Vietnamese Men Emerge From Jungle 40 Years After War, Having No Outside Contact


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The father is staying at this health center while his son, Lang, are living with a cousin in Tra Phong Commune.

During the first day in normal society, Lang chewed betel and smoked continuously, and glanced at everybody around him with a dull look.

As Lang had lived in a remote forest since he was two years old, his appearance is not normal. He walks slowly with his back bent down; his eyes are dull.

He often stared outside into the distance.

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When being found, Lang and his father were staying in a hut about five meters from the ground, and both men were dressed only in loincloths made of tree bark. At the hut, many hand-made tools like knives, axes, mortars, bamboo baskets, were found.

Locals also found seed grains and two sets of what appear to be sweaters made of tree bark in the hut.

“Missed the forest very much”

Many elderly people in Tra Xinh Commune confirmed that the story of the 82-year-old man and his son living in forest began about 40 years ago, when the Vietnam War (1945-1975) was taking place in many localities in Vietnam, including Tay Tra Distrist.

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According to these elderly people, Thanh joined a guerilla force in 1972. In some time later, a bomb dropped onto his village, hitting many houses including Thanh’s. The bombing killed many people, including Thanh’s mother and the two of his four children.

It is widely assumed that, Thanh, overwhelmed by grief and panic, hurriedly held his third child (Lang) in his arms and ran away to the forest nearby, leaving his wife and the youngest child – Tri.
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Thanh and Lang began to live an isolated life in the forest since then and ten years later, locals first spotted him for the first time.

Their daily foods were fruits and manioc they found in the forest. It is assumed that they also planted corn for food. 

Dinh Van Hung, secretary of the Tra Xinh Commune Party Committee, said, “Once a long time ago, after knowing that Thanh and Lang were alive, the authorities send staffs to go the forest to meet them and persuade them to return for safety reasons.

“But after a short time of return, they went back to the forest because they missed it very much”, Hung said.

Currently, both Thanh and his son could speak a little of the language of the Kor ethnic minority group and authorities and locals are trying to help them reintegrate into society.

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