Ravi loves writing within the cusp of relationships, history, and the bizarre, where boundaries are blurred and possibilities are immense.
Can Anybody Exist Without a Country?
Whenever we talk about airports in general, the one movie that leaps to our mind is The Terminal, a 2004 American comedy-drama film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Stanley Tucci.
The Terminal tells the incredible story of a man trapped for nine months in the no-man's-land of the international terminal at John F. Kennedy Airport. Tom Hanks plays Viktor Navorski, a citizen of Krakozhia, an Eastern European country who travels to New York on a mysterious personal mission, revealed only at the end of the film.
And by an unfortunate turn of events, just as he enters the usual Customs and Immigration checkpoint, a news flash informs him that a coup had happened in Krakozhia, toppling the existing government. The events invalidate Viktor's passport, making him a citizen of no nation, a man without a country.
Because of this unique situation, Viktor can neither return to his native country nor enter the United States. Thus, he becomes trapped for nine months in the enclosed space of the airport finding out devious means of survival in the process.
This story was inspired by the true story of Mehran Nasseri, who lived at Terminal One in Charles DeGaulle Airport in Paris, France from August 1988 to July 2006. An Iranian political refugee, Nasser became stuck when his refugee certification documents were stolen from him in France, en route from Belgium to England.
That said, both Viktor Navorski and Mehran Nasseri had a small advantage in their favor; their respective countries were very much existing on the world map. The story that I am going to tell you is about a man whose country itself did not exist!!.
Yes, The man seemed to belong to a country named ‘Taured’, that did not exist on the world map.
The Man From Taured
It was a hot day in July 1954 when a smartly dressed man arrives at Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Japan. The man looked like any normal European businessman making a business trip to Japan. It was when he gave his passport to the immigration officer, the confusion started.
The passport looked authentic, but it was issued by a country called Taured. The officers were perplexed because they had never heard about any such country. As the officers tried to locate his country, the man got angry citing that this was his third trip this year to Japan and therefore he couldn't understand why is there a delay in approving his trip. It bore the visa stamps of his prior travels in Europe and even into Japan as he’d described.
At this point, the officers gave him a world map and asked him to ‘show’ his country. He immediately pointed to the area occupied by the Principality of Andorra, at the border of France and Spain. He was agitated to know that no ‘Taured’ is listed on the map although as per him the country has been in existence for more than 1000 years.
A long argument started with both sides refusing to give in. Finally, the immigration officers decided to house him in a nearby hotel for the night until they made further investigations. To ensure that the man does not escape, two guards were posted on the door.
The Officers Continued Their Investigation
With the man safely settled in the hotel room, the officers continued the investigation and what they found was quite shocking.
They called the company whom the man was supposed to meet, and the company confirmed that no meeting was planned with him. They called the hotel where he had a room reserved for the night.
The hotel didn’t know who he was. Adding to all this, the bank that had issued the traveler’s cheques for him did not exist. The only thing that was genuine was that he was carrying currencies of different countries that seem to prove the business trips he claimed to have made.
The next day, the officers went to the hotel to confront the ‘fraudster’ as they called him. To their surprise, the man had vanished completely in thin air despite the guards posted outside. And along with him, all his personal belongings had also gone.
A search was launched to find the man but in vain. And the puzzling aspect was that he was put up in a room high up in a multi-story hotel building with no balcony but still he vanished.
It was as if the man from Taured never existed.
Over the years, police investigators, amateur detectives, and conspiracy theorists have put forth multiple explanations to explain this bizarre incident.
Some say that man was indeed from Taured but the country happens to be in another universe and somehow passed through a parallel dimension and ended up at Haneda Airport.
Could this traveler somehow, on that plane from Europe to Japan in July 1954, have slipped from one such parallel dimension — one where Taured and not the Principality of Andorra lay on the border between France and Spain?
Another theory is that the mystery man was a time traveler and had mistakenly landed at the airport of the past. Could the traveler have left Europe sometime a least a thousand years in the future when Taured existed and somehow landed in Japan in July 1954?
Yet, others claim it to be an elaborate hoax although the interesting thing was that the Japanese airport authorities have neither confirmed nor denied the incident until now. Theories about the man being a spy and involved in nefarious activities have also been suggested.
Whatever the truth is, the story of the man from Taured, where the man came from, and where he disappeared remains an unsolved mystery after all these years.
- Man From Taured: A Tokyo Airport Legend
- The Mysterious Tale of the Man from Taured – Evidence for Parallel Universes? Or an Embellishment?
- The Man from Taured
- Mystery of The Man From Taured
- The lesson of the "Mystery of the Man from Taured"
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 Ravi Rajan
Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on September 01, 2021:
manatita44 from london on September 01, 2021:
Lovely tale. You're good at making humans disappear. Sweet!!
Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on August 29, 2021:
Thanks, Chitrangada for your kind comments.
Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on August 29, 2021:
An interesting read, Ravi Ji. As always, I appreciate your work.
Thank you for sharing!
Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on August 28, 2021:
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 28, 2021:
Great titles! Always an enjoyable read.
Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on August 28, 2021:
Thanks Liz for your comments.
Liz Westwood from UK on August 28, 2021:
I recall watching The Terminal and enjoyed the film with Tom Hanks. This is a fascinating mystery and one which I had not heard of before.