FOUND: A Man Who Staged His Own Disappearance 5 Years Ago - Atlas Obscura
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FOUND: A Man Who Staged His Own Disappearance 5 Years Ago


Kenneth Rodman (Photo: Queensland Police)

Usually, when a person goes missing, they are found within 48 hours. To stay missing, it helps to want to stay missing. 

In 2010, Kenneth Rodman was touring Australia in a green kayak. One day, he headed out towards a beach on the northeast coast of Australia…and disappeared. The next month, his kayak was found sunken in the water. It looked like someone had sunk it on purpose: the plugs were missing.

For the next four and a half years, Rodman was listed as a missing person. The Australian Federal police described him as “an American citizen visiting Australia on holiday visa.” People reported that they’d sighted him in places from Sydney to Western Australia, but the police were never able to confirm those tips.  We believe he is avoiding contact and has managed to reinvent himself somehow, in order to remain in Australia,” a police officer told the Brisbane News in 2012. 

But then, over the weekend, something strange happened. Not far from where Rodman disappeared, police were investigating a burglary—nothing out of the ordinary. A man rode by on a bike, and began to panic when he spotted the officers.

“He went off into the bush … the dog found him hiding in the grass,” a police officer told the Courier Mail.

It was Rodman. Police think that he was hiding from the authorities in order to stay in Australia illegally; he’ll be flown back to the US just as soon as they can get his papers in order.