Tiananmen Square and “Tank Boy”

By | 10 December 13

Tianamen Square, China - courtesy of Idea 22Recently, visitors have mentioned Tiananmen Square and “Tank Boy.”

The following are some of the many comments by people who recall “Tank Boy” being run over and perhaps killed.

In September 2011, Angel said:

I remember “tank boy” getting run over by the tank at Tiananmen Square. My husband doesn’t. We googled it and apparently he didn’t get run over. I have a very vivid memory though. I remember seeing a video of it. I remember learning this in 7th grade history.

Joy, Marna Ehrich, and Sez agreed.

In August 2012, Bree said:

I remember TANK BOY getting run over. My partner and myself were talking about Tiananmen Square and tank boy. I mentioned how horrible it was that he was killed, my partner had no memory of that and thought I was crazy. He had to go on YouTube to show me that he lived. As i watched i had no recollection of that event of him living.

James agreed:

Same here I remember seeing blood on the street after the tank rolled over him and how the backlash nearly caused communism to fall apart in china and then they switched to the capitalistic command economy. This is so weird.

aragami said:

… i very clearly remember the guy getting run over by the tank.

Josh responded:

Wait, the guy didn’t get run over by the tank?

miss_fionna clarified:

I remember the so called “tank guy” being famous exactly because he was killed by that tank. (Again, this is a memory of a news event talking about it after the original event had occurred.)

In December 2013, Robin said:

I also remember the Tiananmen thing, the guy and more also got ran over. I remember that especially because of how they described how they died….heads popping like melons…it was such a horror for me at the time that an authority could harm it’s own non-violent citizens! At the time the story was that the one guy held back the tanks as long as the photographers and newscasters were there. Once they left, whammo, all in the path were squashed.

Joseph left a lengthy comment with great links:

This freaked me out so badly when I heard that he didn’t get run over. I had to do some research into this.
I remember it.
I remember watching it in school.
I remember his friends dragging his lifeless body away.

Apparently SEVERAL people remember him getting run over.


Here is a link to a video that was supposed to show him getting run over, but the video is gone.

But it gets even better.
People remember the bloodshed right?



Well, apparently that didn’t happen according to wikileaks.


Here’s a link to a blog covering the “Tianenmen Myth”.

Here’s a link to the video as it is supposed to have happened.

Read the comments.
Reality gets freaking weirder every day.

This memory seems to be vivid for many people.  If you share that memory, I hope you’ll leave a comment and whether you saw the event covered by the media when it happened, whether you heard about it in a history class, or somewhere else.

Photo credit: Idea 22, USA

121 thoughts on “Tiananmen Square and “Tank Boy”

  1. NowIamFreakedOut

    I have a memory of watching this live with my mom, glued to the set, holding our breath, but certain that, like in any movie, the tanks would stop. They didn’t, the tank ran right over him and we were horrified. I remember feeling panicked, then later realizing that this was the first death that I witnessed in real time.

    1. joey01

      Mashed memories are very common. I was a young boy 10 or 11 when the Tank Man stepped out in front of these tanks. I remember this man being killed, but when I asked my mum about this more recently her response was that he had become a symbol for his daring stance and swift escape.

      When I sit back and recall exactly what I saw and heard was news articles reporting the fighting and that it was likely tanks had run over peaceful protestors. Some truth, a lot of news hyperbole.

      I amalgamated both memories into one, thus the birth of the death of Tank Man.

      To be clear, while these protests became quite bloody and violent, it was the military that struck first, between 4000 and 6000 students and protesters were killed. It was violent, unnecessary and a dark dark day in the history of China.

    2. Daniel

      I have not considered ‘conspiracy theories’ since I was young but this has peaked my interest, I’m sure I remember at least 1 person being run over by tanks in the Tiananmen square massacre, I didn’t see it but heard news reports at the time with students being mowed down & thought of them as martyrs, strange thinking this didn’t happen.

    3. David

      I remember it too. It was shown on the media how the tanks ran over someone who stood in front of them. It was terribly shocking and those pictures and videos were not shown anymore after the first pristine newscast. It really was on TV and I saw it! I was 15 years old at that time. I very clearly remember the shocking aspect to be that the tanks did not yield to “friendly” protest. That is what the world was so shocked about too, not only the dead of a protester. But then they stopped showing that part where the man gets run over, which seemed reasonable, but never I would have thought that this incident would retrospectively be lied about on such a scale. I mean, It was shown on TV how the tank ran over people. I remember only this, I was a child and was totally shocked. Everybody in school mentioned it as well.

  2. Ithoughtcastrodied

    I wasn’t alive when the incident occurred, but I thought this was why this guy was so historically important.

    Also on a completely unrelated note, I remember Fidel Castro dying a few years ago.

    1. Gurluas

      I have a vague recollection of Fidel Castro dying to Cancer a year or so since Raul took over.

  3. Bonnie

    My memory was that he survived, because I’ve read theories that the reason why he is still unidentified is because he is alive but unaware of his international recognition. This image and the whole Tiananmen incident is virtually unknown in modern China because of censorship, unless one was old enough to have a memory of it when it happened. I was born after it happened and had to read a novel about it, ‘Forbidden City’ by William Bell, for a middle school social studies class in Canada. My family is Chinese, and my parents were living in China when it happened. Chinese people who know about the incident think it’s unfair how schools in the West are teaching about it because it gives China a bad reputation. For the longest time I’ve only seen still images, and the only things I didn’t remember seeing when I finally watched a YouTube video were the shopping bags, not whether he was run over.

  4. Chandra

    Just wanted to say it was equally shocking for my husband and I when we just looked up this video. Both of us were positive he was run over.

  5. Michelle

    Wait.. wasn’t that the whole point of the horror of Tianemen Square, that they ran him over?

    I’m confused… I’m pretty sure he was killed.

    1. Brian

      Ya, that’s why China was so EVIL, right? They went on and on about it. It’s not some singular or minor memory on the fringe, this was a major world event. This was their big emotional pull argument for the evils of communism for like 2 years.

      Something is totally screwed with our reality, or memories, or something.

  6. Faizal

    I remember the guy being run over too. Even toldy lil bro about it some years back.

