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Father & son found from jungle 40 yrs after fleeing Vietnam War

10 August 2013 09:20 am - 13     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


A father and son have been found living in the jungle in Vietnam more than 40 years after they fled US bombing during the Vietnam War.

In 1971 Ho Van Thanh, now 82, fled into the jungle with his 2-year-old son after his wife and two other children were killed when their house was bombed during the Vietnam War, Thanh Nien News reports.

Scott Neuman of NPR reports that on Wednesday Thanh and Ho Van Lang, now in his forties, were coaxed out of their 20-foot-high tree house — which was stocked with arrows and other makeshift hunting tools — after surviving for decades on corn they cultivated in addition to fruits, wild rice, and cassava roots from the forest.

They were discovered after villagers who ventured about 25 miles into the forest alerted authorities after seeing two men wearing tree bark loin clothes.

Thanh, who has forgotten the mainstream Kinh language, had to be carried out of the jungle on a hammock because he was too weak to walk. The younger Ho only knows a few words of the local dialect.

Harriet Alexander of The Telegraph reports that another son of Thanh told Vietnamese media tracked down that he had discovered his father and brother 20 years ago but had not been able to persuade them to return to civilization.

"We know he wants to escape my house to go back to the forest, so we have to keep an eye on him now," Ho Van Tri, who was 6-months-old when his father fled with his brother, told local media.

Thanh Nien News notes that nearby was a field, which is about one hectare (2.47 acres), where they planted sugarcane and tobacco. The pair reportedly kept a small fire in the house and smoked tobacco to keep warm on cold days.

Thanh, who was fighting for North Vietnam when he fled, reportedly kept his soldier’s trousers neatly folded in a corner along with a little red coat his son was thought to have been wearing when they fled.

The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era conflict that claimed millions of military and civilian lives and left surviving soldiers and victims traumatised.

The Indochina War, centered in Vietnam, was the most intense aerial bombing campaign in history as it saw the U.S. Air Force drop a total of 6,162,000 tons of bombs, other ordnance, and chemical weapons from 1964 to August 15, 1973.(Agencies)

The father

The tree house

  Comments - 13

  • UPALI ABEYSINGHE Sunday, 11 August 2013 06:46 AM


    What is your exact point? They ran way from invading foreign force. SL forces fighting against country' s separation.

    The God Father Sunday, 11 August 2013 12:43 PM

    I have no words...............

    Yarl Sunday, 11 August 2013 02:03 AM

    Lots of Tamils still living in other countries after 30 years fleeing War and yet to return to their own homes.

    mnsmart Sunday, 11 August 2013 02:21 AM

    US must compensate them,

    BuffaloaCitizen Monday, 12 August 2013 11:20 AM

    Modaya, it is worse when you have to get killed by the government who is supposed to protect you.

    mandy Monday, 12 August 2013 11:21 AM

    SL Govt. should express its deep concern over this to USA immediately. LOL

    Aro Sunday, 11 August 2013 02:11 PM

    Then how about Jungles close to Weliweriya?

    Dam Sunday, 11 August 2013 03:23 AM

    Original Tarzan

    nishantha Saturday, 10 August 2013 04:40 PM

    After 40 years we can find the similar situation from Vanni jungle.

    galleguy Sunday, 11 August 2013 05:01 AM

    But yarl, they are living there happily ever after.

    Lokka Saturday, 10 August 2013 09:41 AM

    UNHRC what you can say about this. Pillay you also ? Tell something we like to hear.

    mahaweli Saturday, 10 August 2013 05:20 PM

    This is actually a very interesting incident to be examined their life style, food, health condition etc, etc,

    ANTON Sunday, 11 August 2013 05:52 AM


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