Diana Nyad claims that, in a conference call shortly after her crossing, she convinced all but one or two “haters” that she had conducted a legitimate swim. In fact, Nyad fabricates almost everything she says about the call. Most if not all of the conferees remain skeptical of Nyad’s claims.
Conference call on 10 September 2013. From left to right: Diana Nyad, Bonnie Stoll, and Steven Munatones. Location: Munatones’ home. (Screenshot from Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, 13 Oct 2013.)
You can unearth snippets of video and audio from the call, but most if it has vanished along with the video from Nyad’s swim. Given that absence, I attempted to contact the fourteen marathon swimmers and administrators who participated. I asked them about these four assertions that Nyad made after the call:
- “…I got many apologies and respectful notes from that group of swimmers when it was over to say ‘please forgive us for doubting, but we needed to ask these questions. It’s over, congratulations. It’s history.’”
- “John Bartlett got out his electronic devices that measured the GPS tracking and proved, every eighth of a mile, where we were at that moment.” [Nyad has also said it was every quarter of a mile or a combination of both. See #3.]
- John Bartlett got on a phone call with them for 13 hours [sic] and went over every eighth- and quarter-of-a-mile of that swim.” [In another interview, it was “a big all-night telephone call.” In another, the call lasted 3 hours and 22 minutes.]
- I posted all the data evidence online, along with the minute-by-minute logs from the two independent observers.
Had Nyad and Bartlett answered their questions and verified the swim to their satisfaction? Had they (the participants) said or wrote anything afterwards along the lines of “thank you…sorry…it’s history”?
Of those who answered, the response to every question was “no.”
Donal Buckley, a participant on the call, wrote a detailed account afterward. It’s the only first-hand description that I’ve come across (other than Nyad’s unreliable one). See “Diana Nyad, Penny Dean and me.”