'Oldest human' dies in Indonesia 'aged 146'

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.

"Since he came back from the hospital, he only ate spoonfuls of porridge and drank very little," his grandson Suyanto told the BBC.

"It only lasted a couple of days. From that moment on to his death, he refused to eat and drink."

When asked about the secret of his longevity, Mbah Ghoto told the BBC last year that patience was key and that he had "a long life because I have people that love me looking after me".

A heavy smoker until the end, he outlived four wives, 10 siblings and all his children.

In his village, he was a local hero famous for telling great stories about the wars against Japan and the Dutch colonisers.

Grandson Suryanto said his grandfather was buried on Monday morning in a local cemetery plot he bought several years ago.

A tombstone that had sat beside his house for many years was placed above the grave.

"He didn't ask much. Before he died, he just wanted us, his family, to let him go," his grandson said.

If independently verified, his age would make Grandpa Ghoto older than French centenarian Jeanne Calment, who was 122 when she died, and is considered the longest living human in recorded history.

The Indonesian man who claimed to be 146 years old - the longest living human ever - has died in his village in Central Java. EPA


'Oldest human' dies in Indonesia aged 146

A man who claimed to be the world’s longest living human has died aged 146.

According to his papers, Indonesian national Sodimedjo, also known as Mbah Ghoto (Grandpa Ghoto), was born in December 1870. He would have been 43 at the start of the first world war and turned 70 during the second world war.

The heavy smoker, who outlived four wives, died this week in his village in Central Java after being taken to hospital on 12 April with deteriorating health. He insisted on returning home to be with his family and died on Sunday.

Mbah Ghoto was not the recognised longest living human as Indonesia only started recording births in 1900. However, officials told the BBC his residency card, which has his birthdate on it, was valid based on documents and interviews with him.

His grandson Suyanto told the BBC that when he came home, he started to eat less and less.

“It only lasted a couple of days. From that moment on to his death, he refused to eat and drink,” he added. “He didn’t ask much. Before he died, he just wanted us, his family, to let him go.”

Mbah Ghoto was buried on Monday morning in a local cemetery plot he had bought, which included a gravestone he had procured years before he died.

A former farmer and fisherman, Mbah Ghoto said last year that he lived “a long life because I have people that love me looking after me”. He was a local hero and would recount stories of life under Japanese and Dutch colonisers.

“Life is only a matter of accepting your destiny wholeheartedly. I have wanted to die for a long time,” he told the Jakarta Post last year.

He leaves behind five children, 12 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

As Mbah Gotho’s age was not independently verified, he does not take the mantle of oldest living human in recorded history from Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 aged 122.

The world’s oldest person alive today is Violet Brown, a 117-year-old Jamaican woman, according to the Gerontology Research Group.


Longest living human ever? Maybe, but Indonesian man dead at 146

A chain-smoking Indonesian man who says he was born in 1870 has finally reached the goal he announced to reporters worldwide last summer — "All I want is to die."

Sodimejo, or Mbah Gotho (or Ghoto), had an Indonesian ID card that claimed his date of birth was Dec. 31, 1870. Indonesia didn't start recording such things until three decades later, but authorities assured the BBC that Sodimejo's papers were valid.

Sodimejo died in his village of Cemeng in Indonesia's Central Java region. The Daily Mail says his funeral was held Monday.

Sodimejo was hospitalized April 12 because of deteriorating health but insisted on returning home six days later, his grandson Suryanto told the BBC.

"Since he came back from the hospital, he only ate spoonfuls of porridge and drank very little," Suryanto said.

The current, verifiable world's oldest human is Violet Mosses Brown, comparably a baby at 117 years of age. If Sodimejo's documents could be verified, he easily outlived the "verified" oldest person ever, Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment. She was 122 years and 164 days old when she died 20 years ago.

Sodimedo's age is drawing skepticism from experts: Acclaimed genetics researcher Jan Vijg says the maximum lifespan is about 125 years.

"If somebody seriously told me he or she had just met a extraterrestrial being who immediately thereafter flew back into outer space, I would probably listen politely, but not believe a word of it," Vijg told USA TODAY. "This is exactly how I feel about people reporting this kind of thing.

"There is a reason we have meticulously researched databases with confirmed record oldest humans, and the oldest one, I believe, is now 117."

In an interview with the The Jakarta Post last year, Sodimejo said he could remember watching the opening ceremony of a sugar factory built in Sragen in 1880.

“Children in my village usually helped their parents plow paddy fields from the age of 10. This is my reason" for believing his age, he told the Post.

His grandson said Sodimejo didn't even need a walking stick until about two years ago. Suryanto said his grandfather ate pretty much anything and was a heavy smoker his entire life. He never suffered a serious illness either.

Sodimejo, who was allegedly born the year construction of the Brooklyn Bridge began, outlived four wives and spent his final years listening to the radio and smoking.

“Life is only a matter of accepting your destiny wholeheartedly," Sodimejo told the Post. "I have wanted to die for a long time. My wives, children and siblings all have passed away, but Gusti Allah (God) has blessed me with a long life. I have to live my life patiently and accept my destiny."

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