David Paulides & Missing 411

dr wu

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Despite also being a Bigfoot investigator, he's deliberately pulled back from positing that as a likely cause (from all I've seen), claiming that he doesn't yet have enough evidence to conclude what might constitute one--and that the Parks Service is obstructing his effort to gather more facts.

We just have this 'cluster of factors' that he believes to be present in a disproportionate number of these cases.

Whether one takes that as indicative of either prudence or cunning on Paulides's behalf is largely subjective.
Well...this 'cluster of factors' doesn't seem to point to bigfoot and aliens imho....but I suppsoe one can interpret these things as they like.
How exactly are the park services 'obstructing' him? I would assume that these disappaearances area matter of public record so what could they do to prevent him from investigating? Since he is not an offcial law enforcement officer they might have a problem with him nosing around but that's not obstruction imho...that's typical bureaucracy.
 

Austin Popper

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Well...this 'cluster of factors' doesn't seem to point to bigfoot and aliens imho....but I suppsoe one can interpret these things as they like.
How exactly are the park services 'obstructing' him? I would assume that these disappaearances area matter of public record so what could they do to prevent him from investigating? Since he is not an offcial law enforcement officer they might have a problem with him nosing around but that's not obstruction imho...that's typical bureaucracy.
Bigfoot.jpg
 

marhawkman

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Well...this 'cluster of factors' doesn't seem to point to bigfoot and aliens imho....but I suppsoe one can interpret these things as they like.
How exactly are the park services 'obstructing' him? I would assume that these disappaearances area matter of public record so what could they do to prevent him from investigating? Since he is not an offcial law enforcement officer they might have a problem with him nosing around but that's not obstruction imho...that's typical bureaucracy.
One specific claim of "obstruction" was also rather absurd for him to make.

Paulides claims that the NPS refused to release Stacey Arras's casefile....

Except that, at some point, the NPS published the casefile on their website.
https://www.nps.gov/aboutus/foia/upload/Released-files-for-Stacy-Arras-case.pdf

hmm... seems suspicious, though I'm not sure when the file was uploaded.

As for the case itself. people literally never found a trace of her. https://www.strangeoutdoors.com/mys...strange-disappearances-from-us-national-parks
Nothing actually all that odd about the information we have. Best guess is that she was kidnapped, but never found. She's almost a poster girl for the "vanished without a trace" trope. There's no log of physical evidence collected.. because they never found anything.

The specific wording of the "obstruction" claim I read could be construed as Paulides asking them to basically give him the ORIGINAL copies of all of the casefile documents... which is not going to happen. Most likely scenario you get a PDF like they uploaded to the website. Maybe if you're nice and ask the right office in person a freshly photocopied file.... still not the original.

I don't have time to fact-check every claim Paulides has made, but every one I have checked has been wrong in some way.

At any rate the general gist of the "obstruction" claim seems to be him asking the NPS to give him stuff and they don't... either because he's asking for original master copies, or for information they simply don't have.... or some other reason... I don't have an exhaustive list. At any rate he seems to be making unreasonable requests of them, then accusing them of obstruction when they can't or won't comply.
It's not outside the realms of possibility that she may have been hiding from her rescuers. Apparently, in cases where mental health or learning difficulties are involved, or where head injury has affected the thought processes of the victim, it is not uncommon for victims to believe that they are in a lot of trouble - and their rescuers, rather than representing salvation, can actually appear to them as an expression of that trouble. (That doesn't of course explain away any of the other alleged anomalies - and, if it were true, would only add to the tragedy of the case.)

On a general note the 'previously searched area' motif is too often automatically used as a red flag indicator of something mysterious, when in fact it's simply another expression of a process which is not in the least infallible.

It's not an uncommon expectation, certainly in the earlier stages of a search, that a live subject will be mobile. Search patterns tend to be structured along geometrical lines - whereas the lost and disoriented often travel, sometimes quite literally, in circles. Although the grid type search is designed to maximise the potential to intersect with a meandering line, it's not an infallible means of doing so - and there's not really any guarantee that the person being searched for cannot wander back into an area already covered, or even circle back around behind a group of searchers.

