Robert Young Pelton
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|Robert Young Pelton|
July 25, 1955 |
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
|Occupation||Journalist, author, filmmaker|
Robert Young Pelton (born July 25, 1955 in Edmonton, Alberta) is a Canadian-American author, journalist and documentary filmmaker. Pelton's journalistic work usually consists of conflict reporting and interviews with military and political figures in warzones. His career is notable because of the number of conflict zones he has reported from and the breadth of important figures he has interviewed. His reputation is built on his history of entering forbidden, deadly and violent places.
Pelton has been present at conflicts such as the Battle of Qala-i-Jangi in Afghanistan, the Battle of Grozny (1999-2000) in Chechnya, the rebel campaign to take Monrovia in Liberia, the siege on Villa Somalia in Mogadishu and has been with ground forces in approximately 40 other conflicts.
He survived an assassination attempt in Uganda, spent time with the Taliban and the Northern Alliance pre 9/11, the CIA during the hunt for Bin Laden and also with both insurgents and Blackwater security contractors during the war in Iraq
Pelton's regularly published survival and political guide The World's Most Dangerous Places, provides practical and survival information for people who work and travel in high risk zones, and is a bestseller. With the book's bestseller status Pelton has become an expert on work and travel in "high-risk" environments. He was also host of the Discovery Travel Channel series Robert Young Pelton's The World's Most Dangerous Places from 1998 to 2003. Now residing in Los Angeles, Pelton currently writes books, produces documentaries on conflict-related subjects and operates Cultural Engagement Journeys into the World's Most Dangerous and forbidden places.
Pelton is also a frequent television and magazine interview subject, often appearing as a raconteur of his various adventures and safety tips on shows as diverse as Oprah, Conan O'Brien, CNN, Fox, BBC, ABC, CBS, NBC and others. Pelton is a regular commentator for Shepard Smith's on Fox News, providing insight and background on breaking news.
- 1 Bio
- 2 Projects
- 2.1 DPx Gear Adventure and survival equipment
- 2.2 Dangerous magazine
- 2.3 Ground networks
- 2.4 Writing projects
- 2.5 Magazines
- 2.6 Graphic novels
- 2.7 Interviews by Robert Young Pelton
- 2.8 Interviews of Robert Young Pelton
- 2.9 Rebel, jihad and insurgent groups
- 2.10 Television series
- 2.11 Documentaries
- 2.12 Expedition Kony
- 2.13 Personal appearances
- 3 Bibliography
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Pelton was born July 25, 1955, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. At age ten, he became the seventh youngest student ever to attend Saint John's Cathedral Boys' School a school in Selkirk, Manitoba. Pelton claims to have been a lumberjack, boundary cutter, tunneler, driller and blaster's assistant before getting his first job as a copywriter when he was 17 in Toronto, working for the ad agency BBDO, having originally been working in the mailroom. He moved to the United States where he worked for various multimedia companies that did product launches like working directly with Steve Jobs with the Lisa launch and Macintosh launch. In his mid thirties he retired from the business world and focused his time on understanding conflict. Pelton quickly made a name for himself traveling and reporting from the dirty wars, rebel camps and war zones. He got his break as a writer while reporting on the Camel Trophy, an annual event in which teams from around the world competed by overcoming some of the world's most hostile natural environments in Land Rovers. He was with the U.S. team and published his account in Soldier of Fortune.
He licensed databased travel content to companies like Microsoft and IBM, selling his businesses to turn full-time to conflict coverage in the mid 90's. He began with a two book deal from Random House (The Adventurist and Come Back Alive), a television series from Discovery called Robert Young Pelton's The World's Most Dangerous Places and a major web event with ABC News called Dangerous Places.
While in Uganda he missed a bomb assassination attempt against him by the ADF, an Islamic group, by 10 minutes at the Kampala Speke Hotel. In January 2003, Pelton was assigned by Discovery and National Geographic to do a television special and article on the Darien Gap. Pelton and two 22-year-old travelers were ambushed, killing one Kuna Indian and injuring one other. The group was then kidnapped and marched at gunpoint through the Darien Gap by the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) and across the 90-mile jungle trail over the 10 days before being released.
When AUC leader Carlos Castaño finally learned of the identity of the hostages, he ordered Pelton and his companions released and issued a press release to Reuters stating that they were being held for their safety. Castaño had remembered Pelton's name from a meeting they'd arranged years before, and put in the order for the hostage's release.
