More than three weeks after Wikileaks associate Arjen Kamphuis disappeared without a trace, a local fisherman has discovered his belongings in a sea in northern Norway, prompting local police to search the water and land around where the items were found, the Daily Mail reports.
Arjen Kamphuis, 47, had been missing since leaving his hotel in the northern Norwegian town of Bodo on Aug. 20. He was staying there while on holiday, but the time had come for him to travel back to his home country, the Netherlands. He had been expected to fly home to Amsterdam on Aug. 22, but Kamphuis didn't show up for his flight, which was set to depart from the Norwegian town of Trondheim, located more than 700 kilometers south of Bodo.
Kamphuis's belongings were found in the waters of a fjord near Kvaenflaget, some 30 miles east of Bodo. Police have so far refused to comment beyond confirming that the items belonged to Kamphuis.
"Due to the ongoing investigation the police do not at this time wish to release any information about which specific items that have been found," Norwegian police said in a statement on Wednesday.
An avid hiker, Kamphuis disappeared after leaving his hotel in Bodø, Norway on August 20, as we reported earlier this month. He was set to fly out of Trondheim on August 22 after a 10-hour train ride. Wikileaks said that it's possible Kamphuis disappeared on the 10-hour train ride between Bodo and Trondheim, though authorities have claimed he had taken a train from Bodo to the town of Rognan on the day he disappeared.
"The train between the two takes (approximately) 10 hours, suggesting he disappeared either in Bodo, Trondheim or on the train," the organization said.
Judging by a recent tweet claiming that Kamphuis' cellphone was used more than ten days after his disappearance, Wikileaks remains hopeful that Kamphuis will eventually be found alive. Though news of the cellphone's activation has only added to the mystery. His phone was purportedly used near the southwestern city of Stavanger on Aug. 30, which is roughly 1,600 km from Bodo. But authorities could not confirm if it was Kamphuis who had switched the phone on. Both German and Dutch SIM cards had been used by the phone on that day.
So far, authorities have given no indication that foul play was involved in his disappearance.
While the police report of finding of @ArjenKamphuis belongings in a Fjord in northern Norway, 30kms from where he was last seen in Bodø on August 20 are grim, police say his phone was activated by someone for 20 minutes, 1,500kms away in southern Norway (Stavanger) on August 30.— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) September 12, 2018
Police are reportedly examining three theories to explain Kamphuis' disappearance: a voluntary disappearance including a possible suicide, an accident, or a crime.
"We haven't made enough progress in the case to be able to eliminate or confirm any of these three theories," said inspector Bjarte Walla."We are keeping all options open."
However, a friend of Kamphuis has emphasized that his involvement with Wikileaks was "minimal" and that he really only helped the organization with information security to secure its valuable trove of leaked documents. The same friend added that "there were absolutely no signs that he wanted to disappear," claiming instead that he "wanted to live a private life."
Still, speculation over what's happened to the Assange associate has ranged from "going dark" for a clandestine Wikileaks mission to being killed by agents of the "five eyes" intelligence alliance.
Posters bearing Kamphuis's likeness have begun circulating online: