As the countdown to the rescue of nearly three dozen Chilean miners trapped deep in a mine for 70 days continued today, an unexpected snag developed with the announcement that Jose Galinas, a previously undisclosed 34th miner, plans to hole up and hold out until a number of requests are met.
Among the conditions are said to be a book deal with built-in movie options (Galinas reportedly scrawled "Figuras siete!" on the last provisions request list the miners sent up), an exclusive appearance on "Oprah" with no other miner allowed to follow for a period of 28 days, and a "first-look" deal with NBC for a "Survivor"-like show that would take place deep within the earth.
Other miners reaching the surface confirmed that Galinas had asked his co-workers and the media to respect his privacy by not acknowledging him until the time of the rescue. Two of the survivors said Galinas told them he had a warrant out for his arrest for too many parking tickets. He told others he desperately wanted his wife to think he had disappeared.
"I guess in hindsight, he was asking for some weird things," said Cpl. Alberto Boez, part of the team responsible for getting amenities to the miners. "When he requested a series of tapes on learning English, we didn't really think anything of it. But maybe the book 'How to Be Famous' by Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt should have tipped us off."
Aware that the all-important television sweeps period begins in the U.S. in November and that the news would have no LOO ("long ordeal over") story until he emerged, Galinas said he'd be happy to stay put for another two weeks if necessary.
"Nobody's going to make anybody come out of any mine," spat pushy attorney Gloria Allred as she boarded an airplane to Chile to defend Galinas despite his not asking and her having no license to do so there. "He can live down there as long as he wants. This Southern American is not coming North until he's good and ready."