Michel vibrant until the very end. Early 2018.
Photo courtesy: Lyly Ngo
Michel Jean Paul Desmarquet passed away peacefully on 9 July 2018 at 3:10 am, Vietnam local time.
He was 86, and just seven days away from what would have been his 87th birthday.
Michel is survived by his children, Patricia and Peter, from his first marriage, as well as his second wife, Nga.
Michel died after a bout of illnesses which began in late May. He spent five weeks in a hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, with Nga by his side, before returning home to spend his final days with his family.
Michel was buried on 11 July on the South Vietnamese island he called home for the past 18 years. His funeral overflowed with flowers, as Michel had wished.
Anyone who knew Michel knew he was protective of his privacy, especially since publishing his seminal work, ‘Abduction to the Ninth Planet’ (also known as ‘Thiaoouba Prophecy’). After he left Australia in 2000, he did not want his last home publicly revealed. His family wants to continue to honour his wishes.
Before his death, Michel handed over control of his books to his niece, Lyly Ngo, who has also been his secretary on the island for seven years. Lyly would like to make contact with everyone who has translated Michel’s books or been involved in their production. You can contact her by sending a PM to Ptex.
A Brief History
My wife and I (Yianna and Michael Meanwell) have had the privilege of knowing Michel since 1997. I’d like to share a little about him for those who didn’t know him beyond his books.
Put simply, Michel was a remarkable individual who was hard to pigeon-hole. He was intelligent and gregarious, strong-willed and sensitive, fiercely passionate and compassionate. He lived life on his terms, he lived it to the fullest – and he maintained all of those qualities and a sharp mind right up until it was his time to go.
Michel was born in Normandy, France, on 16 July 1931 to Claudumir and Georgette Desmarquet, who were both professional photographers.
When he finished school, Michel joined the French Army. At that time, young males were required to undertake two years of national military service. He was stationed in French Equatorial Africa and was involved in construction and development of the region. After his service, he came home to France briefly before returning to Africa where he spent several years managing coffee plantations and landscaping gardens.
He then had a number of sales roles in France where he met and then married his first wife, Lena, in 1960 at age 29. The couple had two children – Patricia and Peter – who were born and spent their early years in Carpentras in the South of France.
It wasn’t long before Michel got restless again and moved his young family in 1971 to the French territory of New Caledonia in the South Pacific. However, because of increasing civil disorder on the island, the family moved a year later, finally settling in Australia in February 1972.
After a year in Brisbane, Michel purchased five hectares in Freshwater near Cairns in northern Queensland and developed a farm. He grew a variety of vegetables commercially, maintained a plant nursery and also had a small number of livestock.
He sold that property in 1985 and purchased 11.5 hectares on the edge of a national park in Deeral, also in the Cairns region, where he built a home and established another farm. This was two years before his contact with Thiaoouba.
Michel and Lena separated in the mid 1990s and divorced and sold their property in 2000.
After his last lecture tour in 1999, Michel took a break and travelled through Southeast Asia. During this time, he met Nga in Vietnam.
At 68, when most people are slowing down, Michel was ready for a new challenge. He left Australia for good in February 2000, putting down roots with Nga on the island that would be his final home.
Vietnam was an entirely new world for Michel. He didn’t speak the language, he didn’t know the culture. He started his life over again, as he had done when he brought his young family to Australia. It wasn’t long, however, before Michel embraced the island lifestyle, and, in 2004, he married Nga.
Michel always on the go. June 2015.
Photo courtesy: Lyly Ngo
As anyone who has read Michel’s first book knows, his life changed inexorably when he met the Thiaooubans on 26 June 1987 at 12:30 am (Australian Eastern Standard Time). He was 56. Ever since, he referred to that day as his real birthday.
Michel began writing about his nine-day sojourn as soon as he returned. He wrote ‘Abduction’ in French and completed it in January 1989. It was then translated into English by Kay Smith and edited by Janet Henderson. Michel spent the next three years trying to find a publisher but without success. In April 1993, he added a final chapter – the Postscript – the only chapter with his own opinions.
That same year, the book was published in Australia. From then on, its popularity rocketed. It was reprinted in 1993, 1994 and 1999 in Australia, and published in the United States in 1995. The book was also printed in 1997 and 2004 under the title ‘Thiaoouba Prophecy’.
Since the late 1990s, the book has been printed in more than a dozen languages. These include Japanese, Greek, Italian, French, Portuguese, Spanish, German, Swedish, Romanian, Russian, Polish, Bulgarian and Korean. It has most recently been published in China, with Michel seeing the printed book just before he became ill.
