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Old 01-22-2017, 11:41 AM   #1
FlorianBourch
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Lisa Bishop was a young journalist living in Atlanta during 1988. Her boyfriend, Paul Cornwell, ran a club in the area. That's where Lisa first met a German national who called himself Florian Meyer-Bourch.

Lisa Bishop - http://imgur.com/a/XSTpn

Florian Meyer-Bourch (aka David Florian) - http://imgur.com/a/TWKGR

THE FREEDON - http://imgur.com/a/2wys7

At the time, Lisa was planning to write a story about the differences between the economies of America and Haiti. Florian informed Lisa that he was the Captain of a ship, THE FREEDON, which was due to sail to Haiti, and invited her to accompany him on the voyage. She accepted his invitation despite the protestations of her boyfriend and family.

Lisa and Florian left Atlanta and traveled to Miami where THE FREEDON was docked. On the morning of December 17th, 1988 the ship set sail with Lisa, Florian and seven Haitian crew members aboard. No-one has since seen Lisa Bishop.

On Christmas Day, Lisa's family were alarmed that she hadn't called to wish them a Happy Christmas, similarly distraught were the families of the Haitian crew members. They contacted the authorities who did a sweep and found no trace of THE FREEDON. One would assume that it sank.

However, an underwater salvager called Bob Nyberg claims to have seen THE FREEDON in Georgetown Harbor on Grand Cayman Island, 500 miles away from its supposed destination... And two weeks AFTER its disappearance. This was his statement:

"I remembered that while I was working in Grand Cayman in January of that year, there'd been a boat that came in. We were working underwater, directly in the harbor area where the ships pulled up and tied up. When I heard the ship coming in, we came up, and as I was coming out of the water, we looked back and noticed that the name was Freedon. F-R-E-E-D-O-N. And I made a statement to my friend, that those guys need their freedom, they can't even spell the word. They were there for some time that afternoon. The next morning the boat was gone."


Lisa's boyfriend seized upon this lead and, along with Bob Nyberg, he traveled to Grand Cayman to investigate the it. Whilst there, the two spoke with witnesses who claim to have seen the mysterious Florian Meyer-Bourch in the company of a Haitian man called "Phillipe". It should be noted that this "Phillipe" character was the one who chartered the ship for its journey to Haiti.

Paul Cornwell then traveled to Atlanta to speak with a woman who had been storing Florian's personal possessions, among which he found a picture of "Phillipe" - Paul said this:

The girl told me that he mentioned that he was involved in a large scale smuggling thing, and that something had gone wrong, and that they had gotten involved in something too deep that Lisa didn't know about and couldn't handle it. I feel that if Florian is out there, eventually, I'll find out about it, and I'll locate him.

Many theories exist as to the disappearance of Lisa Bishop.

1.) Lisa was a victim of human trafficking and was sold into slavery. Perhaps. But why would Florian trouble himself by travelling to Atlanta in order to persuade one woman to join him?

2.) The Freedon sank and all people aboard died. This conflicts with the testimony of Bob Nyberg and the eye-witnesses who saw Bourch in the company of the man later identified as Phillipe.

3.) The Freedon was used to smuggle drugs, a deal went sour and Lisa as well as the 7 Haitian crew members were killed. Perhaps, but why was Florian spared?

Ultimately, Florian Meyer-Bourch is the key to unlocking this mystery. He must have had a family. Why did they not come forward to aid in the investigation? Was he estranged? Or do they know that he is alive?...

There are unconfirmed and unsubstantiated reports that THE FREEDON is now called THE FREELIANT. Such a claim is difficult to substantiate unless one has eyes and ears in all of the Caribbean harbors.

What are your theories concerning this mystery?
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Old 01-22-2017, 03:58 PM   #2
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Who in their right mind would write a story about the differences between the US and Haitian economies? That is absurd on the face of it. I cant believe an editor would actually endorse such a waste of time and money
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Old 01-23-2017, 02:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlorianBourch
Many theories exist as to the disappearance of Lisa Bishop.

1.) Lisa was a victim of human trafficking and was sold into slavery. Perhaps. But why would Florian trouble himself by travelling to Atlanta in order to persuade one woman to join him?

2.) The Freedon sank and all people aboard died. This conflicts with the testimony of Bob Nyberg and the eye-witnesses who saw Bourch in the company of the man later identified as Phillipe.

3.) The Freedon was used to smuggle drugs, a deal went sour and Lisa as well as the 7 Haitian crew members were killed. Perhaps, but why was Florian spared?

Ultimately, Florian Meyer-Bourch is the key to unlocking this mystery. He must have had a family. Why did they not come forward to aid in the investigation? Was he estranged? Or do they know that he is alive?...

There are unconfirmed and unsubstantiated reports that THE FREEDON is now called THE FREELIANT. Such a claim is difficult to substantiate unless one has eyes and ears in all of the Caribbean harbors.

What are your theories concerning this mystery?
Excellent summary.

I don't think Lisa was lured onto the boat by a murderer. I tend to think she was either caught up in a drug deal gone bad and murdered for what she saw, OR she was a victim of human trafficking and sold into slavery. In any case, I don't believe she is alive today.
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Old 11-25-2017, 11:26 PM   #4
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I feel terrible for saying it, but I kind of chuckled when they described how beautiful Lisa was and then how handsome the captain was, before we see Lisa's balding, somewhat frumpy boyfriend. Well done my friend, well done.
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Old 11-25-2017, 11:46 PM   #5
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She was very naive and it cost her life, very much like the case just before it with Adam Hecht.
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Old 11-26-2017, 03:00 PM   #6
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Seems highly likely it sunk-none of the crew have ever turned up, she hasn't turned up & the captain hasn't turned up-even his own parents never heard from him again. Would be quite the feat for him to have hidden for nearly 30 years.
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Old 11-27-2017, 12:37 PM   #7
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I suppose my feeling on the eyewitnesses seeing the Freedon after it disappeared could be ranked in order of likelihood:

1. The ship sank prior to the sighting and the eyewitnesses were mistaken about the time period.

2. The ship sank prior to the sighting and the eyewitnesses were lying about the time period, or about the sighting itself.