Pelton contributed to National Geographic Adventure as both a Contributing Editor and a long running Columnist from January 2001 to 2007. In December 2007 he released his article on Blackwater Worldwide. He was involved in negotiations with the President of Equatorial Guinea regarding the early release of coup plotters, Nick du Toit who had worked for Executive Outcomes in the mid-1990s. The story behind the coup and his efforts to free Nick du Toit and Simon Mann are documented in the May 2008 Men's Journal article "How to Stage a Coup".
In December 2008, Pelton travelled the Horn of Africa with pirates and with an anti-piracy crew researching the piracy and anti-piracy industry. In January 2009, Pelton resumed immersion style coverage by going inside the Army's controversial Human Terrain System.
Pelton has built a career around his own unique experiential style of reportage and documentary filmmaking, spending time with many different terrorist, rebel or insurgent groups around the world, often returning with exclusive and unique footage. Pelton began the "SoJo" concept or solo journalist concept for ABC News in 1996. Pelton filed copy, photos and video as he went to the world's longest running hotspots. The series called ABC News 'Dangerous Places' had a viewership of 800,000 people per day (second highest rated web event at the time after the death of Diana). Peter Jennings' documentary crew tried to document Pelton's to Bougainville, Afghanistan and the Southern Sudan but Bob Woodruff and Jay Ananai eventually deemed the assignment too risky and abandoned their attempts to follow Pelton.
DPx Gear Adventure and survival equipment
In 2008 Pelton created DPx Gear and launched a line of adventure and survival gear starting with the DPx HEST (Hostile Environment Survival Tool) in a fixed version and a folding version called the DPx HEST/F (for folding). Two of his designs have won awards at BLADE, the annual show for knife makers. Pelton also designs and makes the Aculus, a gentleman's knife machined from a solid block of titanium alloy with an Elmax blade, the DPx HEFT (Hostile Environment Field Tool) is a large military design and the DPx HEAT, (Hostile Environment All purpose Tool) is a smaller folder. The company features the famous "Mr DP" laughing skull logo Pelton has used in his adventures, films and books.
Dangerous magazine is an online publication published by Pelton that containing stories, photos and videos from Robert Young Pelton, Tom Goltz, Jason Florio, Tim Cahill and other well known contributors. Articles include first hand accounts on forays into rebel held Burma, Afghanistan, Somalia and other hostile regions.
Although Pelton has worked as a war correspondent for news organizations (CBS 60 Minutes, CNN and ABC Investigative) and has been published and featured by many others, he does not view himself as a journalist. He has mentored, trained and created networks of local journalists in conflict zones.
Since 2006, Pelton has financed and managed privately funded "ground network" news and research sites in conflict zones. His efforts to bring ground truth from war zones directly to readers and bypass the media have been controversial and covered in depth by news organizations. Front page articles in the New York Times (including a retraction by the publication and others for incorrectly labeling Pelton as a government contractor) articles about the reporting errors in the New York Times article were published by the Washington Post and other international publications.
- Migrant Report
According to, Bloomberg Businessweek, In June 2015, Pelton founded founder the Migrant Report to  the movement of refugees and migrants. He is  as saying"So much attention has been paid to what the EU has or hasn't done," Pelton says. "But while the EU has not done enough to rescue the people on these boats, they are not the ones sending migrants to their graves. That’s the ruthless gangs that run these operations, and we don’t know nearly enough about them.”Based in Malta, Migrant Report is edited by journalist. The web based news and research site has reported from Libya, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Turkey, Greece and Europe to create an ongoing focus on the global phenomena of displaced people. The venture is sponsored by the Organization for Better Security (OBS)
- Somalia Report
In his ongoing efforts to bring information from war zones directly to the people, Pelton created Somalia Report in 2011. With assistance from around 140 locals and western editors Pelton provides ground coverage of al Shabaab, pirates, governments, contractors, intelligence groups and regular people on a 24/7 information website. Pelton views this as a natural extension of his best selling book and TV series and often debunks reports by prestigious academics and think tanks.
Pelton's experience in the region since 1995 also led to his ad hoc, unpaid advisory relationship with the US and ISAF command in Afghanistan. The subscription information service included major clients including the Department of Defense. Controversy of the diversion of AfPax' subscription funds authorized by the U.S. government led to front page coverage in the New York Times, Washington Post, Mother Jones and other outlets. Pelton terminated the proposal and pushed for an investigation of the official who diverted the JUONS to fund AfPak as an open source subscription service available online for the public. Numerous published retractions and corrections followed the initial coverage with much of erroneous initial coverage removed from the internet.
