Last October, Joe Bieger, 59, of Dallas, wandered the city for nearly a month lost in a fugue state, a strange form of amnesia thought to be triggered by stress or other conflict. One morning, Bieger, a high school athletic director who suffered from brief bouts with amnesia the month before, stepped out of his house to walk his dogs and, within moments, had all his memories erased. He was eventually recognized far from his home, near where he was having a new house built, by a construction foreman on the project. After several hours, his memory returned. From the Associated Press:
By that point, Bieger had somehow made his way to a suburb about 20 miles from his Dallas home, holes worn in the rubber soles of his canvas shoes. He had lost 25 pounds, and a full white beard covered the normally clean-shaven educator's face…
…More than three months after the episode, he says he has only vague memories of those days on the streets of Dallas, one of America's most crime-ridden cities.
He recalls being stopped and frisked by police officers, who were looking for a suspect in a holdup at a pizzeria. There was also a smoky bowling alley. He remembers waking up cold on a playground, wearing shorts and a T-shirt with fall temperatures dropping into the 50s. Another time, he says, he awoke under a construction trailer.
He says he cannot recall what he ate to survive. But when he was found, he had jelly packets from a fast-food restaurant in his pockets and half a stale bagel.