Post by catherinetd on Feb 17, 2009 21:21:00 GMT -5
This is the story of our youngest son, Ryan (DOB 20/3/1984) who has been missing in India since 24 August 2005.
We hope that this will help find him. It will certainly enable many more people in India to become aware that Ryan is missing and that he has a family in Australia desperate for some news of him. This includes his parents of course but also his older brothers Aaron and Jarrad and his extended family.
Many things have been tried- Australian authorities, Private investigator, Rotary International, Coca Cola India, State Bank of India and many new friends have assisted our search. Facebook has also been used extensively and this medium has resulted in two unconfirmed "sightings."
Psychics have also offered advice but no results have been forthcoming.
A few "sightings" have been reported over the past 3 years but never able to be confirmed.
Meanwhile, people around the world wait for word that Ryan has been found. They have learned of our plight and quest by two amazing websites.
Post by catherinetd on Feb 17, 2009 21:23:49 GMT -5
Ryan and his friend, John Booker flew out of Adelaide on 19 June 2005 for Kuala Lumpur. After they spent the night there with a friend they arrived in Chennai, India on the 20th, planning to spend 8 months in the country.
They both experienced culture shock, never having been in a place of so many people, with the traffic, noise and different way of living of the Indian people. While they had reservations at a nice hotel, a breakdown in communication (or by the driver's design) meant their taxi delivered them to a seedy, rundown hotel.
They didn't realise they were at the wrong hotel until a taxi delivered them back to the right one the following day after some sightseeing.
They decided to go to Pondicherry a couple of days later. They both loved it, and over the next 2 months travelled to Kochi, Coimbatore, Goa, Ooty, Managalore and Varanasi. Along the way, they met many interesting people, both Indian and foreign tourists or backpackers.
In Varanasi, Ryan purchased a sitar and case, something he had planned to do, and which he was prepared to lug around for the remainder of the trip. He also had a quick lesson or two. After a 20 hour train trip, Ryan and John arrived in Rishikesh about 20 August 2005.
Post by catherinetd on Feb 17, 2009 21:25:08 GMT -5
Ryan and John attended some yoga sessions at the Ashram and were enjoying the charm of Rishikesh for a few days. They visited several tourist spots nearby.
Ryan and a chap Alvaro from Spain were even invited to dinner at home of an Indian family in the Laxman Jhula area.
On the evening of 23 August 2005 Ryan rang home to Australia and said he was was ready to come home as he had seen everything he wanted. John offered to help him book flights at the travel agency but it seems Ryan had changed his mind by then.
He was restless that night and early the next morning he left the Ashram when the security gate was opened. He was wearing only shorts. Ryan left his belongings, cash, phone, passport and we have not heard from him since.
There have been a couple of "supposed" sightings but confirmation was never possible-so the search begins!
Post by catherinetd on Feb 17, 2009 21:27:47 GMT -5
I arrived in Rishikesh 2 days after the news that Ryan had disappeared, met with John and then with Police. Australian consulate over the next 2 weeks sent 3 officers at various times to assist in the search.
Susannah Ray from Scotland and John had already hung up "Missing" posters all over Rishikesh and we continued this. Ryan's brother Jarrad and John's father, Stewart arrived about a week later to assist in the search and they were both a great help.
In 2 1/2 weeks we journeyed all sides of Rishikesh, Neelkanth temple, the Barrage and the forest preserves. Travelling up steep mountains, calling in every place which was suggested to us accompanied by police.
A German tourist was convinced she saw Ryan in Haridwar but our search in this area came up with nothing.
It was just so frustrating! So many people, so many posters up and it seemed that Ryan had simple vanished. Police brought in tracker dog (eventually) to no avail.
The Ganges was searched twice in this first trip and also the catchment area at the Barrage. This was to rule out the possibility that Ryan may have come to harm in there. No foreigners had been located there.
Post by catherinetd on Feb 17, 2009 21:28:46 GMT -5
I returned to India with Ryan's oldest brother Aaron on 19 November 2005. This time we were accompanied by a film crew from Australia as we wanted a record of the search and also an interpreter. We were keen to follow up contacts made in the first trip and also with authorities. Australian authorities were a big disappointment, and were not sighted the whole time we were there. They failed to attend the Press Conference in Dehradun.
We re-traced our steps and questioned people. No-one had sighted Ryan. There was a reported sighting at Gangotri, 280kms from Rishikesh in the Himalayas. While doubting this we chose to follow this up before it was snowed in. Trip up took 13 hours and proved frutiless. There were only 6 caretakers there and they had not seen Ryan.
During investigation in Rishikesh we were put in touch with Swami Ma Chetan Jyoti, an Indian citizen now after almost 40 years there and originally from Canada. We received good advice and this lead to Jaipal Singh, a follower of Ma Chetan, former policeman and now private investigator.
Post by catherinetd on Feb 17, 2009 21:29:44 GMT -5
In December 2005, Jaipal Singh, a private investigator and his team searched for Ryan south from Rishikesh, down the River Ganges through Hardwar, Roorkee, Muzaffarnagar and as far south as the Taj Mahal in Agra. The team checked out all river barrages, offshoots and flood overflow areas. This was to eliminate the possibility that an accident had befallen Ryan. In total, the Ganges was searched on three occasions.
At Mansa Devi, near Hardwar the team came across one Cortu Churchey who believed he had seen Ryan a month before. This person was calling himself "Tony". While Tony was Ryan's grandfather, this sighting as with all others has never been confirmed.
Without a lead to follow the team was disbanded early in 2006.
Post by catherinetd on Feb 17, 2009 21:30:52 GMT -5
During 2006 we had an interesting turn of events when Earl Cleaver, a former work colleague of Ryan's rang from Noosa and mentioned he would be in South Australia for a weekend and wished to visit us to discuss Ryan's disappearance. We had a pleasant weekend together in which Earl stated his belief that Ryan was in Badrinath and he planned to travel there in 2007.
This he did under great hardship. While we tried to assist with some contacts Earl was astounded by the sheer numbers of people, the poor state of the roads. To top it all, it snowed two months after the winter season finished and all he had were summer clothes.
Unfortunately, Earl failed to locate Ryan on this trip but we appreciated his efforts so much. He is now living in Tibet teaching English to monks and believes that his path will cross Ryan's in the future.
Post by catherinetd on Feb 17, 2009 21:36:56 GMT -5
Early in 2008, Ryans oldest brother Aaron travelled back to India, primarily to meet some friends returning from Kashmir but also to catch up with Indian friends in Rishikesh. Aaron wanted to make sure that the search is still uppermost in people's minds in that area.
Aaron was more confident on this 2nd trip, having experienced the Indian culture previously. His travel mode this time though was different- long train and bus trips.
He and his mates had a great time and Aaron was able to relax more on this second trip, whereas the first was spent searching for his younger brother. Our family's connection to wonderful India, althought brought about by unusual circumstances, will continue forever.
If anyone sees Ryan please email, call or fill in guestbook.