Ho Van Lang, 42, was two years old when his father, Ho Van Thanh, now 82, brought him deep into the Jungle in Vietnam. In 1971, the family home had been bombed, killing Thanh’s mother and two of his other children, reports Vietnamese publication Tuoitrenews.vn.
Thanh fled with Lang and they remained in the jungle for 40 years, emerging for the first time on Wednesday. Locals had come across the two as they traveled deep into the forest in Quang Ngai Province. They notified authorities, reports Tuoitrenews.vn. Thanh Nien News and other Vietnamese publications have also reported on the “jungle men.”
Thanh Nien News reports that Ho Van Tri, Thanh’s youngest son, survived the bombing and had found the pair 20 years ago, but could not convince them to leave the jungle.
A photo on Tuoitrenews shows Lang dressed in a loin cloth. The men reportedly lived off of wild fruit, cassava, and what appears to be corn they planted. They had also planted tobacco, according to Thahn Nien News.
The publication describes their dwelling: “They lived in a house that looks like a bird nest, built from sticks on a big tree around six meters from the ground, and near a stream.” Their clothing was made of dry bark.
In a similar case, Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda of Japan continued to fight for nearly 30 years after the Japanese emperor declared peace in 1945. He was found on the Philippine Island of Lubang in 1974 and demanded formal orders to surrender before laying down his arms, according to a BBC News article from February 2011.
Shoichi Yokoi was found in a Guam jungle in 1972. He had been hiding there for 28 years, sure his fellow Japanese soldiers would find him, according to a BBC article from January 2012.