Strange Confessions of Loughborough Student in 1970s Cambodia
10th January 2010
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A fascinating snippet I noticed today in an article on (of all things) 1970's Cambodia, written by Andrew Anthony of The Observer.

The journalist visited a former Khmer Rouge prison where, he says, "...I was brought the "confession" of John Dewhirst, a 26-year-old teacher from Newcastle who was captured in 1978, while sailing with friends through the Gulf of Thailand. Intercepted by a Khmer Rouge patrol boat, they were placed in S-21 and tortured over the course of a month. As the weeks passed, Dewhirst made a series of ever more bleakly surreal confessions. They start out as straightforward biography – he explains that he had studied at Loughborough University. Then he admits to being a CIA agent, recruited at Loughborough where the CIA, he is made to say, maintains one of its covert training bases. It 'was housed in a building disguised as the Loughborough Town Council Highways Department Surveyor's Office'."

This poor young man was being tortured at the time and was clearly inventing a story to placate his captors, but it's bizarre to even imagine that Loughborough might have housed a secret CIA base in the 1970's!?

Sadly his strange stories did not help him survive; John Dewhirst was one of only two Britons killed by Pol Pot's regime.

About the Author

Jon D

Member since: 5th July 2012

I'm the owner of thebestofloughborough and am proud to be associated with the local businesses you'll find on our website. Although I was brought up in Manchester, my wife is Loughborough-bred and schooled,...

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