David McCormack, Daily Mail, December 24, 2014
A documentary film which confirms that Michael Rockefeller, the youngest son of former Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, was eaten by cannibals in New Guinea in 1961 is set to be released by Netflix in the new year.
The Search For Michael Rockefeller, will be released on the streaming service on February 1 and confirms that one of the most compelling unsolved mysteries of the 20th century ended with the 23-year-old heir being devoured, reports the New York Post.
Rockefeller, whose great-grandfather was the co-founder of Standard Oil and established one of America’s wealthiest dynasties, traveled to New Guinea to photograph the Asmat people and collect their art.
He disappeared after a trading canoe that he was traveling in down the cannibal coast of New Guinea capsized.
Several miles off shore, heavy seas swamped his craft. After a night adrift, Rockefeller set out to swim for the distant shore, leaving his companion René Wessing with the fateful words: ‘I think I can make it…’ He was never seen again.
Rockefeller’s death was eventually ruled a drowning, but there have long been questions about the official version of events.
The Search For Michael Rockefeller hit the festival circuit in 2011, but it has yet to enjoy a wide release.
According to its website, the movie is based on original footage and materials obtained when author and adventurer Milt Machlin mounted an expedition in search of Rockefeller in 1969.
Machlin, the editor of Argosy magazine who coined the phrases ‘Bermuda Triangle’ and ‘the Abominable Snowman’, was inspired by an eyewitness report that Rockefeller was alive and being held against his will.
The movie was directed and produced by Fraser Heston, the son of famed actor Charlton Heston.
It includes previously unreleased footage and eyewitness interviews, including some startling revelations, ‘which shed new light on the unsolved mystery of Michael’s disappearance.’
Last year, Carl Hoffman published Savage Harvest, a book that also theorized that Rockefeller was eaten by cannibals.
He carried out extensive research in the Netherlands as well as New Guinea where he meet with the Asmat tribesmen for the full story and cover-up to emerge.
According to Hoffman, Rockefeller was almost at the shore when he came across a group of 50 natives waiting in eight 40′ long canoes nestled in the trees.
The men recognized Rockefeller from having been in the village, but one of the drove his spear into the man’s ribs before they pulled him into a canoe.
Once on shore, the men of the Asmats–a notoriously violent New Guinea tribe–tortured, beheaded and ate Rockefeller in a ritualistic cannibal killing.
The reason for the horrific killing was revenge.
Before Rockefeller had arrived, the Dutch had taken over the archipelago and the man overseeing the colony, Max Lapre, had ordered five elite Asmats to be gunned down.
The author believes the Rockefellers knew the truth after the AP ran a wire story where a priest recounted Michael being cannibalized and eaten by the Asmats.
The Dutch government denied it was true and the newspaper rescinded the story.
No Rockefeller has returned to Asmat nor publicly accepted any other version than Michael drowned.