This landmine internet mystery turned into one of the greatest trolls of all time

The internet is filled with trolls and liars who find joy in deceiving others. But it’s also home to plenty of truth-seeking sleuths, ready to call out those who spread lies and pranks. 

On Dec. 31, 2015, Redditor KnightofSunlight posted a photo of a man holding an object to the subreddit r/WhatsThisThing, a forum which asks the help of the internet to identify random objects. 

In the thread it was quickly determined that the object was actually a land mine, sending Reddit into full-blown freakout mode as many feared for KnightofSunlight’s life.

It didn’t help that KnightofSunlight, an active Redditor before the post, went completely quiet after submitting the photo. 

Was it possible that the land mine detonated and killed KnightofSunlight?

Others speculated that this was a man down on his luck, and potentially died by suicide using the post as some sort of morbid goodbye. 

After a month of silence from the account, an investigation was launched on the sleuthing subreddit Reddit Bureau of Investigation, but little was discovered. From the user’s post history, it was determined KnightofSunlight lived in Redding, California.

And he was possibly moving or visiting Ecuador, where land mines are not uncommon, further fueling the theory that something terrible may have happened to KnightofSunlight. 

The story fizzled out after that, though it would occasionally pop in a few threads, such as this AskReddit thread asking What’s the creepiest thing to happen in the history of Reddit? Or this thread asking What Reddit cliffhanger has still never been resolved? in August. 

Mystery solved

While the story of KnightofSunlight’s potential demise was one of the top threads on that AskReddit post in August, few people noticed that a Redditor named Electronic-Dad had potentially solved the mystery, turning the original post in r/WhatsThisThing into what may be one of the best trolls in the history of the Reddit. 

Redditor Electronic-Dad did some serious internet sleuthing, connecting KnightofSunlight to a user of a gaming forum and a Steam account, located in Redding, California, no less. 

“He’s alive. I actually posted this two months ago, but was suspended for ‘posting public information,'” Electronic-Dad wrote in the thread.

It’s against Reddit’s content policy to post personal and confidential information, and it’s also against AskReddit’s rules to post, seek or identify and personal information. 

How did Electronic-Dad do it?

  • KnightofSunlight posted a list of banned user IDs to the gaming subreddit r/7daystodie. Although the link to the list is now offline, Electronic-Dad Google searched the link, which led him to another post from a user named Stupid using the same link, posted just a day prior to the Reddit thread. 

Sure, anyone can scrape a link and crosspost it to Reddit, but he also noticed some other similarities. 

  • KnightofSunlight often posted a fair amount of fedora memes. As you can see in the photo above, Stupid’s avatar is also a photo of the fedora meme. Both accounts also posted about owning a server.

  • What finally tied the two together was a thread started by Stupid which included a screenshot, stating, “In this screenshot my character …” 

Clearly, Stupid’s username was also Keystone Knight. When you lookup the Steam account for that username, it brings you to a guy named Dustin, located in Redding, California. More importantly, his account is active. 

  • Further looping the three accounts together, Electronic-Dad discovered that Keystone Knight also went by the alias Reddit Gold User. In December of 2014 KnightofSunlight posted a screenshot of a fedora meme from YouTube. The username was Reddit Gold User.

Mashable reached out to Electronic-Dad for an interview, but he declined. However, he did tell us that he reached out to Keystone Knight on Steam, who then sent him this photo in return, complete with a seal of approval and the land mine featured in the original Reddit post that caused the mystery. 

Image: KnightofSunlight/Reddit

‘You got me.’ 

So we here at Mashable friended and messaged Keystone Knight on Steam in an attempt to confirm Electronic-Dad’s sleuthing, and he confirmed that he was indeed the troll who posted the original photo of the land mine.

He also confirmed that he sent the photo to Electronic-Dad, and explained that he burns his Reddit accounts at the end of the year (though this account was well over a year old.) Having some last-minute fun with his account, he posted the photo to see how it would play throughout the night, but he wasn’t exactly prepared for how obsessed Reddit would be with the story. 

As for the land mine, Keystone Knight claims it was 3D printed.

TL;DR: The internet is filled with lies. 

Bonus: Genius Shower Thoughts with Nick Offerman, the Sequel


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