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The Mysterious Case of Time Traveler, Rudolph Fentz, Senior

Updated on December 3, 2012

by Christine B.

Urban Legend or True Time Traveler?

Rudolph Fentz was allegedly born in 1847 in New York City. His story has been reported since the 1970s. The legend reports that the 1950s a man dressed in 19th century style clothing was hit by a taxi in the middle of a busy thoroughfare and was killed. Witnesses to the accident claim that they saw a man standing in the middle of a busy intersection on Times Square. No one had seen him walk into the street. He looked disoriented. Before they could help him, the cab hit and killed him.

The driver of the taxi swore that the strange man simply materialized in front of his cab and there was no way of avoiding hitting him.

While attempting to obtain information regarding the dead man’s identity, authorities found several items in the man’s possession that dated back to the late 1800s. They found a copper coin that was worth five cents. The token had the name of a saloon on it that was not recognized by anyone and the establishment was not listed in the phone book. There was also a business card with the name of Rudolph Fentz imprinted on it with a Fifth Avenue address, along with about seventy dollars in outdated banknotes, an opened letter bearing the same address as was on the business card and a bill from a livery stable that had a Lexington Avenue address. Naturally, there were no livery stables in New York City on Lexington Avenue at the time the body was inspected.

NYPD Missing Persons detective, Captain Hubert Rihm was assigned the task of finding out more information about the mysterious dead man. He discovered that the Fifth Avenue address on the business card found on the body was that of a business, and the owner did not know Rudolph Fentz.

His name did not show up in the area phone book, his fingerprints were not on file and no one had reported him missing. The authorities were stumped.

Rhim took every possible lead and followed it to a dead end. He finally began checking far older missing persons reports and discovered that a man named Rudolph Fentz disappeared without a trace in 1876. The clothes that were described on the ancient report matched what the dead man wore to a tee. Fearing that no one would believe what he unearthed, Detective Rihm dropped the investigation and never reported what he had found.

The alleged facts of the mysterious Rudolph Fentz case came to light again in a book written by Viktor Farkas in the early 1970s. After that the story spread to more publications. No one knows for sure if this story is true or merely an Urban Legend. There seems to be a great deal of specific facts for this to be legend, but the facts seem too outrageous to be true. Did Rudolph Fentz accidentally walk through a tear in the space/time continuum? Good question to ask God when we get to the other side!


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    • Christine B. profile imageAUTHOR

      Christine B. 

      6 years ago from Medina, Ohio

      That's it exactly. Sorry! I think I inadvertently selected the wrong choice on my spell check! Ha-Ha... a good of an excuse as any, I guess! Thanks! It is now corrected! :o)

    • krillco profile image

      William E Krill Jr 

      6 years ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      oh, then you mean 'allegedly'...'illegibly' means you can't read the handwriting.

    • Christine B. profile imageAUTHOR

      Christine B. 

      6 years ago from Medina, Ohio

      Nope, I don't... I meant that no one knows for sure if Rudolph ever existed. :o)

    • krillco profile image

      William E Krill Jr 

      6 years ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      I think you mean 'illegitimately'.


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