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davidgreen100 Feb 27th, 2012 17:22

Have you seen Jonathan Spollen? Missing in Rishikesh since February 3rd, 2012
 
Jonathan Spollen is 28 years old, 6 feet tall, from Ireland. He was last seen in Rishikesh on February 3rd 2012. He may have been planning to go on trek. If you have seen Jonathan or know where he is, please contact me or his Mum urgently.

EDIT: Please go to this post (<-- click link) for the update of 26 Jan 2013. The search has moved to Tamil Nadu.

There are updated posters below in English, Hindi and Tamil. Please distribute these as widely as possible by sharing on facebook etc and by printing them off and displaying them at railway stations, bus stands, taxi stands, restaurants, hotels, cybercafes, ashrams, yoga centres etc in south India.

[EDIT: Jump to this post by Jonathan's mum Lynda for the updated situation as at March 18th 2012.

Jump to this post by David for the latest information on 2nd April 2012.

Scroll to the bottom of this post for media advert and reward poster/flyer (both in Hindi)]


You can phone, e-mail or text at any time:

Police: +91 135 243 0228
India Team mobile: +91 8802708618
David e-mail: davidgreen100@xtra.co.nz
Lynda e-mail: lyndaspollen@eircom.net
Phone: +353 1 216 4441
Phone or text: +353 87 243 8996
e-mail: lyndaspollen@eircom.net or davidgreen100@xtra.co.nz

Please see attachment below for photograph.

Attachment 28117

Thank you for your help. Please, all of you, keep in regular contact with your families. Even if they don't say it, they care for you and worry about you!


English poster
link: http://i48.tinypic.com/5xiste.jpg

http://i48.tinypic.com/5xiste.jpg



Tamil poster
link: http://i47.tinypic.com/wvvgwh.jpg

http://i47.tinypic.com/wvvgwh.jpg

Hindi poster
link: http://i50.tinypic.com/2rwmg50.jpg

http://i50.tinypic.com/2rwmg50.jpg

budget t Feb 27th, 2012 20:38

I am really sorry for your missing son. Hope you will have made a police complaint. If not pl. do it as they are better equipped. You should also inform your consulate in Delhi so that their pressure will also help to some extent. Hope and prey you will find him soon in good health.

JuliaF Feb 27th, 2012 20:53

Hello David, welcome to Indiamike. I wish you could have been joining under happier circumstances.

Have you contacted the Irish Embassy in Delhi yet? There was an Irish woman missing (and then found) in south India just a few weeks ago and the embassy jumped in to help very quickly.

Is this your son? JonathanSpollen.com Is he a journalist? If so then I'd say the media contacts could be very useful in getting publicity.

In the meantime I suppose we need to get those posters plastered all over Rishikesh. I'm not at all computer-savvy but I wonder can anyone convert that poster into a format which can be easily printed?





Edited: Poster below in post 7.

machadinha Feb 27th, 2012 23:32

Sorry to hear it, David & Lynda. Let's hope it turns out alright.

Quote:

Originally Posted by davidgreen100 (Post 1356829)
Please, all of you, keep in regular contact with your families. Even if they don't say it, they care for you and worry about you!

So true.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JuliaF (Post 1356935)
In the meantime I suppose we need to get those posters plastered all over Rishikesh. I'm not at all computer-savvy but I wonder can anyone convert that poster into a format which can be easily printed?

It would be helpful if David, in a reply below, could add the poster in a printable format. (I guess you mods could then copy it to the original message, as well.)

David, if you go "advanced" on a reply, scroll down a little, and you'll see a button "manage attachments." You can upload the poster this way. Accepted formats are bmp, doc, gif, jpeg, jpg, pdf, png, txt, and zip. I guess .pdf would be perfect, or otherwise a .doc file.

There's a size limit of technically 100 Kb, specified in that upload screen, though I think in practice you can go a little over that. (And I reckon it's how you probably uploaded the image file above, so you're probably already familiar with the process.)

Best of luck with it.

JuliaF Feb 27th, 2012 23:41

In the meantime, there are lots of trekkers in Indiamike and maybe they could put out this alert on facebook etc.

Duronto Jajabar Feb 27th, 2012 23:52

So sorry to hear it, davidgreen,

We hope to see him back with you and hope IM may turn effective in your need.

davidgreen100 Feb 28th, 2012 00:26

Thank you, budget t, I have been in touch with police in Rishikesh and Lakhsman Jhula. The Irish embassy in Delhi have been very helpful too. I amgoing to Rishikesh in a couple of days. Please keep your ears and eyes open.

sandvm06 Feb 28th, 2012 00:26

Keep faith in God and on Jonathan.. He'll be back very soon.. I've posted ur message on facebook with Jonathan's picture may be that would be of any help. I hope u will hear a good news soon. Take care of yourself.

davidgreen100 Feb 28th, 2012 00:35

That's my boy, Julia F. Thanks so much for your reply. I will be e-mailing every guest house and trekking company today. ANother poster has already improved on my effort (cobbled together at 1.00 a.m. after 30 hours without sleep). I will be in Rishikesh by Saturday.

davidgreen100 Feb 28th, 2012 00:38

Thank you Sandvm. I haven't got to Facebook yet (hate it to bits!)but you have taken the initiative. This is a huge step.

machadinha Feb 28th, 2012 00:42

Quote:

Originally Posted by JuliaF (Post 1357042)
A friend of mine has made a poster. I'll attach it here.

Excellent. Julia, can you see if you can add it to the original message above, as well? (Or if a fellow mod can?)

Quote:

Originally Posted by davidgreen100 (Post 1357052)
ANother poster has already improved on my effort (cobbled together at 1.00 a.m. after 30 hours without sleep). I will be in Rishikesh by Saturday.

I can only imagine. Keep it coming (improved posters, updates, whatever. But -- think of your own rest & general health, too :) )

Have a safe flight there, and good luck.

PeakXV Feb 28th, 2012 00:43

Ryan Chamber's disappearance was in the same area. You may want to contact his family through their various web links for their advice/recommendations/contacts in Rishikesh & so that you can have the most efficient, productive search as possible. Especially when time is of the essence. Best of Luck.


http://www.ryanchambers.in/

JuliaF Feb 28th, 2012 03:44

David, following Machadinha's suggestion I have added the poster to your initial post in this thread. This way people who come to this thread via Facebook or other sources will find the information there in the first post. If you have a different or better poster please let us know and I or one of the other moderators can add it to your post.

Paleface Feb 28th, 2012 04:19

Quote:

Originally Posted by davidgreen100 (Post 1357053)
Thank you Sandvm. I haven't got to Facebook yet (hate it to bits!)but you have taken the initiative. This is a huge step.

When in Rishikesh, check out Red Chilli at the top end of Laxmanjhula, it's an internet cafe as well and helpful people and most likely your son was staying in this area, or across the bridge which this road runs down to - of course there are other tour operators, still it is somewhere physical to get started from.. As well as and importantly the Police, or more precisely the Local Intelligence Unit (LIU) and FRO (Foreigners Registration Office) - usually in the one office, where the records of who has stayed where are collated - your son would have filled in a C form, precisely for this sort of reason, so you should be able to establish quite quickly where he stayed and until when...

www.redchilliadventure.com

Maybe send the poster in advance??

OceanTragic Feb 28th, 2012 05:19

David, I'm sorry to hear about Jonathan and hope there's some good news for you soon.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JuliaF (Post 1356935)
Have you contacted the Irish Embassy in Delhi yet? There was an Irish woman missing (and then found) in south India just a few weeks ago and the embassy jumped in to help very quickly.

I've sent a message to the Irish Embassy's IndiaMike user account to alert them to this thread. Hopefully they'll join in or contact you direct, if you're not already in contact with them.

In the meantime, do you have any questions about your travel to Rishikesh? I guess you are arriving in Delhi, do you know how you are getting to Rishikesh? If you have any questions about this please ask, someone will be able to help.

machadinha Feb 28th, 2012 05:27

<cross-posted with OceanTragic just now>

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paleface (Post 1357103)
your son would have filled in a C form, precisely for this sort of reason, so you should be able to establish quite quickly where he stayed and until when...

Yes; only to add and explain to David, hotels (or guesthouses, homestays, anything and whatever they may be called) need to have permission to let foreigners stay there. The process involves this C Form, theoretically to be filled in by the guest (or by the hotel for them), and registered by the local authorities.

