When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

food / travel

Cannibalism? Fears Of A Nightmare Fate For German Missing On Dream Island

Charred bones and teeth found in a campfire in a remote part of Nuku Hiva, a French Polynesian island, may be all that's left of a missing German man. Details of case remain murky, but already some suspect the 40-year-old world traveler was not o

The island of Nuku Hiva and the missing German, Stephan R.
The island of Nuku Hiva and the missing German, Stephan R.

Worldcrunch *NEWSBITES

As early as 1842, American writer Herman Melville raved about the beauty of Nuku Hiva, the largest of the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia – and described its inhabitants as tattooed cannibals. Fast forward 170 years. A German visiting the island has gone missing, and human remains have been discovered in an extinguished campfire. The worst is feared.

The man, Stefan R., 40, has been sailing around the world with his partner, Heike D., 37, since 2008. He had been missing for a week when police found the campfire in a remote valley. Among the ashes were human bones, teeth, some fabric from clothing, buttons, and melted metal. According to the state prosecutor of French Polynesia, José Thorel, the remains are in all probability those of the missing German. The results of DNA testing are expected in the coming week.

Although confirmation is still pending, Germany's Bild has already published the news that the remains are those of Stefan R. and that he was eaten by a "native." The alleged cannibal is even presented in the tabloid with a picture and full name.

Polynesian authorities confirm they are looking for a local hunter who was known to have accompanied the two Germans to the remote Hakaui valley. The missing man's partner returned from the excursion, but it is unclear what happened. According to the Dépêche de Tahiti, the hunter threatened the woman, sexually molested her, and tied her to a tree.

Just days before his disappearance, Stefan R. had written on Facebook: "After six weeks in the Marquesas we'll set sail for the Tuamotu atolls." Then, just hours after a last post on the social media site, he set off on the mysterious hunting excursion inland. His partner is still on Nuku Hiva.

The allegations of cannibalism have upset some of the 2,700 residents of the island who insist the practice has in fact long ceased.

"It was the act of a single person, but the whole population of the Marquesas is being tarred with the same brush," Mayor Benoit Kautai told Les Nouvelles de Tahiti. The region fears the negative impact the case could have on tourism.

Read the full story in German by Titus Arnu

Photo – steveberardi

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Geopolitics

Patronage Or Politics? What's Driving Qatar And Egypt Grand Rapprochement

For Cairo, Qatar had been part of an “axis of evil,” with anger directed at Al Jazeera, the main Qatari outlet, and others critical of Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood ouster. But the vitriol is now gone, with the first ever visit by Egyptian President al-Sisi to Doha.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met with the Emir of Qatar in June 2022 in Cairo

Beesan Kassab, Daniel O'Connell, Ehsan Salah, Hazem Tharwat and Najih Dawoud

For the first time since coming to power in 2014, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi traveled to Doha last month on an official visit, a capstone in a steadily building rapprochement between the two countries in the last year.

Not long ago, however, the photo-op capturing the two heads of state smiling at one another in Doha would have seemed impossible. In the wake of the Armed Forces’ ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood government in 2013, Qatar and Egypt traded barbs.

In the lexicon of the intelligence-controlled Egyptian press landscape, Qatar had been part of an “axis of evil” working to undermine Egypt’s stability. Al Jazeera, the main Qatari outlet, was banned from Egypt, but, from its social media accounts and television broadcast, it regularly published salacious and insulting details about the Egyptian administration.

But all of that vitriol is now gone.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