Based in Brooklyn, NY, I write about all things creepy and strange. My book based on the real haunting of Doris Bither (The Entity 1982 movie) will be released soon. Got a question? Drop me a line.

Long time reader Matt sent us a very interesting link to a recent Coast To Coast AM broadcast. It is titled “Odd Disappearances” and features David Paulides who talks about his new book “Missing 411”.
Paulides introduces us to his research on several unexplained and strange disappearances of people in National Forests. Sounds creepy!

Missing-411 is the first comprehensive book about people who have disappeared in the wilds of North America. It’s understood that people routinely get lost, some want to disappear but this story is about the unusual. Nobody has ever studied the archives for similarities, traits and geographical clusters of missing people, until now.

A tip from a national park ranger led to 3+ years and a 7000 hour investigative effort into understanding the stories behind people who have vanished. The book chronicles children, adults and the elderly who disappeared, sometimes in the presence of friends and relatives. As Search and Rescue personnel exhaust leads and places to search, relatives start to believe kidnappings and abductions have occurred. The belief by the relatives is not an isolated occurrence; it replicates itself time after time, case after case across North America.

The research depicts 28 clusters of missing people across the continent, something that has never been exposed and was a shocking find to researchers. 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.

The manuscript for the research was extremely large so the story was split between two books, Missing 411 Western United States and Canada and Missing 411 Eastern United States. The Eastern version will be released in late March and will include a list of all missing people in each edition and a concluding chapter that draws both books together for conclusions.

Some of the issues that are discussed in each edition:

• The National Park Service attitude toward missing people

• How specific factors in certain cases replicate themselves in different clusters

• Exposing cases involving missing children that aren’t on any national database

• Unusual behavior by bloodhounds/canines involved in the search process

• How storms, berries, swamps, briar patches, boulder fields and victim disabilities play a role in the disappearance

• The strategies of Search and Rescue personnel need to change under specific circumstances

Full source:

  • Valkyrie13

    I am really glad it was raining so I had a chance to listen to this while I did some spring cleaning.  If he really isn’t embellishing, and if it really wasn’t mountain lions or such things, this is some bizarre stuff.  

    One problem, I think he makes too many assumptions about what a kid would and wouldn’t do– kids can wander off at night and they can go to swamps.  Humans are wholly irrational creatures and there’s little sense in trying to guess what they would or wouldn’t do.  Another, I think he’s assuming FOIA requests are made to bureaucratic robots– park rangers are people and regardless of FOIA rules or guidelines, they’re likely to feel strongly about someone trying to uncover info on missing persons that will make their park look bad.  I’ve known a number of people who have made FOIA requests to various gov’t agencies without problems.  The difference here is that even if there is national funding for these parks, they have to remain public friendly to earn more revenue, whereas the CIA or NSA or whatever agency likely doesn’t give a flying f*ck what the public thinks, their funding doesn’t depend in part on happy tourists feeling safe.   

    The strange cases of the two children named Denis at the end, I don’t mean to disrespect their memory, but the fact that they’re both wearing redshirts– I’m reading too much into this– but the term “redshirts” are stock characters meant to be killed off in a show or film.  I guess don’t let your kid wear a red shirt into the forest.  Really though, these are some strange stories.  

  • Valkyrie13

    Also, he made a big deal about the FOIA request fees.  It seems his requests could only be categorized as a commercial interest, I don’t see any request option for journalists, so that would make sense why he’d have to pay so much:

    Who knows though.  

  • Dave Rodriguez

    I’ve previously researched a few of the cases he discusses and never would publicly state that certain kids/or adults were taken by Sasquatch because no parent/family member would want to hear anything like that.   But either there is something else living out in the woods that is dangerous, or as many suspect, not all Sasquatch are friendly.   Most researchers are not exposed to this possibility and in fact simply WANT them to all be friendly because the experiences they have were such.   Granted most are friendly and it is probably the exception that aren’t, but there are many things we don’t know about them that are being ignored by the majority because it is inconvenient.

  • HaywoodZarathustra

    What sucked was when they decided to end the talk of the Dennis Martin disappearance and go to the phones, before they’d much discussed it. If you look it up using a search, it’s one of the weirdest vanishings.

    In ’69 near the Appalachian Trail in the Smokies, 6 year old Martin and his brother and two cousins decide to sneak up around a hikers’ shelter on the Trail and surprise their parents. Three go around one side of the shelter while Martin decides to go solo around the other side. He’s never seen again. No traces, sounds, remnants, nothing.

  • peterL

    If one reads about survival in the wilderness, hazards of hiking, and accounts of long distance hikes , like “A Walk In The Woods” by Bill Bryson. He’s up in the woods of Maine, steps off the trail only a little bit and almost gets lost. Not to mention the occasional attacks by animals, hypothermia for those who can’t make it back to shelter by night fall, starvation, and other mundane things.

  • Scary True

    I’m unable to listen to the story, but I think this is a really provocative idea. It’s like a serial killer MO suddenly turns up, but instead of a single killer, it’s a population of killers. I wonder, however, if we aren’t giving too much credit to reports of missing people. When someone is reported to have vanished without a trace, I’d think it’s more than likely that their killer just got lucky and left no evidence. When a kid goes missing, it’s almost always because of a family member. To report that they disappeared, like in the Martin case below, is just a bad alibi. Something bad probably happend to that kid and somebody knows what it was but there never was any evidence found to point to a suspect. I would think a National Park would be the place to go if you wanted to get rid of a body and a very difficult crime scene. 

  • The last two comments are clearly posted by people who have not listened to the program.
    Many of the victims did not disappear “without a trace;” their remains only add to the mystery.
    “Crime scenes,” if “crime” was actually involved, are documented in many of these cases; it is the nature of the scenes which is extremely difficult to explain.
    I’m from a rural area myself–I’ve been lost in the woods more than once when I was a kid, in areas I thought I knew like the back of my hand–but these case histories are far more than mere google-eyed awe at simple disappearances.
    Try actually reading the book or at least listening to the show before coming up with weak, ignorant rationalizations about what may or may not have happened in cases concerning which, by your own admission, you know nothing.

  • Guest

    The point of the story ISN’T the cost of the lists, it’s that the National Park Service DOESN’T keep lists of missing people, that’s where the cost comes in for them to initiate the list, it’s bizarre and a political bombshell. The park service has federal police officers trained at federal training centers, they are not ignorant, they realize this is sensitive information they MUST TRACK. In a day and age where national parks know how many rolls of toilet paper they order, the idea the don’t know how many people are missing inside their system is an abomination and needs a congressional hearing on how many people are actually missing in their system.

  • Hummel

    So…you would want to drop a body on federal land (thus making it into a “federal investigation”) in a place visited by millions of people a year, where any could walk into you from any angle at any moment. Hmmm. Like a Locked Room mystery, kinda, inversely speaking…