The Man From Taured (Japan; 1959)

EnolaGaia

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... I am a bit surprised though that Colin Wilson either wasn't aware or didn't wish to disclose the provenance of the story. I guess he sold his books by playing up the woo factor!
It's merely mentioned in passing in the 1981 book (Directory of Possibilities, co-edited with John Grant) commonly cited as a source. There's no source citation at all.

In any case, neither Wilson nor Grant wrote it.

According to Garth Haslam over at the anomaly.info site the chapter in which this passing mention appeared was written by Paul Begg.

http://anomalyinfo.com/Stories/1954-man-taured

Tom Slemen gave the Taured story a cursory mention in his 1999 Strange But True. Slemen's version alleged the mystery man simply left Japan after being denied entry.
 

marhawkman

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Sad that another fortean phenomena turns out to be a hoax. You should contact FT though, do an article on it.
As someone once said about writing mysteries: "It's far easier to write an unsolvable mystery than a solvable one. A solvable mystery requires there to BE a solution. It's far easier to just make a pile of random clues and hints that allegedly point somewhere."

This was in the context of writing fiction, but it's an axiom I find useful for examining real-life accounts. Taking a true story and tweaking the details can result in ridiculous nonsense.
 

AlchoPwn

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The Man from Taured can't hide :)

I'm on a roll now! Googling the name of John Zegrus then threw up this result:

Daily Report, Foreign Radio Broadcasts, Issues 249-250 By United States. Central Intelligence Agency
(27 December 1961)
View attachment 23817

I think I might have genuinely connected the dots and solved a Fortean 'thing' :)
Someone needs a gold star and a Disney sticker!
 

marhawkman

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So, just to connect all the dots and nail them together.... Here are the real events in chronological order.

https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/commons/1960/jul/29/frontier-formalities-simplification
Prior to Jul 1960 a man named John Alan Zegrus was arrested in Tokyo. The man claimed to be a naturalized citizen of Ethiopia, but born in Tuarid and used a passport issued in "Tamanrosset the capital of the independent sovereign State of Tuarid". (sic) (this could be misspelled, other sources use Tuared)

https://www.newspapers.com/clip/33905529/the-province/
His passport is lettered using the Latin alphabet, but is not written in any known language. "Rch ubwall ochtra negussi habesi trwap turapa." It also states that his claimed homeland was unambiguously fake.

Daily Report, Foreign Radio Broadcasts, Issues 249-250 By United States. Central Intelligence Agency (27 December 1961)
This source lists him as being imprisoned for using a fake passport. However it lists him as "without nationality" then later "self-styled American". (Does this mean the previous claim of Ethiopia was a lie? Obviously he's lying about something, the question is what.)

Colin Wilson and John Grant's 1981 Directory of Possibilities (a compendium of strange and paranormal topics).
This source mentions it, sort of. http://anomalyinfo.com/Stories/1954-man-taured cites it as "And in 1954 a passport check in Japan is alleged to have produced a man with papers issued by the nation of Taured." (aside from the spelling change (a simple transposition) and (possibly accidental) date change, this is consistent with it being Zegrus.)

Then we have assorted later accounts that embellish this version of the story and fill in all the missing information with wholesale fabrications.
 

EnolaGaia

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So, just to connect all the dots and nail them together.... Here are the real events in chronological order. ...

Daily Report, Foreign Radio Broadcasts, Issues 249-250 By United States. Central Intelligence Agency (27 December 1961)
This source lists him as being imprisoned for using a fake passport. However it lists him as "without nationality" then later "self-styled American". (Does this mean the previous claim of Ethiopia was a lie? Obviously he's lying about something, the question is what.) ...
One important point ... The CIA report specifically states Zegrus attempted to enter Japan in 1959. This is the key piece of evidence illustrating how subsequent writers screwed up the year as well as the fictitious nation's name.

My guess is that this story passed through multiple publications (e.g., Frank Edwards style "Stranger Than ..." books) and the original details became distorted a la Chinese Whispers.

