Lost Buddha Boy Reappears, Then Vanishes Again

By THOMAS BELL – The Daily Telegraph
March 21, 2006

KATHMANDU, Nepal – The mystery surrounding the disappearance of Nepal's 15-year-old "Buddha Boy" has deepened, after he briefly appeared to supporters then vanished again.

Footage apparently shot on Sunday shows the would-be Buddha, Ram Bomjon, meeting members of the committee which manages his hugely popular, and profitable, pilgrimage site.

They are the first pictures to show him away from the pipal tree where he meditated, supposedly without food or water, for 10 months. The phenomenon resembled an episode in the life of the original Buddha who was born in Nepal around 543 B.C.E.

Ram is shown with unkempt hair but looking healthy. The committee's president, Bed Bahadur Lama, said Ram left his meditation place 10 days ago because of the noise made by pilgrims. The circumstances in which seven committee members shot the video two miles from where he meditated were not clear.

The organizing committee is the principal source for many of the claims. During Ram's 10-month vigil no visitor has seen him eat or drink, but the attraction was closed to noncommittee members at night.

The committee has prevented a medical team from conducting an examination of the teenager.

The chief official in the district, Santaraj Subedi, said yesterday that the bank account, which he had insisted the committee open, had been frozen after Ram's disappearance. It contained more than $875,000. Mr. Subedi is urgently trying to track down Ram.

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