Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Draq last won the day on September 24

Draq had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

135 Excellent

About Draq

  • Rank
    Tiger Shark

Profile Information

  • Gender

Additional Info

  • Show Country Flag:
    United States

Recent Profile Visitors

12921 profile views
  1. Alex: I agree that whining here is not likely to result in Adam returning the money he took or paying money that is owed. I am working on utilizing legal means to accomplish that, as are others, but the two activities are not mutually exclusive and while the civil or criminal legal processes slowly move on, in relative obscurity, I feel it is valuable to keep the truth of this visible and even more so now that Adam is trying to deny/deflect his behavior. I have seen some say that Adam got away with as much as he did because people thought their situation was unique or attributed missing money to a one-time "Adam has medical issues" type of situation. I don't know if that is true, but if we all just let this die and pursue civil claims and criminal complaints on our own, that lets Adam's denials and excuses be the only "reality" out there. Certainly, had I seen discussions of financial misdeeds or concerns, I would likely not have sent money to Wetpixel for a trip that proved to be a scam. What I think will happen and is already beginning to form is group communication between those of us who were defrauded or unpaid and that will probably result in relative silence on the issue in these forums. I am not sure that is a good thing, but probably inevitable.
  2. As art of my effort to get some coverage through my credit card, I was required to attempt contact with Adam. I sent him an email, which did not bounce back, asking for payment or that he contact me if he disputed that payment to me was due, or intended to repay but needed time. I heard nothing back. It appears he may be trying to salvage his public image in the media, but he is definitely ignoring those he ripped off, or at least me. If this was not just fraud and theft, Adam would be explaining himself in some way and taking some steps to make this right. He has done neither. I know of one person who tried reaching out toAdam through Adam's wife's facebook page and within a few days, the FB page went private. Hiding like this is not indicative of a mistake or medical problem.
  3. My comment that I felt some people seemed not to care is not "blatantly untrue." That I feel that way is true, whether you feel that way or not, and unless you have some incredible insight into what others think, your evaluation of what others may feel is no more valid than my impression. I, at least, described it as a "sense" and not a hard fact. In support of my "sense," I have seen a few comments on the forums suggesting a hope that Adam will "come back" or get over whatever problems he is facing, and I have not seen the number of outraged people I would have expected, and thus my "sense." I have been around here long enough to see the outrage when someone uses another's photo without attribution or payment, or when some vendor does not deliver on a product or promise. Undoubtedly, I am sensitive to this issue, in large part due to the loss of a substantial amount of money and in part because of my shock and disappointment that someone I trusted turned out to be a thief. This may skew my interpretation of some comments in posts, and acknowledge that my interpretation of others' feelings could be wrong, but I have not made any false statements. Interestingly (to me), although you refer to my what I said as "blatantly untrue," you describe Adam's conduct as "not following up on the trip..." Not following up is an error or accident; an oversight; a miscommunication, etc. Taking money for a product or service you are not going to provide or collecting money for tips and then keeping it, or "hiring" someone to perform work for you and then not paying them...that is something else. I see no need to soft pedal his conduct. In response to your last comment, I am looking into what can be done beyond crying about it here. Time zones and distance make that a bit harder. In the meantime, I will continue to comment on this topic on the Wetpixel forums as I deem appropriate, unless an admin decides to ban me for discussing this. If my posts trouble you, please feel free to ignore them.
  4. It does make me feel better to be sure that information about Adam's fraud does not just drift to the bottom of the threads or get watered down, resulting in someone else getting ripped off. I sense that some people don't really care about this, since they were not victims, and some people care more about the "survival" of the website than they do the behavior of Adam and the victimization of Wetpixel members. I want to be sure this information gets seen as widely as possible and also that what happened does not just fall off into the realm of "some people claim that he failed to pay some bills" or whatever. Keeping this topic alive will not result in any of the people who were ripped off by Adam to get their money back, and perhaps nothing will, but keeping this in the public eye is the closest I can come at the moment to try and help other potential victims and perhaps cause some pressure or inconvenience for Adam. It is pretty clear that Adam believes he can get away with this and continue in the dive and photo industry with no repercussion, and perhaps that is correct. I don't live in the UK, so my access to more formal means of seeking some sort of "justice" is very limited. Yeah, it isn't too hard to find Adam, but lots of people here have no idea what happened or have the impression that he has disappeared or may be laid-up in a hospital somewhere, etc. I am sure that those who don't want to see this can set an ignore function and not be bothered.
