Jim Thompson Mystery Solved!

SOLVED! The Mysterious Disappearance of Jim Thompson, the Thai Silk King

Chapter 8

Jim's disappearance causes concern

The sudden eclipse of Jim certainly came as a shock to many; this was especially so for those who knew him reasonably well. But they were not put off by the news that came their way. Put simply, they were quite confident that Jim would somehow surface again. One such person was Constance. According to her, they had known each other for more than twenty-two years. When queried about his character, she remembered a trip which they made to the Himalayas a few years back.

"During the trip," she said, "Jim went missing... for almost four weeks. We spent a lot of our time looking for him in the mountains. The other members of our team and I were surprised when he showed up at the end of our heartbreaking search. He was certainly weak and exhausted on his return."

"Jim," she noted, "was in the habit of losing himself. He would turn up when least expected. I have a funny feeling he was in one of his unpredictable moods when he ventured on his latest jaunt into the jungle."

In Malaysia, the outlook amongst some of his close friends was a lot dimmer. As the days passed, they began to doubt as to whether he was still alive. "One can go on walking," they noted, "without meeting another human being in the thick of the jungle." Based on this reasoning, they were resigned to the fact that his chances of being alive were indeed slim.

US$10,000 reward for the finder of Jim

In Bangkok, the Thai Silk Company took the news of his disappearance more seriously. The officials of the company were positive that something amiss could have happened to him while he was on leave at the hideaway. Charles U. Sheffield, 40, who was appointed acting manager, announced that "a generous reward (of US$10,000) will be paid by the Thai Silk Company to any person or persons" who succeeded in finding Jim. The offer was made on Wednesday, March 29, that is, three days after he was declared as lost. This incentive was a close follow-up to the strong rumours in the Thai capital that he could have been kidnapped and taken to another country.

Jim "seen" in the jungle

The day after the Thai Silk Company announced their reward, a young lady showed up at the company's premises and informed the staff that she knew something about Jim's predicament. Determined to give anything a try, they ushered her into a dimly lit room. A collection of candles and joss sticks were lit and placed under a white piece of cloth. While she was concentrating on her prayers, the anxious employees kept their focus on the fabric which was hung on the wall. They were confident that the 'screen' would somehow show them something about the situation that Jim was in. To their great disappointment, they saw nothing. But their guest swore she saw something. When asked what it was, she said she saw Jim being held captive by two gunmen. All three were in the jungle.

Medium predicts Jim would return on his own

Over at Tanah Rata, a ton-kee (medium)... came up with a vastly different interpretation. Thong Weng, 29 a part-time house painter from Brinchang, proclaimed to two of his followers that Jim was "alive but possessed by evil spirits". Prior to his declaring this..., he reportedly went into a number of trances. His first was on Wednesday, March 29. After coming out of his trance, he predicted that Jim would return to the chateau "on his own". He also mentioned that this would take place "at about 9am the next day". But nothing of that sort came to pass. Not to be outdone, he spent the later part of the morning working himself into a double trance. He pleaded with the spirit world for a positive hint as to where Jim could be traced. In all, it took him more than an hour to come out of his spell.

After regaining his normal senses, he confidently declared that "Jim is still being possessed by evil spirits". He went on to say that Jim could be found "in a hole under a large tree which is not far from the bungalow." He said, "During their search, a few police parties did pass by this spot without noticing him. He tried to call out to them but, being weak, his calls went unheard."

The hunt for Jim continues

Whatever the mystic predicted, the police generally took no notice of it. Their attention was more focused on empirical evidence of the likely areas where Jim could be found. During their air and ground mission on March 29, the pilot of an RMAF helicopter enquired of the aboriginal settlers as to whether they had come into contact with the missing man. They informed him that they did not. Before leaving, the pilot left word with them to keep the police informed if they encountered Jim. He also reminded them not to harm him.

Dr Ling departs the Cameron Highlands

Later in the afternoon there was a slight change in events: Dr Ling left the district for Singapore; at Moonlight, Helen and Constance continued to wait for Jim's return. They wanted to take care of him in the event that he showed up. Helen informed the media that she took the view that, "despite the dim prospects, everything must be all right with him. We will remain here to see the end of this search. We will be here for as long as we know and believe he will come through safe."



SOLVED! The Mysterious Disappearance of Jim Thompson, the Legendary Thai Silk King (Excerpt) by Edward Roy De Souza

Excerpts from "SOLVED! The Mysterious Disappearance of Jim Thompson, the Legendary Thai Silk King", an imprint of Word Association Publishers (www.wordassociation.com), 205 5th Avenue, Tarentum, PA 15084, USA. ISBN: 1-932205-89-6. Copyright 2004 by Edward Roy De Souza. roysouza@singnet.com.sg

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Posted on 8-Aug-2006

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