Philippe de Dieuleveult: His disappearance never elucidated, why the documentary broadcast this evening is criticized by his children

Philippe de Dieuleveult: His disappearance never elucidated, why the documentary broadcast this evening is criticized by his children
Philippe de Dieuleveult: His disappearance never elucidated, why the documentary broadcast this evening is criticized by his children

On August 6, 1985, Philip of Dieuleveultpresenter of the famous TV game show The treasure hunt disappeared with six other people in the rapids of the Zaire River. The case is the subject of a documentary this Tuesday, July 9, 2024 on France 2.

At the time, the presenter and adventurer had travelled to what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo on an expedition with others to the Inga Lakes. They planned to cross Africa from east to west in an inflatable boat, which was a 5,000-kilometre journey. A challenge that had never been attempted before, given the dangerous currents. The two boats specially designed for the expedition nevertheless set off and were swept away by the currents. Officially, the teams died by accidental drowning. but the circumstances of their disappearances have always raised many questions.

For some, it could actually be a blunder by the Zairian army. Because, a few weeks before the expedition, the French services warned of an imminent attack by mercenaries on the Inga dam. A passage authorization for the expedition team should have been transmitted to the security services but the message was “forgotten on the corner of a desk“.

Two clans of the Dieuleveult family formed

In 1994, doubts persisted with the publication of a book by a former Zairian soldier who spoke of hostage-taking and assassinations. In it, he explained that he had notably witnessed that of Philippe de Dieuleveult. Alexis de Dieuleveult, the nephew of Philippe de Dieuleveultthen demands that justice be done and that a crime against his uncle be formally recognized. In February 2023, he also asked to reopen the investigation (which was first closed in 2004 with a dismissal), claiming to have new evidence, including a telex from the French ambassador to Zaire dated August 18, 1985, which states that “the hypothesis of a blunder by the Zairian forces cannot be ruled out“.

But on their side, Philippe de Dieuleveult’s three children do not want the investigation to be reopened. They also opposed the production of the documentary entrusted to Anna Miquel.There is no proof, only feelings, only feelings. Saying for example that we felt unwelcome there, that does not prove a conspiracy. There are a lot of insinuations, sequences that make people talk about the dead and no one is there to defend themselves“, protested Tugdual de Dieuleveult, who is nevertheless continuing his research”discreetly, with patience“. Philippe de Dieuleveult’s son also holds a grudge against Anna Miquel for having bought for 150 euros a handwritten report from an interrogation of Philippe de Dieuleveult which turned out to be a fake. A detail that she does not present in the documentary. Ethics would have required transparency, Anna Miquel should have shown this aspect of her investigation, explained that she had been had“, he believes.

One thing is certain, the Philippe de Dieuleveult affair has not yet revealed all its secrets…

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