Teenager with Asperger's hoaxes UK aviation industry with fake airline


20 Responses to “Teenager with Asperger's hoaxes UK aviation industry with fake airline”

  1. Moriarty says:

    “Could someone with a good enough theory of mind to pull this hoax really be accurately described as having Asperger’s?”

    I don’t know that he would really need that. Despite all the comparisons in the article, he doesn’t seem like a con man. That people believed him was probably just a combination of him knowing the details of the business, and the fact that it didn’t occur to anyone that someone might want to fake starting an airline. No real manipulation required.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I just couldnt help but laugh at this. I have aspergers (supposedly) and I was able to affect/influence people at a very young age. At 7-8 I was completely able to keep up in conversations with adults. I think the kid had a novel idea that he wanted to bring serious attention to, I also think that he should be commended for his ideas and scolded for his little tricks. Many aspergers people stand out, both in bad and good ways. Honestly I think its a mental adaption and not a flaw.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I, too, have aspergers and have always been able to influence people quite well. I’ve never used it for personal gain, though. I don’t think this teen was trying to scam people, I bet he legitimately thought he could try and start a business. All aspies aren’t the same, though. Instead of struggling with verbal communication and handling social situations (I actually do quite well with parties and I enjoy being out with friends, something I think being in band really helped me develop) I struggle with affection more than anything; Hugging/holding hands etc. is extremely uncomfortable/embarrassing and, in most cases, annoying to me, so it’s something I have to really work towards dealing with. Also, my highschool teachers had a running joke with me. They all loved holding debates and class conversations with me, but I barely kept a 2.3 GPA. They assumed I was just lazy. The more you know.

    By the way
    “Could someone with a good enough theory of mind to pull this hoax really be accurately described as having Asperger’s?”

    Who the fuck are you to decide this?

  4. Takuan says:

    so how is this different from any IPO?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Clever kid.

  6. Nelson.C says:

    Anonymous @19 & Daemon @16: I apologise if I caused offence. I am indeed ignorant of Asperger’s and do need to read up on it some. That’s why I was asking the question. It was just a question and not an attempt to decide or influence anything.

  7. Binaryloop says:

    So what does Asperger’s have to do with any of this?

  8. Takuan says:

    some Aspies can talk and sell like you wouldn’t
    believe. It ain’t all Frank Frink.

  9. Takuan says:


  10. Takuan says:


  11. Anonymous says:

    Lots of new business ventures don’t quite come together. If you’re 17 then it’s a “hoax”?

  12. Anonymous says:

    My son (10) has Aspergers. My wife and I always say his fantasy mind and logical mind don’t seem to blend. For example, one day at the health club I lost my wallet out near the pool, after 10 minutes of not finding it, our son told this story of how he saw it floating on the edge and went in to the drain on the side of the pool. When we asked if he was making this up, he was like “no honestly I saw it!” We found it when leaving-in the car.
    The point is, he really in his mind, believed it. When you live with it you see that they really do believe what they say. It is another part of their brain at work. From my experience, this kid didn’t realizing that his fantasy about starting an airline was unreasonable. He believed he could. Our son can negotiate like its no ones business, and thrives in deal making- making up his own new rules in monopoly etc.
    (we have another son and boy can you see the differences)

    He wanted to, and knew about airplanes, so why not, in his mind?- Trust me, that is his thought pattern. We, as parents work with our son everyday on reality with him. ( for example, “I know you are not done building your lego ship, but the movie theater will not wait for you- we gotta go. life does not work that way son.” Not everyone homeschools or has both parents to check up on the adventures of an Aspee like we do.
    There are degrees of it too.

    Watch Trekies-i think its called , the Star Trek convention documentary, you can see that some of them are Aspergers grown up and they believe, in some way they are part of a StarTrek crew and dress that way everyday.

  13. murray says:

    This kid has an interesting life ahead of him.

  14. Moriarty says:

    “So what does Asperger’s have to do with any of this?”

    I think it’s probably relevant to motive. Airlines are apparently his circumscribed interest.

  15. Nelson.C says:

    Could someone with a good enough theory of mind to pull this hoax really be accurately described as having Asperger’s?

  16. kgb says:

    Nelson.C: It’s possible, though unlikely given his age, that he’s clever enough to rationally determine the social rules to make up for his deficit.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Aspergers is part of the “spectrum disorder” of Autism, which means that there are a number of different ways that it can present. One normally thinks of “aspies” as being socially awkward and perhaps even non-verbal. But another way some aspies present is with an obsessive interest in particular topics on which they can be incredibly engaging. And because they know a lot about the topic, they can be very convincing if they decide to use their knowledge to pull some sort of scam. Generally these scams aren’t for personal financial gain or glory, but to further their own knowledge – in this case, likely because he wanted to meet with all those people and learn more about the industry.

    There have been a number of cases that are similar to this, though perhaps not at this scale. And so many of them have to do with buses, trains and planes that it’s commonly referred to as a “transportation fixation.” There was a guy in New York not too long ago that I remember reading about who had managed to convince employees of the MTA that he was a conductor and took a subway for a joyride. Apparently he was pretty good at it too.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Here’s a link describing “transportation fixation” and how it relates to Aspergers; http://abcnews.go.com/Health/AutismNews/Story?id=5483969&page=2

  19. Daemon says:

    Oh. Wonderfull. Now people with Asperger’s aren’t even allowed to have Theory of Mind?

    Ok people, listen up. Stop reading media reports about what Asperger’s is like. They’re almost all distorted and cover only a particular segment of the Asperger’s population.

    Go read some books on the subject. Preferably the ones written by the Aspies themselves.

    Or aren’t Aspies allowed to write books either?

Leave a Reply