Do you recognise the "Piano Man" who was found wandering on a beach in the Isle of Sheppey in Kent

Mystery surrounds a man who was found wandering aimlessly on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent five weeks ago - who hasn't uttered a word since. He has been dubbed "Piano Man" because he drew a grand piano and then played two hours of music.

A suggestion that a mystery man who stunned carers by giving a virtuoso piano performance may be from the Sussex area is being investigated.

The man has not uttered a word since police picked him up wandering aimlessly near the beach in Minster on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, in the early hours of April 7, dressed in a dripping wet suit and tie.

All efforts to communicate with the shy and agitated man, aged in his 20s or early 30s, have failed, leaving experts baffled as to his identity and where he is from.

Staff at the Medway Maritime Hospital, Gillingham, gave the mystery man a pen and paper in the hope he would write his name or draw his country's flag.

Instead the patient, dubbed the "Piano Man", drew highly detailed pictures of a grand piano, showing not only the keys but also the intricate inner workings of the instrument.

If you have any information about the man contact the National Missing Persons Helpline on 0500 700 700, or click on the link to the right.

The case has drawn comparisons with the Oscar-winning 1996 movie Shine, which tells the moving story of acclaimed pianist David Helfgott who suffered a nervous breakdown while playing.

"Stunning" performance
His social worker, Michael Camp, showed him a piano in the hospital chapel and to his amazement the man delivered a stunning, two-hour performance of classical playing. Since then, he has written music, but remains mute.

A helpline set up to identify the mystery man has been inundated with calls and a member of the public has telephoned local police and given the name and address of who they believe he may be.

Mr Camp said: ``A name has been given of a possible person from the Sussex area. I haven't been able to phone the person that phoned in to check it out.''

He added: ``We had one of these before, from the local area, and it sounded promising but ... people start to think 'It might be this person that we know' and it doesn't quite materialise. We'll just have to wait and see.''

Mr Camp, who is based at the accident and emergency unit of Medway Maritime Hospital, has investigated several theories as to who the man is and where he is from.

It was initially thought he may have attended a local funeral, but inquiries proved he had not been to any services in the vicinity.

Then interpreters from Poland, Latvia and Lithuania were brought in to see if he was from Eastern Europe, and possibly an asylum seeker, but no one could get through to the man, who is tall and thin.

He is now being held in a secure mental health unit in north Kent, which has no piano, until a full assessment has been carried out.

At a press conference in Dartford today organised by the West Kent NHS today, a spokeswoman said the "Piano Man'' was very vulnerable.

"He's not talking at all,'' she said. ``He's very frightened. ``He's drawing, but not to communicating."

"We are aware that he is a very vulnerable man and we would be putting him in a dangerous situation if we let him go.''

She was unable to confirm reports that the man played Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake during what she described as a "beautiful'' performance.

"There was nobody he was with skilled enough to recognise the music, they just knew it was classical music and played very well,'' she said.

She added: "We are keen to identify him as this will help us to care for him better in the future."

"At the moment we are continuing to care for him and assess his needs. As with all our patients we are unable to discuss any aspects of his care.''

She urged anyone with any information about the man to contact the National Missing Persons Helpline on 0500 700 700.

Medio: GMTV
Fecha: Lunes 16 de mayo de 2005
Notas: Copyright © 2005 GMTV
ID: 1580 Editar

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