Pelton teamed up with Eason Jordan, former head of International News for CNN to create IraqSlogger a 700-man ground network during the height of violence in the Iraq war. They sold the information on a subscription basis to media, NGOs, government and private customers.
Pelton began as a publisher having purchased and later sold the Fielding travel guide concession named after Temple Fielding. Pelton had worked as a copywriter at age 17 for BBDO in Toronto but has no formal education. He has a high school degree from Mount Douglas Senior Secondary in Victoria, B.C.
- The World's Most Dangerous Places (HarperResource)
Pelton's first major writing project was his breakthrough, initially self-published, guide to conflict; The World's Most Dangerous Places. The massive 1000 page plus book was disguised as a travel guide and written in a humorous and apolitical style. The first edition was written in 1993 and it currently is in its fifth edition. The mascot of the book is Mr DP. Mr DP, a laughing skull that has been seen stickered on AK-47s, Burmese RPGs and in bars around the world. Mr DP can be seen at the History Bar in Djibouti and the Gandamack Lodge in Kabul.
- The Adventurist (Broadway)
Pelton wrote an autobiography that covered his life from birth to his departure for Chechnya in 1999. The book is a series of vignettes that come together at the end to form a powerful narrative.
- Come Back Alive (Broadway)
A real world survival guide designed to strip much of the posturing and bushcraft found in other guides. Pelton writes from his personal experience in over a 100 countries.
- Hunter, Hammer and Heaven, Three World's Gone Mad (Lyons Press)
Hunter, Hammer and Heaven is a 2002 book on his journey into three wars in three tiny countries Chechnya, Sierra Leone and Bougainville were examples of a jihad against the Russians, a mercenary war for resources and an eco war to preserve a native lifestyle.
- Licensed to Kill, Hired Guns in the War on Terror (Broadway Books)
Pelton has written about contemporary private military contractors (Licensed to Kill, Hired Guns in the War on Terror), as well as his experiences with US Special Forces in the opening weeks in the War on Terror. Of Licensed to Kill, one reviewer summarized: "His is a journalistic story-quilt of characters engaged as private security contractors and mercenaries in a variety of settings from Afghanistan to Equatorial Guinea.... The pages turn... because Pelton’s stories are intrinsically interesting." The book was well reviewed by such luminaries as author and filmmaker Sebastian Junger (“An incredible look into the murky and virtually impenetrable world of private military contractors . . . Pelton may well have seen the future.”) and terrorism expert Peter Bergen ("A rollicking read that takes the reader inside the murky world of military contractors—from the craggy passes of the Afghan-Pakistan border, to the extreme danger of Baghdad’s airport road, to the diamond fields of Africa. Licensed to Kill is not only a great travelogue, it also has some important things to say about the brave new world of privatized violence").
- Raven (AdventuristMedia)
Pelton has also written his work of non fiction, a fictionalized account of his early life, entitled Raven, as well as an autobiography entitled The Adventurist.
- Civilian Warriors (Uncredited)
In July 2013, Pelton stated in an interview with Spy Talk's Jeff Stein that Erik Prince had come to him to fix an autobiography that Prince had been unsuccessfully trying to publish since February 2008 with Regner y and again in 2010 with Simon & Schuster. Prince had engaged in a campaign of greymail against the U.S. government since 2010 (when Pelton interviewed him the day before Prince fled the country) According to the interview Pelton not only rewrote Prince's unsuccessful book but dissuaded Prince from self-publishing by getting him a one million dollar deal with Adrian Zackheim at Penguin publishing. Prince then sued Pelton, initially alleging Pelton had stolen his book but then later Prince filed papers demanding that the Federal court in Virginia under presiding Judge Leonie Brinkema dismiss Prince's own case before it was brought to a jury trial.
- Finding Kony (St. Martin's Press)
Pelton announced that he was writing a book about America's rapidly expanding engagement in Africa using the through line of the hunt for Joseph Kony. Pelton tracked down former warlord turned Vice President, turned rebel leader, Riek Machar during the peak of the fighting in South Sudan. Machar was the last man to see Joseph Kony alive. The story filled the. The first time any single author had written an entire issue for VICE. The accompanying  about his journey was posted online in three parts.
Pelton began writing feature stories for National Geographic Adventure and then continued writing a column entitled, "Pelton's World" for National Geographic Adventure. His feature stories covered his journeys into Afghanistan, Iraq and Colombia.
