A new documentary called 'Unclaimed' introduces the world to Army Sergeant John Robertson, who was shot down over Laos during a 1968 classified mission and left behind in Vietnam for 44 years (video below).
Special Forces Green Beret Master Sgt. Robertson was listed as "killed in action" when in reality he had been left behind in Vietnam for such a long time that he forgot how to speak English, reports the Toronto Star.
Filmmaker Michael Jorgensen’s documentary shows Robertson as he is today, a 76-year-old man living in a remote village in Vietnam, who is unable to remember his birthday or his children’s names. Today, he only speaks Vietnamese.
"Unclaimed" premiered at Toronto’s 20th "Hot Docs" festival on April 30.
In the film, Vietnam Veteran Tom Faunce tries to proves Robertson's identity and reunite him with his family, but gets push back from the U.S. government, which will not confirm that the man is Sgt. Robertson.
According to the documentary, Robertson was locked in a bamboo cage by the North Vietnamese troops and tortured for a year.
Eventually Robertson was released and he married the Vietnamese nurse who cared for him. He took on the name of her dead husband and they had children.
Jorgensen told the Toronto Star that audiences in America will “lose their minds” when "Unclaimed" appears at the G.I. Film Festival in Washington, D.C., in May. “They’ll come unglued.”
“Tom went to meet him [Robertson] and was very skeptical, grilled this guy up and down trying to get him to break, to say, ‘Oh, no, I’m just making it up.’ And he was adamant he was that guy,” added Jorgensen.
Source: Toronto Star and MovieUnclaimed.com