    But there’s more here than meets the eye. Clearly our memories can’t be trusted anymore.
    Could it be that history is getting edited?
    I have had some experiences over the years as well but I have always reasoned that it might have been a dream. At least now I know I’m either not crazy or I’m not the only one that’s crazy

    1. Gurluas

      Anything is possible. But I personally believe that either our memories are being overwritten by another reality, or we make short jaunts to other realities without noticing it.

      I believe it is the former. As our memories for the most part, everything that defines us. If we get a few days of memory from a reality almost identical to ours, we most likely wont notice.

      The problem for some when these events appear to happen in real time.
      An example being, the couple who watched Star Trek Voyager, and saw Robert Beltran’s character Chakotay die, then he was gone for several episodes and back.Did they live in another reality for those episodes? Or was their memory overwritten with information where they watched those things happen?

      The most common effect appears to be emotional though. Real memories seem to be rare.
      Often people remembers being sad that someone dies for instance, but they do not remember concrete memories, just emotions.

      I was asking some people some time ago. And I asked about Billy Graham, and someone I knew remembers being sad at his death. With further inquiry, it wasn’t the priest Billy Graham, but the wrestler. He is ALSO not dead.

      I believe that some things can leak over. And it can be anything from emotions, to memories, to light (ghosts), and even to flesh and blood beings. and exotic particles.

  7. BrandonD

    I also remember him being run over. I’d believed he was run over right up until this moment.

  8. Juha

    Interesting, because i was sure the point of the story was him getting ran over.

    Then probably year ago i found out it did not happen. I was searching for the picture and then i read from wikipedia(?) the whole story behind it.

    1. David

      I think Wikipedia is way too overrated as a trustworthy source of knowledge, especially in regards to historic events. We all seem to be carriers of viewpoints of those people that control and edit these articles. I would even go as far as to question all perception of history and history books and all that. Either things get lost or they get hidden.

  9. Flummoxed

    Oh good grief another one. As I recall it, he was run over and was almost given a saint like following. He stood – and fell – because of his beliefs. I can remember this, I know I can.

  10. harry

    I remember watching the news on tv at the time … after the tv crews were removed, tank boy and many others were crushed and/or shot with supersonic bullets … the square was cleaned up very quickly with bodies being taken away in mobile incinerators … according to newspaper reports that week … the government there then claimed that only a few soldiers were killed and that everyone else had been peacefully dispersed!

    1. Christopher

      Harry, I, too, remember it exactly as you stated. Also, there were interviews with onlookers that were smuggled out who described the horrors they witnessed.

  11. JM

    Yeah the whole point of the story was the he DID get run over. This is what I recall.

  12. Neil

    We have the picture of the Tank Boy in Tianamen square in our maths class and I remember sometime within the last two years her telling us that he got run over…

  13. Alisha

    Wait… the Tiananmen Square tank boy DIDN’T get run over?! I VIVIDLY remember my mom showing me the video of him getting run over when I was very little. There was blood everywhere and his head was crushed, I remember his body lying on the street as the tanks continued on. My mom just told me she watched it on TV. I’m going to be honest with you and say that I don’t believe he didn’t get run over.

    1. Alisha

      After some searching I found the video where he’s dragged away, and everything’s saying he didn’t die. I clearly remember him dying. This is really strange.

      1. Julia

        Alisha – It is a shock when you remember an event totally differently that what is currently known, isn’t it? If you didn’t remember at least one, the normal response would be to dismiss this phenomenon and the people who are talking about it.

        A lot of people must not have ANY alternate memories because it sounds like Fiona Broome is always having to delete – or rather, not publish – nasty comments by people who are really dismissive and call us all idiots. But when you have a memory that you KNOW happened, things change.

        I have several alternate memories – some a vague, but some are so clear that I know that I know they happened and others remember them (i.e. the death and funeral of Billy Graham.)

        But I’m one that has no memory of a Chinese person run over by a tank. I remember the tanks and a man standing in front of them and I remember the mass killing in Tiananmen Square the day before, but not the gruesome thing so many others are remembering. But I don’t doubt that you remember it. Something like that would stick with you. Something I’m curious is why so many people refer to him as tank “BOY”? Was he particularly young? A teenager perhaps or an actual adult. I’m just curious about that.

        1. Alisha

          No, he wasn’t particularly young (at least not a child). I used “boy” the same way people use “girl” to describe an adult woman. The more common term is “tank man”.

          It’s jarring to see that so many people don’t remember this. This is a very perturbing experience, and though it’s contributed to my personal understanding of the universe and solidified my belief in a multiverse, I hope I don’t experience it again.

          My mind refuses to grasp that he’s alive (or that he at least survived that incident) and that most other people remember him living. I still think of him as the guy who was squashed by a tank. I also don’t understand why people think we’re all lying about alternate/false memories. What would we have to gain from that?

          1. Fiona Broome Post author


            Interesting. The thing is, I remember him as “Tank Boy.” The reason I’m so sure I heard about him with that moniker was, until I took time to watch the news reports, I thought it was some reference to a counterpart to the movie “Tank Girl.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tank_girl)

            In fact, I was so sure he was “Tank Boy,” I looked it up again this morning before posting this. You’re right. He was “Tank Man.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tank_Man ) All these years, I’ve been calling him Tank Boy.

            Also, the photo currently displayed on that Wikipedia entry shows a man (not a boy) in a white shirt and dark trousers. “Tank Boy” in my memory was younger, shorter, and wore casual clothes, not business attire. His clothing had impressed me because in that era in China, he’d already stand out as a rebellious youth.

            The thing is, after the initial post about Tank Boy, I’d looked him up to be sure he wasn’t killed and the Wikipedia entry was about Tank Boy. So, either I’m misremembering, or Wikipedia had it wrong, or when I first saw the Tank Boy comment here, I was in a different reality where he was Tank Boy.

            One would think I’d be used to all this by now, but I’ll admit it’s rattled me a bit to think this website exists in another reality and — not long ago — I was reading it there.

            No matter what the reason, I’ve spread the wrong term, which isn’t Mandela Effect but negligence on my part… sort of. I mean, I was repeating what I heard on TV shortly after the Tiananmen Square incident, and the guy they showed in the videos… he was a very young man. Not quite a “boy,” but young enough that — like “Tank Girl” — I’m comfortable referring to him as a boy. So, my error was based on my Mandela Effect context for the incident.

