Navy SEAL Auctions Knife Carried on Bin Laden Mission

OBL3UPDATE: Bissonette’s Emerson CQC-7 folding knife sold for $35,400 to a bidder known as “chask.” In total, the auction earned $76,830 for the five charities associated.

One of the Navy SEALs on the special operations raid that killed Osama Bin Laden is auctioning the folding knife he brought with him on the mission to benefit the family of another Navy SEAL who recently died in a training accident.

Former Navy SEAL Matt Bissonette, who wrote the book “No Easy Day” under the pen name Mark Owen, donated the Emerson CQC-7 folding knife to the charity Combat Flip Flops, which is sending all the proceeds to the family of Chief Special Warfare Operator Brett D. Shadle, a Navy SEAL who died March 28 in a training accident. Known to his friends as “Shady,” he is survived by his wife Jenifer, daughter Savanah and son Christian.

Bidding on the knife started on May 1 along with other specialty items that Combat Flip Flops has organized for the internet auction. The auction started on May 1 to coincide with the two-year anniversary of the Bin Laden raid and it ends Wednesday night.

OBL KnifeAs of this writing at noon on Wednesday, the high bid for Bissonette’s knife is $25,400. Overall, the auction which also includes items such as Taliban helmet, private shooting lessons and custom Suunto watch has thus far raised $57,383.

Combat Flip Flops has arranged for five charities that benefit servicemembers to receive proceeds from the auction. Those charities include the Green Beret Foundation, Station Foundation, Team 5, Lead the Way Fund and the Tommy V Foundation, which is the one collecting money for Shadle’s family.

Matt Griffin, one of Combat Flip Flops’ founders, is a former Army Ranger and friend of Bissonette. Over the past three years, Combat Flip Flops has organized the auction as an in-person event at the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference in Tampa, Fla. Griffin, who goes by Griff, said Bissonette couldn’t attend this year but wanted to help the charities so he donated the knife.

This year, Combat Flip Flops decided to make it an internet auction in order to give more people the chance to bid and hopefully raise more money.

Bissonette has owned the knife for eight years and took it on multiple missions. He said on the auction’s website that the knife is still in good condition. The winner of the auction will receive a letter of authenticity from Bissonette.

Books-Bin Laden RaidThe maker of the knife, Ernest Emerson of Emerson Knives, has staked his reputation to the knife’s authenticity. He said he personally handed the knife to Bissonette. “That is the real deal — Owen is the real guy and this is the real knife,” Emerson said on the auction’s website.

Bissonette said in a statement that he wanted to take this oppurtunity to give back and help the special operations community.

“I’m donating the knife because the owner of Combat Flip flops is a friend and when he told me about this auction and all the good that the money raised was going to go towards, I wanted to help in anyway that I could. Giving back to our community is very important to me and if donating this knife to charity helps with that process then I’m more than happy to do it,” he said on the auction’s website.

  • Jeremy

    These guys are no more silent professionals than any other guys. I would say Force Recon or Green Berets are more of the silent professionals. Think about it a Marine cook goes through a tougher boot camp than a navy seal. Anyway its his knife let him do what he wants with it. Who really cares. If he can make some money off it why not. I am just waiting to see the parts of the stealth chopper left behind up for auction. Its funny how the govt wants these guys to shut up now after authorizing them to act in a hollywood movies while on active duty. After that I say the flood gates are open. If they can capitalize on their experience as a seal and make some coin let em. My hats off to you shipmates! Make as much as you can, as we all served and fought for a free capitalist country. After your service you deserve to be able to live as good as life as possible.

    • Charles

      This particular SEAL team definitely like the self discipline that the SEALs are renown to have. I have to agree with you, Marine Force Recon and Green Berets are holding the holy grail when it comes to maintaining silence. What happens on a mission stays with the mission.

      Fortunately, this particular SEAL team appears to be the only group that wag their lips excessively. The others appear to be silent. Obama didn’t help their situation any by doing what he did to advertise the mission with way too many details to the press. Of course he is an idiot, so his actions were somewhat expected. The SEALS actions with the media were/are not!

  • Thom Seeber

    Before you slam the poor man, you should have read the article where it stated he had donated the knife and it’s proceeds to several service-related charities. Everyone seems a little too quick to assume everyone out there is just out to cash in on anything they do in the service of their country. It has been my experience during my time in the Corps that the majority of personnel in the elite groups are more concerned with ensuring their people (and families) are looked after over and above the minimum “official” benefits due.

    In the future, you might consider giving the benefit of the doubt to the serviceman!

    Semper Fi,

    Thom Seeber, EMT-P

    Tx-3 DMAT

  • Atlatl

    Jeremy……I’m not sure what your point is regarding the Navy and Marine boot camp comparison? In the case of the marine, he gets his title after the completion of his 12 week boot while the SEAL doesn’t get his title until about a year later and of course the drop-out rate for the SEAL title is over 70% vs. only 11% for marine title through boot camp.

    I do agree that the SEAL’s are giving up way too much exposure here due to the OBL raid and that the quote “Quiet Professional,” generally applies to Army SF.