The latter-day (1981 onward) original source for the version of the story we thought we knew seems to be Paul Begg.
 

EnolaGaia

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... It also mentions his homemade passport:
"The passport was stamped as issued at Tamanrasset, the capital of Tuared 'south of the Sahara'"
Here's something else that lends weight to the notion our Mr. Zegrus came from Africa rather than Iberia. There's one element of the allegedly gibberish-ridden passport that isn't gibberish.

Tamanrasset is the largest province in Algeria - situated in the extreme south / southeast of the country. It is named for its provincial capital - Tamanrasset.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamanrasset_Province

Regarding the city of Tamanrasset ...

It is the chief city of the Algerian Tuareg. ... The Tuareg people were once the town's main inhabitants. Tamanrasset is a tourist attraction during the cooler months. Visitors are also drawn to the Museum of the Hoggar, which offers many exhibits depicting Tuareg life and culture. ...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamanrasset
 

marhawkman

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One important point ... The CIA report specifically states Zegrus attempted to enter Japan in 1959. This is the key piece of evidence illustrating how subsequent writers screwed up the year as well as the fictitious nation's name.

My guess is that this story passed through multiple publications (e.g., Frank Edwards style "Stranger Than ..." books) and the original details became distorted a la Chinese Whispers.

The latter-day (1981 onward) original source for the version of the story we thought we knew seems to be Paul Begg.
My best guess is that the 1981 version is a slightly corrupted(intentionally, accidentally, or both), one-sentence compressed version of the original. IE the guy writing the book left out the details because he wanted the incident to sound mysterious and he knew the incident wasn't actually a mystery.

But all later ones are expansions of that one-liner, that make up everything not covered in that one sentence. Which is where all the weirdness comes from. There's a real story, but what gets passed around is actually a work of fiction.
Here's something else that lends weight to the notion our Mr. Zegrus came from Africa rather than Iberia. There's one element of the allegedly gibberish-ridden passport that isn't gibberish.

Tamanrasset is the largest province in Algeria - situated in the extreme south / southeast of the country. It is named for its provincial capital - Tamanrasset.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamanrasset_Province

Regarding the city of Tamanrasset ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamanrasset
Whoa... that adds an interesting clarity to the story. It's a fictional country, named after a real place. Maybe that's how he'd been able to use the fake passport? People attempting to look up the issuing authority saw that the name wasn't bogus. The indecipherable text was kinda.. not their problem. They didn't expect to be able to read foreign stuff and didn't try too hard.

Hmm this fits the tone of that Parliament piece. It's like "hey did you hear this story about some guy who flew around the world on a fake passport?" The incredulity is directed at the customs agents, not the name on the passport.

Wait a second... Tuareg is the name of a group of Berber dialects. Is that 'nonsensical' writing actually something in Berber? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuareg_languages

So far my efforts at trying to translate the Berber dialect of Tamahaq haven't worked. Best I've been able to do is find a music video in one of the other Berber dialects. http://endangeredlanguages.com/lang/290/samples/8948

Listening to it um.... it is utterly alien.

Interesting, running the text "Rch ubwall ochtra negussi habesi trwap turapa." through Bing translator produced a result. Bing does not have a translator for Berber languages of any kind, but it DOES have Kiswahili. Which spits out: "RCH Ubwall The Ochtra is not Trwap Turapa." Interesting.... This is not gibberish. It's the wrong language, thus the translation is incomplete. Kiswahili is a language that is spoken in areas of Africa. I don't really know how similar it is though.

Wait... this form of written Berber uses a modified Latin alphabet, part of the translation difficulty might be that the words are all misspelled. The modified alphabet adds accent marks to some letters. The text on the passport is transcribed as having o and p in the text. Interestingly that seems to be what makes the Tuareg variant of Berber different than the others... it DOES use both O and P.

