The Seattle Times Helps Identify Mystery Man

Today’s main story in The Seattle Times, a piece about a man who woke up three weeks ago in Discovery Park unsure of who he was and why he was in Seattle, was a mystery for only a few hours. The piece was posted on the newspaper's Web site around midnight last night and less than six hours later a reader identified the man as Edward Lighthart, an English teacher with whom the reader had worked in China in 2005.

What followed illustrates the pros of new media. After Seattle Times reader David Akast identified the man in the comments section below the article, several people chimed in with detailed information from online searches, including a link to a website with a description and photo of Lighthart. It all happened within the span of a few hours. The reporters of the story and the police took the tips and research done by readers and went to work. The original comment was short and to the point:

"This is Edward Lightheart. He lived in Xi'an, China in 2005," commented Seattle Times reader David Akast of Shanghai, China on the website at 5:40 a.m.

The Seattle Times has updated the story throughout the morning, letting their readers know they were on their way to tell the man the news to see if he remembered anything based on the information they had gathered. According to their latest story, he doesn't recognize the name:

"The name isn't ringing a bell, but the image is definitely me," said the man they dubbed "John Doe" upon seeing the photo.

 The staff here at Seattle mag has chills! We're going to keep checking in on this story today. You should too.