Updated: Aug 3
As human beings, we’re all mystified by the unexplained, and often can’t come to a point of comfort when a situation or story isn’t tied up into a satisfying bow. It’s like that movie or actor you can’t remember the name of—if it doesn’t come to us instantly, it becomes a quest of obsession.
For me, that scenario consumes me when I think about the story of the “Man From Taured.”
As the story goes, it was a busy day in July of 1954, with tens of thousands of passengers streaming through Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Japan. A well-dressed man enters the customs line and waits his turn to speak to a customs officer. When he hands his passport over, it was one that the officer had never seen before. When he opened the passport, he was even more shocked to find out that it was issued by a country that didn’t exist—Taured.
The man, who was described as “Caucasian,” claimed that he had traveled to Tokyo multiple times before, and was speaking French, but also was able to speak Japanese and many other languages.
When given a map, the man pointed to the country of Andorra, situated on the border of France and Spain, but was puzzled why Taured had a different name on the map, since his native land had been in existence for over 1,000 years.
With a suspicion that the man might have been a criminal of some kind, the customs officers took him in for further questioning and to perform a search of his belongings. When they did both, they found multiple different currencies, and the man told them the company he worked for and the hotel he was planning to stay at. When they investigated further, they found that his company existed in Tokyo, not in Taured, and that the hotel he mentioned existed, but there was no such booking for the man.
Obviously perplexed and worried, the customs office sequestered him in a hotel room, with two armed guards blocking the only entrance and exit, as they sorted out the mess. When the customs officers went to go visit the man the next morning, he and his stuff has vanished into thin air.
So, what are the theories? One is that he was actually from a country named Taured, but in some perfect storm he had accidentally slipped through a parallel dimension and wound up at Haneda Airport in 1954. Another theory was that he was a time traveler, and Taured was a country established far in the future. Other people have said this story is a complete internet hoax.
For me, I like to side more with the realistic answer that this all happened, but the man was mentally ill, and he slipped out from that hotel room while the guards grabbed a bite to eat or were fast asleep.
But, the endearing element about unsolved mysteries is that we may never have the real answer. Sometimes, that’s okay, because some of the best conversations and debates come out of a mystery that has no solution.