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

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#361 Mar 10th, 2012, 20:45
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  • georgedargan is offline
#361
Good afternoon JuliaF,

Hope all is well and a massive thanks again for all your, and everyone on IndiaMike's, tireless work.

We are all working around the clock here while at the same time learning as we go along. It is indeed a significantly steep learning curve. Starting from last night, and currently, there are a group of us attempting to collate all known information with the aim of once and for all establishing definitively what we do know and as a result what we don't know.

There has been a huge amount of email communication between Jonathan's family and friends which we have been going through trying to glean the most important information and in order to identify those areas that we need to clarify.

We also have someone going through this thread post by post with the same aim.

We hope then to be able to effectively 'draw a line in the sand' as such and proceed with a renewed sense of clarity and purpose, with all sides on exactly the same page.

We will be sure to update you once this task is completed and your help from this stage forward would be tremendously appreciated.

Warm thanks,
G
#362 Mar 10th, 2012, 20:47
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#362
Let's not forget some of the last words he had said:


Quote:
"Don't worry, Mum, it's kind of like a spiritual journey."

I don't know about everyone else, but my Mum never 'worried' unless I was about to do something a bit unusual/risky. It would appear from this statement that Mum might have been a bit worried about his future itinerary.

My thoughts are that he has gone somewhere remote for a story, or for hands on experience to write a book, or to clear his mind, or he's had a fall / taken ill.

The visa expiration issue points to the latter, the 'worried' emotion points to the former. My 2-paise.
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

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#363 Mar 10th, 2012, 21:00
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#363
I just called Shailja Guest House Joshimath. (for future reference +91 (0)1389 222208 )

a) A very helpful Mr Singh checked his register since November. Zilch. No Jonathan. No Irishman
b) He said the cops were there today with a fax of our poster (in English) but Jonathan's pic was not too clear. They don't have internet so I can't send him a clear one, but it was the same poster (he remembered the words used and so did I).

Although I can call him again in a few days (he said 3-4), it seems the cops are on the job there. My comment: A clearer poster/photograph of Jonathan would help at Joshimath- if David/anybody can arrange it.
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#364 Mar 10th, 2012, 21:00
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#364
<cross-posted with Capt.>

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeakXV View Post Let's not forget some of the last words he had said:

Quote:
"Don't worry, Mum, it's kind of like a spiritual journey."
Yes; but I think David or Lynda mentioned on this thread (or in one of the newspaper interviews they gave and which have been linked to before?) that not too much should be read into this.

I'd tend to take their word for that, for now. It's also probably not a literal quote, or not necessarily; rather, the way they described it here.
#365 Mar 10th, 2012, 21:08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machadinha View Post <cross-posted with Capt.>



Yes; but I think David or Lynda mentioned on this thread (or in one of the newspaper interviews they gave and which have been linked to before?) that not too much should be read into this.

I'd tend to take their word for that, for now. It's also probably not a literal quote, or not necessarily; rather, the way they described it here.
Sorry, do you have a quote where they played this down? Unfortunately there's very little else to go on ... unless we don't have 'all' the details about the days leading up to his vanishment. The fact that he's an international journalist interested in obscure holy men & was heading off on a 'spiritual journey' are important clues!!!!!
#366 Mar 10th, 2012, 21:16
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#366
(Captain btw, a special hats-off to you, no, for stepping in in just the most practical of ways.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by JuliaF View Post George, I think it would be useful if there was one person who could be a link between the family/friends and this thread. ... It would be helpful if someone could check in here regularly to say X and Y have been done, and does anyone know anything about Z?
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgedargan View Post We hope then to be able to effectively 'draw a line in the sand' as such and proceed with a renewed sense of clarity and purpose, with all sides on exactly the same page.

We will be sure to update you once this task is completed and your help from this stage forward would be tremendously appreciated.
Good thoughts, indeed. Getting ahead here perhaps, but once it gets to this stage, could it be an idea to:

-- Start a new thread on it. Make the first post the one with a copy of all the poster stuff and such in the present original post (let the mods start it, they can adequately copy and edit all that).

