Phil Champagne, the main character in Man Overboard, is every bit the rascal at eighty four years of age as he was when he died in 1982 -of course, Phil didn’t know he was dead until he read it in the newspaper.
Those of you who were born in the 80’s or 90’s probably can’t imagine it being so easy to make fake drivers licenses with press on letters you buy at the stationary store, but back in the “old days” before there were holograms and other security devices on I.D., you could get away with that sort of thing – and Phil had his reinvention down to a science – even his fake $100 series E 1990 bills were, for the most part, good enough to make it all the way to the Federal Reserve Bank in Seattle before they were detected as counterfeit – well, except for that one accidently passed at Perkins Cake n Steak in Ritzville, Washington.
Some people still think that perhaps Phil’s vanishing act was a well-orchestrated insurance scam, and that the wild adventures detailed in the book are a pack of lies. If they are, the lies are well packaged and vastly entertaining. There is, according to the United States Secret Service, no doubt that Phil’s alias, Harold Richard Stegeman, was used world wide by international criminals and crooked politicians on the run. From South America to the Maldives Islands and Africa, Harold Richard Stegeman is a legend of international crime and mayhem – but a legend never apprehended…until they captured Phil Champagne.
Will there ever be a movie made of Man Overboard? Once again a well-known film director of high repute has expressed interest in the film rights. Nothing is real until the check clears the bank. But keep your fingers crossed just in case.