David Paulides & Missing 411

Moooksta

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It's been a while since I read the Missing 411 books. One debunker debunking doesn't sway it for me. I recall reading the books and being awed by what he was reporting. I take the point "He's an author selling books" but I recall there was quite a few interviews with those involved in the disappearances cases including other SAR officers.

The report of the hairy man (like a bear) with the funny face still resonates as does the story of the forestry worker pulled over a fence.

Weird I noticed this thread the same day I read through Hogarth's Stair in the Forest thread which mentions Paulides book amongst the posted tales.
 

chris138

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I just came across the trailer for the movie today and you can watch it here:


The release date however is summer 2016 a bit vague but they say they are "deep in the post-production stage".
 

XEPER_

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What's the deal with these books? Why the hell are they so expensive? Upwards of £60 in the UK? I've read people saying "buy direct from Paulides website, they're only $24." Fair enough, but postage is $57! For one book?
Also, apparently they're printed by Amazon so why aren't they available from Amazon? And why no Kindle version?
As an author myself, I want as many people as possible to buy my books - that means a) making them available in as many places as possible and b) pricing them realistically.
I'm sure a large proportion of people who've read the Missing 411 books must have downloaded them for free from torrent sites - there's not many folk willing to pay £70 for a single book, no matter how great it might be.
 

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What's the deal with these books? Why the hell are they so expensive? Upwards of £60 in the UK? I've read people saying "buy direct from Paulides website, they're only $24." Fair enough, but postage is $57! For one book?
Also, apparently they're printed by Amazon so why aren't they available from Amazon? And why no Kindle version?
As an author myself, I want as many people as possible to buy my books - that means a) making them available in as many places as possible and b) pricing them realistically.
I'm sure a large proportion of people who've read the Missing 411 books must have downloaded them for free from torrent sites - there's not many folk willing to pay £70 for a single book, no matter how great it might be.
Maybe they're printed on gold leaf?
 

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It was the "tiny cows" thing that got me. It was in the first or second book and there were two things I thought of....One was some story somewhere about the Fae raising miniature cattle (have no idea where I read that, might have been a fictional story) but also that I've seen black and white ladybugs and that was my second thought.
 

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Missing 411 and David Paulides. He's catalogued years and years and years of incidents and mysterious disappearances. Some of it's fairly obvious and a misunderstanding of terrain, like, in thick forest it's very possible to pass within like 3 metres of someone and not realise they're there, but there;s some genuinely strange stuff
I've bumped into this title a few times in recent days.

Are these books actual continuous narratives or alphabetical/themed compendia/gazetteers?
 

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Well, I watched the Missing 411: The Hunted film, as suggested by Lordmongrove elsewhere. And I have to say, if i was marking Mr Paulides' homework, I'd have to point out that although it was interesting, and I did enjoy it, he didn't exactly make a proper thread through the film.
It starts off talking about hunters that have disappeared in various parts of america - people who were seemingly experienced woodsmen and shouldn't have got caught out. Some of them couldn't be found, despite extensive searches. Then there were other people who weren't necessarily so experienced, and they disappeared also. I couldn't help thinking that the american wilderness is proper wilderness, where all sorts of accidents could happen (especially to 80+ year olds with one eye and bad hearing) but that's probably beside the point.

When people had been found (dead, unfortunately), and the cases were put down to weird behaviour following hypothermia, Mr Paulides wasn't having it at all. But unless he's an expert on hypothermia (which I'm guessing he's not... At the beginning he's keen to mention that he was in the police, to show what a logical upstanding sort of person he is - which has some traction, of course, in some respects, though maybe not this one).

Then we went into the forest to speak to some hunters who'd recorded Strange Creatures making some strange noises in the 1970s. And also to hear about other weird things they'd seen in the area, like unexplained lights. A sort of Bigfoot - UFO connection. Though not particularly in connection with any people going missing. Other than the fact that America has some big, popular natural parks, where people do indeed go missing.