  5. To be a bit more direct. Adam collected thousands of dollars, likely tens of thousands of dollars ( including from me) for trips which he then never booked with the operator of the dive trips, and I have heard from reliable sources that he previously collected tip money from guests and never paid that over to the boat crews, hired others to conduct seminars or guide trips and then never paid them, etc. Increasingly, it seems that it is not so much a case as "not following through" but that he never intended to book the trips for which he collected money. This has apparently been going on for many months, perhaps over a year, but the few who knew about it early thought it was one-off kind of thing and said nothing for a long time. Adam has been "active" here in the sense that he was logging in and reading posts after he "disappeared," but is no longer maintaining or running the website and will not respond to emails or posts. I suspect he now reads the posts as a guest so his activity is not visible. Several of us have investigated and know where he is working, but the website will likely go dark at some point when the domain expires or other maintenance costs are not paid. Some folks are trying to figure out a way to establish and move the forums to a new site Wetpixel "live" is now dead.
  6. WP would be doomed if Adam returns. I, for one, would not support someone who has displayed the behavior that he has. I would like to think most others who are aware of the situation would feel the same, even if they were not themselves the victims of trip scams, stolen tip money, etc. I suppose some don't care about such things. That is a personal decision. I would hope no reputable business would want to be connected with him at this point. What dive op or liveaboard operator would let him book trips? What thinking person would send Adam (Wetpixel) money again? And I suspect he is at risk of civil actions and perhaps criminal investigation. Remaining as the face of Wetpixel would surely increase those risks. I cannot speak for Alex, but doubt he would have anything to do with Wetpixel if Adam came out of hiding. On a personal, rather than monetary level, I doubt there is anyone Adam betrayed more than Alex. I doubt Alex has the time to run a website. It would appear that Adam decided to abandon Wetpixel and pursue other activities. I would guess that is because it was not profitable. There are several ways he could have done this, but if that is right, then he chose a truly underhanded and deceitful way to do so. Coming back is hardly an option now unless i am seriously underestimating the integrity of the people who I have seen using the forum over many years. When the domain expires next year, someone might buy it, or might not. Adam might even keep the registration, thinking the name has value and he can sell it in the future. The forum can be started elsewhere, with a new name that is not tainted with fraud and deceit, and that is what should happen. Maybe someone should start a group on Scubaboard (Wetpixel expats or something) or some other chat group host. I hope the forum finds a way to survive and if someone else can run a website in conjunction; that wold be great. The current website, as an alter ego of Adam, is damaged. Admittedly I am biased, having entrusted thousands of dollars to Wetpixel and Adam and , which he then stole. And that is just the tip of the iceberg from what I have heard.
  7. Thanks, that is interesting. I guess Adam found a way to turn a profit. Maybe Wetpixel is/was doomed and this is a case of the rat leaving the sinking ship...
  8. Wolfgang: I am trying to salvage at least the air tickets by planning a substitute trip somewhere, but last- minute airfare is expensive and since I booked on British Air, my alternative destinations are limited. You are right, going all the way to Egypt for some house reef dives is hard to justify.
  9. I know the thread title is a bit dramatic but I am frustrated and concerned. My understanding is that Wetpixel is owned exclusively by Adam Hanlon, and all income generated goes to him. I think those of us who booked the Red Sea trip or were due compensation for running trips, or were entitled to refunds from other cancelled trips, etc., have strong concerns that Adam has gone down a dark path of theft and deceit. Yet our desire to maintain Wetpixel as a source of information and discussion causes us to be conflicted. We don't want Wetpixel to die. I certainly have valued my participation for the past 16 years. So, the website stays up, advertisers still send money to Adam, trips remain advertised and the posts about fraud and theft drift to the bottom of the forum and won't be seen. Already the relevant threads in the trips section are dropping to the bottom of the page and soon will be lost in a sea of posts about other topics. Only the 50-60 people he stole from will care and we may just drift away. Or, he stops paying the hosting site or the web developer and the site goes dark? According to the website, I can still book a trip to the Bahamas later this year by emailing Adam@wetpixel.com. Will new trips be offered? Will anyone say anything? Will more people will be defrauded? If someone new ends up on this site, they might not even see any of this. By allowing this situation to drift away, we, in effect, become passive accomplices to any ongoing fraud. To be clear, Adam took $8,600.00 from me for a liveaboard trip, some of which was paid long after he failed to pay for the