April 11, 2021

The Mystery of the Man from Taured

Typical classes of paranormal tales are accounts of persons who have inexplicably appeared (e.g., from the past, the future, other worlds, other measurements) and those who have inexplicably disappeared (to no one understands where). One example of this genre that has actually proved popular over the last few decades includes both of these elements:

The report of the male “from a parallel universe” who inexplicably showed up at a Tokyo airport in 1954 bearing a passport from the nonexistent country of “Taured” and after that simply as bafflingly disappeared from cops custody is typically related in a number of mostly similar variant kinds, such as the following:

A guy arrives at Tokyo airport in Japan. On checking his passport, they see that he hails from a nation called Taured. The passport looked real, other than for the reality that there is no such country as Taured– well, at least in our dimension.
The guy is interrogated, and asked to point out where his country supposedly exists on a map.
He immediately points his finger towards the Principality of Andorra, however ends up being angry and baffled. Hes never heard of Andorra, and cant understand why his homeland of Taured isnt there. According to him it need to have been, for it had existed for more than 1,000 years!
Customs authorities found him in ownership of money from several various European currencies. His passport had been stamped by lots of airports around the world, including previous visits to Tokyo.
Baffled, they took him to a local hotel and put him in a space with 2 guards outside until they could get to the bottom of the mystery. The company he declared to work for had no knowledge of him, although he had copious amounts of documents to prove his point.
The business authorities in Tokyo he was there to do business with? Later on, when the hotel room he was held in was opened, the male had disappeared.
He was never ever seen once again, and the mystery was never ever fixed.

This story appears to be one that was influenced by a real-life event, however its modern-day type is a greatly decorated and fantastical version of the far less mind-blowing real story.

A debate in the British House of Commons on July 29, 1960, on the subject of frontier rules (i.e., the administrative procedure by which a person enters the area of another country) consisted of mention of a guy called John Alan Zegrus, who was then being prosecuted in Japan for using an incorrect passport:

My hon. Friend may understand the case of John Alan Zegrus, who is at present being prosecuted in Tokyo. In proof, he explains himself as a secret agent for Colonel Nasser and a naturalized Ethiopian. This male, according to the proof, has travelled all over the world with a really excellent looking passport. It is composed in a language unknown and it has stayed un-identified although it has been studied for a long period of time by philologists.
The passport is specified to have actually been released in Tamanrosset, the capital of the independent sovereign State of Tuarid. Neither the country nor the language can be recognized, although a terrific deal of time has actually been invested in the attempt. When the implicated was cross-examined he said that it was a state of 2 million population somewhere south of the Sahara. This male has actually been round the world on this passport without obstacle, a passport which as far as we know is written in the created language of a developed country. I would stress, therefore, that passports are not great security checks.

As uncommon as this account might seem in our modern security-conscious era– that a guy had succeeded in moving about the world using a fabricated passport provided by a made-up country and bearing writing in a ridiculous language– it was substantiated by synchronous reporting, such as the following August 1960 news article:

Everybody who has actually faced officialdom to his expense and doubted the outrageous concerns asked of tourists will have compassion for a man sonorously named John Allen Kuchar Zegrus.
Mr. Zegrus desired to take a trip round the world. To impress authorities, he created a country, a capital, a people and a language. All these he recorded on a passport which he made himself. Victims of bureaucracy all over the universe will be thrilled to hear that he was incredibly received all over– well, almost everywhere.
John claimed to be a “naturalized Ethiopian and an intelligence representative for Colonel Nasser.” The passport was marked as released at Tamanrasset, the capital of Tuared “south of the Sahara.” Any locations so romantically called ought to exist, however they dont. John Allen Kuchar Zegrus created them.
Armed with this wonderful document, Mr. Zegrus took a trip royally through the Middle East, accepting homage as he went. That was the clincher, however didnt mean anything in any language.
The gallant gesture for the maverick, sadly, ended with the Japanese in Tokyo. They started looking up maps. John Allen remains in court, a martyr to Japanese thoroughness.
His action takes precedence, we think, over the American person who flew his own plane round the world wearing his own uniform, getting tribute from all and sundry. But the more we consider on Mr. Zegrus, the more we wish there were actually a capital called Tamanrasset, in the delicious county of Tuared south of the Sahara, with a language like the one Zegrus invented. All its citizens would be blessed with John Allens sterling mindset towards collectors of worthless info.