-- Close this one, with a link in its first and last post to the new one. (And of course the new one clearly linking back to this then previous discussion in its first post.)

I'm sure this one is getting hard to follow to newcomers to the thread, or even some tracking it seem to have a hard time of it. Then again any new thread would develop the same drawbacks over time, of course.

(Er, and/but then come to think of it, a gazillion web resources now link back to this thread as the main resource. Might not be such a splendid idea, after all. Well, with very clear redirects, it might still work.)
Last edited by machadinha; Mar 10th, 2012 at 22:16.. Reason: edited
#367 Mar 10th, 2012, 21:17
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#367
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeakXV View Post Let's not forget some of the last words he had said:

Quote:
"Don't worry, Mum, it's kind of like a spiritual journey."
Quote:
Originally Posted by machadinha View Post Yes; but I think David or Lynda mentioned on this thread (or in one of the newspaper interviews they gave and which have been linked to before?) that not too much should be read into this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeakXV View Post Sorry, do you have a quote where they played this down?
Um, gimme a sec, I'll be editing this post as soon as I find it. It's earlier on in this thread, I think.

Edited: OK so here it is. The link is here, it's post #223 of this thread, it was in response precisely to KulluKid and me expressing some concern at that exact same phrasing:

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidgreen100 View Post Very easy to look at this phrase with hindsight and interpret it. I would say this - whatever his intentions, he would have called home beforehand. He is not someone who found it hard to communicate.
Last edited by machadinha; Mar 10th, 2012 at 21:25.. Reason: edited
#368 Mar 10th, 2012, 21:50
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#368
Quote:
Originally Posted by machadinha View Post Um, gimme a sec, I'll be editing this post as soon as I find it. It's earlier on in this thread, I think.

Edited: OK so here it is. The link is here, it's post #223 of this thread, it was in response precisely to KulluKid and me expressing some concern at that exact same phrasing:
I was more concerned as to why the Mum may have been worried about his plans,,,, not so much that he 'may' have been going on a 'spiritual journey'.

Albeit, the 'details & his tone of speech' may have been 'why' she could have sounded worried to him.

Don't forget that his Dad was also a bit concerned in their last conversation to date.

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidgreen100 View Post In my last conversation with him, he had talked about going to an Ashram,and being a typical Dad, I told him he would get brainwashed and have all his hair cut off.
#369 Mar 10th, 2012, 22:21
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#369
Quote:
Originally Posted by capt_mahajan View Post My comment: A clearer poster/photograph of Jonathan would help at Joshimath- if David/anybody can arrange it.
Is the issue that there is no internet AT ALL in Joshimath? (I've no idea how big a place it is). Maybe there is an internet cafe / another business where the poster could be sent?

Or if they are using fax only, I wonder if the problem is that the pic is in colour. Would a black and white picture come out more clearly on a fax?

If there is fax only, and no-one here is going to/has contacts in Joshimath, then maybe we should attempt a black and white poster.

??
#370 Mar 10th, 2012, 22:29
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#370
I've not tried yet printing out any of the pics or posters here (and don't have a color printer).

An issue could well be they're in too low resolutions. Or may be rendered lower even, when copied and sent over email (?)

Though .doc or .pdf files as provided should cut it, but I've been wondering all along about what if they were produced from the original .jpg files. They'd never come out any better than the original, and would in fact deteriorate in the process of blowing them up to be a poster, etc. Anyway I suspect such recipients may be looking at print-outs of the .jpg files, these may well work out pretty coarse, or not to size, or even coarser if they are to size, etc.

Note also the original photo as first provided here (top left on current English poster) was pretty coarse to begin with, btw. It is possible people are being fed with only that image.*

It is kind of why I initially asked David to produce that poster. People's good efforts here notwithstanding, it would be the owners of those pictures who would be in the best position to produce a high-resolution and sized poster out of them, preferably as a .pdf file then, or a .doc file would do. (Then of course the recipient would need to understand how to open and print them out at all. Believe me, .pdf is still hard to follow to many, and will be a resource hog on lesser systems, btw. Can take quite a while to open. They'll think their system has crashed in the meantime if they're not used to it.)

