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Keep Away from Finikounda PDF Printable Version E-mail


Threatening Email from Finikounda
'We Don't Want You Here'

Barry and Margaret Williamson
February 2010

This article introduces our ongoing search for the writer of a threatening email we received on the morning of Saturday 6 February 2010. At that time, we were based on the Ionion Beach Campsite near Glyfa in the Greek Peloponnese. Our intention was to head further south, to the fishing village of Finikounda at the tip of the Messinian Peninsula.

This is the email:

“From: Finikounda ()
Sent: 05 February 2010 18:50:57

This is an enquiry e-mail via http://www.magbaztravels.com from:

We do not want you here. Please do not come here. The only people who want to see you are the police at Kalithea. You are not welkom here do not come we will make it diffikult for you. thankk you to stay away here

This unsigned email arrived via the 'Contact Us' feature on this website. It purports to come from a Finikounda website, www.finikounda.gr, but any fictitious address, such as this, could have been written into the box provided on our website. Clearly the perpetrator knows enough about the internet to attempt to disguise their identity. Rebecca Watts, our webmistress, has traced the offending email and we have made a formal complaint through the abuse procedure of the Internet Service Provider concerned. We are exploring the possibility of a complaint to the police.

We know the Greek IP address of the perpetrator and the name of the relevant Greek Internet Service Provider. The path the abuser took through this website has been traced and includes opening all parts of the article: 'From Flair to Sprinter' in which we describe a proposal to drive south in the Greek Peloponnese from Ionion Beach.

We have copied the offending email and these notes to friends in the Finikounda area, asking them if they have any idea who might have made the threats. We are looking for someone who knows we planned to come to Finikounda, is aware of the Kalithea incident, thinks we will be intimidated by mentions of the police, is computer savvy, is familiar with our website and how to use it, and knows how to send an email hiding their identity. The email could have been written by someone whose first language is not English or, of course and more likely, a native English speaker attempting to disguise that fact, along with their identity. Someone with a little knowledge of Dutch using, for example, 'welkom' for 'welcome'. Either way, it's an act of pathetic cowardice to make veiled anonymous threats.

Narrowing, the field, we suspect that the threats come from someone now resident in Finikounda, who was connected with the Patrick and Felicity Phelan complaint one year ago. There must have been something in the past that still generates absurdly strong feelings. Threatening us with police action is ironic, given that this craven ignoramus may himself (it's unlikely to have been a woman) be susceptible to police investigation over his residency, work and tax status, and the legitimacy of his vehicle in Greece. This is particularly true when the Greek government, in the midst of a severe financial crisis, is cracking down on tax and revenue dodgers of all kinds - and foreigners may be a particular target.

In the event, all our friends in Finikounda - travellers and expatriates alike, locals and visitors, taverna and shop owners and campsite managers - are delighted to see us again, shocked at the mind of the person who wrote the email, worried that they have such a sick person living among them, and determined, as we are, to expose the culprit.

Readers' Comments

Here are some of the immediate reactions we have had from friends in Finikounda and beyond.

From Kaye in England: “How awful for you; thinking that assault was behind you, not resolved satisfactorily but not to be dug up again. Such a sad, ignorant person that will never have the great experiences or support of so many friends met on your travels.

One can only feel sad at the misfits there are in this world and glad that there are good people like you two. I hope you can find the emailer; someone like that may only be bold in print.

To try to get the original incident and police action could however lead to more trouble [danger] for you. Take care.
From Cynthia in England: Well, you two certainly do lead an interesting life!  Looking forward to episode 2 of this investigation and hope it bears fruit.  Somehow I doubt it, anonymous messages may be better ignored?  And who are Patrick and Felicity Phelan - I have no recollection of their mention in your travelogues (and have just searched again???)  Curioser and curioser ...
From Ian in Budapest: I refreshed my memory of the Kalithea incident. The whole business makes me want to go round these places with a handful of grenades. Sort the problem out in one go. Hopefully you will enjoy the rest of the winter. At least you don't have 3 feet of snow.

From Ruby & Bill in Perth, Western Australia: Sad isn't it?

