Sunday, May 29, 2016

Prayer Flags

The words in the previous post are close to a story I told on May 11 at Arctic Entries.

I'd gone to Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula first to find him alive, maybe lost and injured. Later to find out what happened. Then I wanted justice as I'd been convinced foul play had been perpetrated.

But now it looks like maybe the stories of Roman walking with a thieving drug dealer may be just that, after all: stories.

Amazingly on May 17,  a miner found Roman's things, including his passport and money, deep in the jungle, within one kilometer of where I'd spent many nights camped while looking hard. Looking hard near the place where the only persons I believed had really seen him had described seeing him eating breakfast. They talked to him on a remote miner's trail where they'd never seen a gringo around the time of the World Cup final in 2014.

It was hours from the nearest tourist route, off-trail above a deep canyon and below a narrow arete.

In a month or so the Costa Rican authorities will tell Peggy and me whether our blood's DNA matches that of the DNA in the skeleton found next to his backpack, his shoes, his headlamp, foam-pad, his compass and other things I recognized.

Remarkably,  that day a miner had found these things I'd hung Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags Roman and I brought back from Bhutan between the two tallest trees in our yard over our house.


  1. You blamed a whole town and it's people of foul play. You didn't want to believe that an error in your son's part can have played a role in this because you "taught" him and he is so skilled. Typical white previledge, try passing it off to the minorities as it must be foul play. No its your son's ignorance that got him killed. You wasted limited Government resources that is needed by the locals so they can waste it on privileged white people who's daddy has money. Fuck the people of Costa Rica, your son is more important then they are. Fuck the people who need it let's look for the adventure junkie rich white guy. I think you owe that whole country an apology for blaming them for your son's stupidity. It was his fault he died. You should also pay for the resources you WASTED. Maybe next time instead of playing Tarzan you show you kids some real skills they can use because if you taught him all your life, he goes on his first solo adventure and ends up dead, that's boys must be a fucking moron. If it took him 28 years to be prepared for his first solo run after a lifetime of being groomed that should have been your first warning sign that your boy is incapable of doing this. You and your boy fucked up, not the pueblo, not Costa Rica, not the miners,it was YOU AND HIM.

    1. I am unsure Mr. Anonymous why you are so very angry about this.

      But several statements you have made are mistaken.

      For example, I spent quite a bit of time myself with friends looking and looking, neither wasting nor even spending Costa Rican resources at all.

      The Red Cross also looked and said to me, "We don't think he ever went into the Park", because they were unable to find any sign of him. They then went home to their own families. Most of the Red Cross searchers volunteered.

      Actually, as I stated below, I never tried to pass it off as a local responsibility. Local Ticos themselves told me repeatedly that it was one of their own who was responsible.

      From the very first day I arrived in 2014, locals said, "We know who took your son, a local bad guy."

      I listened and asked questions and listened and said, "No, that local bad guy was never with my son," because of the details the people who'd seen the "bad guy" -- their words, the local folks from all the villages called him a "bad guy" -- with the gringo that they mistook for my son.

      Furthermore, yes I made many mistakes. But both my son and I are far from "adventure junkie rich white guys". "White guys"?yes. "Adventure junkies", me? Maybe. "Rich"? Certainly not.

      As for me "Playing Tarzan" -- well, apparently you have no son of your own, or if you do you have a son, maybe you have no heart, or apparently it's not working very well. I feel sorry for you.

      I am not quite so sure the comment "you taught him all your life" is correct either. Parents can only do so much. We can try to teach our kids: skills, right and wrong, etiquette and politeness, when to speak and when to hold their tongue, but we can only do so much.

      It's not clear where you have heard the details of what happened, or how much you picked up from the media, or the sensationalism surrounding the events, but I can assure you that most of the reporting I have seen and read may have the feeling close to true, but the facts are generally off. Like what you write here: mistaken, mostly.

      But I am unable and unwilling to try and correct everyone's misconceptions.

      Even here, feeding a troll, I risk a bitten hand.

      And again just to be clear, the local people of the Osa -- Ticos not gringos -- accused their own of murder.

      I saw it, I heard it, and I myself didn't believe it, but the locals themselves forced it on me, so I came to accept it even though it was not true.

      So those are the facts.

      Your spirit and frustration could be better used than name calling here, don't you think?

    2. Mr Anonymous, coarse comments like yours do Costa Rica a disservice. Time to lose the third world chip on your shoulder and evolve, my little amigo.

