The Man from Taured, sometimes referred to as the Taured Mystery or the Man without a Country, is an urban legend about a man who arrives at a Japanese airport from an unheard of country called Taured. Some have explained the story as proof of time travel , while others have spoken of a parallel universe. But, could there possibly be a simpler explanation?
Many people have claimed this story to be true, so the crux of the problem pertains to Taured. In case you’re wondering, there is no country by the name of Taured, either today or during the 1950s, the purported time when the incident took place. The story ends with the man disappearing (forever) a day after arriving in Japan. Moreover, all of his personal documents, such as his passport and driver’s license, also (conveniently) disappeared, thus making this strange mystery even more difficult to resolve.
The Arrival of the Man from Taured
The story of the man from Taured begins quite specifically in many sources with a hot day in July 1954. On that particular day, a man was said to have arrived at Haneda Airport, known also as Tokyo International Airport. This man has been described as Caucasian with a beard. Whilst his primary language is said to have been French, accounts claim that he spoke Japanese and many other languages as well. So far, there is nothing unusual to in the narrative.
Customs service at Haneda Airport in 1950s. ( Public Domain )
The sequence of events then differs according to which version of the story one encounters. In one account, when the man handed over his passport to be stamped the Japanese immigration officer noticed something strange. Whilst the passport looked authentic, the country where it was issued, Taured, was recognized as non-existent by both the officer and his colleagues. The man from Taured was therefore taken away for interrogation. In another version, the man mentioned that he was from Taured, and when the immigration officer did not believe him, he showed his passport.
Trying to Identify the Mythical Land of Taured
The story of the man from Taured details the man trying to convince the immigration officers that Taured does indeed exist. According to the traveler, Taured was located between France and Spain, and had by then been in existence for 1,000 years.
When shown a map, the man from Taured pointed to the area occupied by the Principality of Andorra, and was puzzled as to why his country had been given a different name on the map. Both sides refused to give in; the Japanese officers insisted that Taured did not exist, and the traveler argued otherwise.
Location of Andorra (center of green circle) in Europe. (Bosonic dressing / CC BY-SA 3.0 )
Eventually, the man was held by the officers, as they were suspicious that he might be some kind of criminal. While they conducted their investigation, they put him up at a nearby hotel for the night. To ensure that the man did not escape, two guards were placed outside his room. The next morning, however, when the officers went to the man’s room, they realized that he had vanished. There was no sign of how he had made his escape and all of his personal documents, which could have served as evidence for the story’s validity, had apparently disappeared as well.
Did the man from Taured disappear back into a parallel dimension or travel back to the future? ( quickshooting / Adobe Stock)
Is the Man from Taured Evidence of Travel Through Time or Space?
Many, including Bryan Alaspa and Jeremy Bates who both wrote books inspired by the story of the man from Taured, have tried to explain this bizarre event, by delving into possibilities which usually belong to the realms of science fiction . In fact, the internet is full of people replicating the story and using it as evidence for alternate realities.
One of the most notable explanations for this incident is that the man from Taured had somehow passed through a parallel dimension by accident, ending up at Haneda Airport in Tokyo. Following this line of logic, the hypothesis is that there is a parallel Earth, similar to our own, with the exception that the location known as Andorra here is known as Taured over there. Another proposal is that the man was a time traveler from the future, though this interpretation is arguably more problematic than the one supposing inter-dimensional travel.
While it is entirely possible that the story of the man from Taured was a figment of someone’s imagination which eventually became an urban legend , it has also been suggested that a similar incident did indeed occur. This more mundane story could have been embellished each time it was told, so much so that it eventually evolved into the great mystery that continues to fascinate today.
One hypothesis posits that the man from Taured is evidence of a parallel dimension, whereby there is another Earth like our own existing in an alternate reality. ( ipopba / Adobe Stock)
Is There Any Truth to the Man from Taured Story?
According to Snopes, this popular tale of the man from Taured, said to have visited Japan from a parallel universe , is actually a “greatly embellished and fantastical version of a far less sensational real story.” The origin of this outlandish tale seems to have been inspired by the true account of John Allen Kuchar Zegrus , a.k.a. the Mystery Man, who was arrested and prosecuted in Tokyo after having presented a fake passport to enter Japan in 1959.
This forged passport stated it had been issued in Tamanrosset, supposedly the capital of the State of Tuarid, and was written in an unknown language. While Tamanrosset is actually the name of real life province and city in modern-day Algeria, Tuareg (with a “g”) is a Berber ethnic group from the Sahara region. This whole case came up during a 1960s debate about “frontier formalities” which took place at the House of Commons in the United Kingdom, as an example of how passports were prone to forgery.
The fraudster John Allen Kuchar Zegrus had managed to invent a country, its capital, its language and even created a fake passport. He then used it to travel throughout the Middle East, before being caught lying by the efficient Japanese. In the end Zegrus was sentenced to a year in prison, but this was due mostly to the forged cheques he had cashed in Japan. His ultimate fate is unknown.
Just a Bit of Fun: Or is it?
Just how this authentic story of identity fraud has morphed into a fantastic example of conspiracy theory / fake news / urban legend, incorporating elements of parallel universes and time travel, appears to have been thanks to an embellished interpretation provided by a Facebook post published by Alien UFO Sightings . Rumor and word of mouth then played their part, along with the media’s recurring lack of fact-checking and the capacity of social media to rapidly disseminate fake news .
While it can all sound like a bit of harmless fun, fake news during what has been dubbed the Age of Misinformation is potentially dangerous due to its ability to feed partisan hostility to the detriment of truth and historical facts.
Top image: The mysterious story of the Man from Taured. Source: MedRocky / Adobe Stock
By Wu Mingren