Estimated age: 50-60's
Approximate Height and Weight: 5'11"; 240 lbs.
Distinguishing Characteristics: Graying hair with receding
hairline. Blue-green eyes.
Above-average intelligence. Well-spoken. Professional demeanor.
Marks, Scars: Two parallel surgical scars on left elbow (from
This is really a bizarre story when you read all the things that have been done to try and
identify him, including his appearance on Dr. Phil for the national attention.
Oh - You are a sly one!What better way to find information? I feel I should not take the
liberty of answering this quiz, but I do hope you find out more about him. Something
just has to turn up for this man, I really feel for him. Good Luck!
I sure hope everything works out for him. Shirley Ferguson
I am guessing he has no police, military, or teaching record as his fingerprints would be
on file. Thom Davis
My initial thought is that he is probably a homeless person who has moved around the
country. There are many nameless, faceless persons travelling our country.
One would almost be afraid to start looking for an identity in case you were a fugitive
or something of that sort. Gena Hudson
N.B. Not really. You can forget your name, but you can't forget who you are.
I am a police dispatcher in San Diego (I've worked for SDPD since 1978, will retire
next year) - now you know where my curiosity comes from :) Anne Alves
Colleen, you started something with Sheila! She's got lots of ideas on how to look for
his identity. She intends to spend lots of time looking into this. At the moment, she's
investigating the possibility that he misremembers his first name as Benjaman --
possibly Ben Jamin or something. Mike Swierczerski
Good case for a DNA study. Fred Stuart
Wouldn't it be a trip if this quiz identified him? Of course if appearing on Dr. Phil didn't
produce results, with all his viewers who knows. Maybe he should be on Oprah or the
View. Milene Rawlinson
Fascinating, Colleen. Since he links his birthdate to Michael Jackson's, I wonder if he'd
respond / recall anything if he heard Michael's songs. I once saw a videotape of Sacha
singing a macabre song in German - I assume from childhood. She it knew it by rote
and I wish I knew the circumstances. Just an idea. Your work is so interesting! All the
best, Lisa Thaler
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|Answer to Quiz #208 - May 10, 2009
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|I am a missing person, although it is common knowledge where I live.
I even appeared on Dr. Phil last October.
Who am I?
Why am I a missing person?
|If you need a hint, click here.
If you don't want a hint, don't click on the link.
That's a good question. I go by the name of Benjaman Kyle,
but I suffer from retrograde amnesia and don't know who I am.
Benjaman Kyle is a pseudonym adopted by a man claiming to be
suffering from retrograde amnesia. He was discovered
unconscious on August 31, 2004 in Richmond Hill, Georgia, and is
believed to be in his 50s or 60s. He is unable to obtain employment
without a social security number, and as of May 2009, continues
to search for his identity.
Shortly before 7am on August 31, 2004, a man was discovered
behind a Burger King in Richmond Hill, Georgia. He was found
lying beside a dumpster, unconscious, naked, beaten and covered
with red ant bites. Prolonged exposure to the sun had left him
sunburned and temporarily blinded. He was assumed homeless and
taken to a hospital for treatment. Officers who searched the scene
found no clothes or wallet to identify the man. Paramedics
reported that there were three depressions in his head, indicating
blows by a blunt object. When found, he had no memory of who
he was, and did not even recognize his own face.
Benjaman derived his pseudonym from the nickname "BK" the
police gave him when they found him near a Burger King,
although he insists his first name is Benjaman. He has memories of
living in Indiana and Colorado. To possibly locate people in these
areas who might recognize him, the Indy Star newspaper in
Indianapolis recently published an article about Benjaman, but no
one came forward with an identification. [Click here to read the
article by Shari Rudavsky.] The Boulder Camera newspaper has
offered to write an article in the next two to three weeks to
possibly attract the attention of friends and relatives in that area.
Benjaman recollected some minor memories during a interview
with Dr. Phil McGraw, such as having brothers, being 10 years
older than Michael Jackson (giving him a possible birth date of
August 29, 1948), being around restaurant equipment, and that he
attended a Catholic School. Although Dr. Phil reaches an audeince
in the millions, no one has come forward with any information
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Beth Long Don Draper
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Debbie Sterbinsky Karen Kay Bunting
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Thom Davis Mary Osmar
Dan Schlesinger Sandra McConathy
Delores Martin Tamura Jones
Carol Lemieux Mary South
Gary Sterne Jim Baker
Gena Hudson Linda Alexander
Mike Swierczewski Fred Stuart
Judy Pfaff Joan Collier
Marilyn Hamill Kitty Huddleston
Kathy Storm Diane Burkett
Suzanne Rude Lisa Thaler
Betty Chambers Maureen Connor
Margaret Waterman Tamura Jones
Bill Utterback Kathy Henderson
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Elaine C. Hebert Mike Dalton
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Robert Edward McKenna, QPL
|Comments from Our Readers
|I JUST CAN'T REMEMBER
In this day and age of identity records,
Of fingerprints, blood samples and DNA
The identity of a lost person not to be found,
Is a mystery that just won't go away.
