It was a busy and humid day at the Tokyo airport one day in 1954. Those passengers who had just deplaned stood in a quiet queue, waiting for the customs agents to review and properly stamp their passports. As the swarms of travelers spilled out from the terminals, one traveler, a tall strange man, stood separated from the rest.
The man produced an authentic looking European passport and carried European currency from several countries and carried himself in a professional manner but that wasn’t what that created doubts in the minds of the officials. No matter how much they searched, the Customs agents could not find the European country that had issued him the passport anywhere in their maps. The unheard country of Taured. When they asked the Caucasian man to point on their map where Taured was located, he answered them in fluent Japanese. The man told them that it was a small country in Europe, situated between France and Spain. When the officials produced a map, he pointed to the place where Principality of Andorra rests.
The strange man was in a state of shock when he realized his country did not exist on any of the maps. He claimed that the nation of Taured had been there for almost 1,000 years and that he had never heard of Andorra. He produced a driver’s permit issued by the government of Taured and accompanying documents such as bank statements and business papers but they were found to be invalid, as well as his bank account. There was a spooky silence in the interrogation room as all of the customs agents stared at the strange man. The man from Taured looked as confused as they were.
Eight hours after landing, the tall, strange man from Taured sat exhausted and frustrated in the cramped interrogation room. He kept insisting that he was from the country of Taured and was in Japan for a business trip. The man told the officials that he had been traveling to Japan from Taured for the last five years without problems and pointed to the past stamps that were issued on his passport to prove his claim.
Airport authorities then placed a phone call to the company the man claimed to work for and found that it did not exist. Tired and getting nowhere, they decided to send the man to a guarded hotel room so that he could take rest while the proper officials were contacted and a follow-up investigation was planned. The mystery man left the Tokyo airport escorted by police and customs officials.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
He was kept inside a hotel room high above the hustling city streets, with only a small window and no ledge. After a light dinner at the hotel’s kitchen, he was escorted back to his room where he stayed the entire night. The guards reported not seeing or hearing him after the door was closed. When morning approached, they knocked and received no answer. Upon entering the room the officials were shocked to discover that he had vanished. With no possible escape routes other than the well-guarded front door, Japanese officials scratched their heads in total bewilderment.
An extensive search was subsequently launched by the Tokyo police department only to come up empty-handed. There was no sign of him anywhere. As mysteriously as he had appeared on that Tokyo airport that fateful day in 1954, the man from Taured vanished.
Avid reader, football fan, Manchester United Fan, ultimate foodie, Wanderlust. These are just a few, among many other words that describe Siddharth. His fun-loving attitude makes him the life of any party. He loves cooking and photography, and writing to him comes naturally.