In the intervening weeks, items purportedly belonging to Kamphuis,
including his ID and a recently purchased kayak, were discovered by a
local fisherman 50 kilometers from his hotel. While this would at first
seem to suggest some type of fatal accident, in a strange twist,
authorities say that both Kamphuis' work and mobile phones were briefly switched on more than 1,700 km from Bodo 10 days after Kamphuis - who is
Dutch and was purportedly traveling back to Amsterdam when he
disappeared - was seen leaving his hotel.
But despite authorities best efforts, there are still more questions
than answers, as the Guardian makes clear in a story about Kamphuis' disappearance. Though police have suspiciously insisted that Kamphuis' disappearance had nothing to do with the fact that Bodo houses a
Norwegian military airbase, or that the country's secret cyber defense operations were situated not far from where Kamphuis was staying.
Police have denied any connection between Kamphuis's disappearance
and the fact that Bodø houses a Norwegian military airbase, and that
buried deep inside a nearby mountain is a major part of the Scandinavian country's secret cyber defence operations.
With an internet campaign using the hashtag #FindArjen to locate
him, unconfirmed sightings of Kamphuis have also been reported in
Sweden, Denmark, Germany and several parts of Norway.
To the consternation of Kamphuis' friends and family, who are apparently hoping that he merely decided to take a break from society for a little
while, Wikileaks has ratcheted up suspicion by floating several theories
and highlighted several suspicious developments, including the fact that
the Norwegian military have reportedly joined the search.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) September 15, 2018
The grassroots campaign to find him has been spread with the help of the hashtag #FindArjen.
As rumors and speculation about his disappearance intensify, Kamphuis'
loved ones have pushed back against so-called conspiracy theories that
he may have been on a secret mission on behalf of Wikileaks, or that he
may have been targeted by Russian or Western intelligence. Meanwhile, unconfirmed sightings have been reported in Germany, Denmark and Norway.
Officially, Norwegian police believe his disappearance could be linked
to one of three possibilities.
Police said on Thursday they were "holding all possibilities open
in respect to what might have happened" to Kamphuis and pursuing three distinct lines of inquiry: a "voluntary disappearance" including a
possible suicide; an accident; or foul play.
Some of Kamphuis' friends told the Guardian that he has gone "off the
grid" before, and that they remain hopeful that he will surface when he
Carlo said Kamphuis had "gone off grid before. It can be good for
the soul. I was worried before, and it is worrying now. But I have
strong faith he will come back into the welcoming arms of his friends
when he is ready, in his own time." Van der Leest told Dutch radio that
while Kamphuis "certainly didn't come across as someone who was planning
to be away for a long time. He had lots of appointments."
Though reports that he purchased a kayak and told a salesperson that he
was heading to the Norwegian fjords have left many concerned that he may
have encountered some trouble while he was out.
Dutch police have said Kamphuis bought a foldable kayak before
leaving the Netherlands, telling the salesman who sold it to him that he
was planning on going canoeing in the fjords.
Other friends said Kamphuis was no daredevil. "If he's heading into dangerous territory, he always seeks out company," Helma de Boer told
NRC Handelsblad. "And he always has good equipment. His motto is:
'better safe than sorry.'"
Still, it's worth considering that Kamphuis has helped Wikileaks and
many other organizations - some controversial, some not - thwart
intelligence agencies and other prying organizations. That type of work
could help a man make enemies who are both motivated and resourceful
(doubly so if he was caught doing some unauthorized snooping). Then
again, there's also the possibility that he may have tried to fake his
own death - leaving his possessions in the water on purpose to convince authorities that he drowned. But one would think that such a talented cybersecurity engineer would understand the risks of using his phone.
On the other hand, if he was engaged in some type of clandestine errand,
why draw more attention to himself by continuing to make daily headlines?