• Report: #114945

Complaint Review: Sharkhunters International - Harry Cooper

  • Submitted: Wed, October 27, 2004
  • Updated: Sun, January 10, 2010

  • Reported By:Ontario Ontario
Sharkhunters International - Harry Cooper
P.O.Box 1539 Hernando, Florida U.S.A.

Sharkhunters International - Harry Cooper ripoff fraudulent business practices, conniving, deceptive, fails to keep written promises! schwindeler! Hernando Florida

*Consumer Comment: Sharkhunter's patrol in 2004

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Hans Gobeler - NOT a war hero!

*Consumer Comment: The Slander of a Hero's Reuptation

*Consumer Comment: The Slander of a Hero's Reuptation

*Consumer Comment: The Slander of a Hero's Reuptation

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Response to Tom Dawe

*Author of original report: Never Give Into Phoney threats.

*Consumer Suggestion: Retraction/Apology for comments made about Sharkhunters/Harry Cooper(President) .

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I thought I was buying the trip of a lifetime when I contacted Sharkhunters International and spoke to an old man named Harry Cooper. Instead it's turned into a financial nightmare that I wouldn't wish upon anyone. The old timer promises you the world and then finds a conveinent excuse like the weather to rob honest people like me blind. Shame on you Harry Cooper.

I had fully paid for this tour that would take me through WW2 sites and was looking forward to flying to Germany to meet the rest of the group to begin this 11 day tour when all of a sudden I receive a call saying not to fly to Germany because the guide(Harry) couldn't make it due to weather. He later sends me a letter informing me that all my money was in place for next year's tour and that I would receive VIP treatment in 2005(and he enclosed some chinsey coupons to help soothe the theft of my money!). In my response I told him "NO THANKS!Just send me my refund as promised." And I have received no refund to date even though I have his written garantee of a full refund should Sharkhunters Int. cancel the tour with his signature at the bottom.

Any lawyers out there interested? He does not answer his mail(sent registered) doesn't pick up the phone&ignores emails. He preys on the innocent like the n**i U-boats used to prey on the convoys. Harry knows what I'm talking about. It may have taken awhile to defeat the n**i menace of the deep but in the end they were soundly defeated as will you. Send me my refund as you promised!!

Thomas
Brampton, Ontario
Canada

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/27/2004 04:48 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Sharkhunters-International-Harry-Cooper/Hernando-Florida-34442/Sharkhunters-International-Harry-Cooper-ripoff-fraudulent-business-practices-conniving-114945. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Sharkhunter's patrol in 2004

AUTHOR: Moe_Greene - (United States of America)

Harry Cooper offered Mr. Brampton a tour for 2005, so I don't see what the problem is? Harry usually takes forty people on these tours, and he made the same offer to the other participants. Why would Harry offer a spot on the 2005 patrol, and then offer a refund as well? Doesn't make sense. Harry always recommends taking out travel insurance in case there is a problem. He did when i signed up for a patrol in '98. I've been a member of Sharkhunters for a number of years and I have never had a problem. Harry always has one or two people who are dissatisfied with a tour, but for the most part what is promised is delivered. I suggest Thomas Brampton sign up for travel insurance for any trips he plans on taking in the future.   
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#2 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Hans Gobeler - NOT a war hero!

AUTHOR: Harry Cooper - (U.S.A.)

It is amazing the Michelle can remember all this so vividly, since she wasn't even born yet. And it is sad that a nice young lady will now learn things about her father that she probably doesn't want to know and most of all, Hans was certainly no war hero except in his own mind. From the time I knew Hans, his crewmates would have nothing to do with him. We have their letters here in file and they had no respect for Hans.

I met Hans in 1982 in Chicago at a reunion of the U.S.. Navy men of the USS GUADALCANAL Task Force that captured U-505. A couple of the crew of U-505 were there also, Hans included. This was around the same time that he deserted his wife of many years. He had told several of the USN guys that he was 1st Watch Officer (XO) on the boat and he told me that he was the Central Control Room Petty Officer. I learned much later that his rank was about equal to Seaman 2nd Class. Hans and I became friends and when I founded Sharkhunters in February 1983, Hans became Member #3. We now have about 7,500 Members in 76 countries.

His one great claim to fame so to speak, was that he said he was the one who removed the sea strainer lid to scuttle U-505 as the Americans were attacking. This is an out and out lie! We have a letter from the Chief of the Boat stating that this cover was removed by Engineering Officer Hauser assisted by Engineering Petty Officer Holenried and that Hans had nothing to do with this at all! The letter is on file here.

