Michael Rockefeller was the youngest son of Governor Nelson Rockefeller. He was born in 1938, and as being born into a family that carried out business, he was expected to carry on the same.
His great-grandfather, John D. Rockefeller was one of the richest men ever lived. Michael Rockefeller had his soul turned more towards art than sitting in meeting rooms and conducting meetings.
Who Is Michael Rockefeller? What Happened To Him?
Having always been attracted to Asmat artifacts, after graduating, he decided to go on a trip to then called Dutch New Guinea, now a part of the Indonesian province of Papua.
On Michael’s expedition to New Guinea in 1961, he disappeared, and it was a mystery for 50 years until Hoffman published his book which has helped to solve the mystery.
Michael Rockefeller and Rene Wassing (Dutch anthropologists) visited several villages in Papua. On November 17, they started out again, this time to travel along the Arafura Sea coast to southern Asmat, an area that was only known to one priest, Cornelius van Kessel, with whom Michael wanted to meet.
On their way to their destination, their boat got swamped and collapsed. The local guides who were with them made it to the shore easily, but Michael and Wessing got stuck.
On November 19th, Michael decided to swim and reach the shore as the shore looked only three to ten miles away. He began swimming and that was the last time anyone ever saw him. Wessing was rescued, but Rockefeller was never seen even after the intensive search. Not even his body was found.
That’s why his death was officially presumed as 19th November 1961 as death by drowning, whereas no one knew what had happened to him. If it was the sharks in the river or actually drowning! It was a mystery.
Due to the fact that headhunting and cannibalism were still prevalent in some sections of Asmat in 1961, it was suspected that he may have been eaten by the people of that region. But there was no proof to believe that he was the victim of headhunting.
There were also rumors that Michael’s mother, Mary Todhunter Clark appointed a private investigator to solve the mystery of her son. And it was told that the private investigator traded three heads with the locals for the motor of his boat; and among the three heads, one of the heads is recognized to be Michael’s.
However, there is no way of knowing whether or not this report of Mary’s hiring is accurate.
After 50 years of Michael’s disappearance, Carl Hoffman decided to write a book on his mystical disappearance and started investigating again.
When he started interviewing the people of Asmat village, they were opening up about Rockefeller and admitted that they were his murderers.
It was very clearly written in Hoffman’s book that Michael made it to the shores; but instead of being rescued, he was killed by one of the Asmat men, and consumed by the people there.
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