And then finally we were in a small patch of woods with a woman who'd seen something weird and fuzzy like in the Predator film, and tried to take a photo of it (which didn't come out), and who experienced the Silence of the oz factor, and who forgot about her experience until her nephew mentioned a strange ball of light he and his marching bandmates had seen at the same time a little way down the road.

So these were all interesting things. Going from missing hunter (no particular explanation put forward) to very high weirdness. But there was literally zero to connect the initial disappearances mentioned with UFOs or bigfoots or indeed anything paranormal. Which was kind of a shame, because it rather smacked of someone desperately gathering stories of weirdness and wanting to pin them together to make some bigger sense of them. But although all the things were indeed rather weird in themselves, to try to glue them together sort of devalued the whole thing perhaps (or at least, would make a normal person, not a fortean fan) dismiss the whole lot and throw the baby out with the bathwater.

But thank you for the tip off. I will watch the older film too (the one actually mentioned in this thread).
 

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I said this before on another thread, but my impression of Paulides is there's a fair degree of bullshit, exaggeration & speculation in his output. I think he has to be taken with a large pinch of salt.

There's a few Reddit pages about his stories & some of the comments are worth reading. One one, a member of the search & rescue team said that he didn't recognise the case he was involved in from Paulides account of it.

As you said, there's some proper wilderness & plenty of room for things to go pear-shaped.
 

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Having spent considerable time in various national parks and similar places, and having known some of the rangers well over the years, I must say I am very skeptical of Paulides and his work. Certainly his personal background is relevant to the discussion, especially since he makes much of his having been a police officer and criminal investigator. From what I have been able to gather about that, well, it does nothing to change my skepticism. I would not hire him for any position. His book marketing scheme is worth noting as well.
 

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I am sure ive read one of these books, it all sounds sooooooooooooooo familiar
 

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I said this before on another thread, but my impression of Paulides is there's a fair degree of bullshit, exaggeration & speculation in his output. I think he has to be taken with a large pinch of salt.

There's a few Reddit pages about his stories & some of the comments are worth reading. One one, a member of the search & rescue team said that he didn't recognise the case he was involved in from Paulides account of it.

As you said, there's some proper wilderness & plenty of room for things to go pear-shaped.
He caught my attention a while back while I was watching videos on Bedtime Stories. I found the accounts suspect when I realized Bedtime Stories was simply repeating what Paulides said, so I looked up two of them. The Bart Schleyer case in particular is a bit odd. Paulides apparently made claims about the site where Schleyer died that conflict with the observations made by investigators.

It seems likely to me that Paulides mostly talks up cases and doesn't do a lot of research. This feels like he's trying to make his case compelling by deluging you with so much information you can't verify that it feels like a big deal even if it isn't. It reminds me of something I heard once about the Bermuda Triangle. Why do so many ships disappear in that area? Because it's one of the busiest parts of the ocean. Similarly the US national parks are incredibly busy places and have many visitors that really don't know what to do with nature, but wish to experience it. It's statistically probable for it to be the last thing some of them experience.
 

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I've heard the author on a podcast and he was referring to cases of small children or people with learning difficulties going missing and then turning up alive but unable to explain what happened to them. He kept asking "why is it people who can't communcate their experiences who are targeted?"

IT'S BECAUSE YOU CHERRY PICK THE CASES WHERE THE MISSING PERSON CANT EXPLAIN WHAT HAPPENED, IF THEY COULD, THEY'D LIKELY EXPLAIN THEY HAD SIMPLY BEEN LOST.

Also it was apparently significant that children had walked up hill whilst missing, children never usually walk up hill.
 

