Boeing Test Pilot “Tells It Like It Is”Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

A confrontation said to be between a Boeing test pilot and a group of Europeans who mocked the United States for sending an aircraft carrier to help tsunami victims.  

The Truth:

Boeing test pilot Matt Archer tells that he did not have this conversation and that someone has been circulating the story with his name attached to it.

Several websites on the Internet have published the story, some with Matt Archer’s name and some without any source.

We have not confidently concluded what the origin of the story is.

Last updated 3/24/05

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

This is a message from a Boeing test pilot in Europe,
describing his reaction when a smug European mocked the
United States for sending an aircraft carrier to the Indian
Ocean to provide tsunami relief.

Clearly a lot of Europeans have forgotten recent history
(WWI, WWII and the Cold War). And clearly some of them are
ungrateful people. Or are they simply envious? Whatever the
case, Matt Archer put them in their place. To which I can
only say, “Kudos!”

Boeing Test Pilot Tells It Like It Is…
January 4, 2005

Today, during an afternoon conference that wrapped up my
project of the last 18 months, one of my Euro colleagues
tossed this out to no one in particular: “See, this is why
George Bush is so dumb. There’s a disaster in the world, and
he sends an Aircraft Carrier!” After which he and many of my
Euro colleagues laughed out loud. Then they looked at me.

I wasn’t laughing, and neither was my Hindi friend sitting
next to me, who had lost family members in the disaster. I’m
afraid I was “unprofessional” … I let it loose. “Hmmm,
let’s see, what would be the ideal ship to send to a
disaster? Now what kind of ship would we want? Something
with its own inexhaustible power supply? Something that can
produce 900,000 gallons of fresh water a day from sea water?
Something with its own airfield? So that after producing the
fresh water, it could help distribute it? Something with
four hospitals and lots of open space for emergency
supplies? Something with a global communications facility to
make the coordination of disaster relief in the region

Well, Franz, we peasants in America call that kind of ship
an Aircraft Carrier! We have 12 of them. How many do you
have? Oh that’s right, NONE. Lucky for you and the rest of
the world, we are the kind of people who share. Even with
people we don’t like. In fact, if memory serves, once upon a
time we peasants spent a ton of money and lives rescuing
people who we had once tried to kill and who tried to kill
us. Do you know who those people were? That’s right, Franz,

There is a French Aircraft carrier. Where is it? Right
where it belongs! In France of course! Oh why should the
French Navy dirty their uniforms helping people on the other
side of the globe? How Simplesse… The day an American has
to move a European out of the way to help in some part of
the world it will be a great day in the world!” The room
fell silent.

My Hindi friend then said quietly to the Euros: “Can you
let your hatred of George Bush end for just one minute?
There are people dying! And what are your countries doing? has helped more than France has. You all have a
role to play in the world, why can’t you see that? Thank God
for the US Navy, they don’t have to come and help, but they
are. They helped you once and you should all thank God they
did. They didn’t have to, and no one but them would have
done so. I’m ashamed of you all.”

He left the room, shaking and in tears. The frustration of
being on the other side of the globe, unable to do anything
to assist and faced with people who could not set aside
their asininity long enough to reach out and help was too
much for him to bear. I just shook my head and left. The
Euros stood speechless.

Later in the breakroom, one of the laughing Euros caught
me and extended his hand in an apology. I asked him where he
was from, he said “a town outside of Berlin.” He was a young
man, in his early 20’s. I asked him if he knew of a man
named Gail Halvorsen. He said no. I said “that’s a shame”
and walked away to find my Hindi friend.

For those of you who may not remember, Gail Halvorsen was
the transport pilot responsible for the “candy drop” during
the Berlin Air Lift. They called him the “Candy Bomber” as
he dropped goodies for all the Berlin children from his

Matt Archer
Boeing Flight Operations
Transport Test Pilot