The victim thinks that "Benjamin." might be his name
Beaten, naked, robbed with memory vacated.
Discovered unconscious behind a Georgia Burger King
Unknown, unnamed with background negated
Some think now is the time for coded chips,
Inserted at birth detailing name, family and date.
My little lost dog was found by using such a chip,
She was saved from a most unhappy fate.
Robert Edward McKenna
Quiz Poet Laureate
REACH BACK IN TIME
I reach back in time to who I was
Past the closed up mental door.
I recall scraps of this and that
But I know I was much more!
Who are my friends and family?
Where did I rest my head?
Are there those who hope for my return
Or do they think I'm dead?
I hope that someday I'll go back
To someone now unknown
Someone who never ceased to pray
That one day I'd come home.
Understudy to Quiz Poet Laureate
Robert Edward McKenna
Click here for
about who he might be, and none of his memories have provided enough information to
Benjaman's fingerprints are on file with the FBI, but they have not found a match for
him. He has also taken a DNA test for genetic genealogy through Family Tree DNA,
and discovered a lukewarm match with members of the Powell DNA surname study.
However, the match is not strong enough to say that his last name is Powell.
|For more information about Benjaman Kyle
Types of Amnesia
There are three distinct phases to memory: registering the event in the brain, storing the
information, and retrieving the information that has been stored. Problems in any of
these phases may cause amnesia. The source of the problem can be either physical or
psychological. The memory gap can be of events either before or after the trauma or
other problem triggering the amnesia, and it may be temporary or permanent. There are
several distinct types of amnesia:
* Anterograde amnesia is the inability to learn new information. A person with this
type of amnesia can accurately recall events in the past, before the trauma, but has
marked difficulty remembering any new information for more than a few minutes.
* Retrograde amnesia is the partial or complete loss of memory of events that
occurred before the trauma. New information, however, can be processed, stored, and
* Transient global amnesia is a form of memory loss that appears suddenly and
causes confusion, disorientation, and forgetfulness for 30 minutes to 24 hours. This
type of memory loss normally clears up on its own, but a person experiencing transient
global amnesia also may experience temporary retrograde amnesia.
What Causes Amnesia?
Most often, amnesia has a physical cause. The leading cause of amnesia is an injury to
the head. For example, a hockey player who falls and hits his head hard on the ice may
be unable to recall the events, or their sequence, immediately before he fell. A head
injury that leads to temporary loss of consciousness or amnesia is called a concussion.
Retrograde amnesia, either permanent or temporary, is very common in people who are
in car accidents. People who have head injuries in a car accident rarely, if ever,
remember the accident. While the body may heal, the retrograde amnesia usually is
There are other physical causes of amnesia, for example, when there is not enough
blood flow to the brain (which is thought to be the usual cause of transient global
amnesia), or when there is brain cell damage from long-term alcohol abuse. This
condition, called Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, often produces anterograde amnesia.
Malnutrition and brain infections are other physical conditions that may produce
amnesia. People with Alzheimer disease frequently have amnesia, which is thought to be
caused by physical changes in the brain. Treatment for amnesia involves treating the
condition causing it, if possible.
When amnesia has psychological causes, it is called psychogenic amnesia. This type of
amnesia is not common. It may occur when a person suffers a physically or
emotionally overwhelming event or trauma (for example, witnessing the murder of a
loved one). The memories of the traumatic event and the circumstances surrounding it
are so upsetting that they are repressed. The repression is not done consciously, and it
may be temporary or permanent. Treatment involves psychotherapy*. The use of
hypnosis to recover lost memories is controversial since in some cases the "recovered"
memory may not be real, but the result of suggestion by the hypnotist.
|The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NAMUS)
The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) is the first national
repository for missing persons and unidentified decedent records. Unidentified
decedents are people who have died and whose bodies have not been identified.
NamUs consists of two databases that anyone can search. The Justice Department
|NamUs Behind the Scenes:
How It Works, Why It Matters
Click here to see video.
hopes that law enforcement officials and the public
will use the databases to share information to solve
The Unidentified Decedents Database contains
information entered by medical examiners and coroners. Anyone can search the
database using characteristics such as sex, race, distinct body features and dental
information. See https://identifyus.org/
The Missing Persons Database contains information that can be entered by anyone.
Before a missing persons case will appear on this Web site, however, it will be
validated. The site also provides links to state clearinghouses, medical examiners and
coroners, victim assistance groups and pertinent legislation. See
In 2009, the two databases will be linked. Families, law enforcement agencies,
medical examiners and coroners, victim advocates, and the general public will be able to
search for matches between missing persons and unidentified decedent records.
reparative surgery for broken elbow that may involve pins/plates implantation). Surgical
scar on front of neck appears to be from cervical discectomy. Small round scar on left
side of face near chin appears to be a puncture-type wound but believes it may be
related to former tooth abscess. No tattoos. No body piercings.