Jean & Scott Adam Update: Mobile Web Helped Pirates Value SV Quest, Privacy More Important

SV Quest.JPGAs our readers know, before I was the editor at Wireless and Mobile News, I was a freelance writer and computer consultant in the Los Angeles area.

During the late 1990s, Scott and Jean Adam were my computer consulting clients and friends. They were an inspiration to me, always encouraging my talents and praising my gifts.

Ali Abdi Mohamed and Burhan Abdirahman Yusuf were sentenced today in
Norfolk Federal Court to life in prison for their roles in the pirate attack against the SV Quest, in the Indian Ocean when Jean and Scott Adam along with their friends Phyllis Macay and Robert Riggle were murdered.

The pirates anticipated receiving a percentage of whatever ransom they received, after paying approximately 35 percent to the operation's financier.

It has been really hard for the Adams' friends and family to bear their loss because they were guiding lights and helped many people.

I found solace in remembering how much Scott and Jean loved and motivated their friends but we can also learn from their mistaken trust in what is revealed on the web.

When I showed Jean Adam how to use photo editing software, she was sharing her photographs in holiday newsletters that were printed on a color laser printer.  Later on, she learned how to use Microsoft FrontPage to to publish their SV Quest sailing around the world on the web.

Jean and Scott Adam made themselves public figures through the web. At first Jean Adam set out email newsletters about their world-wide sail to friends who subscribed.  There was a problem getting email on the ship and it became easier to just post the photos and details of their adventures on the web.

Jean wrote the following about the Red Sea entry:

“Djibouti is a big refueling stop. I have NO idea what will happen in these ports, but perhaps we’ll do some local touring. Due north is the Red Sea where we plan to tuck in when winds turn to the north.”

Unfortunately, Somali pirates could also access the web to get information about the Adams. Although they did not post exactly
where they were starting in December of 2010, knowing of the dangers of the pirates in the Arabian sea.

The FBI reportedly has screenshots taken from a pirate's (Mohammad Saaili Shibin) web-enabled mobile phone searches for the value of the SV Quest and family contacts of the people kidnapped.

Many people publicly post to the internet and Facebook details  of their travels around the world without concern for privacy which can lead to crimes such as piracy and robberies.

I believe that if the Adams had started their quest on the SV Quest and had private Facebook settings, it may have helped.

I therefore implore everyone who is traveling in dangerous areas or even just leaving town not to publicly post anywhere your
whereabouts or intentions which seems almost impossible nowadays.

I attended a beautiful service honoring Jean and Scott Adam at Saint Monica Church in Santa Monica. Dr. Jean Adam was one of the first women dentists on the California dental board of examiners.  Scott Adam was an assistant director for movies and television. He later went to Fuller Seminary in Pasadena and taught media classes there.

Jean and Scott Adam were longtime members of St. Monica Church in Santa Monica. Their families suggest that gifts to St. Monica are a fitting way to remember Jean and Scott, who loved St. Monica. Jean sang in the choir and loved the music. She also attempted to teach me how to play the piano.

The St. Monica Church Music Ministry album "Servants of Peace: St. Monica Catholic Community," was made available in digital format on and iTunes with glorious music honoring the couple. The sale of the album will fund the Music Ministry Suite on St. Monica'snew campus ( with a goal of naming it for Scott and Jean Adam.