Have you seen Jonathan Spollen? Missing in Rishikesh since February 3rd, 2012

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#1516 May 7th, 2012, 17:03
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#1516
David & Lynda

I am sure Nadreg will not pull the plug on this thread, maybe,he will make sure that there is civility in the deliberations - like a high school master!

I hope there will be some good news soon, my prayers are with you both. Please keep your hopes up and and all of us will push the search along.

I have an old friend of mine going to Rishikesh soon from Gurgaon and will ask him to take some posters.

Nattusbs
Last edited by Nattusbs; May 7th, 2012 at 17:03.. Reason: sp
#1517 May 7th, 2012, 20:18
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#1517
Dear David and family,

Just to say I have been in touch with friends up around the Jageshwar area and posters have been put up and an eyes are on the look out..I pray for good news for you soon.

Love & Light

Alison
#1518 May 7th, 2012, 21:33
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#1518
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidgreen100 View Post Crucially, we have no evidence to say Jonathan is deceased. In an area as populated as Rishikesh, it would be virtually impossible for the death of a foreigner to go unnoticed.
That's the perception - every Indian setting seemingly having more eyes than a pineapple, watching . observing . staring - yet all the higher profile 'missing' cases that have come across this forum - all seemingly disappeared without much of a further trace.

  1. Gerard Di Cicco(58) - 04/13/2011 - Joshimath
  2. Grzegorz Latosinski(35) - 08/25/2009 - Padum(Zanskar)
  3. Jean-Baptiste Talleu(26) - 12/05/2007 - Mumbai
  4. Leos Klimes (47) - 10/19/2007 - Ladakh
  5. Ryan Chambers(21) - 08/24/2005 - Rishikesh
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. ~
T. S. Eliot

http://www.derekgrantdigital.com
#1519 May 7th, 2012, 23:21
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#1519
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Originally Posted by Paleface View Post Ms. Neeru Garg is not the top cop in the state by a long chalk, no doubt she is a person of integrity as Superintendent of Police (SP) Crime at Police HQ Dehradun. Her immediate boss is the DIG, Crime & Vigilance.

One assumes that a criminal investigation was undertaken and a blank drawn, as David stated, hence Neeru's prognosis and the subsequent concentration on ashram/renunciation - and it was also an admission that, given the evidence, we the Police have no clue as to what has happened. The point was not to cast aspersion, but that if ashrams were systematically notified or searched in Rishi/Hardwar or continue to be so (a hugely time consuming operation) then we would know that it's being covered.

In which case we could look further at locations up the hill for wont of anywhere else to go, as for sure the police will not have trekked up on a wish and a promise as the resources and motivation are not there. Being short of info via 'family' communique's naturally leaves us thrashing about in the dark; frustrations and a few disagreements here and there are a small price to pay for keeping the camaraderie going amongst a group of opinionated strangers, let's not run scared of ruffling a few feathers now and then.

I'd like to know whether J's Uncle (was it?) - press conference actually resulted in any photo's or column inches in English or Hindi, any blanks could be our collective effort to fill.
"Ms. Neeru Garg is not the top cop in the state by a long chalk, no doubt she is a person of integrity as Superintendent of Police (SP) Crime at Police HQ Dehradun. Her immediate boss is the DIG, Crime & Vigilance." . . .

On the subject of SP versus DIG, I think that you are definitely better off getting operational information from a SP. For those not familiar with the structure of the Indian police force, the SPs are local officers who have been in one area for the majority of their career. The DGs, DIGs and other officers are technically higher in rank, but they are considered outsiders within the police departments because they rotate posts on 2 - 3 year stints (in order to avoid the taint of corruption). The DGs and DIGs are trained in a federal officer training program, while the SPs have local training. What all this means on the ground is that the SPs actually have more power to get things done, often know sources across the state personally and often wield more power than their technical superiors. The street cops know that the SPs will be there for the long haul, while the higher level officers are really just mouthpieces for directives that come from Delhi.

So definitely stay on Garg's good side.
#1520 May 8th, 2012, 17:21
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#1520
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Originally Posted by JuliaF View Post Hi David, it's good to see you here again after a while

I'm sorry you don't have any news, and that you feel you are no closer to finding Jonathan.