It's often implied that an area that has been searched has undergone some sort of permanent process, akin to being painted pink or covered in cement. In the case of live subjects, this is quite clearly a fallacy.
More so when you consider manpower vs coverage. Initial searches for presumed living victims tend to be focused on checking as wide an area as possible... and are in no way thorough. It's the old trick of walking through the woods yelling the name of the person you're searching for. You're looking around, but can't look behind every tree or under every rock. the goal is to look in a lot of places as fast as possible. I guess an analogy is looking around in your brother's house for him. you're not going to expect him to be hiding in a cupboard. So you'll do a once over of each room until you find him or look in them all. Trying to find people who are hurt is very time sensitive. finding them this hour and not next hour might be the difference between life and death, or between being healthy and getting frostbite.

Another thing Paulides like to harp about is cases where dog searches failed. Dog searches don't work well in a contaminated search area. having 20 human scent trails crisscrossing taxes their ability to follow the victim's trail.
 
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Yithian

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At any rate the general gist of the "obstruction" claim seems to be him asking the NPS to give him stuff and they don't... either because he's asking for original master copies, or for information they simply don't have.... or some other reason... I don't have an exhaustive list. At any rate he seems to be making unreasonable requests of them, then accusing them of obstruction when they can't or won't comply.

This is one aspect on which I can speak accurately (I think). These are what I recall of his positions, I make no personal comment on their validity:

Paulides believes that the NPS do have records, records that would amount in toto to a near exhaustive list, but that they claim they do not, possibly, he speculates, because they are embarrassed by the slapdash nature of the investigations and searches that they conducted 'back in the day' (and he expresses some sympathy with them on this--the past being a different country and all that).

He further believes that the cost projected by the NPS to write-up and assemble their supposedly disparate files has been deliberately inflated to $1.4 million to prevent their having to release them.

More recently, he claims that his requests to film a documentary in (I think) Yellowstone have been mendaciously refused: that the NPS has been exploiting the Covid-19 lockdown and is being unreasonably meticulous with the process in order to to string-out the process so that the advance planning for his project becomes impracticable. One example of this he gives is that after paying the application fee (a few thousand dollars, I think) and completing a raft of paperwork, he was advised that the areas had asked to use were out of bounds. Rather than allowing him to 'transfer' the request to cover another area of the same park, they required that all the paperwork be resubmitted with another administrative fee and months more waiting. Specifically on this subject, he states that they are refusing to allow him to film in the non-public areas in which the disappearances actually took place (on the grounds that the terrain, flora and fauna look much the same elsewhere and he doesn't need to be there), which while it obviates the costly need to visit Yellowstone at all, also stifles the attempt at authenticity for his film. He believes, I paraphrase, that their motivation here is to 'kill the story' as the public attention he has drawn to these cases (considerable, I think we'd agree) is bad for their institutional reputation.

I was going to supply links to the documents he has posted in support of these claims, but his website appears to be down at present.

There was also something about a conversation he or an associate had with somebody high-up in government (a former member of the administration, I think) that he believes supports his belief that such files as he wishes to view have already been assembled, but I'd have to check the details.
 

marhawkman

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This is one aspect on which I can speak accurately (I think). These are what I recall of his positions, I make no personal comment on their validity:

Paulides believes that the NPS do have records, records that would amount in toto to a near exhaustive list, but that they claim they do not, possibly, he speculates, because they are embarrassed by the slapdash nature of the investigations and searches that they conducted 'back in the day' (and he expresses some sympathy with them on this--the past being a different country and all that).

He further believes that the cost projected by the NPS to write-up and assemble their supposedly disparate files has been deliberately inflated to $1.4 million to prevent their having to release them.
Records of what though? Does he think they have an internal missing persons list that isn't public? Or does he think there are documents relevant to various investigations that are still secret? When discussing the Stacey Arras case he claimed the NPS was hiding the truth. But he never makes a claim about what exactly he thinks they're hiding or even why he believes they're hiding something. It's like with Fox Mulder in the X-Files "the truth is out there"..... But only in the general sense of "someone knows things I don't". The whole thing comes across as a blanket claim of wrongdoing by the NPS, especially given how he characterizes the missing 411 casefiles as a "disaster"...
More recently, he claims that his requests to film a documentary in (I think) Yellowstone have been mendaciously refused: that the NPS has been exploiting the Covid-19 lockdown and is being unreasonably meticulous with the process in order to to string-out the process so that the advance planning for his project becomes impracticable. One example of this he gives is that after paying the application fee (a few thousand dollars, I think) and completing a raft of paperwork, he was advised that the areas had asked to use were out of bounds. Rather than allowing him to 'transfer' the request to cover another area of the same park, they required that all the paperwork be resubmitted with another administrative fee and months more waiting. Specifically on this subject, he states that they are refusing to allow him to film in the non-public areas in which the disappearances actually took place (on the grounds that the terrain, flora and fauna look much the same elsewhere and he doesn't need to be there), which while it obviates the costly need to visit Yellowstone at all, also stifles the attempt at authenticity for his film. He believes, I paraphrase, that their motivation here is to 'kill the story' as the public attention he has drawn to these cases (considerable, I think we'd agree) is bad for their institutional reputation.
I'd question why he wants to film on site at all. What does he think that bringing a live camera crew will accomplish?
There was also something about a conversation he or an associate had with somebody high-up in government (a former member of the administration, I think) that he believes supports his belief that such files as he wishes to view have already been assembled, but I'd have to check the details.
In one interview transcript I read, he made a vague claim that some people inside the NPS are actually supportive of his efforts even though they publicly deny it. Conveniently these people swore him to not reveal their identities.
 

