Michael Blodgett, former Batavia man, found after missing on camping trip in Japan

A native of the Chicago suburbs who vanished after going camping in the mountains of Japan has now been found alive.
March 31, 2014 6:07:48 AM PDT
A native of the Chicago suburbs who disappeared while camping in the mountains of Japan has now been found alive.

Thirty-five-year-old Michael Blodgett graduated from Batavia High School and his family is sharing an amazing story about what happened to him.

By all accounts Blodgett has always led, what his mother calls, a charmed life. And while it's been a heart wrenching few days for this family they say it was prayer and the belief that he was still living that charmed life that kept them going.

"My daughter Ann was on the phone and said, 'We found him, he's alive,'" said Art Blodgett.

Half a world away, at home in west suburban Batavia, Art and Diane Blodgett can finally rest easy. It was 4:30 this morning when they got the news they'd been hoping for, their son, lost in the mountains in japan for six days was alive.

"His feet were hurt, his fingers are frostbit. His toes are frostbit. He's dehydrated. He lost a lot of weight," Diane Blodgett said.

The Blodgett's have spent the last few days glued to the phone and the computer, using social media to help organize a search. An English teacher who lives in Japan with his wife and 3-year-old daughter, 35-year-old Batavia native Michael Blodgett lost his way during a routine hiking trip in the mountains of Dorogawa Nara six days ago.

"He's done it for a number of years," Art Blodgett said. "He goes there to meditate. He's a very intelligent, very pensive type of guy."

The Blodgetts say Michael's wife only realized something was wrong three days later when he didn't come home as scheduled. As of a few days ago there were several feet of snow on the ground in the area.

"At one point he slipped and fell down like 200 feet, slid down the mountain," Diane Blodgett said. "He found this abandoned hut and went inside this hut and spent the night there and went out tried to find a route out."

After six nights, living on snow, some dried fruit and almonds, Michael Blodgett finally found his way to the monastery he'd originally intended to visit.

The Blodgetts spoke to him early Sunday morning as he rode the ambulance to the hospital.

"He kept saying he was sorry, he was sorry. 'I'm ok, but I'm sorry,'" Diane Blodgett said.

At last word, Michael Blodgett spent the night in the hospital, but is expected to fully recover, and it's a good thing too. He and his wife are expecting their second child a few months from now.


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