Pelton has been profiled in numerous magazines including The World's Most Dangerous Friend by Tim Cahill in Men's Journal covering topics like Blackwater, the U.S. military Human Terrain System, South African mercenaries and American military volunteers in rebel-held Burma. He also has written about his time with Somali pirates and maritime anti-piracy security teams for Bloomberg Businessweek and security contractors in Iraq for Popular Mechanics.
In May 2014, VICE magazine release a multi media event which featured Robert Young Pelton traveling with photographer Tim Freccia and with a former Lost Boy Machot Lap Thiep to South Sudan at the height of the fighting. It was the first time in VICE's 21 year history that a single author and single photographer created an entire issue on one topic. The 130 page, 50,000 word article was also released online and in conjunction with a three-part, 40 minute documentary.
Artist Billy Tucci illustrated and wrote a 64-page illustrated novel entitled "Roll Hard" based on one of Pelton's chapters in "Licensed to Kill" The book documents the true story of a team of Blackwater misfits who must travel up and down the most dangerous road in Iraq. Pelton rode every mission with the team for a month which routinely came under attack. After Pelton left the team, they were hit by an IED with one fatality and a number wounded. Wired Magazine described it as "At a time when comics are still dominated by busty babes, zombies and superheroes wearing tights, Pelton and Tucci’s gritty, journalistic portrayal of America’s fighters-for-hire is a profound departure."
Publishers Weekly described the book "While that’s a prime setup for endless scenes of action-movie carnage, the narrative instead focuses on the men as professionals and what makes them put their lives on the line for a daily payout of around $600. It’s that spotlight on the humanity of the contractors that makes this an engaging read, and artist Tucci (Sgt. Rock: The Lost Battalion) turns in understated, realistic artwork that is among the finest of his career. While the role of contractors in the Iraq conflict is controversial, this gives it a human face."
Interviews by Robert Young Pelton
One of the cornerstones of Pelton's quests has been to track down, meet up with and interview some of the world's most dangerous and wanted men. In some cases his unique access on the battlefield has led to troops or insurgents bringing him to interview high profile prisoners.
A partial list of Pelton's interviews:
- John Walker Lindh "The American Taliban" (Captured by Northern Alliance forces and rescued by Pelton)
- Al Qaeda, in both Europe and Afghanistan, documented in his book Hunter, Hammer and Heaven and his TV special on Afghanistan
- Taliban leadership in Afghanistan in their first television interview (including Mullah Omar who would only allow his voice to be recorded)
- Ahmed Shah Massoud and the Northern Alliance leadership in the Panjshir Valley
- Abdul Rashid Dostum
- Erik Prince, former owner of Blackwater USA
- "Mono Jojoy", Manuel Marulanda, Alfonso Cano and the top FARC leadership in Colombia
- Hashim Salamat leader of the MILF in the Southern Philippines
- Aleksey Galkin of the Russian GRU (captured and tortured by Chechen rebels and implicated Russia in the bombing of apartment buildings that led to the second war in Chechnya)
- Imprisoned South African mercenary Nick du toit and President Obiang of Equatorial Guinea during his attempts to free Nick from a 33-year prison sentence for attempting to overthrow the country
- The leadership of the AUC. The right wing death squads of Colombia
- The Chechen, Georgian and Turkish Mafia
- Francis Ona, the self-proclaimed "King of Meekamui" on the island of Bougainville
- Leadership of LURD in Liberia
- Kamajors in Sierra Leone
- President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea
- The SPLA in Southern Sudan
- Drug organizations in Colombia and Peru
- Leadership of Communist Rebels in the Philippines
- General Bo Mya of the Karen 5th Brigade of Kawthoolei, Burma
- “Tha-U-Wa-A-Pa” or the "Father of the White Monkey", the director of Free Burma Rangers, Burma
- Asad Abdullahi aka Farah Hirsi Kulan "Booyah" One of the original three pirate "kings", Somalia
- Abdirahman Mohamud Farole, President of Puntland
- SSNA leader Riek Machar and Odorah Choul, the leader of the White Army during the taking of Malakal, South Sudan. According to Humanosphere, Pelton interviewed Machar in his bush headquarters and was present t the fall of Malakal with Tim Freccia
Interviews of Robert Young Pelton
Pelton's experience in over three dozen conflicts and independent point of view has made him a sought after and prescient commentator on conflict, the media and key historical events.
