Special Report: Is he really a SEAL?

Posted at 11:02 PM, May 04, 2012

It's been a year since our local heroes from SEAL Team Six killed Osama Bin Laden.

But sadly, others are still stealing SEALs' honor, making up stories that they, too, are decorated Navy commandos.

This is Brian Leonard Creekmur. If you look at his Navy SEAL T-Shirts and tattoos, you'd bet he is just who he says he is, a retired Navy commando who faced terrorists in combat.

Related: How to spot a phony Navy SEAL

The memorabilia at his house in Middlesex County, his frequent Tweets to CNN reporters, his Facebook photos, and military discharge papers, all show a man who fought for the country as part of SEAL Team 2 - and later SEAL Team 6. They show a man who has never run from a confrontation. Until now.

It's not really a question. I've spent a month digging into his claims, and I know it's him behind the wheel of this pickup truck, no matter how quickly he rolled up the windows. He's had a lot to say on the Internet about his career as a Navy SEAL sniper, but not much to say about it to me.

Maybe that's because there no military records - none at all - that support his story. No documents or evidence that Brian Leonard Creekmur of Twiggs Ferry Road in Middlesex County was ever a SEAL.

This house in Middlesex belongs to Creekmur. It is filled with military medals, patriotic plaques and impressive Navy SEAL uniforms amassed, allegedly, from two decades as a Navy Special Operator. He's posted pictures of it all on Facebook. And on a real-estate web site offering his house for sale, you see the same collection. Notice the life-size trident against the wall.

Creekmur's tall tales of Navy SEAL service unraveled when he was wooing a woman through the Internet. He was telling her he loved her and sending her real estate listings for houses they could share. But when she couldn't verify any of his stories, she started searching the Internet for information on fake SEALs.

A guy can get away with that for a long time. But eventually he will trip up. He`ll say something to the wrong person, male or female, just doesn`t make sense, and hell hath no fury. He said it to the wrong woman, and she contacted me.

Chesapeake's Don Shipley is a retired SEAL, a real one. He has a database listing every single man who ever completed SEAL training.

Brian Creekmur. Is he a SEAL?


Shipley broke the news.

"I did feel betrayed. I, uh, was very upset about that."

To double check Shipley's information, I called Navy Special Warfare Command in California. Likewise, they had no records Creekmur ever graduated SEAL training, and that is the only way to be a Navy SEAL.

But with the woman online, he insisted he was the real deal. This is from their first Facebook exchange.

Woman: Have many medals? LOL, "meateater?"

She's talking about pictures on Creekmur's Facebook page, including this impressive shadowbox calling him "A true meateater of his time," and "One of the most skilled snipers of his era." It also features insignia from SEAL Teams Two and Six.

Man: I did stomp the earth for a while as a Frogman.

Woman: Frogman? Ground troop?

Man: US Navy Frogman equals Navy SEAL.

It's so cool that Creekmur uses it to sign his emails. "Brian Creekmur, United States Navy SEAL Sniper, retired."

"He`s gone above and beyond. He`s a very strange guy."

We found a biography for Creekmur posted online. And we can confirm the SEAL resume is 100 percent authentic. It's just not his.

The bio actually belongs to this guy, retired Master Chief and real Navy SEAL Steven Matulewicz. Let's compare.

Matulewicz enlisted in the Navy in 1983 and then "looked for every opportunity to take on greater leadership roles." So did Creekmur, word for word.

In 1985, Matulewicz reported to BUD/S - basic SEAL training class 134. Then he deployed to Central and South America. Creekmur, ditto. In 1989, Matulewicz "screened for and passed the arduous 6-month training cycle at SEAL Team Six." Creekmur, too. Again, word for word. They had the same assignments, earned the same medals, even went to the same civilian college Excelsior College in Albany, NY. But Excelsior has no records of Creekmur attending.

The retired master chief, who still lives and works in Hampton Roads, told us he's outraged someone just lifted his resume. But he's more angered that someone is pretending to be a SEAL in the first place. That, he says, is a dishonor to all SEALS.

And before you get the idea Creekmur is just bragging to the ladies, you should know this: He routinely corresponds with CNN reporters to offer his opinion and expertise on military stories. Here he tells Soledad O'Brien about all the death he's seen in combat. She resent his message to her more than 140,000 followers. CNN would not comment for our story.

The woman says when she first questioned Creekmur's claims, he sent her his DD-214. That's a military document detailing a service member's assignments. She sent it to us. As to his Navy SEAL assignments on this line, both Don Shipley, and members at Navy Special Warfare Command in California, say it's simply not true. And it turns out the rest of it is also false. Naval Personnel Records Command confirmed to NewsChannel 3 the Creekmur never served in the Navy. Not one day.

Did Brian Creekmur ever serve in the military? The National Personnel Records Center sent us this document. It shows Creekmur enlisted in the Army in 1984. He was at one time promoted to Specialist, but when he was discharged in 1990, his rank was lower, Private First Class. And that's it. Records reveal no other military service.

Shipley doesn't know why Creekmur is doing this, and of course, Creekmur didn't tell us. The most common reasons Shipley says is to gain trust, either of women, or of people with money, or both.

"This is why the story that you are doing is so important. While some of this is amusing at the lengths some clown will go, you are saving a lot of people a lot of trouble."

"He`s up to no good. And to expose that, is a huge deal."