MONTEREY, Calif.- Bill Hillar claimed to serve across the globe, as a green beret. He taught at major institutions, across the country. Friday, a local student is calling him a fraud saying Hillar has tricked people for years.
Bill Hillar lectured at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Students say, he even claims the movie TAKEN is loosely based on his life.
Students here at MIIS were excited to be taking a sex trafficking course from a renowned expert, a special forces army colonel, but they said all they got were a bunch of lies, and they have the proof to back it up.
"I heard nothing but good things about him, everybody raved about his courses, he was in special forces, teaches a course on tactical counter terrorism and he tells the most amazing stories," said Brian Hubbs.
But that's just it, now Hubbs is coming forward for the first time saying his one time instructor Bill Hillar was telling stories that never happened. For instance, Hubbs says Hillar claimed to be inspiration for the film TAKEN where a former government operative's daughter is kidnapped and forced into sex trafficking.
Hubbs says for students in one class, "The dominant story he mentioned that she was murdered in Bornio, but in the human trafficking class that I took he said she was murdered in Mexico City...He seemed very passionate there were times when he was tearing up in class," said Hubbs.
When the students researched the movie's writer they say they learned TAKEN was based on a Paris police officer. Bill Hillar wasn't mentioned.
The movie inconsistency wasn't the only thing that caused Hubbs and a handful of students to start researching Hillar's claims.
Hubbs, a former Marine vet, said what bothered him the most were the stories about Hillar being high atop the army's chain of command.
"He specifically said I'm retired army colonel, special forces, Delta Force took part in all these operations," saiod Hubbs.
Hubbs tracked down documentation that shows Hillar was in the Coast Guard reserves, but there is no record of him in the army or any type of special forces.
"it just became more clear that things weren't adding up, things weren't right, but the only problem is he only teaches one class in the spring one in the fall, so he's not around."
Hubbs and the other students took their concerns to the school's administration.
"We take it very seriously. We want to be diligent and thorough in the research we are doing to understand the facts," said Jason Warburg, the Communications Director at MIIS.
The next question you may be asking: What is the protocol for a background check? The school says Hillar was a contracted instructor.
"It's a different process. A more informal process," said Warburg.
So what is Hillar saying about all this? That's the problem. Hubbs and the school both say they've tried to contact him. So far, the only thing they can track down is the P.O. Box office he has in Carmel, a shutdown website, and voicemail from the man who they say was once their trusted instructor.
Central Coast News has also reached out to Hillar, but has yet to hear from him. Check back on www.kionrightnow.com for updates.
Submitted by Central Coast News reporter Brooke Holmquist.