Following data collected by NamUs (National Missing and Unidentified Persons System) total of 600,000 people of the USA go missing or lost annually in strange circumstances.
The details of about 89% to 92% of people is tracked down either found alive or deceased. But still, the missing rest of the people remains anonymous. The data fails to acknowledge the total number of people missing in the wildlands.
But as per the report by David Paulides’ Bigfoot hunters nearly 1,600 people go missing into the wildlands of National Parks in very mysterious and intriguing ways. This report is more reliable as neither the department of interior nor the department of agriculture’s US forest service keeps account of these missing people. The trace of these people is impossible.
Jon Billman a journalist caught his attention to these mysteries and is investigating occurrences of such events from the ’90s now. According to his investigations, an investigating team is formed of government people and volunteers accompanied by a few numbers’ sniffer dogs and airplanes.
The first few days are very crucial but with time upon finding no vital clues or traces found the search is abandoned. People say it’s a conspiracy with the government hiding the information. It is also believed that the department of forest services has an account of disappearances but hides it fearing that it might affect the tourist activities.
Some stories of missing people
1. Joe Keller: It was on 23 July 2015 on a day before his 19th birthday Joe Keller and his friend Collin Gwaltney went for running tracking their path through Conejos Canyon later headed towards the forest road. Joe slower in pace was lagging.
Collin later rushed to Joe’s aunt’s place but Joe didn’t arrive late in the evening before the dinner. So, Collin and Christian drove up roads to search for Joe, honking for his friend to find his way to them. But it was a failed attempt.
Later a small patrol headed to find which again failed to find Joe. Hence, Joe’s parents were called and informed about the disappearance of Joe. Upon the arrival of Joe’s parents, a professional search began looking from him from starting point to the last point he was seen. A team of 200 people accompanied by 15 dogs and airplanes moved across the forest only to find no clue.
Posters were published of reward worth $10,000. But soon volunteers started to leave. Rumors and conspiracies filled the air. Joe’s body was found in a field below the cliff by John Rienstra on 6th July 2016. The post mortem said Joe had broken his ankle and it was a head trauma that caused him death.
2. Dale Stehling:
Dale Stehling along with Denean Stehling (wife of Dale) went to National Park in Colorado for 21 days’ vacation. It was the fourth out of 21 days of their tour on June 9, 2013, at Mesa Verde.
Dale went hiking to Spruce Tree House Ruin and informed his wife of the same. It was after two or more hours that it struck Denean about his husband’s disappearance due to his non-arrival. They started at search which lasted for two weeks.
The search team comprised of two dog teams, six rescuers along with airplanes and teams with ropes to search the area under the cliff. The operation was unsuccessful in searching Dale. The search teams are restricted in certain regions of the National Parks.
3. Casey Hathaway:
In 2019, this 3-year-old toddler had disappeared in the wildlands of North Carolina from her grandma’s place. The search-and-rescue operation for the boy began and after three days of search in low temperature almost freezing with the rainy winds blowing boy was found alive at 4000 feet from where he went missing.
The teams are prepared for the search operation of these disappeared people. The team comprises government officials, airplanes and helicopters, forest rangers and volunteers, sniffer dogs.
But due to no evidence or lack of evidence the research starts winding up. There are scenarios that the disappearance of the person is not supported by any logical reason.
In such cases, it remains a mystery. Sometimes the person is found from the nearby areas of last seen. Sometimes they are found from far places having no connection of they would have ended up there.
They are often found without their shoes and clothes. If investigated early on time they could be found alive. The bodies are often found at the place that was previously searched or in some nearby location.
Heidi Streetman teaches research methods at Denver’s Regis University is a missing person’s activist. She has filed a petition which states the need to have a department of the interior that would be accountable for the count of persons that go missing in the wildland of National Park’s forests.
The reason behind certain disappearances is logical and certain are still a mystery. The bigfoot hunters’ team, activists like Heidi Streetman and journalists like Jon Billman and few others are working towards the discovery of these missing people.