What would you say if I told you that over 1,100 people have “vanished” from this country’s national parks and forests in the past 100 years? Furthermore, what if I told you a large percentage of those people who “vanished” are innocent young children, many younger than the age of 10? That would seem strange right?
Then, what if I told you the National Park Service claims their agency does not keep records of people who have gone missing within National Parks or Forests, not even children. Does that make ANY sense to you? Children are “vanishing,” and yet the government keeps no record? Further adding to the mystery, what if I told you dozens and dozens of the over 1,100 victims who have simply “vanished” from Federal National Parks and National Forests over the years were experienced hunters?
Often, hunters are considered some of the best and most experienced outdoorsmen among us, better equipped than causal family campers who might be visiting National Parks and Forests, and who are usually go hunting armed with weapons, walkie talkies, GPS trackers, and many have been traveling the very paths they vanish on their whole lives before their mysterious disappearance. That means whatever is preying on them, whatever is killing them, whatever is taking them away to “wherever” they are taken, is apparently not deterred by the guns of man, bullets, bows, arrows, or even knives. How can that be?
I first learned of the 1,100 mysterious “vanishings” from the phenomenon’s foremost expert, a former police officer and author named David Paulides who has dedicated his life to working on this mystery and has written the books Missing 411-A Soberincg Coincidence, Missing 411-The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident, and Missing 411-North America and Beyond to tell the little known story of these disappearances dating back at least 125 years in this country. The video below gives you a brief overview just to wet your appetite, and then the next video contains the entire interview from Coast to Coast on July 31, 2016, where George Knapp interviews David Paulides in detail.
To hear the interview with David Paulides last time he was on Coast to Coast AM, check out: How Do 1,100 People Vanish in U.S. National Parks Without Any Publicity?
In 95 percent of the cases, bad weather strangely follows a disappearance, washing out footprints and other clues and making it impossible to carry on a search until the weather clears. In 98 to 99 percent of the cases, tracking dogs are unable to find a scent or simply refuse to track. Almost 98 percent of the disappearances occur in the afternoon. Searchers have been known to cover an area over 100 times, only to later find the person, alive or dead in the same area they searched before.
These people are “vanishing” from federal lands, lands which are well known for having a large law enforcement presence. Furthermore, law enforcement is supposed to always keep records of crimes like missing people, homicides, robbery, etc. Imagine David’s surprise, especially as a former law enforcement officer, when he requested a list of missing persons from many of the different National Parks and was always met with the response, “We don’t keep lists of missing persons.”
The book chronicles hunters who have vanished under very unusual but extremely similar conditions from four countries. In contrast to many of the those who’ve gone missing in national parks such as children, and people hiking alone, deer hunters and bear hunters– “those people are attuned to being in the woods. They know exactly where they’re going to go out and hunt, they know the terrain…the dangers. They carry weapons with them,” he noted, so it’s all the more startling when they vanish in inexplicable ways.
When Paulides first requested information from the NPS under the Freedom of Information Act about the missing persons, he was told they had no records. Later, an attorney called Paulides and asked him why he wanted the information. Since Paulides was a published author he was entitled to an exemption from any fees associated with obtaining records from the park service, but the attorney told him that the park service would not abide by that rule since supposedly, Paulides’ books weren’t in enough libraries. (ed note: judging from the number of reviews on amazon – Paulides’ books appear to be very popular.) Paulides was shocked when the attorney told him that if he wanted the “non-existent” records from Yosemite National Park, it would cost him $34,000, and if he wanted records from all the national parks, the price tag would be a whopping $1.4 million.
On the Coast to Coast website, it gives the following description:
Dave Paulides holds two degrees from the University of San Francisco and has a professional background that includes twenty years in law enforcement and senior executive positions in the technology sector. A boyhood camping experience with his father in the late 1960s sparked his interest in Bigfoot. In 2004 he was one of the founders of North America Bigfoot Search where his investigative and analytical experiences were invaluable in researching Bigfoot sightings. He spent two years living among the Hoopa tribal members, listening to and recording their Bigfoot stories. The Hoopa Project is his first book, based upon his experiences in the Bluff Creek area of Northern California.
There are 59 geographical clusters of missing people in North America, with the largest being in Yosemite Park, he reported. The largest number of disappearances of hunters have taken place in the states of Idaho, Montana, Washington, Maine, Oregon, and Colorado, he cited. In one of the strangest case histories, three hunters disappeared in separate locations in far northern Michigan within seven days of each other in 1909. Paulides detailed the 1966 case of an accountant from Reno, who went hunting in McCarthy, Alaska and then was never found despite numerous air and ground searches. The Nevada State Journal had a headline saying “Tony walked into what has proven to be a mystery void.”
Paulides also has documented cases of bow hunters’ mysterious disappearances, in which they are either not found or found under very bizarre conditions. An experienced hunter, Aaron Hedges, was hunting with friends in the ‘Crazy Mountains’ in Montana in 2014, and get separated from the group, but was in contact with them via radio, before he went missing. A week after his disappearance, they found his boots and camelback in the snow, but ground searchers and dogs yielded no further evidence in the area. Nine months later, his backpack and vest were found, 15 miles away from the other location, yet it would seem impossible that he could have traveled that distance in the snow without shoes, Paulides noted.
He also shared advice for people planning to hike or hunt in the woods or national parks. Among the tips: tell someone you trust your planned itinerary, and that if they don’t hear from you by a certain date that they should call authorities; carry a GPS trail device and hard copy of a map; pack a cheap, plastic whistle; bring a satellite phone and an emergency locator beacon. During the last hour, Paulides’ son, Benjamin, spoke about their new documentary “Missing 411,” which he co-directed. The just-completed project, which was successfully funded by a Kickstarter campaign, is being considered by several film festivals.