Does the image to the left look familiar? According to several people around the internet, this man has been appearing in their dreams seemingly out of nowhere. Who is this man? The phenomena has been regarded as everything from a Jungian archetype that manifests in our dreams to fulfill some psychological need to an attempt at mass mind control. Or is there something else to this man? Some have even suggested that he is a spiritual entity, or “dream surfer” that moves from conscious mind to conscious mind with purposes unknown. The answer to this man’s identity may surprise you.
“I have had this recurrent dream for some years now. A tall, dark man shows me a picture and asks me if I can recognize my father in it. The man in the picture is this man I have never seen before, he looks nothing like my dad, nevertheless I inexplicably answer that I do recognize my father. At this point I usually wake up feeling very peaceful. Other times the dream continues, I am standing before my father’s grave, I place some flowers on the ground and I realize the photograph on the tombstone is missing.” Eerie accounts such as these have been circulated around internet forums for several days now, suggesting this sudden rash of sightings may have quite a sudden, but mysterious origin indeed.
The entire phenomena happened so quickly, in fact, that a few are even suspecting a viral marketing campaign designed to pull the wool over the eyes of paranormal investigators and researchers into the unusual and the unexplainable. The legend of this story is that a man, varying name depending on who tells the story, went to a psychiatrist and sketched the image of a mysterious figure who had visited him in dreams over the course of several months. He sketched an image of the visitor, and it was shuffled in with the psychiatrist’s papers on his desk. Another patient later noticed this and declared that he had been visited as well. Soon more started coming forward, all describing the same man and a program was launched (as the legend goes) to attempt to track down everyone who has had dreams of this individual. The program eventually became a website and hundreds of forum posts throughout the internet. The website, thisman.org, is a mysterious page with an image of the man, several dreamed accounts from anonymous reports (presumably written to the site) with offered explanations and theories on who the man actually is. There is no information, however, on where the web-site gets its funding… until you dig deeper.
Examining the source code and server information of the website, you learn that Thisman.org is a privately owned and operated server created by a man named Andrea Natella. A quick search for Andrea Natella reveals that he’s a viral marketing specialist working with his Italian based viral advertising agency, guerilliamarketing.it. The “this-man” phenomena is debunked as a hoax, and fairly easily. Unfortunately, thousands around the internet have already propogated this hoax as the genuine article.
But what will this site eventually advertise? Given the content of some of the dreams, it’s unlikely to be a product, but rather could be one of two things. First, it could be an independent film company relying Natella’s agency to get some exposure for their film. Second, it could be Natella advertising his own agency. It’s clear Andrea Natella is not above creating hoaxes for the purpose of advertising, as he has written several papers on the subject, and even allegedly has been involved in several previous hoaxes. So why is his name appearing now so readily? It shouldn’t have been this easy to uncover a hoax. It is most certainly important for those in the paranormal field to keep an eye on hoaxers such as this man.