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

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#511 Mar 18th, 2012, 21:03
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#511
TYD

I wonder why - this is an ominous sign. Does not sound good.

I am a very positive person normally, but, something is amiss.

Nattusbs
#512 Mar 18th, 2012, 21:06
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#512
<crossposted with theyyamdancer and Nattusbs>


Nattusbs - I guess I just assumed that David went back and deleted that post. Of course, anyone who quoted it would have had no idea that it would have been deleted later. But if it was deleted for privacy reasons, then maybe the quotes on it could also be either deleted or partially deleted for privacy reasons.

Thanks, theyyamdancer.
#513 Mar 18th, 2012, 21:10
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#513

New poster - Jonathan Spollen, Missing in India

Hi there,

I'm a friend of Jonathan's and would like to say a huge thank you again for all your help so far, it's amazing how much time you have all given to help Jonathan's family and friends.

Please see attached the new updated poster in all 3 formats - .doc jpg and pdf
(unfortunately the quality of the photos has been affected a little in the pdf when i reduced the file size to fit within file size restrictions on indiamike, will come back with a better one when i can rectify this).

Would anyone be able to give us a Hindi and Hebrew translation for the updated poster please? Thank you so much again for all your help.

all the best,
Saidhbh




Mod note: The updated posters are now in the first post of this thread.
Last edited by JuliaF; Mar 19th, 2012 at 04:58..
#514 Mar 18th, 2012, 21:21
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#514
I liked the Hebrew posters here, and much appreciated them, like I suppose any other viewers may have; and there are indeed many Israeli travelers there, and notably in the mountains here; and some of them have a reputation for being insular and arrogant (I've found it not at all so with many another, but maybe they're less conspicuous. It is anyway a subject to be followed on many another thread here. Huh, anti-Semitism? Never heard of it), but so in fact I'm not sure they'd be really needed.

They might catch the attention of the many Israeli visitors, sure, and it's been a good effort. But I would expect most of them to be quite capable of reading English, and of understanding a poster to that effect.
#515 Mar 18th, 2012, 21:28
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#515
Hello Saidhbh

The new posters (in English) have been added to the first post of this thread. I don't think the Hebrew is so important, but I'm sure someone will do us a Hindi translation soon.
#516 Mar 18th, 2012, 21:30
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#516
<cross-posting>

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nattusbs View Post TYD

I wonder why - this is an ominous sign. Does not sound good.

I am a very positive person normally, but, something is amiss.

Nattusbs
It would generally just indicate someone who had later thought better of what they wrote.

Happens to all of us. These are two people (both his parents) using the same account, moreover.

I know I'm way too wordy, but let's try and stick to David's call to keep it concise and to-the-point (I thought I'd quote that, but it is now gone. Folks, people may delete their posts and for whatever reasons within whatever short timeframe is there for it, you don't need to read anything into it.)

Have you never written something that you were happy to be able to edit or delete a little later?
#517 Mar 18th, 2012, 22:40
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#517
That region is the 'Bermuda Triangle' of India. Spiritual lure, mind freeing promises, chillums, caves, gurus both phony & real, dangerous, remote, dense mountain trails, westerners all in similar garb, 100% anonymity available on request & all the support &/or suspicions &/or toutish traps that might happen along with it. Quite mind-boggling, daunting to we normal, everyday sightseers.

On top of this all it is an extremely secretive region & lifestyle - information regarding the details of the spiritual paths offered is not something that is discussed very openly outside the loop.

Question to the spiritual members:

If I were a young spiritual newbie looking to free the mind, mentally unstable &/or cure my overactive brain at any cost - who might I be prone to run into in Rishikesh & what options/itinerary might be presented to me - best cast & worse case please?
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
#518 Mar 18th, 2012, 22:52
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#518
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeakXV View Post 100% anonymity available on request & all the support &/or suspicions &/or toutish traps that might happen along with it.

Information regarding the details of the spiritual paths offered is not something that is discussed very openly outside the loop.
This is the reason in my earlier post I suggested REWARD. It brings out the best in people . There could be 100s of leads but all the family needs is one that checks out.
#519 Mar 18th, 2012, 23:00
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#519
Quote:
Originally Posted by RWeHavingFunYet View Post This is the reason in my earlier post I suggested REWARD. It brings out the best in people . There could be 100s of leads but all the family needs is one that checks out.
It's a mysterious world to most of us. For example, would some Baba who was otherwise silent consider opening up for a bit of money? Or are they completely guarded with what they might say to authorities &/or the general public?
#520 Mar 18th, 2012, 23:50
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#520
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeakXV View Post It's a mysterious world to most of us. For example, would some Baba who was otherwise silent consider opening up for a bit of money? Or are they completely guarded with what they might say to authorities &/or the general public?
People do fall in and out of cults for a variety of various reasons. I used to have a friend who joined ISKCON because there was a pretty girl in there, whom he liked, and she liked him too. Several months later I found this fellow in the market place without ISKCON clothes or shaved-head. I asked him what happened and he mentioned that he quit. I asked him did you break-up with your girlfriend? He said, “No. I quit, because the food was too bland.”

