Nude man hunting with cannibal tribe renews mystery around missing millionaire Michael Rockefeller (1961), prompting speculation about his fate—whether assimilation or consumption by the tribe.
Missing Millionaire 'Spotted Living With Cannibal Tribe' In Unearthed Footage
After footage allegedly featuring a nude white guy hunting alongside members of a cannibal tribe surfaced, the riddle of a missing millionaire may have been solved.
A 1961 journey to Papua New Guinea resulted in the disappearance of Michael Rockefeller, a member of the renownedly affluent Rockefeller family.
Rockefeller and Dutch anthropologist René Wassing were traveling to the island on a small boat when the trouble started on November 17.
Rockefeller started swimming the three miles to shore after telling Wassing, "I think I can make it."
He vanished without a trace, and the tribe is largely thought to have killed him.
However, freshly discovered film footage shot close to the location where Rockefeller vanished might make a difference.
Rockefeller was discovered in the jungles of New Guinea years after it was believed he had died, according to podcaster Mr. Ballen.
“A reporter named Milt Macklin heard from this mysterious Australian person who had actually run into Michael Rockefeller recently in the jungle of New Guinea not far from where he supposedly disappeared,” he said.
Macklin spent a lot of time filming the Asmat and their home even though he was unable to locate the missing man.
“But 40 years later,” Mr. Ballen says, “another documentary film crew decided they were going to go to New Guinea and look for Michael because there were still all these rumors floating around that Michael was alive.”
“They uncovered this unwatched footage from Milt Macklin and they watched all of it and they discovered something unbelievable amongst the hours and hours of footage”.
A white man operating a war boat among the locals caught our fleeting attention.
“You see this canoe come into frame and it's full of Asmat tribal warriors. This is a war party and they’re making their way presumably into battle with some other tribe.”
"But amongst these big strong men is one man who totally stands out because he doesn't look like the other Asmat Warriors.”
“He is a naked bearded white man who – even though the quality of the film was poor – totally looked like Michael Rockefeller.”
There are other possibilities for Rockefeller's disappearance besides the notion that he assimilated among the Asmat.
In their documentary Ring of Fire: An Indonesian Odyssey, Lorne, and Lawrence Blair encountered a man who claimed to have eaten the billionaire New Yorker.
A group of Asmat villagers told the explorer Tobias Schneebaum a similar tale, which he described in his 200 book Keep the River on Your Right: A Modern Cannibal Tale.
Carl Hoffman, a National Geographic writer, discovered additional evidence supporting that claim and released a detailed account of Rockefeller's demise.
Rockefeller was discovered drifting, weary, and near the coast by three Asmat tribal elders named Pip, Ajim, and Fin.
Pep decided to assassinate Rockefeller in retaliation after a brief discussion—apparently regarding a bridge the Asmat claimed some Dutch explorers had taken advantage of.
The tribesman stabbed him in the ribs while laughing. Rockefeller was drawn back to their community by the tree while still alive but morally damaged. There, they chopped off his head.
“Members of the tribe came up and began cutting Michael's body absolutely to pieces, separating his organs and his flesh and his bones into different piles, and then very quickly they got a fire going and cooked and ate Michael and of all the parts of his body," Mr. Ballen said.
“His brain was apparently the most important part and so only Fin, Ajim, and Pip were allowed to eat the brain and then finally, after they had finished eating, and took all the remaining meat that had not been consumed and they put it into their pouches to eat later”.