Magazine article The New Yorker

Without a Trace

Magazine article The New Yorker

Without a Trace

Article excerpt

Stories of people who disappear are seductive, perhaps because they suggest the possibility of walking quietly into another life. Before setting off on an anthropological expedition to New Guinea in 1961, Michael Rockefeller explained: "It's the desire to do something adventurous at a time when frontiers, in the real sense of the word, are disappearing." Milt Machlin's recently reprinted THE SEARCH FOR MICHAEL ROCKEFELLER (Akadine) investigates reports that Rockefeller was killed in revenge for a shooting by a Dutch colonial patrol, that he was eaten by cannibals, and, most fancifully, that he was alive and being kept, Kurtz-like, as a "captive native god."

The American Jim Thompson, who arrived in Bangkok as an O.S.S. officer at the end of the Second World War and returned to engineer a spectacularly successful revival of the Thai silk industry, was famous even before Easter Sunday of 1967, when he vanished into the jungle of Malaysia's Cameron Highlands. …

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