Ireland Ireland - Sligo, WhtMale, 50-70, aka 'Peter Bergmann', prostate cancer, Jun'09

Discussion in 'The Unidentified' started by Estelle1, Jul 1, 2015.

  1. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    Interesting! Have not yet found a link, but apparently they will have or already do, a missing person site in Nambia. fwiw..
    Namibia: Popya - Journalist Starts Missing Person Unit
    July 2020
    ''There is deep sadness, coupled with frustration that people, especially young women, keep getting missing in the country, a motive that pushed journalist and blogger Rosalia Hipondoka to start a Missing Person Unit platform to assist the government in finding missing people in the country.

    The platform was co-founded by musician Top Cheri, recording artist CHANA, as well as an advocate of change Sigourney Hoses.

    Youth Corner had a chat with Hipondoka, who said she introduced the idea after they created a WhatsApp group to help find Shannon Darlikie Wasserfall, who is still missing to date.

    "I felt the necessity to introduce the unit, as I noticed the number of missing individuals increasing every day," she said.''
     
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  2. coffeeandacig

    coffeeandacig Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for those links @dotr! I can only find a twitter page for the Missing Persons Unit - Namibia so far. Seems like a lot of young females are missing there. :(

    I found the police force of Namibia website, and they have their email addresses for inquiries. https://nampol.gov.na/
    I'm not sure how far Sligo Garda are reaching out to solve his identity, and if they've sought information outside of Europe.

    I remember in the 1970's, as a child, running into many African's on vacation in Ireland. (I spent my childhood summers with family in Co. Donegal.)
    So, it wouldn't be that far fetched that Peter Bergmann was visiting a place that held special memories. Perhaps, that was where he spent his honeymoon in the 1970's?
     
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  3. Warwick1991

    Warwick1991 Well-Known Member

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    I still think that Peter Bergmann most likely to be Central European, rather than from a continent away. His clothing points to Germany, and his dental work is probably German or Eastern Bloc. The Finn Comfort shoes would be unlikely to be found in Namibia, and the rest of his clothing, from European retailers, wouldn’t be found in Namibia. A Namibian of European descent would be more likely to have clothing from South African retailers and brands. Of course, items could be purchased on visits to other countries, but I think Occam’s Razor applies.

    For me, the dental work is key. The post-WWII use of gold in dentistry is typical of Eastern Bloc countries due to the lack of availability of innovative dental techniques, making me think that Bergmann is possibly East German, Russian, or Czech - an individual who immigrated to West Germany. The sense of alienation that can result from immigration could explain the choice to die away from his adopted country - perhaps he felt that no place was home...

    A recording of his voice would be very valuable. It would yield a German regional accent that he may have had, or the traces of the origins of an underlying accent of a non-native speaker of German.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2020
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  4. Warwick1991

    Warwick1991 Well-Known Member

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    Looking at Finn Comfort’s German website, there are no dealers or distributors in Africa, and unlikely to be found in Southern Africa.

    It is also possible that Bergmann lived in the UK, but was originally from Central Europe. Those who remember his speech patterns might give us a clue. He spoke English well enough to communicate with hotel staff and the taxi driver to makes his needs known. Perhaps he had a passport from a EU country, and didn’t need a visa.
     
  5. Curious_in_NC

    Curious_in_NC Well-Known Member

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    A fascinating case. The one and only time I visited Sligo was about a year before Bergmann and I'm pretty sure I stayed one night at the same hotel. I'm a little creeped out now in knowing my whole visit to Sligo was recorded by CCTV.

    More to the point, at that time I don't think travel from the mainland UK to Northern Ireland was international, as they're both part of the UK. So a ferry to Belfast, or the less often used but nearby Larne, shouldn't have required a visa or passport. I don't think there are, or were, regular ferries from the mainland UK to Londonderry/Derry, although there is a short ferry between Ballycastle and Rathlin Island. I don't know if a visa or passport was required to take the bus from Derry to Sligo (going from N. Ireland to Ireland) but at that time you could pass freely across borders by car. In fact, the only way I could tell where I was, was by whether signs were in km or miles, or gave directions to Londonderry or Derry. I don't know if Brexit has since changed any of the border security protocols.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020
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  6. Romulus

    Romulus Well-Known Member

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    Maybe also from Trentino Alto Adige, region of northern Italy where the German language is spoken fluently on the border with Austria.
     
