
    • Reward points: 11750
    • Joined: 2003/04/02 08:23:02
    • Location: United Kingdom
    • Status: offline
    Re:17-year-old with autism pulls off identity stunt of the decade. 2009/07/19 12:34:12 (permalink)
    i wonder if left to it, he would have been able to convince enough people and pull off enough things to actually launch an airline, with borrowed airplanes and the like, part of me thinks he would have got very close
    #9
    Yohimbe
    Pro-Member
    • Total Posts : 3859
    • Reward points: 7105
    • Joined: 2008/05/10 15:36:34
    • Location: North Korea Baby
    • Status: offline
    Re:17-year-old with autism pulls off identity stunt of the decade. 2009/07/19 13:35:41 (permalink)
    rightyho

    No idea mate.
    I sometimes teach a boy with severe autism who, at 12, has the mathematical prowess to be studying A level.
    Aside from one or two character blips which only crop up when certain triggers are placed in his way, you'd simply assume he's an outstandingly intelligent young man.
    He also enjoys social interaction in the presence of many and is noticeably outgoing.


    In which case he isn't severely autistic.  Since what you describe would not meet that criteria.  I've done more reading on this than most and once worked in an autistic school for a year.  From your description he's likely to be either aspergers or high functioning autistic. 
    post edited by Yohimbe - 2009/07/19 13:37:44
    #10
    dazc
    Pro-Member
    • Total Posts : 29788
    • Reward points: 11750
    • Joined: 2003/04/02 08:23:02
    • Location: United Kingdom
    • Status: offline
    Re:17-year-old with autism pulls off identity stunt of the decade. 2009/07/19 13:46:42 (permalink)
    Yohimbe

    rightyho

    No idea mate.
    I sometimes teach a boy with severe autism who, at 12, has the mathematical prowess to be studying A level.
    Aside from one or two character blips which only crop up when certain triggers are placed in his way, you'd simply assume he's an outstandingly intelligent young man.
    He also enjoys social interaction in the presence of many and is noticeably outgoing.


    In which case he isn't severely autistic.  Since what you describe would not meet that criteria.  I've done more reading on this than most and once worked in an autistic school for a year.  From your description he's likely to be either aspergers or high functioning autistic. 


    im not sure you can fit people so neatly into boxes
    #11
    Yohimbe
    Pro-Member
    • Total Posts : 3859
    • Reward points: 7105
    • Joined: 2008/05/10 15:36:34
    • Location: North Korea Baby
    • Status: offline
    Re:17-year-old with autism pulls off identity stunt of the decade. 2009/07/19 13:51:07 (permalink)
    dazc

    Yohimbe

    rightyho

    No idea mate.
    I sometimes teach a boy with severe autism who, at 12, has the mathematical prowess to be studying A level.
    Aside from one or two character blips which only crop up when certain triggers are placed in his way, you'd simply assume he's an outstandingly intelligent young man.
    He also enjoys social interaction in the presence of many and is noticeably outgoing.


    In which case he isn't severely autistic.  Since what you describe would not meet that criteria.  I've done more reading on this than most and once worked in an autistic school for a year.  From your description he's likely to be either aspergers or high functioning autistic. 


    im not sure you can fit people so neatly into boxes


    You're not understanding me.  What righty describes WOULD NOT MEET THE CRITERIA for severe autism.  Read the DSM IV (what huh?) and you will see, it's public domain.
    #12
    paulthebuilder
    Pro-Member
    • Total Posts : 27900
    • Reward points: 9300
    • Joined: 2006/05/06 22:39:09
    • Status: offline
    Re:17-year-old with autism pulls off identity stunt of the decade. 2009/07/19 13:53:37 (permalink)
    Ok, I hereby remove him from the box I put him in.
    He is now demoted to "autistic".
    #13
    Yohimbe
    Pro-Member
    • Total Posts : 3859
    • Reward points: 7105
    • Joined: 2008/05/10 15:36:34
    • Location: North Korea Baby
    • Status: offline
    Re:17-year-old with autism pulls off identity stunt of the decade. 2009/07/19 14:00:20 (permalink)
    I'm just trying to be precise.  My asperger trait.
    #14
    MT2006
    Pro-Member
    • Total Posts : 4679
    • Reward points: 4909
    • Joined: 2006/03/21 12:52:33
    • Status: offline
    Re:17-year-old with autism pulls off identity stunt of the decade. 2009/07/19 14:03:03 (permalink)
    Yohimbe

    I'm just trying to be precise.  My asperger trait.