Don't expect too much of this, there are many ways for this to go wrong: Places may just not insist on these formalities, only because they are indeed informal and friendly about it, or perhaps not sticking to the rules so much or operating somewhat under the radar themselves, etc. Guests themselves may get tired of filling in these forms all the time, and just fill in anything there (John Doe, concert pianist, passport number XYZ123, going from here to there where they've never been and have no intention to). Then finally one dreads to think where all this paperwork and usually in triplicate or whatever is supposed to get neatly registered at all.

But theoretically, a visitor in India would be leaving behind a paper trail. (And just filling in some nonsense as outlined has gotten much more difficult, since places now are technically required to take a copy of your passport and visa details, and they'll often insist on it. Still, there are places who don't.) It is certainly one avenue that you, or the police for you, must absolutely follow.

Ivana Feb 28th, 2012 05:46

Sorry, I can not help more than I gave to my facebook your polster.
I hope your son is ok.

machadinha Feb 28th, 2012 05:49

Quote:

Originally Posted by OceanTragic (Post 1357120)
In the meantime, do you have any questions about your travel to Rishikesh? I guess you are arriving in Delhi, do you know how you are getting to Rishikesh? If you have any questions about this please ask, someone will be able to help.

Absolutely. David, have you been to India before? Landing there for the first time can be flabbergasting enough under the best of circumstances.

That's not to worry you any more than necessary and than you'll already be, but let us know and people here will be willing and able to guide you along if only in writing, to hopefully make it as smooth as possible for you.

Paleface Feb 28th, 2012 13:25

Quote:

Originally Posted by machadinha (Post 1357124)
Don't expect too much of this, there are many ways for this to go wrong: Places may just not insist on these formalities, only because they are indeed informal and friendly about it, or perhaps not sticking to the rules so much or operating somewhat under the radar themselves, etc.

M it's not really the moment to throw a spanner in the works -

i would absolutely rely on the C form trail as a starting point, and not underestimate the LIU capabilities of being able to trace somebody if they are motivated to do so. Rishikesh being as it is a major tourist hub, the LIU again absolutely know who's who and what is what in the hotel/accomodation stakes... these days it is too risky for a place not to have C forms and to submit them, chances therefore are strong to certain that Jonathan's previous accommodation can be traced via this route.

Klompen Feb 28th, 2012 13:42

Do you fill a c form in at a Ashram too Paleface?? I ask as I've never stayed in one.

jyotirmoy Feb 28th, 2012 16:46

Was you son carrying an ATM/Debit card? If so please get in touch with his bank and enquire about recent transaction, the ATM location and the amount of money withdrawn. This is very important.

Paleface Feb 28th, 2012 18:20

Quote:

Originally Posted by Klompen (Post 1357274)
Do you fill a c form in at a Ashram too Paleface?? I ask as I've never stayed in one.

Usually Yes indeed, nobody wants to give a free invitation for the Police onto the premises. A state of cooperation with the LIU/FRO guys most often yields getting the desired work done, which is hopefully what will happen here.


Mr.David Green. Where was the last email, if any, you had received? That too can be tracked to a location?

ananda2193 Feb 28th, 2012 19:21

Just curious and sorry if I missed it, but was he supposed to be home or left India by now? Because it's still Febuary. Maybe and hopefully he's somewhere where he can't contact anyone

Were you used to him contacting you frequently? Because he is 28.

And hope all turns out well!!!

JuliaF Feb 28th, 2012 21:59

Quote:

Originally Posted by ananda2193 (Post 1357493)
Just curious and sorry if I missed it, but was he supposed to be home or left India by now? Because it's still Febuary. Maybe and hopefully he's somewhere where he can't contact anyone

This is a good point Ananda. It's easy to forget that there are still places in India - such as villages in the hills - where it's not possible to make international phone calls or access the internet.

David, I wish you well for your own travel to Rishikesh. As was said above, please do ask here if you have any questions about travelling, where to stay etc. And please keep us updated if you have any more information.

machadinha Feb 28th, 2012 22:06

Quote:

Originally Posted by jyotirmoy (Post 1357388)
Was you son carrying an ATM/Debit card? If so please get in touch with his bank and enquire about recent transaction, the ATM location and the amount of money withdrawn. This is very important.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paleface (Post 1357442)
Mr.David Green. Where was the last email, if any, you had received? That too can be tracked to a location?