The results here may indeed look good on your screen, but they may be less so when printed out in poster format. That is really not to detract from people's good efforts here: I have been amazed at them. Well done, folks.

* How those color pics would work out in black-and-white printers could indeed be another issue. Come to think of it, are old-fashioned dot matrix printers still common in India? Wouldn't surprise me, and those would lead to hard-to-distinguish and indeed black-and-white results, so now being provided by the printer filling in a text or picture with little dots.
Last edited by machadinha; Mar 10th, 2012 at 23:34.. Reason: edited
#371 Mar 10th, 2012, 22:30
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#371
A suggestion in case there is no better alternative..

Uttaranchal government buses (also privately owned ones) will be leaving regularly from Rishikesh/Haridwar to all parts of the State, including Joshimath. It should be possible for folks on the ground to send bundles of posters, care of the driver or conductor, to all parts of the State, perhaps to be delivered to the cops locally. Starting with Joshimath, of course.

I am sure any bus driver, office functionary or bus owner will oblige, or ask the cops in Rishikesh to help set it up.
#372 Mar 10th, 2012, 22:56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capt_mahajan View Post I am sure any bus driver, office functionary or bus owner will oblige, or ask the cops in Rishikesh to help set it up.
Indeed, and another good thought, Capt.

On a lighter note and if I may: I was wondering when the young man has long been found, and those posters all over the country never being cleaned up, for how many years the family and friends can expect more prank calls

Keep up the spirit, folks. One more time: Good luck.
#373 Mar 11th, 2012, 01:09
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#373
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuliaF View Post Is the issue that there is no internet AT ALL in Joshimath? (I've no idea how big a place it is). Maybe there is an internet cafe / another business where the poster could be sent?

??
Joshimath is a small city but a lot of visitors go there. It has several cyber cafes. I don't have contact info though but would try to find tomorrow.
#374 Mar 11th, 2012, 10:39
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#374
Just a thought, does anyone know how the other missing Irish girl was found? That thread was suddenly closed before anyone could give details.

Perhaps the methodology used to trace her might come in handy to find Jonathan?
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#375 Mar 11th, 2012, 15:16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snonymous View Post Just a thought, does anyone know how the other missing Irish girl was found? That thread was suddenly closed before anyone could give details.

Perhaps the methodology used to trace her might come in handy to find Jonathan?
Snonymous, that 'missing' Irish woman was 'found' within a day of the alert going out, seemingly unaware that there had been any concern about her (so I read in a local paper here). The closed thread on IM is here. There appear to be very few similarities with this case, but as the Irish Embassy is involved in both I'm sure they are drawing on all their experience and resources.



Quote:
Originally Posted by georgedargan View Post We are all working around the clock here while at the same time learning as we go along. It is indeed a significantly steep learning curve. Starting from last night, and currently, there are a group of us attempting to collate all known information with the aim of once and for all establishing definitively what we do know and as a result what we don't know.

There has been a huge amount of email communication between Jonathan's family and friends which we have been going through trying to glean the most important information and in order to identify those areas that we need to clarify.

We also have someone going through this thread post by post with the same aim.

We hope then to be able to effectively 'draw a line in the sand' as such and proceed with a renewed sense of clarity and purpose, with all sides on exactly the same page.

We will be sure to update you once this task is completed and your help from this stage forward would be tremendously appreciated.
George, we wish you well in your task of collating all the information you have. If you have any questions over placenames, routes, travel, anything Jonathan might have mentioned which you are puzzled over (for example vipassana or any other spiritual activity), then please do come and ask us.

Capt Mahajan mentioned earlier about focussing on how Jonathan left Rishikesh. He has already done sterling work phoning and emailing the ashrams on KK's list and the hotel in Joshimath. If you need any other help with phoning, for example bus station and taxi stand offices, where it would be better if a Hindi-speaker who is also tuned in to heavily-accented Indian English could do it, then I'm sure he'd be happy to help.



Quote:
Originally Posted by psethi View Post Joshimath is a small city but a lot of visitors go there. It has several cyber cafes. I don't have contact info though but would try to find tomorrow.
Thankyou psethi, that would be helpful.
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