No one is shocked.
Germany's "Forest Boy" has been shown to be a hoax. German police finally released a photo of the Forest Boy last week, and a woman in the Netherlands recognized him as a 20-year-old man who was declared missing in the Netherlands last September.
Several months ago, a young man who called himself "Ray" showed up at Berlin City Hall with a wild story. He claimed that he had been living in the woods of Germany with his father for the past five years, and that he decided to leave the woods after his father died.
Ray claimed that he could only remember his first name, his birth date, and the first name of his mother and father. He said that his mother had died in a car accident when he was 12, and that he and his father had been living in the woods ever since.
Ray's story was suspect from the beginning. He was only able to provide vague details about the car accident, had no information on how his father died, and was unable to give police directions to his father's supposed burial site. He also turned up in Berlin looking fit and healthy, with a relatively recent hair cut, clean shaven, and with fingernails that were clean and well maintained - not dirty or chipped, the way you would expect from someone who had been living in the woods.
There have been many documented cases of amnesia and people living in the woods, but Ray's story never seemed to be one of them. Nothing about his story made sense, while at the same time he seemed cogent and mentally stable. His German was very good, if strangely un-accented. Unlike so many people who have suffered great tragedies, or memory loss, or who have spent a long time in the woods, Ray seemed fine.
Contrast this with "Peter the Wild Boy," who was found "living alone and naked in a German forest in 1725." It is presumed that Peter, who suffered from a genetic abnormality similar to Down's Syndrome, was abandoned by his parents. He never learned to speak, disliked clothes, and preferred to sleep on the floor in a corner.
German authorities are quite peeved with Ray, who has spent seven months living on public assistance that could have gone to people truly in need. The unanswered question is, why? Why leave your home country and turn up in another one with a wild - yet suspiciously vague - story?