UPDATE: Dodge Not Re-Hiding Second Journey, OHP Releases Details

By Jason Davis | September 23, 2011
According to Chrysler, Dodge will not be re-hiding the second Dodge Journey in its "Search Engine for the Real World" ad campaign. Eileen Wunderlich, Chrysler's marketing communications officer, confirmed to Automotive.com via email that, "Dodge will not re-hide the second vehicle.  I don’t yet have any updates at this time, other than to say that there is no need to change the program rules." On Wednesday, Automotive.com broke an exclusive story about alleged controversy concerning Brad Neidy, the winner of Dodge's second Journey search. The rumors circulating on Dodge's YouTube channel and Facebook fan page alleged that Neidy, a Troop Commander for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, had improperly used OHP assets to win the contest. Neidy has since declined the prize, an act that many felt proved his guilt. But we also heard back this afternoon from Captain Chris West, Public Affairs officer for Oklahoma Highway Patrol. Instead of releasing an official statement, Capt. West gave us a more informal "here's what happened" story. According to Capt. West, the OHP contracted with a production company on August 26, 2011, to work security for a Dodge commercial in Clinton, Oklahoma. Capt West confirmed to us that Captain Brad Neidy was not present for that shoot, and that none of the officers were aware of what had been filmed. Last weekend, when Dodge dropped hints regarding the second Journey's location, Neidy became interested in the contest. As the hints closed in on Western Oklahoma, an area that not only had Neidy worked for more than thirty years, but where his father, also a trooper, had worked for more than twenty years. Neidy put one and one together, and zeroed in on the location. Concerning the allegations, Capt. West put to rest the idea that Neidy improperly used OHP air assets, or knew of the location beforehand."Those rumors are completely bogus," he said. "I have known Brad Neidy for a long time, and no one is questioning his integrity." In fact, Capt. West notes that Colonel Kerry Pettingill, Commander of the OHP, would not have objected "if he kept the prize." So, why then did Neidy decline the Journey? Capt. West said he had spoken with Neidy, who was aware of the rumors and the perception that he had cheated, but that Neidy declined the prize because he didn't want the negative publicity for the department had he kept it. Automotive.com's take: This is one of those issues where it's difficult to separate work from play. No one, including Neidy, knew that the Journey would show up in Oklahoma. But because of his professional engagements, Neidy had exclusive information and intimate knowledge of the area. So while he didn't have knowledge of the location beforehand, he was able to use prior knowledge to his advantage. As for Dodge, we weren't able to uncover why they won't re-hide the declined Journey, but we know there's going to be a lot of upset fans. The fate of the second vehicle is unknown. Sources: Chrysler, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Clinton Daily News
  • Clinton Daily News Clipping
  • Dodge Youtube1
 
25 comments
Nelle
Nelle

It's always a pleasure to hear from someone with epxretsie.

Martyna
Martyna

I was there too from 9 in the morning and there were no police choppers in the air. I only saw crop dusters.

Martyna
Martyna

So what if he had prior knowledge of the area? That's like saying they hid the car in a field miles from your house in a town that you've lived in all your life and you have no right to find the car because you "know the area". He didn't use company resources to find the car (he could have gotten fired if he did). And most likely, even though he worked the area (plus three other counties in that area) for 30 years, it's not like he drove up and down every friggen street there was. And it wasn't hidden right off of a main road. I say leave the poor guy alone, he gave the car up because he's an honorable police officer and didn't want to cause any more controversy, not because he's guilty of any wrongdoing.

Jessica
Jessica

I was following the YouTube page the day of the Oklahoma search. Well before the last clue was released, someone had commented that the clue was going to contain the coffee place that "tah-dah" happened to be in that clue.

Jason Davis
Jason Davis

DM, would you like to share that photo?

Steve
Steve

you used the wording "he had intimate knowledge of the area" within and around your sentences suggesting how he had an unfair advantage. I didn't misread you wrote poorly. Yes, prior knowledge of an event can be deemed unfair but not prior intimate knowledge of the area which you lumped in with the other stuff. Yeah if we believe his capt then he may have not actually cheated but perhaps should have known it would give an appearance of possible impropriety.

Thorin Oakenshield
Thorin Oakenshield

It was just like the time we fought the dragon in the Misty Mountains. 1030 what plus what equals the previous.

