Oldest human might have reached 146 or it was a very long con

An Indonesian man claimed to be 146 years old – the longest living human ever. He died in his village in Central Java.

According to his papers, Sodimedjo, also known as Mbah Ghoto (grandpa Ghoto), was born in December 1870.

But Indonesia only started recording births in 1900 – and there have been mistakes before.

Yet officials told the BBC his papers were valid, based on documents he provided and interviews with him.

He was taken to hospital on 12 April because of deteriorating health. Six days later he insisted on checking out to return home.

Mbah was an Indonesian Christian man who unverifiably claimed to be the oldest person ever recorded. In May 2010, Solopos reported that enumerators of that year’s census had recorded his age next birthday as 142, which would make him 19 years older than the official oldest recorded person, Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997. He outlived ten siblings, four wives and all his children. The Liputan 6 website reported that Mbah Gotho’s estimated age was 140, that he could not remember his date of birth but claimed to remember the construction of a sugar factory built in Sragen in 1880.

Indonesian officials at the local record office confirm the birth date. There is no independent, third-party verification of his claimed age, which is required for the longevity claim to be recognized by record authorities such as Guinness World Records. Robert Young of the Gerontology Research Group said the claimed age was “fiction”, “unbelievable” and “in the same category as Sasquatch [“Bigfoot”], the Yeti, and the Loch Ness Monster”. The 2010 Liputan 6 story noted others of a similar claimed age including a woman named Maemunah and known as Ambu Unah, supposedly born in 1867, in Cimanuk, Pandeglang Regency.

There are living supercentenarian cases, in descending order of claimed age, with full birth and review dates, have been updated within the past two years, but have not had their claimed age validated by an independent body such as the Gerontology Research Group or Guinness World Records. Only claims over 115 years but under 130 years are included in the list. See longevity myths for claims over 130 years, such as Mbah Gotho.

Maria Lucimar Pereira, is a native of Feijó and was born on September 3, 1890. She is of the Kaxinawá ethnic group and lives in Aldeia Grota. She is believed to be 126 and has better documentation than Mbah. Maria’s claim has not been independently verified.