The Tragic Disappearance Of Sean Flynn

In 2010, journalist Tim Page returned to Southeast Asia, where he'd made a name for himself documenting the devastation of the Vietnam war nearly half a century earlier, in hopes of finally gaining insight into the tragic disappearance of his friend Sean Flynn. "I don't like the idea of his spirit out there tormented," Page told The New York Times. "There's something spooky about being M.I.A."

Unlike his notoriously dissolute father — famed Hollywood actor Errol Flynn (whose numerous Hollywood scandals included stealing his son's girlfriend—a 14-year-old) — Sean was reserved and shunned the limelight. After a failed attempt at an acting career, Sean shipped himself off to Vietnam to become a war journalist.

But the eyes of the world followed Sean even into the densest jungles and fiercest fighting in the conflict in Vietnam. He quickly learned to keep his war stories to himself and let his photos do the talking, because the media inevitably turned the focus on him, like a director filming his father, rather than the stories themselves.

Sean and fellow journalist Dana Stone were captured by elements of the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army while on assignment for Time magazine in Cambodia on April 6, 1970. It is believed that they were held for one to three years before being turned over to and assassinated by the Khmer Rouge, the genocidal regime responsible for Cambodia's Killing Fields, among other horrors.

Sean appears to have become the person he wanted to be just before his disappearance

The tragedy of Sean Flynn's story is that he seems to have fought his way out of his father's shadow and found his identity on his own terms just before his disappearance. The use of marijuana and LSD helped him see things "in a completely different light," as he told his friend and colleague Zalin Grant in an interview they recorded in Sean's Saigon apartment in 1969.

"But I can't go along with taking them," he said in the interview Grant published in 2011. "You've got to go beyond that. I've decided that for the rest of my life I'm going to play the game my way. The game in a Buddhist sense — the Divine Joke of it all."

A pair of bounty hunters found what they said were the bones of Sean Flynn and Dana Stone in Cambodia in 2010, writes Historynet, which is what brought Tim Page back to the country in the latest installment of a search for his vanished friend that he called his "25-year madness." But, as was the case with another set of bones in 2003, DNA testing confirmed that they belonged to neither Flynn nor Stone. It seems that Page's madness lives on, as does the mystery of Sean Flynn's disappearance and his place alongside several celebs still missing today.