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Shocking Cases of Amnesia

Shocking Cases of Amnesia

Roses are red. Violets are blue.
I have amnesia, – and who are you?! Get away from me!
– Uh, let’s talk about that? ♪ (theme music) ♪ – Good Mythical Morning!
– Thank you for making us a part of your daily routine. What was this episode about again? – OH, YEAH! Amnesia! (forced laughter)
– (laughing) I got you. I got you. And you, and you,
and you. – No, no, no, no.
– I didn’t get anybody. I don’t think you should have said
“you” even once. (laughing) Okay. Amnesia. We’re gonna talk
about some amazing amnesia stories. When you think about amnesia, you
typically think about this vanilla type of amnesia, which is like you wake up
one day, and you don’t know who you are. – Period.
– But that’s the simple kind of amnesia. We’re gonna be talking about a couple of
different instances of amnesia that are a little bit more extraordinary and
interesting than that. – Shall we boo pity boop? Did you?
– We should. – Well, go.
– Boopity boop boop. Our first extraordinary case of amnesia
is gonna start with a little story. Imagine: it’s a normal day, and it’s
September of 2006. – Jeff Ingram…
– I remember where I was doing. – Uh…
– (Rhett and crew offscreen laughing) – “I remember where I was doing.” What?
– Montana. I don’t know. Sorry. Well, forget about it, because it
doesn’t matter. – Forget I said anything.
– Let’s focus on Jeff Ingram. He woke up, said goodbye to his fiancé,
Penny, in Washington State, and then he’s driving up to Alberta, Canada, for
a funeral. – Oh.
– A month later, Penny has neither – heard nor seen Jeff.
– Long funeral. – It’s been a month. Until she sees him on
– Oh, okay. – the national news, calling himself Al.
– (laughing) It’s not like one of those elaborate
marriage proposal things. – “I disappeared for a month, and then I”
– No, they were already engaged… – Oh! All right.
– so he blew that opportunity. And plus, he had no clue who he was,
and just decided to call himself Al so that people could at least talk to him. (female announcer) And we’re joined now
by the man being called Al. Good morning – to you both.
– Good morning. Al, you’re wearing that same baseball
hat that you were wearing when you came to on the streets. First of all,
why are we calling you Al? – Where did that name come from?
– Uh, it came from “Alpha 74,” is what – they were calling me at the hospital.
– (woman again) Alpha 74, and you thought – Al might be a little better.
– Yeah, just a little bit more human. He woke up — it turns out, a few days
after beginning his trip up to Alberta — in Denver, not knowing anything about
himself or his past. We was stuck with amnesia. But Jeff, as it turns out, had a
rare case of amnesia called dissociative – fugue. Which is like…
– Sounds funny. – You’ve heard of a fugue state.
– (slurred) Dissociative fugue. Dissociative fugue is basically when you
hit the reset button on your life and your memory. And you forget
everything. It’s amnesia, but it can – happen again and again and again.
– Oh. – It recurs. It’s like every few days, I
– That’s rough. go over to your house to your router,
and I find that little reset button where I’ve gotta straighten out a paper
clip… – You do this at my house?
– And I (clicks tongue) I just do it. And you don’t know when I’m gonna come
over straighten out that paper clip – and (clicks tongue)
– But that usually solves all the router’s problems. I’ve always got that paper clip
ready to go. I’ve got one taped on the – back of the router.
– But you have to reset the password, and you no longer have any of your
search history. I don’t… Mines free for all the neighbors.
I do it for the neighbors. – Do you get my point, though?
– Yeah, yeah. But a router is not a – person, but I do get your point.
– This was not his first time being struck with amnesia. It was his second
time, which, again, makes it – dissociative fugue. Back in 1994,
– His second fugue. he went into a grocery store in Alberta,
went missing for 9 months, and then wakes up in a Seattle hospital, not
knowing anything about himself. – All of his Jeff-dom was gone,
– (exhales) – and he had to remember.
– “I’ve lost my Jeff-dom!” He wouldn’t even know to say that,
because he doesn’t know he’s Jeff. Right. I goes family members kind of
filled him in and he started over. And then he meets Penny in 2003, and,
of course, he had to make a decision to explain to her as they’re falling in love
that, “Hey. I had this amnesia thing… – “I’ve got this thing that could…
– …in my past.” – …totally, really shake everything up.”
– I don’t know if he knew he was a ticking time bomb of dissociative fugue-ness,
that he might lose his Jeff-dom again… – Right.
– …but, lo and behold, that’s what happened. Penny reunites with him,
based on being on the national news. And then the question is, they were
engaged. Jeff knows nothing, for the second time in his life. What is he
gonna do? Is he gonna get married? No, man. They have to fall in love
all over again. But, you know what?
That’s a beautiful thing. – It is a beautiful thing.
– You know what? I’m not saying I would want this, but that is one of
the benefits. Sometimes my wife and I go on a date, and we’re like, “Let’s act
like it’s our first date again.” – That’s cute.
– And I’m like, “We’re not at the Outback.” – But there’s not the risk, I mean…
– You know? There was a risk here because he hated
green peppers and turnips before, but then in his second Jeff-dom,
he loved them. – Which proves that it’s all in your mind!
– Okay. It’s all in your mind, Jeff.
And everyone else. And he loved Penny, so then now in this
reboot, what’s gonna happen with Penny? But just to skip ahead here, just a few
weeks later, he does re-propose. It doesn’t take long to re-fall in love,
once you’ve done it one, with the – same woman.
– He said that his heart had a sense of – he was already in love.
– “This feels right. She seems like a – stranger, but…”
– He asked Penny’s mother to… “She’s telling me all these things
that seem…” – Cool. (laughing) About me.
– …cool!” Yeah. (laughing) – “She likes green peppers…
– “She loves me.” – …and now I do.”
– (stammering) Jeff asked her mom’s permission, and
then her mom was like, “I already told – you yes.”
– Oh. That was rude. (Link) They got married on New Year’s Eve
in 2006. – “He’s in a dissociative fugue, Mom!”
– They made the wedding New Year’s Eve so they could remember the date. Now, it happened again in 2007. I can’t
find out many things about that, but… You can only imagine how it went,
you know. I mean, the same few weeks. You’re
married. Yeah, let’s work it out. Once you get married, you can reset
as much as you want. – Yeah.
