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  1. Active recall
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  22. Electracy
  23. Emotion and memory
  24. Encoding
  25. Engram
  26. Episodic memory
  27. Executive system
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  29. Explicit memory
  30. Exposure effect
  31. Eyewitness memory reconstruction
  32. False memory
  33. False Memory Syndrome Foundation
  34. Flashbulb memory
  35. Forgetting
  36. Forgetting curve
  37. Functional fixedness
  38. Hindsight bias
  39. HM
  40. Human memory process
  41. Hyperthymesia
  42. Iconic memory
  43. Interference theory
  44. Involuntary memory
  45. Korsakoff's syndrome
  46. Lacunar amnesia
  47. Limbic system
  48. Linkword
  49. List of memory biases
  50. Long-term memory
  51. Long-term potentiation
  52. Lost in the mall technique
  53. Memory
  54. Memory and aging
  55. MemoryArchive
  56. Memory consolidation
  57. Memory distrust syndrome
  58. Memory inhibition
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  60. Method of loci
  61. Mind map
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  63. Mnemonic acronym system
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  65. Mnemonic link system
  66. Mnemonic major system
  67. Mnemonic peg system
  68. Mnemonic room system
  69. Mnemonic verses
  70. Mnemonist
  71. Philip Staufen
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  86. Shass pollak
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  97. Tip of the tongue
  98. Visual memory
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  100. Visuospatial sketchpad
  101. VTrain
  102. Working memory


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Philip Staufen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Philip Staufen (presumed date of birth: June 7, 1975) is the name adopted by a man who wandered into a hospital emergency department in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on November 28, 1999, seemingly the victim of an attack, and apparently suffering from amnesia. The name Philip Staufen, actually that of a medieval German king (see Philip of Swabia), was given to the man by hospital staff because it was among the words spoken by the man during treatment.

Staufen has changed his name several times in the ensuing years, but for clarity he will be referred to as Staufen throughout this article.

Arrival at a Toronto hospital

Staufen, then probably in his mid-twenties, appeared to have been the victim of a mugging. His nose was broken, his wallet was missing, and he carried no identification. He claimed to have no idea who he was, but linguistic experts said that he had a slight Yorkshire accent. He also spoke fluent French and Italian, and could read Latin. Staff diagnosed Staufen with post-concussive global amnesia. The media picked up on the story and began referring to him as "Mr. Nobody."

After release

Staufen was released from hospital and stayed in a shelter for three weeks, then accepted an offer of lodging from an Ontario couple, and was able to collect welfare money. Soon his photograph and fingerprints were being circulated internationally and he was the subject of television shows in Canada, Britain, and Australia, yet no clues as to his true identity were discovered. Meanwhile, Staufen refused offers of free expert treatment for his amnesia. He moved into a Toronto lodging house, then briefly to Montreal.

In November 2000, Staufen moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, where he met lawyer Manuel Azevedo and began lobbying to be granted Canadian citizenship and a Canadian birth certificate, ostensibly so that he could travel in order to discover his true identity. On May 28, 2001 a British Columbia court denied Staufen's petition for a birth certificate, but on June 5, Minister Elinor Caplan offered him a "Minister's Permit" to stay and work in Canada for eighteen months. Staufen refused.

Porn star claims

On June 15, 2001, Staufen signed a second affidavit and issued a press release announcing a hunger strike. About the same time, gay porn actor Sean Spence claimed that Staufen was actually a porn model named Georges Lecuit, who had last worked in Britain. In July, Spence provided photographs of Georges Lecuit to Detective Stephen Bone of the Toronto Police Department, who had been working on the case. The photographs show a man bearing a striking similarity to Staufen, though with a different hairstyle (images of "Lecuit" and Staufen are available here). In mid-July, Staufen married his lawyer's daughter, Nathalie, in Vancouver, and accepted the Minister's Permit (backdated to July 5). Manuel Azevedo subsequently resigned as Staufen's lawyer.

Name changes and legal troubles

On August 29, 2001, Staufen's appeal for a Canadian birth certificate was rejected. Immigration officials noted that Staufen appeared to have surgically altered his nose.

Staufen began to change his name frequently. He first changed his name to Keith Ryan on October 25, 2001. In early 2002, Staufen changed his name again, this time to Sywald Skeid. The following January, after Staufen's permit had expired, he and his wife moved to Ottawa, then Montreal, and then Halifax, Nova Scotia.

In mid-February 2004, it emerged that the real Georges Lecuit, a French man, had reported his passport stolen in 1998. Staufen was arrested and jailed, then released on condition that he report regularly to Immigration, which he is last known to have done on October 4, 2004, in Victoria, British Columbia. Both Staufen and his wife have disappeared.

The Piano Man

In April 2005, a man matching Staufen's description was discovered wandering on a beach on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, wearing a dripping wet suit and tie. The man did not speak, but was a skilled pianist, a fact discovered after the man was provided a piano when he drew a detailed sketch of a grand piano. It was later confirmed that this "Piano Man" (as he was dubbed by the media) was not Staufen, but rather a German named Andreas Grassl.

As of November 2006, Staufen's true identity and current whereabouts remain unknown.


  • CBC News, The Fifth Estate
  • Is Piano Man Mr. Nobody?
  • Evening Standard article

External links

  • Full text of first affidavit (PDF)
  • Hunger strike press release (PDF)
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