Missing 411

As I mentioned previously, I am in the midst of packing and moving to another state so time has been at a premium but I could not resist commenting briefly on Beyond the Edge Radio’s interview of David Paulides.

Mr. Paulides is a former law enforcement officer who, during the course of his Sasquatch researches, was tipped by a National Park Service employee to a series of mysterious disappearances in the national parks. Many hours of research later, he has published a series of books called Missing 411 (a play on the information number for most phones and the original number of cases that he looked at). The research turned out to be so massive that he had to divide the books into Western US, Eastern US and then North American and beyond.

Please do listen to the interview for details of some of the cases and Mr. Paulides criteria for including a case in his study but suffice to say that this gentleman is investigating disappearances that occurred under mysterious circumstances in the wilds, first of North America and now beyond. As a former search and rescue volunteer, I was somewhat skeptical of Mr. Paulides’ work until he began to detail some of his cases. A mountain climber who literally disappeared from the end of a rope. Hikers at the end of a line of trekkers who disappear without anyone noticing their sudden absence. A child whose disappearance is so rapid that the swing he was playing on is still moving.

Many of the people in Mr. Paulides’ cases are never found. The “disappeared” who are found only deepen the mystery. Many times, bodies are found, laid out as if for display, in places where the searchers have looked or traveled extensively. Other times, only traces of the victim are found, such as a shoe or the person’s clothing. If the person happens to be located, they are often found in a place where no one would have logically looked for them (such as a small child being found several miles from the disappearance site through impossibly mountainous terrain). The disappeared who are found seldom have any recollection of how they disappeared or where they have been. Interestingly though, the victims who are recovered and do have some memory of the incident have varying memories of what happened, including talking to robots and talking dogs.

Now, I am certain that some of these disappearances could be explained by natural forces. The wilderness can be an unforgiving place and even the most experienced outdoorsperson can make a mistake that costs them their life. Bodies, subject to the many creatures seeking food in the woods, can disappear in a matter of days, clothing and bones scattered to the four winds and almost impossible for any but the most skilled to find. Add to that the fact that some people choose to disappear, are taken by animals etc and I am certain that a percentage of these cases could be explained.

But not all of them and certainly not instances like the climber who disappeared from the end of a rope with witnesses holding on to the other end, an individual who happened to be a world class mountain climber. In those cases, one has to look at other, more arcane explanations.

Like Mr. Paulides, I doubt that any one explanation will provide an answer to all these disappearances. The first thought that popped into my head on hearing about these cases, given the wilderness locations of the disappearances, were the faerie abductions noted so often in the Middle Ages and into more modern times. The Faerie (most likely those of what the Scots called the Unseelie Court) have a known penchant for kidnapping humans and taking them off to their abodes or for mis-leading people into dangerous areas and leaving them to die. This certainly seems to jibe with what Mr. Paulides is describing.

The involvement of the Fae would also account for things like children disappearing and then being found miles from their original location without sufficient time for even a skilled adult to make the transition. The folklore clearly states that travelling even a short distance in the land of the Fae can have unpredictable results when one emerges back into the physical world. Also, the Fae clearly, in folklore, have the power of glamour and can make humans see things like alien robots or talking dogs if they so wish.

So, I would certainly put certain elements of Faerie on the suspect list. In addition, faerie lore tells us that there are openings into the land of Faerie throughout the wild places. I suspect that some of Mr. Paulides’ cases could very well be instances of people who wandered inadvertently into that land and were unable to find their way out. Even if these unfortunates did eventually find their way into our world again, the lore tells us that time in the Otherworld is not the same as ours and that the individual often emerges weeks, months, years or centuries after they went in. The person finding their way out of the land of Faerie might emerge into a world where everyone who ever looked for them is dead and, often, the years that have passed fall on them and they literally disintegrate into the dust they should have become years before. Not much chance of finding them then.

This article references faery lore but I will note, in passing, that the Unseelie are only one of many types of Intruder that could take the blame for some of these disappaearances. In any event, it appears that soon I will be within striking distance of one of Mr. Paulides’ clusters in the Adirondacks. I will do some etheric reconnaissance and report the results here once I am settled.

