Authorities in the Netherlands are launching a massive investigation after an incredible discovery in a sleepy little village.
The villagers were shocked when a confused and disheveled stranger walked into the pub, drank five beers and then asked for help.
They had no idea what they were about to find out.
The stranger—a man aged about 25—told pub staff and patrons that he needed their help. He claimed he had never been to school and was desperate to put an end to his situation.
They may have thought he was suicidal or delusional at first, but he continued on by telling them he had slipped away from his "situation" during the night since leaving during the day was not possible.
He also mentioned that he could not go back under any circumstances, but that his brothers and sisters needed help. He felt it was his responsibility as the eldest to go find it.
The pub owner, Chris Westerbeek, contacted the police... and that's when things really got interesting.
Following the young man's guidance, authorities arrived at a farm located on the outskirts of the village of Berghuizen. The tiny village, containing less than two hundred people, sits just outside of the town of Ruinerwold where the pub was located.
The isolated farm is hidden behind a row of trees in a village that is only accessible by a small bridge over a canal. It's so out of the way that the mail carrier claims to have never delivered even a single letter or package to the farm.
According to neighbors, they had only ever seen one man on the land tending to the vegetable garden, some geese, a dog and a single goat. That isolation may have been why the alleged situation police discovered was able to continue for so long.
The farm, as seen from overhead.
DOUNIAMAG-NETHERLANDS-SOCIAL-FAMILY WILBERT BIJZITTER / ANP/AFP via Getty Images
When authorities first entered the home it seemed pretty standard, but they eventually found a stairway hidden behind a cupboard. That stairway lead down to makeshift rooms where they found a 58 year old man, identified only as Josef B., and six other adults aged 18 - 25.
Josef is rumored to be a handyman initially from Austria.
It is unclear, but assumed, that he is the father of the others found on the farm. Authorities aren't sure what happened to their mother, but the mayor said she passed away some time ago.
According to the what authorities are being told, about nine years ago when the children would have been between the ages of 8 or 9 through 14, Josef had them retreat to the hidden rooms.
He then cut off their contact with the outside world as they waited for some sort of apocalyptic event. The family lived off of whatever Josef brought them from their farmland.
The children claim they didn't leave those rooms for almost a decade. Most of them had no idea other human beings still existed, as Josef had essentially convinced them that they were the last survivors.
Josef has been arrested, but authorities have made it clear that he is not being cooperative with the process.
The farmhouse and the land have been blocked off by authorities while they try to piece together more details about what happened and how. They are also working to get appropriate medical, emotional and psychological testing and help for the young people who have allegedly been locked away all this time.
As the story makes its way around Twitter, people are struggling to understand what did or didn't happen.
Poor babes 🙁 Thank God one of them built up enough courage and made the escape to free them all ♥️🙏🏽 A group of sib… https://t.co/i9YM4UXF3d— POLITICAL (@POLITICAL)1571227289.0
#Ruinerwold -- can't make it up, Folks. Also, a lot of builders/roofers recently there, and nobody noticed the weir… https://t.co/ofIzVb5vVd— NeoPolitan WeGoHigh: SelfDiscipline Begets Freedom (@NeoPolitan WeGoHigh: SelfDiscipline Begets Freedom)1571228319.0
TO EVERY DUTCH PERSON *EVER* WHO CANNOT WRAP THEIR BRAIN AROUND HOW I COULD HAVE EXPERIENCED WHAT I DID GROWING UP,… https://t.co/byfWG4sgWk— G (@G)1571163951.0
The story in #Ruinerwold is all a big Hoax the "boy" found ? Has a Facebook and a Instagram profile and is one of… https://t.co/JDaBWS8Qca— Gibraltar Hammer (@Gibraltar Hammer)1571205246.0
“The mayor talks about the farm #Ruinerwold . Police found a number of provisional living spaces and 6 adults. Deta… https://t.co/M3TPAydHQI— Lowell Roemer (@Lowell Roemer)1571170357.0
@nytimes And, here, I’ve been waiting for the end times above ground, like a dope— Sean of the Dread (@Sean of the Dread)1571227126.0
For the time being, no further details are aavailable. The story will certainly continue to develop as Dutch authorities work their way through the investigation.
Have you listened to the first season of George Takei's podcast, 'Oh Myyy Pod!'?
In season one we explored the racially charged videos that have taken the internet by storm.
We're hard at work on season two so be sure to subscribe here so you don't miss it when it goes live.
Here's one of our favorite episodes from season one. Enjoy!