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If you ask anybody in the world, they will recall vividly the events of May 7, 2019. This is the day on which an entire portion of the world’s population suddenly lost their clothes and became, as the U.S. government calls it, involuntarily nude. The day is most commonly referred to as the “nude awakening,” and even as I am writing this #nudeawakening is still trending on Twitter.
While there are a lot of people with stories about how this nude awakening impacted their lives, there have been very few answers as to why this happened. Numerous politicians around the world have attempted to just brush this off as mass hysteria, or even a stunt, as if seven billion people all decided at the same time to disrobe in the most inappropriate places imaginable. Another common theory has been that the folks who had found themselves without clothes had been attacked by some unknown form of enzyme which had been designed to eat away clothes without otherwise harming its victims. I have pursued all of these theories and more as a part of my continuing research.
Generally speaking, at around 10:35 a.m. on Tuesday, May 7, 2019, the world’s entire supply of clothes suddenly disappeared. Gerald Bunker had been reviewing his notes in preparation for a TED talk on global warming in Chicago when he suddenly felt what he describes as an “intense pressure, as if a giant boa constrictor had wrapped itself around my body” and a momentary loss of vision, as though all of the backstage lights had been flipped off. He recalled that it lasted only for around 30 seconds before everything seemed to return to normal.
Then he heard screaming inside the auditorium where he was due to give his presentation. Fearing that there had been an accident, he bolted onto the stage to find out what was happening, only to discover that his audience was frantically clearing the room. As his eyes adjusted to the stage lighting, he also realized that nobody was wearing clothes. “It’s not as though they had just shucked their clothes, either,” he said. “They just weren’t there.” Having observed this bizarre scene, Gerald looked down at his own body and discovered that he, too, was now nude. He held his stack of notes in front of his waist, and retreated from the stage.
Many describe a similar feeling of paralysis and a dimming of their vision, close to the point of blacking out, prior to the disappearance of their clothes. Yvonne Smith had been giving that day’s lesson to students in her third hour English class when she was momentarily overwhelmed by what she expressed as a “feeling of dread” followed by snickers from the classroom and crying. Once she gained her senses, she realized that not only had she lost her clothing, but the students in her class were nude as well. “The girls reacted more negatively than the boys, although I know that everybody was upset.” Yvonne’s greatest source of embarrassment was the Hello Kitty tattoo on her abdomen.
The scene inside Roosevelt High School, where Yvonne teaches English, could only be described as total chaos. “My friends were trying desperately to cover themselves up,” recalled Kate Andrews, a sophomore. “I left class to get my coat out of my locker, since it wasn’t that far away. But, it was gone, too..” Kate weaved through a sea of nude students and faculty, all attempting to find cover while trying their best not to bump into each other. “I know that I brushed up against one or two people,” Kate said. “The hallway was so crowded, it couldn’t be avoided.”
Eventually, Kate and her friends invented a new way to conceal themselves. “We formed a kind of human train,” Kate said. “Barbara, Haley, and I had been friends for many years, so I felt comfortable standing close to them.” Those who stood in the middle used their hands to cover up the person at the front or in the back. They maneuvered through the high school like this until Haley had reached her locker, where her phone was stored.
“Haley called her mom for help. Of course, it wasn’t hard to explain what had happened, because to our shock the same thing was happening to Mrs. Jackson.”
Lisa Jackson, Haley’s mom, had been serving drinks to passengers on American Airlines Flight #767 while it was en route from Detroit to Minneapolis. She also felt the same constriction, but dismissed it as a routine change in cabin pressure. It had not dawned on her that her uniform had disappeared until she saw the scene in first class.
“Many people were cowering in their seats, some were wandering the aisle. Others tried to hide inside the bathroom, although other members of the crew stopped them from doing so. At this point, I looked down and realized that I was also nude, and I retreated to the kitchen.”
That’s when Lisa ran into the airliner’s co-pilot. “His name is Jack Gardner, and he was completely nude, just like the passengers in First Class. He quickly asked me what was happening, and I told him I didn’t know. That’s when my phone rang. It was Haley calling my phone, saying that she was naked, too. To be honest, my horror over my daughter experiencing this kind of thing was much stronger than any sense of personal embarrassment.”
Gardner conferred with the captain, and they began preparations to land the plane in Grand Rapids. The hope had been that they would be able to resolve this issue for both the crew and passenger, but what they found in the airport was a different story.
“Everybody in the airport was naked,” Lisa said. “Suitcases had been strewn about, as if people had broken into them out of panic and then tossed them aside.” While suitcases still contained other items such as toothpaste, shampoo, and electronics, any articles of clothing had vanished.
These stories all follow the same pattern. One moment, people were happily going about their average day, and then in the snap of a finger, or in this case a squeeze, they were completely nude.
This continued for the rest of the day. Victims of this phenomenon retreated to their houses, where they discovered that their closets were now void of any articles of clothing. Underwear, socks, pants, slacks, dresses, shirts, and skirts had all been erased from existence. As many in the media commented later, it was as if the world’s population had become “one big nudist colony.”
A lot has been written about the theory that some kind of enzyme caused this to happen, however my investigation turned up a story which completely disproves this idea. When seventy-three year old Harriet McLean of Springfield, Texas, discovered that all of her clothes were missing from her body, she immediately hopped onto her stool in front of her sewing machine and began to stitch together a dress which would cover her body. “I worked for hours to put it together, sizing up the sleeves, and adjusting for my waist size,” Harriet recalled. But, she would find that her efforts were all in vain. “As soon as I slipped it on, it was gone.” It didn’t fall apart or “fade away,” as some might expect but, as Harriet put it, “one moment, I was covering my shame, and then the next thing I knew, I was in my birthday suit all over again.”
She checked, and the materials she had used were also gone, so it wasn’t as if everybody’s clothes had been unmade. They had simply vanished, and were going to continue to vanish.
As most people will point out, this “clothing snafu” only lasted for another eighteen hours before people were able to find clothes again. Granted, this led to several retail store robberies but these thefts went unprosecuted, most likely because store associates were among the first to steal clothes directly from store shelves the moment that they reappeared. And, because nobody wanted to tackle a thief who was completely in the buff.
The hundreds of narratives I’ve collected as a part of my research have also helped to discredit the notion that people participated in this mass nudity voluntarily. There was no way to coordinate this level of participation between so many people, plus this theory doesn’t explain why all of the world’s clothing suddenly disappeared from existence.
I have started this blog for three reasons. The first two goals are to document my research and share my findings. The third is to help collect additional narratives about that day, and work with others who are interested in unraveling this mystery. Anybody with theories, narratives, or other comments they would like to share can do so by sending email to email@example.com. Or, post on the subreddit /r/thenakedtruth.