When Dariusz Dydymski, a Polish mime, saw the picture of the man, who had been found wandering around the town of Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey dressed in a suit and tie and soaking wet, he identified him as Steven Villa Massone, a pianist with whom he had performed on the French Riviera.
Dydymski told authorities he was "99 percent sure" that the unidentified patient was Massone. But writers for the Independent tracked down Massone in Nice.
"I found out this morning when I saw the Italian papers that he had said the man was me," Massone said. "I didn't understand what had happened, and suddenly I had lots of calls asking if I was the pianist."
The man, who is in a Kent hospital, has not spoken, but has drawn a detailed picture of a piano and, when provided with a piano, has played Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake and songs by John Lennon. He has, according to Michael Camp, his social worker, continued to play the piano, write his own music, and draw.
When he doesn't have a piano, Camp says, he plays on a life-sized keyboard that he has drawn.
Health workers in the U.K. are following hundreds of leads that have been telephoned and emailed in, in response to a photograph of the patient released earlier this week.
A spokesman from the West Kent National Health Service Trust said, "The overwhelming response from the public, both in the U.K. and abroad, means there is a large quantity of information to sift through and this process will begin today."
"It is a slow process," Camp said. "We need to be thorough so we do not miss the one that is right. I would love to know who he is."
In related news, the London Evening Standard reports that Canadian police are trying to determine if the Kent patient is the same as "Mr. Nobody," a man who walked into a Toronto hospital in 1999 with his face bloodied and his nose broken, and with amnesia.
The man, who now goes by the name Sywald Skeid, has attempted to apply for British and Canadian passports (without them, he cannot get work), and was last seen at his release from a Victoria, British Columbia, prison, where he served a term for an immigration-related offence.
He has also used the names Philip Staufen and Keith Ryan. His wife is said to be in Portugal, trying to secure a visa for him there.
Stephen Bone, a detective with the Toronto police, said, "I believe he deceived me in 1999 and continues to deceive authorities."