  • Charles

    Glad he didn’t try to sell it. That would have been a legal nightmare for the bean counters since it is government issue and he is required by regs to turn it back in. Even donating it is illegal, but not for personal gain. Considering that the end result is funds for a fallen SEAL, it is likely that the even will be ignored and if it did come up that the action was not legal, a slap on the hand by the CO followed by a toast to him would be in order.

    It would be nice though if the SEALs involved in that raid actually honored their committment by keeping their mouths shut. Most of this team has been like a bunch of old women at Sunday school – their lips continue to wag!

  • Frank

    So many misunderstandings and so little time. Where did you read that it was a government issue knife?

    “Bissonette has owned the knife for eight years and took it on multiple missions.” It’s personal gear. And trust me, if the FEDGOV and Big Navy had anything like that on Matt they would go after him immediately.

    As far as keeping their mouths shut, no one else has, why should the DEVGRU guys be forced to? This is in a large part a “Big Navy” deal. They have pushed the SEALS to forefront because their contributions to the GWOT have been mostly auxiliary, not primary. I also find it interesting that anyone would assert that the others are intentionally keeping their mouths shut. BS! No one’s asking them and I can say with some certainty that the gentleman from other branches of SOCOM will bend your ear all day if you give them the opportunity.

    As for Bissonette, he’s devoted most of the profits to charities. Since he was outed by Faux News he’s largely had to remain in hiding (since we let all manner of interesting people into this country this is necessary). Remember when Obama and his minions, to include Admiral McRaven (who wrote his own book and was really pissed off that Matt’s book came out first and disputed much of what was in his book) were going to prosecute him for disclosing secrets? Well, that never happened, for the simple reason that there were no secrets in his book.

  • L Janice

    Yes, he’s donated the knife to benefit military families. The current Navy only “issues” a few items to service members the rest have to be personally bought. Those two issues solved.

    I think what most people are objecting too is that ‘Seal Team Six’ (the elitist of the elite- it takes years to be asked to join Seal Team Six) should never have been mentioned at all. Unfortunately the White House, I believe our VP, announced to the world that it was “Seal Team Six” that accomplished the mission. Then the White House, our President specifically, actually worked with Hollywood on a movie of the mission.

    The purpose of Special Forces (all services) is to quietly and anonymously perform their duties and leave. Knowing who are on the teams put not just themselves at risk but their families as well and in some instances the country. The government and the military should have kept their mouths shut about the mission. Hollywood should be able to write own stories without knowing specifics, they always have. There doesn’t have to be ‘specific secrets’ listed for someone to learn our procedures, which in and of itself should be unknown to others. I don’t know if its necessarily about what was disclosed specifically, but more of the information that was disclosed didn’t reveal anything to us but it did to other countries because they didn’t know.

    This is just my opinion

  • Frank

    The gentleman who participated in the raid were besieged with press and individuals of all kinds after the raid… and that was a direct result of that Moron Joe Biden running his mouth. Then there’s the issue of a couple of movies and documentaries that were being made. Big Navy ordered these guys to talk with the producers. As far as what other countries new, I’m curious as to what would have been a secret since we often work with any country you can think of except Iran (and it wouldn’t surprise me to find out we’ve worked with them also). Not that I have any personal knowledge, but I’d also place a large bet on the entire story isn’t even close to being known.

  • L Janice

    As my post above indicated we are in agreement on your first two points. As for the secrets unknown… I said that it didn’t have to be ‘specific secrets’, just information other countries did not know. Information we assume others may know when in actuality don’t or at least not all of it. I am aware that we have worked with all countries, even Iran. I am not naive in regards to how it works. And I am sure that when we work with a country we don’t give them all our information (or at least I sure hope we still don’t) I’m also sure, as you are, that there are specifics not released. What it all comes down to is that NO-ONE should know it was Seal Team Six that was involved, but as you and I both agree our VP was a moron.

  • leftoftheboom

    Keeping silent works only so long as everyone is silent. In warfare a secret may give you advantage, however, sometimes silence does not confer as much advantage as public perception. The entire special operations community has done an outstanding job.

    So long as they are not releasing classified information, let them crow. At some point in the future, silence may return because it is time for it to return and be enforced. For now, talking and TAKING PRIDE is a better option because they have much to have pride about. One thing that I find most common on those saying to be silent, they were not on the mission.

    I applaud the guy for giving up a blade that he has carried that he depended upon. That is like giving up a finger or two. And since it was for charity that is a double good deed.


    • Frank

      IMO, not only were they not on the mission, most of them were in a big hurry to hand out (false) mission details to the media. VP Moron is a case in point. He could hardly wait to get out there and take credit. One in particularly even had a book deal, which was full of “facts” best kept off your shoes, before the mission went forward. And then miraculously he spent the most time trying to stop Bisonnette’s books… for OpSec, I’m sure.

  • TangoDown

    NO slamming ‘the guys’ out there doing the dirty work. WHO is more “silent or quiet” about HOW they go about doing the NATION’s business..FOR ALL OF US! Geez man. They are serving as THOUSANDS do and SERVING proudly. Who am I..OR you, to judge? As for the knife, it was GIVEN to him..not ALLOCATED.