When going on a hike, the most important thing to take along is:
a. A compass
c. A cellphone
Forget what you learned in the Boy Scouts or from Dora the Explorer. A man in Taiwan credits his survival for ten days in the mountains to the aid he received from two ghosts who led him to the path back to civilization. Based on his story, you may want to also take a spare pair of glasses.
According to Asia Times, 60-year-old Soong Rui-xiong drove his minibus to a mountainous area in Pingtung County, the southernmost and most tropical county of Taiwan, which surprisingly has the largest number and density of high mountains in the world, with 286 mountain summits over 3,000 meters (9,800 ft), primarily due to its location at the intersection of the Eurasian and Philippine Sea tectonic plates. Needless to say, it’s a popular location for hikers and mountaineers.
It appears the 60-year-old was only planning to hike for a few hours on November 10. After he didn’t come back that evening, his family notified the Pingtung County Fire Bureau and the Liberty Times Net reported than an impressive search was soon underway:
“Continue to search Nankubo Mountain, Kubo Mountain, Da Musang Mountain, and Lili Mountain Area and the river bed area. The search mission lasted 10 days. During this period, I also applied for the Air Force Corps Helicopter and requested the Kaohsiung Fire Station to support the temperature measurement air-camera search from the sky, and asked local hunters. The South China Association of the Mountain Difficult Search and Rescue Corps of the Republic of China, the Central Association of the Mountain Difficult Search and Rescue Corps of the Republic of China, and Formosa Plastics employees supported the search. A total of 57 vehicle trips, 111 police calls, 2 servicemen, 2 civil service searches, and civil search and rescue The group has 284 person-times, 2 helicopters and temperature-measuring aerial cameras.”
After nearly ten days of searching, they still found no sign of Soong Rui-xiong. Where was he?
“The whole man almost fell and couldn't breathe."
It appears Soong Rui-xiong realized he was lost on his climb down from the mountain to find his minibus. The notorious “low battery” signal appeared on his phone, so he decided to spend the night on the mountain. Unfortunately, the next day was worse. He fell down a mountain wall after losing his footing on loose rocks and spent a half hour not moving until he caught his breath and could get back up … to look not for the minibus but for his glasses. Yes, Soong Rui-xiong lost his glasses and, as anyone who wears them will tell you, you need your glasses to find your glasses. Luckily, he found a cave to stay in, a stream for water and some fruits and plants to eat – pretty brave for someone who can’t see what he’s eating or what’s floating in the water. He decided to stay in the cave and wait to be rescued but, after ten days, Soong Rui-xiong figured he’d better try hiking out one more time.
That’s when things got weird.
“However, before he decided to go out of the cave to help himself, he really encountered a couple of Aboriginal couples to accompany him for up to 2 hours. The only word was The couple said to him stupidly, "Do you have myopia?" Song Nan thought to himself, which probably means that his glasses were missing, so he couldn't find the way down the mountain. After going down, the original youths also said "This Is the ancestral spirit. "”
That’s a rough Google translation of the Liberty Times Net report on Soong Rui-xiong’s rescue. It appears he met a couple who appeared suddenly and walked and chatted with him for about two hours before mysteriously disappearing … however, not before leading him to the right path back to his minibus. The second couple appears to be two real indigenous youths who heard his story and informed Soong he had been saved by spirits of their ancestors. Believing them, Soong told the media he went back to the mountain at noon and thanked the mountain god for saving his life.
Should you toss out your hiking essentials and find a spirit guide for your next hike? Definitely not, even if you believe Soong Rui-xiong’s story. While he may have really met a ghost couple, he certainly didn’t look like he spent 10 days alone on a mountain with little food and water in a video taken after he was found. (Watch the video here.) He also admits that he did not have his glasses on when he met the alleged ghosts. There were an estimated 111 police officers and firefighters, 284 volunteers, and two helicopters searching for him, and yet he was found by two ghosts and two indigenous people, who also disappeared before they could be interviewed. While some might say they believe his story, others will look at the video, then look at them and ask:
"Do you have myopia?"