The Bizarre Story of Sir Alfred, The Stateless Man Who Lived at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris for 18 Years

Sir Alfred in Airport

Half as Interesting shares the bizarre story of Sir Alfred Mehran, an Iranian national who was rendered stateless due to his participation in protests against the monarchy. He was eventually granted refugee status in Belgium but desired to gain citizenship within the United Kingdom after learning that his biological mother was Scottish.

He travelled to France and then to London, but unfortunately, Mehran didn’t have the proper visa papers that he needed to leave enter England, so he was sent back to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. This began an extended loop that left Mehran at Charles de Gaulle for the 18 years between 1998 and 2016.

Upon arrival to the UK not, having any passport to get in, Sir Alfred was turned right back around and placed on a plane back to Paris Charles de Gaulle terminal 1. For the same reason he couldn’t enter the UK, Sir Alfred also couldn’t enter France. Normally the protocol in this case would be to send the person back to their home country where they could in an emergency enter without a passport but Sir Alfred had no home country so he couldn’t enter France and he couldn’t fly anywhere, meaning he was well and truly stuck in Paris Charles de Gaulle terminal 1.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.