Paulides has classified over 1, missing persons cases under the Missing label. At its core, Missing is the vague claim that something unusual is occurring related to deaths and disappearances in national parks. The concept has been steeped in the milieu of conspiracy and the supernatural, as Paulides frequently appears on paranormal-oriented radio shows and podcasts to discuss it. A forthcoming documentary appears to be in the works as well. I have been unable to ascertain the meaning of Interestingly, Paulides has consistently avoided providing any explanation for the cause of these supposedly mysterious disappearances.
|Published (Last):||15 January 2008|
|PDF File Size:||3.12 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||13.19 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Paulides has classified over 1, missing persons cases under the Missing label. At its core, Missing is the vague claim that something unusual is occurring related to deaths and disappearances in national parks.
The concept has been steeped in the milieu of conspiracy and the supernatural, as Paulides frequently appears on paranormal-oriented radio shows and podcasts to discuss it. A forthcoming documentary appears to be in the works as well.
I have been unable to ascertain the meaning of Interestingly, Paulides has consistently avoided providing any explanation for the cause of these supposedly mysterious disappearances. When pressed for a causal explanation, Paulides has remained evasive.
He sees his role as an investigator pointing to a problem, not a cause. Alien abduction, ghost involvement, faerie kidnappers, and transdimensional chupacabra can all be swapped in and out as possible explanations for this apparent mystery.
The topic seems to be constructed with intentional ambiguity, promoting any nonscientific idea to fill in as a possible explanation. Could it be that an underfunded and understaffed National Park Service and related police departments lack the tools and ingenuity to determine that an unidentified serial killer is at work in the parks? This is not outside the realm of possibility. Of course, it does seem that Paulides leans toward more supernatural conclusions.
I was fascinated by the intrigue of the Missing Its Blair Witch vibe would have me eagerly in line on opening night of a Hollywood thriller with this premise.
My curiosity was also piqued by the vagueness of the claim and the remote possibility that Paulides could be onto something legitimate—but with a practical explanation. Are the supposed Missing cases real cases or works of fiction?
Every case I checked related to real events; Paulides is not making these disappearances up. One case involved a hunter who never returned from his hunt. His car was found but his body was never recovered.
A second case involved a hiker. Yet both cases are banal and devoid of any apparently unusual qualities. In another case, two stranded parents with known drug problems had a car breakdown during a snowstorm. I was unable to confirm the scattering, but I was able to confirm their infant child was never located. The oldest victim in my audit involved a sixty-nine-yearold hiker climbing Mount Shasta, moving alone in wind conditions estimated at seventy miles per hour.
Once he split off from his companions, he was never seen again. The text is decorated sparsely with this and other head-scratching nonsequiturs. For example, in the last case of my brief audit, a woman named Amy disappears while exercising. Her body was never recovered but her wristwatch was found in a river bed years later. Paulides points out that years after that, a woman named Ann disappeared from the same place. Beware the three-lettered killer!
Could such a statement be a wink to the reader? Or could this be a viral marketing technique for an upcoming video game or feature film? My interpretation is that he genuinely believes something mysterious is going on. Never is someone faulted for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
If anything, Paulides praises the missing for being in peak physical condition and deeply experienced with outdoors activities, making their disappearance by natural causes seemingly all the more unlikely. Not all missing persons cases qualify as Missing The pattern consists of some loose criteria such as canine rescue dogs not being able to pick up a scent.
Another optional criterion is victims being found deceased with their clothing removed—typically pants and shoes or boots. Paulides is quick to point out that voluntary removal of such items is totally irrational in most circumstances. This is a condition sometimes found in people experiencing hypothermia who feel irrationally hot and remove clothing to cool themselves. I presume Paulides, like me, must not have been aware of this fairly simple explanation.
In truth, most of these supposedly common sense—defying distances are just a few miles. Granted, terrain and conditions have a huge impact on lost hikers. To me, as a hiker, this is not an implausible distance to cover in that time. It would be interesting if Paulides would rank his cases by inexplicable distance. If I found nothing odd about the best example, it would be simple to dismiss his second best, and so on. In fact, actually being missing is not technically required!
A minority of cases in the catalog involve missing people who were recovered alive. Curiously, these all seem to be young children. I suppose an adult, gone missing and found, can self-attest that their missing time was explained by ordinary circumstances. Children may not have the same developmental functions to coherently account for their whereabouts, thus leaving a gap to be filled with the possibility of something unusual.
With such imprecise criteria, it seems Paulides considers himself the only person fully qualified to identify a missing persons case as belonging to the Missing or not. On the whole, I find no outstanding cases in my research of Missing The cases are disappointingly typical of what one would expect from a missing persons case. The proposed unusualness of these cases seems hardly greater than one would find for a rare and unplanned occurrence such as a disappearance.
But could there be a mystery in the aggregate of these cases? Perhaps in total they paint a grim picture. Unfortunately, Paulides does not explore this idea. To be sure, within the Missing dataset are cases of unsolved foul play, kidnappings, private suicides, animal attacks, people looking to disappear and assume new identities, and other natural explanations. Perhaps we might find room for unusual observations if we consider the frequency of these events.
People disappear. Of all the disappearances in a year, are a suspicious number of them coming from national parks? People do disappear, and any disappeared person must have a last known location. However, in some cases they were evasive.
I have confirmed he made many FOIA requests, and some were denied. You can do that! With multiple books under his belt, satisfying his requests might indeed be costly.
I spoke with an NPS public affairs representative about the handling of missing person cases. This is a federated data sharing system used by law enforcement nationwide. I await proof that any case has failed to be entered. To be fair, it would not shock me if independent law enforcement organizations did not have the resources to extensively review the NLETS.
If a suspicious pattern existed, it could plausibly go unnoticed. Of course, the burden of proof is on the claimant. I got in touch with former ranger Andrea Lankford, author of Ranger Confidential. She brought to my attention that there exists some degree of controversy about the operation of the parks and the ranger system. Rangers may be asked to wear too many hats without appropriate training.
Some believe the parks are understaffed. Some people call for reform. It is an intriguing discussion, but not one that has anything to do with making disappearances unusual. If the NPS is poorly structured, over-extended, incompetent, or corrupt, it would be unfortunate but not mysterious.
Surely Paulides knows of these claims. I encountered no place where he weighs in. What specific evidence are the news media failing to ask about and the NPS trying to silence? After careful review, to me, not a single case stands out nor do the frequencies involved seem outside of expectations.
The lack of any specific claim affords this idea the elasticity to be unfalsifiable, and its sinister veneer makes it attractive to the conspiracy-minded. When any missing persons case comes up, believers may be reminded of it, giving it a small injection of life in their cultural consciousness.
Similar authors to follow
Sold by: Amazon. Skip to main content David Paulides. Something went wrong. Please try your request again later.