A few years later, in the mid-1980's, Hans and his girlfriend came to the US on a tourist visa which was good for six months visit in the USA. He bought a house in Elkhart, Indiana, opened a coffee shop for her and he got a job in a machine shop. In short - he became an illegal alien. Naturally, he was caught and arrested. I asked various influential Members of Sharkhunters to quickly send letters here explaining why Hans should be allowed to remain in the United States. These letters are still on file here. I sent a personal letter to President Reagan with these letters, asking that Hans be alowed to remain in the US. Reagan, a Member of Sharkhunters until his death, arranged a meeting with me and the District Director of the INS. After my hour long meeting with the Director, Hans' deportation was delayed until he could get a lawyer and eventually got his green card.

If we had not intervened, it is most likely that Michelle would not have been born in the USA as a citizen. At the time the above accusations were made by Michelle, she was not even born yet.

Hans came to visit us in 1991 and we put them up here for a month or two. They liked the area so much they bought two houses nearby. Michelle was just a brand new infant at the time.

Hans was arrested shortly thereafter in 1993 when he went shopping and left Michelle, just a baby of two years old, alone in his vehicle - not for the few seconds he claimed but for half an hour according to witnesses and his arrest report. I was the only one who would go to court with him as a character witness. The arrest report is on file here as is the court summons and other related documents.

Shortly thereafter I visited Hans and saw a box with a few hundred reproduction FAKE U-Boat Combat Badges in his home! It was then that I learned that he was going to dozens and dozens of gun and militaria shows across the country, selling these FAKE badges as his own. This was an absolutely dishonest and dishonorable thing to do, so I put the situation before our Advisory Board. This Board consisted of many World War II veterans including one USN veteran who was decorated with the Silver Star for boarding U-505 and it also included the great Otto Kretschmer. It was unanimous - every one said to kick Hans out of Sharkhunters dishonorably, which we did. All these letters are in file here.

We did not copy Hans' 'Vaterland Tours'; he copied from us. Our first tour was in February 1987 and we have had no less than one tour each year since then and usually two or three. Hans' first tour with his Vaterland Tours was about ten years later in 1997. He wrote to many fine and honorable Skippers, asking them to join his tours. Knowing what kind of man Hans was, most turned him down flat AND they sent his letters to us and they are in file here. We heard from a couple people who were on his tours and they had nothing good to say about them. Maybe that is why Vaterland Tours fizzled out after just a couple years and ours are still going strong.

In 1998 Sharkhunters had a booth at the outstanding 'Celebrate History' exposition in San Francisco. Our good friend and Sharkhunters Life Member Erich Topp was in our booth. Topp was the third most successful submarine commander of World War II and very highly decorated. Hans had a booth in another part of the hall. A friend of his came to Admiral Topp and asked him to come with them and meet their friend, a U-Boat veteran. Topp was eager to meet another U-Bootfahrer and he left. He was back in our booth in less than a minute. He said to me:
"I know that man and I don't like him!"

I think this was the same day that Hans got kicked out of his hotel room for using a 'questionable' credit card.

Probably the biggest lie occured when he died. His obituary in the local newspaper indicated that he was an American combat veteran and that he belonged to the American Legion and the VFW. He was a German combat veteran, not an American veteran. It is an unimaginable insult to the veterans of the United states who fought bravely that Hans would claim to be one of them when he was not. It is also an unimaginable insult to the brave men of the German forces who also fought bravely that he would ignore and deny them. Since he was not an American veteran, it was not possible for him to belong to the Legion or the VFW - unless he lied on his application. I am a Legionnaire and I called Legion Headquarters. They pulled his application and under his service, he listed that he had served in the US Navy during World War II, an outright lie!

There are about 7,500 Members of Sharkhunters in 76 countries. Almost all the U-Boat Skippers and many of the U-Boat veterans were Members and several served on our Advisory Board; Ronald Reagan was a Member until his death and he commended Sharkhunters for our work; the four Medal of Honor winning American submarine Skippers were Members and one served ten years on our Board of Advisors. The list of notable men and women in Sharkhunters is far too long to list here. In addition, I have been personally decorated with many honors and medals from German veterans' organizations and with a humanitarian medal from the Russian Navy, of which I am an honorary member.

It is unclear how Michelle can state that she was in my home because she never was, and she was only about three years old when Hans was kicked out of Sharkhunters dishonorably and the friendship ended.