Yithian

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Records of what though? Does he think they have an internal missing persons list that isn't public? Or does he think there are documents relevant to various investigations that are still secret? When discussing the Stacey Arras case he claimed the NPS was hiding the truth. But he never makes a claim about what exactly he thinks they're hiding or even why he believes they're hiding something. It's like with Fox Mulder in the X-Files "the truth is out there"..... But only in the general sense of "someone knows things I don't". The whole thing comes across as a blanket claim of wrongdoing by the NPS, especially given how he characterizes the missing 411 casefiles as a "disaster"...
I'd question why he wants to film on site at all. What does he think that bringing a live camera crew will accomplish?
In one interview transcript I read, he made a vague claim that some people inside the NPS are actually supportive of his efforts even though they publicly deny it. Conveniently these people swore him to not reveal their identities.

I hold no brief to defend his claims, but I will defend his desire to film in the actual locations that the unfortunate individuals disappeared from.

As a viewer, I don't want to see generic woodland that represents a location, I want to see the actual location.

Imagine filming a Jack the Ripper documenatry in another part of London with similar period architecture.
 

Kondoru

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If the parks in the US are like our parks, they are short of staff, money and time.

They dont want to deal with a nut job who is only interested in giving them bad publicity.

Solving cases yes, and maybe making things safer...what is he doing to achieve that?
 

Spookdaddy

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I hold no brief to defend his claims, but I will defend his desire to film in the actual locations that the unfortunate individuals disappeared from...

Maybe, but I'd also defend a conservators desire to protect sensitive environments - especially if there's a chance that media exposure might encourage increased unmonitored and unregulated traffic.
 

Austin Popper

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I know some people who work for the NPS, a few of whom have by now worked their way up the food chain and live in the Washington DC area. I've known quite a number of people who work at other agencies, BLM, Forest Service, etc. They are generally cut from the same cloth. I have a very hard time imagining any of them thinking of someone like Paulides as anything other than a screwball who can only do them or their employers harm. They can, of course, put his name into their favorite search engine as easily as I can, and find both his flaky Bigfoot site (close association with the Ketchum shitshow, fer chrissakes!) and his claims of being a detective. I'm sure the ones who have done so were just as "impressed" as I am. It would not surprise me at all if some of those people are obstructing him either directly or through some more passive means. I can't say I blame them.

As for the out of bounds areas in the parks, I can't say much about what is there since I'm just a member of the public and not allowed there, but what I do know is it's usually not a large area of a park. Much of it is employee housing, some of it quite shabby depending on the decade, or sensitive areas as mentioned. I don't want film crews tromping around in either sort of place. The people who live in the housing areas deal with us tourons all day and have earned whatever privacy they can enjoy in their dilapidated trailer houses and other meager accommodations. A viewer's theoretical need for "authenticity" is really kind of a joke if one is discussing television productions. You ain't gonna get it, even if the NPS allowed the crew free access to every inch of the park, and even if you could, there are places no one is allowed for very good reasons.

Paulides has chosen an interesting field of study, and has done some respectable work, but he has also polluted the field with more nonsense than the typical whacked out ufologist ever manages to inflict on their chosen topic. I would like to see these cases solved, of course, but I think he has done more harm than good.

