Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Missouri's Myanmar Swimmer Released, His Wife Swears He's Not Crazy, "Visions" of "Assassins" Suggest Otherwise.

Posted By on Mon, Aug 17, 2009 at 10:53 AM

John Yettaw
  • John Yettaw
In May, Central Missouri resident John Yettaw went for a relaxing dip in a lake in the military junta-controlled country of Myanmar. He washed up uninvited on the front door of political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi.

Suu Kyi, being polite like a Nobel peace laureate should, invited him in for brief stay. According to Yettaw's wife, he then informed her that he'd "had a vision that Suu Kyi was at risk from assassins."

Yettaw stayed for two days. Then, when he tried to escape by swimming back across the lake, Myanmar military police arrested him, thus altering the course of politics in the southeast Asian country.

Yettaw was sentenced to eight years hard labor, Suu Kyi got her house arrest downgraded to hard labor (she'll slam the door in the face of the next American that comes knocking like he's a Jehovah's witness calling on Christmas), and Myanmar's rulers got an excuse to keep their most sympathetic critic locked up through the next "election." 

Did someone say Ass Clown?

Fast forward to today. Yettaw was freed by Sen. Jim Webb and in Thailand awaiting a flight home. Suu Kyi is back under house arrest. Yettaw's wife (still living in the middle of Missouri) is trying to convince the world that her PTSD seizure-having vision-quest spouse is neither crazy nor eccentric.

Good luck with that.

The Kansas City Star reports:
Observers widely believe Yettaw's intrusion into Suu Kyi's home gave the junta a legal pretext to keep the Nobel laureate incarcerated through next year's general election. Yettaw testified that he had a vision that Suu Kyi was at risk from assassins, and visited her to warn her.

It has been incorrectly reported that her husband suffers from epilepsy, she said. The seizures are the result of a head injury he suffered while serving in the military, she said. 

He apparently had a seizure after his release, triggered by photographers' flashes, Betty Yettaw said. 

She said there was also a problem with arranging a flight out of Thailand, but she did not know details. She said the family has to pay for his travel and for whatever health care he receives. 

Betty Yettaw said her husband has been unfairly described as being crazy or eccentric. She said he is a highly intelligent man who "apparently saw the need to do something and he did it."

"I'm going to have a nice, long honey-do list for him when he gets home," she said.

Something tells me her husband's "visions" excuse could work again if he plays his cards right: "Honey you need to take out the trash and fix the garbage disposal." "I can't, I just had a vision that Albert Pujols is going to hit a walk-off home run later this game, I can't miss that."

Tags: , ,

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 26, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2022 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation