RFK Jr. May Have Made Up Wild Story About Bow-And-Arrow Ambush, Throwing Dynamite | EUROtoday

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In the early Eighties, Robert Kennedy Jr. advised a narrative to journalists about being ambushed in a bow-and-arrow assault by Indigenous folks throughout a 1974 whitewater rafting journey in Peru.

Kennedy’s account of the incident, which is detailed within the 1984 ebook “The Kennedys: An American Drama,” describes how certainly one of his buddies was almost hit within the leg with an arrow, which penetrated a canteen close by. Kennedy stated he and his cousin, Christopher Kennedy Lawford, retaliated by choosing up a stick of dynamite they discovered, lighting it and throwing it at their attackers:

Bobby rummaged for the bow and arrows he had earlier obtained in a commerce. He hadn’t introduced them. Chris discovered a stick of dynamite and held it up. “Lawford was standing there holding it, telling me to hurry,” Bobby recalled later. “We could hear the Indians coming at us through the bush. We put a blasting cap and a fuse on the dynamite. As the Indian who’d shot at us stepped out on the bank of the river, I lit the dynamite. Lawford held it until the fuse had almost burned down, then threw it. It landed in the water right next to the Indian. Then it exploded, sending water thirty feet in the air. He and all the rest of them took off.”

It’s a wild story from Kennedy, who’s at present working for president as an unbiased — and it additionally seems to be wildly exaggerated or solely made up.

Lawford, who died in 2018, provided a short and much much less dramatic account of this incident in his 2005 memoirSymptoms of Withdrawal: A Memoir of Snapshots and Redemption.” He made no point out of a near-miss arrow strike or dynamite.

He wrote solely: “We floated by Indian villages, once having to avoid the arrows being shot in our direction by a drunken tribe on the shore.”

A longtime Kennedy good friend who was additionally on the rafting journey, Blake Fleetwood, stated as quickly because the 1984 ebook got here out that the incident by no means occurred.

“Fleetwood said yesterday that the river was calm, and that the Indian attack never occurred,” based on a 1984 Washington Post article concerning the Kennedy ebook. In the identical article, Fleetwood stated a variety of Kennedy’s different claims within the ebook had been distorted or “just fantasy.”

Kennedy’s marketing campaign didn’t reply to repeated requests for touch upon whether or not he stands by his detailed account of the bow-and-arrow ambush. A request for remark from Fleetwood was not instantly returned.

Was there really a stick of dynamite lying around when you were white water rafting in Peru, sir?
Was there actually a stick of dynamite mendacity round if you had been white water rafting in Peru, sir?

Roy Rochlin through Getty Images

The son of former U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of former President John F. Kennedy, the 2024 unbiased presidential candidate has earned a fame for his controversial views on plenty of subjects. Kennedy is a outstanding peddler of conspiracy theories and anti-vaccine misinformation.

Kennedy is hoping his well-known final identify may also help him defeat President Joe Biden and Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump in November. He’ll possible operate as a spoiler for certainly one of them, and it’s not clear which one he’ll take away extra votes from.

The Kennedy household has overwhelmingly endorsed Biden for president.

If the 70-year-old presidential hopeful did make up the story concerning the ambush and the dynamite, a potential purpose why is that he wished to spice up his political prospects and stand out from his cousin, John F. Kennedy, Jr.

The authors of the 1984 ebook, Peter Collier and David Horowitz, stated years later that Kennedy agreed to interviews for his or her ebook as a result of he was fascinated about his legacy and believed his cousin had been unfairly anointed because the household’s political inheritor. (JFK Jr., a Democrat, died in 1999.)

“Bobby had a bit of an agenda with us,” Collier advised writer Jerry Oppenheimer in his 2015 ebook, RFK Jr.: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and the Dark Side of the Dream. “He wanted to be seen as the sort of real heir to Camelot. The RFK kids were very, very anxious about the fact that John-John, whom they saw as sort of a foreigner, was seen as the heir to Camelot, and they felt that it was their father who had really made Camelot in some sense.”

Horowitz equally stated Kennedy was on the lookout for “a journalist gun, his own biographer” when he agreed to speak to them for his or her ebook.

“He was told [by longtime JFK associate Lem Billings] he could be president one day, and that has an effect,” Horowitz stated. “[JFK] surrounded himself with writers who were instrumental in his rise, so that could have been an aspect of [RFK Jr.’s] cooperating. He had a twisted mind.”

Other tales Kennedy and his Peru journey companions provided within the 1984 ebook embrace claims that Kennedy used bows and arrows “to shoot tree monkeys, which they roasted and ate,” and an incident the place a drunk Indigenous particular person charged Kennedy with a machete, “gashing him in the back; he was aiming a coup de grâce at his neck when Chris Lawford jumped him from behind and wrestled him to the ground.”

Kennedy additionally reportedly “kept eating strange things on the trip,” together with a “boiled rat” and certainly one of its eyeballs:

Bobby ate something and every little thing, although he had a foul case of dysentery. He’d take these tablets of paregoric, however he claimed that the one factor that labored was some tincture of opium we’d introduced alongside. But he saved consuming unusual things-another of his dares. At one level we had been at some peasant’s home and boiled rat was served for dinner. Bobby ate it. Not solely that, he sat there with this bizarre smile after which pulled one of the eyes out of the rat’s head and ate that too.