Police make a run for it as attempt to recover body of man killed by tribe goes wrong

Police make a run for it as attempt to recover body of man killed by tribe goes wrong

By now, we’ve all heard about the foolish but still bloody tragic demise of American missionary John Chau. It’s been all over the internet in recent days and there’s been a wealth of memes, some callous commentary and some insightful information from various sources all around the web. In the real world, life has had to go on. In that context, Chau’s family has issued a statement and Indian police have tried to do the honourable thing and retrieve the body from its suspected resting spot…

As things stand, Indian authorities aren’t having much luck getting the body back. You see, while the very high likelihood of death makes visiting North Sentinel Island a f**ken terrible idea, it’s actually the risk that something like a common cold could wipe the surviving members of their race out.

Credit: Survival International

Credit: Survival International

Yeah, nah, while a little sniffle might seem like nothing to us, the isolation of the Sentinelese for the last 60-odd-thousand years means their immune systems don’t match up with ours and making contact of any kind could be disastrous for them.

The ethics around going in all guns blazing are murky as f**k and perhaps rightly, the local cops have decided its only right to recover Chau’s body if they can do it in a peaceful way. To that end, they’ve grabbed the fishermen who delivered Chau to the island’s deadly maw and asked them for help pointing out the spot where they thought the body was buried. With that info, they figure they can go and get the corpse and return him home to his family.

The problem is that when they started to approach, they were confronted by tribespeople. Once they came to within 400 metres of the beach, they spotted the locals. Of course, they were armed to the teeth.

John Allen Chau. Credit: John Allen Chau

John Allen Chau. Credit: John Allen Chau

Regional Police Chief Dependra Pathak said, “They stared at us and we were looking at them. We have mapped the area with the help of these fishermen. We have not spotted the body yet but we roughly know the area where he is believed to be buried.”

Of course, all this difficulty in getting past the tribe means that the body may never be recovered.

Chau’s family has released a statement. They say they don’t want to see any action taken against the Sentinelese as Chau’s actions were his own.

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John Allen Chau

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Anyway – as an aside – despite the fact they’re listed as uncontacted that’s not entirely true. Read the twitter thread linked below for some good info on that.

Final thought: Despite the various takes on this situation from all over the internet, it’s not a very nice outcome for the family and the various avenues left to authorities in retrieving the body raise some ethical dilemmas and some tough questions. What would you do?

Just in case you missed it, here’s one of Ozzy’s latest commentary videos…Ozzy Man Reviews: Penguin Excursion