Chilling Last Known Photos Of Missing Millionaire With The Cannibal Tribe Believed To Have Killed Him

Credit: Alamy

The chilling last known photos of a missing millionaire who interacted with a cannibal tribe have gone viral

The mystery of what happened to Michael Rockefeller has long dominated the brains of amateur detectives of the internet.

Born on May 18, 1938, the fifth and last child of Nelson and Mary Todhunter Rockefeller, Michael led a short but incredibly strange life.

Here, we take a look at the final images of Rockefeller, before he was never to be seen again…

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Michael was a member of the legendary Rockefeller family and the great-grandson of Standard Oil co-founder John D. Rockefeller Sr.

This last name granted him privilege and he had dreams of becoming an anthropologist.

When he was 23, Rockefeller decided to explore and study the Asmat tribe of southern Netherlands New Guinea.

But it was this expedition that seemingly brought upon the end of Rockefeller’s life…

Michael Rockefeller
Michael Rockefeller dreamed of becoming an anthropologist. Credit: Alamy

Rockefeller was travelling with Dutch anthropologist René Wassing in the region which is now a part of the Indonesian province of Papua.

In November 1961, the pair were traversing the landscape by river using a 40-foot canoe.

However, the boat overturned when the pair were miles from the shore.

Wassing managed to reach dry land but Rockefeller was never seen again.

His body was never found, and he was declared legally dead three years later in 1964.

Michael Rockefeller
Michael Rockefeller went missing while studying the Asmat tribe of southern Netherlands New Guinea. Credit: Alamy

The strange nature of Rockefeller’s passing has led many conspiracy theorists to offer their unique perspectives on what actually happened.

Some people believe the missing millionaire was attacked by a shark or a saltwater crocodile, which would explain why his body was never found.

Others suspect Rockefeller never actually died during the accident and instead decided to leave society and join the tribe he was studying.

About a decade after Rockefeller’s disappearance, National Geographic did a project on the Asmat tribe.

However, many noticed that there appeared to be one white man in the tribe.

Some believe that this man is actually Rockefeller.

The 2011 film The Search for Michael Rockefeller explored this theory further.

Malcolm Kirk, the man who captured the footage, says in the documentary: “I can’t say I was particularly aware of a light-skinned figure in one of the canoes, but I do recall coming across a reference to an albino male when I glanced through my journal a few weeks ago.”

Documentary maker Fraser Heston (son of Charlton Heston) adds: “This shot of a bearded, light-skinned caucasian paddling in a canoe full of naked Asmat warriors begs more questions than it answers.

“The resemblance to Michael Rockefeller, an accomplished canoeist who wore a beard, is obvious.”

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However, there’s another theory about what happened to Rockefeller that’s even darker…

The Asmat tribe were known at the time of Rockefeller’s disappearance to partake in cannibalistic practices.

This has led some to speculate whether the reason Rockefeller’s body was never found was due to him being eaten by the very people he was studying.

Michael Rockefeller
The chilling final photos of Michael Rockefeller have gone viral. Credit: Alamy

Discussing this theory, one person writes: “I believe they killed him. I don’t know if they ate him, but it was known they did that sort of thing.”

The final known photo captured of Rockefeller shows him on board his canoe alongside one of the Asmat tribespeople.

Speaking about Rockefeller’s last photos, Carl Hoffman, who wrote the book ‘Savage Harvest’ on Rockefeller’s disappearance, said (per Daily Beast): “So in that crazy, eerie, strangeness, Michael had photographed the people who would later kill him.”

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Written by Annie Walton Doyle

Annie Walton Doyle is a content editor at IGV who specialises in trending, lifestyle and entertainment news. She graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London, with a degree in English Literature. Annie has previously worked with organisations such as The Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Harvard University, the Pulitzer Prize and 22 Words.