Is Jonathan's uncle still there in India? How did the media campaign/TV interview go?
Hi Julia,
I have been scurrying around for a while. By a weird twist of fate (aka Karma; this kind of stuff just keeps happening, and I'm not even in India anymore), one of my best friends in NZ has landed a job in, guess where, Rishikesh. He's working on the bungy, and another couple of Kiwis are with him over there. They will be there for the next 3 months or so and will be able to help out with the search. The bonus is that they are experienced travellers and mountaineers, and will do some ground searches themselves.
Gene, Jonathan's uncle, left Rish last week, but not before recruiting two guys to work as 'spotters' at train and bus stations in Rish and Haridwar. He also came up with the idea for the reward and the reward cards that are being distributed around the province. Gene arranged front page ads in the local media to announce the reward, so there has been a surge in information, which is being followed up.
We are looking into two possible sightings in the Bodrinath area. Nothing confirmed (ie - where the person can provide irrefutable evidence that it is Jonathan).
Can I ask posters who are on that trail, or who are heading there, to be especially vigilant? As I understand it, this is the time of year when the saddhus and babas head for the hills, and there are many Westerners accompanying them.
A final point to posters - I receive e-mails every day from travellers who have read about Jonathan on India Mike, who are on the ground. They make inquiries, put up posters and spread the word. India Mike is crucial in helping us to reach a big population spread over a mountainous area.
Of course there is debate about Jonathan's well being at the moment, but we can only speculate in the absence of evidence. I try unsuccessfully to steer clear of these discussions, but I can understand posters fascination with them. Of more significance, many posters have told me, 2 or 3 months means nothing in India. I felt this when I was in LJ. A couple of days could pass and I had no idea where the time went to. I wasn't even a customer at the 'spiritual supermarket' but somehow it seemed to be everywhere, all the time, spreading its dreamy wings. What would it be like after a month in LJ, if you were even an occasional visitor to that particular outlet? Also, we have not exhausted our inquiries into the many possibilities surrounding Jonathan's disappearance. Sometimes it's just impossible to keep up with the flow of information and ideas.
When I click into India Mike, I know I will find something to think about or respond to. Often I reply privately to posters, who have been unbelieveably helpful with their knowledge, experience and ideas. I guess what I am saying is that without India Mike, I would have to figure India out the hard way. I would miss important clues and avenues of exploration. I would be stuck with one way of looking at the situation.
Will all of this help us to find Jonathan? I can't say, but I do know it significantly increases our chances of finding him, because we are reaching more people, further afield, every day. This is what makes your contributions so important. All I can say is thank you, one and all, for your work and your ideas. Now, let's keep this fire burning.
#1521 May 8th, 2012, 17:26
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#1521
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Originally Posted by Vee21 View Post I find it hard to imagine what sort of people want to close their accounts because of “bickering in this thread”. All they need to do is not come into this thread if they don’t like it. There are SO many more threads they can be involved in.
I am of the opinion that any publicity is good publicity. Any message keeps this thread alive. People are passionate about it. People are passionate and I might say almost desperate for a good outcome for J and his family. They are writing with their hearts maybe rather than their heads. It is easy to be misinterpreted communicating in this way. I am sure everyones’ intentions are nothing but good.. I say let the passion carry this thread along until there is an outcome of one sort or another.
I have been carried along by the passion of this thread every day since its beginning. I feel deeply. I feel an extra kinship with the family because David lives in New Zealand, as do I.
What’s a bit of bickering between friends I say!!
Vee
Kapai Vee!
#1522 May 8th, 2012, 18:24
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#1522
Good to hear from you these last days, David.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidgreen100 View Post We are looking into two possible sightings in the Bodrinath area. Nothing confirmed (ie - where the person can provide irrefutable evidence that it is Jonathan).
Can I ask posters who are on that trail, or who are heading there, to be especially vigilant? As I understand it, this is the time of year when the saddhus and babas head for the hills, and there are many Westerners accompanying them.
Yes, so again not by way of pedantry, but just to hopefully assist people in knowing what they're looking at: I assume this is the place commonly rendered as Badrinath? Do correct me if I'm wrong. It is described at Wikipedia as being a Hindu and Jain holy town up there, and "the most important of the four sites in India's Char Dham pilgrimage."