  7. Startover

    Startover Member

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    Did he pay with Euro money or irish money? Travlers checks...long shot.... Could he have been from a country bordering Germany such as Denmark..or Sweden?
     
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  8. Warwick1991

    Warwick1991 Well-Known Member

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    I think that the ease of work/travel within much of the EU made tracing this man far more difficult. He could have been, say, a German, Czech or Austrian citizen, but living and working elsewhere in the EU. At some point, it is likely that Bergmann flew to the UK first, and went through passport control before making his way to Sligo. I think travel between UK territory and the Republic of Ireland doesn't require a passport. I think a passport has been required for travel to the UK from Schengen area EU countries (including Central Europe) - even before Brexit.

    I've also wondered about the poor state of Bergmann's health. He had advance prostate cancer, among other things. Prostate cancer is often treatable unless the patient doesn't cooperate. Bone tumors less so.. Perhaps he did not have access to quality health care, which could point to living in Eastern Europe. I wonder if isotope testing would be helpful. That could tell us about where he grew up.
     
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  9. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    rsbm.
    Not likely, but always a possibility that the man was a Christian Scientist. They do not believe in medical interference. speculation, imo, fwiw.
    Christian Science - Wikipedia

    Dying the Christian Science way: the horror of my father’s last days
    ''The teachings were radically simple. The founder and leader of the church, Mary Baker Eddy, taught that disease was unreal because the human body and the entire material world were mere illusions of the credulous, a waking dream. Those who awoke and knew the “Truth” could be instantaneously healed''
     
  10. Curious_in_NC

    Curious_in_NC Well-Known Member

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    By that time it was either Euros or UK Pounds. It seems less likely they would have accepted Pounds at the hotel or it would have been unusual enough to at least have come up. Travelers checks would have been rare by 2009 but maybe possible for someone who had not frequently traveled in the preceding years.But I suspect Sligo LE would have been able to trace travelers checks if they were in fact used.
     
  11. coffeeandacig

    coffeeandacig Well-Known Member

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    I often wonder...Where did Peter Bergmann get his tan?
    A tan only lasts a week or two tops, unless you're from a tropical area.
    Which leads me to believe he traveled up from the south into Ireland or from the area towards the Middle East.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2020
  12. Warwick1991

    Warwick1991 Well-Known Member

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    While he could have been living in Spain or Italy, he might also have been traveling, perhaps to enjoy his last days...

    It would be interesting to see handwriting samples from the hotel register. The spelling of the street name in Vienna looks like it might be a misinterpretation of his handwriting, although it is a false address.
     
  13. ks-ch

    ks-ch Well-Known Member

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    My random train of though, don't judge, please.
    One thing I want to say, as I live in a German-speaking country, is that the majority of like surnames end with 'man' and not 'mann'. I would suggest that 'mann' is more widespread in the US as a form of 'man' that was brought with German-speaking immigrants or in surnames of Jewish origin. This is one thing. Another thing is 'Ainstettersn'. For me it sounds not like a wrong address, but something that you could have not misspelled as a native speaker, even if you wanted to conceal something. 'Stetten' is a very common ending for geographical names, meaning something like 'a place', so writing 'stettersn' is like writing 'New Yorxck' in English.
     
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  14. Warwick1991

    Warwick1991 Well-Known Member

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    “Ainstettersn” also caught my attention also as a bizarre misspelling. If our unidentified man deliberately spelled a street name like this, he might not be a fluent German speaker. Or, he may have been playing some sort of joke on the hotel staff. That is why it would be interesting to see the form he filled out, and whether the Gardai wrongly interpreted his handwriting. The spelling might be a quirk in his handwriting; perhaps the street name was Ainstetter, followed by something else.

