- "If it bleeds, we can kill it."
- ―Dutch (from Predator)
Major Alan Schaefer, better known as "Dutch", was the leader and sole survivor of a private military team hired by the U.S. military and the CIA for a "rescue mission" in the Central American country of Val Verde in 1987. After discovering that their mission was a set-up to dupe them into eliminating the rebels in the area, Dutch's squad came into contact with a Predator that stalked and killed the elite mercenaries one-by-one.
Dutch was a specialist in guerrilla engagements and had been posted in both Da Nang and Cambodia during and after the Vietnam War, alongside Al Dillon. He was one of only two survivors of the encounter in Val Verde, the other being guerrilla Anna Gonsalves.
In his school days, Dutch had been a football star. After leaving college, he attended boot camp with Jim Hopper in 1967 and had a brother in the NYPD. He went on to serve in the Vietnam War alongside his close friend Al Dillon, seeing action at Da Nang. At one point during the war, Dutch was captured and brutally tortured by the Viet Cong; the prolonged interrogation eventually caused him to become resistant to pain. Following the Vietnam War, he served in various commando units, including a mission in Malaysia in 1979 with Hopper that nearly claimed both of their lives. He later reunited with Dillon for operations in Thailand, and while serving their the men obtained matching lighters of personal significance. In 1980, Dutch left the United States Army and set up his own private military company, mainly recruiting other US Army personnel.
Dutch's team saw operations in Angola, Cambodia, Lebanon and Afghanistan. More recently, the team dealt with a terrorist siege at the Sudanese Embassy in Berlin, Germany, assaulting the building and eliminating seven terrorists in under ten seconds. Not only did the operation in the center of the city go totally unnoticed by the world's press, the terrorists were eliminated before they even had a chance to call in their demands.
A notable condition of employment for Dutch and his men was that they only ever operate as a rescue team, and he refused to take on any mission where the prime objective was the elimination of enemy personnel, such as a proposed operation in Libya that he turned down.
Mission to Val Verde
In 1987, Dutch and his men were deployed to Guatemala in Central America, meeting there with Al Dillon, who now worked for the Central Intelligence Agency. The team had been hired for a mission to rescue a Guatemalan cabinet minister and his aide, who had been kidnapped by guerrilla forces in neighbouring Val Verde. After being inserted into Val Verde aboard Redbird Two Two, Dutch's team quickly discovered the wreckage of the helicopter that had been carrying the captured cabinet ministers and, later, several US Army Special Forces soldiers who had been skinned alive and hung from the trees; one of the dead men was Dutch's old friend Jim Hopper. Dutch and his men went on to assault the guerrilla camp where the hostages were being held, wiping it out in short order, although they found that the hostages were already dead.
Dutch and his men quickly deduced the "cabinet ministers" had actually been CIA agents, and after confronting Dillon he learned the mission had been a set-up from the beginning — the agents had been captured reconnoitring for an attack, and after Hopper's team vanished while attempting to rescue them Dillon created the cabinet minister story to manipulate Dutch into destroying the guerrillas. Angered that a once close friend had betrayed him, Dutch and his men made for their extraction point, although Dillon ordered them to take along the sole surviving Guerrilla, Anna, as prisoner.
It soon became clear something was stalking Dutch's team. Despite Dutch's improvised attempts to kill the creature, including an elaborate ambush involving traps constructed from the forest itself, over the next 24 hours Hawkins, Blain, Mac, Dillon, Billy and Poncho were all killed, leaving just Dutch and Anna alive, the latter apparently spared because she was unarmed. After sending Anna on ahead to the extraction helicopter, Dutch made a stand against the Predator that had hunted his team, although he was quickly outmatched and lost most of his equipment in a desperate escape over a cliff and down a waterfall. However, when he accidentally covered himself in wet mud, he unintentionally rendered himself invisible to the Predator's thermal vision, thereby learning a crucial lesson.
After constructing improvised traps and weapons, including a bow, spears and several incendiary grenades, and once again covering himself in mud to mask his thermal signature, Dutch confronted the Predator one final time. Though the creature fell victim to a number of Dutch's traps, they failed to kill it. The situation deteriorated when Dutch fell into a pool of water during the confrontation, stripping him of his camouflage, and he was forced to face the Predator in a hand-to-hand duel. Despite Dutch's impressive physique, he was no match for the creature and received a savage beating. In desperation, Dutch managed to lure the Predator underneath the counterweight for one of his traps, triggering it and causing the huge log to crush the creature. The Predator, mortally wounded, activated its Self-Destruct Device and Dutch narrowly escaped the resultant explosion, eventually being picked up by the extraction helicopter.
Disappearance and legacy
After being rescued from Val Verde, Dutch began experiencing adverse health effects akin to radiation sickness, apparently from exposure to the explosion of the Jungle Hunter's Self-Destruct Device. While hospitalized, he was interviewed by Peter Keyes of the OWLF regarding what had happened in the jungle. Dutch subsequently escaped from hospital and disappeared. Several years later, Dutch's older brother would encounter the Predators while searching for him.