I greatly admire the people running our parks, and give them high marks for protecting the places while allowing as many people as possible to enjoy them. They have a difficult job, in no small part because of the mountain of bullshit they have to deal with from shitty politicians who have been elevated several steps beyond their level of competence. Add in hordes of fools who think they can hike down into places like the Grand Canyon without water or even decent shoes (I've seen shit you would not believe) and you have a recipe for disaster on a daily basis.
 

dr wu

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A 52 minute talk by Paulides on you tube Feb 2020....he talks about some very weird things related to missing people, and it's pretty clear he thinks the weird cases are either time and space portals, aliens, or supernatural cryptids.....at least that's how I interpret his comments.
He even uses the word Fortean at one point.
 

stu neville

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Imagine filming a Jack the Ripper documenatry in another part of London with similar period architecture.
Or, in the case of the Michael Caine movie version, a street near my own (a whole hundred and some miles away.) Landmarks and scale aside, Bristol and London are largely interchangeable in that respect, and it depends on whether you want authentic-looking environs or cartographic accuracy. I do take the point that a documentary and a drama are different, obviously, but a lot will also depend on how accessible the area is, which leads onto..
As for the out of bounds areas in the parks, I can't say much about what is there since I'm just a member of the public and not allowed there, but what I do know is it's usually not a large area of a park.
For quite a lot of cases in which we're interested generally their remoteness plays a large part - Tunguska, Dyatlov.. Bigfoot-wise the area in which Ron Morehead recorded the Sierra Sounds is only reachable by two days on horseback (or four days hiking.) It could be in terms of sheer logistics that it's not worth getting a crew there, especially if a long-ish time has elapsed. Bluff Creek now looks very little like Bluff Creek when the PG film was shot: trees grow, trees fall, which affects the topography, the light, everything. It may be geographically the same point but in all other respects it's a different environment altogether - Fortean investigation in non-curated landscapes is a different beast from the inhabited or utilised.
 

marhawkman

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For quite a lot of cases in which we're interested generally their remoteness plays a large part - Tunguska, Dyatlov.. Bigfoot-wise the area in which Ron Morehead recorded the Sierra Sounds is only reachable by two days on horseback (or four days hiking.) It could be in terms of sheer logistics that it's not worth getting a crew there, especially if a long-ish time has elapsed. Bluff Creek now looks very little like Bluff Creek when the PG film was shot: trees grow, trees fall, which affects the topography, the light, everything. It may be geographically the same point but in all other respects it's a different environment altogether - Fortean investigation in non-curated landscapes is a different beast from the inhabited or utilised.
Which gets back to the question of "why bother?" What's the goal behind filming the site? Is he planning to attempt to retrace the steps of the individuals in the case files? I can't think of anything else that would be a valid reason to go to the actual sites years after the fact. CSI is unlikely to produce new evidence in a site that's already been investigated years ago. Also the locations look drastically different now. Then there's how some of them are locations so rugged the initial group of searches failed to find their target despite being mere yards from the corpse. Which in turn makes me wonder which cases he's going for...
 

Yithian

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Which gets back to the question of "why bother?" What's the goal behind filming the site? Is he planning to attempt to retrace the steps of the individuals in the case files? I can't think of anything else that would be a valid reason to go to the actual sites years after the fact. CSI is unlikely to produce new evidence in a site that's already been investigated years ago. Also the locations look drastically different now. Then there's how some of them are locations so rugged the initial group of searches failed to find their target despite being mere yards from the corpse. Which in turn makes me wonder which cases he's going for...

Having read and listened to some of his output, I would say that he places quite a lot of emphasis on the precise details of the exact spots at which the missing individuals were last seen (when this is clear). He often mentions things like the density of fauna, the depth or speed of flowing water, the gradients of slopes and the quality of trails to argue that certain eventualities are more plausible than others.

Similary, part of his logic for the disappearances being remarkable is that they often took place in areas where you might imagine it is hard to elude the sight of observers, areas from which it is hard to have strayed into the relative wilderness in which they were discovered unintentionally.

I've done a good amount of mountain hiking and am not personally very convinced by this (it's suprising, for example, how greatly sound can be masked and muffled over comparatively short distances), but it would explain why he believes that the authentic locations are essential for him to tell the story / make the case as he sees it.
 

marhawkman

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Having read and listened to some of his output, I would say that he places quite a lot of emphasis on the precise details of the exact spots at which the missing individuals were last seen (when this is clear). He often mentions things like the density of fauna, the depth or speed of flowing water, the gradients of slopes and the quality of trails to argue that certain eventualities are more plausible than others.

Similarly, part of his logic for the disappearances being remarkable is that they often took place in areas where you might imagine it is hard to elude the sight of observers, areas from which it is hard to have strayed into the relative wilderness in which they were discovered unintentionally.

