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  1. #1
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    Bangyai's Avatar
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    Vietnam Veteran, presumed dead 44 years ago, found living in Vietnam

    U.S Army veteran 'found living in a Vietnam village 44 YEARS after being shot down and presumed dead during the war - but cannot remember the names of his family or even how to speak English'

    • Sgt. John Hartley Robertson is believed to have died in 1968 over Laos during a special ops mission
    • A new documentary claims to have found him - aged 76 - still living in Vietnam
    • This man has never contacted the American wife and two children who have believed him dead for 44-years
    By James Nye

    PUBLISHED: 03:15 GMT, 30 April 2013 | UPDATED: 10:59 GMT, 30 April 2013
    Sgt. John Hartley Robertson's name is etched along with 60,000 others onto Washington D.C.'s poignant Vietnam memorial - no doubt visited many times by the wife and two children he left behind.

    But what if Robertson didn't die during a classified special ops mission over Laos in 1968 as military records show but is still alive and well?

    That is the jaw dropping question posed by a new documentary which claims to have tracked down the one-time Green Beret to south-central Vietnam - where the 76-year-old is unable to remember his birthday, his American childrenís names, or how to speak English.
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    Special Forces Green Beret Master Sgt. John Hartley Robertson is the subject of a new documentary which claims to have found him alive - 44-years after he was supposed to have died in Vietnam





    John H.Robertson, a former U.S. Army Green Beret and member of an elite MACV-SOG unit, was listed as Missing In Action in 1968. A fellow Vietnam War veteran seeks the true identity of a man claiming to be Robertson and embarks upon an emotional journey chronicled by the feature-length documentary Unclaimed







    The makers of 'Unclaimed' say that the wiry, forgetful man could very well be a missing POW from the distressing conflict, but that his fellow servicemen could very well 'lose their minds' when they hear the story of how he never returned home.

    'Sgt. Robertson' has told Emmy-award winning filmmaker Michael Jorgensen that when his flaming helicopter crashed to the ground during a firefight on a Laos mountaintop.he was captured immediately by North Vietnamese soldiers.
    'They locked me up, high in the forest, in a cage,' he says. 'I was in and out of consciousness from torture and starvation. The North Vietnamese soldier hit me on the head with a stick, shouting, ĎAmerican!í

    'Then he would hit me even harder; I thought I would die. I never said anything, though they beat and tortured me.'
    Mr Robertson says he escaped after four years, hid in the woods and was found in a field by a woman who nursed him back to health and then became his wife.
    He said he borrowed his wife's late husbandís surname and birthdate and was registered as a French-Vietnamese resident named Dan Tan Ngoc,



    The couple then had children but no recorded attempt was made to contact his wife or children back home in America.

    However, despite the inconsistencies that suggest either serious brain injury at the hands of his captors or at worse a deep callousness, many believe that the old man is indeed Robertson.

    The documentary follows the quest of Vietnam veteran Tom Faunce as he seeks to prove that the man he first heard about in 2008 while on a humanitarian mission was indeed a fellow serviceman.

    Fonce contacted Jorgensen to see if the filmmaker would follow his story to establish that Robertson was still alive and at first the director was cautious.

    Tom Faunce, a Vietnam War veteran and humanitarian, seeks the true identity of a man claiming to be an American MIA and vows to reunite him with his family. Shown here on one of his many trips to Vietnam


    Vietnam veteran Tom Faunce has become obsessed with proving that the 76-year-old man he has found in Vietnam is indeed Sgt. John Hartley Robertson

    'The MIA story was pretty unbelievable, pretty grandiose,' he said to the Globe and Mail, 'and I was very skeptical.'

    However, what struck Jorgensen above the idea a Vietnam veteran could have stayed undetected for 44-years was Faunce's journey as a soldier, alcoholic and victim of child abuse.

    To, 'go all the way in helping someone he didn't even know.' And that 'no matter how the story turned out with John, I knew there was just a great 'once upon a time' with Tom.'

    So, to Vietnam, where Faunce tracked down the man who local legend had to be a former American Green Beret who had never returned home.

    'Tom went to meet him (Robertson) and was very skeptical, grilled this guy up and down trying to get him to break, to say, ĎOh, no, Iím just making it up.í And he was adamant he was that guy,' said Jorgensen to The Toronto Star.
    As Jorgensen delved further into the story, he discovered unusual evidence for Robertson's claims.

    Tom Faunce, a Vietnam War veteran, walks along the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. He has discovered a man claiming to be an American MIA still living in Southeast Asia and vows to reunite him with his American family


    Horror of war in 1968, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam --- Under cover of tank, Vietnamese range move up a street in Cholon as another part of the Chinese section of Saigon burns


    Tom Faunce, a Vietnam War veteran, kneels along the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall

    He found that reports existed as early as 1982 of Robertson's alleged survival, leading him to question why his family were not contacted to help provide proof.

