Philip Taylor Kramer
|Philip Taylor Kramer|
July 12, 1952|
|Died||ca. February 12, 1995
Philip Taylor Kramer (July 12, 1952 – February 12, 1995) was a bass guitar player for the rock group Iron Butterfly during the 1970s. After this he obtained a night school degree in aerospace engineering, he worked on the MX missile guidance system for a contractor of the US Department of Defense and later in the computer industry on fractal compression, facial recognition systems, and advanced communications. His disappearance on February 12, 1995 caused a mystery lasting for years.
In 1990 at the age of 38, Kramer co-founded Total Multimedia Inc. with Randy Jackson (brother of Michael Jackson) to develop data compression techniques for CD-ROMs. The firm claims it developed the first video compression capable of producing full motion video from a single speed CD-ROM in 1992. In 1994 the company was reorganized under bankruptcy and hired new leadership. Kramer continued working there until his disappearance. Kramer co-developed SoftVideo based on fractal compression and he also claimed to work on a transmission project that would result in faster-than-light speed communications. The latter related to his father Ray's long-running family effort to discredit Albert Einstein's theories.
On February 12, 1995 he drove to Los Angeles International Airport to pick up an investor. He spent forty-five minutes at the airport but failed to meet the investor. Kramer did make a flurry of cell phone calls, including one to the police during which Kramer said, "I’m going to kill myself."
He was never heard from again. This led to a massive search, many news reports, and talk show segments including an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, America's Most Wanted, The Unexplained ("Strange Disappearances," first aired June 7, 2000) and Unsolved Mysteries some years later. An article in Skeptic reported numerous conspiracy theories about his death.
On May 29, 1999, Kramer's Ford Aerostar minivan and skeletal remains were found by photographers looking for old car wrecks to shoot at the bottom of Decker Canyon near Malibu, California. Based on forensic evidence and Kramer's emergency call to the police, authorities ruled his death as a probable suicide committed on the day on which he was last heard.
- Leiby (1996)
- Henry, Tamara (March 31, 1999) USA Today Internet Promise Goes Unfulfilled
- Maxim, "The Vanishing"
- Total Multimedia history on corporate web site
- Southwell & Twist 2007, p. 56
- Rice, Fredric (1996) "Iron Butterfly Member Disappears After Allegedly Working on Faster-Than-Light Communication - Is He In A Godda Da Vida?", Skeptic (U.S. magazine)
- Craig Rosen (06/01/1999). "Iron Butterfly Fans Come To Terms With Apparent Discovery Of Missing Rocker's Remains". Archived from the original on 2007-03-07. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
- Collected News Stories about Kramer
- Southwell & Twist 2007, p. 57
- Maxim Online, "The Vanishing" (author unknown, October 1999 issue)[dead link]
- Leiby, Richard (October 6, 1996) "Far out Taylor Kramer, rock musician, rocket scientist, entrepreneur, has vanished into thin air." at the Wayback Machine (archived August 7, 2004), Washington Post. also archived 
- David Southwell, Sean Twist (2007). Mysterious Deaths and Disappearances. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 80. ISBN 9781404210813. Retrieved August 26, 2013.