– It’s just the same old tune? – Well, that’s a great segue into my
– That’s sad. story, Link. Because I’m gonna tell you
about Michelle Philpots. (Link) Tell me about her. Is it F –
double E – L – POTS? – Like she touches pots?
– It’s like Phil-pots. It’s like a – man named Phil who pots.
– Okay, yeah, he does. – He pots things.
– Right, right. She was in a motorcycle accident in
1985, and then a car accident in 1990, and she suffered significant brain
injuries, and they… – Both times?
– Well, basically is was a culmination of these injuries and the brain damage
that she experienced. And then she went through a crazy stage where she
had epilepsy , and then she had to get surgery to get the seizures to stop.
But everything added up to in 1994, she developed something called
anterograde amnesia, – Okay.
– which means that she is incapable of forming new memories. She cannot form new memories.
So in her mind… -So she didn’t lose the past.
She couldn’t build a future. She has everything up until 1994,
but nothing moving forward. So every morning when she wakes up,
in her world, it is 1994. To put that into perspective, Forrest Gump is still in
theaters. The Lion King is still in – theaters.
– O-yoi-yoi-yoi-aaaaaaay! – That’s what I think of.
– Yes, thank you for that. When she goes to the Internet, she
opens up Netscape, which doesn’t exist – on the computer that she’s [using].
– She’s very confused. That’s what 1994 was like. It’s all
about The Lion King and Netscape. – So what’s her day-to-day like?
– Okay, well, every day, she wakes up, the mental slate is wiped clean. She
has functional day-to-day life skills memory, like she knows how to brush
her teeth. She hasn’t forgotten – that kind of thing.
-Okay. Motor skills. Motor memories. – She’s got that.
– But she can’t form new social memories. This makes it kinda weird. So she wakes
up. She has developed a system of Post-It notes where she rebuilds her
memories every single day. This is an ironic thing. This article was
written about her, and they took a picture of her — you can see it here —
of her next to her Post-It notes. And she’s posting like, “Oh, this really
sucks,” you know. And you gotta think: The day that she had this article written
about her, this was all new to her. The fact that she had this disorder.
The fact that she’s got the Post-It notes, and like oh, and today you’re getting an
article written about you, and now pose for the photo. I just think about what
was going through her mind. – And hat about relationally?
– Well, she’s not in this alone. So she wakes up every single day next
to her husband. But she thinks of him as her boyfriend, because before 1994,
they were just… – Dating.
– …boyfriend and girlfriend, and then they got married in 1997. Don’t ask me how
the marriage happened in the midst of this state. It happened, okay? But
what he does is every single morning, he wakes up and he’s like, “I’m not your
boyfriend. I’m your husband. Here’s our wedding pictures. He has the wedding
album next to the bed, opens it up. So he has to explain this haircut every
single say of his life. – (Link laughing)
– They spend at least 10 to 15 minues – on that alone, I’m sure.
– Oh, man. He also explains that he’s a fencer,
and I don’t know if that means he’s a fencer with the swords, or a fencer
like he puts fences up. – Or he just says mean things to people.
– Is that a fencer? – Yeah. Yeah.
– Oh, he’s offenser. – Yeah, got it.
– (Rhett and crew offscreen laughing) – So you might be thinking…
– He could tell her anything. He could re-invent everything if he’s
a cruel jerk. If he’s an offenser. He can’t change that haircut, though,
because it’s in the wedding album. – It’s offensive.
– Now, you might be thinking this is like the movie Groundhog Day, where
Bill Murray relives the same exact day – over and over again.
– It’s the inverse of that. But it’s not like that. It’s actually more
like 50 First Dates, which, incidentally, in that movie, Drew Barrymore woke
up and had to rebuild her memories every single day, and that movie is based
on Michelle! And I aspire to be a cooler person, so
I say this is like Memento, where instead of Post-It Notes, he tattooed
his whole arm with everything he needed to know every morning when
he got up. Right. She doesn’t have any tattoos as
far as you can tell, but… – Post-It notes!
– …the really crazy thing is that — This sounds very torturous to me.
I mean, even for the husband, too. Every single morning, it’s like,
“I’ve gotta explain the mullet again.” – Right.
– But she says that she has a happy life. Of course, she says that every day, and
it’s like a new thing. – (laughing)
-It’s like, “Yeah, I got a happy life. – Quit asking me that.” But…
– She wouldn’t say, “Quit asking me.” – “Thanks for asking me that.”
– “That’s a good question! – Now that I think about it.”
– But anyway, the day that she decided to wake up and experience
every single day is a good day to her. She’s a happy person, so
congratulations, Michelle. – Hm.
– Sure you won’t remember that, but… Uh, congratulations. I mean… There’s a harsh reality to this thing.
We’re kinda making light of it, but – yeah, it’s extremely fascinating.
-You gotta see the bright side. – And I’m glad that she is happy.
– Yes. She’s found happiness. Now, there’s
another amazing story about this dude named David Stuart Maclean, that we
just wanna briefly touch on. He got amnesia by taking malaria
medication. He wakes up in India, knows not who he is, and has to rebuild
his entire life. And he wrote an entire – book about it. (laughing)
– “An entire book!” And that book is called “The Answer to the
Riddle Is Me” and it is available over at, and we got a special
deal for you Mythical Beasts. You go over there and you use our link,
which is You get a free 30-day trial, and you can pick that
book or one of over 180,000 titles to choose from. The link is in the
description. Thanks for liking and commenting
on this video. You know what time it is. My name’s [Margrét], and I’m from
Iceland, and it’s time to spin – The Wheel of Mythicality!
– Thanks to Audible for sposoring this episode. Remember, you can go
to And please do! Click through to Good
Mythical More. We’ve got another amazing amnesia story. A guy named
Clive who lost all of his memories – and also cannot create new ones.
– Oh, gosh. (Rhett) “Link thinks Rhett’s hand is
an adorable guinea pig.” – (higher voice) Oh goodness, Rhett.
– (crew laughing offscreen) – It’s so adorable! Can I touch it?
– My hand? Yeah. – Well, that’s… sure.
– Oh my goodness! (Link snorting) Mm, he’s
breathing on me! – Nee nee nee nee! I just eskimo kissed…
– My hand. – What?
– That’s my hand. – Ugh. You should probably shave it.
– You can’t feel the clamminess? [Captioned by Kevin:
GMM Captioning Team]

