Man Vanishes In 1876 – Reappears In 1950
Lon over at Phantoms & Monsters found an interesting story about an alleged time traveler. I found it to be so intriguing that I decided to throw it up for our readers.
So amazing is this story that even the NYPD could find no other logical resolution to explain the strange and baffling nature of what transpired.
Here’s the whole sorted tale:
Translated: Did a space-time vortex snatch a man from the 1800s and plop him down in the middle of traffic on a busy New York City street? Many witnesses—including the New York Police Department—say YES…
Time travel stories have emerged over the centuries . One of the best time travel stories convinced many people—including some of the NYPD—that time travel is not a theory, but real.
The Spanish website sinmisterios.com recounts the tale of the best documented occurrence of time travel in recorded history. The incident is allegedly corroborated by witnesses 74 years apart.
All details are said to be documented by official law enforcement records.
Rudolf Fenz, Senior disappeared in 1876. Despite an intense search by police, Fenz was never found. Yet his family always held out hope that the kindly immigrant from Europe would return. They waited years, eventually dying one-by-one still with the hope that their beloved Rudolf might come back.
The return of Rudolf Fenz
Long after all his living relatives had died, Rudolf Fenz returned. And he returned in the most incredible fashion possible. For Rudolf Fenz suddenly materialized on June 1950 in the middle of a busy Fifth Avenue in downtown Manhattan—74 years after vanishing without a trace.
Seconds after appearing in the midst of heavy traffic he was struck down and killed by a car.
Time had played a cruel trick on Fenz, it propelled him three-quarters of a century into the future only to toss him in front of a speeding automobile.
New York’s Finest get involved
From the beginning of their investigation into the odd death of a strangely attired man, the New York police knew the case was anything but typical.
The motorist who struck and killed the odd pedestrian testified the man seemed bewildered and confused…in a daze. The driver swore the man literally appeared with no warning right in front of him.
The corpse itself was an enigma
Although the deceased dressed immaculately and his clothes looked new, the police investigation confirmed the mystery man laying dead on the street wore clothing almost a century out of date.
According to police records—written by the investigating officers at the scene of the accident—the dead man wore a black coat, a wide-brimmed hat, trousers and odd shoes that fastened with archaic, 19th Century style oversized buckles. He appeared to be in his early thirties.
Police found coins long out of general circulation—some still retaining mint luster—in the man’s pockets. In his leather billfold were U.S. banknotes with dates preceding the 1870s and crisp calling cards engraved with the name “Rudolf Fenz, Senior.”
The officers also discovered a receipt for the boarding of horses and storage of a carriage among the man’s effects.
Amazing facts uncovered
Unable to determine where Rudolf Fenz, Senior lived—or locate any next of kin—the police handed the case over to one of their crack missing person’s investigators, Hubert Rihn. With the resources of the Missing Persons Bureau of the State of New York, Rihn contacted his counterparts in European countries, including Austria and Germany, in an attempt to find any existing relatives of the victim.
Allegedly, Rihn’s investigation ran into blind alleys.
Finally, almost in an act of desperation, Rihn requisitioned a copy of an old New York City telephone directory from 1939. There, the dogged investigator found an important clue: the directory listed a man named Rudolf Fenz, Junior.
That discovery, followed by a lot of painstaking police work, led Rihn to an elderly woman, the widow of Rudolf Fenz, Junior.
Here the case takes its most unusual and bizarre turn. The facts that emerged left the officers of the NY police force stunned.
During a lengthy interview with Mrs. Rudolf Fenz, Jr., she told investigators that her father-in-law, Rudolf Fenz, Senior, disappeared during his daily walk. At the time, his son—later her husband—was only four years old. Reports were made by the family and an investigation was undertaken by authorities, but no trace of her missing father-in-law ever surfaced.
The year was 1876. Rudolf Fenz, Senior was then 31 years old.
So Rihn dug into the 19th Century archives of unsolved missing persons cases recorded by the Missing Persons Bureau of the State of New York. There, to his astonishment, was the record of one Rudolf Fenz, Senior, reported by his family as missing. The record stated he’d never returned from his daily walk.
An old photograph of Rudolf Fenz, Senior accompanied the missing person report. The photo was the exact likeness of the man killed on the busy New York street.
Could the hapless Fenz, out for his daily walk, have been swept
up by a time vortex and thrust into the alien world of the future there only to meet a swift and merciless death?
If so, then Rudolf Fenz, Senior, who lived only 31 years, died 105 years after his birth.
Are we to believe that Rudolf Fenz is a time traveler? Could this just be some sort of legend passed along over the years? I’m tempted to research this but I’ll leave that to our crack readers.
Anyone from NY heard this story before? This may require a physical visit to the public records cobweb division in NYC.
I look forward to any and all input on this as the premise of time travel fascinates me.
Thank you to the following sources:
More interesting reading on the subject of time travel here:
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