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Film to explore mystery of Scot 'shot dead by Somali pirates'

Thursday May 9, 2019
By Colin Wight

Alan MacLean was killed on the French-registered yacht Correlation in the Indian Ocean in 1999.

A film is to explore the mystery death of a Scottish backpacker who is said to have been shot by a gang Somali pirates.

Alan MacLean was killed on the French-registered yacht Correlation in the Indian Ocean in September 1999.

The only other people on board, French skipper Philippe Sorel and his Moroccan mistress Badiaa Lemniai, claimed he had been shot by Somali pirates who had boarded the vessel.

The pair said they had to bury his body at sea because of the extreme heat and being so far from a port and alerted the authorities when they arrived in Aden in the Republic of Yemen.

However, back home in Aberdeen Alan's parents never believed the story of their son's death.

The 28-year-old had emailed his parents earlier in September saying he feared for his life aboard the yacht he was helping to crew.

The exact circumstances surrounding the shooting of adventurer remain a mystery to this day.

Now a major film is to be made about the killing.

The award-winning Banchory-based producer Chris Robb, a friend of Alan's, is busy carrying out his own research.

"The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" will tell Alan's story for a new generation.

Chris said, "It's a true-life mystery drama and will focus on Alan's father Neil and his journey to find out what happened to his son.

"We'll attempt from what we do know, to piece together our best guess of what happened.

"I think it'll make a great film and will get Alan's story out to the world."

The French authorities eventually cleared Philippe Sorel of any blame. But the mystery won't go away.

Alan's father Neil now lives in New Zealand and has given the film his blessing.

He said: "There're lots of young folk out there who are very keen travellers.

"It's not all together a secure world and I think they could gain from all of this."

Filming is expected to begin production early next year.


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