Well that was fun. I learned a few things about Berber languages. :D

Further, because I decided to see if other online translators might have more options...
using Google translator set to "Amharic"(Ethiopian): Rch ubwall ochtra shows a pattern of trwap tones.
Cebuano and Filipino(Phillipines), Hawaiian, Javanese, Malagasy, Maori, Samoan: Rch ubwall ochtra negotiates the size of the gravel truck.
Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba(Nigerian), Somali: Rch ubwall ochtra is a great way to practice twap.
Tamil(south India and Sri Lanka): Dismiss Nebuzzi Hafezi's Quote by Rich Upa.

Interesting... The Tamil translation seems like nonsense, the Ethiopian and Nigerian translations are incomplete, and the Micronesian translations make no sense. Maybe this is the linguistic equivalent of staring at clouds and trying to see shapes. But it's interesting that some of the hits are from languages spoken in areas near Algeria.

Why bother? I'm suddenly curious if the text sample might be something stupid like "this passport is a fake." but written out in Tuareg.
 

EnolaGaia

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... Whoa... that adds an interesting clarity to the story. It's a fictional country, named after a real place. Maybe that's how he'd been able to use the fake passport? People attempting to look up the issuing authority saw that the name wasn't bogus. The indecipherable text was kinda.. not their problem. They didn't expect to be able to read foreign stuff and didn't try too hard.
Hmm this fits the tone of that Parliament piece. It's like "hey did you hear this story about some guy who flew around the world on a fake passport?" The incredulity is directed at the customs agents, not the name on the passport.
Wait a second... Tuareg is the name of a group of Berber dialects. ...
In reverse order ...

The alternative spelling (Tua- rather than Tau-) in the newly-found references seems to point to a Tuareg or Tuareg-related context.

The Parliament citation is provided to illustrate how difficult it can be to verify foreigners' credentials (if the passport document is "real") or how easy it might be to slide past border checks (if the passport document is "fake" or the document presented isn't even a passport). The speaker's stated point is "passports are not very good security checks."

The Tuareg people represent a semi-nomadic cultural group scattered across multiple north African nations. Absent specific data to the contrary, it's conceivable the document Mr. Zegrus presented wasn't a (Euro-delineated) nation's passport, but rather some sort of certificate identifying him as a member of the Tuareg, whose lifestyle might lead them across national borders while never leaving their traditional homelands. Such a regional certificate might well have been written in a Berber / Tuareg dialect. If it had been issued in Algeria, it may well have been issued in the provincial center most geographically relevant to Tuareg affairs - Tamanrasset.

To the extent the various stories mention Zegrus' linguistic abilities it seems he could speak multiple languages with French being the one in which he was either most fluent or natively familiar. The Tuareg trans-national homelands span northern African nations where French was the official national language for formalities (Algeria, Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso).

It might well be relevant to note that Algeria was in turmoil during the 1950s, when the Algerian war for independence was raging. Among all the other tragic disruptions of this period, open Tuareg rebellions would occur starting circa 1960. The alleged passport might have been a certificate issued by a provisional or ephemeral Tuareg / Berber political organization or movement.
 

marhawkman

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In reverse order ...

The alternative spelling (Tua- rather than Tau-) in the newly-found references seems to point to a Tuareg or Tuareg-related context.

The Parliament citation is provided to illustrate how difficult it can be to verify foreigners' credentials (if the passport document is "real") or how easy it might be to slide past border checks (if the passport document is "fake" or the document presented isn't even a passport). The speaker's stated point is "passports are not very good security checks."

The Tuareg people represent a semi-nomadic cultural group scattered across multiple north African nations. Absent specific data to the contrary, it's conceivable the document Mr. Zegrus presented wasn't a (Euro-delineated) nation's passport, but rather some sort of certificate identifying him as a member of the Tuareg, whose lifestyle might lead them across national borders while never leaving their traditional homelands. Such a regional certificate might well have been written in a Berber / Tuareg dialect. If it had been issued in Algeria, it may well have been issued in the provincial center most geographically relevant to Tuareg affairs - Tamanrasset.