Rebel, jihad and insurgent groups
In order to gain access Pelton has spent an unusual amount of time living with, traveling with and documenting some of the world's best known insurgent groups. Some of the groups Pelton has lived with and interviewed include, the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, the LURD in Liberia, MILF in the Southern Philippines, Bougainville Revolutionary Army, the Sudan People's Liberation Army in Southern Sudan, the Taliban in Afghanistan, the FARC and AUC in Colombia, the Chechen rebels and the Karen National Liberation Army, the Karen National Union and the Free Burma Rangers in Burma
His access and interviews initially were to create The World's Most Dangerous Places. His unusual and death-defying efforts to get this access soon then morphed into his TV series and then into a series of other books and film projects.
A front page New York Times article in March 2010 and other articles in the independent Mother Jones Magazine and the Washington Post noted that Pelton was involved in providing a significant amount of high level insight, access and advice to the senior ISAF command on Afghanistan and Pakistan via a subscription website similar to his IraqSlogger venture in Iraq. In one case Pelton noted that a video he had been given was used to strike insurgents in Pakistan. The New York Times corrected its assertions that Pelton was a contractor two months later with follow up articles about the correction in the Washington Post, Deutsche Welle and other outlets.
Pelton executive produced and hosted seven one-hour specials for Discovery (these aired on The Travel Channel which at the time was owned by Discovery Communications) from 1998 until 2003. According to the site The World's Most Dangerous Places (which has video clips and a timeline), this was the line up of Pelton's series:
1) "The Crescent and the Cross" – first footage of a new communist rebel group on the island of Negros (New People's Army), the MILF, pirates, a Crucifixion and Pelton tracks down the most wanted man in the Philippines, the man who killed Special Forces legend Nick Rowe
3) "Home of the Brave" – A journey through America on a motorcycle to find rebels, revolutionaries and militias. Pelton visits with country & western singer Willie Nelson, Native American activist Russell Means, motorcycle icon Peter Fonda and finds an American jihadi Aukai Collins who trained in terrorist training camps run by Osama bin Laden
4) "Inside Afghanistan" – In his first post 9/11 show Pelton re-enters Afghanistan, this time he is only outside witness to war with a Special Forces team that fights on horseback with a brutal warlord, General Rashid Dostum. He is in the battle of Qali Jangi and finds an American jihadi named John Walker Lindh, introducing the world to the first American al Qaeda member ever interviewed on the battlefield
5) "Inside Liberia" – Pelton enters a little-known war in which he is surrounded by armed child soldiers in a brutal fight to the death. The rag tag LURD rebels and Pelton's group is surrounded by the violent forces of Charles Taylor. Pelton becomes close to the Small Boys Unit, a group of child soldiers, and we meet "Survival", a 5-year-old gun-toting killer who befriends Pelton.
6) "Inside Colombia" – Pelton is the first outside to interview and meets with the leaders Manuel Marulanda, Raúl Reyes, Mono Jojoy, Alfonso Cano of the deadly left wing FARC rebel group. Barely escaping being kidnapped by Mono Jojoy at a drunken party, Pelton then switches sides and searches for the right wing AUC death squads. While waiting he provides a rare inside view on the cocaine trade from growing to picking to processing the final product
7) "Kidnapped" – Pelton intended to be back from vacation to film a show about 9/11 in America but was kidnapped. His footage of the brutal kidnap is interwoven with previous trips to Grozny, Chechnya where he interviews a captured Russian spy Aleksey Galkin, then to Uganda where a young terrorist puts a bomb under Pelton's table at the Kampala Speke Hotel seriously injuring a number of patrons. Pelton then spends a long bloody night in Kampala, Uganda at other bomb sites trying to save shattered victims before heading to meet the SPLA in Southern Sudan and finally Peru in which Pelton's journey inside the drug war is cut short when he is hit and seriously injured by a car while riding his motorcycle on a mountain road
Although the WMDP series under Discovery's Steve Cheskin was renewed for another 8 shows, Pelton's series of specials was cancelled by Discovery after Pelton left for Iraq. The DVD versions are available on Come Back Alive
Pelton produced "House of War" with award winning documentary director Paul Yule to document the largest and most bloody battle in Operation Enduring Freedom, the Battle of Qala-i-Jangi. Pelton went to Iraq to cover the war for ABC Investigative and then led a search for a find of chemical tipped rockets for CBS's 60 Minutes. Pelton eventually chose to stay along the Syrian border with insurgents and later document evidence of mass graves around the country, traveling in a red Bentley previously owned by Uday Hussein.
National Geographic TV hired Pelton to go inside the world of private security contractors for the film Iraq: Guns For Hire.
