I am going to touch on a subject matter this go around that has captured my attention for several years and seems to circle its way back to me no matter how far away I seem to step away. Consider it a fair warning as this is going to be another one of those Rabbit Hole subjects that is interconnected with other subjects in the Paranormal world that sometimes can be hard to swallow. It’s the matter of the ‘Missing 411’ phenomena that was brought to light by a gentleman named David Paulides.
Missing 411 is a book series by David Paulides that details the thousands of people that have gone missing on public lands, parks, and trails and the refusal of the National Park Service and the government to acknowledge to the public that there is an issue and for years the Park Service has been covering it up. But before totally going down that hole and sharing what has been happening, I believe its just as important that you are aware of how it came to light and how it came to Paulides to start writing about it.
Paulides is a former Police Detective and SWAT Team member with almost 20 years of service. After his service, he went on to take his detective and research skills and apply it to cryptozoology, primarily Bigfoot. He authored two books on the matter and created the research group ‘North America Bigfoot Search’. While doing research at a national park he was approached by an off-duty park ranger who was familiar with Paulides background and told him about the unusual numbers of missing people in national parks, the unusual nature of some of them, and the manner of which the park system handled it. He requested that Paulides use his investigative skills to see if he could look into the matter.
Paulides took the request seriously and started to investigate the matter. He began to uncover evidence that yes, there were a good number of people who seemed to disappear in and around parks and that the park service refused to cooperate, and would go so far as to claim that they didn’t bother to keep records on how many people go missing on nationally owned land. He even went so far as to place many ‘Freedom of Information Act’ requests only to have a majority of them shot down. At this point he had to rely on newspapers, police reports, and loved ones of the missing for any details about said cases that took place in parks or public lands. As time progressed though, and as Paulides dug up more and more details, he soon realized that this was happening not just here in the U.S. but all over the world.
So far there are 7 books in the series that detail his findings:
· Missing 411 — Eastern United States: Unexplained Disappearances of North Americans That Have Never Been Solved
· Missing 411 — Western United States & Canada: Unexplained Disappearances of North Americans that have never been solved
· Missing 411: North America and Beyond
· Missing 411: The Devil's in the Details
· Missing 411: A Sobering Coincidence
· Missing 411: Hunters
· Missing 411: Off the Grid
The first three are written in a manner providing case reports of general outlines and locations around the world where there are clusters of these disappearances. Also, specific trends that re-occur in different clusters, how things like storms, berries, swamps, briar patches, boulder fields and victims with disabilities all seem to be a part of the aforementioned trends along with the attitude that the National Park Service seems to display about the cases, occurrences with the search and rescue where search canines behave oddly or the odd circumstances surrounding the recovery of the bodies of the missing, bringing to light many of the missing children that are not listed in any national database because it happened on government land.
The next three are a little more drilled down into various specifics. ‘The Devil’s in the Detail’ gets a little more into the specifics and presents some cases that show other areas and details that were not as covered in the previous volumes like weather patterns, the disappearance of scholars and intellectuals, and people missing from in their homes or vehicles. ‘A Sobering Coincidence’ further explores scholars, students, and teachers who have gone missing and when bodies are discovered typically are around or at least near water but the cause of death remains unknown even after autopsies. ‘Hunters’ deals with exactly what you expect the title to address, the cases involving missing hunters. And lastly, “Off the Grid” is a return to the basics but taking a look at more recent cases and going through them with a much finer comb.
Even though Paulides has been very careful not to point a finger and say what the root cause is for all these missing people. It has been bandied around by readers that it could be anything from Bigfoot, UFOs, MILABS (military labs), Fae Folk, Predator-like entities (like the movie), rings of serial killers/kidnappers, or just people stepping out of our dimension into another and no one is at fault. Some skeptics of Paulides’ work claims its nothing more than sloppy hikers or wildlife making people disappear. This is one of those rare times when I can’t really sit on the fence and look at both sides evenly. I will say those who have remained skeptical after actually READING the case info about something going on are those who refuse to accept the evidence or have something to hide themselves.
One thing I would like to note is that after reading a fair amount, is that these are very 1,2,3 about laying out the facts of each incident and with next to no speculation or ‘fluff’ added. The books were created in a way that you are basically reading cases reports and allowed to draw your own conclusion as to what is happening with the details provided. Paulides is very careful about not steering anyone’s conclusions, very sparingly offers any personal opinions, and is not trying to sell any sort of agenda. So I encourage you to read more about it, listen to some podcasts, watch some videos, and just take some time to learn more about this and explore your own theories.
I hope you enjoyed this little run through. Honestly this was just a very, very high overview of the series and it does not do the subject justice. Really, each book should be covered in its own article to even come close. We may do so in the future if there is any interest from our readers but until then, go check it out for yourselves and let me know what you think.