To the extent the various stories mention Zegrus' linguistic abilities it seems he could speak multiple languages with French being the one in which he was either most fluent or natively familiar. The Tuareg trans-national homelands span northern African nations where French was the official national language for formalities (Algeria, Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso).

It might well be relevant to note that Algeria was in turmoil during the 1950s, when the Algerian war for independence was raging. Among all the other tragic disruptions of this period, open Tuareg rebellions would occur starting circa 1960. The alleged passport might have been a certificate issued by a provisional or ephemeral Tuareg / Berber political organization or movement.
Ah yes, that does make sense. It would also explain why the Japanese didn't see it as valid but others either saw it as valid or didn't really check. It may have been a document that was officially issued for a different purpose.
 

Kondoru

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This sounds a sensible answer.

But where does Andorra come in??
 

EnolaGaia

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... But where does Andorra come in??
Until / unless somebody can locate documentation to the contrary ...

My best guess is that the Andorra bit represents a gloss added along the way from 1981 onward.

Neither the 1981 Wilson / Grant nor the 1998 Slemen accounts mention anything about Andorra.
 

marhawkman

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This sounds a sensible answer.

But where does Andorra come in??
Modern versions seem to be derived from this account:
Colin Wilson and John Grant's 1981 Directory of Possibilities (a compendium of strange and paranormal topics).
This source mentions it, sort of. http://anomalyinfo.com/Stories/1954-man-taured cites it as "And in 1954 a passport check in Japan is alleged to have produced a man with papers issued by the nation of Taured."
This is a single sentence and doesn't mention Andorra, but at the same time it removed all the actual details from the account. Later versions seem to have filled in the blanks with what is probably 100% fiction.
 

marhawkman

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AFAIK, the man pointed to Andorra on a map and called it Taured. I think.
I think Kondoru was talking about the Zegrus story and trying to understand how Andorra had anything to do with the Zegrus story. And it basically doesn't since the Zegrus story has nothing to do with any part of Europe aside from how Mr. Zegrus spoke French.
 

CuriousIdent

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It does very much feel like a case of Chinese Whispers. But it's good to know that there does seem to be some genuine story at the start of it all. Granted, this many years on, it's unlikely we'll ever find out exactly who the guy was (beyond the name he used) or his motivations. But I am happy to know it's not an urban myth. Just an evolved/devolved telling of a real event.
 

EnolaGaia

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I suspect the only way to get any more (if not final ... ) clarification on this story would be to examine the arrest / trial records from 1959 through 1961.
 

EnolaGaia

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I may have found an explanation for one mystery associated with this case. If Zegrus was apprehended in 1959, but sentenced in late 1961 - why / how did he remain in Japan?

Why didn't the Japanese authorities simply deport him and wash their hands of the mess?

Apparently, they couldn't ...

Here's a 2017 report entitled TYPOLOGY OF STATELESS PERSONS IN JAPAN, sponsored in part by the UNHCR:

https://www.unhcr.org/jp/wp-content...-OF-STATELESS-PERSONS-IN-JAPAN_webEnglish.pdf

According to this document as of the late 1950s Japan hadn't signed - but was otherwise subject to - international agreements relating to stateless people in addition to whatever provisions of Japanese law were applicable.

Zegrus was described as being "without nationality." Regardless of which category of statelessness (enumerated in the report) applied to his situation, Zegrus would have been legally "stateless."

This means that Japan could not have deported him, because identifying the person's nationality or equivalent state-related membership is a prerequisite for legal deportation. In other words, you can't deport person X back to his / her homeland if he / she isn't certifiable as having a recognized homeland. This seems to have been the case all along.

The report cites more recent sample cases of such situations, which seem to result in the stateless person being trapped in Japan with no clearly valid destination to which he / she can be forced to go.

This opens up the possibility that Zegrus ended up being allowed entrance to Japan, where he became legally stuck. The crime of passing bad checks (mentioned in relation to the 1961 sentencing) could have resulted from desperation while trapped in Japan with no legal means for exiting.
 