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He caught my attention a while back while I was watching videos on Bedtime Stories. I found the accounts suspect when I realized Bedtime Stories was simply repeating what Paulides said, so I looked up two of them.
Bedtime Stories has addressed these criticisms of the channel's Paulides stories.
 

marhawkman

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Bedtime Stories has addressed these criticisms of the channel's Paulides stories.
Well some of them. But yeah people pointed out a LOT of flaws with "Something in the woods" and "Back to the woods". I was talking about "Something in the woods" although they got a lot of feedback about "Back to the Woods" too. The addendum here talks about a few things that show Paulides either did little research or misconstrued the case.

The old lady who was killed in her lookout station? Paulides said there was no sign of foul play, but the official report says otherwise.

The guy at the ski resort? Paulides made a big deal about where his body was found.... after neglecting to mention it's at the bottom of a cliff and he was last known to be alive while standing at the top.

It's hard to believe Paulides did actual research if he didn't know that. But Paulides talks these cases up like mundane explanations are impossible. I could buy that he didn't know... if he didn't exposit on the case so much.
 

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It's on Amazon Prime along with Missing 411: The Hunted.
Thanks for the heads- up! Watched it tonight.

Some intriguing cases, although the earlier ones didn't strike me as overtly Fortean.
The common factor of the individuals all being elderly and disappearing without trace near water, suggested strongly to me the possibility of someone, not in the best of health, slipping or stumbling over rocks and falling into the river, which rapidly swept the bodies away.
The concluding cases of the supposed Bigfoot noises and the glowing UFO with an entire high-school band as witnesses, were more interesting. Wasn't too impressed with the woman's account of what sounded suspiciously like the Predator's invisibility field though.
Overall, worth a look.
 

Bigphoot2

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Thanks for the heads- up! Watched it tonight.

Some intriguing cases, although the earlier ones didn't strike me as overtly Fortean.
The common factor of the individuals all being elderly and disappearing without trace near water, suggested strongly to me the possibility of someone, not in the best of health, slipping or stumbling over rocks and falling into the river, which rapidly swept the bodies away.
The concluding cases of the supposed Bigfoot noises and the glowing UFO with an entire high-school band as witnesses, were more interesting. Wasn't too impressed with the woman's account of what sounded suspiciously like the Predator's invisibility field though.
Overall, worth a look.
That's exactly what I thought, the sounds recorded where quite eerie and what I found interesting was the witness who saw the "predator" thingy was the wife of Bruce Maccabee a physicist and UFO researcher https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Maccabee
 

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Talking Pictures TV did a run of paranormal doc, and one featured Paulides.
It was interesting in a ghost stories around the campfire way, much like the Missing 411 and other such stories are. It didn't mention big foot from what I remember and focused on 2 specific disappearances. One on a snowy mountain, the other in a canyon setting.

There was a bit of a tone deaf moment though towards the end; I thought it was a bit crass however to sit with the wife of a missing presumed dead hiker and 'explain' the disappearance in terms out of sci-fi such as portals and wormholes with nary a lick of hard fact to back it up. Did cringe quite hard at that part.
 

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Talking Pictures TV did a run of paranormal doc, and one featured Paulides.
It was interesting in a ghost stories around the campfire way, much like the Missing 411 and other such stories are. It didn't mention big foot from what I remember and focused on 2 specific disappearances. One on a snowy mountain, the other in a canyon setting.

There was a bit of a tone deaf moment though towards the end; I thought it was a bit crass however to sit with the wife of a missing presumed dead hiker and 'explain' the disappearance in terms out of sci-fi such as portals and wormholes with nary a lick of hard fact to back it up. Did cringe quite hard at that part.
Just to add, there was mention in the canyon one of such things as Kivas being portals to 'elsewhere' and so on but based on a photo taken by chance it looks more like the missing hiker took a different path from that said, possibly the rescue/search efforts being then misdirected. I'm agreeing with the view above that Paulides is maybe 'enhancing' some of the disappearances to make them more mysterious than they would otherwise be.
 

