Special Report – Turmoil In The Travel Community – The William Baekeland Controversy
William Baekeland, a former guest, on Counting Countries is allegedly Jesse Simon Gordon. The travel community is alleging malfeasance on William’s part. William has been accused of being a con man who has been preying on members of the travel community. Purporting to be a young British aristocrat who is a heir to a plastics fortune; he ingratiated himself over several years within the travel community. William presented himself as an elite and accomplished traveler, who then began to organize exotic and unique expeditions with fellow travelers.
On this episode, I spoke with four travelers who have all interacted with William over the past several years. The four guests are Harry Mitsidis, Mike Kendall, David Langan, and Dominique Laurent. Each shared unique stories with different perspectives. Harry and Mike joined from the UK. David called in from Ireland and Dominique from France. I was recording in both Boston and Las Vegas.
A number of allegations have been made against William Baekeland by other members of the travel community. These allegations have not been proven in a court of law.
Please listen in on this special episode.
Photos provided with permission by Harry Mitsidis and Dominique Laurent.
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Check out our friends: Chasing 193, Volume II: The Quest To Visit Every Country In The World and Large Minority. They organize international rallies around the world including: Sri Lanka, Cambodia, the Philippines and the Amazon.
More about the guests:
About Harry Mitsidis
About Mike Kendall
About David Langan
About Dominique Laurent
About William Baekeland
About Counting Countries
Counting Countries is the only podcast to bring you the stories from the dedicated few who’ve spent their lives on the singular quest of traveling to every country in the world. Less people have traveled to every country in the world than have been to outer space.
Theme music for this podcast is Demeter’s Dance, written, performed, and provided by Mundi.
Ric Gazarian is the host of Counting Countries. He is the author of three books: Hit The Road: India, 7000 KM To Go, and Photos From Chernobyl. He is the producer of two travel documentaries: Hit The Road: India and Hit The Road: Cambodia.
How Many Countries Are There?
Well … that depends on who you ask!
- The United Nations states that there are 193 member states.
- The British Foreign and Commonwealth office states that there are 226 countries and territories.
- The Century Club states that there are 325 sovereign nations, territories, enclaves, and islands.
- The Most Traveled Person states that there are 875 unique parts of the world.
- The Nomad Mania states that there are 1281 unique places in the world.
- Me? My goal is the 193 countries that are recognized by the UN, but I am sure I will visit some other places along the way.
Me? My goal is the 193 countries that are recognized by the UN, but I am sure I will visit some other places along the way.
Check out our partner and sponsor: Chasing 193, Volume II: The Quest To Visit Every Country In The World.
Explore the unique stories from 20 more world-class travelers from various backgrounds and nations and from all walks of life who have tirelessly pursued visiting every country in the world and have filled their lives with a virtually endless amount of adventure.
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