I've done a good amount of mountain hiking and am not personally very convinced by this (it's surprising, for example, how greatly sound can be masked and muffled over comparatively short distances), but it would explain why he believes that the authentic locations are essential for him to tell the story / make the case as he sees it.
Some of them are such remote locations finding pictures is nearly impossible. So it makes sense to want to acquire pictures. But... how many years has it been? How much have the sites changed?
 

EnolaGaia

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But... how many years has it been? How much have the sites changed?

An excellent point ... The time lapse - combined with the attention to sometimes large 'areas' rather than specific sites - makes it difficult to understand why Paulides seems confident there's anything to be gained or learned. This makes the basis for his complaints about access seem as shaky as some aspects of his theories.
 

stu neville

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He's just tweeted this:

Screenshot_20201108-183228_Twitter.jpg

..however he deleted the next tweet, in which he accused an inter-dimensional Bigfoot of causing Mr Trebek's demise.
 

marhawkman

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I suspect that we would all question anyone who tried to tie deaths in car crashes, or from alcoholism - or, for that matter anything from mountaineering accidents to meth lab explosions - to some sort of external paranormal interference; certainly if the individual involved seemed to be using the majority of the sample to back up their claim.

But, to my mind, this is precisely what Paulides is doing: taking a particular type of environment, completely sidelining the fundamental and omnipresent hazards involved, and applying an external cause. (Example: This person died, not because they weren't wearing a seatbelt and they were thrown through the vehicle window after hitting a wall at 70 mph - but because aliens used a big hoover to suck them out of the car. In some cases - many in fact - it's as utterly dense as that.)

Absolutely without question there certainly are some very mysterious incidents - you don't need to have even seen any of the 411 stuff to know that - but, in Paulides case, he seems determined to bury the mystery under mountains and mountains of chaff.
This reminded me of something else that he says that's strange... He acts like it's unusual for search parties to get called off due to inclement weather. Sure, you can make an argument that bad weather increase the importance of finding the person. But what's the point if multiple searchers get hurt or worse? Also you're LESS likely to find the victim in bad weather.

He even talks about cases where search and rescue workers were harmed by searching, but acts like it's weird for searches to get interrupted by inclement weather? Jaryd Atadero is one such case. The search failed when a helicopter that was being used to look on top of ridges and cliffs crashed and the crew nearly died. It crashed due to sudden high winds. But the location that Jaryd's remains were found is a location that was planned to search via helicopter since it was too rough to search on foot. If the chopper hadn't crashed Jaryd would probably have been found.
 
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Austin Popper

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Those are tough calls for the people in charge of search and rescue operations. Unfortunately, the responsibility for those things often falls to local sheriffs, who have limited budgets, limited staff, and who are not experts in the highly specialized field. Many of the people who do the hard work in miserable weather are volunteers, and their safety is as important as anything else.

The way the laws are written in the US, responsibility for S&R usually defaults to county sheriffs. In Colorado where I live, that's often someone who has a vast area to patrol with a handful of people. That means important business can go unattended even on a good day. Coordinating an effective search can be a huge job, especially in the sort of terrain where people tend to go missing out here. Help is available, but the practical reality of it is often a patchwork of bureaus and agencies doing their best to work efficiently in difficult circumstances. There has been talk of making the job a state responsibility by default, something that makes a hell of a lot of sense in a place like this. There are many state level efforts at promoting the tourist industry here. There does not seem to be a shortage of money or resources for that.

Having a small staff of specialists trained in S&R, ready to go out and coordinate such efforts would be a huge help. They would be working at building and maintaining relationships with local authorities when not actively carrying out searches, which would be most of the time. You'd have outreach, education, recruitment of volunteers at the local level, people with knowledge of who to call for what and where, with contact information in their phones. Such things exist at the state level in all sorts of other areas where many different people and agencies need to work together. Wildfire management is one obvious example. Search and rescue is just an area that has been neglected.

An example of the sort of problems that should not exist is the fire department and ambulance situation in a nearby town. There is the incorporated town, and a huge subdivision next to it. Each has a fire department and ambulance crew. As one might guess, many of the firefighters and EMTs are members of two or more such agencies. That means they have to deal with many bureaucracies, from town government to the sheriff's deparmtent and so on. Each agency has its own paper work, payment system, and equipment requirements. All of those volunteers have to spend time dealing with all of that stuff instead of going out for practice, or just having some time off. There was an effort some years ago to combine all of that in one emergency services district or some such entity. There were two ballot measures established, one to create the district and one to fund it with a tax mill levy. As often happens here in Murricah, the creation of the district passed easily, but the funding was voted down. Officials were then put in a very awkward, no-win situation where they were legally required to set up the entity but didn't get a penny with which to do it. To their credit, they managed to cobble together a workable solution, but it was pretty much the opposite of an improvement in efficiency.
 

marhawkman

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Yeah, here's one thing I'll never forget... because it physically scarred me for life.

