Well, hot off the presses is an update to this posting. I just received a copy of an additional, and far more incendiary, letter sent to Mr. Adler by a Div-01 FDNY firefighter:
Dear Mr. Adler,
I am writing to express my disappointment in your recent article entitled Former Scout passes on life lessons. Virtually everything in this article is untrue. Your subject Mr. Shields is in fact a fraud and a criminal, and is using you and your newspaper for publicity.
First and foremost, Mr. Shields is not a Captain of anything. He is not a US Coast Guard licensed Captain and has never attained any military or other civilian rank.
Second, Mr. Shields is not now nor ever was employed by the NYC Department of Parks. He was certainly never the director of Marine Safety. In fact that title or position does not exist. A simple call to their press office at (212) 360-1311 would have revealed this. This is what is called due diligence and good journalism.
Thirdly, Mr. Shields did not lead any search and rescue teams at 9/11, neither himself or his dog Bear had any training in search and rescue. This he even admits in his book.
Fourth, Mr. Shields did not rappel at the World Trade Center site. This certainly did not happen and this is the first time he has even claimed this. Certainly he would have remembered this when writing his already embellished book. Sadly his account of rappelling is absent, and I strongly suspect that he simply fabricated it to impress the Scouts he was addressing.
I can only imagine what else he told you and the impressionable Scouts. I feel that as a journalist you have a professional responsibility to correct your article or retract it. Not doing so dishonors the memory of the many brave men and women that did in fact act heroically on 9/11. Mr. Shields is not among them. He is simply a con man only interested in himself and exploiting these horrific events for his own personal benefit.
There are many law enforcement agencies interested in Mr. Shields, and I fully intend to make a complaint to your local district attorney’s office regarding this fraud. It is in fact a crime to defraud children with lies.
I suggest you use Philip Recchia’s recent New York Post article as a starting point for researching who Mr. Shields really is. It can be found here. You can also familiarize yourself with Nancy West’s comments here on Amazon.com. Nancy West is Mr. Shields coauthor.
You can also view the web page at http://scottshieldsfraud.co.uk if you are still on the fence.
Thank you for your time and prompt attention.
I am soooo mad. I just penned the following letter to a reporter about his article today. It is unfortunate that Scott continues to find people to con. When children are involved, though, I get particularly upset.
As a previous teacher and now school psychologist, I find it unconscionable that this man is invited to speak to private children’s groups such as the Boy Scouts or within the public school setting (where he has the tenacity to hang a fireman’s boot to beg elementary school aged children for cash donations).
Please go to http://landofpuregold.com/truthiness.htm to read my article about this man and his work. Then, you may understand my reactions. Sadly, it is articles such as these that he uses to solicit more speaking engagements.
Take note of this particular passage from my article that details my horror at seeing a clip of Scott speaking to some Boy Scouts some years back:
And, although due to legal issues I am unable to share some of the actual raw footage of Scott’s repeated telling of such falsehoods, please imagine this picture. During those many months that Scott was seeking publicity so that he could detail the amazing work of his Bear, he came to speak to many groups, including that of our most impressionable youth. Think about the layers of deception in the following statement that he matter-of-factly made (on film) to a group of boy scouts: “Bear was the first Search and Rescue Dog inside the World Trade Center. He found the most live people.” Now, let me count the many lies, that in less than 20 words, Scott managed to tell.
1. There is no factual information to support that Bear was the first dog inside the World Trade Center.
2. Bear is not a formal Search and Rescue Dog.
3. Bear was on the pile for 2 days. Formal canine teams were on the premises far longer and would be expected to make many finds, albeit not of live persons.
4. There were no live finds by a dog.
5. As there were no live finds by a dog, how was it possible that Bear went beyond that and found “the most live people”?