Crazy article from the Smithsonian about a Russian family that disappeared into the Siberian wilderness in 1936 and had no contact with other people for more than 40 years. In the process, they missed World War II, the Moon landing, and the start of the Cold War.
…beside a stream there was a dwelling. Blackened by time and rain, the hut was piled up on all sides with taiga rubbish-bark, poles, planks. If it hadn’t been for a window the size of my backpack pocket, it would have been hard to believe that people lived there. But they did, no doubt about it…. Our arrival had been noticed, as we could see.
The low door creaked, and the figure of a very old man emerged into the light of day, straight out of a fairy tale. Barefoot. Wearing a patched and repatched shirt made of sacking. He wore trousers of the same material, also in patches, and had an uncombed beard. His hair was disheveled. He looked frightened and was very attentive…. We had to say something, so I began: ‘Greetings, grandfather! We’ve come to visit!’
The old man did not reply immediately…. Finally, we heard a soft, uncertain voice: ‘Well, since you have traveled this far, you might as well come in.’