Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Colton Harris-Moore, Barefoot Bandit New Footage

As I mention in The Barefoot Bandit, on my trip to the Bahamas during Colton Harris-Moore's run, I discovered that he had been carrying around a Contour HD camera. Skiers, bikers, hang-gliders and others strap this tiny videocam onto their helmets to get exciting “You are there!” footage. You can also mount them on dashboards, whether on a car or a plane.

Colton used the camera both with a dashboard mount and as a hand-held to film his point of view as he stole airplanes and cars, as well as just playing around in the woods.

I’ve known this footage existed for quite awhile, but repeated Freedom of Information Act requests to review it have been refused and, currently, delayed by the FBI. I’m not certain how this local Seattle television station, KOMO, obtained the video.

As you check out the clips, what they call nighttime footage is actually daybreak in Bloomington, Indiana as Colton steals and taxis Spider Miller’s Cessna Corvalis in preparation for his flight to the Bahamas. The written commentary from the television station says that Colton waits for the airport to open, as evidenced by the runway lights. But that’s not accurate. Most small airports have a lighting system that pilots can turn on and off by using their radios. Colton knew how to turn on the lights himself.

There are a number of clips here that you can play at KOMO's site. Nothing very exciting unless you keep in mind that this was a young man who’d never had a formal flight lesson…


  1. Very cool footage! Wonder how they obtained it. Are those photos the saucy pose pictures you mentioned in the book? The news broadcast mentioned 48 minuets of video footage. Do you think the videos in full length will ever be released?

  2. Yes, those are some of the shots Colton took of himself on a Northwest beach, presumably Camano, after he escaped.

    It looks like they've got most if not all of the footage up there in all those clips.

    As to how they obtained it... KOMO never says how in their reporting, which would make you think they didn't get it from law enforcement (at least not through official channels).

    My guess would be one of the friends Colt kept in touch with via the internet throughout his run. He did get online in the Bahamas and could have sent the last clip he shot -- the Indiana to Abaco flight -- from Marsh Harbour. In the book I have a Bahamian I've known for years who let Colton use the internet connection at her store before she knew he was the famous Barefoot Bandit. He had enough time online there to upload the footage.

    The other clips and photos were presumably sent before he left the country.

    Another option is that all of this was recovered from the computer and other electronics Colt tossed overboard after the Bahamian police shot out his boat engines. That would mean, though, that someone in law enforcement leaked the footage.

  3. Some of this footage was being circulated online 2 years ago.

  4. Any links? Other than the stuff shot in the bushes, which could have been any time (unless somebody can identify those plants and place them somewhere specific), I don't see any footage that could have been shot before the Idaho truck clip. That had to be taken June 9-11, 2010.