On April 8, 2019, The Mass Media received a tip-off from an unnamed professor who claimed they saw a boy in a hidden hallway in Wheatley Hall with a cake, lighter, candles and a birthday hat. After much investigating, it was discovered that a boy had been missing since the Spring 2017 orientation.
Back in 2017, Tyler McMahon was with his older brother and parents visiting the university. He strayed away from the crowd and couldn’t find his way out of the building. “It’s a miracle he got out at all,” said his teary-eyed father, John McMahon. His mother, hugging the boy, told The Mass Media: “We were heartbroken when he didn’t show up by the end of the orientation. John and I didn’t know what to do so we just let it lie and hoped he’d show up eventually. Luckily, our thoughts and prayers were answered when the professor found our not-so-little anymore tyke on the third floor. I honestly can’t believe that he was found but most surprisingly that he found new clothes and a birthday cake.”
The Wheatley Hall at the University of Massachusetts Boston is notorious for the confusing numbering of rooms and endless twists and turns. During an interview, a student stated, “I’ve been at UMass Boston for three years now and I still get lost in Wheatley. They may have maps on the walls, but the numbering of the rooms still don’t (sic) add up.”
The professor backed up the statement with their own qualms on the older buildings. “Upper levels of McCormack are difficult to navigate but at least where the classrooms are makes sense. Just find the big hundreds on the hallways and you’re set. Wheatley though? Whenever I have a class there I know only half the students will show up in the first two weeks. So, I wasn’t really surprised when I saw him [the birthday boy] sitting in the hall. I have no idea where he got the lighter though …”
Although McMahon was found, he still sadly celebrated his twelfth birthday all by himself. “I was just really confused, two years really changes a person, especially since I couldn’t understand the maps in the hallways. I didn’t even know there were elevators until the professor found my secret spot away from all the noise.” When asked about the lighter he insisted on just “knowing a guy.”