            That makes me wonder how many other things I’m talking about in this timeline, but they’re from another reality, and — unless people in the audience doubt me and look it up — I’m spreading inaccurate information relative to this reality.

            I’m not convinced it’s worth my time to double-check every fact before I write or speak. If I’m sliding often, that could be really tedious. Worse, if doorways (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-walking-through-doorway-makes-you-forget/) are involved in Mandela Effect, I could be sliding as I enter a room to speak to an audience. That could change everything on the spot.

            For me, this topic becomes more and more interesting.

            Also, Alisha, you’re right. I cannot fathom why some people think we’re lying about this kind of phenomenon. Now and then, we encounter someone with the same memory, and that’s really fun. More often, we look foolish, like we “just forgot” or something.

            If I hadn’t first had this kind of conversation in Dragon*Con’s “green room” with a bunch of fellow Guests (celebrities) who also recalled Mandela dying years earlier — with details similar (not always identical) to mine — there’s no way I’d talk about this now, and jeopardize my credibility in other research fields.


            1. Jade

              Does anyone remember when the tank boy recalled was changed to the tank man of the photos/videos? Did the photo of the “tank man” come way before the video? The video of tank man seems like CGI.

              1. Julia

                Hi Jade – I share several of the alternate memories on this site, but NOT the one of the tank man/boy getting run over. I would have definitely remembered that horror. I was 25 at the time and living with my parents and they’ve always been “television news junkies.” I definitely remember the horror of HEARING (not seeing) the mass executions the day before the tank man stood up to the tanks. (This is in June ’89) And my mom, who has an excellent memory and is also very squeamish did not see the man getting run over. I didn’t have a clear memory of the tank man, but when I watch the video, it kind of brings it back and I get goosebumps. What I’m saying is that in my opinion, it’s not CGI or media manipulation, but I also believe those of you who say you saw him get run over. I think it’s a legitimate Mandela Effect phenomenon, as weird at THAT is. :)

                1. Fiona Broome Post author

                  Julia, that’s a very interesting comment. For me, something clicked when you said you think it’s a legitimate ME event.

                  I realized that I’m far more comfortable with the Tank Boy/Man incident being media manipulation, possibly because — to me, anyway — the alternatives are so grim.

                  I have no recollection of how Mandela died in prison, or what caused Billy Graham’s death, either. I’m okay with them, because the initial memories (the ME ones) were based in events I didn’t witness or pay much attention to. When it turned out that — in this timestream — they didn’t die, back then, it was a happy discovery.

                  The Tiananmen Square confrontation is different. Whether Tank Boy/Man died in this reality or not, if it happened anywhere, it would have been murder. Horrific, completely cold, murder.

                  But that led me to another thought: If we accept the quantum ideas that every possible outcome happens in some reality, somewhere, then — for every incident where we say, “Whew, he survived” — he didn’t, in at least one other reality.

                  Those TV news clips where the commentary is along the lines of “You’re not going to believe this next clip, and — get this — the guy walked away from it, almost without a scratch” take on a completely different meaning, if we think about it across all possible outcomes.

                  That’s going to take some time for me to get used to.

                  Intellectually, I’d already thought this through. However, when something about how you said that it may not be media manipulation (my preferred answer)… it made me think twice. It’s kind of chilling to consider the reality of this, if all possible outcomes occur, somewhere.

                  Interesting. Thanks for taking the time to share your views with so many insights, and thanks to everyone who’s been commenting on this and other threads. The Mandela Effect is such an odd and quirky concept, discussions help make its full repercussions more real.


                  1. Julia

                    Oh no, Fiona. I know I didn’t “break you” but I feel like I wounded you a bit. I guess I understand what you mean by “grim” – of course, if it was media manipulation and he was murdered, it’s grim anyway, but since so many remember him surviving I don’t think it is that. (And perhaps in this case, “tank boy” and “tank man” are not even the same person since the descriptions are different.) I’m sure I’ve read far less than you have about quantum physics, but even though I’m willing to accept the Mandela Effect as a phenomenon, I can’t really accept the idea that EVERY possible outcome happens somewhere. I mean, you could take that idea and follow in into absurd directions – how often is there a fork in the road of someone’s life where things can go two or more different ways? Not just a few times in a lifetime – there are many more significant decisions and events than that, not once a year (too precise and limited) Every month? Every day? Every few minutes? (LOL – a woman with a long-term male partner/husband could get pregnant every month and the pregnant self could split from the non-pregnant self, who could get pregnant the next month and split, and so on and so on, and she could have multiple children across multiple realities.)

                    And I have no idea how there can be different realities where the SAME person is dead and alive – in general, most of us are only conscious of one reality with the exception of these hard-to-explain memories/experiences that we know don’t fit – but we don’t actually experience multiple realities at once. (It does make me wonder both about people with multiple personalities and people with schizophrenia and wonder if SOME with these diagnoses aren’t mentally ill at all but are just overwhelmed with too much awareness – what a frightening condition that would be ) I do wonder if we all really have multiple versions of ourselves (which both terrifies me and excites me) and if so, as we don’t generally experience more than one reality, does our “soul” split somehow? Or perhaps it does but is unified again after death, somewhere beyond time. I know “soul” is usually a religious concept and we don’t get into that here, but I do come from a religious background and hold some religious beliefs. Anyway, when I say “soul” I really mean consciousness, which I truly believe survives death. It is my hope that after death, whether all at once, or a little at a time, or over lifetimes (if that’s how it works, whether for everyone or for some people), we will understand how this all works. That and the belief in meaning and personal growth keeps me from feeling grim personally. My father used to say I saw things through “rose-colored glasses” but to me, that’s the only way to really live. And I’m really not sure if I am making my point here or just appear to be rambling…

                    1. Fiona Broome Post author

                      Julia, thank you!

                      Those are some great comments and ideas. And don’t worry about how your earlier comment affected me. Frankly, I think it was a necessary reminder that this can be a fairly serious topic if we consider the repercussions.

                      Regarding the Tank Boy v. Tank Man topic: Mine was definitely a boy, late teens or early 20s, and in a very white tee shirt. Muscular, but not a bodybuilder. So, I default to calling him Tank Boy, though it seems as is most people saw a man run over by the tank.

                      I’ve seen videos of a man in a business suit, with an attache case in hand, facing the tank. He’s different from what I recall, but I expect he’s the origin of the more popular Tank Man memories.

