Craziest Person I Have Ever Met 25


The craziest person I have ever met was a German, claiming to be a doctor, that came in one evening to the bar I was drinking at in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. I’ve offended many different people before, so let me begin by saying I am not casting general aspersions on Germans, doctors, older men, people that go to bars, or expatriates. Now back to our originally scheduled programming.

Club Iganya is a beachside bar in this sleepy town, seemingly dominated by expatriates from Canada and the States. I’ve written about San Juan del Sur before and suffice it to say that it is has a very interesting collection of expats.

I walked in for my daily sunset drinks and as I walked by a table with two guys and girl, they asked me to sit down. One of the guys was a Canadian expat and the other was just a Canadian down on vacation. They were both a little off, which was something I was getting used to in this wonderful little odd town. Angela was a hippy lawyer from the States, graduate of Dartmouth, Brown and Yale, who was backpacking her way home through Central America after spending six months opening an English school in the Kasmir region of Pakistan.

The interesting mix got much more interesting as the two Canadians wandered off to go find dinner and this German guy, who appeared to be in his late 50s or early 60s, walked up and started talking to us.

He asked us where we were from. We told him and asked in return. “I live in a tree in Africa.” We chuckled. Not that funny, but I’ve heard worse. We assumed he was joking, so we asked him to tell us about his tree. He did. Without cracking a smile. We asked what he was doing here, if he lived in a tree in Africa. He said it wasn’t difficult to get back and forth. And we realized that we needed to try to find a way to end this conversation as quickly as possible.

Then he told us he was a doctor and was in San Juan del Sur to do some very secret and important research. We had to ask. He was here helping make experimental pills that would slow aging to a crawl, allowing you to live decades longer. The pill cost $10,000. He then said he had to go back to the tree for a bit, but he’d be back soon. We hoped not.

crazy doctor business card dr. hennenthal in nicaragua

Dr. Hellenthal's Business Card

But alas, he was back in about 10 minutes. We asked how he got to his tree and back so fast, and he said he shouldn’t tell. I was certain we were soon to embark onto a conversation about time travel and/or Star Trek beaming technology. He then pulled out a business card and told Angela, who had encouraged him more than I had, that he’d write out the prescription for the secret pill.

If I hadn’t taken a picture of it, I really would have chalked up the whole experience to beer memory.

crazy doctor prescription from german doctor in nicaragua dr. hennenthal

the magic cure for aging and all that ails you


About Michael Hodson

I’m an attorney that took off on my birthday in December of 2008 to circumnavigate the globe without ever getting on an airplane. After 16 months, 6 continents and 44 countries, I made it all the way back home. Right now, I am back on the road writing about it all.

25 thoughts on “Craziest Person I Have Ever Met

  • Singlewithlugage

    I guess it was early enough into the cocktail hour, that no one made a downpayment on the $10 grand? Part of me wonders if that weird German isn’t somewhere telling stories about the crazy lawyers he met in Nicaragua, who believed his story about living in a tree the cure for aging…..

  • Michael Hodson

    thanks for the comments everyone. Was a really strange night. Actually got more weird after this experience — guess I need to do a follow up blog on the rest of the evening. Do ya’ll have any good “crazy people” stories?? Would love to hear them. Lindsay, feel free to go out this week, drink too much, and come up with a good one. Or just come down to Latin America. 😉

  • Jiyeon Juno Kim

    Hahaha love it!!! 🙂 creative man! Live in a tree… Haha
    I don’t think i can live there though. 😉

  • Catia | Vagabond Roots

    I love crazy traveller stories!
    Well, the handwriting does look like a doctor wrote it… I spent far too much time trying to decipher what it says, hmm, maybe I’m starting to become one of the crazy people. :p

  • Woogle

    Incredibly funny story, but he does not seem that crazy to me. But i was raised in Texas near George W Bush’s home.

  • Don Faust

    Haha! Can I have some of that medicine? I think he scribbled the term SEO on the last line with a $ sign – he must know what he is talking about.

