That One Time My Uncle Went to Baghdad to Rescue Japanese Hostages / by Tim Putnam

Japanese Beatles in Baghdad, Mike Morgan

Japanese Beatles in Baghdad, Mike Morgan

Before the first Gulf War, when tensions were rising in Iraq, my uncle, photographer Mike Morgan, received a call from a friend who asked him, "Where is the last place in the world you would want to be right now?"

He answered, "Baghdad".

"Wanna go?"

That was the beginning of an unbelievable journey in which he would realize he was in way over his head in a mission to rescue Japanese hostages in Iraq. Posing as a Japanese olympic basketball team, the group attended the International Sports and Music Festival in a secret attempt to negotiate the release of the hostages. 

The story was featured on The Story many years ago, and you can listen to the interview below. For more stories and photos from the event, be sure to check out Mike's blog.