Ever since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, there have been many stories circulating the globe that American soldiers who fought in the war are still living in the jungles of Vietnam. This is remarkable, considering that most Vietnam Veterans, the ones who are still living, are between the ages of sixty and sixty-five. Considering the turmoil the soldiers went through, fighting guerilla warfare, bombings, and heavy doses of Agent Orange, surviving in a deadly jungle for all these years would be nothing short of a miracle.
The reason behind these oh, so believable stories is that some American soldiers may not know the war is over. That's believable considering American troops stopped fighting over thirty years ago. This would mean that for decades, they would not hear or see bombs being dropped or hails of gunfire, or come into contact with the thousands of other American troops fighting in the war.
Some believers of this conspiracy rely on the fact that over 2000 American soldiers are still missing in Vietnam. Most people with a shred of common sense believe these soldiers to be dead and their bodies unaccounted for or that they are still being held captive in prisoner of war camps, which is another conspiracy in its own.
Not a believer yet? It gets better.
In order for these American soldiers to still be alive they would have to survive the effects of Agent Orange, rampant disease, hunger, outwitting venomous snakes, insects, and plants, and survive attacks from tigers, leopards, and bears. That's pretty easy, right?
The U.S. military feared the Vietnamese Army was hiding their suspicious activities under the thick canopy of jungle. What is known as Operation Ranch Hand took place from 1961-1971. The U.S. sprayed about twelve million gallons of defoliant, better known as Agent Orange, on large parts of the Vietnamese countryside, especially around U.S. bases. The effects of these chemicals continue to be felt today throughout Vietnam’s landscape, water sources, and food chain.
To think that these jungle soldiers would be immune to the inescapable effects of Agent Orange is completely believable. Cancers like prostate and non-Hodgkin lymphoma are attributed to Agent Orange. Vietnam vets living in the U.S., which has some of the best medical advances in the world, are still suffering from the effects of Agent Orange years later. American medicine must have nothing on those living in the jungle.
Even with current medications tourists and locals are still susceptible to contracting diseases and illnesses in Vietnam. Jungle living American soldiers must be some of the healthiest and most vigilant people in the world. A study should be conducted and DNA testing done so the rest of us can learn how to survive in the face of disease the way these men can.
The plague has always been an issue in Vietnam and still is today. The plague, most commonly spread by the bite of rodent fleas, is not a walk in the park. The easiest way to avoid it is to stay away from areas with rodent burrows and nests and to never handle sick or dead animals. For those sharing the jungle with these rodents, this is great news.
If the plague hasn’t wiped out these jungle living soldiers then all they have to do is avoid the threat of Scrub Typhus, Murine Typhus, Leptospirosis, Hepatitis E, Chikungunya Fever, Melioidosis, Liver Fluke, Lung Fluke, Giant Intestinal Fluke, Oriental Fluke, Schistosomiasis, and Strongyloides. Most of these diseases are transmitted by bugs, animals, contaminated food or water, and soil. Sounds easy.
These soldiers would have to eat which means they would either have to catch wild prey, eat plants and roots, or sneak into villages to steal food. They would have to know what is safe to eat and what to stay away from. People traveling to Vietnam are advised to stay away from all raw or undercooked meat and to only eat fruits and vegetables that have been peeled and cooked. Even some species of fish are not safe to eat in Vietnam including red snapper, grouper, amberjack, sea bass, barracuda, and a large number of tropical fish. These fish contain biotoxins as well as other toxins. Someone living off food scavenged in the jungle would have to follow these restrictions in order to prevent themselves from getting very sick. Without immunizations and proper medical care, most people wouldn’t be able to survive.
If in some way these jungle soldiers have managed to bypass disease and starvation, they would have another obstacle to face. No one can survive without clean drinking water which is hard to come by in Vietnam. Lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers are not safe for swimming or bathing unless the water has been heated to 150 degrees Fahrenheit, but I'm sure it's fine to drink and easy to heat to a certain temperature in the middle of a jungle.
For those that actually believe American soldiers who were left behind in Vietnam after the war ended are living in its jungles, where is the proof? There are no documented cases of these jungle soldiers.