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

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#1081 Apr 7th, 2012, 22:45
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#1081
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Originally Posted by atala View Post
For me it is quite clear that he has to be in the vicinity of Rishikesh.

Me too, or perhaps further up river,a few people have mentioned Char Dham & he may have thought about doing this on foot, i know other westerners have & it's definitely a fantasy i've entertained over the years.

I've been looking for a detailed map of the old footpath routes,trouble is as soon as you type Char Dham 10,000000000oooo indian tourist travel websites pop up.The best maps i could find outlining the routes were these;
http://www.bvml.org/chardhama/index.html
SOS: Missing Person...

Please look at this thread: http://www.indiamike.com/india/uttar...012-a-t159252/

He could be anywhere now: You might have met him, be able to help, or give information.
#1082 Apr 7th, 2012, 22:59
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#1082
Just how far might an ailing, paling, fasting, traveler with a possible limp get to in those hills? .... without the aid of a dhoolie/litter that is.
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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#1083 Apr 7th, 2012, 23:17
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#1083
I will write about one particular thing: The ease with which J. was fooled into going to Naranag in Kashmir instead of Dharamsala in Himachal!! If train reservation was not available, J. could have easily gone there on a direct bus from Delhi to Dharamsala. The taxi drivers and travel agents similarly fool people into going to a hotel where they have no reservation instead of the one where they have reservations ('there is a communal riot and curfew at that place'). IndiaMike in particular and other genuine travel forums can be of great help.
Last edited by Aupmanyav; Apr 9th, 2012 at 11:11..
#1084 Apr 7th, 2012, 23:25
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Originally Posted by Aupmanyav View Post I will write about one particular thing: The ease with which J. was fooled into going to Naranag in Kashmir instead of Dharamsala in Himachal.
? But that was some years ago if I'm not mistaken (it's from an older article of Jonathan's, is that right?), and like you say, it gets regularly reported on by travelers esp. landing in Delhi.

Naive, perhaps, but these guys can be very convincing, and these things do happen. I know I had quite some rites of initiation to go through in India, as indeed most international travelers seem to do. (No, I don't mean in any "spiritual" sense, just the getting to grips with the place. A few trips down the line, it of course always remains an ongoing process. Though generally the BS tends to drop away as you continue, I find, and again many seem to do. While I found my last trips generally pretty easy-going and non-overly-hasslesome, it certainly isn't always. My pre-last one I found a lot more easy than my last one, for that matter; regional differences apart, maybe it was just my mood or so.)
Last edited by machadinha; Apr 8th, 2012 at 00:08.. Reason: edited
#1085 Apr 8th, 2012, 00:33
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#1085
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Originally Posted by new_traveller View Post we are ignoring the fact he might be lying in a jungle track ill and in pain, not to forget the possibility of wild animals around. We are forgetting he could be in a villagers house waiting to get medical treatment as he fails to communicate with the locals about his ailment. We are forgetting he might have had a fall and fractured his limb...
Paths exist because they get used. Villagers are tenacious folk because they live in a tough environment and surely can suss if somebody is ill or has a fracture etc. Garhwali’s are famed for being resourceful and caring.

Otherwise, Char dham is not a possibility, it’s just far too early in the season to actually be there, a group of my friends have gone to Gangotri today and they are the first to be issued with a permit (& the Forest Dept. was against it but pressure was brought to bear, imo foolhardily). Besides, nothing is open = ghost town, no chai, noodles, basics, nothing!

The weather is still high winds, raining most afternoons and snowfall high up for sure. Being en route to the char dhams is not an impossibility – but i’ll bet one will find that in Rishikesh and lower down, the majority of those intending to go up will certainly have not made their move as yet.
#1086 Apr 8th, 2012, 04:28
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Originally Posted by nadreg View Post My heart goes out to David, Lynda, and the rest of Jonathan's family and friends, and I hope as everyone else on the site does for Jonathan's safe return.

However, I've given this some thought and have decided to not post a sticky on the homepage as suggested in this thread. I have resisted doing this in the past for other missing travelers because it is difficult to then decide which ones should be allowed and which ones shouldn't, and it would not be possible to allow them all to be stuck to the homepage.
Nadreg, you and Kulukid aren't related by any chance? Just your avatars are very similar!
Last edited by davidgreen100; Apr 8th, 2012 at 12:43.. Reason: clarification
#1087 Apr 8th, 2012, 11:24
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#1087
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Originally Posted by davidgreen100 View Post Nadreg, you and Kulukid aren't related by any chance?
They are. They are both part of IndiaMike (just as we are, too).
#1088 Apr 8th, 2012, 12:24
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#1088
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Originally Posted by new_traveller View Post The discussion is being so skewed towards he is so likely to have taken some spiritual journey, could have started extreme fasting, could have wanted to start a new life..... forget to call his loved ones? I wonder....