    This 2019 article from the Irish Times also notes the spelling and name anomalies. The unsolved mystery of Peter Bergmann
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2020
  15. Warwick1991

    Warwick1991 Well-Known Member

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    As far as “mann” vs “man” is concerned, surnames like Hofmann/Hofman cannot be categorized as Jewish or non-Jewish by the use of the double “n.” Some genealogy material I’ve read implies the use of the double “n” could indicate an older or more archaic spelling. There’s a wide range of possibilities for Bergmann’s origin and nationality. He could be a Russian of either German or Jewish descent, or even be from South America or Israel. He could also be Polish or Czech. His accent must have been guttural to be perceived as German, but could actually have been a Russian accent. I think he had some kind of ties to Central Europe, and that his gold tooth points to an earlier life in the Eastern Bloc.

    In the 1960’s and 70’s, some people of German descent were allowed to leave the USSR. Prior to the Russian revolution, there were many people of German descent living in Russia. They had been invited to settle in the Russian empire by Catherine the Great. After periods of deportation and other measures used against minorities in the former USSR, many left the USSR and went to West Germany.

    Bergmann could also be Jewish, part of a wave of Jews fleeing the USSR. Although most chose Israel or the US, some settled in Germany. If Bergmann was a Soviet Jew, he may not have been circumcised, which could otherwise identify him as Jewish. There are no remarks in any published accounts that state whether he was circumcised; my thought is that it would have been noted if he was.

    DNA and isotope testing would likely be the only way this man would be identified now.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2020
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  16. Susikatze

    Susikatze Well-Known Member

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    Bergmann is a pretty standard nonjewish German name, found also in Austria and Switzerland. It is not a specific Jewish name (there are only very few, if any specific Jewish names, actually), even though a few Jews also adopted the surname. Nothing of the really few clues we have points to him being Jewish or even Eastern European.
    Gold crowns were still fairly common in Germany in the 1960s-1980s (my dad got a gold crown on a molar in West Germany in the 1970s and it lasts until today) and are available even today, but they are very pricey and there are modern alternatives. It is no indication of being Eastern European and no indication of poor medical status of a country, as gold crowns still require a lot of expertise and they are expensive.

    Only a DNA test may aid in identification, imho, but if he was German, Swiss or Austrian it would still be tricky to identify next of kin because not many Europeans take American DNA tests, let alone upload to Gedmatch.
     
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  17. Warwick1991

    Warwick1991 Well-Known Member

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    The reason that I brought up poor healthcare is his poor health, especially the advanced prostate cancer. If “Bergmann” saw a doctor on a regular basis, the prostate cancer might have been treated before it spread. We also don’t know whether the bone tumors are the result of metastasized prostate cancer. That could point to self-neglect or poor access to health care.

    I did not suggest that gold crowns indicated poor medical status. They are an older technology. As you note, they can last. Still, it is uncommon to have exposed gold dental work that is readily observable during conversation (as opposed to a cap or crown on a molar) in a modern dental practice. The taxi driver noticed Bergmann’s gold tooth during conversation with him, so it was easily observed. Such exposed gold dental work was common in the Eastern Bloc.

    As far as specifically Jewish names are concerned, there are huge numbers of Jewish names that are compiled in reference works. I work with this material on a regular basis. There are several large reference volumes for Jewish names and their origins; the most detailed are by Alexander Beider, and cover areas such as the Russian Empire, Galicia, and the Sephardic world in separate volumes.

    In any case, Bergmann is an alias, and as such, probably has no relationship to the unidentified man’s actual name. No one knows why he chose it. It does not point to a specific religion.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2020
  18. Susikatze

    Susikatze Well-Known Member

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    Ah, I did not notice his gold crown was on a visible tooth. That indeed is not really found in Germany nowadays, unless he got the crown 50 years back (and even then it was not a desirable look).
     
  19. Rootje

    Rootje Well-Known Member

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    great to see you too! i was busy with school for a couple of months, sorry i haven’t been online. i have a gut feeling that this was maybe a suicide. just based on the look in his eyes, and the circumstances. why would he go all the way to france? and how big is the chance of him leaving his car there and then having an accident?
     
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  20. Rootje

    Rootje Well-Known Member

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    he could’ve faked his accent. i’m dutch, but i can speak english, flemish, german and french like a native (accent wise). perhaps unlikely but it is definitely possible.
     
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