Tuesday, May 03, 2011

The SEALS Are So Elite Everyone Wants To Be One. Except Me. I Can't Swim.

This was originally posted in 2010 as One Minute You're Fine And The Next Minute The Internet Is Ruining Your Life. But in light of the recent heroism of the Navy SEALS in Pakistan, I thought I'd post it again.

I first met David Silbergeld in New York. I was working for a co-op developer when David came into our office with his supermodel wife Mel Harris, who would be named one of America's 10 most beautiful women by Harper's Bazaar in 1989.

They bought a huge co-op from my boss and I assumed I would never see them again.

A little over a year later my sister Lindy was living with me and told me she'd met this great guy. A divorced man named David Silbergeld.

Same guy.

One day I came home to an empty apartment and when I walked into the bedroom I heard my sister whispering from inside one of the closets.

"Snookie, is that you?" She always called me Snookie and I always called her Bijou. I won't repeat the names we call each other today but one begins with an A and the other one begins with an A.

I opened the door and she was crouched on the floor with her hand over my dog's mouth.

"David called earlier and I screened the call. Somehow he got upstairs even though I didn't buzz him in and he was fooling around with the door knob and you know he was a Navy SEAL and those guys can infiltrate Fort Knox and I know he was trying to get into the apartment and somebody's DOG wouldn't shut the fuck up."

But David was not outside or anywhere else in the building. He never called Lindy again.

By the late 80's his ex-wife Mel was on a show called Thirty Something. Had the internet existed back then I would have read that she and David had only stayed married for a year. And that he had no job and no money. It apparently took her a very short time to figure out why he had married her. And they say models are dumb.

One day I read an article in The New York Post about a small plane flying into Teeterboro Airport in New Jersey with the lights off. The pilot was David Silbergeld.

The Feds arrested him upon touchdown. He had an arsenal of weapons in his waiting car and went to prison for possession of 610 pounds of cocaine worth $200 million. The New York Times reported it as the largest drug-smuggling bust in the northeastern United States.

One day I got a call from him. He had served his time and wanted me to meet him and some of his friends for dinner. At dinner I asked him about prison but he didn't want to talk about it. We had a great meal, a great time and then David disappeared.

I didn't know much about the SEALS until 1997, when the movie G.I. Jane was released. I had no idea they were, along with other Special Forces the Rangers, Green Berets and Delta Force, considered the elite of the military branches. They're the people I want to rescue me if I'm ever caught by pirates off the coast of Somalia. You don't know; I MIGHT GO THERE.

A few years ago I decided to Google David and found this:

Silbergeld's fictional SEAL war record, which earned him full disability pay of more than $2,300 per month, along with a prison-earned doctorate from a diploma mill allowed him to become a Pennsylvania community-college history professor and contributor to National Defense magazine. He also set up a business that defrauded the U.S. government through sales of night-vision equipment. At his sentencing he pleaded for leniency — by pointing to his bogus military record.

By now the Internet was helping to close in on all the thousands of fake elite Special Forces that had sprung up around the world. David was being investigated and was subsequently fired from the university in Pennsylvania. He must have known the trail of felonies would now follow him wherever he went. I'm sure he had run out of plans. And ego.

He was found in a town square in Delaware sitting on a bench, a bullet through his brain and the gun dangling from his hand.


  1. I am saying this in the nicest way possible:

    You have gone through - and have experienced - some of the worst shit I have ever seen. And somehow, here you are, still making your way.

    I'm not serious very often, but you really should win a medal or something...for sheer determination to keep moving forward.

    www.booshy.com <--- that's me!

  2. I remember this story. And I think of it whenever I watch Thirtysomething--which is more often than one might think!

  3. As much as I'd like to, I can't top this story. YOU WIN.

  4. -->Makes me glad that I know the real guys in special forces. Hell, I sleep with one every night. HooRah....

  5. Holy shit.

    Amazing to think what people could get away with before the Internet. What an asshat.

    Thank God for Al Gore.

  6. um, pirates, DON'T GO THERE

  7. I have never, ever heard about this guy.

    The telling of this gave me goosebumps.

    You have so many stories.

    So very many of them.

  8. Also: I need to know the day and month of your birth.

    I have an idea

    And it won't embarrass you.

    No one will know a thing about it.

  9. You have THE best stories! And have met some interesting people.

  10. I once slept in a 1969 Cadillac Hearse with Brandon Lee. Does that top it?

  11. Whatever doesn't kill you outright only makes you funnier.

  12. dumb shit, shudda become a canadian BEAVER [hunter] instead! :P lol

  13. furgot: pay ain't worth shit, but man... those benefits! ;)

  14. I like your writing style.

    And wow about that guy.

    I was a young 30 something when that show was on. Good to know even the pretty girls didn't really have it all.

    xoxo, Julia

  15. I had a crush on Mel Harris when 30 something was on the air. Just thought I would share that. LOL

  16. So then what happened?

  17. This Post is filled with a bunch of bullshit. Not only factually incorrect, but offensive to his family and friends. While some of what you said is true, a good portion of it is crap. It is not only offensive to David, but also Mel Harris(who I personally knew and was not only extremely intelligent, but a sweet and caring person). You're clearly a self promoter and publicity seeker. You should stop telling this story as you do not actually know the facts.