A disheveled man who walked into a bar in the Netherlands to down five beers led to a bizarre discovery: He and six other people had apparently been hiding out in the basement of an isolated farm for almost a decade waiting for the end of time.
It all began when a 25-year-old man left the farm on Sunday evening and went to a bar in the town of Ruinerwold. The bearded man seemed confused and ordered five ales, Dutch outlet RTV Drenthe reports. While drinking, he told the staff he needed help.
"Then I had a chat with him and he revealed he had run away and needed help. [...] Then we called the police," bar owner Chris Westerbeek told the BBC.
Police then searched a farm in the Dutch province of Drenthe where they found a 58-year-old man and a group of six teens and young adults who had been hiding in the cellar of a farm for nine years. The older man was reportedly confined to his bed after possibly suffering a stroke.
Drenthe police confirmed in a tweet that they were “alerted to concerns about the living conditions of a number of people living there in an enclosed space.”
While it was previously reported that he was the father of the young adults, Mayor Roger de Groot told the Dutch News he is not. It’s not clear his relationship to the younger members of the group. He reportedly rented the farmhouse from its owner.
He has been identified as Josef B, originally from Austria, according to the BBC.
He was allegedly uncooperative during the investigation into his home and subsequently arrested. It’s not clear what he has been charged with.
A staircase leading to the hiding place where Josef lived with the young adults was found behind a cupboard in the living room of the home, which was boarded up. The group was reportedly preparing to stay there until "the end of time,” according to RTV.
"We found six people living in a small space in the house which could be locked but wasn't a basement," police said in a statement Tuesday, RTV reports.
The group reportedly had little to no contact with the outside world and they all lived off food created on the farm. The farm's owners claim to have no idea about the group.
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