Third Man Phenomenon – We Are Not Alone!

Third Man Phenomenon - We Are Not Alone!

I’ve come across many people in my life that don’t particularly care for being on their own. I’m not one of these people – I enjoy my own company at times.

For those of you that prefer constant company the following article should be right up your street as we look into the third man phenomenon…

Being Alone

I often wonder why people fear being alone so much – after all it’s near enough impossible to get any sort of peace these days.

With social media networks such as Facebook taking over everyone’s laptop and phones turning ‘smarter’ by the day it’s impossible to feel alone (isn’t it?).

So what about this third man phenomenon? Where does it come from and how does it effect you? Well I’m not so sure it’s aimed at the lonely people on the planet but I am sure of it’s growing interest in scientific circles.

The Third Man Phenomenon – A Comforting Thought

The Third Man factor or Third Man syndrome covers the reported situations where an unseen presence such as a guardian angel provides comfort or support during traumatic experiences.

Now it’s hard to know where to go with this when you think long and hard about the mentally ill people out there. I mean they often have friends or personalities that nobody else can see.

Wouldn’t it be lovely if this third man phenomenon covered them? Who’s to say it doesn’t……..

And then there’s those kids who grow up with imaginary friends causing their parents to seek help in the form of child counselors ( whatever they are! ). Who are these companions that keep them safe at night and protect them from whatever’s under the bed?

John Geiger

I had come across the third man phenomenon on many an occasion but I was not moved to write an article about it until I stumbled upon a book by John Geiger called Third Man factor.

I suppose some things are just so well written it’s hard to ignore them right?

Geiger first learned about the third man phenomenon when he encountered the writings of Sir Ernest Shackleton – the Antarctic adventurer!

This explorer claimed to have been accompanied by a strange presence through one of his vigorous treks. This unseen presence helped Shackleton and two of his fellow colleagues back to safety when the journey became to much for them.

Sir Ernest Shackleton

So Geiger looked deeper into this and found many other testaments all saying the same thing – they felt as if there was another being with them!

For example – Charles Lindbergh made a solo flight across the Atlantic way back in 1927 and he claimed to have various unseen forces on board the plane with him. He was convinced that these phantoms were the reason he was able to stay awake for the length of time he did.

There was another more recent incident that Geiger uncovered that I found really interesting. This one involved the last man to walk out of the South Tower on that fateful day of September 11 (World Trade Center).

This final survivor claimed he was guided out of the burning building by an unseen force. This force whispered in his ear not to be afraid of the dangerous flames and to walk right through them – he would be alright.

Are We All Going Mad?

So what are the reasons for this third man mystery – are we all steadily going around the bend? Geiger again has an interesting take on this!

He thinks that this third man has evolved with us from caveman times. When we used to go out hunting alone we would spend many hours by ourselves in dangerous surroundings.

Are We All Going Mad?

He say’s that primitive man would have had a great advantage experiencing this third man phenomenon – I tend to agree!

The Deceased

Personally I look towards the deceased in our families whenever I think about this third man phenomenon – it comforts me and it makes some sort of sense.

I lost my sister suddenly and tragically and my cousin and mother still swear she is with them constantly. I am yet to experience that feeling but I always seem to know she is not gone – that there is an outline of her somewhere that won’t ever fade.

What are your thoughts on the third man phenomenon? Do you ever feel like you have an extra person on board in life? We would love to hear your thoughts on the subject so please feel free to leave them in the comment section below….


  1. I remember one night something like 20 some odd years ago. It was around midnight and I was sharing some cold brews with two friends of mine on the street of the neighborhood we claimed as our “turf” Yeah we were young men growing out of delinquent years. Anyway, I had a nagging feeling to just go for a walk. It was insistent to the point I really had no choice. So I walked. I was gone maybe half an hour. When I returned to where we were hanging out my friends told me how right as I had turned the corner a carload of guys from another hood pulled up, got out and began to fight with my two friends. My friends got the upper hand and the other thugs left. I had goose bumps because I knew that someone (third man?) guardian angel, whoever just talked me away from danger.

    • That’s an awesome example George! We love that kind of story here. Thanks so much for taking the time to include it here – it makes the whole article evolve further! Hope to see you back here again! Cheers!

  2. The brain is one crazy organ and it plays tricks on us all the time. Considering all the crazy things that drugs can do to us, sleep deprivation, schizophrenia and just being sick can cause you to start hallucinating like crazy.

    Don’t think there’s anything supernatural occurring and it’s an evolutionary instinct that humans and I’m pretty sure other animals have as well. Fascinating to see what humans can do within their own mind

    • No problem Darren – your opinion is welcome here! 🙂

      It could well be an evolutionary instinct that is built into mammals.

