Gunther Stoll was an ordinary 34 year old food engineer living in Anzhausen, near Frankfurt, in the Federal Republic of Germany in 1985. It’s worth noting that this was before the fall of the Belin Wall and while a pro-communist government was still active in East Germany. The cold war was still very much a concern amongst German citizens. Just over one year earlier in 1983/84 the popular German singer Nena had released her hit single 99 Red Balloons predicting an accidentally nuclear war set off in east Germany.
For Gunther Stoll, his life was nowhere near ordinary and he often told his wife that it seemed to him that someone was watching his movements. However, his wife did not attach any importance to this as his family believed he had a mild form of paranoia. However, as the old saying goes: “Just because you are paranoid does not mean they’re not out to get you!”
On the evening of 25 October 1985, Gunter Stoll again mentioned the mysterious pursuers to his wife and then said: “Now everything is clear to me!” He then wrote on a piece of paper the word ‘YOGTZE’ before crossing it out and leaving the house for a bar in Wilnsdorf. Before he could start drinking, witnesses claim he apparently fainted and hit his face on either a table or the bar itself.
Apparently, this did not upset him much, as he immediately left the bar. Two hours went past before he pitched up in the town of Haiger and went to the house of his mother’s old friend, Erna Hellfrits. She wasn’t pleased to see Gunther so late at night and she advised him to go home. Gunther replied: ” Something very terrible is about to happen tonight,” (German: Die Nacht passiert noch etwas. Was ganz Fürchterliches!) and then left.
Later that night, around 3:00am, two truck drivers reported seeing a Volkswagen Golf crashed in a ditch approximately 100km from Haiger, along with a man wearing a light-coloured jacket who might have been injured. As they stopped to help, they claim the man ran away. Stoll was found naked and wounded in his wrecked car. He told the police that he was attacked by four people who were traveling with him, after which he died on the way to the hospital.
At first the investigators doubted his story but as a result of the investigation, it was found that he had received injuries that were probably caused by having been hit by a car. Any evidence of the mysterious “passengers” was never found. The injuries sustained by Gunther Stoll could not have been self-inflicted and the police could not find his missing clothes. The police decided that Stoll was not injured while in his own car. They started to suspect that the engineer was hit by a car, and then put in his own car to hide the evidence.
The police reviewed around 1,200 possible suspects but were unable to find the killer. Various theories immediately began to appear around Stoll’s death. The fact that he believed he was in danger and had said so started to make his alleged paranoia seem more realistic. Perhaps the most mysterious aspect of this case is the word ‘YOGTZE’ which has been thoroughly investigated by the police and cryptologists. No explanation has ever been found. It does start to look like Stoll did indeed have something to fear.
The meaning of YOG’TZE has never been figured out. Some claim it means YOGurt and the Food Flavouring TZE while others suggest that it an anagram for Zygote. One researcher noted that if you turn the letters upside down you can read the numbers 027,906. If you switch the G for a 6 then the word becomes YO6TZE – the call sign of a radio station in Romania.
Although it is possible that Gunther simply went off the rails and was hit by another driver who tried to hide the evidence it does start to feel as if maybe the engineer did know something and was the victim of a well-planned murder.