As Libyan rebels try to talk the country's remaining loyalist forces into a peaceful surrender, their wackiest member, UCLA student Chris Jeon, is reportedly planning to head home soon. Jeon has been living with the fighters for several weeks, and has become the fascination of many stateside who think he's an imbicele, a daredevil, or both. On Tuesday, The National's Bradley Hope tweeted: "Parents of #ChrisJeon told me he is safe and heading back soon. He was unaware that there had been any news about him for the last week."
On a new Facebook fan page for Jeon, Faraj al Jarih, who identifies himself on Facebook as a teaching assistant at Garyounis University, in Benghazi, wrote:
we really appreciate yr brave decision, but this is our fight and we're the only ones who will free our country....
my friend, a country that is not liberated by the hands of its own sons is not liberated
thanks again.. we really really appreciate it yr courage
Since we first became fascinated with Jeon on Sept. 1, plenty other news outlets have sought out more details on the 21-year-old through his friends and online. The UCLA Daily Bruin spoke with two of his friends on Saturday. "It’s not for attention," Cody Soto told the campus paper. "He’s a very humble person, very kept to himself." He and pal Ross McCray, who together dropped Jeon off at the airport, said Jeon had long been an adventure seeker and had previously spent four months living with an indigenous tribe in Costa Rica, the Bruin reported.
On Saturday, this video of Jeon with his newfound rebel friends surfaced on Youtube, in which you can hear him say, in English "I want to go to Sirte":
This video, apparently of Jeon and Soto participating in a very unpleasant-seeming obstacle course, "says a lot about" Jeon, tweeted photographer Stephen Lawson:
Hope told The New York Observer on Monday that while he and the Christian Science Monitor's Kristen Chick had "informed the local US consulate about him, and they have his name." But he said, "We have terrible access to the internet here and sporadic phone reception, so we didn’t have a chance to speak to his family or anyone back in California." Jeon had asked them not to tell his parents. Of course, Hope's latest tweet indicates he's been in touch with Jeon's parents since The Observer interview. There are still no details of Jeon's plan to return home.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.