Reader Comments

  1. So you're telling me Jeff didnt even have a driver's license with his name on it?? I call shenanigans.

  2. Holy heck I know that person in the end slate!!!, thanks GMM for making me find a common mythical beast

  3. ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ˜–

  4. Can you do an episode about out of body experiences. maybe facts about it and some true stories. please๐Ÿ˜Š I love episodes with true stories of stuff.

  5. Last night or Friday for some reason my heart was thumping and fast I felt hot and this was only upstairs I then went downstairs and felt better
    … I don't know

  6. jeff goes through all that troube of faking amnesia because he didnt want to lose his woman to his own personal case of " Important Date" Amnesia

  7. The amnesia jokes here in the comment section (excluding GMM's comment) are so funny…. (heavy sarcasm implied,supplied and delivered)

  8. I don't not know who I am, because it's a memory In my longterm memory. I have a type of brain damage that makes me forget everything AFTER a certain date.

  9. The day websearchers are stored in a router….good way to display your great knowledge link

  10. Sometimes Rhett looks at Link as if he can't quite figure out if he just made a joke or if he is really serious about something. Like, are you for real, man?

  11. The lady that cant form new memories isnt very lucky, but interview with the vampire and lion king were still in theaters. 2018 anyone??

  12. Amnesia would be terrifying! Knowing you have it and not being able to remember things you know you know but can't remember any of it.

  13. The fairy god mother asked if I want a good memory or very large penis? For the life of me I canโ€™t remember what I chose ๐Ÿ˜ณ

  14. Iโ€™m surprised that you didnโ€™t mention Clive Wearing. He basically only has a few seconds of short-term memory. Itโ€™s a really heartbreaking story.

  15. This is my real life. Iโ€™m 41. Twice in the last year Iโ€™ve experienced amnesia. My brain just went bye bye for several hours with no memory of what happened or how I got there. The last time it happened I got arrested. For resisting arrest. Iโ€™ve never been in trouble before. Itโ€™s ruining my life. And Iโ€™m terrified not knowing if or when it could happen again. Amnesia is very rare. The more I find out about it, the more afraid I become.

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