In Influence, Cialdini mentions the story of a war veteran who remained silent for 30 years until he allegedly heard during a live radio transmission of a sports event that his home team was mistreated by the referee:
[...] placed him in a veterans' hospital where he remained for 30 years, never breaking his self-imposed silence and sinking into a life of social isolation. Then one day, a radio in his ward happened to be tuned to a soccer match between his hometown team and a traditional rival. When at a crucial point of play the referee called a foul against a player from the mute veteran's home team, he jumped from his chair, glared at the radio, and spoke his first words in more than three decades: "You dumb ass!" he cried. "Are you trying to give them the match?" With that, he returned to his chair and to a silence he never again violated.
How would anyone know that he jumped from the chair and "glared at the radio"? There was no reason to have a nurse observe him at all times. Did another patient notice, despite the veteran's social isolation? What made the veteran know that the referee was wrong, over radio?
Is there more to this story than anecdote?