Kurt
Kurt

I am very upset dodge is not going to redo. I think Brad did know what park it was hid in. The clues only led to Elk city, and just with the clues alone it should of took him longer than 5 hrs.

Annette
Annette

I agree. These were fun if nothing else. I live in Maryland, but my husband and I both grew up in Kansas. After watching only the first clue video, we determined that the only place in the great planes of western OK the Journey could possibly be hidden was the Grasslands. That was at about 9:20 am CT. We even called my brother, who still lives in central Kansas, to tell him were it was. Too bad he was at work, or he would have been in the Grasslands around 1:30 searching with the help of 5 pairs of eager eyes (his children).

Kutiess
Kutiess

Guys, I participated in the East contest and guess what, people are going to lose. The guy didn't seem to be trying to pull the wool over anyone's eyes and even if he was, guess what, he gave it up. This is a contest, no one is entitled to that prize. I think you need to calm down a bit and realize that it is what it is and you are not going to get anywhere by complaining about what should have been done. I really highly doubt that OHP would be so dumb as to waste time and money on helicopters if they had "inside" information, they would not need helicopters to go look for the Dodge journey in the first place. Your logic makes not too much sense. Cut the guy a break, he knew the lay of the land and happened to be a cop. He realized the way it looked to people and how OHP looked and he declined. That is integrity. Also, it states in the Dodge contest rules something about the runner up receiving the car in the event that the winner cannot take it. I am not sure how that would work, but just a response to the piece that was posted in regards to the fate of the second car. Can't we all just be happy that this search was so much fun!?!?!? I lost and I stil loved it!

DM
DM

Well I have photo proof that they knew. I knew where it was ahead of time. I have pictures of the highway patrol on scene at 6:40 am on that morning while they were deflating the hot air balloon.

Graham
Graham

Fair enough...that part of the mystery could very well be something they'd rather not disclose.

random_er
random_er

The fact that he got paid for his services is not what I'm upset about. It's the fact that he very well might have received help from other OHP officers in the air. What they do on their own time is only for fun is fine. But, the fuel used to get those birds in the air is not cheap! Who pays for that?? Oh that's right the just fill up and slap it on the OHP bill. Furthermore the fact no one can get the records of where, why, and when those birds where in the air and when they came back down to refuel. I was there, they where there also, all night long flying all over black kettle.

Graham
Graham

One thing is pretty clear--Capt. Neidy isn't the brightest bulb in the box. Anyone with more then a few brain cells rattling around would realize that claiming the prize under the circumstances would be problematic. Even if did not use OHP resources to determine the location, he was undoubtedly aware of the general nature of the contract assignment to provide security and that fact alone should have disqualified him, even if only morally rather then technically. @random_er: If you read the article it clearly states that OHP was hired to provide security, implying that they received payment for the services provided. Not unlike a major sports event or other private function that government employees provide support for. So calm down.

Bryan
Bryan

Maybe he realized what a gigantic turd a Journey is and didnt want it soiling his driveway.

random_er
random_er

If you where not out looking that night or day you don't know all the facts. The fact that the OHP officer that you talked with said he that didn't abuse the OHP air support is totally false. Explain to me why from 2am CST to 6am CST the OHP airplane and helicopter were flying in and out of Mignon Laird Municipal Airport and Ely City Airport as well. The FFA will not release the flight paths for that night nor time. The airports them self refuse to comment, as does the OHP on a copy of their flight log book for that day. I only want to know if MY tax dollars went toward this guy cheating and using air support to help guide him in. PS: Was I the only person to hear the planes still flying over the car during the live feed??? All you had to do was look up and follow to underneath them....

Jason Davis
Jason Davis

Steve, You have misread, and are instead restating my point. "What kind of amateur writing this is? You imply having prior knowledge of the area/geography is cheating." Knowledge of the area and geography is not cheating, and that is not what I implied. In fact, it was probable that any given winner would have intimate knowledge of an area. That much is obvious. Capt. Neidy had prior knowledge of a recent event. This knowledge, that something happened in his county, is not cheating. In fact, on August 26, the Clinton Daily News reported the event (see the attached news clipping). Therefore, anyone paying attention would have known as much as Neidy. Would they have been able to put it together as quick as Neidy did? Probably not. Still, he watched the clues just like anyone else did--if you believe Capt. West's account. My argument is better stated above, as written by Ignorance Denied: "some persons in certain positions should already know that they should remove themselves from participation of certain events due to the positions they hold and how it would look, even if they played fair."