His documentary for VICE was the first time the White Army had been filmed in combat and the first interview with Riek Machar and his wife after they fled to the bush. The film was part of a web event that was released with an entire issue on South Sudan and Pelton's trip published by VICE.
Pelton continues to be featured in a number of upcoming documentaries on a diverse variety of subjects that range from mercenaries, child soldiers, Private military company and conflict. They are a diverse selection including "Iraq for Sale" by Robert Greenwald, Shadow Company by Nick Bicanic, "Weapons of Mass Deception" by Danny Schechter, "Children at War" and "Bounty Hunting" by Bobby Williams as well as news documentaries and interviews by Al Jazeera, CNN, Dan Rather and many others.
In November 2013 Pelton launched a crowd sourced and crowd funded search for Joseph Kony. The project was launched using Indiegogo and covered extensively in the media. Outside Magazine, Foreign Policy, National Post, George Noury interviewed RYP on his first hour on Coast to Cast AM which was broadcast live on November 8, 2013. They talk in detail regarding the forthcoming expedition of Joseph Kony. On December 23, 2013, St Martin's Press announced that it had acquired the book rights to Pelton's quest. Editor Nichole Argyres described the non-fiction book, "Finding Kony will also “reconstruct Joseph Kony’s life story [and] show his impact on Central Africa, while drawing a larger picture of the turmoil and instability that is modern emerging Africa.” (Publishers Weekly, Book Deals: Week of December 23, 2013).
Expedition Kony was held up as dark comedy as Pelton launches not only a search for Joseph Kony but goes behind the motivations of many of the well-intentioned, but failed attempts by the West to bring security to Central Africa.
Pelton has promoted his controversial agenda of experiential education in selected venues like TED, colleges, television and long form radio like Coast to Coast. His view that people must take responsibility for their own education, safety and insight and form their own opinions outside of the media and political environment has created a following at the Black Flag Cafe.
- Robert Young Pelton. Licensed to Kill, Hired Guns in the War on Terror (Reprint edition (August 28, 2007) ed.). Three Rivers Press. p. 368. ISBN 1-4000-9782-7.
- Robert Young Pelton. DP Professional Strength (September 1, 2007 ed.). Collins. p. 304. ISBN 0-06-112021-9.
- Robert Young Pelton. The World's Most Dangerous Places (April 1, 2003 ed.). Collins. p. 1088. ISBN 0-06-001160-2.
- Robert Young Pelton. The Adventurist, My Life in Dangerous Places (June 19, 2001 ed.). Broadway. p. 268. ISBN 0-7679-0576-8.
- Robert Young Pelton. Hunter Hammer and Heaven, Journeys to Three World's Gone Mad (January 1, 2002 ed.). The Lyons Press. p. 320. ISBN 1-58574-416-6.
- Robert Young Pelton. Come Back Alive (June 1, 1999 ed.). Main Street Books. p. 304. ISBN 0-385-49566-8.
- Robert Young Pelton. Hired Guns (June 28, 2007 ed.). Constable and Robinson. p. 320. ISBN 1-84529-590-0.
- The Best American Travel Writing
- Best Adventure and Travel Stories
- Robert Young Pelton; Mark Bowden; Tracy Kidder; Philip Taubman. Nate Hardcastle; Clint Willis, eds. American Soldier: Stories of Special Forces from Iraq to Afghanistan (First Edition (October 27, 2002) ed.). Da Capo Press. p. 364. ISBN 1-56025-438-6.
- Boots on the Ground
- Robert Young Pelton. Fielding's Hot Spots, Travel in Harm's Way (December 1997 ed.). Fielding Worldwide. p. 256. ISBN 1-56952-166-2.
- Robert Young Pelton. Fielding's Borneo: The Adventurous Guide to the Island of Borneo Covering Brunei, Kalimantan, Sabah and Sarawak/1995 (Fielding's Borneo) (June 1995 ed.). Fielding Worldwide. p. 704. ISBN 1-56952-026-7.
- Robert Young Pelton. Three Worlds Gone Mad: Dangerous Journeys through the War Zones of Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific (First edition (December 1, 2003) ed.). The Lyons Press. p. 320. ISBN 1-59228-100-1.
- House of War – Pelton worked with Paul Yule to produce this award winning look at the Battle of Qali Jangi
- Weapons of Mass Deception – Danny Schechter's look at the buildup to the Iraq War features Pelton
- Shadow Company – A feature-length documentary by Nick Bicanic with footage and interviews of Pelton on mercenaries and contractors.
