Iron Man

John Noone. The Man Behind the Iron Mask. Alan Sutton, 1988.
Not, perhaps, a strictly Fortean or paranormal topic, but a fascinating historical mystery. The story of the 'man in the iron mask' is here examined critically. Interpretations are placed in historical order, so that fashions in solutions are highlighted. The author rejects romantic suggestions that the mystery man was a twin of Louis XIV, the Duke of Monmouth. Also rejected is the standard identification of 'Eustache Dauger, valet' as the MITIM was recorded, with the rascally Eustache Dauger de Cavoye, who is shown to have had quite a separate fate. Instead Noone plumps for 'Rimmer's Axiom': 'Of all possible solutions to a mystery the most boring is the most likely.' The Man in the Iron Mask was a valet, a nobody whose status was systematically enhanced by his goaler, Saint-Mars, who had run out of genuinely high class and status-enhancing prisoners such as Fouquet.
  • Peter Rogerson, from Magonia 33, July 1989.

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