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About stormeye60

A place for discussing the interface between magic and things that go bump in the night. View all posts by stormeye60

7 responses to “Missing 411

  • mrs. eccentric

    “… soon I will be within striking distance of one of Mr. Paulides’ clusters in the Adirondacks. I will do some etheric reconnaissance and report the results here once I am settled. ”

    oh, i can’t wait!!!!

    i am of two minds on Mr. Paulides. I grew up camping several weeks every year in the Sierra Nevadas just south of Yosemite, and have close friends who did technical mountain climbing. My brother is an outdoors-super-stud (hunter, backpacker, survivalist with advanced military training). I have also had a fair amount of experience in the ‘paranormal’, both spontaneous and ritual.

    I’ve no doubt that people can be taken by those beyond the veil. And the veil is thinner, the forces beyond stronger and stranger, in deep wilderness. However. There are so many ways people and things can disappear there as well. The Sierras were covered by glaciers, and near streams and rivers there are many deep holes formed by boulders caught over bedrock. I dropped a shoe down one, i was around 10-11 years old, and could not find a stick long enough to touch bottom – it was somewhere over nine feet deep. Goodbye shoe!

    My brother was part of a military team looking for the crash site of a jet on the eastern sierras one time. They had the exact location, and still could only see the plane remains from less than twenty feet away. So – no traces to me doesn’t mean as much as it might to others.

    Also, Mr. Paulides’ accuracy in reporting has been taken apart in place on the web. And i wonder that he seems never to have heard of paradoxical warming involved in hypothermia (?). I do hope to get a hold of his books sometime (darn library!) and look more deeply into these things myself. Truly, some of the stories are just heartbreaking, and my thoughts are with the families who still have yet to find their loved ones.

    Best Wishes on your move!! and thanks for breaking silence 🙂 steph

    • stormeye60

      Thanks for your reply, Steph. I certainly don’t think that all the reported disappearances are the result of incursions from the Otherside. As I mention in the post, I worked as a search and rescue volunteer and I heard plenty of strange missing person stories. I know how easy it is to just vanish in the wilderness and how hard it can be to find someone, even with a well trained dog and a good tracker working with the team. So, I expect that many of the Missing 411 cases are explainable by causes other that the paranormal. To me, it is something like Sasquatch sightings . . . even if you factor out mis-identification and outright hoaxing, there is still a considerable body of witness evidence that points to something in the woods. We don’t know what it is, but people are seeing something. Same thing here. People disappear in the wilderness, often never to be seen again. Even if we factor out people who want to disappear, animal attacks, other accidents and causes for these disappearances, I think we still have a body of evidence that points to “something more” going on. What that is, we can not be sure, but it bears looking at.

      Glad you enjoyed the post.

  • mrs. eccentric

    hi stormeye60! seems i wasn’t clear (for the first time ever ;), i thought it’s very interesting that you do S&R (also wonderful, it’s awful when someone goes missing like that) – also i do think that there are that ‘residue’ of reports that could very well point to the fae or similar. For me, the clincher is the time i spent in the Ca. Sierras as a child and young adult, the veil is so thin and the presence of the various spirits so so strong.

    I will be very interested in anything you choose to share about any instances, indications, etc. about what makes you suspect Otherworld involvement, also any report you make on your etheric recon. I ALWAYS enjoy your posts, anytime i see a new one is a good day for me 🙂 happy day, steph

    • stormeye60

      I’m not involved in SAR work anymore, that was some years ago, but it is an episode of my life that I look back on fondly.

      I hope to be back on a more regular posting schedule again within a couple of weeks. Movers come tomorrow **looks around and panics slightly**

      In any event, glad you are enjoying the blog.

  • Missing 411: An Interesting Psychic Impression | Monsters and Magic

    […] my recent post, Missing 411, I spoke at some length about the work of David Paulides and the many mysterious disappearances he […]

  • Spirit Talk: Missing 411 | Monsters and Magic

    […] who have been following my blog for a while know that I have a serious interest in the Missing 411 outlined by David Paulides in his several […]

  • Griffin

    I have reviewed a lot of his material-
    He removed as many of the standard cases where foul play,animals or other factors were likely-
    including drowning.

    As you probably know,
    the saddest part of this phenomenon is that the US Park Service keeps no database on missing persons and has no intentions to.

    They were also uncooperative with him
    and do not warn visitors or close areas
    with abundant disappearances.

    This is gross negligence and irresponsibility,
    at the very least.

    Most of these cases just cannot be brushed off as mere misadventure.

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