It was only when the volunteers began shouting his name, that he became confused and asked whom they were trying to locate.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on October 1, 2021. It has since been updated.
A Turkish man accidentally joined his own search party and looked for himself for hours before realizing they were all looking for him. According to VICE, 50-year-old Beyhan Mutlu, who lives in the northwestern Bursa province, had been out drinking with his friends when he wandered off into a nearby forest and didn't return. Unable to contact him for a few hours, Mutlu's wife and friends decided to alert authorities, who set up a search and rescue mission to find him. Efforts to find the 'missing man' intensified in nearby neighborhoods as the news spread and soon a large group of volunteers had joined the mission.
A missing man in Turkey accidentally joined his own search party and looked for himself for hours before he realized he was the target of the rescue mission. https://t.co/EYdVIjZksI— VICE (@VICE) September 29, 2021
According to Daily Mail, Mutlu came across the group of rescue workers and volunteers while roaming the woods and unaware that they were looking for him, joined the search mission. It was only when the volunteers began shouting his name, that Mutlu became confused and asked whom they were trying to locate. "Who are we looking for? I am here," he is said to have told the group. The man was then taken aside by one of the rescue workers to give a statement in which he was reportedly worried about getting into trouble with his family.
I know I’m around here somewhere… pic.twitter.com/5xtTTYzZFM— 🇺🇸Chuck of America🇺🇸 (@chuckgordon18) September 29, 2021
"Don't punish me too harshly, officer. My father will kill me," he told the rescue workers, reported local media. Once they learned the man had joined his own search party, the rescue workers safely escort Mutlu home but it's unclear if he was reprimanded for his actions. It's also unclear how his friends didn't realize that he was right under their noses the whole time. On social media, netizens had a field day cracking jokes about the man who joined his own search party. "Puts a whole new meaning on looking for yourself," tweeted @IcelandicMetis.
'Missing' drunk man accidentally joins massive search party looking for him https://t.co/A3PBKqBahV pic.twitter.com/c1d30vG4ur— The Mirror (@DailyMirror) September 30, 2021
"When you farted but have to pretend you didn't by covering your nose, it's the closest I can relate to this... what a laugh..." tweeted @VictorA88042642. "That's what you get for following others to look for yourself, when you've been *there* all along #deepthoughts," joked @HackSoloTravel.
Many were also quick to point out that something very similar had occurred in Iceland a few years ago when a tourist joined her bus party in a search for herself. According to the Independent, the bizarre mix-up occurred in 2012 in Iceland's southern volcanic region near the island's Eidgja canyon which is a remote but popular walking area for visiting tourists.
Yes I did hear of a woman that joined her own search party— IcelandicMetis (@IcelandicMetis) September 29, 2021
The woman in question was believed to have failed to return after getting off the party's bus to freshen up. After waiting for an hour, the tour company driver alerted the police, and search teams were dispatched to the area shortly afterward. Soon the search began for a woman described as Asian, around 5ft 2in, in dark clothing, and speaking English well. The woman apparently didn't recognize her own description and unwittingly joined the search party for herself. The 'missing woman' eventually realized she was the source of the search after a night-long operation involving around 50 people and alerted the police.
There are days this could be me 😜— PossumRenewed (@PossumCT) July 29, 2020
In 2012, a 'missing' woman in Iceland unwittingly joined the search party that was busy looking for her 😂 https://t.co/nQZ3IhhuMW
The mishap was said to have happened because the bus driver and other passengers not recognizing the woman when she got back on the bus, as she had apparently changed her clothes and "freshened up." Sveinn Runarsson, the police chief in charge of the rescue, also revealed to reporters at the time that "the people on the bus had not been counted correctly."