Have you ever met someone with no record of existence? I’m not talking about doing your best Facebook detective work and coming up with nothing. I mean these people have absolutely no past. And, no, I don’t mean people in witness protection a la the end of Goodfellas.
They have backstories. These people are even more mysterious than the remains in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, because, as strange as it may sound, the people in this article have no record of being on Earth prior to being discovered as teenagers or full-grown adults. (You know. People who should have some sort of history.)
1. Last of the Hole-Icans
The Man of the Hole, also known as the Loneliest Man on Earth and the Last Tribesman, lives alone in the Amazon rainforest. He earned the “hole-y” nickname upon his discovery in 1996 because of the narrow, 6-foot-deep pits he dug in his huts. He tears his homes down and re-builds in other locations around his land, leaving the holes behind. Nobody knows the exact purpose of the holes, because the dude speaks a language that literally nobody understands. He may be the last surviving member of his tribe.
Nobody really knows anything except that cattle ranches surround his Amazonian patch of land, and he’s got a productive garden where he grows produce such as corn and paw-paw fruit.
The guy basically has a billionaire’s life – multiple homes, time for R&R – but he doesn’t realize it. The Brazilian government’s legislation regarding indigenous people’s land makes it illegal for anyone to develop on MotH’s turf, or even to trespass.
2. John Doe No. 24
To say a lot happened in the 1940s would be a gross understatement, so it’s likely that some events went completely unnoticed. But people? That’s super weird. In October 1945, a deaf teenager was out on an aimless stroll in Jacksonville, Illinois. He couldn’t speak or sign or communicate in any other way. The only thing he could write was the name “Lewis.”
The state tried to locate family, friends, acquaintances, or anyone else who had even seen the kid before. With no luck, a judge sentenced him to the state’s mental health system. What’s stranger than the boy suddenly appearing out of nowhere is that the institution did not name him Lewis. He became John Doe No. 24, as he was the 24th nameless person to enter the system.
Reports of the dude make it seem as though he was pretty cool to hang out with. He liked to dance to music – he could feel the vibrations, and he had a cheerful demeanor. Unfortunately he lost his eyesight.
John Doe No. 24 died in 1993 of a stroke after being shuffled around to several nursing homes. Still, nobody could identify the man.
While he may be gone, and even though nobody ever knew much about him, Mary Chapin Carpenter immortalized him in her song, “John Doe No. 24.”
3. How Does It Feel to Be put on Display, Eh?
An 8-year-old Canadian boy discovered a man during a walk along Sandy Cove in Nova Scotia. The man clearly suffered from exposure to cold, and to top it off, he was a double-amputee. The boy brought the man to his home in Digby Neck, a nearby village. The legless man did not speak English – or any other language, apparently.
The villagers named him Jerome, decided he must be Catholic, and sent him away from their mostly-Baptist town to a nearby Acadian community called Meteghan, where a Corsican-Canadian polyglot, Jean Nicola, tried to speak French, Latin, Italian, and Spanish with Jerome. He understood none of the languages and proceeded to communicate with a series of grunts and growls.
When Nicola died, the of Corneau family of St. Alphonse took him in, received a $2 stipend from the government, and put Jerome on exhibit for people to pay admission to see.
The above people had no pasts when they were found, but somehow managed to create lives and stories well-known enough to be on the Internet. Some people would love to erase their pasts, and these subjects managed to do that without much effort. Simply have no record of existence, and you’ll have no past whatsoever. (It will be really hard to get a library card, though.)
Want more? Check out the articles below:
- Anne Frank Made Her Last Diary Entry on August 1st, 1944. This Is What it Said…
- The First Woman to Run for President Was Called ‘Mrs. Satan’… This Is Why
- The Real Story of Elizabeth Báthory: History’s Most Prolific Female Serial Killer
- Here’s How Seemingly Random Events Can Lead to One of the Most Famous Photos in American History
- The BBC Halloween Hoax That Traumatized a Nation…and Killed Someone?
- These 16 Vintage Medical Photos Are Both Creepy and Fascinating
- In 1957, Five Guys Stood Underneath a Nuclear Blast… on Purpose.
- The Most Boring Day in History Has Been Identified. By a Computer.
- The Horribly Racist History of the Cakewalk