Australian wilderness survivor story gets a soap opera style twist

What was supposed to be a story of personal endurance and an amazing rescue, has slowly turned into a nasty family battle revolving around a lot of money.

When 19 year old backpacker Jamie Neale was found after 12 days in the Australian wild, the photos showing Mr. Neale reunited with his father probably brought a huge smile to the millions of people following the story.

The whole thing has now turned into a battle of the words (and cash) between Mr. Neale and his dad. According to one story, his dad left Australia and headed back to the UK just 19 hours after his son was rescued. The reason? A $200,000 interview he had arranged. His second TV appearance netted just under $100,000, half of which was promised to go to the various rescue operations that participated in the search.

The other side of the story paints a different picture – that side claims Mr. Neale is the bad guy, and that he is the one refusing to donate the $50,000 to the rescuers. To give the whole thing an even bigger soap opera appeal, Mr. Neale claims his dad actually walked out on the family when he was three.

UK outdoors specialists are now questioning the whole incident, and have doubts about the story Jamie told the press. I’m not sure we’ll ever get to the bottom of the story – and that is probably for the best, as there is obviously more to it than meets the eye.