One of the last known photos of Michael Rockefeller with the cannibal peoples believed to have killed him
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Featured Image Credit: Everett Collection Inc/Alamy Stock Photo
One of the last known photos of Michael Rockefeller shows the cannibal tribe he was with before getting lost at sea - who some believe killed him.
The death and disappearance of Rockefeller remains to be a mystery, even to this day.
Aged 23 at the time, Rockefeller and Dutch anthropologist, René Wassing, went on an expedition in the Asmat region of southwestern New Guinea - now a part of the Indonesian province of Papua.
In November 1961, the pair were in a sailing a a 40-foot canoe about three miles from shore when the boat was swamped and overturned.
Wassing was later spotted in the Arafura Sea and was rescued. However, Rockefeller was never seen again.
A well-circulated rumour is that his body washed up to shore and the cannibalistic Asmat tribe were the cause of Michael's death.
Another theory stems from that fact, about a decade after Michael's disappearance, National Geographic did a project on the Asmat tribe where they were filmed rolling their boats.
In the photo, it looks like there's one white man rowing with the tribe.
And some have speculated that the man could have been Rockefeller.
Malcolm Kirk, the photographer who captured the footage, has given his take on the mind-boggling theory - and he's a little sceptical.
He said: "I can’t say I was particularly aware of a light-skinned figure in one of the canoes, but I do recall coming across a reference to an albino male when I glanced through my journal a few weeks ago."
Documentary maker Fraser Heston, whose 2011 film The Search for Michael Rockefeller investigated the disappearance, is more open minded however.
He says in the documentary: "This shot of a bearded, light-skinned Caucasian paddling in a canoe full of naked Asmat warriors begs more questions than it answers.
"The resemblance to Michael Rockefeller, an accomplished canoeist who wore a beard, is obvious."
Commenting on the photo on social media, one person wrote: "Too good to be true, but I really want to believe it."
Although, someone else thought: "I believe they killed him. I don't know if they ate him, but it was known they did that sort of thing."
Speaking about Michael's last photos, Carl Hoffman, who wrote the book, Savage Harvest, on Rockefeller's disappearance, said: "So in that crazy, eerie, strangeness, Michael had photographed the people who would later kill him."
I guess we'll never know for sure what really happened.