At first, it looked like a normal clothing hook — small, unsuspecting, mounted on the inside of the door to her sleeping quarters on the Transocean Deepwater oil rig.
But to her, for some reason, it just didn’t feel right.
“The rooms are pretty bare and minimum, so when you notice something that’s different, it kind of sticks out to you.”
Though 26, she’d been on plenty of rigs before. In fact, she’d spent much of her life dedicated to working offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. But she says she’d never seen something like this.
“It was out of place.”
She dismissed the weird feeling and thought to herself, “Well, it must just be extra storage.”
That was a Friday in August 2015. Four days later, the hook was gone.
And then, another flag.
About the same time she noticed it was missing, she says the only other woman on the rig mentioned that the same clothing hook had appeared in her room out of the blue.
They opened the hook and found what she says was actually a covert, motion-activated recording device. Inside, she says, was a tiny camera and memory card capable of holding footage.
After plugging the memory card into her own computer, she says she saw footage of her colleague being unsuspectingly recorded. Assuming the worst, she says she could only conclude that she too was recorded in the previous days. She says she believes the footage of herself had already been downloaded by the perpetrator by the time she got to look at the video.
“We both knew that we had been recorded and were victims.”
For days, she says, her nude body was recorded while she thought she was alone in her sleeping quarters. She says she went immediately to her supervisors to report what happened.
In a lawsuit filed asking for damages of more than $1 million, she calls herself Jane Doe and alleges that not only were her supervisors at Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling and Schlumberger Technology dismissive of what happened, they did not take the basic investigative steps to find out who was responsible.
Jane Doe says she asked Transocean, BHP Billiton, Aramark Services, and Schlumberger Techonology to check security camera footage to find whoever was responsible.
“They told me no such footage existed.”
In the weeks that followed, emails reviewed by CNN between Jane Doe and legal representatives for the oil rig show that Jane Doe asked for a police report to be filed.
Jane Doe and her attorney went to the closest FBI field office in Louisiana.
“They told us too much time had passed to investigate,” Jane Doe’s attorney, Kurt Arnold told CNN.
But according to the FBI, the issue was that, beyond testimony, Jane Doe did not have physical evidence that she had been recorded, and without it, they could not pursue a case.
“We don’t know what happened to the recording device. The representatives at the oil rig told us they don’t know what happened to it,” Arnold told CNN.
The memory card with footage of Jane Doe was never recovered either, Arnold told CNN.
“I really had hoped to be a pioneer in this industry, and really set a positive standard for women. … My privacy was taken away from me. It’s been very difficult.”