Everything I have said here is true and much came from letters which are on file here. If Michelle would like copies of these letters, we will certainly send them to her. We have thousands of satisfied Members. You may go to www.sharkhunters.com and click on About Us to read just a handful of letters with their comments. And to Michelle we would like to say - the next time someone puts you up to making false accusations against someone about things that happened before you were born, you really should check the facts first, assuming you want to be honest and accurate. When we look at the facts, we see that it was Hans himself who draged his name through the mud by telling so many lies and swindling people with fake U-Boat Combat Badges. I am still on very good terms with the other veterans and their wives/widows.

As for not buying anything from me - nobody buys anything from me. They buy from sharkhunters and I do not make money from Sharkhunters. I left my very high paying job as a corporate executive in 1987 to run Sharkhunters and I took a small salary of only $250 per week but in 2001, I stopped taking a salary of any kind at all from Sharkhunters. I run Sharkhunters with no salary whatsoever - I do it because I gave my word to the U-Boat veterans that I would keep their history alive.

Sharkhunters so far has donated about $6,500 to the German U-Boat Memorial and about $2,500 to the German U-Boat Archives. Sharkhunters has also donated about $4,000 to the restoration of the giant crucifix at the head of the grave of Grossadmiral Karl Doenitz - Hans had donated nothing to any of these places at all - not one nickel. It would be a sad and dishonorable commentary on Hans' memory if his daughter were to attempt to disrupt their history.

However, should Michelle continue to post false accusations against me or Sharkhunters, we will have no choice but to put everything we have about Hans on our website which receives about 300 hits per day.....the fake U-Boat Combat Badges and fake Hitler Youth daggers he was selling, his arrest reports, the court summons, the letters from the Board telling us to kick him out dishonorably, the letters from his former crewmates about his lack of honor, the letter from the Chief of the Boat telling that Hans lied about opening the sea strainer and a whole lot more that probably should remain locked away in our files. The fact that no one has had a legitimate complaint against me or Sharkhunters in 26 years yet we have thousands of Members says a lot, don't you think?

Harry Cooper
President and Founder
Sharkhunters International
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#3 Consumer Comment

The Slander of a Hero's Reuptation

AUTHOR: Goebeler_michelle - (U.S.A.)

I was surprised to see only one Ripoff Report filed under Harry Cooper's name.
There is no person alive that Harry Cooper wouldnt lie to, cheat on or steal from. He is a greedy man that wouldnt even give an old war time hero his last respects. Instead, he pulls these people through the dirt...these people that fought to defend their homeland..these people that died so that pigs like Harry Cooper could live and live off of innocent victims...driven by jealousy and hatred. One of these people (and WWII veterans) was my father, Hans Goebeler.

To people interested in WWII history and who has visited the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago has heard the name Hans Goebeler at least once. He worked in the heart of the U-505 in the control room and was the one who pulled the sea strainer to keep the U-boat from being captured by the US Navy.

Hans Goebeler was a long time friend of Harry Cooper. My family and I lived right down the road from Harry Cooper's ''Sharkhunter's International Headquarters'' (which in reality was only a little blue run-down trailer) and we were over to visit many times. After a dispute between my father and Harry Cooper, it was Mr.Cooper's goal to pull my father's name through the dirt. My father became a ''liar'' and a ''fraud''. Mr. Cooper wanted to tell my father how life really was on the U-boat and what REALLY happened on the 4th of June, 1944 (Harry Cooper was still wearing diapers during that time).

On my father's death of the 15th of February, 1999 we became a letter from Mr.Cooper. Thinking he would send his condolances..it was a letter written in hatred, stating that now that he is finished with Hans he will continue with my mother Erika. I am more than certain that many other widows and WWII veterans have their names pulled through the dirt as well.

My father was the most righteous and courageous man in the world! How can this man dare pull our name through the dirt? With which motives? What did we do to him? In the name of my father Hans Goebeler! Do not purchase anything from this man, do not book any tours from this man (which he also COPIED from my father's idea: Vaterland Tours)..do not feed his fire with the coals of the all mighty dollar! You will only be making deals with the devil himself.

Sincerely,
Michelle Goebeler

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#4 Consumer Comment

The Slander of a Hero's Reuptation

AUTHOR: Goebeler_michelle - (U.S.A.)

