Pol Pot's Dead?
December 8, 2004 9:44 AM   Subscribe

25 years in a non-existant war In 1979, a Khmer Rouge guerrilla fled to the hills of Cambodia when his village was attacked by Vietnamese troops. He and a small group of friends and family lived in the dense forests for 25 years, emerging in 2004 to discover that the war was over and that Pol Pot was dead. They had been fearful of any human contact, believing everyone to be the enemy.
posted by BradNelson (17 comments total)

 
The same thing happened to a Japanese soldier after World War II. He lived alone on an island, avoiding any human contact, thinking that the war was still on. Efforts to find him, including by his father, failed. He thought that the Americans had cleverly copied his father's voice. When they finally found him in the 1970s, he refused to surrender until his company commander ordered him to. So they had to go find his old commander and bring him down to the island so the guy would go home. Kind of amazing that people will be convinced that a war is still on, despite there being no evidence of it.
posted by BradNelson at 9:44 AM on December 8, 2004


Great. I spell check "existent" and I still get it wrong.
posted by BradNelson at 9:51 AM on December 8, 2004


more info on the Japanese holdouts above, from a previous thread.
posted by whatzit at 10:01 AM on December 8, 2004


The Crusades ended long ago, though some today apparently think the war goes on.
posted by flarbuse at 10:12 AM on December 8, 2004


It would be ironic if there were similar holdouts in, say, Afghanistan, who emerged from hiding only to find fresh conflict going on.
posted by sid at 10:24 AM on December 8, 2004


I've heard about these holdout folks, but never really thought about it. My lord. Can you imagine what the children of this group must think of the modern world? To finally see what they've only heard about? Everyday items such as shoes, a toothbrush, a doorknob, would be found novel, let alone societal norms and advanced technology... What an adjustment.
posted by Specklet at 10:32 AM on December 8, 2004


Stunned relatives immediately threw a party of rice wine, pig soup and papaya
posted by stbalbach at 10:40 AM on December 8, 2004


Thanks for the link, whatzit. This is the guy I was thinking of.
posted by BradNelson at 10:54 AM on December 8, 2004


It's like "The Last Flight of Noah's Ark" only without the island and the upside-down airplane and the kids and the lady and Elliott Gould and the Japanese soldiers...
posted by stinkycheese at 10:57 AM on December 8, 2004


I was thinking it's just like Mediterraneo without the Italian prostitutes.
posted by scarabic at 11:24 AM on December 8, 2004


"I want to thank the old people who were brave enough to lead me out of the jungle. Otherwise, I would never have known what a car looked like," he said, sucking pensively from a jar of wine, a truck parked over his shoulder.

Wow. Either they have flying trucks in Cambodia, or this guy was suck under a truck while giving this interview. In which case his coherence is admirable.
posted by kindall at 11:26 AM on December 8, 2004


suck under a truck

Stuck, dammit.
posted by kindall at 11:26 AM on December 8, 2004


They're tellin' me its not there anymore. Does anyone have a copy or a mirror?
posted by jmgorman at 11:36 AM on December 8, 2004


Here's my thread on the Japanese holdouts that whatzit referenced.
posted by ewagoner at 12:40 PM on December 8, 2004


Jesus Christ that's retarded... I would've snuck into town to check shit out around about... oh, I dunno... year 5???
posted by BobFrapples at 1:13 PM on December 8, 2004


Pol-Pot ran a pretty insanely evil regime, you might have been scared for longer than you think Bob.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:20 PM on December 8, 2004


Wow, I always thought that type of story was an urban legend. Thanks, whatzit.
posted by etoile at 11:37 AM on December 9, 2004


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