- Iraq: Guns for Hire – Pelton executive produced this National Geographic Explorer look at life and death inside the gritty world of private security contractors in Iraq. Blackwater, HART and other companies gave Pelton exclusive access
- Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers – A documentary by Robert Greenwald with footage and interviews of Pelton on mercenaries and contractors
- Time Machine: Child Warriors – In Bill Brummel's History Channel documentary, Pelton discusses his experiences in Liberia with the Small Boys Unit and other child soldiers
- Bounty Hunters – Robert William's documentary for History Channel about high risk bounty hunters. Pelton details his experience in cross border snatch and grabs of wanted fugitives
Robert Young Pelton has been interviewed and his footage featured in a number of documentaries about battle's he has been witnessed, groups he has lived with and the private military industry
- "Colouring Outside The Lines: Talking With Filmmaker Robert Young Pelton". Verge Magazine. Retrieved September 30, 2005.
- "Robert Young Pelton: The World's Most Dangerous Places". CXO Media with Daintry Duffy. Retrieved September 30, 2004.
- "Robert Young Pelton reporting during the siege of Grozny". ABC News. Retrieved March 2000. Check date values in:
- "The World's Most Dangerous Places". lost.art.br. 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-08.
- "Robert Young Pelton on Fox News – America Strikes Back". Fox News. Retrieved September 2001. Check date values in:
- "Robert Young Pelton on Fox News – Bin Laden Bounty". Fox News. Retrieved November 2001. Check date values in:
- "Robert Young Pelton discusses Afghanistan on Extra". EXTRA. Retrieved October 2001. Check date values in:
- "Bin Laden Hunt Hurt by U.S. Disrespect of Afghans, Experts Say". National Geographic. Retrieved March 30, 2004.
- "Finding Bin Laden in Remote Border Region". NPR. March 24, 2004. Retrieved March 2004. Check date values in:
- "Congress Investigates Private Military Contracts in Iraq.". PBS. Retrieved 07/02/2007. Check date values in:
- "Robert Young Pelton discusses Afghanistan". PBS. March 24, 2004. Retrieved 2009-04-08.
His New York Times bestseller, The World's Most Dangerous Places, is an underground classic in the CIA
- "The Ultimate Emergency Kit Interview with Robert Young Pelton". publicradio.org. 2004. Retrieved 2009-04-08.
- "Rather chat up a warlord than lie on a beach? Try a dangerous-places tour". USA Today. December 22, 2010. Retrieved December 22, 2010.
- "Robert Young Pelton discusses travelling in 'Dangerous Countries' on CNN". CNN. Retrieved October 2002. Check date values in:
- "A vacation to die for?". Florian Flade. December 22, 2010. Retrieved December 22, 2010.
- "Ferien im Irak". Zeit Online Deutschland. 01/02/2011. Retrieved 01/02/2011. Check date values in:
- "Reisebüro bietet Urlaub in Krisengebieten an". Bild Deutschland. December 22, 2010. Retrieved December 22, 2010.
- "Robert Young Pelton's Come Back Alive". Vagabonding with Rolf Potts. Retrieved April 2009. Check date values in:
- "RYP speaks about Steve Jobs and Apple". Lost Art. August 23, 2008. Retrieved August 2008. Check date values in:
- "Mercenaries or 'contractors'? Licensed to Kill by Robert Young Pelton". Asia Times Online with David Isenberg. Retrieved 2009-04-09.
- "Robert Young Pelton survives bombing in Uganda". Lost Art. August 23, 2008. Retrieved August 2008. Check date values in:
- "3 Americans freed, 2 journalists still captive in Colombia". CNN News. January 24, 2003. Retrieved January 24, 2003.
- "Robert Young Pelton Reportedly Kidnapped in Panama". National Geographic News with Sean Markey. January 22, 2003. Retrieved 2007-05-15.
- "Robert Young Pelton's World: The Kidnap Course". National Geographic. May 2006. Retrieved January 6, 2009.
- "Afghanistan: The New War for Hearts and Minds". Robert Young Pelton speaks with Men's Journal. Retrieved January 21, 2009.
- "Too Many Obstacles For Victory in Afghanistan". Robert Young Pelton with the New York Daily News. December 2, 2009. Retrieved December 2, 2009.
- "Setting the record straight on 'contractor' spies". The Washington Post.