Where ever Jonathan's backpack was found, it is good idea to leave a message in a plastic bag with his name saying, “Come back home Son, we are waiting; please collect the passport from the police.”
.
#521 Mar 19th, 2012, 00:35
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#521
Regarding privacy in this thread:

From the beginning of this thread I've realized how difficult it is for David to decide what to post and what is too private. On the one hand it's important to know as many details as possible for the search, on the other hand: a reader will get a very detailed picture of Jonathan and all his personality/family, and this could also attract abuse.

I remember the successful search for a German guy who got lost near Leh, as far as I know this thread got deleted later as soon as he was found, so maybe this thread could get deleted, too, as soon as there are confirmed news about Jonathan. This might make ist easier for David to post details.

Just a request to the mods....
#522 Mar 19th, 2012, 00:40
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#522
That is a good idea, federica. Noted.

David and Lynda, we will delete the posters, photos, personal information etc when the search is concluded to protect your and Jonathan's privacy.
"Only the guy who isn't rowing has time to row the boat."
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#523 Mar 19th, 2012, 00:56
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#523
To be safe, we can archive the complete thread in a off-limits space on the site.
It's always darkest before it goes completely black.
#524 Mar 19th, 2012, 01:28
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#524
Few Random Thoughts

I do not intend to create confusion but was just contemplating about various possibilities regarding Jonathan’s whereabouts.

It is likely that Jonathan set out for a trek from the base, which he possibly set-up at Garud Chatti.
Now Trekking and mountaineering expeditions typically are not carried out with-out setting up a target. So what was Jonathan’s target?

Possibly Neelkanth temple, which lies about 6 Km South/ South-West (not sure about the exact direction) from Garud Chatti if one opts to go through hilly terrain. Previously in this thread, a place sounding “Nyeneth” was referred to, which could be Neelkanth Temple. The terrain appears to be tough enough to motivate Jonathan.

Now few spanners to my theory.

Why did he not carry his belongings along with him?

Average trekking speed is about 2Km per hour, which means about 6 hrs of trekking time plus one hour at Neelkanth (assuming he was headed there). So may be Jonathan planned to pick his stuff after coming back from the trek.

Why did he not carry important documents along with him?

Everybody makes judgmental errors. May be the area where he was residing is not frequented by people at this time of the year (tourist traffic is primarily during summers). So he was confident about his stuff not being spotted by anybody for about 6-7 hours.

Why did he not call home?

May be he lost his phone. May be his phone’s battery discharged with no place to get it recharged (assuming he is staying at Garud Chatti). But then, Garud Chatti is not far away from the nearest recharging option at Laxman Jhoola.

Was he fit enough to take a tough trek?

When last spotted at Laxman Jhoola, he had a slight limp after taking a fall at a water fall, possibly Garud Chatti, which means he was frequenting that area previously also.

What if Jonathan’s belongings recovered at Garud Chatti were stolen and stashed by thieves to retrieve later?

A possibility also pointed out by another IMr.

But from where were they stolen? Why did Jonathan, being an international journalist well acquainted with the procedures, did not report the event, especially when the date of his visa expiry was nearing?

Thieves are generally only interested in money. Not even in credit/debit cards as there is a possibility of being tracked by using them. So they would have taken money and thrown other stuff somewhere (possibly in the Ganges) to leave no clue behind.

Why did he part away with his medical card?

Only explanation is that he wanted to hide his identity where ever was heading to. Which means he was not on a day-trek, instead he stashed his belongings with a plan to retrieve them later possibly in 3-4 weeks? He placed his card in a supposedly secure place, which also indicates towards the plan of retrieving it later.

So where has he headed to? Why didn’t he carry cash with him?

Wherever he is headed to or wherever he is now is possibly a part of the story he is currently doing. This perhaps involves hiding his identity.
He might be carrying enough cash to last for the duration he has set in his mind.

Is he with wandering sadhus?