    Reminds me of the strange hoodied kid who came up to me in New Orleans during the last Mardi Gras week. He comes up, stands next to me for awhile (while I am taking pictures of a street performer across the street) – then he says with a stone face, “Do you believe in the government? (pause) They’re watching us right now”… and some other crap about a parallel universe. I told him I was ready to get another beer – see ya!

  • Andrew Murray

    We met a knife wielding loon in Stung Treng, Cambodia. Fortunately she was happy to receive an empty can as a gift, thrn ran away, giggling and laughing. It was slightly disconcerting but we should have done like the locals and made run for it when she rounded the corner. 🙂

  • kathie

    I know this post is ages old, but wanted to share something with you. I know this doctor from Germany and actually, although he seems a bit off the rails, he’s actually a genius and the top authority in Germany on Lyme disease.

    He treated my husband many years ago and was the only person who was able to help him. Sadly he left for Nicaragua before his treatment ended.

    I think he has some neurological issues which lead to the weird handwriting and odd behaviour. But I do not doubt for one minute that he is working on something interesting over there.

    He was one of he first doctors to realise that MS is caused by Lyme disease.

    Anyway, long time ago, but I was googling him to see if I could track him down when I found your post.

  • Beppus

    I agree with Kathie: Julius Hellenthal may seem a bit strange ati first sight, but he is a very competent doctor and had to leave Germany because he was too successful with his cures… other doctors didn’t like him and gave him lots of problems.
    Now I am following his therapy for a neural disease and it seem to be better now… but in any case dr, Hellenthal is somebody who knows a lot of medicine, also what other doctors deny or hide for business reasons. 🙂

  • patrice

    i’m from canada… i just met him now… like 10 minutes ago… came back to my room because i wanted to verify with google who was that man… i was having a beer alone at barriocafe.. when i saw this luxury 4wl truck parking outside… 2 man… an old doctor and his bodyguard… after maybe 30 minutes he came to me and start talking to me in french cause i am… he said he was a doctor working on cellules souches.. told me. about his hole life and why he was here… people in germany trying to kill him and everything because of his research… really intelligent old no doubt… but. i would not trust his bodyguard… he has a baby of 4 months now… really dont know what to think about this story.. kind of freaky.. he. wouldn’t think what we r able to do now with internet… thx guys for sharing!

    • Lisa

      I met him as well in SJDS. He did come off bat shit crazy. I was sittin there doing nothing, so when he offered me a booklet about his research I accepted it and ready it quite thoroghly.

      Its about long term antiobiotic therapy in combination with an immunesystem activating diet and such that cures tons of stuff apparently. It basically slams any sort of cortisone or steriod treatment and anything else that suppresses the immune system because everything is caused by bacteria we dont yet understand… Blah blah blah. But the published paper did intrigue me enough to look into it.

      He told me does his treatments in Nicaragua because the rest of the world isnt ready to accept his clearly correct and proven theories… Then he bambled on in German for 10 minutes of me telling him I couldnt understand him and disappeared for 20 minutes to his “tree in africa”.

      Another diner at the restaurant claimed the place he lived was actually a tree house type apartment in a complex called Mama Africa or something like that 😛

      Needless to say I didnt stick around for Part 2. But i was looking into it and he does seem legit. I wonder how old he really is. I also met his 4 month old at Barrio Cafe. Funny.

  • san juan resident

    lol….ya he is nutz thats for sure … selling hope for a long life to people that have the money ….he has too keep working to feed his ledgendary hooker habit…..if you are in san juan avoid this quack.san juan resident

  • jenna

    I just googled him because I also ran into him in SJDS. HE IS NUTS. I was minding my own business and he was behind me talking in German. He tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I understood him (I am canadian, I have no clue why he thought i’d understand him). Anyway, that was obviously just an icebreaker to tell me all about his crazy cures. Apparently his colleagues are being shot in the US because they are disproving classic medicine. CRAZY. I hope no one ever falls for this man.

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