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"In those days, when you were a big supporter of Lynden Pindling, like Stanley was, you could go to Pindling and he would recommend you to any bank to get any amount of money, just like dat," says Gary Francis, a Bahamian guide who was on Andros at the time of Stanley's disappearance. "Then one day he just comin' up from Cargill Creek and he never returns. Gone into thin air. They didn't find no boat or nothing."

So the obvious question lingers--what about the big loans? Did he ever pay them back? "That's what a lot of people are trying to figure out," Francis says. "Big loan."

Stanley Bain

Beyond his questionable financial situation and close ties to a corrupt Bahamian government, there is also widespread supposition of drug smuggling in Stanley's past. Jerry Tone Sr. and his wife Betty, both avid fly anglers, were among the first paying clients to stay with Stanley at Grassy Cay Lodge. They fished with him for several years.

"Stanley used to sit up on the roof of the lodge to make his phone calls back to Nassau because it was the only place he could get reception," recalls Jerry. "Either that or he didn't want us to hear what he was talking about. Apparently he was in the construction business, but people always talked about him possibly being in the drug business."

Chip Bates, owner of Angling Adventures and another American close to Stanley, was the exclusive booking agent for Cargill Creek and Grassy Cay Lodge. "The drug dealing never came up in conversation, but I didn't doubt the rumors for a second," Bates says. "But at the same time, these were the stories that gave Stanley this larger than life persona."

The south end of South Andros is less than 90 miles from mainland Cuba. So a questionable disappearance such as this naturally calls into question whether the boat may have ended up farther south than it intended. This became an especially intriguing scenario when it came to light that, according to Stanley Bain's accountant, Bain was carrying $10,000 in cash on board.

"Well, the general thought was that the crew was going to fill the boat with enough lobster to support both the lodges throughout the season," says Bates. "But if for some reason, Stanley didn't get enough lobster he was going to buy the lobster from other fisherman right out on the water, before they hit the market and the prices went up.

"I'll tell you this," Bates continues. "Stanley was a scrapper. He wouldn't back down from a fight. He might have approached the wrong boat, and they might have seen the amount of cash he had and picked a fight. If that happened, the others on the boat would have had no choice at that point but to go along for the ride. If these guys were Cuban, it would be very easy to disappear all the people and that boat. Everything could have ended up down in Cuba."

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