boat. he pocketed the money and is still reading this forum and profiting from advertising here. That does not feel right. Does it? Tell me why I should not notify advertisers other dive forums and post threads here every day or two warning new visitors and others who may not visit the trips page about the situation? Adam is not going to "sell" this site while it is producing money to him and as I understand it, he remains in exclusive control. maybe if Adam sees the resale value of the site declining due to adverse publicity he will feel motivated to pay off his victims in the hope of preserving whatever value "Wetpixel" has? It is not right to just let this thing die off and to "write off" the people who were ripped off or to be ripped off in the future, in the name of having a website forum to enjoy. I know there are discussions about "saving" wetpixel and the current theory seems to be to just "wait and see" what Adam does, and do nothing to jeopardize the site in the meantime, but for those of us ripped off, or at least for me, that does not feel like a solution. And in my view, that is now how to deal with criminals. I have copied all the relevant threads and am on the cusp of making this as public as possible, including warning the website advertisers and the liveaboards and/or resorts who have provided services to Wetpixel. After all, I have a vacation week coming up soon that I won't be diving, so I will have time. I am guessing Reef and Nauticam and Backscatter, etc. will not want to be seen as having a business relationship Adam going forward and at the moment, Wetpixel and Adam are the same thing. Let me say that again Adam Hanlon and Wetpixel are one and the same, and they ripped me off, along with many others. My guess is that if Adam is not making money from the site, he will abandon it and then someone else could take over. But allowing him to profit from it makes us part of the problem. Maybe I am wrong. if so, what do you suggest?
  10. I see Adam last visited the forum on August 8 under his user name, without posting anything or responding to anyone. Adam, are you there? Can you offer any explanation of what has happened? Or any hope we might get our money back? I realize you are probably visiting as an unregistered guest now, but still, I am sure you are reading this stuff. Adam? Adam?
  11. Wolfgang : Thank you for the information. I have sent an email to Alain. Unfortunately, I am told that the trip insurance simply won't cover cancellation due to insolvency/theft, etc. My only small chance is that my credit card company has said they would open a dispute if I get a letter from the person (Wetpixel) to whom I made payment, stating they are insolvent/bankrupt and unable to provide the services for that reason. Certainly I would try to use whatever I can get from Alain, but I don't have much hope. If someone in the UK opens a case with law enforcement (I don't believe this is a civil dispute, I believe it qualifies as theft/fraud) I am hoping they will post information here and I will join in the complaint. Perhaps restitution could be obtained from that process. As to the above comments, I don't know what Adam's situation is, but I know he continued taking payments after the deadline to pay VIPOne passed and it would seem he knew the trip would not occur and thus was taking payment for services he had no intention to provide. I hold out some tiny hope that is wrong and this was huge mistake that will be remedied. But it does not look that way to me right now.
  12. Before I saw this thread, I posted on another thread. I paid for four spaces on the Red Sea trip. And of course, airfare to the UK and Egypt. Fraud by the trip provider is not covered by my trip insurance and the credit card charges were too long ago to dispute. I am saddened by the significant loss of money and the betrayal by someone I respected.
  13. Well, I too purchased the Wetpixel Red Sea trip, for myself and three others. Unfortunately, fraud by the trip provider is not covered under my trip insurance and the payments were too long ago to dispute. So I am out of luck on any sort of refund. Sadly, if Adam were to send me an email stating he was insolvent, my credit card company would open that as a charge dispute and possibly cover my loss, but from what I am reading, that won't happen. I have these tickets to London and a week to spare, perhaps I will will fly over to the UK and check up on Adam and see how he is doing?
  14. The thing is...there will be some new wonder-camera next year and/or the year after. Unless the D500 is holding you back, there is little harm in waiting until something comes along that really calls to you. In the meantime, if you like wide angle and CFWA, it is hard with a full frame camera replicate the usefulness of the Nikkor 8-15 or Tokina 10-17 (with or without a 1.4TC), and a 100mm dome is very handy and much better on cropped sensor than full frame. Do the mirrorless cameras still go through batteries really fast? There are always tradeoffs. Possibly, a bonus point for the Z8 would be similar menus and settings to the D500 and the ability to share lenses with the D500 by virtue of the FTZ adapter, so you could upgrade your wildlife camera but still use D500 underwater without the hassle of managing two different systems. I have spent no time looking at the mirrorless Nikons, so that may not be true. By the way, if the 60 and 105 are not quite cutting it for macro on the D500, have a look at the 85. I think it may be discontinued, but they are still around. I have found the 105 just a little too much for "general" macro, and the 60 requires me to get close enough to scare away some stuff.
  • Create New...