Also, cell phone usage, where applicable.

ananda2193 Feb 28th, 2012 22:35

Quote:

Originally Posted by JuliaF (Post 1357591)
This is a good point Ananda. It's easy to forget that there are still places in India - such as villages in the hills - where it's not possible to make international phone calls or access the internet.

David, I wish you well for your own travel to Rishikesh. As was said above, please do ask here if you have any questions about travelling, where to stay etc. And please keep us updated if you have any more information.

Yeah, if he's still supposed to be traveling in India:confused:, I think all this worry is very premature. He's 28 and looks like a hippy type with long hair. Maybe he's up in the mountains smoking chillums?:confused:

Would be awful embarrassing for him to appear someplace and see posters of him hanging up and the police and his embassy looking for him just because he hasn't written home in 3 weeks![cry]

If he is still supposed to be in India, I can't imagine the embassy doing anything, since there's no proof of anything. Just because he hasn't written home![shock]

But since the father didn't include such details, we really don't know much.

But hope all is well and hope this whole thing was just a parent totally overreacting.

Mirjam2 Feb 28th, 2012 23:08

Quote:

Originally Posted by Klompen (Post 1357274)
Do you fill a c form in at a Ashram too Paleface?? I ask as I've never stayed in one.

Yes, if you are in an area where C forms are compulsory (and I know this applies to Rishikesh), ashrams insist that you fill out the form - same as hotels.

Paleface Feb 28th, 2012 23:31

Quote:

Originally Posted by ananda2193 (Post 1357612)
I think all this worry is very premature. He's 28 and looks like a hippy type with long hair. Maybe he's up in the mountains smoking chillums?:confused:

If he is still supposed to be in India, I can't imagine the embassy doing anything, since there's no proof of anything. Just because he hasn't written home![shock]

Your leaping to a conclusion of the character of the guy, based on a bloody haircut, does seem a little insensitive n'est pas? Of course he is probably fine, but we also know that shit happens, and so unless one knows the definitive story, let's stick to supporting the distressed parent and solving the mystery asap.

OceanTragic Feb 28th, 2012 23:34

Quote:

Originally Posted by ananda2193 (Post 1357612)
I think all this worry is very premature.

Erm, he's been missing since 3rd February. I don't think over three weeks is premature.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ananda2193 (Post 1357612)
He's 28 and looks like a hippy type with long hair. Maybe he's up in the mountains smoking chillums?:confused:

Erm, he's an international journalist who works in Hong Kong. Hardly a stereotypical hippy.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ananda2193 (Post 1357612)
Would be awful embarrassing for him to appear someplace and see posters of him hanging up and the police and his embassy looking for him just because he hasn't written home in 3 weeks![cry]

Any parent would be happy to be embarrassed as long as they get their kid back. Three weeks is way long enough.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ananda2193 (Post 1357612)
But hope all is well and hope this whole thing was just a parent totally overreacting.

Generally I quite like your posts but if this is the best help you can give please steer clear of this thread.

PeakXV Feb 28th, 2012 23:35

In this day & age of instant communication, it is becoming increasingly rare to have a loved one, friend, family member not 'check in' within a reasonable period of time. Thus we can give families the benefit of the doubt & believe them when a situation has been deemed serious enough for public/professional help to be summoned.

However there are instances/places in the world, especially in India, where communications are still more than an issue & also various spiritual/mental states where it's advantageous/therapeutic to block all 'external noise/influence' for extended periods of time.

Klompen Feb 28th, 2012 23:45

I don't think Ananda was meaning to sound as harsh as he has here...

I would also be happy to hear from the parent why they are concerned, is it a uncharacteristically long gap between contact.

Are there other reasons for concern...

I do think it's a good idea for those away on long travels to have something set up at home, whereby they are in regular contact, even if its just a mail once a week.
However not all do this and it's really quite common for people just to get caught up in something harmless yet consuming and just forget folks back home. Not something I agree with, as it's quite insensitive. But you're on holiday, the sun is shinning, you're with a great group people and you feel timeless and comfortably adrift in your "time"....

Because of the distances and the unknown fears involved, parents will fret, it's only natural.

But sometimes their fears are not realised, thankfully. Let us hope this is the case here.

I'm in Delhi next week so feel free to drop me a line if I can help.

OceanTragic Feb 28th, 2012 23:48

Quote:

Originally Posted by Klompen (Post 1357650)
I'm in Delhi next week so feel free to drop me a line if I can help.