                      But, the person I saw run over (just once… probably one or two more times, in replay on other news shows) was definitely different.

                      And, as I’m writing this, Firefox just alerted me to an update, so I’ll have to keep this brief. (I’m scrupulous about updating as soon as I get the alerts.)

                      However, I do consider the possibility that each of us has a lot of split-apart versions, experiencing every possible outcome of each decision we make. If I work with the concept of God being infinite and we’re created in that same image, maybe we’re infinite but more-or-less bounded by one focus/reality at a time, to savor the richness of the unique experience and lessons learned from it.

                      Then again, the explanation could be very different. That’s part of what makes this interesting!

                      Now, dashing to update Firefox… and thanks again for your very thoughtful comments. I always enjoy them, and this one was especially thought-provoking in very good ways.


                  2. Julia

                    There’s no reply button to your comment below from March 6, so I’ll just say it here. Thanks for the compliments. And I like your idea about humans perhaps “being infinite, but bound by one focus/reality at a time.” (Normally, anyway. ;))

                    1. Jade


                      I vaguely remember a man wearing business attire with an attache case as well. Now, pictures and videos have him carrying and waving around TWO *grocery bags*, climbing on the tank and jumping in front of it several times, doing anything EXCEPT being run over: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qq8zFLIftGk

                      This gets weirder and weirder.

            2. Denise

              Wasn’t it students who were protesting at that time? So I’m guessing young people aged from about 18-25… I remember it as I’ve thought about it over the years and the absolute horror of seeing this young person die in such a brutal way…

    2. Le Nerd

      You’re not alone Alisha. My dad swears up and down the man was run over. He told me time and time again that he saw the tank run him over, back up, run him over again and grind him into the ground a few times with the treads. I had to finally show him the video of the man being dragged away to get him to believe the man was not killed.

      1. Alisha

        I remember it differently, but that’s not to say I don’t believe your dad’s memory. To what I remember, he was ran over head-on by the tank once and the rest of the line continued on. I was quite young when I first watched the video, but I’ve seen gifs of him dying as recently as 2010-2012. I wish I had saved one or posted the video to Facebook, at least then I could see if they’d changed or disappeared altogether. The next time I’m in the city I’m going to check the Vancouver archives for physical newspaper copies to see what they say.

        1. David

          Why would anyone of those people, the one with the bike and the others, wait so long to take him away and why would the man get On the tank if his intention is to stop the convoy? There are several reasons to believe that computer programs exist that can render such scenes, so that they look real. I think the public is being fooled.

          1. Will

            “There are several reasons to believe that computer programs exist that can render such scenes, so that they look real. I think the public is being fooled.”

            Not in 1989 brother, remember Max Headroom?

  14. Tara

    I remember watching it with my family on the news when it happened. They showed him going under the tank. Then I showed my daughter years later there used to be a video showing that. She remembers the same. I would like to see actual paper news copies. That is weird!

  15. Thanassis Vembos

    Hello. Here in Greece, we had a military dictatorship from 1967 till 1974. In November 1973 there was a large uprising against the regime. Army and tanks crashed the uprising -one of the tanks invaded the Polytechnic School where rebel students made a stand against the dictatorship. In one incident, one of the armored vehicles passed over one rioter who -intentionally- was lying down on the road in the center of Athens to protest. He was unharmed -and as far as I know, his identity is still unknown. This incident has a strong resemblance with the supposed “run over” of the Chinese student in 1989. Check this stunning video out here: http://youtu.be/NuXeUK1SDjE?t=28m33s

  16. me

    He did run over he did went under the tank and it’s nothing like the greek video. I remember it clearly, I remember the shock of seeing how he didin’t move an inch as the tank was moving towards him. Have we really gotten to the point where with manipulation of information history can be changed?

  17. Julia R.

    I actually discovered my “wrong” memory of this a few years ago. I was talking about it to my husband and made a comment about how sad it was that he died. My husband looked at me funny and told me he had lived. I didn’t see the footage of him being run over (I was around 9 years old), but I have a very distinct memory of everyone being horrified after it had happened. I remember it being used as an example of how standing up for what you believe in is a noble thing, but can have major consequences.

  18. Kahos

    i remember reading about the death of the “Tank-Boy” in the act, i dont remmeber the scene of the tank running over him, but i clearly remember sentences like “an act of peace, finish with the dead of one civilian unarmed”, “one civil trying to stop the tanks, the entire world conmoved with her sacrifice”, mmm any way, i remmember the guy death in that place, indeed, when i recently see the video of the other guys taking him out of the way of the tank, i feel surprised. Even i remember in my childhood seen programs like “Most shocking videos of the world” and see that video, cuted just before he die.
    Even , that day i thing that Chinese Government make one diferent scene of what happened that day, you know, for change the world opinion of the rest of the world.

    PD:i) Even i remmember the quality of the video some diferent to the actual videos.
    ii) Im from Mexico, actually i have 23 years. Sorry for my bad english

  19. sam m

    I was fairly sure that he had been run over. However, this brings a whole new meaning to System of A Down’s song Hypnotize. It makes reference to Tiananman Square, as well as how we’re being hypnotized by mass media.

    this also could help explain why China hasn’t called in their debt to us, as a stunt like this could really save the reputation of a country

  20. will k

    Only recently did I first hear any idea that the tank boy had actually lived, although it sounds like a lot of speculation on the media’s part. They brought it up as it was the 25 year anniversary.

    I was too young to remember the incident when it happened and all the footage I’ve ever seen looked to just cut off as the tank was getting closer to the boy. Although, I don’t consider this a memory from a different timeline, but rather a weird suppression of a known fact in recent years.

  21. Steven Comer

    I remember him getting ran over and all the things you would imagen following that (blood, body being moved, massive political consequences ECT)

  22. Brian

    The news went on and on about them running over the boy with the tank. I remember the video, and the sick replays. The telltale small rise the tank made… The news / US government made it a major point regarding why China was evil.

    So, you are telling me they didn’t run over a person at the Tianamen Square thing??

