The Biggest Lars Mittank Theories: What Really Happened?

On July 8, 2014, 28-year-old German citizen Lars Mittank was at Bulgaria's Varna Airport awaiting his flight back to Germany. As reported by All That's Interesting, Mittank stood up from his chair and shouted, "I don't want to die here. I have to get out of here." He then dropped all of his personal belongings to the floor, including his cell phone and wallet, and began running.

According to witness reports, which were confirmed by security camera footage, he ran down the airport hallway, out the door, and across the airport property. He then climbed a fence and continued running into a heavily wooded area. After entering the woods, Mittank was never seen again.

Vizaca reports authorities released the airport's CCTV footage in an attempt to gain information about Mittank or his disappearance. The footage was eventually uploaded to YouTube and attracted more than 16 million viewers. Although there are numerous theories about what may have happened to Mittank, neither he nor his remains, were ever found.

On June 30, 2014, Mittank and several friends had flown from Berlin to Bulgaria, where they planned to spend one month in the resort town of Golden Sands. As reported by Vizaca, Mittank and his friends were having a great time until they got into an argument with another group of men over their favorite soccer clubs.

Amid the argument, Mittank got separated from his friends was reportedly attacked by four of the other men, and punched in the side of his head.

Lars Mittank was seriously injured during an altercation

News.com.au reports Lars Mittank did not initially realize how serious the injury was. However, he was eventually forced to seek medical attention. Vizaca reports he was ultimately diagnosed with a possible concussion and a perforated eardrum.

The doctor prescribed Mittank an antibiotic and warned him not to fly, as the pressure could cause him intense pain or further damage his eardrum. Therefore, he was forced to stay behind when his friends caught their scheduled flight back to Germany.

As reported by News.com.au, Mittank left the resort and booked a room in a cheaper hotel in the city. In a later interview, one of Mittank's friends said he was "relaxed" and seemed to be in a "good mood" when they left him at the hotel. However, Vizaca reports he called his mother, Sandra, later that same evening in a state of panic. 

During the call, Mittank said he believed he was being followed by a group of men and was in fear for his life. As reported by Vizaca, he also asked her to cancel his debit and credit cards because he was afraid he would be robbed. Sandra said she thought her son was "in danger," and she "could hear his heart pounding over the phone."

Late that night, into the early hours of the following morning, surveillance cameras captured Mittank pacing in the hotel foyer, peering out the windows, and at one point apparently "hiding" inside an elevator.

Lars Mittank ran out of the airport and was never seen again

Vizaca reports Lars Mittank appeared restless in the footage and eventually left the hotel at approximately 1:00 a.m. Although he later returned, it is unknown where he was or what he was doing while he was gone.

In the early morning hours of July 8, 2014, Mittank called a taxi to take him to the Varna Airport for a flight back to Germany. When he arrived at the airport, he sent his mother a text message to let her know he arrived safely. As reported by Vizaca, he then visited the airport's medical clinic to ask a doctor whether his eardrum healed enough to allow him to fly.

Dr. Kosta Kostov said Mittank questioned him about the antibiotic he was prescribed by the other doctor. He also said Mittank seemed to be "nervous and erratic" while he was performing the physical exam.

Mittank was waiting in a chair when a construction worker walked into the clinic. Vizaca reports Mittank began trembling when he saw the man. He then stood up and abruptly fled.

The unusual nature of Mittank's disappearance, and the fact that he was never found, has sparked numerous rumors and theories as to what may have actually happened.

One of the biggest questions is whether Mittank was actually being followed or stalked by a group of men. As reported by Dark Tales, it is unclear who actually attacked Mittank on the night he was injured.

Did Mittank's injuries or medications cause his unusual behavior?

Although Lars Mittank told some of his friends he was attacked by the four men they argued with at the bar, Dark Tales reports he told others he was attacked by someone hired by those men. After his friends left for their flight home, Mittank said he believed he was being followed by the men who attacked him. During his phone call with his mother, he specifically said "four men" had threatened to kill him.

The identities of the men who attacked Mittank are unknown, and it is unclear whether they pursued him following the initial attack. However, he may have been experiencing side effects from the medication he was taking or paranoia linked to a head injury. As reported by Vizaca, the antibiotic Mittank was taking can cause a number of symptoms, including dizziness, but they are unlikely to cause mental disturbances. It should be noted that he also said that the soccer fans paid someone to attack him before he started taking the antibiotics.

Although he was only diagnosed with a "possible" concussion, Vizaca reports head injuries can cause unusual behavior.

It has also been suggested that Mittank had a mental disorder. Paranoid schizophrenia, for example, can cause paranoid delusions about being pursued or being in imminent danger. However, Mittank's family said he did not have any history of mental illness and nobody in their family has ever been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Were drugs or human trafficking involved?

Other sources suggest Lars Mittank was a victim of human trafficking. As reported by Vizaca, "Bulgaria has one of the highest rates of human trafficking in the European Union." Essentially, locals and tourists have been taken against their will and forced into sex work, drug smuggling, or used as slaves. They have also been killed for their organs.

As reported by CasoCriminal, some sources have suggested the men who attacked Mittank were involved in drug or organ trafficking and may have actually been pursuing him to be used in their trafficking ring.

It has also been suggested that either Mittank or his friends were either voluntarily or forcibly working as drug mules. Vizaca reports it is unlikely that Mittank was involved, as authorities did not find any drugs among his personal belongings. However, it has also been suggested that "his friends who flew back without him were the ones who had ran drugs back to Germany, and he stayed behind as some sort of insurance."

As reported by The Free Press Journal, other theories suggest Mittank was hallucinating because he was taking drugs, may have committed suicide due to mental illness, or may have planned his own disappearance and simply does not want to be found. Unfortunately, the lack of evidence in the case has made it impossible to prove any of those theories.

Lars Mittank's disappearance was never solved

In 2019, a trick driver picked up a man in Dresden, Germany, and dropped him off in Brandenburg — which is close to Lars Mittank's hometown of Berlin. As reported by Berlin Spectator, the truck driver said the man strongly resembles an older version of Mittank.

In the years following her son's disappearance, Sandra Mittank has heard hundreds of similar claims that her son was seen in numerous locations throughout the world. The reports have given her hope that her son may be alive. However, as reported by Berlin Spectator, she thinks he may have suffered memory loss.

The truck driver said the man he drove to Brandenburg had long hair, a beard, "tired" eyes, and his face was gaunt. Sandra said that her son has certainly aged since he went missing and will likely appear disheveled — in stark contrast to the photos in the original missing posters. She is specifically asking people in Berlin and Brandenburg to keep an eye out for anyone who resembles her son.

As reported by All That's Interesting, several law enforcement agencies, including Germany's BKA and Federal Criminal Police Office, have been working on Mittank's case. The case also gained a lot of interest on social media and has been featured on news programs in Bulgaria, Germany, and the United States.

Unfortunately, a vast majority of the reported sightings have been ruled out and no trace of Mittank was ever found.