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This opens up the possibility that Zegrus ended up being allowed entrance to Japan, where he became legally stuck. The crime of passing bad checks (mentioned in relation to the 1961 sentencing) could have resulted from desperation while trapped in Japan with no legal means for exiting.

I don't know about the 1950's, but a recent article I read told of how slow the Japanese legal system worked compared to other nations. It mainly focused on the trials of Carlos Ghosn (former?) head of Nissan.
 

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well this is an amusing anecdote....

Today I went to the thrift store to see what they had, and there was a pile of these plastic beach ball toys that are decorated to look like globes. So I looked at Algeria... it has Tamanrasset marked on the toy beachball map.

Not important but something funny that happened to me. :D
 

EnolaGaia

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... Today I went to the thrift store to see what they had, and there was a pile of these plastic beach ball toys that are decorated to look like globes. So I looked at Algeria... it has Tamanrasset marked on the toy beachball map. ...
Ha! But seriously ...

It makes you wonder how closely anyone examined the "gibberish" on the documents. The "passport" document supposedly displayed Tamanrasset as the city of issuance, and Tamanrasset is the real name of a real place.

Another thing to bear in mind ... To the extent any of the stories provide alleged transcriptions of the "gibberish" appearing on the man's papers, I suspect it represents an Anglicized phonetic approximation of what may well have been a Japanese phonetic transcription of a foreign language.

My point is that it would be an exercise in futility to attempt identification of the documents' language unless you had a precise representation of the script / text on the face of the documents.
 

LymeswoldSnork

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This sounds a sensible answer.

But where does Andorra come in??
Coincidentally(?), there's a play by Swiss dramatist Max Frisch called "Andorra" and set in a small country of the same name, but which he insisted wasn't the one in the Pyrenees. Perhaps Taured is that one?
 

marhawkman

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Ha! But seriously ...

It makes you wonder how closely anyone examined the "gibberish" on the documents. The "passport" document supposedly displayed Tamanrasset as the city of issuance, and Tamanrasset is the real name of a real place.
Well it does go a long way towards explaining why paranormal investigators didn't care about it between 1960 and 1981. It was a weird thing that happened, but maybe... it got buried because the people who had a legitimate reason to want the truth realized the truth of the matter way back when. The sources we've looked at are probably fourth hand at best. The Parliament piece seemingly has every single place name spelled wrong, including "Tokio"... But they seem to be the sort of errors you'd make if you're taking dictation and are hearing foreign words you don't know how to spell. At any rate they're not works written by people investigating the case. Does Japan have an equivalent of the Freedom of Information act? Reading an English translation of the official case file would be quite illuminating.
Another thing to bear in mind ... To the extent any of the stories provide alleged transcriptions of the "gibberish" appearing on the man's papers, I suspect it represents an Anglicized phonetic approximation of what may well have been a Japanese phonetic transcription of a foreign language.

My point is that it would be an exercise in futility to attempt identification of the documents' language unless you had a precise representation of the script / text on the face of the documents.
Yeah I have an itch in my brain making me wonder if the transcribed text is a transcription of Latinized Tuareg or maybe an attempt at writing out Tifinagh letters using Latin letters. It looks just similar enough that several Tifinagh letters are nearly the same as Latin letters. Example: ⵜⵉⴼⵉⵏⴰⵖ (technically this is neo-Tifinagh, but Unicode doesn't do the older forms. Neo-Tifinagh is a standardization that came about in the 80s because Tifinagh was more like a collection of similar scripts and not a single script.) one might try to transcribe this as "teheloy", but it's actually just Tifinagh written using the Neo-Tifinagh script.

Some of them look almost like letters in a Latin alphabet. It's NOT the same, but Tifinagh script is thought to share a root with Latin; ancient Phoenician. But the divergence point is thought to be around 4000 years ago so the similarities aren't very strong. More importantly they have a lot of "false friends". ⵖ looks a lot like Y, but it's not pronounced Y. It's like the "gh" in the Klingon word "gagh". (Yes I know, constructed language created for use in fiction, but it's an example of the sound used.)

But attempting a reconstruction is triply problematic as Neo-Tifinagh is 20 years newer than Mr. Zegrus's passport. It's really hard to guess what character set was used by whoever made the passport. Attempting to back transcribe when you don't know the right character set means you are guessing and can't be sure of your results.

So, yeah, trying to figure it out when we don't have a photo of the passport(or whatever it was) is probably futile.
 

EnolaGaia

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... So, yeah, trying to figure it out when we don't have a photo of the passport(or whatever it was) is probably futile.
Just for the record ... There are a couple of passport illustrations exhibited out on the 'Net along with latter-day elaborations of the Man from Taured story. They're both modern PhotoShop mash-ups for decorating someone's website; neither is an actual image of the 195X passport document.
 

marhawkman

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Just for the record ... There are a couple of passport illustrations exhibited out on the 'Net along with latter-day elaborations of the Man from Taured story. They're both modern PhotoShop mash-ups for decorating someone's website; neither is an actual image of the 195X passport document.
I found a few when trying to look up the modern "Taured" story.

One of them I saw is obviously a placeholder since it's utterly illegible.

Another is legible, but if you read it, it shows a customs stamp admitting a Chinese person to Los Angeles, but is also dated 1999. Obviously fake on multiple levels... Er.. welll, more likely intentionally mis-identified. The picture looks real, but it is not the right date, or place.

Trying to look up Mr. Zegrus's passport is a challenging thought. The original document would be at least 60 years old, if it still exists. There are multiple places that might have made a copy, but I don't know the name of any location he visited other than Haneda Airport.

The simplest method would seem to be contacting the Japanese government to inquire if there is still a case file on Mr. Zegrus, and if it has a photograph of his passport. Not sure how to do that however.

The only other reasonably reliable possibility is doing a similar inquiry with the Algerian government. But given the time period in question there is a strong possibility the records were destroyed.
 

marhawkman

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Well this is interesting... Did another web search trying to find one of the pages I looked at yesterday and noticed a hit on the English Wikipedia discussion page for the Andorra article..... It seem that if you enter "Les Tauredes" into Google maps and ask for directions to get there... it points to a location in southern France. The person who posted this claimed that it was the name of a river. I couldn't find anything about it on the French Wikipedia though.

However a web search for "Les Tauredes" gave this: http://www.lestauredes.fr/ Yeah... that's a website for a vineyard. I'm not sure if "vallon des Taurèdes" (valley of the Taurèdes) is a proper name though. Interesting! In the Google maps hit, if you click on it, it gives a street address for Les Tauredes that is the same address listed on the website for the vineyard. Hmm... how was the vineyard name chosen? Hunh, they have a facebook page, I guess I could just ask them.
 

EnolaGaia

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I can't find any source other than the vineyard-related website that refers to a "Valley of the Taurèdes" by name.

FWIW Google Translate translates "Taurèdes" as "bullfighters". However, I can't locate any other source confirming "Taurède"(?) is French for "bullfighter."

There is an old / ancient tradition of bullfighting in southern France, and Provence is one of the locales strongly associated with it.

Beyond these scattered tidbits, I can't locate anything to add context to the vineyard's / winery's naming or provide clues to how old the name may be as a local geographical label.
 

EnolaGaia

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In researching the French winery angle, I stumbled across another interesting tangent - one that's surprising for never having been mentioned before.

There was a governmental unit (principality / province) referred to as "Taurède" in French. This place's "Tauri-*" name dated back a thousand years or more, as some accounts state Zegrus claimws. However, it wasn't in western Europe ...

It's the Crimea.

When the Crimea was taken over by the Russian empire during the reign of Catherine II, it was renamed to reflect the name by which it was known by the ancient Greeks - Taurida.

Here's an excerpt from a 1997(?) French language document on geopolitics ...

