Lachlan Cranswick, an Australian nuclear scientist who worked at a research facility near his small hometown of Deep River, vanished under extremely mysterious circumstances a month ago. Now authorities have given up on the strange, tragic search for him.

The last time neighbors saw Cranswick, he was taking out his garbage bins. A few days later, when he missed curling practice with his local team, his friends came to check in on him. They found his house lit and open, his keys and wallet inside. It was as if he'd gone outside to bring in his bins and simply vanished. Was it suicide? Foul play?

Advertisement

Investigator Darin Faris told Australia's The Age:

This guy's got more [gigabytes] of storage device than anybody I've ever seen and we found nothing ... [W]e've got no evidence that he wanted to take his own life or somebody wanted to take it for him. If he went out in thick pair of boots, a heavy coat, fur hat and probably gloves and was hit by a car on the street and you wanted to take the body, would you be smart enough to think, ‘Oh my god, I've got to get him out of here', and look for the hat that came off his head or the boots that came off his feet? It's highly unlikely you'd look for the hat. Or if you're in the bush and the wolves and coyotes got to you and physically ate you, they're not going to eat your coat or your boots. We found nothing. We didn't find a hat. We didn't find a glove. We didn't find boots. We found nothing. That's the part that's puzzling us.

Cranswick's home is near the frozen Ottawa River, but the scientist's friends and brother insist that he would never have gone hiking through the woods to the river at night. He was known to be very organized and fastidious - not the kind of person who goes hiking at night in freezing weather on a lark.

Advertisement

The Age story continued:

Rupert Cranswick, Lachlan's Melbourne-based brother, spent two weeks in Deep River speaking to residents and claims police wasted time searching the surrounding forests and ski trails.

He said Mr Cranswick, who was last seen on Monday, January 18, after taking the company bus back into town and then walking home, would never have gone hiking at night during winter.

His car was still in the garage, his keys, wallet and passport had not been stolen, nor was his home disturbed.

"It just looks like he went to put out his bins and he vanished from there," Rupert said.

"I talked to lots of the locals there and they think something extraordinary happened to him. He loved his work. He lived for his work there. He loved it so much he didn't want to come back to Australia. It's just such a strange thing. It's like he's been taken off the planet.''

Advertisement

Maybe he was. Or maybe a time machine was involved. Either way, it's an exceptionally odd missing persons case.

via The Age