Inspired by The New York Times‘ successful effort to crowdsource a solution to a Nazi mystery, I’ve decided to try something similar in these slightly less august digital pages. Instead of identifying a photographer who documented the brutality of war, my goal is to find out whatever became of Rick Rojatt, a Canadian stuntman who performed daredevil feats under the moniker The Human Fly.
Perhaps you’re familiar with Rojatt’s alter ego, as it was the basis for a short-lived Marvel Comics series in the late 1970s. While the comics made the rounds, Rojatt cashed in by traveling around North America, walking on airplanes and piloting jet-powered motorcycles. He also created for himself quite a mythical backstory, as related in this 1976 People profile:
Rojatt, a Canadian, says he once was a Hollywood stunt man—although the California union has no record of him. He also says he was in an auto accident in North Carolina six years ago which killed his wife and 4-year-old daughter and badly injured him. He had 38 operations in four years, he says, which allowed him to walk again but left him with a body that is “60 percent steel parts.” He says he conditions himself by rising at 3 a.m., running six miles and then plunging into a bathtub full of ice cubes.
But at the very height of his fame, Rojatt suddenly disappeared. The fact that he never appeared without his trusty mask made his incredibly difficult to track—he kept his face concealed even when collected his appearance fees from event promoters. Rojatt’s fate has been the subject of much speculation, the best of which is compiled here. I’m rather fond of the theory that he swapped daredevilry for folk rock, but I fear that the true explanation isn’t quite so pleasant.
I thus appeal to Microkhan readers who may have deep contacts in Canadian stuntman circles. Any idea of what Rojatt did after he ditched the mask for good?