Missing Dutch cyber expert still alive, disappearance voluntary, friends believe

Arjen Kamphuis
Arjen Kamphuis. (Photo: Politie)

Four months after Dutch cyber security expert Arjen Kamphuis disappeared in Norway, his friends and family believe that he is still alive and that he chose to disappear himself. He previously also disappeared from the radar, they said to newspaper AD.

"We take into account that Arjen might have been in a mental emergency", Ancilla van de Leest said, speaking on behalf of the missing man's friends and family. "His stressful life, combined with high intelligence and sitting on your own for weeks, could lead to that." Kirk Wiebe, NSA whistleblower and a colleague of Kamphuis, believes the same. "There are indications for the scenario that Arjen wanted to disappear from the radar himself."

The 47-year-old man, a worldwide authority on cyber security and espionage, has been missing since August 20th, when he left his hotel in Bodo, Norway. His kayak was later found in a nearby fjord. There are several indications that Kamphuis may be in Germany. A German SIM card was placed into his phone shortly after his disappearance. Witnesses saw him in Denmark. And he made a payment to Deutsche Bahn shortly before he left to holiday in Norway. 

Kamphuis also previously disappeared for a time after a private setback, "people involved" said to AD. Though at that time he did tell some of his friends where he was going. This past period was stressful for Kamphuis and his friends believe he may have done the same thing now. 

At the same time, his friends don't rule out the other possibilities - that he fell victim to an accident or crime. The Norwegian police are also keeping all the options open. A spokesperson said to AD that they consider one of the scenarios more likely than the others, but he did not want to say which one. 

Next week friends and colleagues will make another attempt to find Kamphuis by handing out 60 thousand "Find Arjen" stickers at a big hacker conference in Leipzig. "Keep looking out for him is our message", initiator Jos Weyers said to the newspaper. "And perhaps we'll reach Arjen himself. If he is still hanging around somewhere, it might be among like-minded people. And around 17 thousand of them will come to Liepzig between Christmas and New Year's Eve."

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