Ecuador - Kidnapped Israeli Mickey Grossman Rescued
Israeli expat Mickey Grossman and his team who were kidnapped by Indians during a tour of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador have been rescued. The identity of their rescuers remains unknown.
Mickey's wife, Noga, related the story of the rescue effort. "Last night an oil company's car carrying two people arrived at the camp where Mickey and his team were being held. They went to talk to the Indians and on their way out whispered to Mickey in English that he must prepare to be extracted at 4 am."
Grossman, 64, embarked on an Amazon trek over three months ago with the purpose of raising awareness for the destruction of rainforests, whose plants have yielded a variety of medications, including the cancer drugs that saved his own life a few years ago.
A former IDF paratrooper who fought under Ariel Sharon in the Yom Kippur War, Grossman moved to the United States with his wife and four children two decades ago, setting up a homestead in Orlando, Florida.
He was supposed to cover an unprecedented course of 5,000 miles stretching between the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans.
"Initially, Mickey's team members, some six porters, were afraid to make an escape, but Mickey convinced them it was the only way out of there," Noga Grossman said. "And sure enough at 4 am, in the dark, a team came to rescue them and drove them on roads paved by the oil companies in the Amazon rainforest. They drove for three hours to a place called Rio Napo."
There, Ecuador government officials and a TV crew awaited the team. The government official apologized to Grossman for the ordeal he and his team underwent, and Grossman asked him to take the group to the next point on his journey. He intends to continue his journey despite having lost a major part of his equipment to the Indians.
"He still has the most important equipment, the electronic equipment, which is imperative for the rest of the journey," Noga said. "Mickey is annoyed but is going ahead. That's his nature, he won’t stop now."
It can now be revealed that Grossman carried with him advanced technological devices that sent a satellite signal to Google Earth every 10 minutes which allowed the Israeli-American team to trace his exact location.
"I didn’t believe he was rescued until I spoke to him on the satellite phone," Noga said. "It was a sigh of relief."