The Collateral Families Of Castelnuovo di Porto, Lazio, Italy ?>
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ROCKEFELLER, Mr. Michael Clark

ROCKEFELLER, Mr. Michael Clark

Male 1938 - 1961  (23 years)Deceased    Has 46 ancestors but no descendants in this family tree.


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  • Name ROCKEFELLER, Michael Clark 
    Prefix Mr. 
    Born 18 May 1938 
    Gender Male 
    Died 19 Nov 1961 
    Age 23 years 
    Person ID I6264  The Ancestors And Descendants Of The Falzini's And Their Collateral Familys
    Last Modified 22 Sep 2015 

    Father ROCKEFELLER, Mr. Nelson Aldrich
              b. 8 Jul 1908, Bar Harbor, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location
              d. 26 Jan 1979, Manhattan, New York, New York Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 70 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Mother CLARK, Ms. Mary Todhunter
              b. 17 Jun 1907
              d. 21 Apr 1999  (Age 91 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Married 23 Jun 1930  St. Asaph's Episcopal Church Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Divorced 16 Mar 1962 
    Family ID F1985  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Profile picture of Michael Clark Rockefeller
    Profile picture of Michael Clark Rockefeller
    Profile picture of Michael Clark Rockefeller

  • Notes 
    • On November 17, 1961, Rockefeller and Dutch anthropologist René Wassing were in a 40-foot (12-metre) dugout canoe about 3 miles (5 kilometres) from shore when their double pontoon boat was swamped and overturned.

      Their two local guides swam for help, but it was slow in coming. After drifting for some time, early on November 19 Rockefeller said to Wassing "I think I can make it" and swam for shore.

      It is estimated that the boat was 12 miles (19 kilometres) from the shore when he made the attempt to swim to safety, supporting the theory that he died from exposure, exhaustion, and/or drowning.

      Wassing was rescued the next day, while Rockefeller was never seen again, despite an intensive and lengthy search effort. At the time, Rockefeller's disappearance was a major world news item. His body was never found. He was declared legally dead in 1964.

      Most believe that Rockefeller either drowned or was attacked by a shark or saltwater crocodile. Because headhunting and cannibalism were still present in some areas of Asmat in 1961, some have speculated that Rockefeller was killed and eaten by local people.

      In 1969, the journalist Milt Machlin traveled to Netherlands New Guinea to investigate Rockefeller's disappearance. He dismissed reports of Rockefeller's living as a captive or as a Kurtz-like figure in the jungle, but concluded that there was circumstantial evidence to support the idea that he was killed.

      Several leaders of Otsjanep village, where Rockefeller likely would have arrived had he made it to shore, were killed by a Dutch patrol in 1958, and thus would have some rationale for revenge against someone from the "white tribe."

      Neither cannibalism nor headhunting in Asmat was indiscriminate, but rather were part of a tit-for-tat revenge cycle, and so it is possible that Rockefeller found himself the inadvertent victim of such a cycle started by the Dutch patrol.

      The incident is described in Volume 2 "Dance of the Warriors" of the documentary series Ring of Fire by the Blair brothers.

      A book titled Rocky Goes West by author Paul Toohey claims that, in 1979, Rockefeller's mother hired a private investigator to go to New Guinea and try to resolve the mystery of his disappearance.

      The reliability of the story has been questioned, but Toohey claims that the private investigator swapped a boat engine for the skulls of the three men that a tribe claimed were the only white men they had ever killed.

      The investigator returned to New York and handed these skulls to the family, convinced that one of them was the skull of Rockefeller. If this event did actually occur, the family has never commented on it.

      There was, however, a report on the History Channel program "Vanishings" that Rockefeller's mother did pay a $250,000 reward to the investigator which was offered for final proof whether or not Michael Rockefeller was alive or dead.

      In the documentary film Keep the River on Your Right, Tobias Schneebaum states that he spoke with Asmat cannibals who described finding Rockefeller on the riverside and eating him.
    • On November 17, 1961, Rockefeller and Dutch anthropologist René Wassing were in a 40-foot (12-metre) dugout canoe about 3 miles (5 kilometres) from shore when their double pontoon boat was swamped and overturned.

      Their two local guides swam for help, but it was slow in coming. After drifting for some time, early on November 19 Rockefeller said to Wassing "I think I can make it" and swam for shore.

      It is estimated that the boat was 12 miles (19 kilometres) from the shore when he made the attempt to swim to safety, supporting the theory that he died from exposure, exhaustion, and/or drowning.

      Wassing was rescued the next day, while Rockefeller was never seen again, despite an intensive and lengthy search effort. At the time, Rockefeller's disappearance was a major world news item. His body was never found. He was declared legally dead in 1964.

      Most believe that Rockefeller either drowned or was attacked by a shark or saltwater crocodile. Because headhunting and cannibalism were still present in some areas of Asmat in 1961, some have speculated that Rockefeller was killed and eaten by local people.

      In 1969, the journalist Milt Machlin traveled to Netherlands New Guinea to investigate Rockefeller's disappearance. He dismissed reports of Rockefeller's living as a captive or as a Kurtz-like figure in the jungle, but concluded that there was circumstantial evidence to support the idea that he was killed.

      Several leaders of Otsjanep village, where Rockefeller likely would have arrived had he made it to shore, were killed by a Dutch patrol in 1958, and thus would have some rationale for revenge against someone from the "white tribe."

      Neither cannibalism nor headhunting in Asmat was indiscriminate, but rather were part of a tit-for-tat revenge cycle, and so it is possible that Rockefeller found himself the inadvertent victim of such a cycle started by the Dutch patrol.

      The incident is described in Volume 2 "Dance of the Warriors" of the documentary series Ring of Fire by the Blair brothers.

      A book titled Rocky Goes West by author Paul Toohey claims that, in 1979, Rockefeller's mother hired a private investigator to go to New Guinea and try to resolve the mystery of his disappearance.

      The reliability of the story has been questioned, but Toohey claims that the private investigator swapped a boat engine for the skulls of the three men that a tribe claimed were the only white men they had ever killed.

      The investigator returned to New York and handed these skulls to the family, convinced that one of them was the skull of Rockefeller. If this event did actually occur, the family has never commented on it.

      There was, however, a report on the History Channel program "Vanishings" that Rockefeller's mother did pay a $250,000 reward to the investigator which was offered for final proof whether or not Michael Rockefeller was alive or dead.

      In the documentary film Keep the River on Your Right, Tobias Schneebaum states that he spoke with Asmat cannibals who described finding Rockefeller on the riverside and eating him.





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