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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Decemystery (2022.3) 7: The Sad Man


I love unsolved mysteries. I know that’s a truly shocking revelation, and it isn’t like it’s a focal point of this blog, but let’s not linger on that. Something else I love is conspiracy theories. I know, an even more shocking revelation and it isn’t like that’s some sort of niche topic we’ve talked about on this blog. I also love true crime, which is an even more shocking revelation!

I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about that love before on this blog, but my love for those topics is what drives me to write. However, in an era where everyone and their grandmother can post things online and make videos for platforms like YouTube, it’s hard to find a case or topic that hasn’t been covered to death. Let’s face it: everyone and their dog has heard the story of, say, the Zodiac. He’s one of the most widely talked about unidentified serial killers not just in the United States but in the world. It’s hard to really add something to that case unless I’m talking about an incredibly niche theory that holds practically no water. Given the kind of person I am, I would much rather not do that since I’d rather look at the whole case and not one single suspect.

As such, I prefer to focus on those “lesser known” cases. The ones that few, if any, people have talked about. However, even then, that’s pretty hard. There are people who dedicate their time to doing that, and as such, I tend to poach stories. I’m pretty sure that’s illegal somewhere in the world, so if I ever happen to disappear, there’s a possibility that that’s why. Joking aside, that desire of mine does pose its own challenges. When there’s a story out there I want to cover that has virtually no information on it, it more or less falls on me to actively find and present information. And if you’re a long-time reader of this blog, you know very well that my opinion of my research is low—very, very low.

Normally, that would be where I’d self-deprecate so much; my friends would express concern if I shared this introduction with them to ask for their opinions. That is not the case today, however! No, I’m happy today—super happy—because this is a story that I’ve really wanted to cover for a fair bit of time, ever since I included it in the second Megalist I did, to be exact. In fact, both of today’s stories are from that Megalist, and both I had hoped to cover last year. We’re starting off with this one because… I felt like covering it first.

Known as The Sad Man, this story originates from the Conspiracy Iceberg and is one of those stories that have little to nothing available about it. However, the mere summary of it from what I’ve found is so intriguing and so unusual that passing up on it would be criminally stupid. So come along, dear reader. Although the name of the story may invoke a sense of sadness, today’s story is going to be anything but sad!

Solemn Hour

First thing first: I want to state that finding information for this story was pretty brutal. I am not someone with the greatest foresight, and as such, aside from the summary I had done back in 2021, I didn’t have anything readily available. On its own, that wouldn’t be the worst thing. I could just go to 4plebs and look this story up. Well, that’s easier said than done because “the sad man” isn’t exactly a novel phrase or title. So when I tried to find the story, I got a ton of posts where, at some point, a user had said “sad man.” And given that the only place I was able to find information on this story was 4chan, there are a lot of people who have said that someone is a “sad man.” Also, no, adding “the” did not help because the searches I did on 4plebs still yielded posts where “sad man” had been said, even if it lacked “the” before it.

Luckily, I still found five posts from iceberg threads that had information. Two of them I found because they also had information on the story we’re discussing later, which was convenient. Anyway, let’s get on with the story because I can’t wait any longer!

The earliest post I could find about this story comes from a thread that was started on November 17, 2020. It was a simple thread about a Conspiracy Iceberg; users would ask about entries on it, and others would answer them. On this thread, one person asked who or what “The Sad Man” was about, along with a few other theories. The other theories we may talk about at another time if I feel like slamming my head against a brick wall for a few days, but for now, I encourage you to go about finding information yourself. I’m but one man, and as such, I have my limits on how much time I’m willing to spend combing through 4chan archives. This is in spite of the fact I myself spend a fair amount of time on the website and even post on it. Sometimes, I post more than once in the same thread.

Anywhoozle, one person gave a very brief rundown of who this “sad man” is—along with a few other conspiracies. According to them, the Sad Man is a “night walker” who’s been seen across the United States at various clubs. While not odd on its own (there are plenty of people who go on cross-country road trips to visit various famous locations), this individual is said to appear at them without ever being seen traveling. The poster gives an example of the Sad Man being seen at a club in Los Angeles, California, “right as the clubs are warming up at 8:00 [p.m.],” only to then be seen in Boston, Massachusetts “ten minutes before midnight.” For those curious, a flight from LA to Boston is a 5-hour and 35-minute flight. Well, according to Google, it is.

For reasons I can’t explain, this piqued my curiosity when I first wrote about it, and it still does. The vagueness is something that really strikes a chord with me and makes me want to seek out more information—which I did. Using my two brain cells that were fighting for third place, I got to work snooping through 4plebs. What I found was a thread that was started the following month on December 28, 2020. Once again, it’s a thread dedicated to a Conspiracy Iceberg where people asked about certain entries, and others would reply with explanations. As a little side note, this is a thread where I learned about some information related to Rose Eater, which I (rather poorly in my honest opinion) wrote about for Decemystery 2020. I can’t believe I never bothered to link the thread back then. I guess 2020 was harder on my writing spirit than I remember.