Quote:
Of more significance, many posters have told me, 2 or 3 months means nothing in India. I felt this when I was in LJ. A couple of days could pass and I had no idea where the time went to. I wasn't even a customer at the 'spiritual supermarket' but somehow it seemed to be everywhere, all the time, spreading its dreamy wings. What would it be like after a month in LJ, if you were even an occasional visitor to that particular outlet?
That is indeed ever-so true. Whilst I don't know Rishikesh or Lakshman Jhula, nor being into any spiritual affairs as such myself, certainly in India, time can fly by not doing anything much in particular at all. Just observing, merely being there. Not to mention running around on some simple little daily errands that once again turn out to take forever, LOL Whoops, there's another week gone, not having done or seen or accomplished much of anything. And, dang, still not written those postcards.

Well. Best wishes, and good luck, as always, to you and Lynda and family and friends.

ps

Quote:
By a weird twist of fate (aka Karma; this kind of stuff just keeps happening, and I'm not even in India anymore), one of my best friends in NZ has landed a job in, guess where, Rishikesh. He's working on the bungy, and another couple of Kiwis are with him over there. They will be there for the next 3 months or so and will be able to help out with the search. The bonus is that they are experienced travellers and mountaineers, and will do some ground searches themselves.
Indeed, another of those little amazing turns of events, isn't it.
Last edited by machadinha; May 8th, 2012 at 19:28.. Reason: edited
#1523 May 8th, 2012, 19:02
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#1523
David and Lynda,
I do not know how others but I feel from your posts how you are changing yourself to the best parents in the world. I believe if Jonathan did not want to let you know where he was, he changes his mind.
Best wishes
Ivana
Wisdom comes with age, but alas, sometimes age comes alone.
#1524 May 8th, 2012, 22:55
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#1524
Going by what I know from this thread:

A well travelled journalist, perhaps on a 'spiritual journey', with visa soon expiring and with a perhaps painful medical condition disappears.

We can all give as much weight to each of those circumstances as we individually wish, but I think the following needs to be done- if not done already- in any case: (in no order of priority)

- the left luggage thing at Haridwar.
- Eliminating, from train passenger lists, for a few days after his last sighting at least, the possibility that he has moved out of the area/Uttarkhand. I would be particularly interested in trains going to Delhi. (visa expiry, medical condition, also Delhi is a kind of hub for travel if J was thinking of elsewhere)
-Saturating bus/taxi stations in Haridwar/Rishikesh with posters, because if he is elsewhere he has gotten there somehow
-Covering hospitals in H/R- or even Dehradun in case he went there (medical condition, other unknown circumstances requiring medical attention)
- a more extensive search (if required) of the area where J's belongings were found. Perhaps more canvassing of locals. A strong attempt to retrace his footsteps from there.

All of these suggestions require boots on the ground.
.
This is computer generated drivel. No signature is required.
#1525 May 8th, 2012, 23:18
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#1525
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Originally Posted by capt_mahajan View Post well travelled journalist
Yes. If I may, and David & Lynda should be able to confirm or deny this, nor is it any sort of value judgment of mine, far from it:

However, while on his personal homepage http://www.jonathanspollen.com/, he describes himself as a "writer and editor based in Hong Kong, working at the International Herald Tribune" (do note he never says in so many words he's working as a journalist for them), and he does have a bunch of articles collected there, I think written for the IHT as well as some other news resources over the years; that collection is by no means massive, and I think with their dates pretty spread-out.

David has commented before how at least of late, he had indeed been working as an editor for the IHT. So combined, leading me to think he was an aspiring journalist at best.

That is again no value judgment of mine, it is very much how one would get started in the field, or it can be an honorable job in itself, if indeed typically demanding (and I have myself been engaged for quite some time with shall we say working second-hand on other people's texts, ranging from translating to editing and proofreading and advising and stuff, it can be an unthankful and demanding and underpaid thing. Now let alone no doubt in the ever-stressful newspaper business); but I think this perception of him as a full-flung journalist may be coloring our views too much. Maybe he was indeed like sod all this and let me go home and rethink some things, with a bit of travel on the way before I get there; that is in fact very much what it sounds like, from several accounts combined so far.

