The missing

I have spent the last hour or so watching a documentary on Amazon Prime “Missing in Action: A Daughter’s Search for her MIA Father”. It follows a search undertaken by Deborah Robertson Bardsley to find out what happened to her father John Robertson, a pilot with the USAF.

Flag of the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia

I remembered reading about MIAs from the Vietnam era years ago and of course every remembers the action films of the 80s.

However, I was horrified to find out that to this day, the whole issue relating to POW / MIA personnel remains unresolved.

How can this be? How can any government allow that situation to occur to their own troops?

What sparked my memory was this photograph which I recognised as soon as it appeared on screen. It caused huge controversy when it became public.

The Robertson Lundy Stevens photograph
The Robertson Lundy Stevens photograph

However, after reading this article and looking at the anomalies the author points out, I can see what he describes. It would appear to have been an incredibly cruel hoax.

Of course it is impossible to prove a negative, so just because one fake photograph appears, it does not necessarily mean there are not POW / MIAs still being held. They would be old men by now of course, but the fact that families will be sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow and STILL not know after all these years an appalling indictment on successive administrations.

It seems Deborah Robertson Bardsley died in 1996 and her obituary appears on the LA Times website.

So perhaps when people pause tomorrow to give thanks, they could spare a thought for those who no longer have their loved ones around them.

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