    3. What an incredibly ignorant, heartless comment. I watched this series and this wonderful family never once blamed anyone for the terrible tragedy that occurred. And even if they had, good grief, they lost their son! No one but someone whose child went missing could possibly understand what that is like. Even a cruel, ignorant person like you doesn't deserve to experience what the Dial family had endured. To come on their blog and leave a comment like that is a disgrace.

    4. Mr/Ms Anonymous,

      OMGOSH, what insensitive and completely wrong comments to make to a grief-stricken parent. If Anonymous had taken the time to watch the documentary on National Geo, he/she would have definitely seen that the father clearly didn't believe the local thug was responsible. Carson was sure of it, but Roman's father was never convinced. I hope you never know the heartache of losing a child, worst, not knowing what happened to him. And should you ever find yourself living such a nightmare, I pray you don't have to deal w someone as cruel as yourself.

      Mr. Dial, I pray for your family's healing. While sad of your son's death, I'm so happy that his demise wasn't in the fashion that was confessed to. I'm glad he lived a life full of adventure and that you shared so many of those adventures together. Bless you, and your family and of course, the memories of your precious son.

      Hang in there,


  2. Actually Mr. Anonymous I didn't. They blamed themselves. And they just convinced me to listen to them.

    It was not his first solo trip, if you are referring to Corcovado.

    The likely truth of the incident is less about skill and preparation than about bad luck.

    But the angry and dismissive tone you have suggests that you have already made up your mind.

  3. Mr. Anonymous is obviously a troll, and a jerk. I'm sorry for your loss Roman and Peggy. In the end, we can't stop living our lives out of fear - more people are killed in cars every day than hiking in the jungle. There is risk in everything we do, and the best we can do is to choose to live life fully. Cody was brave and courageous. Our hearts go out to you and your family.

    1. Thank you Andra. Your words ring true to me.

  4. Roman
    I've been following your quest since Cody Roman first went missing. It never seemed appropriate to comment, but now that it appears you have found your son, I sincerely hope that you and your family are able to reach some sort of closure in this whole horrible ordeal.
    May the wilderness bring healing.

    1. Thanks Paul. I have felt for years that it wasn't the right time to post anything. But now that it's out I need to feel that it's our story, and not the rumored one, that should be told.

  5. Roman,
    I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved son. As difficult as it may be, try to take some solace in the fact that Roman had way more than a lifetime of incredible experiences and adventures. More importantly, he was loved deeply and he knew it.
    My heart goes out to you, Peggy and Jazz.

    1. Those are very kind words, Maureen, especially the part that he was loved and knew it.

  6. Directed to the coward hiding behind the name Anonynous...You have no heart and apparently due to your comments you dont have children...if you did your heart would have never allowed your fingers to type such words much less direct them to such people who lost thier only child....As it now stand I only know what has been told as of episode 5 and I depseratley am hanging on as the last and final episode will air in a week as i hope at that point i will find out what the conclusion of the episode 6 will show and explain...

    Mr/Mrs.Dial my words could never express what my heart feels for you and your loss. The strength you have displayed in this situatiom is something that has amazed me as Im not so sure I could be as half as strong as you both have been. As of now I have absolutely no clue as to what the end result is to be as I was desperatley scowering the internet to find news that would post date the final episode. The only info I could find was that his remains were found with his belonging which leave me with more questions than answers. However With that news I was happy to learn that out of all of this you were able to bring him home and with that may you both find the peace you most definetly deserve.

    1. Stephen Sclater, Thank you. We are much better now than we've been in the last two years, when we have only been able to imagine what happened.

  7. I'm sorry your journey has ended this way, but hope it helps some in finding his possessions. I'm watching the show and I'm curious, do you think it is odd his things surfaced. Could you tell if they had been in the elements the whole time? I'm a Mother of two sons and I can't imagine your pain. I do believe in following your dreams and I believe you raised your son to follow his and he lived a life he was happy with. May you find peace!

    1. Yes, Rainy it appears that his equipment had been in the elements the whole time. And thank you for the kind words.

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  9. Hi ...i'm from malaysia ...i watched Cody Dial series on National Geographic channel last night. It was so heartbreaking. I understand your feelings as I also lost my sister. My sister passed away on 25 June 2016. I cried when i watched your series.

    My deep condolences to your family and RIP Cody Dial.


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