If you are a history buff or conspiracy theorist, the last name Rockefeller is well-known. Nelson Rockefeller was a Vice President as well as the Governor of New York, garnering him Rockefeller Square where the famous Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony takes place each year. Michael Rockefeller was the fifth child of Nelson and Mary Clark.
Michael Rockefeller was reported missing on November 19th, 1961 and was declared legally dead three years in 1964. Until this day, his body has not been found and the details of his disappearance are unknown. This seems odd considering how much money and power the name Rockefeller contains.
After working with the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology and studying the Dani Tribe, Michael left to begin studying the Asmat Tribe in Netherland New Guinea. During an excursion on a pontoon boat on November 17th, Michael, anthropologist Rene Wassing and two locals tipped over. The two local guides swam back to shore to get help. At this time, the shore was approximately 3 miles away. The boat continued to drift with Rene and Michael. Two days later on November 19th, Rockefeller told Rene that he felt he can swim to shore. At this point, the boat was estimated to be 12 miles from shore. Rene was rescued the next day (November 20th) and Rockefeller was never seen again.
There have been many speculations on what exactly happened to Michael ranging from drowning, eaten by a shark to being captured and eaten by local tribes. Investigations revealed that in 1958, Dutchmen murdered local Otsjnaep tribe members. Therefore it is possible then when the “white” Rockefeller landed on shore he was captured and killed. In 2014, Carl Hoffman published a book Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Micheal Rockefeller’s Tragic Quest for Primitive Art. The book strongly suggests that Michael was murdered once arriving on shore. However, in 2011 Agamemnon Films released a documentary showing what appeared to be a white person with a long beard living amongst the locals. We may never know the truth.