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Harold Holt

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  • Harold Holt

    Under the law at the time of Mr Holt's disappearance, an inquest could not be held because there was no body found, but the ruling changed and in 2005 the Victorian coroner found Mr Holt had drowned and his death was accidental.

    But the most powerful man in the country does not go missing in the middle of the Cold War without a mountain of conspiracy theories, ranging from suicide to abduction by a Chinese submarine.

    Ten years ago, the National Archives released some of the best letters written to authorities in the aftermath of Mr Holt's disappearance.

    There was a letter from an American lawyer, apparently written the day after his disappearance, speculating there was a better than 50 per cent chance his death "resulted from expert sabotage, probably foreign".

    They might have used "some delayed-effect drug, which he might have got in refreshments on his way to the beach," the letter writer said.

    "This would be revealed by expert autopsy, unless it's one of the new disappearing ones."

    Others suggested the prime minister was still alive, believing he faked his own death to run off with an alleged mistress.

    Or, in true Cold War fashion, had been abducted by Chinese communists.

    "I think that Mr Holt was kidnapped and taken away by submarines, and is being brainwashed for political information," one letter read.
    "Our enemies know that Mr Holt and president [Lyndon B] Johnson were close friends. A word to the wise is enough — and I shall leave the rest to you and our government."

    The Indian mystic's 'vision'

    One of the more bizarre offers of assistance the government received came via the Australian High Commission in new Delhi India, from an Indian "mystic" who claimed to know where Mr Holt's body could be found.

    Apparently it was not the first such offer the High Commissioner had received, but the mystic came with the recommendation of an Indian member of parliament, A.D Mani.

    "Mr Mani recommends a Mr Dadi Balsara, a mystic, who believes that he can find Mr Holt's body," the letter addressed to the Department of External Affairs from a representative of the commissioner wrote.

    "Mr Balsara telephoned the High Commission shortly after Mr Holt's disappearance and told us of his vision and sought our assistance in pursuing his conviction that he could find Mr Holt's body.

  • #2
    I remember reading this last year. If you are going to post stuff like this, be sure to source it! I attached the article you copy/pasted this from.
    Harold Holt made politically courageous reforms as prime minister, but for most Australians he will always be known for his abrupt disappearance on December 17, 1967.


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