A respectable young man disappears without a trace after getting into a scuffle at a popular Bulgarian holiday resort. Nobody has heard from him for almost 5 years, and his case is as maddening as it is frightening.
One of the strangest cases I’ve ever come across is that of Lars, a German man who vanished from an airport in Golden Sands, Bulgaria. The GIF you see above shows him sprinting out the airport for an unknown reason, just hours before he was supposed to board his plane back to Germany. For reasons unknown to us, Lars, who had a good career at a power plant, experienced something in the airport that made him run for his life. He leaves all his bags and belongings and flees the building. Witnesses then came forward to say he jumped a barbed wire fence and ran off into the woods surrounding Varna airport, never to be seen again. At the time of writing this article, it is June 2019, and still no clues have been unearthed that might help us to explain Lars’ sudden disappearance. No forensic evidence, no further witness reports. Tragically, it’s almost as if Lars Mittank no longer exists.
But what made him run? Let’s delve into the case further. An interesting factor involves a possible brain injury Lars may have received from a fight with football fans. Lars was a devoted fan of German football team, Werder Bremen, and he found himself in the middle of a heated argument involving a group of Bayer Munich “hooligans”. According to Lars’ friends, the 4 football fans, who have never been located, wanted to teach the 28-year-old a lesson. They reportedly hired some Russian men to attack him, and Lars was beaten by the unknown assailants. After the attack, he was encouraged by his mates to visit the doctors and was subsequently diagnosed with a ruptured eardrum and persuaded to undergo surgery. Strangely, Lars did not want this surgery performed in Bulgaria, and said he would stay in the country alone until he was better. Bearing in mind that the surgery is relatively uncomplicated, cheap, and quick, it seems strange that he would refuse.
In case of a middle ear infection, the doctor wrote him a prescription for an antibiotic, Cefzil 500. He went to a pharmacy, and he bought the medication.
It was pretty risky for Lars to board a plane due to his medical condition, so he was forced to stay behind while his friends jetted back to Germany. Now completely alone, he rented a room in a “dodgy hotel” that was a favourite among the town’s prostitutes and drug-dealers. This is when the usually laid-back German’s mental state changed entirely; At 11:50 p.m, an unusually panicked Lars phoned his mother and said that something seemed wrong. He explained he feared for his life and begged his mother to cancel his credit card. After she did this, Lars left the hotel without his belongings and phoned his mother three hours later, whispering into the phone. “Four men are following me. I’m hiding on the roof above them” Minutes later, he sends a text message. “What is CFC 500?” He seemed to be referring to his medication, which doesn’t make much sense on the surface as he would obviously know what medication he was taking and all possible side-effects. Or would he? It’s entirely possible that if Lars was mentally unbalanced (through drugs, a traumatic brain injury, or a psychotic episode), he would be totally confused.
Now arriving at the airport via taxi at six a.m, Lars calls his mother once again. “I’m so glad I made it to the airport!” he says tearfully. Hearing little more from her son, his mother became worried and found herself forced to purchase the last-minute plane tickets for her son. Bizarrely, Lars arrived at the airport without buying his flight home. Being a cautious, well-prepared individual, this was completely out of character for him. She also transferred a sum of money into her son’s bank account, and she convinced him to see the doctor at the airport. He was examined by Dr. Kosta Kostov. Dr. Kostov reported that Lars was nervous and his erratic behaviour meant that he couldn’t settle. Dr. Kostov found it extremely difficult to perform further tests on the young man, as he as becoming gradually more incoherent and agitated. At some point, the examination was interrupted when one of the airport’s employees came to talk with the doctor. He was a construction worker, wearing a formal uniform. According to Dr. Kostov, this is when Lars became panicked and ran. This is the last sighting we have of Lars, and he remains missing.
To summarise this tragic case, I firmly believe that Lars was experiencing psychosis in what were probably his final hours. Whether he developed this temporary but frightening condition through possible drug-abuse, the brain injury, or otherwise, there’s no doubt that Lars was suffering, frightened and ultimately alone. The most common symptoms of psychosis are feelings of intense paranoia and delusions, as well as erratic behaviour and a general distrust of those in authority. Isolation also plays a huge part in the initial onset of psychosis, which is perhaps why Lars booked into a hotel in a strange part of town, alone, and refused medical help. More eccentric theories range from Lars being part of a drug-trafficking ring, to him being an international spy. Such theories are quickly dismissed due to the events leading up to his erratic behaviour, (excessive drinking, the possible drug-use, stress, brain-injury), and it’s more likely that Lars did indeed suffer a psychotic breakdown. Whatever the truth, the case of Lars Mittank remains a tragic mystery.