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-   -   Have you seen Jonathan Spollen? Missing in Rishikesh since February 3rd, 2012 (http://www.indiamike.com/india/uttarakhand-f135/have-you-seen-jonathan-spollen-missing-in-rishikesh-since-february-3rd-2012-a-t159252/)

PeakXV Mar 2nd, 2012 23:42

Quote:

Originally Posted by davidgreen100 (Post 1359816)
Glad this one didn't slip under the radar. How far is dharmsala from Laxman Jhula?

~ 484 Km

Here's a thread on how one might go about getting there:

http://www.indiamike.com/india/himac...amsala-t41343/


Quote:

Originally Posted by ananda2193 (Post 1359820)

WHY? :dontgetit

According to the article I linked previously, Dharamsala was where he desired to go on his first trip to India. He never made it after having run into the Kashmiri Connaught Place touts - who apparently 'persuaded' him into visiting Kashmir instead. It's possible he may have wanted to fill that void somehow. Just a theory, as good as any at this point & nothing to be at all skeptical about really.

machadinha Mar 2nd, 2012 23:51

<cross-posting>

Quote:

Originally Posted by davidgreen100 (Post 1359792)
The thing is, his visa expired on 21st February so the authorities tell me that no ashram or trekking company would take him on board without a valid visa. Does anyone know if this is true?

Yes, that is correct. Except what you've been told earlier: Not all places may check on this. It doesn't really give you that much to go on. But should be the first avenue to follow.

(And I've been told off above for it sounding pessimistic. That is of course not what is meant, but it shouldn't be expected to easily retrace a person, either.)

If his visa expired on Feb. 21st, that's not to worry you, but it should make it sink in to any critical members here that technically he can't be there right now. And so one would hope he might be aware of this.

I've been at once proud of members here giving it their best, and ashamed of some with their approach. What, you mean you're being rational, when in fact you're telling people and reasonably worried as they are that they're overreacting? If a person regularly disappears for weeks on end, wouldn't you expect them to let the home front know they might do so? Oh, so they may just be smoking a chillum somewhere up in the hills -- I don't mean to worry the parents any more than necessary, but people do disappear over just that.

And such. If some of you above don't realize you've been insensitive, you should have a good look at your own writings again.

What I don't really understand is some people thinking the parents would find the wherewithal to even give much details on this board. Obviously they're still trying to get to grips with some of these board functions, at all. One suspects they have just a few more things on their mind, too.

(And I'm thinking now what if the guy turns up alright. There'll be a chorus of "See! I told you so!" No, you numbheads, it wouldn't mean he'd have been found if he wouldn't have been looked for.)

Shame on a few of you, folks. I've been proud of some of the efforts here; and then disgusted at some other reactions.

theyyamdancer Mar 2nd, 2012 23:56

Another idea, if you plan on searching in Dharamsala, David:

The Dalai Lama is due to give a public teaching in Dharamsala on 8th March.

If I were a journalist with even the remotest interest in Buddhism, let alone a journalist who is seemingly renowned for writing about religious topics, I would not want to miss that opportunity.

kullukid Mar 3rd, 2012 00:25

Quote:

Originally Posted by davidgreen100 (Post 1359803)
Sounds like someone I should be talking to. If you have a number, I can skype him

I've PM'd you.Look in your inbox.:)KK

anar Mar 3rd, 2012 04:44

there is a vipassana centre just outside mcleodganj (near dharamshala). normally they conduct ten day retreats but it is possible to do one for longer.

machadinha Mar 3rd, 2012 05:59

Quote:

Originally Posted by davidgreen100 (Post 1359777)
Hi Julia F, thanks for your work on the posters...will have to comeback to you on that, as I have to make a couple of changes.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JuliaF (Post 1359811)
Changes to the information on the posters?

I think David clearly hasn't come to grips yet with how a forum like this works.

That's really no issue, David, just keep doing what you're doing, we'll all understand. You'll have plenty of things on your mind, rather than dealing with some board intricacies.

However, in future, you can hit the "Quote" button at bottom right of any post. This will bring up the post you're replying to.

To quote multiple messages, hit the Quote+ tab you see on each of them, now go to your reply, they will all be quoted.

It is good web usage to leave only those portions of the original messages that you're responding to standing. You can edit them as you like.

Anyway, you're looking for your son, and we understand you. Don't get too bothered with this. But just to explain the functions of a web board like this. It's really no worry; people are understanding you, and you will have better things to do.

So instead of giving this more time than you have, please just continue as you are.

I've sat in web cafes there and goofing around and knowing what I'm doing, it's often just no fun.* Don't give it more time than you can.

* Which of course again explains why you might think Oh sod it and skip it for a while. I would indeed not rarely think Oh I'll look into it tomorrow, then tomorrow turns out to be no better, either. And then several days of such may indeed fly by, etc.

