Canada in the 1970s is when separatist movements and the recession conquered newspaper headlines. Pierre Trudeau, the father of Canada’s current Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau was in office, the Canadian population was soaring with over 21 million citizens and the RCMP recruited women for the first time in its history.
At the same time, a mysterious, Canadian stuntman, named Rick Rojatt was also competing for newspaper headlines in the United States and Canada. He is best known for standing on top of a Douglas DC-8 airplane mid-flight. Other stunts include jumping a rocket-powered motorcycle across 27 buses, surpassing Evil Kneivel’s record. His popularity grew and caught the attention of Marvel Comics in 1976 and they created a 19-issue comic book series about him titled The Human Fly.
Marvel Comics’ Human Fly superhero fought villains and saved children who were in danger. Similarly, the real Human Fly, Rojatt, would engage in dangerous stunts and while doing so raise money for children’s charities. He was the first superhero to be based on a real person. Wearing a red and white masked costume, the real Human Fly hid his identity from the public and only a select few really knew who he was behind the mask. After his brief stint of gaining fame for his dangerous escapades he began to dissolve from the news, his stunts became less frequent and The Human Fly seemed to be squashed– he disappeared from the limelight, much like the comic book series.
In July 2023, it was announced at the San Diego Comic-Con that a new Marvel Universe is going to be launched, reviving The Human Fly. With plans for an animated television series, this masked Canadian spectacle has also generated interest from a UK-based film production company, Astronaut Films, who are creating a documentary based on this real-life superhero. There is one problem – Rojatt’s hidden identity is something that has followed him from his plane-walking days until now. No one knows where he is, nor do those looking for him know who he is.
The most promising source has come from the Calgary Journal. I wrote a story in February 2015 for the Journal about a man named Richard Rajotte, a gentle-souled panhandler that hoped to spread kindness and humility through short interactions with passerbyers on the street. His name is very similar to Canada’s Human Fly, Rick Rojatt. The photo that I captured eight years ago is the only photo that is helping Astronaut Films try to find their masked superhero. Together, we are hoping to find the man that I interviewed a few years ago and talk to him to find out if he is in fact Canada’s Human Fly. Another source I found is a man with the same name living in Canmore, Alta., but have had no luck getting ahold of him.
Do you know Rick Rojatt or Richard Rajotte? Could they be the same person and could he be the missing piece to this superhero story?
If you have information that could help us identify Canada’s Human Fly or Richard Rajotte, please send an email to Cassandra Riabko at email@example.com