From Ian in England: Glad to hear you are still keeping safely! I know you know, but just to reiterate, I would advise keeping your head down. There are strange people around that will hide away but may cause you problems, or even worse, injury. I don't think anything good can come from inflaming the situation. After all, what do you have to gain? And how does this compare with what you have to lose? If someone is determined enough to go to lengths to disguise their identity and send a threatening email then where might they stop?

Do be careful. There are many idiots around who do not act within the normal boundaries of behaviour deemed rational by you or I. Risks are high enough without increasing your odds.

I'm sure you don't need me to tell you this and I do hope you get to the bottom of the email. But do put your safety before all else.

From Rose & Alf in Greece: Oh my god - how horrible. I can hardly believe it. Will keep thinking about who it may be. Looking forward to seeing you.

From John in Greece: Your last email saddened me, its content  made me sharply aware of how privileged I am to live quietly here in my hermitage, far away from the reality of a world in which warped minds seek satisfaction from making anonymous threats; those of us who have had the good fortune to be led through our lives on more enlightened paths can but extend our pity  to these troubled souls. Maybe this email was sent to you by someone by way of a 'joke'  and, in a way, I hope that is the case but, if that is so, I did not think it to be a very amusing one. I hope though that the perpetrator of this 'joke' can be unmasked ....

From Peter in England: We look forward to hearing from you in Finikounda. The threatening email is an example of cowardly medieval menace, in spite of the modern IT skills. We hope that your thorough tactics are sufficiently effective to eliminate any temptation of personal terrorism. We hope that you stay safe and sound.

Rebecca in Queensland, Australia: Horrified to hear that you have been threatened.

From Lis in Greece: I had a sad feeling when I noticed your subject text ….. I hope our mystery hurting person who wants to hurt has not done something.

From Diana in England: It's always good to hear from you. We usually enjoy your emails but, the recent one about the anonymous message was rather unnerving and sinister. I tried to imagine how uneasy it would make me feel. Hopefully it won't spoil your time in Finikounda too much, do let us know if there are any developments in tracing the sender.

From Don in Turkey: It was very sad reading the text of your hate mail. I just cannot  understand why people have to do such things; your site gives so much  pleasure to so many travellers.

From Maggie in England: I hope you're okay and not letting this stupidity cloud your days. I know it's very difficult to put this ridiculous stuff to one side, but it's probably better for your mental health and wellbeing to do so. What this person is hoping for is to upset you. Ignoring this email will be better for you in the long run I think - though not easy. Take care of yourselves and try not to let one stupid idiot spoil your travels - and our enjoyment of your writing.

From John in London: I was sorry to hear of your threatening email - unfortunately the internet has its downsides and there are plenty of total saddo's out there with grudges to bear.

From Bob in the UK: It's plain to see from the tone of your take on things, that you're certainly not going to change your travel plans as the result of one incident, so it's just one more threat to try and keep you at bay. Silly buggers.

The Siege of Kalithea

'Kalithea' in the illiterate message refers to incidents when we stopped in that hill village towards the end of a 92-km bicycle ride on Saturday, 24 February 2007. We were nearly hit by a car coming out of a narrow side street into the main road, across our path. When we stopped at a nearby Kafenion, as planned, for a cup of coffee, Barry was assaulted on the veranda by three young men out of the car, trying to rob him of his camera. Barry resisted and the camera was damaged beyond repair when it fell onto the floor as the strap broke. Margaret and the female manager of the Kafenion helped to break up the fight and we withdrew inside the Kafenion. The three young men took up position outside, blocking our exit through the door.

Eventually we dialled 112 and two policemen arrived in a 4-wd. They immediately renewed their friendship with the three young men (in Greek) and ignored us. They took no notes and made no formal enquires. They interviewed no witnesses. The younger of the two policemen spoke enough English to warn us about our conduct and, overall, made us relieved to get on our bicycles to ride away from them, as well as from the original assailants.

The full story, 'The Siege of Kalithea', is on our website at: http://www.magbaztravels.com/content/view/573/151/

Rather than feeling threatened by the anonymous email's reference to the police, we would welcome renewed police interest in the Kalithea case. It is not too late to interview the alleged assailants and to bring charges, where appropriate.