However, your son being an international journalist, and his visa expired? I would indeed expect him to know better than that. Anyway and again: I'm sure you guys know him and arrived at your conclusions, not us. I obviously do not mean to worry you, any more than you'll already be.

capt_mahajan Mar 3rd, 2012 07:02

I am sure it is being done, but I reiterate- at the risk of being irritating- that his steps should be retraced first. It will be an impossible task to pursue 'what if' possibilities; there is no end to where he could have gone. Including out of the country, given visa expiry, but I am sure that would have been checked and ruled out long ago.

davidgreen100 Mar 3rd, 2012 07:03

Hi Everyone, this is Lynda, Jonathan's Mum. I hank you sincerely for your support and am amazed at your generosity of spirit.

I know I must be practical now.

As hard as it is to say, this has to be faced: If we accept that what Jonathan said to me was the truth, and there is absolutely no reason to doubt him as he is a very straightforward person, he set out on a 2 - 3 week trek. It is now 4 weeks later. He may have had an accident or fallen ill and be lying somewhere in need of rescue. I believe this has to be our primary focus. In this case every hour of every day is critical to his wellbeing.

A Little Context:

I had several conversations with Jonathan in the days before the last at 9.15am India time on 3/2/12 for 6 minutes. He had changed his mind about going to Delhi as 'he couldn't resist a last trek in this beautiful place before heading for home'. Again it would be in a forested area so no phone signal but he would check regularly just in case. Fact: At 28 Jonathan is a mature, considerate communicator and risk adverse. He always stays in touch - if he says 3 weeks I will hear from him in 2.5 (it is now 4 weeks)

I believe where he stayed on the night of 2/2/2012 could give us the location of the trek he did. Had he travelled a distance to a totally new area such as Kashmir / Dharmasala etc. He would have told me enthusiastically. I think he travelled to the starting point of the 2 -3 week trek within the region Rishikesh to get an early start the next day - he turned his phone off directly after our call which would fit with this. If it was somewhere that he had been talking about and writing about he would have told me that he had made it there or returned or whatever - he is just open like that.

I pray that he is indeed safe in an Ashram. I do feel that he could very well have changed his mind en route so identifying Ashrams in serene, spiritual, locations must still be very high on our list and can hopefully be de done alongside the trek search. Learning to meditate is something he is trying to achieve and indeed pass on to me.


I didn't intend to say so much so thank you for bearing with me - those of you who did!

Lynda

davidgreen100 Mar 3rd, 2012 07:32

Quote:

Originally Posted by machadinha (Post 1359973)
Id.
However, your son being an international journalist, and his visa expired? I would indeed expect him to know better than that. Anyway and again: I'm sure you guys know him and arrived at your conclusions, not us. I obviously do not mean to worry you, any more than you'll already be.




Lynda . I have just seen this quote and yes this knowledge compounded my fears

PeakXV Mar 3rd, 2012 08:20

Quote:

Originally Posted by davidgreen100 (Post 1359988)
Hi Everyone, this is Lynda, Jonathan's Mum. I hank you sincerely for your support and am amazed at your generosity of spirit.

I know I must be practical now.

As hard as it is to say, this has to be faced: If we accept that what Jonathan said to me was the truth, and there is absolutely no reason to doubt him as he is a very straightforward person, he set out on a 2 - 3 week trek. It is now 4 weeks later. He may have had an accident or fallen ill and be lying somewhere in need of rescue. I believe this has to be our primary focus. In this case every hour of every day is critical to his wellbeing.

A Little Context:

I had several conversations with Jonathan in the days before the last at 9.15am India time on 3/2/12 for 6 minutes. He had changed his mind about going to Delhi as 'he couldn't resist a last trek in this beautiful place before heading for home'. Again it would be in a forested area so no phone signal but he would check regularly just in case. Fact: At 28 Jonathan is a mature, considerate communicator and risk adverse. He always stays in touch - if he says 3 weeks I will hear from him in 2.5 (it is now 4 weeks)

I believe where he stayed on the night of 2/2/2012 could give us the location of the trek he did. Had he travelled a distance to a totally new area such as Kashmir / Dharmasala etc. He would have told me enthusiastically. I think he travelled to the starting point of the 2 -3 week trek within the region Rishikesh to get an early start the next day - he turned his phone off directly after our call which would fit with this. If it was somewhere that he had been talking about and writing about he would have told me that he had made it there or returned or whatever - he is just open like that.

I pray that he is indeed safe in an Ashram. I do feel that he could very well have changed his mind en route so identifying Ashrams in serene, spiritual, locations must still be very high on our list and can hopefully be de done alongside the trek search. Learning to meditate is something he is trying to achieve and indeed pass on to me.


I didn't intend to say so much so thank you for bearing with me - those of you who did!

Lynda

Hi Lynda, You've provided some very important information. I'm not a spiritual seeker ... but many members here are & could well decipher further from your post. Stay tuned to this thread as members login & post their thoughts & questions. Any other tidbit of information that you can recall Jonathon relating to you may help in determining his direction taken.

capt_mahajan Mar 3rd, 2012 09:10

Quote:

I believe where he stayed on the night of 2/2/2012 could give us the location of the trek he did
Absolutely. Or if indeed, he went for a vipassana or such retreat.