I was surprised to see only one Ripoff Report filed under Harry Cooper's name.
There is no person alive that Harry Cooper wouldnt lie to, cheat on or steal from. He is a greedy man that wouldnt even give an old war time hero his last respects. Instead, he pulls these people through the dirt...these people that fought to defend their homeland..these people that died so that pigs like Harry Cooper could live and live off of innocent victims...driven by jealousy and hatred. One of these people (and WWII veterans) was my father, Hans Goebeler.

To people interested in WWII history and who has visited the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago has heard the name Hans Goebeler at least once. He worked in the heart of the U-505 in the control room and was the one who pulled the sea strainer to keep the U-boat from being captured by the US Navy.

Hans Goebeler was a long time friend of Harry Cooper. My family and I lived right down the road from Harry Cooper's ''Sharkhunter's International Headquarters'' (which in reality was only a little blue run-down trailer) and we were over to visit many times. After a dispute between my father and Harry Cooper, it was Mr.Cooper's goal to pull my father's name through the dirt. My father became a ''liar'' and a ''fraud''. Mr. Cooper wanted to tell my father how life really was on the U-boat and what REALLY happened on the 4th of June, 1944 (Harry Cooper was still wearing diapers during that time).

On my father's death of the 15th of February, 1999 we became a letter from Mr.Cooper. Thinking he would send his condolances..it was a letter written in hatred, stating that now that he is finished with Hans he will continue with my mother Erika. I am more than certain that many other widows and WWII veterans have their names pulled through the dirt as well.

My father was the most righteous and courageous man in the world! How can this man dare pull our name through the dirt? With which motives? What did we do to him? In the name of my father Hans Goebeler! Do not purchase anything from this man, do not book any tours from this man (which he also COPIED from my father's idea: Vaterland Tours)..do not feed his fire with the coals of the all mighty dollar! You will only be making deals with the devil himself.

Sincerely,
Michelle Goebeler

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#5 Consumer Comment

The Slander of a Hero's Reuptation

AUTHOR: Goebeler_michelle - (U.S.A.)

I was surprised to see only one Ripoff Report filed under Harry Cooper's name.
There is no person alive that Harry Cooper wouldnt lie to, cheat on or steal from. He is a greedy man that wouldnt even give an old war time hero his last respects. Instead, he pulls these people through the dirt...these people that fought to defend their homeland..these people that died so that pigs like Harry Cooper could live and live off of innocent victims...driven by jealousy and hatred. One of these people (and WWII veterans) was my father, Hans Goebeler.

To people interested in WWII history and who has visited the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago has heard the name Hans Goebeler at least once. He worked in the heart of the U-505 in the control room and was the one who pulled the sea strainer to keep the U-boat from being captured by the US Navy.

Hans Goebeler was a long time friend of Harry Cooper. My family and I lived right down the road from Harry Cooper's ''Sharkhunter's International Headquarters'' (which in reality was only a little blue run-down trailer) and we were over to visit many times. After a dispute between my father and Harry Cooper, it was Mr.Cooper's goal to pull my father's name through the dirt. My father became a ''liar'' and a ''fraud''. Mr. Cooper wanted to tell my father how life really was on the U-boat and what REALLY happened on the 4th of June, 1944 (Harry Cooper was still wearing diapers during that time).

On my father's death of the 15th of February, 1999 we became a letter from Mr.Cooper. Thinking he would send his condolances..it was a letter written in hatred, stating that now that he is finished with Hans he will continue with my mother Erika. I am more than certain that many other widows and WWII veterans have their names pulled through the dirt as well.

My father was the most righteous and courageous man in the world! How can this man dare pull our name through the dirt? With which motives? What did we do to him? In the name of my father Hans Goebeler! Do not purchase anything from this man, do not book any tours from this man (which he also COPIED from my father's idea: Vaterland Tours)..do not feed his fire with the coals of the all mighty dollar! You will only be making deals with the devil himself.

Sincerely,
Michelle Goebeler

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#6 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Response to Tom Dawe

AUTHOR: Harry Cooper - (U.S.A.)

We have just now been made aware of the postings by Tom Dawe, but we believe it is necessary to set the record straight even at this late date.

We have had several tours per year since 1987 and have never cancelled any until the Germany tour in 2004. We did not cancel tours when we had only six people and would lose money - we went anyway and took the loss. Comment from people who have toured with us can be read at www.sharkhuntrs.com/comments.htm.

The day before I was to depart for this tour in Germany, Florida was hit with three major hurricanes, one on top of another, and the airports were closed the day I was to depart. I telephoned all the participants to let them know what had happened and that they should cancel their flights and not go to Germany, as the tour had been wiped out by weather.