Ignorance Denied
Ignorance Denied

While this is all and good, those who were watching recall that there were instant anomolies regarding the win. 1 - The muting on the camera for several minutes right before the win. 2 - The announcement of the win before anyone showed up onscreen to claim. 3 - Dodges immediate silence of the win, with no recap, and no other announcement at all. These points lend to several hazards to the claim that it was all good and fair. 1 - You dont need to mute the camera unless there are sounds that you wish to filter out. Like potentially a helocopter or police car siren, for example. 2 - If the rule was to go on camera to claim, it is possible that the winner had reservations of going on camera and identifying oneself. 3 - Dodge knew there were hazards at the point of the winning, hence their silence immediatly after the win. Occams razer doesnt apply here, as the hazards were immediately obvious to all those watching live. It wasnt until later the the conspiracy would evolve. But more to the point, and it isnt always fair, but some persons in certain positions should already know that they should remove themselves from participation of certain events due to the positions they hold and how it would look, even if they played fair.

Steve
Steve

"while he didn’t have knowledge of the location beforehand, he was able to use prior knowledge to his advantage" What kind of amateur writing this is? You imply having prior knowledge of the area/geography is cheating. What prior knowledge do you say he used? You don't know that he had any inside info from OHP about the commercial shoot. His prior intimate knowledge of the area is an advantage of course, but nothing wrong with that! If he did get specifc insid einfo than that's wrong, but just knowing the area intimitely is not a negative thing as you suggest. Having said that, I'm not surprised he declined the car to avoid bad publicity for the OHP, and it was the right thing to do because of the appearance of conflict of interest even if he found it fair and square.

Jason
Jason

Jem, According to Capt. West, Neidy, and the rest of the OHP, did not know the location beforehand. Therefore, we are able to report what has been said for record. This is not a judgement, it is a report. And I doubt the production crew would jeopardize their jobs to tell an OHP what was going on so that he, and not they, could personally gain. If you're familiar with Occam's Razor, then you'll understand that the hypothesis that makes the fewest assumptions is almost always correct. Conspiracy theories are exciting and they sometimes seem to fit. But they always require a great deal of faith w/o evidence. Until, or unless, we have further evidence, the simplest and most logical answer is as Capt. West explained.

Jem
Jem

It's not really true that "no one" knew where the Dodge would be. The production crew knew, and the Oklahoma police who provided security and other assistance knew - at least within a few miles. Neidy may not have known, but then again, he may have had inside information. It's impossible to say, but the appearance of having such information should have deterred him or any OHP trooper from participating in the search. Blogs.automotive.com is not in a position to judge what he may have known about the car's location beforehand.

Jason Davis
Jason Davis

Sparko, Please re-read what I wrote, and focus on this: "So while he didn’t have knowledge of the location beforehand, he was able to use prior knowledge to his advantage." I don't believe the declining was an admission of guilt. He did not know the location of the Journey. But he did have professional and circumstantial clues that the public did not have. It may not have registered in his head, but ultimately, it clicked. The question is whether the public is okay with this. Not that he used helicopters or planes or knew the location. He did not. But should he have not participated? That is what I am asking.

Aaron
Aaron

Sparko... you're missing the point. The controversy has nothing do with him being a cop. The controversy is the fact he is the captain of the troop that provided security during the filming of the clues. Plus, there is photographic evidence of a member of the OHP with the production staff dated 8/23... so it was more than one day of contact with production crew as claimed by OHP.

Sparko
Sparko

What? "But because of his professional engagements, Neidy had exclusive information and intimate knowledge of the area." Please! yes a cop would know that area well if he worked there. but so would anyone who lived in the area, or worked there, UPS drivers, mail men, school bus drivers, etc. Why are you making it sound like having local knowledge is somehow cheating? It's not. It's just using your knowledge. Heck if they hide the 3rd Journey in a place near me that I recognize from the clues, you can bet I am going to go get it. And no I am not a cop.

Aaron
Aaron

One would have to seriously question the veracity of the statement released by the OHP. Pictures, from the stylist page, clearly indicate the clues for the shoot were taped prior to the 26th. In fact, the picture that includes a member of the OHP and production staff was dated 8/23. How is it possible these pictures were posted 3 days before the supposed contract date?

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