A possibility but a European can not go unnoticed for long. Moreover,there is no need to hide identity.

Is he in an ashram?

Again a possibility but it would be difficult to hide identity. Also, Ashrams these days are not typically on lines of what we know from ancient texts i.e. Sanyasashram and Vanprasthashram, a concept,which promoted total detachment from the materialistic world.

Is he in a remote village?

A possibility. A remote village need not necessarily be far away from Laxman Jhoola/Rishikesh. Hilly terrain makes them inaccessible. Moreover, in hills there are single-house/two-house villages as well. An ideal retreat for Jonathan if he wants extended periods of solitude for his story. It is possible that initially he went with spending 3-4 weeks in mind but later on has extended his stay. Hill people are hospitable enough to make such decisions easy.
Last edited by Photofreak; Mar 19th, 2012 at 23:46..
#525 Mar 19th, 2012, 01:36
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#525

Recap

"I'm thinking a new recap here would be helpful. It's many pages to follow for a newcomer." machadinha

Hi Lynda here, Thanks machadinha for prompt on where we are at. This the story so far…

The story so far…

Jonathan Spollen DOB:20.4.83 Age 28

Height: 6”1
Appearance: Long dark hair, beard, moustache, thin, quite pale, possible limp, blue eyes
Irish national, lived most recently in Hong Kong, prior to that in Abu Dhabi, Cairo & London. He was a Journalist, writer and Editor. He has a degree in Philosophy & Politics and a Masters in Near & Middle Eastern Studies (SOAS).

• Trip: Went to Nepal in Oct – 23rd Nov
• Got robbed in Nepal October 25th.
• Flew from Kathmandu to Dehli. 3 month visa – expired 21st Feb 2012.
• In India 23rd Nov. Travelled South to Kerala & Varanassi for a short period and then he went up to Rishikesh/Laxman Jhula.
• Bus ticket 3/12/11 shows Haridwar to Rishikesh
• 17th Dec had an ultrasound. Showed Kidney stone 5.5mm close to passing. Explains pain feeling in Dec and potentially loss of appetite & weight. (medical info found in backpack)
• 14 – 28 Jan On a trek?
• 31/Jan/12 to 2/Feb/12 Dharm Yatri Hotel laxman Jula. Checked out at 9:30am to head to Dehli. Bought train ticket – 23.10 train to Dehli from Haridwar on 2/feb 12
• 2/Feb/12-3/Feb/12 we don’t know where stayed that night
• 3/Feb/12 – calls his Mother at 9:18am to tell of change of plan as his friend in Dehli was not going to be there – would go trekking 2-3 weeks will be out of contact and not to worry. Was not taking a guide.
• 3/Feb/12-10th/13th presumed on a trek??
• Sometime between 10-14th February he was in Laxman Jula where he met another traveller & discussed a book (Shantaram). Last 100% sighting.
• Rucksack (larger than a daypack but not a full size rucksack) found by small waterfall 11th March 5kms from Laxman Jula. Wet. under a rock. Passport, money etc in bag. Sleeping bag & book laid out. Evidence camping in spot. The valley of the Garrachatti (Garud Chatti) waterfall, east of the Garrachatti Bridge, walking up into the mountains from the Neelkhant road, heading toward Bhadsi. Place is quite inaccessible but also not far from a village - 15mins. Phone was not in bag.
• Cards & documents (E1-11 Health form etc) discovered 1km away further up the trail in a small hollow on 12th March. In good condition. In two piles about 1m from each other. They were balled up and discarded as you would do with rubbish in your pocket. Query – Theft from wallet? Wallet not found.
• Since the bag was found, the Police have led searches with dogs, experienced climbers and volunteers who have carried out an extensive search of the riverside area.
• Re-enforcements have arrived yesterday in terms of professional trackers who are working closely with the Police and our team on the ground. Search of surrounding area continues. The team now comprises Robbie, Jack, Liz, Richard, Mark & Pete. My brother, Jonathan’s Uncle Gene arrives in the next couple of days to lead the search on our behalf.

We are leaving no stone unturned. We are doing our best to stay focused it is so hard not to speculate but we know we must stick to the facts and take it from there. At the moment the first priority is to widen the search area from where the bag was found given the evidence that he has been ill, there is the possibility that he is being looked after by some kind people. In tandem, we are also extending the search along the four main pilgrimage routes. Note however he has no passport or money.

Apologies this is so long a post but I hope it covers all the key information we have.

Thank you to you all and for your continuing support and advice.

Lynda
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