Lars Mittank spent the first week of July 2014 with friends at a Bulgarian beach resort. He has spent the nearly four years since as one of YouTube's greatest mysteries.
Kirk Pepi has the story at Mel Magazine. Pepi writes that the 28-year-old's holiday with his five former classmates from Itzehoe, Germany, was unremarkable, with two exceptions: His friends noticed he ate very little, and he got in a fight with some other Germans at a McDonald's over rival football teams.
His friends had already gone back to the hotel; Mittank says he got punched in the face, and that the force ruptured his eardrum. And so he told friends he had to delay his flight to Hamburg for a day to give his eardrum more time to heal.
They left—and things started to get weird.
He made whispering phone calls to his mom, saying he was being followed; the hotel's cameras saw him pacing and hiding in an elevator.
But he managed to make it to the terminal on the morning of July 8 and went to the airport doctor to get cleared for takeoff.
Dr. Kosta Kostov determined he could fly home but noticed Mittank seemed paranoid, doubly so when an airport construction worker walked into the office. Mittank stood up, left his bags behind, and ran—through the terminal and a parking lot, over a barbed-wire fence, and into the woods.
Airport surveillance footage of his exit has been watched some 16 million times via video compilations of odd mysteries, writes Pepi, who calls him "maybe the most famous missing person on YouTube." And he remains missing.
Read the full story for more on the private investigator Mittank's mom hired.
Then Something Changed
This article originally appeared on Newser: Video of Him Vanishing Has Been Watched Millions of Times