Michel wrote and published two more books in his lifetime. While very different to his first, melding fact with fiction, they both contained unique facts he’d learned from his time on Thiaoouba. Michel wrote ‘She and I’ not long after ‘Abduction’ was finalised and it was published in 1996. In 1999, in a radio interview with me, Michel announced that he was working on a new book – ‘Nature’s Revenge’ – which he subsequently completed in 2005 and published in 2012.
Michel was most active in sharing the message of Thiaoouba from 1993 - 2000. During this time, he conducted dozens of lectures throughout Australia and also toured the United States. He presented comprehensive two-hour talks which included new material not in the book. Those lectures often lasted another hour, thanks to a barrage of questions from the audience.
His unique experience and knowledge were reported in a variety of newspapers and magazines at the time, and he was also interviewed on many radio and television shows in Australia and internationally.
During what would be his last visit to Melbourne in 1999, Michel told us he wanted to retire but he wanted his message to continue. And with that, he handed over responsibility for sharing the Thiaoouba message to my wife and I, saying “this is your job now” and that we were the only people he authorised to lecture on his books. At that time, we had been selling his books and conducting Thiaoouba workshops for a couple of years with Michel’s blessing. When he handed over the reins, he shared a lot more information that was not in his books, including exercises on how to live a more spiritual life.
In 2000, when Michel left Australia and moved to Vietnam, we stayed in touch by phone and we were in constant contact during the last 12 months of his life.
Michel never gave any formal lectures again, but he did talk about his experiences occasionally with people he met on the island. He gave his last media interview in 2003, when a Japanese film crew visited him and produced a short documentary on ‘Abduction’. The Japanese edition of the book was very dear to Michel. It was one of the first translations and it remained one of the most popular.
Almost every conversation Yianna and I had with Michel, from July 1997 until late May 2018, made mention of Thiaoouba. We talked about a great deal of things, but his love for that special planet and its people remained strong for the rest of his life.
It is impossible for any of us to truly imagine what Michel experienced, let alone how he felt after he returned from Thiaoouba. He told us many years ago: “Imagine the greatest love of your life and then imagine losing them. Now multiply that pain by a million. That’s how I felt after the Thiaooubans left me.”
Over time, Michel’s loss lessened, but he never really got over his experience, and he always looked forward to being reunited.
Michel never had another physical encounter with the Thiaooubans, but he did receive telepathic messages from time to time. These messages generally gave him permission to share specific information he had been told to withhold until the right time. He shared two such revelations with me in our public interviews.
Michel with the Meanwells after a lecture in Melbourne, 1999. The life-size painting of Michel’s mentor, Thao, was produced by a Melbourne artist and approved by Michel.
Photo courtesy: Yianna and Michael Meanwell
Who Was Michel
Michel had a life-long interest in a range of metaphysical and spiritual topics. Everything from UFOs and extraterrestrial life in the universe to psychic abilities and auras. Michel was also fascinated how ancient people could build immense, precise structures, such as the Great Pyramid of Giza. As a younger man, he would talk for hours with friends and his children about these subjects as well as religion.
He was raised Roman Catholic but he never could embrace it. He told us once that, before he was abducted, he felt an affinity to only one religion – Buddhism – because of its precepts of reincarnation, karma and non-violence. That religion made the most sense to Michel before he was taken, but after his experience, he realized the common error of all religions.
Yianna and I got to know Michel well during his last three years in Australia.
After Yianna had been reading ‘Abduction’ literally every day for four years, she contacted Michel and he immediately invited her to visit him and his family on his birthday. She stayed a week. Soon after, Yianna introduced me to Michel. I interviewed him a number of times for my radio show, and then we physically met in 1998 when he stayed with us for the first time during his Melbourne lecture tour.
When he returned the following year, I wrote and issued media releases, publicizing his lectures and books, and arranged interviews with journalists. I also recorded a series of detailed discussions with him, covering all the major topics of ‘Abduction’.
When Michel stayed with us, it gave us a deeper insight into the man. We remember Michel rising with the sun and starting his day with a flurry of exercise, ending with the Five Tibetan Rites. We had never heard of it until we saw Michel in action in our lounge room. He was always in good health, in body and mind, and eager to tackle every new day. Looking back, we had a lot of fun with him – he could be as playful as a child, as witty as an entertainer, as warm and comforting as a parent. We had a lot of honest, robust discussions. We asked so many questions, but there was never enough time to ask them all.
