British heroic bassist Vernon Unsworth has put the insults of Elon Musk "child rapist" behind him to attend an event dedicated to the 12 Thai children he helped rescue from a flooded cave.
The 12 youngsters and their 25-year-old football coach were trapped for almost three weeks in a Thai cave in July and shared their stories at a nighttime exhibition and celebration called United As One in Bangkok.
Members of the Wild Boars football team also performed a cave reproduction during the day that simulated water dripping sounds, while equipment used by rescuers and other memorabilia were also displayed.
Cavern expert Mr. Unsworth, 63, and his wife, Woranan Ratrawiphukkun, 40, attended the event to thank everyone involved in the rescue on Thursday, despite a constant dispute with technology entrepreneur Elon Musk. .
Cave expert Vernon Unsworth, 63, and his wife Woranan Ratrawiphukkun, 40, attended an event called United As One today in honor of the boys he helped rescue
The young Thai soccer team, whose terrifying experience in a flooded cave captivated the world earlier this year, recounted their memories of their rescue (in the photo with some of the diving experts who saved them).
Cavern expert Mr Unsworth (left) poses with a guest during the United As One event in Bangkok
Members of the Wild Boars football team pose for a group photo with Thai Culture Minister Veera Rojpojanarat, center left, after a public discussion in Bangkok, Thailand.
Mr. Unsworth, whose advice and experience were considered crucial to the rescue operation, had previously criticized a well-publicized effort by Musk to provide a tailor-made mini-submarine for the rescue effort in caves.
Mr. Musk responded on Twitter with comments that implied that the Brit was a pedophile.
The matter was revived last week, with Musk, when he was asked about the threat of a defamation lawsuit, redoubling his accusations.
He suggested in emails to the BuzzFeed news website that Unsworth was a "child rapist" and had moved to northern Thailand to take "a girlfriend who was 12 years old at that time."
He did not provide proof of his accusations.
Experienced diver Unsworth, of St Albans, Hertfordshire, described Mr. Musk's accusations that he had a girlfriend and had moved to an area known for child sex trafficking as "100%" fake.
Mr. Musk (right) accused Unsworth (left) of being "a paedo" during the rescue of 12 school children from the cave complex of Tham Luang Nang Non. The issue was revived last week when Musk suggested in emails to BuzzFeed that Mr. Unsworth was a "child rapist."
Some members of the team went through a reproduction of the cave with simulated sounds of dripping water while exhibiting equipment used by rescuers and other objects of interest.
The military government of Thailand, eager to share the glory of the good news story, has trotted the boys for public appearances and interviews since its dramatic rescue. In the photo, one of the soccer teams goes through the reproduction of the cave
The children and their trainer were rescued after almost three weeks inside the cave. This image released by the Royal Thai Navy shows some of the children wrapped in protective aluminum blankets
"I have been told to be very careful because this guy can do anything to complicate my life," he said.
Mr. Unsworth's girlfriend, Woranan Ratrawiphukkun, 40, said yesterday that she was not a "promised girl." She met him seven years ago, when she was at least 32 years old.
All team members were found alive inside the cave complex in the Tham Luang cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Par
He runs a nail salon and lives with Mr. Unsworth in the field in Chiang Rai, near the cave rescue scene.
Musk, whose apparently erratic behavior in other matters has aroused investor concern, also told BuzzFeed in general terms that he expected Unsworth to sue him.
In Bangkok, the deputy government spokesman, Weerachon Sukhondhapatipak, who has organized many of the events with the children, responded with concern to Musk's comments that highlighted Thailand as a destination for sex tourists.
"When this kind of perception exists, we should not overlook it, this reflects our image, which we must correct.
"We will not blame him and say, 'Oh, he said all those bad things,' he said." We should take this information and use it to make changes. "
They spoke at an exhibition about their terrible experience of being trapped. The psychologists who advised the children after their rescue in July said they should be given a six-month respite from being pressured to tell their experience
At least five of the guys in the forum on Thursday said more or less the same words as "my life is the same, but more and more people are approaching me"
After a press conference, the children thanked everyone at the United As One event in the Royal Plaza area of Dusit Palace in Bangkok, Thailand.
The members of the football team thank everyone involved in their rescue in front of a large portrait of the Thai king Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun
Months after their ordeal, the boys are getting used to media appearances.
Psychologists who advised the children after their rescue in July said that young people should be given a six-month respite to avoid being pressured to tell their experience for the sake of their mental health.
But the military government of Thailand, eager to share the glory of the story of the good news, has trotted them for public presentations and interviews.
Other efforts to promote its history have included the construction of a museum and the anointing as a national hero of a former SEAL of the Thai Navy who died while diving in the cave delivering oxygen tanks.
For children, mostly teenagers, the Musk controversy is not even a secondary spectacle. They are carefully guided by a Thai government committee established to control who has access to children, as they draw the attention of filmmakers and the media.
At least five of them in the forum on Thursday said more or less the same words as "my life is the same, but more and more people are approaching me."
The boys have already detailed much of their adventure at a press conference after they were released from observation at the hospital after their rescue, and in interviews with the US television network ABC.
The boys imagine posing with a drawing of former Navy SEAL diver Saman Kunan who died while installing oxygen tanks in the caves on July 6 during the rescue mission.
Other efforts to promote its history include the construction of a museum and the anointing as a national hero of a former SEAL of the Thai Navy who died while diving in the cave delivering oxygen tanks (in the image a team of divers inspects one of the tunnels full of water)
At a round table moderated by Weerachon at the Siam Paragon shopping center on Thursday, the boys responded mostly brief. Adul Sam-on admitted that the area in which they were staying in the cave reeked of urine (in the image are the rescuers trying to access the trapped children and the trainer)
At a round table moderated by Weerachon at the Siam Paragon shopping center on Thursday, they gave almost brief answers. Adul Sam-on admitted that the area where they were staying in the cave reeked of urine: the issue of bodily excretions had been the subject of much speculation in social networks.
The boys seemed to ignore the advice of the government to avoid talking about their terrible experience.
Adul said he was surprised when he met with officials such as US diplomats, but was not asked about what happened in the cave. He said someone later told him there was a ban on people asking questions about it.
His teammate Ekarat Wongsukchan said he was also surprised why nobody asked him about the events in the cave. "I began to doubt if I was also stuck in the cave," he said.
The boys and their coach later on Thursday were scheduled to attend a government event dubbed "United as One", a celebration with everyone involved in the rescue operation at an outdoor field in Bangkok.