Unresolved: Who Was The Man From Taured — And Did He Even Exist At All?

globePreviously: Cabin 28 and the Keddie Murders.

The story of the Man from Taured is classified as unresolved for two reasons: First, because of the mystery itself; and second, because no one seems to know whether or not the whole thing really happened. Me? I’m inclined to think it’s a piece of fiction or an urban legend — but since the mystery persists, I think it’s worth taking a look at all the same. The story goes a little something like this:

On a particularly hot and humid day in 1954, a well-dressed, Caucasian man debarked from a plane that had just arrived from Europe at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. Unremarkable in appearance, a man such as he wouldn’t normally have caused such a commotion; however, when he arrived at customs, things started to get… weird.

He told officials he was a businessman who traveled frequently; indeed, his wallet was full of currencies from a wide variety of countries in Europe, and he spoke both French and Japanese, among several other languages. He said that he was in Japan for business, and that this trip was his third to the country that year — but when asked for his passport, he presented a document from a place that simply didn’t exist. He was from Taured, he explained, a country located on the border between France and Spain; furthermore, the passport was full of stamps from both Japan and a number of other countries, seemingly supporting his tale of being a frequent flyer.

The customs officials were, to say the least, baffled. The man had extensive documentation concerning the details of his trip; however, when the officials called the company he said he was in Japan to meet with, the company said they had never heard of either the man or the company he claimed to represent. Furthermore, the hotel he said he would be staying at had no reservation under his name, and his bank — details of which were gleaned from his checkbook — also proved to be non-existent. And lastly, the coup de grace: When shown a map of the world and asked to locate Taured, the man pointed to Andorra, a microstate in the Pyrenees mountains bordered by — you guessed it — France and Spain. He was irritated that the map showed Andorra, not Taured, and said that someone must be playing a cruel joke on him.

passportUnsure of exactly how to proceed, the customs officials had the man transported to nearby hotel and placed under guard. The goal was to keep him detained while they got to the bottom of the mystery… but it turned out to be a mystery that would never be solved. The next morning, the man was found to have disappeared from his hotel room; so, too, had his documentation from Haneda Airport’s security room — passport, driver’s license, and all. Was he a time traveler? Someone from an alternate dimension? A victim of brainwashing made to believe he was from a country that didn’t exist? We don’t know. All we know is that the Man from Taured was never seen again — and, indeed, appeared never to have existed in the first place.

The trouble, of course, is this: There is very little documentation that actually backs the story up as fact. As an old Reddit thread about the mystery pointed out, no one has been able to dig up any newspaper articles mentioning the incident; it seems mostly to have been transmitted from person to person via sites on the Internet not unlike this one, making it ultimately more a piece of creepypasta than anything else. It’s apparently referenced in The Directory of the Impossible, edited by Colin Wilson and John Grant (although I haven’t read the book, which is why I say “apparently”); seemingly there is also a snippet about it in Into Thin Air: People Who Disappear by Paul C. Begg (and again, I haven’t read it, so do with that what you will).  I did find a copy of Strange But True: Mysterious and Bizarre People by Thomas Sleman on Google Books, in which the Man from Taured is mentioned as an introduction to mysterious travelers in a chapter about “the Alencon Spaceman”; however, pages are missing from the Google Books edition, so if there are any footnotes or references sourcing the story, I haven’t been able to find them. Whether it really is “strange but true” remains to be seen (by me, at least).

As Week in Weird notes, this isn’t the only time we’ve seen stories of a traveler claiming to be from places that seemingly doesn’t exist. Week in Weird cites an example dating back to 1851, in which man going by the name Joseph Vorin allegedly appeared in Frankfurt-an-der-Oder in Germany; according to Vorin, he hailed from a country called Laxaria located on the continent of Sakria. A young man also apparently showed up in Paris in 1905 claiming to be from Lizbia, a place that was most definitely not Lisbon in Portugal — the man neither spoke Portugese, nor recognized Portugal on a map. And who could forget John Titor, the BBS poster from the early 2000s who claimed to be a time traveler from the future and who declared that the end was definitely nigh?

mapBut while John Titor remains one of the great unsolved mysteries of the Internet age — and one that I’ll probably attempt tease out the details of at some point in the future — the stories of both the “Laxarian” man and the one from “Lizbia” stem from Strange But True: Mysterious and Bizarre People; as such, their existence — like that of the Man from Taured himself — remain unproven.