Moving on, though: it was on this thread where one user asked about a handful of theories. A few of these I actually really want to cover in the future, like Fox Is Here and sophia_red_room.avi. For now, though, they’ll remain on my ever-growing to-do list. I kind of wonder how large it is by this point. Probably large enough for me to make a book out of.

Anyways, as is the case with just about any iceberg thread from a few years back, someone replied with explanations about them. It’s here where we can learn a bit more about the Sad Man and all of his enigmatic glory. Or, in this case, its glory. Indeed, this is where the Sad Man is referred to as an “it” rather than “he.” For the sake of consistency, I’ll keep saying that it’s a “he.”

Now then: the poster states the same thing to start off, how the “mysterious entity” is seen across America at night in various clubs and how he travels very quickly. However, there is a slight tidbit of new information: you should not approach him. Why exactly isn’t explained, but you apparently should not do so under any circumstances.

This is contracted, however, by another poster who claims to have met him. According to them, the Sad Man is a “monster” but is also “harmless.” This sounds like something the Sad Man would say, and so I’m inclined to believe that he wrote it himself. On a more serious note: I find it interesting how they don’t specify where they met him, so I’d like to believe that this fellow met him at a Home Depot while he was shopping for fertilizer. No reason, I just want to believe that.

That’s where the information on the Sad Man ends with that thread. While one other guy asked for information, the only reply he got was someone sending him to the fellow who explained the story. So with that, we’re back to square one. Lucky for us (or at least me), there are three other threads with information I found. The first is from January 1, 2021, and is yet again another iceberg thread. Same deal as the past two, but this one outright had someone explain who the Sad Man is. Unfortunately for me, it yielded no new information outside of slightly different wording. The Sad Man wanders “ballads throughout the USA,” and people say that you should not get close to him. Why, exactly, is once again not explained.

The next thread was posted five days later, on January 5th. Once again, it was another iceberg thread, and yet again, the exact same explanation was posted. Absolutely no variation whatsoever. He wanders ballads, and you shouldn’t get close to him. If I didn’t know any better, I would think the Sad Man had COVID and was breaking quarantine.

The fifth and final thread that I found, which had information on the Sad Man, was posted a week later on January 12th. Once again, the exact same explanation was posted. However, someone actually replied to the explanation asking for more. They also stated that they had been a sad man at many nightclubs (this will actually be very important, so keep this in mind).

Someone did reply to them explaining what we already know (how the Sad Man can supposedly travel great distances), but nothing else. They also stated that “Modem is known to have more information”. If you want to know more about Modem, go read the TED Talk write-up I did at the start of the month. I’m not going into it again here; I still have nightmares about going down that rabbit hole.

So with that, the story of the Sad Man sadly comes to an end. As anticlimactic as it is, there really doesn’t appear to be anything else about this mysterious man. It seems he’s nothing more than a sad man who appears in night clubs and at ballads, and that getting close to him is bad news. Though is he real? Well, let’s go over the theories and see what they have to say!


1. It’s a true (and sad) story

For our first theory, we have the obligatory “it’s real” one. To say that it doesn’t really have much backing that claim would be underselling it six ways from Sunday.

Now look, I won’t sit here and make snarky comments about this because I do my best to be as unbiased as I can outside of the “My Take” section. To say that I fail at doing that would be akin to saying that the universe is sort of big. So, I’ll do my best to not harp on the little things and instead play it cool.

The theory here is that the Sad Man is real. Exactly what he is isn’t clear since the story doesn’t really make it apparent. His ability to travel great distances in no time makes me think he’s some sort of supernatural entity. This is kind of backed up by what that one 4chan user said about him being a “monster”, though it’s possible that he is more akin to a physical entity, and there’s more than one of him.

If the Sad Man is a supernatural entity, then it’s possible that he’s the spirit of, well, a sad man who wanders various clubs that he visited in life. It’s been said that those who have “unfinished business” in the world of the living linger around, wishing to finish it. Whatever that business is varies; it can be anything from finishing a project to wanting to see justice brought to a person (or people) who wronged them. Perhaps the Sad Man is simply someone who had bigger plans but met an untimely end.

Of course, if he’s an actual monster, perhaps he’s some sort of shapeshifter like a Fleshgait. If that’s the case, why exactly he takes on the guise of a sad man and only wanders around bars is beyond me. While I know that some people claim Fleshgaits are “curious” about humans, I find it very peculiar that one (or perhaps several) would take on the appearance of a sorrowful man and wander aimlessly from club to club. Perhaps they just want to party but are rejected by everyone they meet. That would definitely leave me feeling blue, even if I was a man-eating demon of the forest.

