Saturday, November 12, 2011

Mistaken Identity

I've written before about why I use the Propnomicon nom de plume. I have a distinctive, if not unique, birth name and like my privacy. It isn't particularly difficult to discover my real name, but using a moniker provides a useful measure of anonymity.

Useful until now, at least.

Unfortunately, a gentleman by the name of Rick Olney happens to live in the same small upstate New York town where I do. Over the years he's managed to gain a truly amazing reputation in the world of comics. And by "amazing" I mean "horrific". Now he's taken his shenanigans to the next level. I won't go over the entire story here, but the short version is that he appears to have made off with a limited run of Indiana Jones World Maps that were the property of Lucasfilm. Bleeding Cool has a good summary of the whole bizarre affair here, here, here, and here. You can learn more about Mr. Olney's long history of dubious activities via Google.

I thought it was a bit odd when I started getting multiple emails asking about my interest in Indiana Jones props earlier this week. It wasn't until Thursday that someone was nice enough to explain what was going on. It appears some amateur sleuths connected the fact that I live in the same village as Mr. Olney (and have a street address just a short walk away from his) with my occasional posts about Indiana Jones collectibles and...tada! I was actually him.

Just for the record, I'm not Rick Olney. Anyone who has done business with me is aware of that, and equally cognizant that my reputation is absolutely impeccable.

What makes the situation particularly painful is that I had the same horrified reaction as everyone else when I discovered what was going on. If the allegations against Mr. Olney are true he's done much more than bamboozled Lucasfilm. He's used his status as a military veteran to exploit other veterans. I believe that will have some local repercussions he wasn't expecting.


CoastConFan said...

It’s really sad that people like that can cause so much harm. I’m also sorry that people are so angry that folks are ready to believe that anybody living in your town might be this guy. I want to say that I support you Propnomicon against this sort of allegation and know that you are honest and forthright and certainly well versed in copyright law.

The problem with scum is that they just love a dust-up to cover their tracks and don’t care who gets hurt. I know for a fact that Propnomicon IS NOT this Rick Oleny in any way, shape or form. Please don’t jump to conclusions and you won’t be embarrassed. Frankly, as a vet myself I am outraged by fake vets, vets to rob vets, and people who want to defraud vets.

Naamah said...

Oh, dude, so uncool. I hope this blows over quickly, and that he gets what he deserves. D:

Propnomicon said...

@ CoastConFan

Thank you for the very kind words. In defense of the sleuths, their theory isn't without some merit. They just happened to connect a few of the wrong dots in an effort to bring Mr. Olney to justice.

@ Naamah

I think there's a very, very good chance he's going to get what he deserves. My ex-wife, who I'm on very good terms with, is an officer for a local veteran's organization. They take a dim view of this kind of thing.

Alex Kaeda said...

All I can do is echo what CoastConfan and Naamah have said.

Valerie Finnigan said...

I wish I could say this is the first time an innocent person has been smeared, mistaken for supporting Rick Olney, or presented as being Rick Olney himself, but it seems like connecting the wrong dots or jumping to conclusions is too common a problem among some "amateur sleuths," and it's sometimes caused a lot more harm than prevented. When they pull stuff like this, it not only could hurt your reputation, but their credibility.

Unknown said...

Of course, a large part of it all is that you don't post your own name, but trade on crying foul using mine, expounding upon the myth that I'm such a horrendous individual.

If you're local to me, that will be easy enough to check and fix legally.

The 'real' Rick Olney

Surreality said...

I wouldn't believe even for a moment that you, Propnomicon, were a dishonest person.
The whole thing will blow over soon, I'm sure.

[Coincidence: the word verification for this comment is "comici"!]

by Jim MacQuarrie said...

Really, Rick? Again with the toothless legal threats?

My god, you are a sad case.

Anonymous said...

Richard, Richard, Richard...

When will you ever learn ?

What would Chesty think of you and your practices ?


Valerie Finnigan said...

Idle threats are unbecoming of a Marine- or even of a regular human being. So are juvenile taunts and gossip-mongering. I'm sorry this has affected you, Prop.

Unknown said...

Was collecting information regarding offensive people, websites, and things regarding the matter of harassment online regarding my name.

After contacting Propnomicon last fall and asking him to kindly remove my name from his blog I went on about my business. I'm now publicly asking him to remove this nonsense from his blog or face the legal consequences.

And in hindsight, regarding the remarks on my time as a Marine that earned an Honorable Discharge -- I can only feel sorry for those here that think they know so much about Marines that insulting me in that respect actually shows that they're merely mirrors of their own ignorance.