Authorities in the Netherlands discovered a family of seven living in a basement of an isolated farm and waiting for the world to end.
A 58-year-old man was living with six other people who were siblings, ranging in age from 18 to 25 years old, on a farm in Drenthe Province, the BBC reported Tuesday, Oct. 15.
The discovery was made after the oldest of the siblings walked from the farm to a pub in nearby Ruinerwold on Sunday evening, Oct. 13, ordered a beer before asking staff for help, local RTV reported.
The owner of the pub, Chris Westerbeek, said the young man was unkempt with long hair, looked confused, and said he “had never been to school.”
“He ordered five beers and drank them,” Westerbeek said. “Then I had a chat with him and he revealed he had run away and needed help. … Then we called the police.”
“He said he had brothers and sisters who lived at the farm. He said he was the oldest and wanted to end the way they were living,” Westerbeek added.
Mayor Roger de Groot said the 58-year-old man is not the father of the children nor the owner of the farmhouse. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. The family is in “a safe place” now.
The mayor also said the family is believed to have lived for 9 years on the farm and their mother had died before the family moved into the house.
Drenthe police said in a Tweet that the older man “did not want to cooperate in the investigation” and was subsequently arrested. It is unclear how the six younger members of the group are related to the man.
According to Dutch media, the farm sits over 600 feet from the road and is hidden by dense trees. The group apparently had no contact with the outside world and was entirely self-sufficient, living off a “huge” vegetable garden and a few animals.
The siblings reportedly had no idea that there were other people out in the world.
A neighbor was quoted by the BBC as saying that he only saw one man on the farm at all times and no children.
Police said a “large investigative team” remains at the home and is “investigating the situation.”