Iron Butterfly was a psychedelic rock band that was formed in the 1960s and rose to fame with their song, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” from their second album of the same name that was released in 1968. Through their active years, the band saw members come and go, and it was in the mid-’70s when Philip Taylor Kramer joined Iron Butterfly as a bassist (via Classic Bands.)
Philip Taylor Kramer, known to his friends as Taylor, was active in Iron Butterfly from 1974 up to 1980. Afterward, he decided to leave the rock star life behind. According to Ultimate Classic Rock, Kramer went back to college and studied aerospace engineering, eventually completing the degree with high marks. Kramer then worked for the U.S. Department of Defense as a contractor, providing his expertise for developing the MX missile guidance system (via Historic Mysteries.) Kramer had a brilliant mind and was a computer and math wiz.
In the ’90s, Kramer started his own company, Total Multimedia Inc., which was focused on video compression technology. He also worked on facial recognition and communications programs. In addition, he worked on equations and theories regarding warp travel, as reported by Mysterious Universe. Kramer had a successful career and had settled with his wife and two kids.
Kramer's mysterious disappearance
On February 12, 1995, 911 received a call from a man who introduced himself as Philip Taylor Kramer. When the dispatcher asked if he can be of assistance, the man simply replied, “Yes, you can. I’m going to kill myself.” According to Historic Mysteries, Kramer was never seen alive after that call.
Jennifer, Kramer’s wife, said that his husband had been working on a facial recognition project prior to his disappearance. Taylor told his wife, “Imagine, Jennifer, a computer and a camera being able to find a missing child in a sea of thousands of people just by showing the computer a small piece of that child’s face, (via Unsolved.)
On the day of his disappearance, Taylor Kramer was supposed to pick up a business associate at the airport. However, he notified his wife that the plans have changed and made a series of phone calls, the last of which was the 911 call. In the phone call to his wife, he said, “Whatever happens, I’ll always be with you.” He also called his former Iron Butterfly bandmate, Ron Bushy, and said, “Bush, it’s Taylor. I love you more than life itself,” and then hung up the phone, as reported by Power 96.
Kramer's death and the aftermath
According to Mysterious Universe, Kramer’s company went bankrupt before his disappearance, and that seemed to disappoint him as it was also during that time when he was working on new video technology. His behavior also reportedly changed, and he began saying odd things to people around him. In one instance, he told his sister, “You’ve got to be centered. If you’re centered, you’ll be saved when the supernova happens and they come.”
A massive search ensued, but it seemed that Kramer disappeared into thin air. For years, no one had any idea of his whereabouts or whether he was still alive. There were reports of sightings, but none of them turned out to be Taylor.
On May 29, 1999, hikers spotted a 1993 Ford Aerostar in a Malibu ravine, according to Ultimate Classic Rock. Philip Taylor Kramer was found deceased inside his vehicle, and authorities reported his death as a “probable suicide.” However, his family thinks otherwise. Kramer’s sister said that his brother would have never left his family. His father also said that Kramer confided in him about having problems with some people. “They wanted what he was doing, and several of them had threatened him. He told me ‘If I ever say I’m gonna kill myself, don’t believe it. I’m gonna be needing help,'” his father said.
Conspiracy theories on Kramer's disappearance
To this day, no one know what really happened to Philip Taylor Kramer. His case has been featured on shows such as “America’s Most Wanted” and “Unsolved Mysteries,” but after laying out the details of his case, they still end up with unanswered questions, and only Kramer knew what really happened.
There are a few conspiracy theories regarding Kramer’s case. Former bandmate Bushy thinks that Kramer was targeted because of the technology that he was working on. Others think that he may have, indeed, taken his own life because of his company’s struggles and the pressure he experienced. Some people also speculate that Kramer had gone mad after working on projects and complex equations, which caused his bizarre behavior (via The Washington Post.)
Despite all these theories, authorities have no concrete evidence to prove what really happened to Philip Taylor Kramer. It seems that his story will remain a mystery for years to come unless someone who knows something reveals the truth.
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