    'Why did the Americans leave him there for all those years?' said Jorgensen to The Globe and Mail. Are there other John Hartley Robertson's in Vietnam?

    Jorgensen answers his own question to say 'a highly placed source has told him there are and it's not because the Vietnamese won't let them go, it's more the U.S. Military doesn't want them to come home.'

    Indeed, Faunce and Jorgensen discovered that in 2010 Robertson was fingerprinted at the U.S. Embassy.

    Faunce was reportedly told that there was not enough proof to confirm this was John Hartley Robertson. To which they replied that there was not enough evidence to suggest he wasn't.

    As the film proceeds, stronger personal reunions add to the case that the elderly man who seems to suffer from dementia is indeed the American special forces solider.



    Heroes: Small American flags stand at the base of a statue of American Soldiers of the Vietnam War. Washington, D.C., USA

    There is a tearful reunion with a soldier who Robertson trained in 1960 - who claims he knew it was him on sight.

    And there is a moving moment when the man is brought back together with 80-year-old Jean Robertson Holly at her home in Canada - who would have been Sgt. Robertson's only surviving sister.

    'Jean says Ö ĎThereís no question. I was certain it was him in the video, but when I held his head in my hands and looked in his eyes, there was no question that was my brother,í says Jorgensen to the Toronto Star.
    Of course this would all be cleared up if Robertson-Holly agreed to DNA testing, but she says she doesn't need to do that to know.


    Sadly, Robertsonís American wife and two children, initially said they would like to participate in DNA testing.

    However, they changed their minds about being involved during the production last year, says Jorgensen.

    'Somebody suggested to me maybe thatís (because) the daughters donít want to know if itís him. Itís kind of like, that was an ugly war,' said Jorgensen to the Toronto Star.

    'It was a long time ago. We just want it to go away,' says Jorgensen. 'I donít know. What would compel you not to want to know if this person is your biological father?'

    Jorgensen recruited a Vietnamese speaking police officer from Edmonton to act as a translator.

    Hugh Tran said that he spoke just like a Vietnamese native with no trace of an American accent - leading him to become very suspicious.

    'I still didnít believe . . . until I saw the family reunion,' said Tran about the emotional meeting with his sister.

    Some moments that didn't even make the film led Jorgensen to wonder if this man was he who said he was.

    Telling of the moment he met his sister, Robertson also met her husband, Henry, telling him that he remembers him working in a drugstore.

    Henry worked for 50-years as a pharmacist.

    Above everything, Jorgensen believes that no matter what viewers take away from the film which opens this week at the Toronto Hot Docs festival, the man who claims to Robertson fulfilled his wish: to see some of his American family before he dies.
    Hot Docs director Chris McDonald, said he had never seen an audience react with so much emotion after seeing the film of Mr Robertson's life.
    He said: 'Afterwards, everyone was wobbly and tearyóand curious. If this individual is a legitimate MIA left behind, as the family and filmmakers believe, itís hard to overestimate what the impact might be.'






  2. #2
    Mid
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bangyai
    where the 76-year-old is unable to remember his birthday, his American children’s names, or how to speak English.
    suspect he would rather be left alone ..............................

  3. #3
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    Maybe his Yank wife was a fat miserable fucker.

  4. #4
    Mid
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    ^

    whatever , that was another life a long time ago and I do wonder if he is appreciative of others raking over those coals .

  5. #5
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    Interesting piece.

    Wonder what the Vietnamese spin might be.

  6. #6
    The Pikey Hunter
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    ^^ seems that he is willing to do the DNA test, but his children are not. Why not do it with his sister then who says it is him?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurgen View Post
    Maybe his Yank wife was a fat miserable fucker.
    Tend to agree. 4 out of the 5 best jumps I ever had were Viet girls, and 5 out of 5 of the best looking were as well. Don't blame him at all.

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    I reckon the guy would be well pissed off that he has become front page news after all these years.

    He would of went home decades ago if he wanted to.

  9. #9
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    Not knowing his state of mind, he looks pretty healthy for 76 though.

  10. #10
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    I think this might have been proved to be fake.

    JOHN HARTLEY ROBERTSON

    http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/pwmia/S134_4/2.pdf

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pseudolus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Kurgen View Post
    Maybe his Yank wife was a fat miserable fucker.
    Tend to agree. 4 out of the 5 best jumps I ever had were Viet girls, and 5 out of 5 of the best looking were as well. Don't blame him at all.
    So what nationality was the 1 out 5? Just curious.

  12. #12
    I don't know barbaro's Avatar
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    This story has the makings of a movie perhaps.

    Out of curiosity I'll check out this Doco.

  13. #13
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    He's not the only one. Leave it alone- this bullshit about searching for american bones in a jungle is long past a farce.

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