David/Lynda, In no way do I doubt the intentions of any IMer, I know each one is trying to help in his own way, trying to analyze in his own way. But the discussion is too skewed and I fear the search is being directed only in one way.


About his weight loss - was he fasting? was he not? was it a stomach-bug?

Who are these friends who said he had lost substantial weight? What is substantial? A 70 kg man being 60kg or a 70 kg man being 55. This can be all relative.

My thoughts - Person A saw him after weeks of initial meet and realizes he has lost weight, looks tired, speaks about being ill. ahhh yes he has lost substantially. The way he was dressed before and after can also play a role on making the weight loss appear substantial.

Also Backpackers , trekkers would definitely lose some weight on a trip. Reason- Burning too many calories, irregular meals, meals not same as at home. They have been away from their regular lifestyle for over months.
To add to this the stomach bug.
To add the kidney stone and the nausea.

It might not be a guru or a spiritual aspect only.

Whats my point? I just hope David and Lynda look at the other side of possibilities and not just get skewed in their thoughts and searches.

Edit -
Just had a word with a coffee shop owner in Dehradoon. He wasn't aware of this incident until I appraised him on the news. Could be his ignorance.
This is a well-reasoned post. There is a tendency for posters - me included - to follow a particular line of thought to the exclusion of an equally obvious possibility. I lost about 4 k's in India in a couple of weeks, due to change of diet, exercise regime, and tummy bug. Thanks, new traveller.
#1089 Apr 8th, 2012, 12:37
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Originally Posted by Vonsy View Post I, like so many others have been following this thread every day hoping and praying that Jonathan is found safe and well.
Up until now I have not posted as I felt that I had nothing positive to contribute.
This afternoon I am heading off for the airport loaded with posters of Jonathan to take with me.
I will be flying into Chennai and spending 5 weeks touring the South and then a month in the North, I promise that everywhere I go I will hand out posters and make a point of speaking to other travelers and make them aware of Jonathan's situation.
David and Lynda, you are constantly in my thoughts, stay strong.
Hi Vonsy,
Many thanks for taking the bull by the horns. This is exactly the kind of help we have been receiving, and what has been producing evideence for us.
When posters are in India, there are a number of things you can do to spread the word. The simplest thing you can do is to mention it in your blogs with poster attached. This is very effective and doesnot take up much time. If you are in the Northern provinces or in the villages mentioned, you can print up a poster and ask at your guest house or activity centre if they have seen Jonathan. This is amazingly effective in India as people respond to what they see before their own eyes.
The other route to getting evidence is when posters are simply aware of Jonathan being missing, and make connections on the ground that do not occur to those of us in cyberspace. This is how we have been able to cover many of the spiritual angles alluded to by posters.
If you want to get more involved, putting up posters and making calls to sadhus, babas and centres for learning are a wonderful way to contribute your time and care about Jonathan. It amazes me how many of you are doing this on a regular basis and if we haven't thanked you privately, please know we are truly grateful to you for your efforts.
A friend once said to me, when someone is suffering, the best thing you can do is clean their home or give them some food. We have been cleansed and nourished by the support we have received from IM'ers.
#1090 Apr 8th, 2012, 17:19
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#1090
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aupmanyav View Post I will write about one particular thing: The ease with which J. was fooled into going to Naranag in Kashmir instead of Dharamsala in Himachal. If train reservation was not available, J. could have easily gone there on a direct bus from Delhi to Dharamsala. The taxi drivers and travel agents similarly fool people into going to a hotel where they have no reservation instead of the one where they have reservations ('there is a communal riot and curfew at that place'). IndiaMike in particular and other genuine travel forums can be of great help.
Yes I do agree on getting fooled could be a possibility. But its almost.. what - 2 months? Would someone be so ignorant or in a hypnosis of the scamster for so long and not realize he is without a passport and phone and has not called up family?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paleface View Post Paths exist because they get used. Villagers are tenacious folk because they live in a tough environment and surely can suss if somebody is ill or has a fracture etc. Garhwali’s are famed for being resourceful and caring.

Otherwise, Char dham is not a possibility, it’s just far too early in the season to actually be there, a group of my friends have gone to Gangotri today and they are the first to be issued with a permit (& the Forest Dept. was against it but pressure was brought to bear, imo foolhardily). Besides, nothing is open = ghost town, no chai, noodles, basics, nothing!

