Elon Musk ‘pedo guy’ tweet: What did he say – why has he attacked Thai cave rescuers? | World | News
The baseless attack was launched on Sunday against one of the British divers whose extraordinary skills resulted in the trapped group being located.
The group – 12 boys aged 11 to 16 and their 25-year-old football coach – were trapped in a flooded cave complex in Thailand for weeks.
The dramatic rescue operation saw all of them survive, a feat attributed in part to the monumental contribution made by the British specialist divers.
How did Elon Musk get involved?
The chief executive of the tech giant Tesla offered to assist the rescue mission by providing a miniature submarine to help dive the boys out of the flooded cave complex.
Mr Musk had previously defended his efforts after the Thai rescue chief Narongsak Osatanakorn, head of the joint command centre, said the mini-submarine would not have been practical.
Musk responded by saying Mr Osatanakorn was “not the subject matter expert” and that he had been “inaccurately described as rescue chief” and should have been labelled the “former Thai provincial governor”.
In a widely shared interview with another of the British cave rescuers, Vern Unsworth, Mr Musk’s involvement was described as a “PR stunt.”
Mr Unsworth said: “It just had absolutely no chance of working.”
Mr Unsworth added: “He had no conception of what the cave passage was like.
“The submarine, I believe, was about 5ft 6in long, rigid, so it wouldn’t have gone round corners or round any obstacles.”
Mr Musk visited the cave system himself amid the dramatic build-up to the rescue, but Mr Unsworth said he “was asked to leave very quickly.”
He also told CNN Mr Musk could “stick his submarine where it hurts.”
What did Elon Musk say in the tweet?
Mr Musk initially tweeted that “you could have literally swum to Cave 5 (the cave where the boys were trapped) with no gear, which is obv how the kids got in. If not true, then I challenge this dude to show the final rescue video.”
This is despite the widely shared knowledge that the boys, who couldn’t swim, ventured into the cave when it was dry, becoming trapped by flash floods.
Responding to his own tweet, Mr Musk said: “You know what, don’t bother showing the video. We will make one of the mini-sub/pod going all the way to Cave 5 no problemo, Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it.”
One Twitter user pointed out that Mr Musk was “calling the guy who found the children a pedo,” to which he responded: “Bet ya a signed dollar its true.”
Mr Musk received fierce criticism almost instantly, with users pointing out how “dangerous” and irresponsible it was to make such a serious and potentially libellous insult to his 22m followers.
Mr Musk has now deleted all the tweets.
Mr Unsworth, in response, has told the Guardian he was “astonished and very angry” at the attack.
Speaking at the cave rescue site, where a clean-up operation is underway, Mr Unsworth told reporters: “I believe he’s called me a paedophile.
“I think people realise what sort of guy [Musk] is.”
Asked if he would consider taking legal action against Musk, he said: “Yes, it’s not finished.”