A curious incident took place in Tokyo, Japan during the early 1990s: a man arrived on a flight with a passport from a non-existent country.
The man expressed anger and shock when Japanese customs officials detained him. Although the officials checked their records carefully, the passport had been issued by a country that did not exist. No record showed the country had ever existed.
Although passports exist issued by non-existent countries (known as camouflage passports), this passport was real and had custom officials' stamps on various pages including stamps by Japanese customs officials from previous visits.
The man was well-traveled, caucasian, said the country was in Europe and had existed for almost 1,000 years. He carried legal currency from several European countries, an international drivers license and spoke several languages.
Finally, indignant, he demanded a meeting with higher government authorities. He was convinced some massive practical joke was being played on him.
After being detained for almost 14 hours in a small security room at the airport terminal, some government officials took pity on him and transported him to a hotel. They ordered the mystery visitor to wait there until they decided what to do about the matter. From the reports, the Japanese were just as confused and flustered as the mysterious man without a country.
Although two immigration officials were posted with instructions not to permit the man to leave his room, the next morning the guards discovered he was gone. The only exit was the door they watched and the only window had no outside ledge and was 15 stories above a busy downtown street.
The authorities launched an intensive manhunt throughout Tokyo for the mysterious traveler, but finally gave up the hunt.
The man was never seen again.