WINDHOEK, Namibia (AP) — An international film team that apparently went missing while on assignment in a remote part of Namibia was found safe Saturday in a
bizarre case said to involve a Hollywood sex guru, a Russian Rambo, a British pilot and African witchcraft.
U.S. and British diplomatic officials said Saturday that five foreign nationals — including two Americans, one British, one South African and a Russian — were located in the Epupa region of northwestern Namibia.
“The crew members were rescued this afternoon, and they are generally in good health,” said U.S. Embassy spokesman Stan Harsher.
A British High Commission official, speaking on customary condition of anonymity, concurred and said the embassy hoped to speak to the crew on Sunday.
U.S. and British officials could not confirm what the group was doing in Namibia, or the circumstances of their apparent disappearance, which was reported earlier this week.
A Los Angeles-based publicist, Sherri Spillane, said the team went missing after being chased out of a village where they were trying to film a documentary on witchcraft. A helicopter pilot sent to collect the team failed to connect with them, she said.
start quoteThe crew members were rescued this afternoon, and they are generally in good health.end quote
Spillane, who represents a number of well-known reality TV participants, identified the missing as Los Angeles pilot Christopher Banninger, British-born businessman Mike Edson, Russian actor and fighter Oleg Taktarov, South African athlete K.J. Lodge, and a
Hollywood sex therapist and radio host who goes by the name of Natasha Terry.
However, local officials and regional newspapers voiced doubt about the whole scenario.
The claims were barely reported in the Namibian press, and South Africa’s Cape Argus newspaper reported Saturday: “No one is quite sure … whether it’s all an elaborate reality show hoax.”