Dr. William Horatio Bates was a well-respected ophthalmologist in New York City at the turn of the 20th century. He was wealthy and appeared happy to those who knew him. One night in 1902, he wrote a note to his wife explaining that he was going out of town to perform surgery. Six weeks later, Dr. Bates turned up working at hospital in London, with no memory of his previous life! He didn't even recognize his wife, who sailed to England to help him.
The doctor was reluctantly persuaded to join Mrs. Bates at the Savoy Hotel for a period of rest and recovery. There, he dimly recalled being called away from New York to board a ship and perform an operation on someone with a brain abscess.
Confused but relieved, Mrs. Bates planned to stay in London for as much time as necessary for her husband to recover from his ordeal, and for some further memories of his previous life to surface again. Her hopes, however, were dashed when Dr. Bates abruptly walked out of the Savoy two days after taking up residence there, disappearing once more into the London crowd. Mrs. Bates never saw her husband again.
But that wasn't the end of Dr. Bates. Years later, after his wife died, he turned up again, far from New York and even further from London. And that's when things really got weird. Read about the mysterious adventures of William Horatio Bates at Mental Floss.