  23. Berheal

    It’s all about social manipulation, its possible that “they” have technology far more advanced than what we the everyday people have and that history is rewritten whenever “they” need a new shift in the paradigm of the populace. For instance at one time, it was beneficial to “them” for the general public to view China and Communism as evil so news was manipulated, created or staged or simply taken advantage of to further that agenda, now China is such a major player in trade and commerce and quite possibly poised to take centre stage as the new world power “they” don’t see any problem with rewriting history to reflect a different China. Before long you will die and the only memory left will be the one where the guy wasn’t run over. Its all about shaping society to achieve the outcomes “they” need. Who knows how many millennia “they” have been doing this for.
    Just a speculation

  24. grandmacaesar

    I’ve been a news junkie all my life. I was in my late 20s when it happened. I watched it on tv. The guy did not get run over.

  25. melody

    I clearly remember him getting run over. I am 50.

  26. Ruby

    When I was in 7th grade (early 2007), my social studies teacher was talking about communism and asked what we knew about communism in the real world. I raised my hand and said something about china, tank man, and tiananem square. My teacher looked horrified that I’d mentioned such an event with a smile on my face (I like being right) and explained to the entire class that the tank man was run over on live TV and that a lot of Americans saw it live and it was horrifying. That didn’t sound quite right to me but I was not one to fight authority figures at 13. Come to my freshman year of college, we watch a BBC special on tank man and it shows all the footage of tank man **not** being run over. I was always angry my teacher called me out and was so upset but I realize now she might have ‘slipped’ into another universe for a time and saw that footage. I should really email her to let her know to stop teaching history wrong.

  27. me (commenter's name... not Fiona)

    I remember him being run over.
    I also remember the anchor, maybe Dan Rather, apologizing on behalf of the network for showing this mans graphic death and not cutting the feed.
    Weird wild whacky stuff.

    1. Fiona Broome Post author

      me (the commenter’s name),

      Very cool! I knew I’d seen additional references to the footage but it wasn’t clear in my memory until you mentioned the anchor apologizing because the footage wasn’t edited. I do recall that part, and what a big deal was made because systems were supposed to be in place, to prevent unedited footage from airing.

      Thanks for that note!


  28. Outroversion

    I don’t know if anyone’s considered this but is it possible that is what happened, was reported but then changed due to the impact?

    In the novel 1984 it describes the news as being the telling of what happened in events, like it doesn’t matter what actually happened or if it was ever being reported differently, what you are being told is what happened. It’s what the news says so that’s what happened, no two ways about it. If you remember it differently you’re mistaken it’s there in plaintext, regardless of what actually happened.

    1. David

      They stopped airing the graphic footage alright, but it is clear that objective news reporting would never, under any circumstance include a retrospective alteration of actual events, especially not within such a narrow timeframe of about 20 years…It should impact and it already had. This now is basically gaslighting.

  29. Jon

    I wonder if you all remember seeing this because it is so strongly implied by the photo, an image that has penetrated deeply into the collective unconscious since it was first published? I too assumed that he must have been run over, otherwise why would the picture be so significant and be surrounded by such an aura of horror? I believe this was a leap of logic I made as a child since I could not understood the intended encoding of the photo’s meaning as that of a young capitalist generation standing up to the communist war machine and refusing to be run over.

  30. Derek

    Has anyone ever considered the possibility that what the majority of people remember (The man being run over) is the truth, while the story we are shocked to hear (that he lived) is a lie fed to us after the fact? As long as we are throwing out explanations involving separate timelines and alternate realities, I think we should also consider the more mundane, and much more highly likely explanation that we are being fed false information.

      1. Gurluas

        Indeed, but how would you go about wiping every filmed copy in existance of the event and replace it with one where he lives? Occam’s Razor does not apply in some situations where the mundane explanation is even more illogical than the extraordinary one.

        Heres what I think happened… It’s possible this is an example of timeline tampering. In the current reality, some people pop up and drag him out of the Tank’s way. What if that didn’t happen originally, and he got run over?

  31. pedro

    He got run over ! no doubt..i remember it vividly…recently i went to show a friend and nothing happened…i thought there must be another tank boy….i searched and nothing…this is creepy, but interesting !

  32. Angel

    What all of you probably remember is some footage from a film named “La pelle” (The skin) by Lilliana Cavani where a tank runover is depicted in a rather horrifying manner.

    1. Fiona Broome Post author

      No, Angel, we don’t all remember that. I’d never even heard of it until you mentioned it. Even though I’m a long-time Marcello Mastroianni fan, I had to look it up. ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082893/ ) The movie was Italian, set in World War II, and… well, I could continue the list of differences for a l-o-n-g time.

      It’s not even close to the Tiananmen Square incident, and I’m not sure I should even include your comment in the thread. It’s so unlike what happened in Tiananmen Square, this looks troll-like to me.

      And, for the record, we’re not confusing the incident with the Russian video, http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/soldier-run-over-tank-during-3693521 or the more geographically related incidents in Changsha Village (victim: He Zhi Hua) or Pan Jin City (victim: Wang Shi Jie), either.

  33. Cece

    I distinctly remember in my 6th grade history class talking about it. There was a poster on the wall of him standing in front of two tanks with his arms spread. I remember pointing to that poster and asking about it, and I VERY MUCH REMEMBER him explaining the riots and the boy. I was so sad when I learned they never even stopped.

    1. Denise

      Cece, I have the exact same recollection. Him standing with his arms spread. I was utterly horrified when the tank ran over him…

  34. Kim

    I am 56 years old, I thought to this day that the tank ran over him! I clearly remember that. I am just discovering this site. Don’t quite know what to think.

  35. Michael Oxenrider

    Yeah, he got ran over. And when I stumbled onto this site I thought that the controversy was whether or not it was shown, not whether or not he was ran over. I’m going to look this up, but maybe the Chinese Government just doesn’t want the bad press of it. This is some 1984 shiv going on.

  36. Sean Gundlach

    I was in high school when the Tienanmen Square incident occurred and have no memory whatsoever of Tank Man getting run over. How the event was considered at the time was that one man stood up to tyranny, but he did not get run over.

  37. Devin

    It’s odd, I (24) seem to have a memory different from both versions. My brother (19) remembers him being ran over, and claims to have seen this footage in school, and even the teacher’s flabbergasted reaction to one of the students asking if he had died. I watched the “raw” footage on CNN’s youtube channel, and I definitely do not recall him climbing atop the tank. The footage I had seen previously showed Tank Man standing in the road before the tank, waving his arms a bit as if to say, “No, you can go around.” Then he shuffles slightly in front of the tank and stands still as the tank drives around him. I distinctly remember that what had resonated so strongly with me was not that he had managed to stop the tank, but his refusal to yield until they drove around him. My wife remembers it this way, also.

