A Taiwanese hiker who went missing for 10 days and was found by indigenous villagers on Wednesday morning claimed that he had been guided by a ghost couple he met in the mountains, Taiwan News reported.
The family of 60-year-old Soong Rui-xiong (宋瑞雄), an employee at Formosa Heavy Industries (台朔重工), lost contact with him on Nov. 10 after he left home to hike in the mountains of Pingtung.
Soong was spotted Wednesday by a local villager and immediately escorted to the Chunri Precinct of the Pingtung County Police Department.
According to UDN, Soong used stream water and natural sugar from plants as his energy source since he had only prepared food sufficient for one day.
With tears welling up in his eyes, Soong expressed gratitude for the rescue crew’s nonstop efforts.
He said early on in his hike, he was climbing a rock wall, and lost his glasses, causing him to become disoriented. He managed to find a cave, and stayed there for several days, but realized, if he were to survive, he would have to venture out.
Soong also told reporters that after he left the cavern, he met a mysterious ghost couple, who he believed to be the ancestral spirits of indigenous Taiwanese, accompanied him for two hours and that the trio chatted about everyday life as they walked alongside one another.
Soong claimed that after some time, he turned around and could not see the couple but instead found the path leading to the foot of the mountain.
The Pingtung County Fire Department said the rescue mission lasted for 10 days with help from 111 police officers and firefighters, 284 volunteers, and two helicopters.
Rescue workers consisted of local hunters and volunteers from International Search and Rescue and Formosa Heavy Industries.