3. The ship sank after the eyewitness sighting, with some unknown series of events transpiring prior to that time.

3. The eyewitnesses correctly recalled the time period of the sighting, and one or several members of the crew and/or passenger were perhaps overcome in some act of piracy or violence prior to that time.
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Old 11-27-2017, 02:53 PM   #8
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What I'd like to think happened is that the ship was hijacked by pirates, or drug dealers, or what have you, and then the seven crew members and Lisa were killed. Florian was taken prisoner for a while, which explains why he was sighted in Grand Cayman, but Florian was eventually killed as well, and then the ship was either sunk or destroyed and sold for scrap.
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Old 11-28-2017, 03:07 PM   #9
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I've seen this case a few times before but never bothered to dig too much into it until now.

The only thing we know for sure? No evidence of the Freedon, Lisa, Florian or the Haitain crew has ever been found.

That said, you could make the case for almost anything.......Lisa being sold into white slavery, the ship sinking, everyone on board being killed by drug runners/smugglers, you name it. With no actual/substantive evidence, there's nothing to refute any theory one might come up with.

To me, it seems quite easy to disappear (in one way or another) in the Caribbean. If the ship and everyone with it stayed in the region, I would think at least some indication of such would've shown up by now (unless the ship sunk). If not? Well, the Caribbean would provide good cover for anyone who wanted to jet off someplace else and disappear (whether that is Lisa, Florian & the Crew, or some other nefarious party or parties who wanted to abscond with one or all of the above)
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Old 11-28-2017, 08:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James T
Seems highly likely it sunk-none of the crew have ever turned up, she hasn't turned up & the captain hasn't turned up-even his own parents never heard from him again. Would be quite the feat for him to have hidden for nearly 30 years.
I don't recall ever hearing/reading/seeing Florian's parents side of the story. Do you have a link you can share?
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Old 11-29-2017, 02:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Love A Good Mystery
I don't recall ever hearing/reading/seeing Florian's parents side of the story. Do you have a link you can share?
Just read that they said he has never contacted them.
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Old 12-01-2017, 12:58 PM   #12
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I tried to apply Occam's Razor in the Freedon case. That it sunk with all hands is the likeliest possibility to me. However, I do not discount a piracy attack either.

No one on that boat has ever came forward, not even a member of the Haitian crew. Since the allegations made by Bob Nyberg, no one has come forward either with their own allegations that any of them is still alive. So the likeliest explanation is, everyone who was on the Freedon is dead.

Another possibility I entertain is that the ship was such in poor condition that it reached a critical situation somewhere in the middle of the Caribbean, forcing everyone to abandon ship but all died without being rescued. Freedon remained afloat, was found by smugglers with the cargo, and towed back to port to be either repainted and restored or sold for scrap. That might explain Bob Nyberg's report of the Freedon being in port while no trace of Lisa, Florian, and the others can be found.

The "sexual slavery" theory is ridiculous. The reasoning in the article is sound, in that the purpose of that trip is not primarily to sell Lisa into sexual slavery. I believe Florian simply seduced Lisa, who was obviously swooned by him, and offered her to come with him intending to hook up with her during the trip. Everyone knew Lisa was to be with Florian on the Freedon. I do not believe Florian had any criminal intent against her. Taking a young white female with them is a liability, and would put a spotlight on them if something happened to her.

If they were attacked by pirates, that they would capture Lisa to have their way with her or ransom her is likelier than Florian offering her to save his hide. But since we do not have any real knowledge of Florian's personality, this remains merely speculative.

While piracy remains a threat in the Caribbean it is no longer as prevalent as in the 1600-1700s, especially in the Northern part of the sea. We are not in the Golden Age of Piracy anymore and the Northern Caribbean is patrolled. However, the Freedon was a sieve barely in seaworthy condition and lightly-manned, so I can see it being the target of an attack of opportunity.

http://maritime-connector.com/wiki/piracy/
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Old 12-01-2017, 01:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drakken
I tried to apply Occam's Razor in the Freedon case. That it sunk with all hands is the likeliest possibility to me. However, I do not discount a piracy attack either.

No one on that boat has ever came forward. Since the allegations made by Bob Nyberg, no one has come forward either with their own allegations that any of them is still alive. So the likeliest explanation is, everyone who was on the Freedon is dead.

Another possibility I entertain is that the ship was such in poor condition that it reached a critical situation somewhere in the middle of the Caribbean, forcing everyone to abandon ship but all died without being rescued. Freedon remained afloat, was found by smugglers with the cargo, and towed back to port to be either repainted and restored or sold for scrap. That might explain Bob Nyberg's report of the Freedon being in port while no trace of Lisa, Florian, and the others can be found.
That is a very interesting angle I had not considered before.

With regard to Nyberg, I always thought the sighting was credible largely due to his recollection of the unique name of the ship and also the fact that around that same time witnesses on the island reported seeing Florian. I just wonder if the dates on this are wrong and the sightings occurred sometime in the weeks before the Freedon set sail on her final voyage.
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Old 12-01-2017, 03:20 PM   #14
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I have wondered if there was a similar looking ship called The Freedom or something similar that was mistaken for it.
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Old 12-02-2017, 08:16 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James T
I have wondered if there was a similar looking ship called The Freedom or something similar that was mistaken for it.
Maybe they saw the Freedom II....
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