Under the law, this is an 'act of God' or a 'force majuer' which usually holds no one responsible and we could have merely said - too bad, we can't go and the money is all with our suppliers in Europe, we can't get it back and you have lost your money; but we do not oeprate that way.

Even though the 2005 tour to Germany would be $300 more than the 2004 tour, we told everyone of the 2004 tour that they were paid in full for 2005 and would not have to pay the additional $300. Everyone, including Tom Dawe, was pleased and accepted this. We also sent coupons worth $100 for any of our gift products, which we did not need to do but felt it was the right thing to do.

Soon Mr. Dawe contacts us and said that he changed his mind - he wanted a refund. I explained that the money was gone to Europe and we could not get it back. That is when he posted his initial rant, which contains untruths.

Later he contacted us, apologized for this rant -he tried to remove it, but you do not allow this and so he posted his abject apology on your site for his wrong comments. I told him that when the first new person paid for their 2005 tour, we would use this money to refund Mr. Dawe's money and slot the new person in his place. It was the correct thing to do, and Mr. Dawe was happy and at that point, I tought all was settled to his satisfaction.

For whatever reason, Mr. Dawe reversed himself again and posted another negative rant with more untruths. Since Mr. Dawe went against the agreement we had made, we considered the matter closed. We bargained in good faith while Mr. Dawe broke the agreement.

We have some 7,400 members in 76 countries and have been in operation since 1983, something that would not have happened if we operated the way Mr. Dawe says. The 2004 tour was unique because of the terrible weather, and Mr. Dawe the only one of that group to complain. In fact, many of those same people have toured with us again and again. www.sharhunters.com/AboutSH.htm will give you an idea what our members think of us. It is unfortunate that Mr. Dawe could not keep his part of the agreement and is so displeased, but he is the one who broke our agreement, not us and he has only himself to blame for his displeasure.

Harry Cooper
President,
Sharkhunters International
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#7 Author of original report

Never Give Into Phoney threats.

AUTHOR: Thomas - (Canada)

This comment is in regards to Sharkhunters International and its President Harry Cooper.After doing some research on this character and Sharkhunters I realized I had made a terrible mistake.The mistake I made was in retracking my orginal report.

You see this nice guy, Mr.Cooper,threatened to take me to court if I didn't retract my comments which I foolishly did. In hind-sight I should of told old Sharky (This is the nickname he insists I call him) where to stuff his BS libel nonsence. I don't beleive Sharky would want to take this to court anyways because for the simple reason that the truth tends to come out in the court room.And besides I live in Canada and the expenses Mr.Cooper, sorry I mean Sharky, would incure would be massive.

Mr.Cooper even sent me postcards from Germany this last summer of 2006 to freshen my memory of the money he has stolen from me. Thanks Sharky!Sharkhunters is listed as a non-profit organization on the web complete with full mailing address for Mr.Cooper. He has blocked my emails and refuses to refund my hard earned money. If you can help me in any way I thank you. But "never let them get away with it".
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#8 Consumer Suggestion

Retraction/Apology for comments made about Sharkhunters/Harry Cooper(President) .

AUTHOR: Thomas - (Canada)

In October of 2004 I was the publisher of a foolish and ill thought-out report on this same web site (ripoffreport.com) with Sharkhunters and its President Harry Cooper of Hernando, Florida the main subject of my rant. I stated that Harry used the weather as an excuse to get out a trip to Germany when in fact this was not the an excuse at all. As can be documented massive and brutal hurricanes were ravageing the State of Florida during this time closing the major airports in the Florida area thus making it impossible for the tour guide (Harry) to fly to Germany to meet with the planned tour. And to his credit Mr.Cooper rather than letting me fly to Germany to stand around wondering where everyone was gave me a courtesy call telling me not to fly to Germany as planned. For this I am grateful. I also stated in the report that Harry was an "old man" when in fac t I have no idea of Mr.Cooper's age. This was just ignorance on my part. I also stated that Sharkhunters Int. had sent me some "chinsey coupons" to help soothe "the theft of my money". Coupons were sent but upon exploring the sharkhunters web-site you'll find items of historical interest to purchase. As for the charge of"stealing my money" I would like to state that Harry and I reached an agreement whereas the first person to pay for the tour in 2005 would be given my seat and the money refunded to me in full.

In conclusion I would sincerely like to apologize to Sharkhunters Int. and specifically Harry Cooper for the embarrassing and stupid comments I made and to say that they were completely out of character for me to make.I simply ask for forgiveness and thank-you for your time.
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