En 1783, Catherine II, conseillée par son Chambellan Grigori Potemkine, décida l'annexion du Khanat de Crimée, dernier héritier de la Horde d'Or. Intégrée administrativement à l'Empire sous l’appelation de "Province de Taurède", la pacification s'opéra facilement, les Tatars de Crimée optant dans leur majorité pour l'émigration vers l’Empire Ottoman.
SOURCE: https://archive.org/stream/Vouloir-137-141/scan 07 vo137_djvu.txt

Here's the Google translation into English ...

In 1783, Catherine II, advised by her Chambellan Grigori Potemkine, decided to annex the Khanate of Crimea, last heir to the Golden Horde. Administratively integrated into the Empire under the name of "Province of Taurède", the pacification operated easily, the Crimean Tatars opting in their majority for emigration to the Ottoman Empire.
This "Province of Taurède" was originally incorporated into the Russian empire as the Taurida Oblast.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taurida_Oblast

This oblast was abolished in 1802 and the Crimean territory became the Taurida Governorate.

"The province was named after the ancient Greek name of Crimea - Taurida."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taurida_Governorate

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Crimea

This ancient name for the Crimea derived from the Tauri people who inhabited it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tauri

Having noted all this ... I still tend to think the Tuareg angle is more substantive, insofar as the key clue (the place name "Tamanrasset") is quite specific and documented in sources unrelated to promoting the incident as a paranormal story.
 

marhawkman

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It's one of those weird things where you start to wonder if the fantastical modern version is fusing the Zegrus story with something else.

But also the Zegrus accounts have tons of misspellings. One of those names you found is "Taurida". The Parliament article had "Tuarid" as the location Zegrus was from. Coincidence? Or was the person spelling an unfamiliar word like one they were more familiar with?

Crimea is considered part of Europe, but close to the eastern edge. It's between the northern part of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. The other part of Taurida is now in the Ukraine. That location doesn't make any sense in the context of the modern story. A person from there could be Caucasian and well traveled. But Almost no one in that region speaks French. Most speak Russian or a similar language. Also it is quite unlikely that a well traveled person from the Crimea region would confuse Andorra for Crimea. It's literally the wrong side of Europe.
 

EnolaGaia

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Oh, I agree ... I just thought it was interesting that there was a place with a long history for which both the ancient and historical (18th / 19th century) labels matched the common accounts' spellings more closely than anything else we've seen or found.

If anyone with an ounce of lateral thinking capability had previously delved into the mysterious place name they should have run into the Crimean connection almost immediately.

It would have been more difficult to stumble onto the Tuareg angle unless the key clues from the Parliament transcript and / or the Canadian newspaper article were known.

The whole bit about Andorra, the map, and Zegrus(?) pointing to Andorra isn't reflected in either the earliest known versions of the paranormal tale or the more solid indirect references in sources from the incident's apparent timeframe. I'm increasingly convinced the entire Andorra bit is a red herring.
 

marhawkman

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Oh, I agree ... I just thought it was interesting that there was a place with a long history for which both the ancient and historical (18th / 19th century) labels matched the common accounts' spellings more closely than anything else we've seen or found.

If anyone with an ounce of lateral thinking capability had previously delved into the mysterious place name they should have run into the Crimean connection almost immediately.

It would have been more difficult to stumble onto the Tuareg angle unless the key clues from the Parliament transcript and / or the Canadian newspaper article were known.

The whole bit about Andorra, the map, and Zegrus(?) pointing to Andorra isn't reflected in either the earliest known versions of the paranormal tale or the more solid indirect references in sources from the incident's apparent timeframe. I'm increasingly convinced the entire Andorra bit is a red herring.
I suspect that Andorra was chosen because it's a location whose RW history is semi-believable as having had a shot at being a large country if they'd won more wars in ancient times. But also the guy in the story speaks French, but isn't from France. The official language of Andorra is Catalan(which is more like Latin than French), but a large number of people speak French.

But yeah, the fantastical version that emphatically insists he mysteriously disappeared seems to be fiction loosely based on real events. Thus the use of the Andorra location is probably part of the fictionalization.
 
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