STAY AT CAMERON HIGHLANDS RESORT AND ENJOY A COMPLIMENTARY TREK INTO THE JUNGLES OF CAMERON HIGHLANDS UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF MARY WHO KNOWS JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING ALIVE OR DEAD (LIKE JIM THOMPSON) IN THE COOL HIGHLANDS!
Jim Thompson was already rich and famous when he came for his usual lengthy holiday in Cameron Highlands to stay in Moonlight Cottage on 26 March 1967. He revitalised the Thai silk industry and in the process accumulated vast wealth. Aged 61, he was fit and no one gave a thought when he went for his usual afternoon stroll. He left at 2 pm and at 4 pm the cook at Lutheran Mission house saw him. By 6 pm as dusk fell and he did not return to Moonlight Cottage which was 2 km away, the police were alerted.By dawn the search parties started.
More than 500 were involved, ranging from Malaysian army, police, professional trekkers, Gurkha soldiers, Orang Asli, reward hunters, local residents, missionaries, adventure seekers, American school students, British servicemen, tourists and even mystics.
The official search lasted 12 days but it went on for months.
Nothing was found/ No dead body, remains or tracks were found. It was as if Jim Thompson had gone into a hole and pulled it in after him.
"There were tigers in Cameron Highlands in the 1960s but even so, a tiger could not consume an entire corpse and parts of the body or skull or bones would be left behind," said Mary. "A helicopter could have lifted him and flown him away but a heli is extremely loud and noisy and would be heard or noticed!"
The most logical reason is that Jim Thompson was murdered and his dead body driven away or he went willingly but why would he do that? If he planned to go missing he would lose his business empire.
Even if he trekked through the jungles at night with torches, he could not have walked a hundred kilometers away.
The only strange incident was when he told his friends in the morning before all attended church was that he would walk 2 km to the access road. He met up with them 25 to 30 minutes later and all went to All Souls Church. Why did he walk alone instead of being in the car? This was the only time he was not seen and on his own. Did he met secretly with someone to confirm his disappearance?
As the richest and most famous American living in Asia at the time, his vanishing act caused a sensation of epic proportions. He worked for Office of Strategic Services during and after World War 2 which went on to become CIA. So he was a spy of sorts. What secrets did he hold?
He was assigned to the USA Legation in Bangkok and left the army in 1946 and in 1948 started Thai Silk Company which became Jim Thompson. Even if he was murdered by business rivals, his body or parts should be found. Unless his body was cut into small pieces and buried in various places but tracker dogs would have flushed out his freshly slaughtered body parts from the earth.
Another theory is that he was killed in a car accident and the driver, having discovered to his horror the dead man was world famous Jim Thompson, hurriedly buried him in a shallow grave by the road! Of course no one bothered to check the vicinity along the roads but combed the jungles deep inside! For all we know, Jim Thompson's grave was metres from the main road and hidden in plain sight!
Finally the only option is that he was kidnapped---by Orang Bunian! Orang Bunian are supernatural beings in Malay folklore, akin to the fairies or little people of England or leprechauns of Ireland. They resemble humans dressed in traditional costumes but males and females are always breathtakingly handsome or beautiful. They are benevolent but blamed when people go missing in the jungle as Orang Bunian are said to require regular injections of new human blood to propagate their race.
Orang Bunian marry humans for this purpose and after intercourse would bestow them with gifts of gold, gems and precious objects. Alas, upon leaving the forest, these valuables get turned into dry, brown, dead leaves!
Those who stayed lived like royalty but should they pine for their village or human contact they could return home. Alas, only to discover decades or centuries had passed and their homes and their immediate families have passed away with grandchildren fully grown with kids of their own.
Suffice to say, my group found no traces of Jim Thompson but we did enjoy a spectacular hilltop view from Lutheran Mission house. From the lawn we could see Moonlight Cottage across the valley and also the Sultan of Pahang palace on the other side. Lutheran Mission house is closed to the public as it is private property but favoured guests of Cameron Highlands Resort have special permission to stroll in the garden for photos!
Cameron Highlands Resort
Cameron Highlands, Pahang, 39000 Tanah Rata, Malaysia
TEL: +60 5-491 1570