Are the dream police in my head?
Today my RSS reader offered up the following gem from metro weird…
“A website attempting to trace a mysterious man seen by thousands of people in their dreams has become an internet sensation – but it may be an elaborate hoax.
Thisman.org urges people to contact them if they have seen him – and hundreds have done just that. A YouTube video has also appeared, complete with spooky synth soundtrack.”
Now I don’t hold that it is nessecarily a hoax but it definatly isn’t an elaborate one. Putting up a site on the Internet asking if people have seen a reasonably generic face appear in their dreams is bound to influence a fair few people that they have seen that man. Or at least a man that looks quite like him… Relying on peoples own imaginations is not particularly elaborate and I can quite readily believe that someone out there would believe there is someone who can travel through dreams. It might all sound a little bit ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ anyone familiar with Jungian ideas of synchronicity and universal conciousness can perhaps see why it’s not unreasonable that if many people believe those then to believe that someone earnestly believes someone is invading their dreams is not a huuge stretch.
Indeed the website thisman.org details the “history” of this man Claiming thousands of people around the world have seen this man in their dreams. Where have these people supposedly reported seeing “This man” why on their psychoanalysts couches…
Explanations offered for the appearances of “this man” include Jungian ideas of archetype theory, religious theories (is this man the face of the creator? Are these people seeing the face of God?) and the “Dream surfer” theory (or the nightmare on Elm street archetype if you want…) The dream surfer theory also includes a nice wee chunk of corporate conspiracy theory nonsense for good measure.
Of course I don’t believe that some nefarious character is invading peoples dreams. So what might be happening?
The most obvious solution is that people see the image, on the website or in the press (as I did) then the face resurfaces when they dream that night. Alternatively the face may interfere with peoples memories of their dreams (full recall of all dreams is rare) and the idea that someone is invading dreams (for whatever reason) may appeal to or shock an scare an individual into insinuating the mans face into their dreams after the fact.
These, perhaps suprisingly are covered on the website under the headings dream imitation and daytime recognition theory. Strangely enough this inclusion most persuades me that the website might well be a hoax. Although to what end I could only really guess.
What’s interesting is the portraits section which puts me in mind of the kind of images produced by people who claim to have experienced “close encounters of the fourth kinds”. In that seemingly disparate groups of people have been influenced, most likely by very, very mundane things, to draw the same thing. In the case of greys you might be able to blame such things as the x-files and popular movies. In the case of “this man”… Well the fact that the in the world section of the website shows where posters have been put up around the world perhaps solves that mystery…
ETA: Ok a victum of Poes law here. Seems the site is registered to an Andrea Natella – the creative director of guerrigliamarketing.it hoax-tastic as they say.