    1. Ashelin

      I also remember the same one as you! Never saw him getting on top of the tank before.

  38. Brian

    I commented once above on the Tank Boy incident. I really didnt know that it never happened until I read this site. Its the strongest alternate memory im currently aware of. I wanted to add that the guy was referred to as tank boy as long as i can recall and that he was wearing more like western casual clothing though i dont recall a zoom in on the video, and that he was referred to as a student, as in a college level student. The tank approached, stopped, was given the order to go ahead and then proceeded to run him over, and then the column continued. It seems like there was bottle throwing at the tanks after that, though it was harder to focus on other things after seeing the dude was crushed, so that part of the memory is hazy.

    There may indeed be intentional historical manipulation by some group or groups. I lean more toward the individual timeline shift theory, but then again, one scenario does not preclude the other.

    1. Fiona Broome Post author

      Brian, your memories match mine, exactly. I’m squeamish, so I quit watching when I saw the tank rolling forward after pausing. I recall a fleeting glimpse of some unattractive images in the media, later, but… yes, your memories seem to be a match for mine.

    2. Leigh

      This is exactly what I remember about this event. The line of tanks paused, and we thought they had stopped, and then they rolled right over him. I remember blood on the street and not being able to look directly at the body because I was afraid I’d throw up. I was in high school and our teachers talked about it, it was on the news, it was a huge deal. I told my kids about it not long ago. I had no idea until I came to this site that apparently it never happened.

      This seems more like conspiracy than timeslip to me, though. After all, we’re friendly trading partners with China now and we owe them a whooooole lotta money. We wouldn’t want horrific human rights violations like this on publicly available video, would we?

  39. TrickyD

    One could say that the powers to be may have a way to change history but some people remember things the way it had happened as a side affect to their time altering. Who would have access to this technology? The worlds superpowers would of course China and the USA would be a major part of the use of this technology. Then look at what countries most of the changes happen to happening in , The Mandelae change could of been a trade off for the Tiananmen square event change or vise verca. Then you have to factor in just plain experimenting with the technology that is where changes like the bernstien bears spelling and other small changes could take place . If the time altering technology exists and memory retention by some is a side affect , that doesn’t matter because most will remember the alternate story and the ones who don’t will die and history will only remember the alternate. As for sites like this it will fall into more of the “urban legend” catagory or may be taken down by TPTB after they learn how to not get the side affect.

  40. vladimir

    I remember that horrible scene when tank runs him over! I vididly remember it as I saw it several times years ago. Tonight I was watching some disaster videos and came upon this one again, but in this one nothing happens. Im not crazy right?

  41. Noah

    It seems the people who made the show “Family Guy” remember this version of events as well. Here’s a clip where they spoofed the incident:


    Notice how the Tank Man is depicted as a younger man in casual clothing holding up his hand, rather than an older man in a white shirt holding shopping bags. Peter also says, “Screw this, I’m out of here!” which implies that he would have died had he kept standing there. I don’t know why the creators of the show would make these changes unless they actually remembered it happening that way. I think this is concrete evidence that there was indeed a version of events where the boy was run over.

    1. Fiona Broome Post author

      Noah, I agree that increases the likelihood that one/original version showed him being run over. Thanks for sharing that link.

      I’m undecided about the original incident: whether it’s media manipulation or Mandela Effect.

      While I can’t take a “Family Guy” episode as concrete evidence, I’m not sure we’ll ever have solid evidence for any of this. If the parallel realities concept is correct (and I’m not sure it is, but it’s my best bet), the only real evidence exists in another reality, not this one… and I don’t think we’ll be able to access that (at will, anyway) in the near future.

      Nevertheless, I do like to see references to other realities, even in cartoon-style shows. It definitely adds more credibility to the memory.


    2. Jade

      “Family Guy” is known for predictive programming so I’m not surprised they would reference the truth here too.

  42. David

    Some links to articles from around the time when it happened. People being killed and run over by tanks, or “armored personnel carriers”, are really frequently mentioned in print-media from that time.


    here’s a transcript from a 1995 documentation about the incident:


    Quotes from the transcript:

    -“A student I knew — he was not from my university — practically crawled out from under the tank. Two of his classmates were crushed. ”

    -” CHAI LING, in taped message

    I am Chai Ling, Commander-in-Chief of the Defend Tiananmen Headquarters. I am still alive.

    I am the most qualified person to speak about what happened in the Square between June 2nd and June 4th.

    … Only later did we find out that some students still had illusions about the government and the army. They thought at worst they would be forcibly removed by the soldiers. They were exhausted and asleep in their tents. These students were crushed by tanks.

    … Some say two hundred students died. Others say a total of four thousand people died in the Square. I don’t know the exact numbers.”

    Also, here you can at least sense that something very terrible must have happened:


    I remember that was all about the dead students and that newscast with the tank man being run over…

    This one has a link to an audio file from a news report in german, stating that people died during bloody confrontations with the military. Basically it was a massacre:


  43. Elmer J Buttons, Esq.

    Holy crap.
    This was a random stumble…finding this after fully remembering Berenstein bears so clearly. But I’m not alone. And tank boy…
    He was most definitely run over. Definitely young and casually dressed. I watched this in my 9th grade world history class around 99’/00′ – the class was horrified. And what on earth? Plastic grocery bags?! Climbing onto the freaking tank!? No.
    I have surveyed people. My mom remembers the tank coming up and stopping and him then getting shot. My dad remembers no other version but what you can find information on – and told me to read about it, as I’m obviously crazy 😉
    Thanks to Fiona for this site!!!

  44. Alex

    Perhaps if someone had a hard copy of the coverage, we could rule out media manipulation. I also remember him being killed.

  45. Jade

    I have also heard there were many people run over by tanks…thousands. So Tank Man and Tank Boy could be separate people after all, with evidence of Tank Boy now missing.

  46. Vivek narain

    What reports say based on eye witness is that pla soldiers took position atop history museum and machine gunned the crowd below.Such non feasible statement like thousands run over or mowed down by tanks doesn’t do credit to the intellectual level of ME participants.

