Just to wrap this thread up, as I was out of town last couple of days:

> According to shutdown(8) there should be a message in the log stating
> when the system went down, who did it and why.

There should be... but there isn't :-). The only thing that went to
/var/log/messages is "syslogd exiting on signal 15". Which suggests
that it wasn't just a power loss if the system had enough time to send
termination signal, but rather a software shutdown.

The cause of shutdown is and will remain mysterious. The machine is
working fine ever since the power on. Thanks to everyone who provided
ideas and suggestions. If I ever discover what really happened, I'll
let you know.

Regards,
-- 
Nino
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