Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
Release Decision: 
Original Classification: 
Document Page Count: 
Document Creation Date: 
November 11, 2016
Document Release Date: 
July 7, 1999
Sequence Number: 
Case Number: 
Publication Date: 
December 15, 1965
Content Type: 
PDF icon CIA-RDP75-00149R000200790020-5.pdf113.89 KB
~ovror(~cei~ase ~yyyiuyi~r : c:iA-KUrr5-w~4yKwuzwrywzu-5 STATINT STATINTL DEC 151965 '~~1 u~~h ~~~~ . ~~?~ is Cl. . f~e~ea~~~~r? ~ ~ Amsterdam Police Say American Doctor Fell Into Canal; Body Is Still .Missing By BARNARD L. COLLIER S'peeiaL to The &uJlato Evening Newa - and New York Herald Tribune WASHINGTON, Dec. 15- Sometime after 4:30 AM a week ago Sunday, one of the worhd's top authorities on ~ nu- tritional pathology, a Washing- ton doctor named .Richard ,Ii. Follis, disappeared without a ` trace in Amsterdam. Chief Inspector Piet Land ~: man, of the Amsterdam police, I says the 56-year-old doctor prob- '? ably fell into one of the city's many canals and drowned. dur- ing the howling Atlantic gale that raked; Ho(dand that week- ' end. But the body of Dr. Follis has not been discovered after exten- sive dragging operations. "I .hope we will find it even- tualdy," .says Inspector Land- man, "and then the great mys- '?. tery will vanish." In Europe, the press is head- lining the doctor's disappear- ance and hinting broadly that somehow them(,I~ is involved. In Washington, tTi~"'doctor's colleagues scoff at the idea of an intelligence connection; One pointed out:. "Dick Follis was one of the most dedicated scien- tists in. the wol?]d." Some Call It Murder Tn London, usually reliable in-? telligence sources say that the doctor was almost certainly murdered, but they refuse to say how or why they arrive at that concl`hsion, In Amsterdam, Inspector Landman insists: "I do -'not think there has been acrime- just an acciden.t," . .Meanwhile, bizarre and con- fbicting information sun?ounding the case continues to mount up. A State Department security official calls it one of the most peculiar and perplexing matters he has ever dealt with. "Almost nothing about it jibes," he said, The doctor's background is impressive and' impeccable. A graduate of Yale Univer- sity (1932) and Johns Hopkins Medical ? School (1936), ]3alti- Imore-born Dr. Follis, the son of a famous surgeon, taught for several years and then, in 1955, became an employe of the Veterans Administration. Made Many Trips That .same year she was de- tached for wor]c at the prestigi- ous Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in .Washington, but the VA .continues to pay hfs salal?y. ~ Since 1955, the doctor has made more than a scare of ,trips to odd corners of the world on surveywork in the field of nutri- tion. ' -? A few were to attend medical conferences, but most were to carry out, field studies "in his specialty, .the cure and preven- tion of goiter, a deficiency disease of bhe thyroid gland due to a lack of ipdine content in 'the diet., Dr. Follis arrived in Amster= dam Friday morning. and that day, according to his friends here, kept an appointment with a Dutch expert in the field of vitamin A deficiency and child- hood blindness that . results from i~t. ~ , Failed to Make Call According. to the Amsterdam old, traditionally elegant Scliil- ler Hotel in .the heart of the somewhat garish downtown dis- trict of the' city. From that point 'on the facts become tvidly garbled, Dr. Fol- lis' friends, his family, and doc- tors who have known him far years and traveled with him say that he was a m?an of "aibsolute punctuality," and "a sober, seasoned traveler." Yet, after what Inspector Landman said was' "a long Fri- day night in several-clubs near the hotel" Dr. Follis did hot telephone a Dutch nutrition ex- pert named Andreas Querida at Leiden University as he had v/ritten he would. , Was Seen at Club Dr. Follis, according to In- spector Landman, remained in. his hotel room until about 2 PM Saturday. and then went down to the lobby where he appeared to witnesses to be "very. distract- ed." That night, Inspector. Land-' man said, the 'doctor again visited some of the clubs at which he had been the previous night, and a, man fi~t?ting his description was last seen by wit- nesses at about 4:30 AM near a club called the Moulin Rouge- "about 50 yards-from a canal 'and about-100 yards from the Schiller Hotel," acording to In- spector Landman. Colleague Called Pollee. .' "Witnesses say he looked very ill," the inspector says. "It was very windy and rainy that morn- ing and even some cars blew into canals. I think that kind of accident happened to the good doctor," ' When Dr. Follis failed to show i up for his appointment with Mr.' Querida, there was considerable concern on the Dutch scientist's ~ part. "Even though I did not get the expected phone call I had cleared away all my business 'and left the afternoon open," he~ said. By late afternoon Mr. Querida became seriously -worried. "I called the hotel and found that his room key was gone and that he had not been seen that day. Then I called the American Em-~ bossy in case he had been in an accident. _ They knew nothing, they said." Then the doctor called the police. A search of Dr. Follis' ~ hotel room showed that he had not slept in his bed for a.t least one night and possibly two. All his luggage was intact, including most of t'he $500 expense money; he carried with him. i Theory Is Questioned. The next day, Inspector'Land-~ man called what State Depart-; meat officials here consider al "real']y strange" press confer-i ence to announce the fact that' Dr. Fo1~6is was missing and that) he had fallen into a canal. 1 For a few days, the in:>pector's~ explanation seemed good enough., With no sign of a'carpse a~fterl three, and then .four, days, ehet F.nronean press, the doctor's friends and employers, his fam-'~ ily and persons who know Ams-~ terdam and read about the doe-f tor's disappearance began to( A diplomat from the embassy of the Netherlands in Washing- calm as a fish pond. Approved For Release 1999/09/17 :CIA-RDP75-001498000200790020-5