A summary of a Japanese radio broadcast from December 1961 suggested that Zegrus had actually not just been making use of a fake passport, however he had actually also been passing bad checks and declaring to be a representative of both the FBI and CIA:

Zegrus, self-styled American who has actually professedly acted as an agent for the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency, entered this nation in 1959 on a fake passport.

A user with the screen name of taraiochi located and published some Japanese paper posts from 1960-61 about the secret male, who had entered Japan from Taiwan together with his Korean partner using an obviously phony passport and was jailed after cashing forged checks to cover the cost of his stay there:

Throughout the years, this instance of an explicable however unusual scammer– whose story did not require the presence of extra measurements or defy our understanding of time and space– became adorned with additional contrived information (e.g., the topics agitation over not being able to locate on a modern map a nation that “had actually existed for more than 1,000 years” where Andorra is now; his unfathomable disappearance from a safeguarded hotel space) that changed it from a real-life criminal immigration/fraud case into an imaginary tale of a mysteriously vanished visitor from another measurement.

On examining his passport, they see that he hails from a country called Taured. The passport looked genuine, other than for the reality that there is no such nation as Taured– well, at least in our measurement.
Zegrus, self-styled American who has professedly acted as an agent for the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency, entered this country in 1959 on a phony passport.

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Variations in orthography and spelling in various accounts of Zegrus exploits make matters even more confusing, we keep in mind that Tamanrasset is the name of a province and city in Algeria, and Tuareg is the name of a group of people and languages in and around the nation of Algeria, its possible Zegrus hailed from (or declared to hail from) that region of the world.

Yomiuri Shimbun10 August 1960
The “Mystery Man” Who Tried to Smuggle Himself Into the Country
Tried suicide immediately after sentencing
Fictitious citizenship, fluent in 14 languages
A mysterious immigrant of unidentified citizenship and background, accused of unlawful entry and fraud, attempted to devote suicide in front of the judge who bied far his decision at the Tokyo District Court on April 10. The offender, John Allen K. Zegrus (36 ), was sentenced by Judge Yamagishi to one year of jail time at his sentencing hearing in Tokyo District Court, however when the interpreter informed him of his sentence, the accused suddenly stood up and slashed his arms with pieces of a damaged glass bottle that he had actually concealed in his mouth. As Ziegler shouted “Im going to eliminate myself,” 3 guards rushed to limit him, and he was taken by ambulance to Kyobashi Hospital.
Zegrus and his Korean partner entered Haneda Airport from Taipei using a created passport on October 24 in 2015, however by December he was having trouble spending for his stay and cashed about ¥ 200,000 worth of counterfeit checks at Tokyo banks. The created passport Zegrus utilized to go into the country was handcrafted, and the name of the country it bore, Negusi Habesi Ghouloulouloul Esprit, was completely fictitious. The nature of the text on the passport was likewise unclear, defying efforts of a linguistic expert to determine the language it was composed in.
The accused, said to be proficient in 14 languages, told private investigators that he had actually concerned Japan on orders from an Arab-related company and was working for a U.S. intelligence company, but these claims were not real. The district prosecutor was hampered by the fact that the real identity and citizenship of the accused was unidentified, and this mystery was unclear up at trial.
The passport Zegrus used was the size of a weekly publication and was identifiable at a look as a fake, however nevertheless the Japanese Embassy in Taipei had released him a visa on October 17 in 2015, and this was the very first time the accused had actually gone into Japan using that passport.
The offenders spouse, 30, got in the nation with him and was repatriated to South Korea on her own passport.

Additional posts suggested Zegrus was eventually released on time left and served Japan swearing to launch a “brand-new life in a brand-new nation,” the enigma of who he truly was and where he came from unsettled (and his ultimate fate unknown).

Zegrus and his Korean partner went into Haneda Airport from Taipei using a created passport on October 24 last year, but by December he was having trouble paying for his stay and cashed about ¥ 200,000 worth of fake checks at Tokyo banks. The forged passport Zegrus utilized to get in the nation was handmade, and the name of the country it bore, Negusi Habesi Ghouloulouloul Esprit, was completely fictitious.