  3. I definitely believe in this. I have often felt a clear presence of others, luckily always a pleasant experience and no haunting!
    During my meditation I often leave my body and visit loved ones who are in need. They often tell me they felt my presence and comfort. Just today my kids had exams, my daughter was particularly anxious for her physics and French exams. I send my spirit to sit with her. I wrapped my arms around her, comforted and calmed her down. I heard her whispered: ‘thank you mummy’ after the exam on her way out. Later when she came home, she just smiled at me and hugged me, we both just knew.

    • Well it sounds like you have this meditation process down to a tee – how long did it take you to become this comfortable with it? (it’s a subject that has always interested me but I’m afraid I’m not that good at it – busy mind!).

      That’s a great story about your daughter’s exam – does she often talk about it with you or did you both decide to leave it…unspoken?

      Thanks so much for sharing this with us – very interesting comment! 🙂

  4. Brilliant story telling if I can call it that. I hope I’m not out of line. You know what, I have always been happy with my own company like you. In fact, I would go as far to say that I prefer my own company most of the time.

    That said, maybe that is because I am not alone. I have lost loved ones too soon too, same as yourself.

    Maybe there is a third man phenomenon after all. I like this idea if I can call it that. I was very close to my grandfather and I was with him at the end. I have always felt he is looking down on me and I have been very lucky in my life for one reason or another. I honestly believe he is looking after me.

    We are definitely not going mad!

    • Of course you can call it story telling Craig – call it whatever you want…as long as you enjoy it! 🙂

      Yeah I’e felt the same many times before in my life – something there, not sure what, but pretty sure it has directed me in a positive way! It’s nice to know we are not going mad LOL.

      Nice speaking with you Craig – thanks for stopping by and reading the article.

  5. I must say that this is a chilling story here Chris,

    I enjoy stories of mental illness that may actually be paranormal. I have only had one real experience with the third man phenomenon. When my grandmother passed away over twenty-five years ago I had never thought I would experience what I did the following year on Christmas.

    I had a solid relationship with my grandmother and she knew I loved Christmas (what kid doesn’t). Well, I woke up that morning with her voice in my ear saying Merry Christmas David.

    I wasn’t scared or anything, I just felt a tremendous amount of joy for the entire day! It may have been a dream but really do think it was her. You may not call this a technical third man phenomenon but it was the most real experience that I have had.


    • Wow that’s a really nice surprise to have on Christmas day David – you must have be overjoyed to hear her voice once again (I can’t imagine how comforting that must of been!).

      Did you mention it to other family members or were you maybe a bit wary of upsetting them?

      Great story – thanks so much for sharing it with us!

  6. I have never thought or seen it in this light but i have definitely asked myself this same question, if i was getting mad after all. The answer came later on in life when i lost my elder brother and a deeper peace came over me after all the sorrow and pain. I was at peace with the one thought that even as he was my biggest fan alive, he still is and in reality i am not alone. His thoughts in me alone is enough to feel his presence anytime. Thanks for this Chris, we are not mad after all

    • Sorry to hear about your brother Samson, I too lost my sister when we were younger. Great to hear that you still feel his presence! 

  7. Hello Chris,

    If I remember correctly there are a number of these kinds of experiences, many of which are written by sailors that have been washed over board or wrecked where they recall experiences of a man of the sea being with them while they were alone. This was further highlighted in the film The Guardian where they made reference to this man of the sea.

    Its always fascinating how much of our world remains unexplained and thanks for your post.


    • Yeah good point Richard – I may include that ‘man of the sea’ angle in the article above! (thanks for mentioning it here!). 

  8. Hello Chris,

    I’m sorry for your loss. I hope she’s in a better place now!

    As someone who practises Yoga and Meditation regularly, and tries to invoke the Out of Body Experience every now and then, I do believe that there are other beings and other forces that are beyond our limited sight abilities.

    I have received answers for questions and have been guided through instructions while in a deep meditative state. I do believe that we are all connected to each other and to a greater force that guides us in certain situations. And the key to have more of this guidance is to try to keep ourselves in as calm and spiritual (I don’t mean religious) state as much we can.

    And I do believe that we are not our bodies, but we the souls that live in these bodies temporarily and what we perceive as “death” is actually the death of the body/house and not the actual being that has been living there for many years. But because we lived all the past years in these bodies, we mistakenly think that we are the body. And this is why I believe that your sister and everybody else still exist there, but living in another form or dimension.

    Thank you again for this insightful article and I wish the peace upon your sister’s soul.


    • Why thank you Amjad – I agree with just about everything you’ve posted here! Thanks for a great response to our article. 

  9. Hi Chris

    This is really very interesting and in fact, I also enjoy listening or reading about it. I sometimes felt envious listening to other people talking about their other worldly experiences, like, as you call it the Third Man Phenomenon. But most of these people like to call them their guardian angel in a spritual way.

    Do I believe it or in it? I don’t know, because I never experienced anything like this, and you can also call me a “loner”.

    Anyway, I really enjoyed reading your article and will watch the movie later tonight.

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