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...I'm agreeing with the view above that Paulides is maybe 'enhancing' some of the disappearances to make them more mysterious than they would otherwise be.
Agreed. I think Paulides has a touch of the Harry Price about him, in that he fervently believes so wants others to, and will.. shall we say... help things along a bit. He also has a touch of the Beckjords in that he sees evidence everywhere. He'll expand (consciously or not) his criteria to find correlations, and therefore includes almost any superficially similar case. Not to detract from the core, prominent ones, but a number are ambiguous in the extreme.
 
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Agreed. I think Paulides has a touch of the Harry Price about him, in that he fervently believes so wants others to, and will.. shall we say... help things along a bit. He also has a touch of the Beckjords in that he sees evidence everywhere. He'll expand (consciously or not) his criteria to find correlations, and therefore includes almost any superficially similar case. Not to detract from the core, prominent ones, but a number are ambiguous in the extreme.
Also there's just SOOO many things listed that fact checking every single case is too much. But... on the other hand, every case I have fact checked he's gotten wrong. Usually in ways that make the accurate account less mysterious. If the details he gets wrong were inconsequential it'd be unimportant, but the things he gets wrong are major.
 

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I've bumped into this title a few times in recent days.

Are these books actual continuous narratives or alphabetical/themed compendia/gazetteers?
By way of answering my own question, I've just watched this enjoyable overview. Although I could pick at various statements he makes, it gave me the basics pretty well.

 

Yithian

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I've had an interest in the Missing 411 books but have also stumbled across a Reddit thread where an experienced search & rescue guy debunks the whole thing fairly convincingly. It's here if you're interested: https://www.reddit.com/r/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/2rp21p ...scroll down a little bit
Just to preserve the key point-counterpoint:

Supposed ommon factors in allegedly mysterious disappearances:
People are missing or found near creeks, rivers -There is a geographical clustering of disspearances -Bad weather usually occurs just as the search party gets under way -Swamps and briar patches play a role in the disappearances -Many disppearances occur in the late afternoon -If a person is later found, they usually are unable or unwilling to remember what happened to them. -The missing are often found in places that were previously searched -Berries are somehow related to the disappearances.

Rebuttal:
Sure. I already mentioned the water thing, so the next point as the OP lists it is geographical clusters of disappearances. If you look at the maps of these "geographical clusters, they just happen to align with remote yet rather popular hiking and camping spots. Like, in National Parks, you have some areas where it's almost impossible to get lost in because they're all paved and extremely clearly marked. Then you have a lot of areas that have extremely low traffic because they're remote and difficult to get through. There's this middle ground where a lot of people go, they're accessible enough that people without wilderness skills head out there, and are relatively high traffic. Of course there are a high number of disappearances in those locations relative to other areas.

Bad weather occurring can be for a couple of reasons. In a lot of parks at higher elevations especially, brief storms blow in more afternoons than not. It also means that we're more likely to find the subject deceased, because you can get hypothermia remarkably quickly (even in the summer). Time is really of the essence in SAR operations, and bad weather that delays or hinders a search is not good for the subject. Since a big part of Paulides' profile is basically "there's no coherent narrative of the time missing," a dead subject is going to fit the profile better because they're not able to explain how they got there. Bad weather that isn't quite bad enough to delay the search also hinders visibility and can wash away scent, rendering tracking dogs less effective. This increases the chance that we'll miss an unresponsive subject, who then later might be found in an area that was searched (which fits another part of his profile).

And speaking of that point...there are 2-3 explanations for subjects being found in areas that were searched. For one thing, it isn't always true. Patches of search areas get missed due to mapping errors, teams getting called in for the day and IC not sending another team to cover the missed area right away, etc. For another thing, we search in grids. The size of the grid is determined by the terrain and conditions (when creating your search plan, you basically try to balance covering a lot of ground with keeping the grid fine enough that you'll probably find them if they're in the area). Especially in areas with heavy underbrush, it's fairly easy to miss an unresponsive subject who crawled into a sheltered area and passed away because it's impossible to cover literally every inch of ground. We're talking massive areas here. Even with dog teams, wind changes and terrain features can prevent a dog from pinpointing a scent.

