Bono Recalls the Jamaica Mistaica Incident

posted September 16th, 2009 at 6:33 pm

by Josh Martin

The Belfast Telegraph has an article that includes excerpts from a book that details U2 singer Bono’s experience onboard the Hemisphere Dancer during the Jamaica Mistaica incident:

The U2 singer, his wife Ali and their children Jordan and Eve, then aged just six and three, were lucky to escape with their lives after 100 rounds of bullets were fired at them.

They had flown into the Caribbean country on an Albatross World War Two seaplane for a holiday in January 1996.

But as they were landing authorities mistook them for drug smugglers and fired a hail of bullets while the family was disembarking.

The plane was hit at least seven times.

Bono said at the time: “I don’t know how we came through it.

“These boys were shooting all over the place.

“I felt as if we were in the middle of a James Bond movie — only this was real.

“It was absolutely terrifying and I honestly thought we were all going to die.

“Thank God we were safe and sound. My only concern was for their safety.

“It was very scary, let me tell you.

“You can’t believe the relief I felt when I saw the kids were okay.”

The incident has been recalled in a new book, Stop The Press: An Inside Story Of The Tabloids In Ireland, written by journalist John Kierans.

Bono, Ali and their children dived for cover fearing they were about to be killed, but miraculously survived unhurt.

Bono was so shocked that he and his family left Jamaica and flew straight to Miami, Florida.

Tagged in Aviation, In The News, Personal/Family

  • Ben

    It’s interesting that it never mentions who’s Albatross it was…

  • Terrisita

    Yes, considering this was an “international incident”…documented by the “Storyteller”…
    Also doesn’t mention that Sting’s wife and kids were aboard .

  • Gonzo

    Come on Bono, grow a pair!
    Jimmy disembarked, made friends, ate chicken, and than wrote a song about it! Geez!

  • Cigar Head “Cig” Milks

    Goonzo, you are spot on! One of my favorite Jimmy adventure songs. Its’ always on the boat when we are getting salt air plastered all over our skin!!

  • Ocean Dancer

    Yo GONZO
    Jimmy…wasn’t even ON the plane…he wasn’t THERE!

  • Gonzo

    Yo Ocean Dancer~

    The below is taken straight from Wikipedia.


    This was not the first time Buffett had been assumed to be carrying drugs. In January 1996 his Grumman HU-16 airplane nicknamed “Hemisphere Dancer” was shot at by Jamaican police who believed the craft to be smuggling marijuana. The aircraft sustained minimal damage. On board the plane with Buffett were U2’s Bono, and Island Records producer Chris Blackwell, and co-pilot Bill Dindy. The Jamaican government acknowledged the mistake and apologized to Buffett who penned the song “Jamaica Mistaica” for his Banana Wind album based on the experience.

  • Ocean Dancer

    YO Gonzo…don’t believe everything you read. I actually met his pilot while diving the Caribbean. He said Buffet wasn’t there, but wrote the song based on what happend. Who knows what the real truth is…but…Wiki is not a great source to cite as “authority” for a perceived truth…

  • Nikimu’s Son

    Sadly there is now one less person to tell the truth in this matter. Mickey Hill, who was the pilot of the boat that met the Hemisphere Dancer in all of that gunfire, and took the passengers safely to shore, was killed by the Jamaican police Wednesday November 3rd 2010. Mickey was walking back to his property on Norman Manley Boulevard when the police shot him three times for reasons yet unknown. Mickey was a good friend, and my dad’s best friend during his annual visits there. He will be missed.

  • John Q Smith

    There are always stupid people in the world.


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