As you’ve gathered, Michel had a healthy sense of humour, but there was one area he wouldn’t joke about – you guessed it – Thiaoouba. Whenever the conversation steered back to the golden planet, as it usually did, Michel’s demeanor would change instantly. He loved the planet and its people, so much so he never belittled his extraordinary experience by joking about it.
It’s fair to say that Michel was unique. He was, of course, the only person we know of who was taken to Thiaoouba. The Thiaooubans could have chosen literally any of the five billion souls on Earth in 1987. They chose Michel for a reason. I wonder how any of us would have fared if they had chosen us instead. How far would you go? And for how long? What hurdles would you surmount to be heard, to make a difference?
How would you cope when most of those you loved didn’t believe you ... when most of those you met wouldn’t accept you ... when most of those you never knew thought you were insane or something much worse?
The messenger may have passed away, but his message will live on in his books, in lectures, in interviews he gave and other insights he shared. We will be launching a new series of websites relating to Thiaoouba soon. We have more grand plans to come – and we’re not alone.
Michel’s wife, Nga, has plenty of good memories of their time together. Ever since she met him 19 years ago, she said he remained the same. He treated everyone as an equal and extended a hand to anyone in need. He always gave far more than he received.
Nga operated a thriving resort with 33 bungalows for 16 years. It took up more time than she wished. Only last year, she retired, so that they could spend more quality time together.
Michel saw his niece, Lyly, every day and she regarded him as her second father. She assisted him with administrative tasks and managing his books, not to mention helping him use a laptop and navigate the internet. Michel mastered a lot of things, but he was far from tech savvy.
As the years went by, Michel enjoyed a slower-paced life on the island. He had the choice of spending time alone with nature or with people. He cherished both.
He always rose early, exercised and enjoyed breakfast with his wife. Some days, he’d loved nothing more than a long walk on the beach or he’d go snorkeling on the north side of the island. Other times, he would relax with a good book or catch up with friends at a restaurant or make new ones from the multitude of tourists who came and went.
After lunch and a siesta, Michel would play chess with his friends or, if he was lucky, some new, unsuspecting victim.
Michel has always been a vibrant man, full of energy and enthusiasm, putting far younger men to shame, including me (32 years his junior). Even at 86, he still had things to do. He told us earlier this year that he planned to write another book, this time focusing on his early years. He also planned to visit Australia in 2019 to see his family who he missed dearly. And he invited us to visit him several times – we planned to do so – but never got the chance.
It’s sad to know he’s gone, but our lives are richer for knowing him.
It reminds me of a couple of passages from ‘Abduction’.
When Arki died, soon after meeting Michel, Thao reminded him that, like everyone who has ever lived, Arki was simply transitioning:
And, when the King of the Continent of Mu died, Michel wrote:I got up and followed Thao towards the pool. It was at this time that she told me of the accident that had befallen Arki. I was greatly saddened by the news and tears sprang to my eyes. Thao reminded me that Arki was proceeding to another existence and should be remembered as a friend who has left us to go elsewhere.
Michel, thank you for your friendship, your honesty, your knowledge, your mentorship. You demystified the mysteries, you corrected our history, you peeled back the curtain and showed us how the universe works. For that, I can never say thank you enough.The grand avenue and the palace gardens had been invaded by crowds of people brightly dressed and there was an enormous white ball attached to the top of the pyramid. Apparently, the King, whom I had seen meditating in the pyramid, had died just prior to the gathering of the crowd.
With much noise, the ball exploded and a unanimous cry of joy rose from the people. This astonished me, as death usually inspires tears, but my companions explained it as follows:
‘Michel! You don’t remember the lessons we taught you. When the physical body dies, the Astral being is liberated. These people also know it and celebrate the event. In three days’ time, the Astral body of the King will leave Earth to rejoin the Great Spirit, for this King has conducted himself in an exemplary manner during this final life on Earth, despite very difficult responsibilities and tasks required of him.’
I would like to express my gratitude to Patricia, Peter and Lyly for sharing details of Michel’s life. I trust I have recorded them accurately. Any errors are, of course, mine.
Yianna and I would like to offer our sincere condolences to Michel’s family around the world. This is a difficult time for them, for everyone who knew him.
But, as Michel would have told us, he has simply gone on a holiday. One day, he will be ready to begin a new adventure.
Bon voyage, dear friend. Until we meet again.
Michael Meanwell, 16 July 2018