Neither rhythm nor rhyme

Public figures are making a habit of lying on their resumes, but (now former) New Zealand military scientist Stephen Wilce has won the prize for most absurd claim. Wilce claimed that he was a member of the British Royal Marines (Wilce was born in Britain), which isn’t true. But that’s been done before, and if ...

David Yarrow/Getty Images
David Yarrow/Getty Images
David Yarrow/Getty Images

Public figures are making a habit of lying on their resumes, but (now former) New Zealand military scientist Stephen Wilce has won the prize for most absurd claim.

Public figures are making a habit of lying on their resumes, but (now former) New Zealand military scientist Stephen Wilce has won the prize for most absurd claim.

Wilce claimed that he was a member of the British Royal Marines (Wilce was born in Britain), which isn’t true. But that’s been done before, and if that were Wilce’s only falsehood, his story would have likely attracted very little media interest.

The claim that raised suspicion of Wilche’s qualifications was refreshingly ridiculous. He alleged that he was a member of the 1988 British Olympic bobsled team, and that he raced against — and personally knew — the Jamaican team that was later immortalized in the 1993 movie "Cool Runnings." Wilche was caught on a secret tape, aired by "60 minutes," a New Zealand-channel TV3 program, saying,"I knew all the Jamaican guys" and that they were "mad, absolute nutters."

Not only does Wilche’s claim scream fabrication, but why the hell did he have it on his resume in the first place? What employer did he think would be so impressed by him simply having met the Jamaican team? But it seems he’s somewhat of a serial resume embellisher:

Previous employers and colleagues told the programme Mr Wilce had claimed he designed guidance systems for Britain’s Polaris nuclear missiles, a now-defunct system that was launched in 1960, at the height of the Cold War.  He also said he had worked for MI5 and MI6, the British secret services, the program reported. 

It said at one previous workplace he was known as "Walter Mitty," a reference to U.S. author James Thurber’s fictional character who lives in a fantasy world.

I have a hard time believing Wilche will find work in the near future.

H/T to Boing Boing.

Andrew Swift is an editorial researcher at Foreign Policy.

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