Since I became busy guiding tours, I have neglected updating my blog frequently. I went into my hosting domain and took a look at the numbers of people viewing….. I am somewhat surprised at the numbers. I still get 500-1000 unique visitors a month with more than 200000 viewers. Wow!! That tells me that there is still a large interest in Vietnam as a holiday destination, but I wonder when? Starting in October of 2014, I noticed a reduction in both guesthouse and tour booking that trickled away to almost nothing in December. It has been unusually quiet ever since. Nha Trang is suffering in that not only has tourism dramatically slowed, but the stigma that Russian visitors cause are causing many people to actually go out of their way to avoid Nha Trang…… Sad….. There is still so much to see and do. All you need is to stay away from the backpack area and enjoy the rest, but alas……. Books like the lonely planet and forums such as Trip Advisor only lead you to such places…. The researchers that visit here to update materials display absolutely no interest in anything away from what will generate them revenue….. so tourist areas it is.
There is a new and final update to the Donald G Carr story………….
After a few weeks of not hearing a peep from anybody regarding my discovery of Donald G Carr, I started sending many email and links to people or organizations that might be able to help gwetting the information out to the family. I was frustrated……. Nobody responded to my attempts. Did no one care? Some time past and in a conversation with my friend Bob who runs Bob’s café My a connection happened. He was able to contact someone who was involved with JPAC who sent me the following email:
I am an investigator with the U.S. government’s Defense POW/MIA Accounting
Agency (DPAA – formerly JPAC), stationed in Hanoi. We have been in contact
with the witnesses you describe in your blog, and have located the crash
site in Dak Glei Province. The witnesses contacted us here at our offices
about a year ago. From them we have obtained Carr’s dogtag, the blood chit,
and a number of remains, which are undergoing analysis at our laboratory in
Hawaii. The crash site is scheduled for excavation as soon as we can get to
it, probably in the period after Tet, based on weather patterns.
Thank you for your work on this case.
At Last!!!!! Thank you. Had someone got to me earlier, I would not have sent out all the emails that I did. Anyway……… I just tried to look up the email on my server and cannot find it. Hmmmmm…. Can emails automatically delete if designed to do so? I keep all deleted mails so for it to be gone is quite a surprise….. anyway…. Cloak and dagger stuff. To continue…… It looks like one of the tribes people decided to go against the rest and try to get a reward himself (remember the demand of 200000 dollars). I have no idea whether any reward was paid however, The Department of Defense received the remains that I photographed and excavation is forthcoming. I assume there will be no official announcement for some time to come. It no longer matters…… The word is out and hopefully the family notified. I am very happy to be responsible for his remains being turned over to America regardless of how it came about. For me it was never about money and I was just doing what was asked of me. The fact that my involvement had one local either develop a conscience of betray the others is irrelevant…… The end result is that Donald G Carr is going home. At this point you would think the story ends….. but no!!! It continues.
I had an American couple that wanted to tour the Central Highlands finishing in Hoi An. We departed by car and enjoyed our travels through Lak Lake, Buon Ma Thuot, Kon Tum, and then as we made out way to Kham Duc, I saw the same unusual motorcycle in the town of Dak Glei parked outside a house. I stopped and tried the number I had now having an excuse to call…….. No answer. Ok I thought, he is no longer interested in talking to me because of the whole issue. As far as he may be concerned, I had betrayed him and not kept my word. At my hotel in Kham Duc 80 km’s north I received a call from the young man. He wanted to meet for coffee and was wanting to drive 80 km in the rain to meet me. I have to say that I was very nervous. What was this about? We met and had a decent chat considering my Vietnamese is not all that good. Everything is ok and he is not angry…… as a matter of fact, he is friendly and wants in the future for us to go fishing together. It actually sounds like a good time. Imagine, fishing the rivers along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. How many foreigners can ever say they have done that……… Damn!! Life is an adventure. I asked about the other tribesman and he said he no longer associates with them. I left with the impression that perhaps it was him who turned over all the evidence while trying to scoop a reward. Oh well…… no matter.
We finished out tour in Hoi An and said out good byes. As luck would have it, I had a day off before a family arrived in Hoi An wanting to do a tour to Saigon over 7 days…………….. But that is another story!!!
UPDATE JUNE 2016
I have been in contact with Donald G Carr’s family and a couple of writers that are interested in the recovery of his remains. I have been informed that recovery efforts are being pursued at this time. The family thanked me and credits this blog for forcing the Department of Defense to contact them on the fate of Donald G Carr. My part of this adventure ends. I am happy Donald is going home.