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The Vanishing People

Written by Joshua Adams


Missing people across The United States and the world are an unfortunate but regular occurrence. In fact, as many as 90,000 people declared legally missing in America at any given time. “411” actually has its origins in an inconspicuous computer term that refers to data that cannot be found or a corrupted link.

Individuals who have vanished are often counted among those strange disappearances occurring on clearly marked and popular hiking trails. These disappearances also include people who were proficient outdoorsmen, hikers, and hunters who know their backwoods well.

The body of the 'Missing 411' work stems from the CANAM Missing Project, began by retired L.A. Detective David Paulides. His work focuses on methodical compilation of data, from which he identifies trends. His efforts include personal interviews with family members, travel to locations where individuals had vanished as well as an analysis of case files acquired through the Freedom of Information Act.

There seems to be concentrations of disappearances in certain areas, the most startling trend discovered from the projects work to synthesize records. It is the mystery of 411 disappearance hotspots. Of these cluster spots across the globe, however, one of the most prevalent and recurring seems to be the Yosemite National Park in California. Interestingly, UFO sightings often correlate to the hotspots, sometimes even around the same time that someone has gone missing. Theories abound as to what is responsible for such vanishings, from UFOs to cryptid type creatures, and even shadowy government programs.

Interestingly, a number of instances members of the National Park Service have denied reasonable requests for these case files. Paulides noted that many of these instances occur near bodies of water around granite boulders, as well as spots where blackberries may be gathered. Often, at the exact time of some disappearances there are strangely small distances of separation between the victims and other people they were with, be it family, friends, or other vacationing travelers.

Something sinister is happening, and there is a serious need to take a closer look at patterns in the details that surround the people going missing in national parks and other wilderness areas. According to Paulides, looking at such information over longer periods is essential as the isolated investigations and research into individual cases leads to the tendancy of overlooking shared patterns in the stories.

Paulides has created a cartography of 52 defined geographic clusters. The case trends and shared patterns include odd occurrences such as incliment weather arriving within minutes of a search being implemented by authorities, often halting or delaying a rigorous search immediately following the reported vanishing.

Tracking dogs either unable to either pick up a scent leading away from the point of disappearance or a reluctance on the part of the search dogs to follow. Bodies of the missing reappearing on the trails or on highly trafficked paths which large numbers of search and rescue groups had repeatedly passed during the time they had conducted searches. Bodies found with their shoes missing, nowhere to be found. Clothing found on the bodies that were inside out.

“Topography does play a part into the age of the victims and certain clusters have specific age and sex consistency that is baffling. This is not a phenomenon that has been occurring in just the last few decades, clusters of missing people have been identified as far back as the 1800's"

Before a missing person case is considered for investigation by Paulides and his Missing 411 team, it must fit certain profile points:

-Mental illness or suicidal thoughts must be ruled out.

-No signs of voluntary disappearance.

-No signs of animal predation.

-No indication of foul play.

-Unknown cause of death.

-Severe weather is often involved, usually striking unexpectedly.

-Canines either cannot find a scent to track the person or refuse to track altogether.

-The victim, if found, is in an area previously searched.

-Clothing or shoes are missing from the victim.

-Lakes, creeks, rivers, ponds, or streams.

-The victim has a disability or illness of some sort.

-The victim disappeared in one of the identified geographical clusters.

Native American tribes people whom Mr. Paulides has discussed the trends surrounding the numbers of missing people garnered a very cryptic response, having been told that "these disappearances feel like a harvest."

Within the trends of the missing people Paulides has identified sub groups such as children with very rare maladies and diseases, people that have some sort of either development disability, or they have some sort of illness or injury that may not even be obvious. He has identified as well as highly trained physicists as a sub grouping, and there is a trend within the number of missing that involves individuals of German heritage.



Whatever is the cause behind these clusters of missing people, the numbers are not decreasing, but are in fact increasing. Perhaps only time will reveal what is behind the vanishings, until then Mr. Paulides will continue his work on the Missing 411 project. As well as the number of armchair detectives now engaging in research of their own. It would behoove anyone venturing out into the national parks or other wilderness areas to be aware of these disappearances and take any precaution available to them to prevent themselves from being added to the growing number of missing.