The *Finished Search for a Man Named Satoshi

In 2005, a portrait was distributed to hundreds of people around the world as part of an online “Alternate Reality Game”, initiating a global game of hide and seek w̶h̶i̶c̶h̶ ̶s̶t̶i̶l̶l̶ ̶h̶a̶s̶n̶’̶t̶ ̶b̶e̶e̶n̶ ̶r̶e̶s̶o̶l̶v̶e̶d̶.̶ which has finally been resolved! More information below.

Do you know this man?
#256: Billion to One. The Satoshi card.
Some of the puzzle cards from Perplex City. There were 256 in total, the solutions to which would lead to a cube buried somewhere in the world.
#240: Elucidate

I was thinking of other things to try. Here’s what I got:

I don’t suppose anyone works for the CIA, FBI, Interpol, etc.. or knows someone who does. I bet you could do a pretty good face search in a place like that. Well, assuming you worked in the right area and didn’t mind risking your job and possible federal prison time.

And while interesting ideas abound, finding Satoshi might be simpler than it first seems. From the outset, it was meant to be an experiment in six degrees of separation — testing the idea that any individual can be connected to any other individual in six degrees or less.

Not every Japanese guy with hair brushed down on his forehead is a potential answer, gang.

And of course, in trying to find who Satoshi is, ruling out Satoshis one by one doesn’t sell as an effective method of approach. On that note, spamming false Satoshi’s was so commonplace that Laura became a bit concerned about the way the search was being conducted.

The houses don’t look asian, more like european, and the hills might help too.

Writes one user.

He’s wearing a scarf and overcoat too, it’s cold. I say Germany or Holland.

Another user, GuyIncognito, whose avatar is a clip art Sherlock Holmes, chimes in:

As for where the picture was taken, I would think Germany, since it looks like that pretty much everywhere in the more rural parts… but it might as well be in Austria, Switzerland, France or even somewhere in the UK.

Location is one of the major questions about the card that most players seem to think is a big lead worth pursuing. Perhaps because it seems achievable. The location isn’t moving around, the location probably hasn’t changed significantly in appearance, and it seems unique enough to be positively identified — none of which can really be said for Satoshi himself, at least not with any certainty.

Laura’s photo taken on the same exact place as Satoshi’s.
The location of Satoshi’s photo in Kaysersberg, Alsace, France.
Bliss, aka “that Windows XP wallpaper.” Photo by Charles O’Rear.

So as someone who refuses to give up, I’m still in this. …

To this day, I believe the best lead we ever had was discovering the location of the picture.

After that, there are a few posts here and there, becoming increasingly sparse, with months between them. As of this recording, the last two posts on the forum come in 2011, and 2014, respectively. Then, silence.

[It makes you] wonder how many people you have randomly seen in your lifetime. There’s a billion to one chance you’ve already seen [Satoshi].

All we have of Satoshi is this card, his face staring back at us, taunting us to find him. And so maybe, someday, somebody will recognize him, or maybe stumble across the the next clue, lying hidden somewhere: under the bridge, beneath the dark ripples of that river, over the hills in the background, or behind those dark, taunting eyes, whispering: find me.

Credits

If you want to help track Satoshi down, a good place to start is Laura’s website: findsatoshi.wordpress.com, you’ll find Satoshi’s puzzle card there, and an overview of what we know, and the photo Laura took at the same spot Satoshi stood in Kaysersberg.

Do you know this man?

Writer & Video Producer.