Johannes van Vugt


The Mystery of Cofete


This project is in progress 


Looking up from the wild and barely accessible beach of Cofete, on Fuerteventura`s rugged southern tip, it is hard not to wonder who would have built a house high up on the hillside.

According to some, the remote location of the building known as Casa Winter is not explained by its fine views over a landscape that now forms part of Jandia natural park, but something far more sinister: the presence of Nazis in the Canary Islands during World War Two.





Could the tower have been used for communications? Or even as a kind of lighthouse, sending messages through electric flashes? Local historians mostly conclude that Cofete`s beach would have been unsuitable for naval use due to its shallow approach, but also point out that the natural harbour of Ajuy, 20 miles (32km) along Fuerteventura`s remote east coast, could have been used by submarines or other large craft.


The biggest spaces inside the building are in the solid basement, whose walls are almost 2m (6ft 7in) thick. Several rooms have no windows, including one tunnel-like space which runs the length of the house with just a small window at one end. There are rumoeurs that such spaces could have been used for concealing people - with or without their consent -.


The villa was built in 1937 by the German engineer and Colonel Gustav Winter, Nazi spy and confidant of Hitler. The strategic location of the villa could also indicate the fact that it was used for secret military actions and as a commissioning station for German submarines. A cemetery located near the beach near the villa also leads to speculation in this respect.


There is evidence that Fuerteventura was a base for German submarines during the Second World War. There are rumors that there are 2 complete submarines in the secret German base, which is said to have sunk. A Spanish / Austrian team has tried to discover the ships, they have not returned from their mission, causing mysteries to be sparked. There would also have been a clinic for plastic surgery, where Nazi criminals could change their appearance. The small airport on the coast was also frequently used at night towards the end of the war.














Recent Works 2017


Some of the works shown on the page "recent works" are based on the memory of my brother who in the early sixties became aware of his Gender-Identity.

These paintings are the results of an investigation into the motives of my brother. My work is an attempt to reflect on his loneliness, his willpower, his despair and his beauty.

He felt trapped in a male body.
His hope was to be able to live as a woman and being my sister.


Amsterdam September 2017






                 "My Sister" 2017 Oilpaint on llinen 40 x 60 cm