Finally, if it's a massive search then the subject will probably run into searchers if they're still alive and mobile, but some searches start out pretty small and people very often keep moving (this is not a good idea in most situations; just sit down and wait for us if you get lost). They wind up walking in circles and cross back into areas that were already cleared. If there are only a couple dozen searchers in the field and it's a remote area, it's possible to miss each other.

Briars, swamps and berries are all common enough that it's basically like saying "most murders are committed in houses that have cars parked nearby." It's absolutely meaningless.

Disappearances in late afternoon are also a sticky thing because from what I've seen, he goes by the time the person is reported missing. Of course that's normally in the late afternoon, because that's when people really start noticing their loved ones aren't back from a day hike or whatever. Most of my search callouts of all kinds come between 6-11 PM.

The part about them not being able to remember also has a few explanations. One, he obviously discards any cases where they can remember, because their stories make sense. Two, dehydration, fear and exposure can make you very weak and even hallucinate in a sort of fever dream way. Three, many of these cases where people were recovered alive are small children, who aren't great at telling coherent narratives and separating fact from fiction even when they haven't been lost in the woods for some time. Most of the cases I've been on that fit other areas of the profile can remember their stories just fine, so of course they aren't included in his data. ;)
 

marhawkman

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We're talking massive areas here. Even with dog teams, wind changes and terrain features can prevent a dog from pinpointing a scent.
One specific example was a child who was found dead on top of a cliff. The dog teams had gotten a scent in the area, but couldn't climb the cliff, and ultimately NONE of the search teams actually climbed to the top where the boy was later found.
 

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Having spent considerable time in various national parks and similar places, and having known some of the rangers well over the years, I must say I am very skeptical of Paulides and his work. Certainly his personal background is relevant to the discussion, especially since he makes much of his having been a police officer and criminal investigator. From what I have been able to gather about that, well, it does nothing to change my skepticism. I would not hire him for any position. His book marketing scheme is worth noting as well.
I'm bumping this because I think it's astonishing that no one talks about Paulides' actual history in law enforcement. It isn't good. Isn't that relevant to the content of his books, especially given the questionable nature of his claims? Not to mention the questionable nature of his book marketing.

Here is something else I posted elsewhere several years ago:

Anyone who has spent much time around national parks or the tourist biz knows we don't need some sinister conspiracy to explain the sort of the "stonewalling" I've read about. People die skiing all the time, but unless they are famous or someone you know, you are not likely to hear about it. I suppose you could say the ski (tourist) industry conspires with the media and even state government agencies to keep it quiet, for obvious reasons. Scaring tourists is really bad for business. The Hantavirus scare was devastating to the tour industry, and not just in the southwest. 9-11 nearly finished it off several years later.

The search and rescue outfit in Grand County (Moab), Utah has a web site where they have archived about ten years worth of incident reports. It's called "Silt Happens," and a quick web search will get you there. Grand County is quite large, and includes many parks, canyons, abandoned mines and a wild stretch of the Colorado River. Reading the incident reports is a great way to learn how to behave in the desert, how to prepare, and what to do if things go wrong. It also gets kind of depressing. People do the stupidest shit. Just the stories of lost Boy Scouts and the bonehead behavior of the "adults" in charge is enough to make you think the world has gone nuts.

I don't doubt that some of the weird stories are true, but I would have to see more specific evidence before buying into any sort of conspiracy surrounding them. People disappear in cities, off ships, pretty much anywhere people go.


That Utah site is apparently no longer in existence. That's unfortunate, because it was chock full of interesting stories, many with happy endings but always instructive. Here's a link to a PDF with some of it, but not in a friendly format. I'll see if I can find something better from the Wayback Machine. It's worth reading for someone who has never been to any of the vast parks or wilderness areas like the ones in the US.
https://www.grandcountyutah.net/Archive/ViewFile/Item/65
 
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