    Have you been diagnosed?
    #15
    dazc
    Pro-Member
    • Total Posts : 29788
    • Reward points: 11750
    • Joined: 2003/04/02 08:23:02
    • Location: United Kingdom
    • Status: offline
    Re:17-year-old with autism pulls off identity stunt of the decade. 2009/07/19 14:04:16 (permalink)
    righty, that avatar is seriously mixed up!
    #16
    paulthebuilder
    Pro-Member
    • Total Posts : 27900
    • Reward points: 9300
    • Joined: 2006/05/06 22:39:09
    • Status: offline
    Re:17-year-old with autism pulls off identity stunt of the decade. 2009/07/19 14:47:27 (permalink)
    dazc

    righty, that avatar is seriously mixed up!


    Blame google images. It gave it to me. :) I was looking for a "cheeky chimp" image and this was on page 10,042...
    #17
    ginasmg
    Pro-Member
    • Total Posts : 23390
    • Reward points: 8862
    • Joined: 2006/06/24 01:20:06
    • Location: yorkshire
    • Status: offline
    Re:17-year-old with autism pulls off identity stunt of the decade. 2009/07/19 15:20:58 (permalink)
    lol good lad.

    Those who cannot fly seek to clip the wings of others.
    #18
    galenkia
    Pro-Member
    • Total Posts : 9532
    • Reward points: 2742
    • Joined: 2006/11/07 13:07:53
    • Location: Loftus Road
    • Status: offline
    Re:17-year-old with autism pulls off identity stunt of the decade. 2009/07/19 16:20:06 (permalink)
    Yohimbe

    rightyho

    No idea mate.
    I sometimes teach a boy with severe autism who, at 12, has the mathematical prowess to be studying A level.
    Aside from one or two character blips which only crop up when certain triggers are placed in his way, you'd simply assume he's an outstandingly intelligent young man.
    He also enjoys social interaction in the presence of many and is noticeably outgoing.


    In which case he isn't severely autistic.  Since what you describe would not meet that criteria.  I've done more reading on this than most and once worked in an autistic school for a year.  From your description he's likely to be either aspergers or high functioning autistic. 


    Agree mate.My sister is severely autistic.She is 45 now.She has been in a care home since she was 18.She was sent there because my parents could not control her when she had her wild aggresive tantrums.And she would self harm as well.She cannot communicate with people in general.She has talents as many autistic people have.For example,she can play the piano but has never been shown how to play it.But she could never look after herself in the outside world.She needs 24 hour supervision.

    I don't think this guy is autistic at all.
    #19
    MT2006
    Pro-Member
    • Total Posts : 4679
    • Reward points: 4909
    • Joined: 2006/03/21 12:52:33
    • Status: offline
    Re:17-year-old with autism pulls off identity stunt of the decade. 2009/07/19 17:16:05 (permalink)
    galenkia

    Yohimbe

    rightyho

    No idea mate.
    I sometimes teach a boy with severe autism who, at 12, has the mathematical prowess to be studying A level.
    Aside from one or two character blips which only crop up when certain triggers are placed in his way, you'd simply assume he's an outstandingly intelligent young man.
    He also enjoys social interaction in the presence of many and is noticeably outgoing.


    In which case he isn't severely autistic.  Since what you describe would not meet that criteria.  I've done more reading on this than most and once worked in an autistic school for a year.  From your description he's likely to be either aspergers or high functioning autistic. 


    Agree mate.My sister is severely autistic.She is 45 now.She has been in a care home since she was 18.She was sent there because my parents could not control her when she had her wild aggresive tantrums.And she would self harm as well.She cannot communicate with people in general.She has talents as many autistic people have.For example,she can play the piano but has never been shown how to play it.But she could never look after herself in the outside world.She needs 24 hour supervision.

    I don't think this guy is autistic at all.

     
    So unless you have 24 hour supervision in a care home you are not autistic?
     
    Your sister sounds highly autistic, and the lad in the article clearly is not. But there is a spectrum of conditions, which include high functioning austism and aspergers. See here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autism_spectrum_disorder
     
    I have aspergers and therefore classed as being on the austim spectrum, but I don't need 24 hour supervision. The person in the article sounds to have an obsession with planes, which has likely lead him to perform this whole act. There was another case with the lad who hacked into the pentagon to try to find about UFOs, he has aspergers. Many people with apsergers are highly obsessive about random things - UFOs, Planes, Bus timetables, types of cats etc

    #20
    Page: 12 > Showing page 1 of 2
    Jump to:
    ©2017 All content is copyright of MuscleTalk.co.uk and its use elsewhere is prohibited. (posting guidelines | privacy | advertise | contact us | supported by)
    © 2017 APG vNext Commercial Version 5.5