The gray man

The gray man, the one guy at work that everyone sees but nobody notices. He is soft spoken and keeps his opinions to himself. His old pickup truck runs great but looks ragged and boring. No lift kit or shiny rims just boring. Most people don't know much about him and hardly even remember his name. He is always polite and never causes problems or makes enemies. If he takes a day off not a single person notices he is gone. When work lets out he simply disappears from your sight and mind until the next shift. You don't know a thing about his life nor do you care because nothing about him draws any attention. He is so boring and average in dress and demeanor that he is essentially ignored. Nothing about this individual invokes the slightest bit of curiosity in the human mind. He is in almost all regards to the term a ghost and does not exist.


Spot the unseen gray man

The gray man is of average height and build he is not fat or thin, short or tall. There are no obvious physical features about him. No facial hair, no tattoos, no big moles, nothing different. He is not attractive or unattractive. He is not intimidating in anyway and appears very plain.
His dress is plain. No bright colors just neutral earth tones of gray or brown. He is dressed conservatively not out of style but not stylish. His shirts do not have pictures, writing, or logos on them. Nothing stands out about this individual.
The gray man has no attention grabbing traits. He doesn't appear to be looking at anything but is always fully aware of his surroundings. You are not intimidated by the gray man he is not energetic or overly confident.
You never really spot a true gray man. If you do he is no longer gray.

Why don't you notice the gray man

The simple answer to this is your mind only remembers things that stimulate it. The brain has a filter for all sensory input known as the reticular activating system or RAS. In order to conserve energy the RAS only triggers your mind to certain stimuli. These triggers vary but the first thing that the RAS is looking for are threats. Whether it is a person drawing a firearm or a window breaking the RAS throws a red flag to alert you.

RAS Triggers
  • Threats
  • Fast movements
  • Threatening movements
  • Movement that may intercept your own
  • Bright colors
  • Human shapes
  • Reflections
  • Bright lights
  • Unusual or threatening sounds
  • A potential mate
Things the RAS filters out
  • Areas of continuous color
  • Shadow
  • Dull natural colors
  • Slow movement
  • Normal sounds like an air conditioner running
What can we learn from the gray man
As stated earlier the gray man is a ghost. You never notice him because he blends in. The gray man principle is a way of life for some but can be an effective camouflage as well. To become more gray you need to study the areas you will most likely enter. Learn the street names, where they intersect, alternative routes, landmarks, where law enforcement tends to be, the dangerous parts of town, everything about the location that will help you avoid trouble and blend in. Learn about the people who live in the area. observe the way they walk, talk, interact, dress, anything that will help you blend in. Once you learn all of these things you can plan to act and dress a certain way to go unnoticed through a bad part of town or escape the city if SHTF. You'll have alternative routes in your head to avoid riots or parts of town that where bad before SHTF. The gray man principle is just one more tactic to add to your ever growing survival skills.

The gray man
How to be the Gray Man when SHTF
Gray Man Strategies 101: Peeling Away the Thin Veneer of Society

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