But hey, that isn’t the only theory we have, so let’s move onward. Also, did I do a good job at being unbiased? I want to think I did.

2. It’s not a true (but still potentially sad) story (or it was made up for the Conspiracy Iceberg)

For our second theory, we have the exact opposite of the first: that this is all fake—or it was made up.

Like a lot of Conspiracy Iceberg stories, this is potentially one of the many that was made up. Of course, as you likely guessed based on me not having ever mentioned it during the main story, I have no idea where it was made up. In the case of this story, finding information was an absolute nightmare, so I doubt it would have made a difference if I tried looking some more.

Regardless, it’s safe to assume it was made up either by the person who made the first iceberg this theory appeared on or spawned from an urban legend I’m unfamiliar with. If it’s the former, then it fits in line with a lot of other icebergs where the creator[s] create meme entries for the amusement of themselves and for readers. If it’s the latter, then I genuinely don’t know what urban legend it may be. I know of a fair number of urban legends (I recall reading a lot of them when I was much younger and even intend on doing a few this month), but none remind me of this story. So if you know, do let me know.

3. It’s just someone who’s listened to Bad Day one too many times

Daniel Powter, you evil, evil man.

My Take

First thing first: you may have noticed that, throughout this write-up, I never brought up the appearance of the Sad Man. That wasn’t a mistake on my part; no one ever described him. There is absolutely no description of what this person/entity looks like. None whatsoever. I waited until now to mention this because this right here is one of the biggest reasons I don’t think this story is real, and it was honestly beginning to irk me the more I wrote about it.

Look, I know that not every entity or cryptid that’s seen has a crystal clear description of it, but this is supposedly someone (or something) that’s seen as a club. This isn’t in a public location where there are presumably dozens of potential eyewitnesses. Surely someone has, at the absolute least, caught a brief glimpse of this guy. Even if they were as drunk as Boris Yeltsin, I’m sure they would be able to tell if he was Caucasian, African-American, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American. Instead, we’re just told that he is “someone”.

With that out of the way… yeah, I mean, I don’t think this story has any truth to it. Like a great many other Conspiracy Iceberg entries, I believe it was solely made up for it. Exactly where I don’t know. Given the phrase “sad man” is something that is said quite often, trying to find an exact origin for this is far more work than I am willing to put in. Some may call me lazy for that, but I want to argue that I don’t get paid to write. So my motivation to put in effort isn’t always going to be through the roof. Maybe if Google let me have ads on this blog, I’d do that. Alas, Google is a cruel mistress and won’t let me use AdSense.

Even if I was paid to write, though, I must admit that it would’ve been an absolute nightmare to comb through 4plebs' /x/ archive. As of the time of this writing, searching “sad man” results in 5,146 results. If I add “the” to that, I get 4,191 results. While I could, in theory, go look through them to try and at least find an origin of some sort, I genuinely cannot get myself to go through them. I tried for a bit, and I threw my hands up and decided that I had better things to do with my time, like playing video games, talking with my friends, and writing about this story.

But hey, I won’t let my laziness get in the way of things. While outright researching this, I saw at least one person in a thread (specifically the first one I cited) outright say that the story was nonsense. So at least one other person out there agrees with me!

Of course, I’m no doubt putting too much thought into it. We are talking about a story that I only found on some iceberg threads on 4chan. So rather than harp on details, I do want to say something a bit more positive. In my humble opinion, the idea behind the Sad Man isn’t one that is necessarily out there. There are a lot of stories—be they urban legends or supposedly real—about people meeting strange folks at bars and nightclubs. I swear I once heard a story of someone who claimed they spoke with the devil at a bar. I also know there are legends out there of mysterious wanderers who just, well, wander, so it’s also possible this story may originate from one of those stories (should it not be a meme entry).

Whether these people are actually some sort of malevolent entity or just some drunk fellow* depends on the story. Though for what it’s worth, this story isn’t as out there as, say, the TED Talk story we went over last week. So, if absolutely nothing else, the story of the Sad Man is far from the most absurd thing we’ve talked about on this blog (and it sure as heck isn’t anywhere close to the most absurd thing we’ll talk about this month).

* Cross-country teleportation powers fueled by drunkenness and/or sadness were not taken into account when discussing this take/possibility.


With all of that, our sad, sad tale of the saddest sad man comes to an end. I know it’s a very sad day. Lucky for us, there are a great many more strange stories primed and ready for the rest of this month. Heck, there’s another one that’ll be posted an hour after this one goes up! If I had confetti, I’d throw it in the air, but I only have a glass of Coca-Cola and my laptop. I don’t think throwing either of those in the air would be very smart.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this write-up; do leave some feedback if you did or didn’t. I admittedly tried my best with what little I could find, so I’m hoping it didn’t come out clunky (something which I honestly dwelled on a fair bit early on when writing it). I digress though; stay happy, stay healthy, and thank you for reading!

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