The weather is still high winds, raining most afternoons and snowfall high up for sure. Being en route to the char dhams is not an impossibility – but i’ll bet one will find that in Rishikesh and lower down, the majority of those intending to go up will certainly have not made their move as yet.
Paleface, I have experience and love the hospitality of the garhwalis. I have no doubts that the poorest of the farmer will do his best to make a guest (Indian or foreigner) comfortable and care for him if he is ill. I was just saying there is a possibility he is stuck in some remote village due to snow and unable to communicate to locals his exact ailment. failing to which he is still weak and ill.


Quote:
Originally Posted by davidgreen100 View Post This is a well-reasoned post. There is a tendency for posters - me included - to follow a particular line of thought to the exclusion of an equally obvious possibility. I lost about 4 k's in India in a couple of weeks, due to change of diet, exercise regime, and tummy bug. Thanks, new traveller.
David - I am glad you acknowledged the other possibilities. I do hope your focus also moves in search which might be required in such scenarios.

A cheaper way would be all the local newspapers to run an advt. (This has been discussed much earlier) I do not think this has been done.

Also the suggestions from snifferdog about searching very important. I hope some of them are being taken into account.
Bike rides - Kashmir to Leh and Sikkim, Jungle safaris - Corbett,Chikhaldara, Kanha and Gorumara. Traveled through MP, Himachal, J&K, Maharashtra, W.Bengal, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Goa, Karnataka, AP . . . Yet feel so New to traveling in India.
#1091 Apr 8th, 2012, 17:23
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#1091
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Originally Posted by new_traveller View Post A cheaper way would be all the local newspapers to run an advt. (This has been discussed much earlier) I do not think this has been done.
Quote:
Originally Posted by machadinha View Post a link I gave before would be http://www.onlinenewspapers.com/india.htm, I'm repeating it here just in case. That is massive to dig through and esp. to the lay onlooker, but maybe an Indian member would want to do so and tell us which are the relevant ones.
Could an Indian member and a little in-the-know be so kind as to dig through this massive list of papers, and tell us which ones might be relevant to the region?

I can't really do it myself, and don't know any Indian languages.
#1092 Apr 8th, 2012, 18:30
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Originally Posted by kullukid View Post I'm surprised we didn't get much response from other members regarding the above idea, but i batted on with it any way & have had some positive responses from members saying they will display posters on their travels, so it seems to work;

Here's a few examples;
Chopta route info

Escape to Kumaon

Delhi-Kasol-Tosh-Delhi from 11-17 April, 2012

I know some of you may be thinking what's the point it's unlikely he's made it all the way to Goa, Kerala or Gujerat etc without any money, but the point is there could be other travellers in these area's who saw or met/spoke with J earlier on in their travels around Rishikesh/Delhi or elsewhere.So if you feel you are knowledgable about or live in a certain area & are willing to monitor posts for that area & notify other IMers who are saying they will be travelling there shortly,please speak up so we know that area is covered. KK

Just a quick update on getting other members to display posters on their travels, it seems if you ask people are very willing to do this. I'm covering Uttakarkhand &HP/Kullu Manali,it would be great if some other members were willing to suggest it in posts to other area's,maybe in a area you feel you have knowledge about or even live in.It's urgent that we cover all of India,since there could be travellers all over India who met up with J at some point who are about to leave for home.

Here's some of the positive responses so far;

Chopta route info

Escape to Kumaon

Delhi-Kasol-Tosh-Delhi from 11-17 April, 2012


nainital > kausani > corbett

Gangotri - Gomukh -Tapovan Trek
#1093 Apr 8th, 2012, 18:41
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#1093
We don't really have a place where, for want of a better place to put it, backpackers hang out. However, Broad Lands Guest House might be a good choice for a poster.

It's quite a way from me, and no possibility I can get there at all soon. Can someone nearer Triplicane do the honours?

English would be fine, and probably more appropriate for both staff and guests. No need for translations.
~
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#1094 Apr 8th, 2012, 22:18
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#1094
Kasar Devi, above Almora is somewhere that long term westerners hangout fairly unnoticed, i just found this website on a small GH up there.

http://rainbow-cafe.eu5.org/

Would you mind giving them a call Capt & ask them to distribute sum leaflets on the Ridge,it's a very small area & they seem to cater for budget westerners so i'm pretty sure they will help.CheersKK
#1095 Apr 8th, 2012, 22:46
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Another small GH where westerners tend to hang out is tara's in Jageshwar. You can contact Mahesh here Capt.

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/celloma...%20us.htm#Tara Guest house

Once again i think if you ask Mahesh to distribute some leaflets around Jageshwar he will be helpful, these smaller places are more friendly to deal with. KK
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