How A 4Channer’s Twisted Game Led To Another User’s Disappearance

The Notorious Mystery Of ‘Alex From Tennessee’ That Captivated The Internet

Photo by Erik Müller on Unsplash

Nobody can deny the fact that the World Wide Web was a groundbreaking invention. It is estimated that over 60% of the world’s population has access to it and is, likely, using it on a daily basis. Though, due to its extensive popularity and the partial anonymity it provides its users with, it is frequently used by individuals with malicious intents in mind.

The mystery of ‘Alex From Tennessee’ serves as a prime example of the web’s, often forgettable, darker side.

How The Mystery Originated

On April 24th 2013, an Anonymous 4Chan user (also known as Anon2q8E) uploaded a rather bizarre post on the website. In it, he urged other 4Chan users to visit a specific location in order to receive a ‘prize’. Along with the post, an image came attached, in which the exact coordinates of the location were unveiled. The image pointed to some abandoned warehouses located in a town called Elizabethton, TN. At first, the website's users mocked the post, by making fun of the unknown prize’s content. It seemed to many that this was just another blatant attempt by a 4Chan user in creating a fake story for attention.

Archived Version Of The Original 4Chan Post and The Image That Came With It via Imgur

Anon2q8E continued uploading odd posts, with just several minutes difference between the uploads. The increasingly alarming posts started capturing the attention of the site’s users as more and more of them started following the mysterious user’s case.

The Post Made By Anon2q8E In Archived Form via Imgur

The user kept on uploading eerie posts like the previous ones, though two unsettling photos were thrown into the mix. In the first one, an overly decomposed human hand is depicted while the second one shows, what is assumed to be, human remains.

WARNING: Some readers may find the following photos distressing. Reader discretion is advised.

Archived Posts With Images Made By The Anonymous User via Imgur

Anon2q8E proceeded to make even more posts in his endeavor of convincing 4Chan users to visit his location and possibly him, himself. He even showed an image of a plastic bag, which supposedly hid the ‘prize’ inside it. The ‘prize’ itself, though, was never revealed. Throughout his spree of bizarre yet intriguing uploads, he constantly makes mentions of his alleged ‘friend’. The lack of imagery depicting an actual alive human being in his posts led internet investigators to conclude that the ‘friend’ he was referring to was actually the human remains, shown previously.

Archived 4Chan Posts Made By The Anon2q8E via Imgur

After that, the user made three more posts which will, ultimately, end up being his last. All three followed the same cryptic and dark theme, the user had become infamous for. Attached to one of the posts is a dark image, the contents of which were hard to identify. As per usual, though, independent internet researchers analyzed the image and found out that it was depicting an underground cellar. The final photo shows him holding a handwritten note above the prize’s plastic bag. The note reads as follows:

Please Come - April 24th 2013

Archived Versions Of Photos Uploaded By The Anonymous User On 4Chan via Imgur

The ‘‘Alex From Tennessee’’ Involvement

On April 29th 2013, just five days after the initial posting spree by Anon2q8E, another 4Chan user, named Alex, decided to visit the much-discussed location in Elizabethton, TN seeking answers to the mystery’s numerous unknowns. Alex, also, claimed that he resided somewhere inside the state of Tennessee (the same state in which the town of Elizabethton is located). He documented his entire experience on 4Chan, while a large number of users patiently observed.

Archived Photos Uploaded By Alex On 4Chan via Imgur

As Alex explored the premises, his findings became more and more distressing. One of his earlier uploads shows a couple of green glass bottles and is followed by the caption:

Dark as fuck, looks like he was growing something.

Archived Photo Uploaded By Alex On 4Chan via Imgur

In another post of his, he finds a black plastic bag and proceeds to search inside it. Keep in mind that Anon2q8E stated that his ‘prize’ was hidden inside a plastic bag. Upon his discovery, he starts feeling uneasy. He shares the caption:

“Found a bag. I am actually scared."

Archived Photo Uploaded By Alex On 4Chan via Imgur

After a brief search, he finally unveils the long-awaited answer behind the mystery’s ‘prize’. His findings are nothing less than terrifying. Inside the bag is a small mummified creature as well as a folded paper plate with some handwriting on it. The writing reads:

Open Prize Hide Eyes

Neither Alex nor 4Chan seem to be certain about what the creature actually is. As he states:

Mummified rat or bat and plate.

WARNING: Some readers may find the following photo distressing. Reader discretion is advised.

Archived Photo Uploaded By Alex On 4Chan via Imgur

Further investigation made by Alex, reveals that between the folded plate lies a hard drive. No one was ever able to identify the contents of the hard drive. Moreover, on the inner side of the plate, were additional handwriting that read:

Plates a date. A very important mate. You shouldn’t have come here. I lied.

Archived Photos Uploaded By Alex On 4Chan via Imgur

The seemingly endless, peculiar, and creepy findings by Alex carry on, yet not a single sighting of the man behind all of this, up until this point. Amongst these are some drug containers, which he describes as being particularly old, and a mailbox filled with, what he assumes to be, animal body parts. In his words:

Holy shit above my head is a fuckload of old pills. Valium and others. Older than me some of them.

Mailbox.. more dead animal bits inside.

Archived Photos Uploaded By Alex On 4Chan via Imgur

At some point during his venture, Alex senses the mysterious man’s arrival at the location and, understandably, becomes distressed. As he fears for his own life, he immediately takes action in searching for ways of escaping the warehouse unnoticed. The last update Alex ever shared on 4Chan was on April 29th 2013 at 10:30 pm. Nothing was ever heard from the user again. This is what he wrote in his three final posts:

I hear someone outside driving really slow over the gravel. I think its time for my date. I am going to see if there is a second door. Dark as shit. Phone flashlight is shit. WTF is this?

Ok, no other doors but a crawl space and a window thing. Gonna exit that way. I hear the fucker.

Window thing isn’t a window. It’s some other vent shit. Turning around and leaving through shit wood door. Jesus.

The Last Image To Ever Be Uploaded By Alex On 4Chan via Imgur

Was The Mystery Solved?

Subsequent to Alex’s abrupt disappearance off of the earth’s face, countless attempts have been made by various internet investigators in hopes of putting this mystery to rest. None of them was met with any success, though. Up until this day, Alex’s fate, as well as the mystery as a whole, remains unsolved. Over the years, internet users formed a variety of speculations as to what may have happened to Alex in that puzzling 2013 evening. The two main ones suggest that Alex was either abducted, tortured, and killed or he was the mastermind behind Anon2q8E and the entirety of the mystery. Users supporting the last theory question Alex’s ability to post that many uploads in such rapid succession within each other, while also being in an unnerving situation. While both theories hold some ground, their lack of concrete evidence behind them grants them untrustworthy.

Various Archived Posts Made By Alex On 4Chan via Imgur

Conclusion

Nowadays, the mystery has faded into internet obscurity leaving behind an ocean of unknowns. Where are Alex’s whereabouts? Who was Anon2q8E? Was he a serial murderer in search of his new victims or was this all just one of many 4Chan’s well-orchestrated Alternate Reality Games (A.R.G.)? These and many other questions will, most likely, remained unanswered… Forever.

True crime and mystery enthusiast. I also write about Tech and self-improvement

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