David Paulides is a name that, for better or for worse, never fails to spark discussion amongst fringe theorists and conspiracy realists. Paulides is a controversial figure, intrepid journalist to some, distasteful hack to others, but whatever your opinion of him you cannot dispute that there is something weird going on in the National Parks and forests of North America and perhaps even the world over.
To begin with, the MIssing411 is a project begun by former Police Detective David Paulides. The project, as indicated by its epithet, collates and documents data about missing people throughout North America focusing primarily on those that disappear in National Parks and trails and specifically those who disappear under circumstances deemed to be obscure and illogical. The circumstances for some of these disappearances may not at first glance appear to be weird or out of the ordinary, but upon closer inspection it is alarmingly clear that something very strange and perhaps even sinister is going on. In this 3 part series of articles, I will cover different aspects of the project focusing primarily on the circumstances, reactions by Government agencies and officials and finally theories as to what these disappearances can be attributed to.
The circumstances around what qualifies a case as a missing 411 case are at the same time incredibly vague and incredibly specific. One of the most prevalent circumstances is that when brought in to trail the victim, sniffer dogs either react unusually or cannot pick up a scent at all. Sniffer dogs usually have a success rate of 85%, meaning that by and large they are an effective method of recovering a person or corpse. Paulides notes that the fear response that many of the dogs have when refusing to track is unusual, and indicates that there is potentially something far larger than a simple disappearance or loss of direction going on. This could point to certain theories as to what is causing these disappearances, but in an attempt to stay rational and factual we’ll save that for part three.
Another of the circumstances is that many of the victims of these disappearances when found are in various states of undress, or oftentimes only their clothes are recovered. Initially, this seems like one of the more explainable factors of the cases. It is a well documented fact that the phenomena of Paradoxical undressing exists and occurs more frequently than many would believe. Paradoxical undressing is, in short, an instance in which a victim of hypothermia begins to undress themselves because of a simulated sensation of being hot. This leads to people in snowy or cold conditions dying even quicker as they are left with no protection against the elements. While it would be easy to say that many of the victims fell prey to this phenomena, that does not explain why the clothes are usually found folded on boulders or near large groups of rocks. Similarly, this phenomena occurs in hypothermia victims but victims who went missing in the middle of summer in the American wilderness are not entirely likely to be hypothermic. This is one of the circumstances that is truly baffling, especially when you consider that not every missing person found without clothing was a hypothermia victim.
The final condition I will touch upon today is the fact that many of the victims are found miles away from where they went missing, usually also at different altitudes. Paulides relates the account of 12 year old mentally challenged Kenny Miller who disappeared without a trace while with his parents in Yosemite National Park. A month later, the boy was found on a treacherous ridge 1,500 feet higher than where he had vanished from and had died of exposure. No signs of predation were found on his body ruling out the possibility that a bear or mountain lion had carried him up there after his de̳a̳t̳h̳. There is also the case of a 2 year old boy found 12 miles from his last known location. This occurred over a mere 19 hours, and I find it damn near impossible that a 2 year old boy had travelled 12 miles on his own without being seen or found by anyone.
These circumstances are weird indeed, but what I find even weirder is the response that various Government agencies have given in response to these cases and when pressed for information. Find out all about them in part two next week.