Survival Saturday: Man and son live more than 40 years in the jungle after fleeing Vietnam War.

Think you could bug-out into the woods with little more than the shirt on your back? And survive for more than 40 years? This story is a few years old, but when it passed across my feed a while back, I thought it was worth saving for a Survival Saturday. A man and his son did so, living in the Vietnamese jungle from 1971 until they were “rescued” in 2013.


After more than 40 years an elderly father and son were ‘rescued’ from the Vietnamese jungle, having spent 41 years – almost his entire life – with virtually no contact with other humans. In the midst of the Vietnam War, after a bomb destroyed his family home and killed his wife and two of his sons, a desperate father grabbed his infant boy and fled into the jungle and that’s where they stayed – 41 years later in 2013 they returned to a modern world.

First investigations found Thanh had fled into the jungle bringing his son Ho Van Loan, then around one year old, during a panicking night in 1971 in the Vietnam War, when his house was bombed, killing his wife and two older sons. They used dry bark to make pants, though officials found Thanh has carefully kept a little red coat of his son and his soldier’s trousers in the corner of their hut.

They had gone back to old ways of living, they made their own tools like knives, axes and arrows for hunting…

…A fire was almost always kept lit and they made a variety of tools, cutlery and cooking utensils from items scattered across the jungle, including the steel from dropped bombs. “Kitchenware, like pans, pots and plates, were made during the first few years from the aluminium they found in a broken-down American helicopter. They never ate with their hands, but had improvised chopsticks made of bamboo. They had about 20 pieces of kitchen ware and today they are still conserved in the village.”

Cool story.



  1. Matt in FL says:

    Did anyone ask them if they wanted to come out?

  2. Sam L. says:

    Reminds me of the Japanese soldiers hiding out in the islands after the war.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Survival Saturday: Man and son live more than 40 years in the jungle after fleeing Vietnam War.

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email