So: Is the tale of the Man from Taured real? As I mentioned at the start, I’m pretty sure it’s just a fiction. It is, however, a remarkably entertaining fiction, and one which has prompted much speculation. For example, Moonlight Detective — which remains as skeptical about the basis of the story itself as I do — takes a particularly interesting angle, attempting to solve the classic locked room mystery that makes up the Man from Taured’s disappearance.

Ultimately, though, I’d take the Man from Taured with a very large grain of salt. Not everything on the Internet is true… but it’s still fun to suspend your disbelief every now and again, anyway.

Recommended reading:

Man Without a Country: Who Was the Mystery Man from Taured?

Mysterious Arrival: The Man from Taured.

Strange But True: Mysterious and Bizarre People.

The Man from Taured.

[Photos: Patrick Q, Corey Holms, falco500/Flickr]

7 thoughts on “Unresolved: Who Was The Man From Taured — And Did He Even Exist At All?

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  2. I have a huge curiosity question regarding The Man from Taured question as a person interested in the concept of parallel universes via it being an interest of mine via science fiction (mainly due to being a fan of the 1990’s cult TV show, “Sliders”, as well as being a fan of the other cult TV show from the late part of the last decade, early in this one, “Fringe” — a matter of fact I’m suspecting that the recent story — that might be a parallel universe story told on the internet first in July 2008 by a woman in Spain Gordo Lerina “Lucy” Garcia that she awoke and slipped or tripped into our universe from her own back in March 2008 {I have some doubts about it, and wouldn’t be surprised if Lucy’s case in a version of the little known neurological disorder usually associated with women, Capgras syndrome and Lucy might need some neurological tests done) might have inspired some of the episodes from 2010 of “Fringe” when the our universe blond Olivia Dunham wakes up as the red-headed alternate universe version of Olivia — still one of the best and most chilling performances on TV not given an Emmy or even Emmy nomination by Anna Torv.) But that being written here is my question regarding “The Man from Taured” story, Why hasn’t his name ever shown up in the telling and retelling of this story? You would think that either people at the airport, at the company that he was supposedly in Tokyo to do business with, who denied his existence, or the people at the hotel he was supposedly registered at would have at least passed along his name. I mean it wasn’t like 1954 was in the post September 11th, 2001 world where there would have been more secrecy, and it wasn’t like it was going on all over an internet, because that wasn’t there in 1954, either. But it would be interesting to find out the man’s name and you would think people involved in the incident would have been interested to retell his name? After all if he was from some parallel universe or alternate dimension or what not, wouldn’t it be interesting to find out if there is another version of him that exist in this universe or dimension? Or at least did at some point in time? Either before or after the events in the story as told. By the way another shedding of light on the origins of this story, that I got from another internet site, supposedly this story first surfaced in Japan in 1974 (20 years after the incident supposedly took place) as part of Japanese folklore comics.

    1. Hi Pete! I realize that you posted this a long time ago but I would like to know where you got your info about this being first told in a Japanese Comic. I can’t seem to find it anywhere else. Any information would be greatly appreciated!

  3. Im more akin to consider the possibility that the entire case of Taured (assuming it really happen) was a mere case of mistranslation and sloppy work. Taured doesnt exist, this is hardly a surprise, in this universe at least. But from 1947 to 1954 there was another small “country” or state, that since has vanished from the map. Trieste free zone. T.F.Z had a few years of quasi indipendence from the Italian state from 1947 to 1954, the year the man of Taured payed us a visit. Now what if, the airport personel had trouble in finding TFZ on the map? after all it was the 50s there were no internet, no google maps, no ‘up to date’ maps of Europe. Since the borders were not yet stabilized. So it was not a easy task. The man was kept in custody and sent to a hotel. The day after the officials along the Italian (I guess Trieste was represented by the IT ambassador but I may be mistaken) ambassador went to the hotel, and send the man away, with plenty of apologies.

    I think perhaps we should look into the documents of the activities of the Italian embassy in Tokyo in 1954. Now this is just a conjecture. Anyways the story ends in a pub somewhere few years later, when few guys working at the airport were having a drink and a bored journalist past by. You can imagine the rest😉

    Sorry for my poor English.


  4. This really sounds more like a Twilight Zone episode than real life. If the Man from Taured was real, and did time travel, as some of the theories claim, why would he choose to arrive in Japan and divulge information about himself like that? It just doesn’t make sense.

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