Take your magnifying glass and deerstalker with you and head up to Rishikesh. :D

machadinha Feb 28th, 2012 23:51

<cross-posted with a few>

Well, yes. Can only concur that it must not be forgotten that, under some circumstances and in some parts of the world, it is quite possible for a person to not "phone home" all the time. (One of my pleasures in travel is actually not to hang around in web cafes and stuff all the time. And then in parts of India, this may indeed be tricky if not impossible. Then three weeks may indeed fly by, perhaps you thinking all the time "Oh I'll go to that next town to take care of it tomorrow." Then again I'll surely keep my loved ones up-to-date, but, that's just me.)

So it's something to take into consideration. However, I'd be surprised if it hadn't been, and I'd so far just go by what mom & dad have told us, and if dad is now ready to take a flight there, I'm sure they didn't come up with that overnight.

Can only say David & Lynda, good luck with it again. David, you did get your visa to there in order, right? (At such short notice, I mean. Daft remark perhaps, but it would be another painful hindrance if it were overlooked. People sometimes don't realize a visa is needed at all to visit there.)

OceanTragic Feb 28th, 2012 23:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by machadinha (Post 1357655)
David, you did get your visa to there in order, right? (At such short notice, I mean. Daft remark perhaps, but it would be another painful hindrance if it were overlooked. People sometimes don't realize a visa is needed at all to visit there.)

Can't New Zealanders get a visa on arrival? Oh hold on, perhaps he's not native there.

machadinha Feb 28th, 2012 23:56

Quote:

Originally Posted by OceanTragic (Post 1357657)
Can't New Zealanders get a visa on arrival? Oh hold on, perhaps he's not native there.

Ah, good thought. Yes, apparently they can; but would depend on nationality/residency, indeed, I guess. http://www.immigrationindia.nic.in/visa_on_arrival2.htm.

ananda2193 Feb 28th, 2012 23:57

Sorry that some people think I was insensitive not helpful! All I read was that he hasn't written in 3 weeks and he was supposed to go trekking? Where's the worry?:confused:

Unless someone has got more info then me, then please do tell.

And like I said, hope all turns out well!:)

kullukid Feb 29th, 2012 00:14

Quote:

Originally Posted by ananda2193 (Post 1357660)
Sorry that some people think I was insensitive not helpful! All I read was that he hasn't written in 3 weeks and he was supposed to go trekking? Where's the worry?:confused:

Unless someone has got more info then me, then please do tell.

And like I said, hope all turns out well!:)


I agree 3wks isn't a long time especially if trekking,he could be huddled up in some small village in the hills with no internet connection,it's still possible in this day & age. I hope this is the case,but i'm a parent myself,so understand dad's concern.

machadinha Feb 29th, 2012 00:16

Quote:

Originally Posted by ananda2193 (Post 1357660)
All I read was that he hasn't written in 3 weeks and he was supposed to go trekking?

It says may have gone trekking:

Quote:

Originally Posted by davidgreen100 (Post 1356829)
He was last seen in Rishakesh on February 3rd. He may have been planning to go on trek.

The only other clue in this context might be that:

Quote:

Please, all of you, keep in regular contact with your families. Even if they don't say it, they care for you and worry about you!
could indicate family communications being not all that, however it's not for us to analyze, nor am I sure that's what his parents are looking for right now, nor do I think they deserve that. Besides, it may as well simply be a just and heartfelt general call by them: One does meet folks out there who are a little (or down to terribly) lax about the homefront.

I'm sure they've given it their due thought, and their own analysis. (And if something were amiss, how many more weeks would any of us suggest they give it?) David & Lynda: Once more, good luck.

ananda2193 Feb 29th, 2012 00:23

Quote:

Originally Posted by Klompen (Post 1357650)
I don't think Ananda was meaning to sound as harsh as he has here...

Did I really sound harsh!:confused:

I really thought that I was the only one speaking rationally, considering the few facts that we know.

And 3 weeks isn't long for me to keep contact if I'm traveling for a long period

I mean bringing up the Ryan Chambers story should really make them feel better!:rolleyes:

Klompen Feb 29th, 2012 00:27

Others perception Ananda but I can see where they might have thought your post harsh.
I didn't really and see your logic, after all it's only a matter of a week or so since we had a similar story that ended up a communication problem.

To offer good advice or indeed consolation I would like to know a little more too.


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