In March 2017 a light aircraft crashed near Manitouwadge, Ontario, a township more than 200 miles from Thunder Bay in Canada. However, when rescuers approached the wreckage, something curious struck them. There was no sign of a pilot – no body would be found in or in the vicinity of the plane.
Even more curiously, although snow covered the ground, there were no footprints nearby. Whoever had flown the plane had vanished without a trace. Moreover, no sign of the man who had rented the aircraft could be found in the months that followed. Indeed, his fate remained a mystery, leaving just the wreckage.
Although the authorities were able to trace who the pilot had been, a man later named as PhD student Xin Rong, this didn’t help locate him. Eventually, six months after the wreck’s discovery, his wife, Surong Ruan, petitioned a Michigan court to provide a declaration that he was dead.