"He turned his phone off directly after our call" does not compute, because he would have got phone signals for at least a few hours thereafter if he was talking from Rishikesh. Was he talking from Rishikesh or was there just a sense that he was?


Wonder if there were any indications that he had decided where he was going. Besides 'forested area', which doesn't narrow anything down, except that it is outside Rishikesh

It appears that he has not gone in for long vipassana without letting folks know at home, because he is not the type. Unless he 'ran into' an ashram during the trek and there was no phone signal.

'trek in this beautiful place' - if verbatim, implies Garhwal and not even Kumaon.

machadinha Mar 3rd, 2012 10:01

Just another of those thoughts that won't really lead you anywhere would be where Peak noted that:

Quote:

Originally Posted by PeakXV (Post 1359184)
The other thought was that his stories from his archive were all of a Muslim/Islamic interest and he is very, very good on these topics. This could be significant & maybe a literary trend that he hoped to continue on this trip.

It really doesn't tell you much of anything; me as a layman and decidedly an outsider to it all, I might be as interested in Islamic or Hindu traditions there or whatever.

But so maybe a Hindu ashram wouldn't be the first place to look. Who is to say, indeed. I think there are likewise Muslim places to be found all over that region. More specifically, it's where Islam first came in to India.

But again and indeed, as an outsider visitor I just find myself interested in all of it (and Jainism, and Sikhism, etc.). It doesn't tell you much of anything, really, I'm afraid.

But if his interest were specifically Islamic, that could of course be an avenue to pursue. Only keep in mind that say as an open-minded visitor myself (and generally not too much into religious/spiritual stuff, but that is just me), I might as well end up in some Hindu or Sikh etc. place. That's all very and quite possible. And on the ground and among the more open-minded, there'll be few distinctions. People recognize one another as being "on the path," and Indian philosophy in its best forms isn't very dogmatic about this.

So that's not adding much, I'm afraid. Only that he could have followed anyone. But if his interest lies with Islam, that would be another obvious angle to pursue.

David could ask around about Sufism there; this is roughly speaking an esoteric or mystical core within Islam, I know many Muslims don't like to speak about it (since it may be deemed heretical), or they'll just plain not know about it; but let him discreetly ask. Your son could have gone into an "ashram"-like surroundings there, but so now in an Islamic or Sufic context. What you'll find referred to as ashrams will usually be Hindu, or perhaps of some other faiths, but certainly not Islamic.

Cardinal Divide Mar 3rd, 2012 15:20

I just had a message from a Kashmiri friend on Facebook. He suggests talking to travel agents about trekking routes. Here is his message:
"If.he was in Rishikesh then Kashmir is not possible. It is far and it is still skiing season here. He has to be in Gangotri near by Rishikesh or Almora Naninital . Or manali. Though there is another trek which you can do from Gangotri Manser trek and people say you can cross to Tibet. It's called Kailash something. I have be those places and they are the main offers that Rishikesh travel offices are giving."

I am sure that this has been done already but has anyone checked to see if Jonathan was a member of India Mike? Keep in mind that he may use more than one email address. I would contact the Lonely Planet forum and Trip Advisor and ask them as well.

prince09 Mar 3rd, 2012 15:43

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cardinal Divide (Post 1360101)
I just had a message from a Kashmiri friend on Facebook. He suggests talking to travel agents about trekking routes. Here is his message:

"If.he was in Rishikesh then Kashmir is not possible. It is far and it is still skiing season here. He has to be in Gangotri near by Rishikesh or Almora Naninital . Or manali. Though there is another trek which u can do from Gangotri Manser trek and people say u can cross to Tibet. It's called Kailash something. I have be those places and they are the main offers that Rishikesh travel offices are giving."

Gangotri or any of the areas around the Chardham route(yamunotri, Badri/Kedarnath, hemkund and valley of flowers) are ruled out, as the roads/trek routes would be closed at this time of the year. I doubt he'd go all the way to Kailash-Mansarovar in tibet at this time.In any case weather won't permit plus you need a visa to enter tibet. Almora/Nainital/Manali - may be.

Iam guessing he is somewhere within Garhwal himalaya. I suggest a thorough check of ashrams in and around Rishikesh.Based on the information provided so far, better to focus on ashrams located deeper in the hills like for instance, phoolchatti ashram. There are several others in the hills around rishikesh.I did a similar search for someone a couple of years ago and traced the person with the leads given by an ashram.

OceanTragic Mar 3rd, 2012 16:15

David / Lynda,

I was just searching more for information about Jonathan and I can across his Facebook account and thought I'd mention it just in case you're not aware of it.

Here is his account: https://www.facebook.com/Lenspol?sk=wall

Which in turn links you to some of his Facebook friends:
Eric Morse - https://www.facebook.com/emorse
Ronan Kenny - https://www.facebook.com/kenny.ronan
Raymond Stock - https://www.facebook.com/raymond.stock
and presumably his (ex?)girlfriend: Anik Kalemi https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=560797675

You may have done this already but I suggest that you contact each of these people to see if they know anything. Or at least to let them know that he's missing.


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