- "Book advises how to survive in trouble spots". Robert Young Pelton with Raul Reyes CNN News. March 2, 2001. Retrieved 02/03/2001. Check date values in:
- "Mr DP in Somalia". Blade Forum. August 23, 2008. Retrieved August 2008. Check date values in:
- "Robert Young Pelton in Burma". The BBC. November 22, 2010. Retrieved November 23, 2010.
- "Robert Young Pelton discuss the growing role of mercenary contractors in war zones and the privatization of National Security". UCLA. 12/01/2010. Retrieved January 2010. Check date values in:
- "Kerry Candaele's interview with Robert Pelton". Iraq for sale. 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-09.
- "Six Questions for Robert Young Pelton". Ken Silverstein with Harper's. Retrieved 06/09/2006. Check date values in:
- "Congress Investigates Private Military Contracts in Iraq". PBS. February 7, 2007. Retrieved 2009-04-09.
- Peter J. Woolley, “Soldiers of Fortune,” in The Common Review (Spring 2007), pp. 46–8; or http://www.thecommonreview.org/fileadmin/template/tcr/pdf/TCR54.pdf Retrieved December 27, 2011.
- VICE Magazine Volume 21, Number 4 http://www.vice.com/pages/saving-south-sudan
- Saving South Sudan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDSu8wlQG6c
- "Robert Young Pelton on NBC – John Walker Interview". ABC News. Retrieved October 2001. Check date values in:
- "American Fighting for the Taliban now P.O.W.". Robert Young Pelton with the CNN News. February 7, 2001. Retrieved December 2, 2001.
- "Unique Challenges in Afghanistan". Fox News. December 23, 2009. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
- "Robert Young Pelton discusses Afghanistan with Shepard Smith on Fox News – America United". Fox News. Retrieved October 2001. Check date values in:
- "Robert Young Pelton: Insights into Afghanistan". CNN News. October 2, 2001. Retrieved 2009-04-08.
- "Robert Young Pelton on Fox News – Capture of Kabul". Fox News. Retrieved September 2001. Check date values in:
- "The real war on terrorism". Mark Scheffler. April 23, 2002. Retrieved April 2002. Check date values in:
- "What Is the Next Target in War on Terror". CNN. February 7, 2001. Retrieved December 24, 2001.
- "An American Commando in Exile". Men's Journal with Robert Young Pelton. November 30, 2010. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
- "What happened to Blackwater CEO". Morning Joe with Robert Young Pelton. October 22, 2010. Retrieved October 23, 2010.
- "Hunter Hammer and Heaven, Journeys to Three World's Gone Mad". RYP. Retrieved 2001-02-01.
- "My Friend, the Mercenary From Hell". Noah Shachtman. April 25, 2008. Retrieved April 25, 2008.
- "Burma's rebels fuel post election fears of violence". The BBC. November 22, 2010. Retrieved November 23, 2010.
- "Setting the record straight on Robert Young Pelton". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
- Filkins, Dexter; Mazzetti, Mark (March 14, 2010). "Contractors Tied to Effort to Track and Kill Militants". The New York Times. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
- "Robert Young Pelton gives an insider's account of how Michael Furlong co-opted AfPax to target militants in Afghanistan". Pacific Radio LA. March 15, 2010. Retrieved March 2010. Check date values in:
- "Philippines – The Crescent and the Cross". Robert Young Pelton's The World's Most Dangerous Places. Retrieved October 2000. Check date values in:
- "Robert Young Pelton on CNN – Afghan Dangers". CNN. Retrieved October 2001. Check date values in:
- "Akil Collins, An American Mujahideen". Robert Young Pelton. December 23, 2007. Retrieved December 27, 2007.
- "Robert Young Pelton on CNN – Life in Afghanistan". CNN. Retrieved September 2001. Check date values in:
- "RYP on Coast to Coast". Coast to Coast. August 21, 2010. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
- Somalia Report Pelton's ground network news site on Somalia and piracy in the Horn of Africa
- Come Back Alive, Robert Young Pelton's website
- Black Flag Cafe, Robert Young Pelton's forum
- Come Back Alive, Robert Young Pelton's Facebook Page – Come Back Alive
- , IraqSlogger – Robert Young Pelton's news service from inside Iraq
- , NPR Interview on the Hunt for Bin Laden
- , Pelton discusses Blackwater and his experiences in Baghdad with the private security firm
- , Advice for travel writers
- , Insightful look into Pelton's motivation and cause
- , Pelton discusses fundamentalism on the Echo Chamber Project
- , Transcript of Pelton's interview with John Walker Lindh
- , Pelton's background on John Walker Lindh
- Robert Young Pelton at the Internet Movie Database