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Mystery over missing Tasmanian bus driver

A coroner cannot rule out foul play was involved in the mysterious disappearance of a young bus driver in Tasmania almost 60 years ago.

Father of one Gilbert Arthur Midson left his home in Hobart’s northern suburbs on November 4, 1964, finishing his shift with Metropolitan Transport Trust around 3pm.

“There is no evidence of him being seen alive after that time,” coroner Simon Cooper wrote in findings published this week.

The 23-year-old, who was a serving member of the Australian Army, was reported missing the next day by his wife Fay.

Mr Cooper declared Mr Midson was dead as there was no record of him accessing his bank account, voting or leaving Tasmania or the country.

“Unfortunately, the relevant records of Tasmania Police were destroyed for reasons not clear in 2004,” Mr Cooper wrote.

“Doing the best I can from what is left, it seems that by the standards of the day, a reasonably comprehensive investigation into Mr Midson’s disappearance took place.”

Details of the case were posted on the Australian Federal Police Missing Persons website in August but no new information has been forthcoming.

“Mr Midson may have taken his own life, been the victim of homicide, died of natural causes or as the result of misadventure,” Mr Cooper wrote.

“The evidence simply does not enable me to determine with any degree of certainty why and how he died.

“Nonetheless, I cannot rule out that Mr Midson was the victim of foul play.”

Mr Midson had left his cash tin, wallet and other personal items in his work locker after his shift.

Mr Cooper found no evidence he suffered from financial woes or that he was involved in criminal activity.

“There is no evidence that he was anything other than a healthy and happy person. Mr and Mrs Midson’s marriage was reportedly a happy one.”

The coronial investigation received information Mr Midson had been the victim of foul play and his body left in a waterhole at a property in South Hobart where he grew up.

A police excavation and forensic analysis proved fruitless.

Tasmania Police says the case remains open and anyone with information should come forward.

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