In certain circles, it seems Dutch's story became legendary. Even the Yautja race became aware of Dutch's activities, through records automatically returned to Yautja Prime aboard the deceased Jungle Hunter's ship. The information led some Predators to revere Dutch and his achievements, most notably the City Hunter, who regarded Dutch, and be extension the human race in general, with great respect. Ten years later, Keyes would make mention of Dutch's encounter with the Predator whilst he and his OWLF taskforce attempted to capture another Yautja in the city of Los Angeles. Likewise, Isabelle told the individuals stranded with her on the Game Preserve Planet about Dutch and his team, including the mission to Val Verde and details of the creature that stalked and killed them.
Personality and Traits
- "We're a rescue team, not assassins."
- ―Dutch, on turning down the mission to Libya (from Predator)
Dutch was an intelligent and resourceful leader, and was both liked and respected by the men under his command. His extensive experience in the military had made him gruff and battle-hardened, but at the same time he was always sure to protect his team from unnecessary risks, and always adhered to his strict moral code to only undertake rescue missions.
In battle, Dutch was a lethal combatant, both aggressive and inventive, often improvising and adapting to great effect. Physically he possessed incredible prowess, able to lift huge weights single-handed, although he was still no match for the Predator in unarmed combat.
Dutch carried an M16A2 with an underslung M203 grenade launcher as his primary weapon in Val Verde. He also had a Desert Eagle as a backup sidearm, although he never had a chance to use it. In addition to his firearms, Dutch carried an array of hand grenades, Claymore mines and satchel charges, as well as a large combat knife for close-quarters hand-to-hand combat.
After losing virtually all of his equipment escaping from the Predator, Dutch constructed a torque bow from materials found in the forest, along with an array of arrows and spears. He used the warheads from two 40mm grenades that he had left to create an explosive-tipped arrow and spear, while he used the propellant to create several leaf bombs.
- Dutch actor Arnold Schwarzenegger also played the titular Terminator in the Terminator franchise, the first two films of which were written and directed by Aliens director James Cameron.
- Schwarzenegger was originally going to reappear as Schaefer in Predator 2, but the actor declined the role, citing his previous bad experience on the sequel Conan the Destroyer and his dislike for the city-based concept as reasons not to commit. The role was eventually rewritten as Peter Keyes.
- In the novelization of Predator 2, Keyes mentions Dutch's "Olympian physique"; this is likely a humorous nod to Schwarzenegger, who was Mr. Olympia seven times before becoming an actor.
- In the 1994 game Alien vs. Predator there is a character that goes by the name of Dutch Schaefer who is named after and roughly based on Alan. In the game he is shown wearing a mechanical arm and is described as being a cyborg. Although they share the same name they are largely regarded as two different characters, some have speculated that the Schaefer in the game is actually a clone of the one in the film, although there is no official confirmation on the matter. The Schaefer cyborg is possibly a reference to the movie Terminator, in which Schwarzenegger starred as the titular Terminator cyborg.
- A picture of Alan "Dutch" Schaefer appeared on the packaging for the NES game Contra, along with an image of John Rambo from the Rambo franchise. Contra is about human military soldiers battling extraterrestrial beings.
- Several lines of Dutch's dialogue later inspired the titles of achievements/trophies in the 2010 video game Aliens vs. Predator, including "Get to the Chopper!", "One Ugly Mother" and "Stick Around".
- Predator/novel (First Appearance)
- Predator: Concrete Jungle (mentioned only)
- Predator 2/novel/comic (mentioned only)
- Predator: Cold War (mentioned only)
- Predator: Dark River (mentioned only)
- Predators (mentioned only)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Jim Thomas, John Thomas (writers) and John McTiernan (director). Predator [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Simon Hawke (1990). Predator 2 novelization. Warner Books, Inc., 137.
- ↑ Paul Monette (1987). Predator novelization. Warner Books, Inc., 199.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Paul Monette (1987). Predator novelization. Warner Books, Inc., 37.
- ↑ Paul Monette (1987). Predator novelization. Warner Books, Inc., 110.
- ↑ Paul Monette (1987). Predator novelization. Warner Books, Inc., 20.
- ↑ Paul Monette (1987). Predator novelization. Warner Books, Inc., 118.
- ↑ Paul Monette (1987). Predator novelization. Warner Books, Inc., 3.
- ↑ Paul Monette (1987). Predator novelization. Warner Books, Inc., 9.
- ↑ Simon Hawke (1990). Predator 2 novelization. Warner Books, Inc., 21.
- ↑ Simon Hawke (1990). Predator 2 novelization. Warner Books, Inc., 35.
- ↑ Simon Hawke (1990). Predator 2 novelization. Warner Books, Inc., 136.