Friday, July 10, 2015

The Man From Taured

It's been a while since we've given you a new post. Several different projects and the possibility of a major opportunity in the near future has kept us extremely busy and sadly caused the Medicine Show to be neglected. The good news is, we've got several blog notions lined up for the very near future. 

The strange tale we bring you today is a modern mystery.  In recent years it has gained momentum on the internet. We've traced its origins as far as the trail goes and present it to you now.

It takes place in June, 1954. It's a hot, humid day at Toyko's Haneda Airport.  An incoming European flight lands and the passengers file through the line at Customs. Blending in with the crowd is a tall caucasian man, bearded and dressed professionally. When he presents his passport, the mystery begins.  While it appears to be genuine, with many previous stamps from several countries, including Japan, the issuing country is listed as Taured.  None of the customs agents had heard of this country. The man was taken to an interrogation room, where he was questioned over the next eight hours.  

While he said French was his primary language, he spoke fluent Japanese, as well as other languages.  He told officials that he was in Japan on a business trip, the third he had taken that year.  Stamps in his passport backed up his story, showing trips to Japan and countries all over the world during the past five years.  He provided airport authorities with a driver's license, issued by the government of Taured, currency from several European countries in a well-made over-sized wallet, bank statements, and business documents he was traveling with.  He grew more and more frustrated as officials repeatedly told him that Taured didn't exist.  He insisted that the country was located near the borders of France and Spain and had existed for nearly 1,000 years.  Customs agents presented him with a map and asked him to point out Taured.  Without hesitation he pointed to the Principality of Andorra, but insisted he had never heard of a country with that name.  

The tiny country of Andorra

Having never been in a situation like this before, airport officials had the man claiming to be from Taured escorted to a nearby hotel.  He had a small dinner in the hotel kitchen and was given a room for the night.  Two customs agents stood guard outside his door.  Back at Customs, officials contacted the company he said he had meetings with.  They had never heard of him, nor the company he worked for.  The hotel he told them he had reservations at had no record of him.  The checkbook he was carrying looked legit enough, but when they tried to contact the bank that had issued it, they discovered it did not exist.  

The men who stood guard outside the man from Taured's hotel room heard no noise coming from inside the room once the man entered that night. No one came or left through the door.  The room had a single small window overlooking the busy street several floors below, with no balcony or even a ledge outside it.  When they knocked and received no answer the following morning, the Customs agents entered the room to find it empty.  The man from Taured, and any trace of him, had vanished in the night.  Making the story even stranger, his passport, driver's license, and all other personal effects that had been kept in the airport security office, had vanished as well.

Had this man managed to slip through some doorway from a parallel dimension, where his world was similar to ours but different in at least one aspect, that of Taured/Andorra? Perhaps he was a career criminal on the run who somehow outfoxed Japanese Customs that night.  Or could he have been a brainwashed manchurian candidate made to believe he was from a country that didn't exist? This was less than a decade after the end of World War II and the CIA was just beginning to experiment with mind control and psy-ops like MK-Ultra.  Others have theorized that the man wasn't a man at all, but rather a demon in disguise, or an extraterrestrial on a reconnaissance mission.  Or could the whole thing be a hoax or an urban legend?

While there is no shortage of blogs and articles on the man from Taured to be found from a quick Google search, the majority of them are carbon copies, often not even bothering to change the wording of the article they copy and pasted from. To date no newspaper articles related to the story have been found, but that would make sense if the story was true.  In the uneasy climate following World War II, a Japanese journalist attempting to report on a mystery man with a passport from a country that didn't exist probably wouldn't get very far.  Nowhere is any mention of the man's name, the exact airline, or any other identifying clues. Many of the articles online cite two books as their main sources of the information: The Directory of Possibilities by Colin Wilson and John Grant (1981, p.86) (ISBN: 0-552-119946) and"Out Of Thin Air: People Who Appear From Nowhere" by Paul Begg. 

In "The Directory of Possibilities" there is in fact only one sentence referring to the Taured man.  Following a summary of two other strange cases of people who appeared to come from places that didn't exist (which we plan to cover very soon), the book mentions, "And in 1954 a passport check in Japan is alledged to have produced a man with papers issued by the nation of Taured."  That's it. So where did the rest of the story originate? Others looking into the Taured mystery have searched in vain for the other book referenced, "Out Of Thin Air: People Who Appear From Nowhere," only to find that, like Taured itself, it doesn't seem to exist.  They were, however, able to locate another book by Paul Begg, "Into Thin Air: People Who Disappear" [David & Charles, 1979].  Was "Out Of Thin Air" a companion book, perhaps written but never published? If so, why would others cite it when writing about the man from Taured?

The best background information we found came from an unusual source, Frankenstein Sound Labs, who in 2004 released the album "Malice in Sunderland," that included the single "The Man From Taured."  On their website, the mind behind Frankenstein Sound Labs tells of coming across the sentence referring to the man in the "Directory of Possibilities" and the name stuck with him. When the time came to put a title to his new song, The Man From Taured sounded good to him.  When his song suddenly began attracting a lot of plays online, he found his way to the website, where the story of the man from Taured was being discussed in a forum. He explained how he came across the story in the book and hadn't, as some had claimed, been the original source himself. He added that when he released the album in 2004 he did a Google search for 'Taured,' which returned nothing. It seems that the mysterious story gained momentum online sometime after that.

After days spent researching the story of the man from Taured, we have came away with many more questions than we began with, and few answers. Is this a tech-age urban legend that spread on internet forums in recent years? An elaborate hoax with no factual basis? If the events actually happened, what became of the mysterious man? Did he find a doorway back to his own dimension, in which Andorra never existed? Could there be anyone left who might remember a strange man at the Tokyo airport in 1954? If so, it may be that only they hold the answers to this perplexing mystery.

For more info:
Frankenstein Sound Labs web page referring to Taured
Skeptiko - Man Out of Time - "Hi, I'm from Taured"
Ghost Theory - Mysterious Arrival: The Man From Taured
Strange Mysteries Youtube channel - The Taured Man: Interdimensional Traveler?

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