Minneapolis, MN

New Year's Resolution - Immortality

Arlo Hennings

Uncle Mito is set to challenge the oldest living man record

Uncle Mito is 120 Years OldPhoto by Author - Arlo Hennings

Do you want to be immortal?

One of mankind’s greatest questions has followed us like a shadow since the dawn of time.

Many myths of immortality exist. The following are a few: The Tree of Life, The Holy Grail, and The Fountain of Youth.

If aliens visited or are visiting Earth, they would have to be immortal to survive the millennia to traverse the stars. From Vampires to Sci Fi, the topic of living forever is an omnipresent subject of humanity.

The only connection humans have to immortality is a spiritual one. But, that could soon change.

Uncle Mito

My wife is Indonesian. I am an American from Minneapolis, MN. My wife’s Uncle Mito is not immortal. He is Indonesian. He said he is 120 years old. One of his sons attests Mito is 110 years old. No one is exactly sure when he was born. Indonesia did not start recording birth certificates until the year 1900.

He was married at 11 years old. His four children are still alive. Mito is also my next-door neighbor. I see him walk to the rice fields every morning as he’s done for eternity.

He was born in the same village as my wife. The village of Plintahan. It is located in the small town of Pandaan, East Jawa Timur, Indonesia. His home is hours away from two of the world’s largest volcano’s- Mt. Bromo and Mt. Semeru. The 12,000-foot volcano Semeru erupted on December 4, 2021. The eruption killed 57, injured 104, 23 missing and 10,655 displaced.

Volcanoes. Floods. Famine. Disease. World War. The Dutch Colonial War. The Indonesian President Sukarno’s mass 1965–66 executions.

Mito survived it all.

Besides fighting the Japanese and the Dutch. Uncle Mito witnessed Sukarno’s gangsters enter his village. The gang rounded up suspected communist supporters, then took them like animals and murdered them in the jungle. Their bodies were gone in unmarked graves.

Mito remembers it all.

The pressure on Mito to show where the bodies lie is scary. The problem is many of the gangsters who committed the killings are still alive.

Retribution is real.

The International People’s Tribunal Tragedy of 1965/1966 want reconciliation. Their families want reconciliation. A plan to bring the matter to the Geneva UN Human Rights Commission is in process.

While some Indonesian’s have met an untimely death do to manmade means, the country has a history of the oldest humans. In 2015, the remains of a 7,200 year old human was found buried in a cave.

The oldest modern day human according to media reports was also Indonesian. He was a man who lived for 146 years.

According to his papers, Sodimedjo, also known as Mbah Ghoto (grandpa Ghoto), was born in December 1870. He lived in Central Java- not far from Pandaan.

Uncle Mito and Ghoto did not know each other.

Like Uncle Mito, he was a smoker, occasional beer drinker he outlived four wives, 10 siblings and all his children. Also like Uncle Mito in his village, he was a local hero famous for telling great stories about the wars against Japan and the Dutch colonizers.

When asked about the secret of his longevity.

Mbah Ghoto told the BBC that patience was key.

He had “a long life because I have people that love me looking after me”.

If independently verified. His age would make Grandpa Ghoto older than French centenarian Jeanne Calment. She was 122 when she died and is considered the longest living human in recorded history.

Unlike Ghoto there is no tombstone beside Uncle Mito’s house waiting for his "farewell day.”

Uncle Mito has never been hospitalized. He has never taken medication. His eyesight, strength, and general well-being are in good shape.

His native language is Javanese. The translation was not easy, but I was able to get couple of questions answered.

Do you wish to visit another country?

No. I’m fine where I am. Indonesia has gone downhill.

What is the secret to a long life?

When I was a young boy my Grandmother gave me a magic belt to wear around my waist. I wore it for as long as I can remember. I do not know where it is now.

Uncle Mito is 120 Years Old

Today, the use of magic both white and black is still prevalent in the area. There’s no way to be sure what the magic was in his belt.

According to Wikipedia Uncle Mito is in the top 50 of the oldest living people on Earth.

September 10, 2021. The Guinness World Records awarded Spain’s Saturnino de la Fuente García. The oldest person living (male) at the incredible age of 112 years and 211 days.

Uncle Mito is due his award.

I have no doubt he will break the records.

He could outlive me.

How long will you live?

There are thousands of self-help, advice articles, and books available on the topic. They include many answers for money. Exercise regularly. Eat healthy. Be happy. It seems self-evident.

Don’t abuse yourself.

I can’t tell you how to accomplish what appears to be for the most part a matter of common sense and good luck.

Longevity can be traced to our environment and diet. Modern technology which can temporarily extend life can also kill us.

According to a new study by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (July 4, 2018). High daily exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) — chemicals that are generated by forms of combustion such as cooking, smoking, and vehicle exhausts may cause molecular changes that accelerate biological aging.

While the root cause of aging may be the degeneration of collagen fibers — sugar (glycation) is the driving force behind the systematic destruction of collagen proteins in the body. Once the skin’s cells have become weakened from glucose — you are much more susceptible to the damaging effects of free radicals. Apr 23, 2019 (Google)
Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg have discovered for the first time a protein that represents a central switching point in the aging process. It controls the life span of an individual — from the fly to the human being. This opens up new possibilities for developing therapies against age-related diseases. — ScienceDaily.com

According to Live Science there are potentially (4) immortal animals. Immortal as defined as living at least 1,000 years.

Black coral: 4,000+ years old.
Glass Sponge 10,000 years old
Turritopsis dohrnii: potentially immortal
Hydra: also potentially immortal

Not on the list is the Sequoia Tree — older than Jesus Christ, a life span of 20,000 years. It is organic.

Somewhere in those organisms is the DNA and proteins to the key of immortality. It’s only a matter of time before Scientists figure it out. You, your children or children’s children will be asking questions never before dreamed.

Until such time you can be remembered forever.

Do you want to live hundreds of years? Forever? Will Euthanasia extend artificial life and be a legal/moral question?

Uncle Mito is headed to the rice field.

The thought of doing otherwise has never crossed his mind.

For more information on the author and his new book Bali: Life on the Ring of Fire.

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I am an of Author two non-fiction books on SE Asia, and an expat living in Indonesia. Music publisher. Ph.D. (Cultural Anthropology). MFA (Creative Writing). My narrative style has been described as a cross between Herman Hesse and Groucho Marx. My beat is the world. From the first Woodstock Music Fest. Nelson Mandela's election, and tied to who plotted J.F.K. assassination. I deep dive into life's absurdities. Pain, warmth, humor, and a bold statement on how being crazy in a sick society is healthy. I explore the uncovered abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world. World-weary wisdom infuses such sunburned narratives as rock n' roll. Shamanism, skateboarding on volcano rims, global settings, and underrepresented voices. I am set in reality but let loose the fantastical. Adept stories with a surreal or subversive bent. Taken together, I try to draw an intelligent mosaic of what it means to be alive as a whole person.

Minneapolis, MN

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