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A mysterious conspiracy theory about a man from a non-existent country has finally been explained after years of speculation.
And as is often the case, the truth isn't quite as exciting as the legend.
The story goes that back to the 50s, when a man arrived at a Tokyo airport in Japan and made his way to customs.
However, when officials took a look at his ID, they were baffled to see that he was from a country that doesn't exist called Taured.
When questioned by customs officers, he said this was his third time visiting Japan using this passport.
One of the accounts of the conspiracy theory published on fact-checking website Snopes reads: "Customs officials found him in possession of money from several different European currencies.
"His passport had been stamped by many airports around the globe, including previous visits to Tokyo."
The story continues that since the passport didn't appear to be counterfeit aside from the made-up country, the police took the man in to ask some questions.
Officials asked him to point out Taured on a map, and he directed them to an area known as the Principality of Andorra on the border of France and Spain.
According to the conspiracy theorists, when he saw the name of the country was not there, the man became just as confused as the officers.
Assuming that maybe he was a spy or criminal, the officers then asked him why he was in Japan, although again this led to a dead end.
At a loss of what to do, they kept the man in a hotel room with two guards outside his door while they went to get their superiors - but when they returned, he was gone...
The story has sparked some interesting conspiracy theories over the years.
These were explored in a recent TikTok video from the account @reddit.journal, which explained that the most commonly believed is that the man was a secret agent.
Others were a little more far out, including the speculation that the man had either time travelled or was from another dimension.
Well, now we can put these rumours to bed - turns out, the man never did vanish into thin air.
An original report of the story reveals that the man was in fact John Zegrus, a real person detained in 1960 in Japan for alleged document fabrication.
A debate in the British House of Commons at the time showed that Zegrus described himself as an intelligence agent for Colonel Nasser and a naturalised Ethiopian.
He had reportedly travelled around the world with a very convincing, albeit fake passport written in an unknown language.
Zegrus' case was used to argue that 'passports are not very good security checks', as this man had managed to travel around the world with this document without any problems.
That is, until he was met with the very confused customs officials in Tokyo.
Snopes went on to point out that Zegrus was sentenced to a year in prison for entering the country with a fake passport.
So there you have it - case closed. Safe to say that the man from Taured certainly wouldn't get away with his antics in the modern world.
Words: Daisy Phillipson
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