    1. Fiona Broome Post author

      Vivek, I agree. A report/memory of “thousands” being run over — but forgotten or whitewashed — is difficult to drop into any context.

      However, I suppose it’s possible one of our readers is here from a reality where thousands were mowed down by tanks. The outrage that would have followed something of that scale… that’s nothing I’ve seen in any email or comment at this website. So, the comment stands out. (That’s kind of impressive, in a community where the topic is already about alternate memories.)

      Still, unless a report is utterly preposterous (and clearly meant to see how gullible we are), I generally approve all memory-type comments.

      That particular comment made me pause, but — on the off chance that it is someone’s actual memory — I approved it.

      Unless someone comes forward with significant evidence to support that kind of alternate memory, I’m not likely to approve further comments related to the “thousands” of victims concept.

  47. Matt

    This one’s the first time I observed this by myself and thought my memory was getting bad. I distinctly remember at school talking about how this was used by capitalist media to show how dangerous communism was, and I’d even seen the video of him being run over and the crowd dispersing and running terrified, rather than people running up to stop him. Watching the current video is just next level eerie.

    I remember mentioning it to one of my parents or one of my friends a while back and they seemed to remember it the way it is now.

    I think it begs the question, if these are time slips:
    – Is it certain peoples timelines being affected?
    – Alternatively is it certain peoples memory all being affected in a set way?
    Or finally, is it that everyone’s timeline has been affected and some peoples memories just haven’t adjusted to the new event?

    For a long time I’ve thought that maybe our perception of time is skewed, and that if we were to go beyond our linear perception of time, we would see the entirety of our life as one big interconnected object – and rather than changing linearly from one point to the next, certain parts of the past and future would be adjusting all the time, most unnoticeably as the rest of the timeline would correct accordingly, but some leaving gaps/glitches that don’t make sense.

    1. Fiona Broome Post author

      Good questions, Matt, thanks!

      I do believe that different people experience different “slides” or timeslips, etc. Of course, I could be wrong.

      However, assuming different people are affected, I’m not sure whether each person slides individually, or as part of a group — location, DNA markers, age, star sign, shoe size (okay, I’m being flippant, but you get the idea) — and whether those groups are consistent and always slide together.

      The memory/amnesia question is another interesting one. Life would probably be a lot simpler if we could just say “oh, I misremembered,” and leave it at that. However, I don’t think life would be nearly as intriguing as it is with these alternate memories.


      1. Mike

        Fiona , your remark about it being easier to “misremember” is right on mark. I think many of us that ended up here did that for a long time (even questioning our sanity ), before we had enough and starting researching the phenomena. Mike

  48. Little boy watching cnn live

    I was 9 years old and watching cnn live with my dad. There was a scene where it was night time. And at least 4 or 5 students were chanting and sitting innocently on the ground and they all got ran over while sitting down In a circle with tears in their eyes. I watched vividly and eyes wide open as the tank quickly ran them over. The camera made a quick shifting motion and the feed blacked out. They cut to to the news anchors in shock. Since then I have not had any Internet exposure to this event til 26 years later. I have not talked about it with anyone until going back to college now. I believe what I saw is the truth. There has not been even a mention of it anywhere on the Internet. I write these with the same tears as the Student protestors that got killed that night in tianemen. Really sad.

    1. Denise

      Same for me, this is my first contact with any media about it, since I witnessed it on TV. I remember the students sitting down also, and the absolute horror I felt, as he was mowed down…

  49. Kym

    I stumbled upon this topic accidentally. I definitely share the Tank Man memory of him being run over by the tank. I remember being in a different room, and my room mates were watching the live news event in their bedroom. I remember hearing my room mate shout that they had just run over a guy with a tank. He called me into his bedroom to watch what was going on, and I think they replayed it several times. I think we were watching CNN.

  50. Beth

    I know I remembered watching a news program a few years back about this, on Democracy now. But when I when to the site it wasn’t on the program, but I did find this clip they showed and a man say’s. “Is this what the peoples government dose. Using tanks to crush people? It is 31:02 mins. into the video here is the link
    It is a clip from a documentary called “The Gates of Heavenly Peace”. The narrator said that ABC news aired this mans report of what happened.

  51. Anonymous

    Has anyone here ever heard of the Illuminati Card Game? It was a card game created in the mid 90s which allowed the player to play as a member of the Illuminati. It contained many examples of predictive programming, such as depictions of the twin towers and the world trade center being attacked, before 9/11 had happened. http://prntscr.com/7xcg0h

    There were many other cards that “predicted” events to come, but after reading about the Mandela Effect, this particular one came to mind. http://prntscr.com/7xcgrw

    The card reads “”We’ll have to put something in the water to make them forget this…” Since so many of the other cards contain depictions of actual events long before they occurred, I’m led to believe the card may actually be of significance. And as our culture is so dominated by unhealthy foods, pharmaceutical drugs, vaccines and such, it could certainly be true. As far-fetched as it sounds, It wouldn’t be difficult to alter the minds or even the memories of the population as a whole, even through the media. I’m reminded of the 1960s broadcasting of the national anthem which contained subliminal messages such as “trust the US government” and “obey and consume.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wofs8ZpcXlM

    Perhaps the people who remember the Tank Man being run over weren’t effected by the mass “hypnosis.”

    1. Fiona Broome Post author

      Anonymous, that’s a very good reference. Thanks! I’d completely forgotten (not in a Mandela Effect way) that card game, the raid on Steve Jackson’s offices ( http://www.sjgames.com/SS/ ), and related issues. After checking your links, I skimmed another list ( http://imgur.com/a/nnzl1 ). I was impressed by the accuracy (or near-accuracy) of some of the illustrations, and chilled by many of the concepts. It makes me wonder who was behind that game, and what insights they may have.

      1. Ricardo

        Yes some very eerie cards in that game. Some interesting videos on youtube to watch with reference to the different cards.

        What did happen to the Mandela Effect card, was sure I’d seen one 😉

    2. Mike H.

      In regards to the cards, I have looked at them off and on over the last 2 decades, and been completely amazed and unnerved by many of them. There is SO much detail in them , you really have to study each card closely.

      The accuracy of many of them is unreal. As though someone had fore knowledge. The whole Steven Jackson raid is also an interesting story. There is just something about them , that draws me back to them , time and time again. Mike H.