Other than that, a to-the-point summary of avenues to pursue, Capt.
Last edited by machadinha; May 8th, 2012 at 23:31.. Reason: edited
#1526 May 8th, 2012, 23:23
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#1526
I thought he had lived in Egypt too? My only point in connection - editor or journalist- is that this isn't somebody who sounds like he would take visa issues lightly under normal circumstances.
#1527 May 8th, 2012, 23:30
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#1527
Let's say he wasn't a newbie to India or international travel & has had several articles published on a variety of topics - that are all readily available online & with a quick google.
#1528 May 8th, 2012, 23:44
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#1528
<cross-posted with Peak>

Quote:
Originally Posted by capt_mahajan View Post I thought he had lived in Egypt too? My only point in connection - editor or journalist- is that this isn't somebody who sounds like he would take visa issues lightly under normal circumstances.
I think I understood he lived and worked in the Middle East too, yes, and perhaps in some other places, besides home. And I would fully agree with you.

I was just trying to get the picture on his past and present engagements and so possible motives or persona straight. He's been treated like a fulltime professional journalist along much of this thread; I've come to doubt if that is what he was. It doesn't tell you much, but it's just another detail.

Nor, once more, is it any sort of judgment: There must be thousands in the field, trying to make it to the top, getting by on piecemeal or freelance jobs, of course in practice few making it all the way up there, or they in fact being happy with such work itself (there's really nothing wrong with being an editor, and if and once you can land a good job in it. Rather, it is of course essential work in the whole process, and it is just what some of us with the capacity and a knack for it like to do.) Similar stuff is indeed what I have done for no little time.

Anyway, again David or Lynda should be able to tell us what's what here no problem, so was he more of an editor, or a journalist. It's really no essential detail; but it is a detail.

(As in say some have assumed being a journalist, you'd be happily pursuing your own interests. Well, no, you'd need to really have made it for that to even come into play, you'll mostly just be following assignments, hopefully of course your employers keeping your interests and notably expertise in mind, but not necessarily so. Or that you'd be carrying your expensive camera: If not a photo journalist or happening to be very handy at that, you wouldn't necessarily. And so forth.)
Last edited by machadinha; May 9th, 2012 at 00:26.. Reason: edited
#1529 May 9th, 2012, 00:22
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#1529
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Originally Posted by machadinha View Post However, while on his personal homepage http://www.jonathanspollen.com/, ...
This is odd. That homepage was not available a few weeks ago - Peak commented on it but he found Jonathan's articles on another site - and I understood that it was most likely because he was no longer paying the hosting company (sorry if I have the wrong terminology but you know what I mean). But now it is up and running again. I guess maybe his family or friends or colleagues have organised for it to be put back up.
#1530 May 9th, 2012, 00:37
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#1530
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Originally Posted by JuliaF View Post This is odd. That homepage was not available a few weeks ago - Peak commented on it but he found Jonathan's articles on another site - and I understood that it was most likely because he was no longer paying the hosting company (sorry if I have the wrong terminology but you know what I mean). But now it is up and running again. I guess maybe his family or friends or colleagues have organised for it to be put back up.
Yes, it had been down for a while.

I guess it's either your explanation, or it being down was just a temporary glitch.

I have urged the family before to seek to get the host/provider to put up a relevant note prominently on that site as to his disappearance, with relevant links and posters and such. I'm not assuming it will attract loads of traffic, but every little bit helps, and with all the web and newspaper attention it just might. In fact looking it up again just now, it was my first Google hit looking for "Jonathan Spollen," so is way up there.

I've seen many of these cases where half the web was involved, but the person's personal pages never being altered to that effect. Sometimes not even years after the fact. There will be privacy and clearance issues of course, but with a little pressure and some goodwill on the provider's part, you'd think it should be possible. I mean if you can convince them you are who you claim to be, and that the case is legit, there should be no reason for them not to comply, so at least if they don't allow you access to the site which they well may not want to, to add it to the site of their own accord.
Last edited by machadinha; May 9th, 2012 at 00:59.. Reason: edited
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