  52. Jason

    Put me in the “remember him getting run over” camp. I was around 9 or 10 at the time, and I clearly remember the tank coming up right on top of him and it actually knocking him down before the network cut away. It was reported that he was ran over for sure. Years later, when youtube became a thing, I looked up and found the uncensored version and was disgusted to see just how graphic it was.

    Upon seeing this on the major memories list the other day, I looked it up on youtube and was shocked to see the tank stopping and trying to go around him, him trying to cut it off, and then climbing on top of it. That is NOT how I remember it at all.

    This is somewhat jarring, as this is the largest “Mandela Effect” memory I have. I remember Berenstein, and dilemna, and a few other minor things. I think I remember Mr. Rogers dying later than 2003, but I could just be confused on the dates. But this is the biggest “world event” that I remember completely wrong and it’s got me thinking…

  53. Melissa

    Well, now in this reality that I’m in today, tank boy *did* get run over by the tank and its on the Internet that way and everything.

  54. Sada

    This one is really weird, because I became sort of aware of it recently and blew it off until now.

    In my memory, it was Tank BOY. He was younger, not a child but maybe a young teen? Definitely not a college age or adult man. He wasn’t holding or carrying anything. He was wearing jeans and a t-shirt. It was sort of an organic thing, like he was just there and decided to play chicken with a tank. Part of the shock and horror was that the “Communist Machine” was so cold and crushing that they’d murder a peacefully protesting, solitary boy like that. There were riots following it, and China slowly began to become a free market society.

    I read an article with photos about 2 years ago showing a “new angle of Tank Man” and it depicted an adult man with dark pants and a white shirt carrying two grocery sacks, and implied that his protest was staged as part of a larger protest, not organic, but I still remember his death being part of it.

    A friend of mine was a schoolteacher in China, at a magnet school, and when she left this year she posted about going to Tienneman Square and something about Tank Man and it was then that I became aware that he didn’t die.

    1. Fiona Broome Post author


      You described my memory, as well. That’s why I titled the article with the phrase “Tank Boy.” I recall him as a teen in a tee-shirt and trousers.

      Then, when I saw so many people describing him as “Tank Man,” I began to doubt my own memories. Your description of “Tank Boy” and your research experiences are identical to mine. Thank you!


      1. Daniel

        I am recalling a young boy, 8 years old or so, in white T-shirt and dark colored shorts. He had a small flag in his right hand that he was waving vigorously. After a few seconds he threw the flag down and proceeded to wave vigorously with both hands in the air. Short haircut, ear length with the bang style in the front. Never saw or heard of a Tank MAN until reading this site earlier in the year and was shocked to see a grown man. (According to possible theory he progressed from young boy =>teenager =>adult. We called him Tank Boy at the time because he was a little boy. I do not recall the teenage years for him which would have been around the time I would have been a teenager too; possibly because I only observed the incident when I was a little girl and of course now as an adult.
        I read everything here to see if someone was going to point out that he was a boy and it was fairly close with mention of a teenager with pants. Comment from Berheal also stood out and I am not quite sure how to process those thoughts yet.

  55. Stephanie

    I am watching season 1 of The West Wing on Netflix. In episode 18, “Six Meetings Before Lunch”, one of the characters wants the Director of Communications to help her replace a panda bear that died at the National Zoo. She feels that it would show that the US takes seriously our relationship with China if we would ask them to send a replacement panda bear. The Director says, “No, what would make us take our relationship seriously is if the Chinese government would stop running over its citizens with tanks.” The episode aired in 1999.

  56. monana

    I too watched in horror as this young man boldly stepped out into the path of that tank, and was run over, killed. It was news.
    Now you’ve got me. There may be something more going on here than skipping in & out of parallel’s. We are living in a demention of time, could this be a slowing down and skipping as the universal clock is winding down?
    This is complex. So many theories could explain,but do they really give credible answers?
    Oh yeah I am going to get into this. Thank you for your time and effort.

  57. Meghan

    I just learned about the ME today and this is all really screwing with me! But especially this story, I remember seeing video of him being run over by the tank and my utter shock and disbelief over that actually happening. I must have a violent imagination to completely make up such a false memory…

    1. Fiona Broome Post author

      Meghan, I can’t imagine anyone making up a false memory like that. Not without a very dark reason or background, anyway. So, maybe it did happen in the reality you were in at the time… you, and a lot of other people visiting this website.

  58. Meghan

    I asked my parent’s, I am waiting for my spouse to get home to ask him.
    My Mom never said but my Dad remembers him being run over as well…………

  59. Jendiah

    Can someone tell me if there was an incident similar to this one where a flower was offered to the tanks? I seem to remember an incident similar to this, but distinctly remember a flower being offered and I cannot recall if the person offering the flower was male or female, but seem to remember a boy offering a flower. Am I recalling a similar event?

    1. Fiona Broome Post author

      Jendiah, what a great memory! I can’t say that I actually recall that, but something about it resonated as a distant, dual memory. I definitely like it.

  60. Pegathee

    Could it be just our govt censoring what we hear. Propaganda either then or now. Back then our country was being taught to despise China. Now, our relationship is much better with them (especially since we owe them so much money?). Maybe we were lied to then but China has since demanded that be corrected. Or we are being lied to now to get everyone onboard with a friendlier relationship with them. Just a thought. ???

    1. Fiona Broome Post author

      Exactly, Pegathee. Media manipulation seemed so likely in this case, it’s why I’ve never been convinced it’s actually a Mandela Effect issue. Oh, some of this might be, but with conflicting videos still online, I don’t see any way to sort this out with confidence.

  61. Wendy

    I have been reading about ME for a while and told my boyfriend about it last night. He remembers a few things as mentioned on here but is most adamant that Tank Man did get run over. There was a massive outrage about it at the time. He also remembers him being younger, like university age. The only other thing he mentioned, which I haven’t seen here yet, is that the man was holding a banner/board with writing on, not shopping bags. Anyone else recall this?

  62. freelyn

    I remember watching the video of the tank not stopping. Now it’s all footage of a peaceful protest. But then why was footage hard to come by?

    The truth is what it is made to be. Don’t doubt your memories.


  63. Frank

    I remember the tank running over the student too it was horrifying he was nothing but blood on the ground.


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