Back when Tropical Storm Isabel made landfall I was living in one of the areas affected by it. I didn't have anything specific to do, so I decided to be helpful and walked around outside for a bit clearing fallen tree branches from roads.

Guess how I got scarred for life? I slipped on a patch of loose mud on a hillside. Not rough terrain, someone's YARD, but the heavy rain made it slippery enough for me to lose my footing.... and I just happened to fall so that my right shin broke the tree branch I was dragging. Snapped the branch clean in half and unknown to me made a rather deep gouge. It was dark because of a power outage so I didn't take a close look.. and by morning it didn't hurt and had scabbed over. I didn't go to the doctor until it started to ooze puss. Then it needed minor surgery to clean out.... didn't really do anything but make a scar though.

At any rate... that happened while doing yard work in city limits. Imagine if I was doing something actually dangerous on rough terrain? a mishap like that might have killed me. :/ And... well... reading search and rescue reports tells me that it's something they worry about a lot :/
 

Austin Popper

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Ouch.

How many people have died doing S&R?
That's a good question. I don't recall hearing of any. I've read about some who needed rescue themselves, some near misses, some injuries. Of course losing a searcher is a nightmare scenario for any official, so they tend to be cautious. I know I would be. Some searches balloon to hundreds of people out poking around in the bush, which is hazardous even if they are experienced in back country travel. It has to cause a lot of lost sleep for those in charge.
 

Austin Popper

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Ah yes. I had not been thinking in terms of aircraft disappearances or crashes, but people in the woods or desert searching for missing people. I would be surprised if there weren't some of those too, but I can't think of any right off hand.
 

Spookdaddy

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This reminded me of something else that he says that's strange... He acts like it's unusual for search parties to get called off due to inclement weather. Sure, you can make an argument that bad weather increase the importance of finding the person. But what's the point if multiple searchers get hurt or worse? Also you're LESS likely to find the victim in bad weather...

That's nuts - for precisely the reasons you state - and as an ex police Paulides must know that's nuts, surely?

I'm sure that different search and rescue agencies grade these things in different ways, and that there will be some circumstances where searches will carry on overnight and in bad weather – but a very basic calculation in any such action will be focused on balancing the resources needed to carry out a process, against the likely attrition of those resources during that process. In these cases, breaking off and holding back would be part of a strategy, not the suspension of one - and I’d be willing to bet a big bag of sweeties that goes for other none rescue related forms of police search actions too.

Those are tough calls for the people in charge of search and rescue operations. Unfortunately, the responsibility for those things often falls to local sheriffs, who have limited budgets, limited staff, and who are not experts in the highly specialized field. Many of the people who do the hard work in miserable weather are volunteers, and their safety is as important as anything else...

Even at a fairly local level – where you might assume that people would know their environment, the logistics involved in negotiating it, and the local facilities for doing so - I think there often exists what one might call a resource fallacy, which is probably based largely on simple assumption, and movies. When real world logistics don’t live up to movie-land expectations people assume that something has gone wrong – rather than that they’ve just come face to face with the nuts and bolts of reality.

(Not being US based, I think I only really became aware of just how big the latter issues are when reading Donald Harstad's crime fiction back in the early 2000s. Harstad is a retired Iowa deputy sheriff, and his knowledge of the constraints that economics and limited facilities and manpower force on rural sheriffs departments is clear in his writing - I seem to recall one episode where even the budgetary consequences of using too much hazard tape got a mention. Harstad also wrote the best non-supernatural vampire novel I've read - although that's clearly a different matter entirely, and, to be fair, I haven't read any other non-supernatural vampire novels.)
 
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marhawkman

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That's a good question. I don't recall hearing of any. I've read about some who needed rescue themselves, some near misses, some injuries. Of course losing a searcher is a nightmare scenario for any official, so they tend to be cautious. I know I would be. Some searches balloon to hundreds of people out poking around in the bush, which is hazardous even if they are experienced in back country travel. It has to cause a lot of lost sleep for those in charge.
The Jaryd Atadero case had a helicopter with a crew of 4 go down due to heavy winds. The chopper was totaled and the flight team needed rescued. Some of them were badly hurt. the report I read suggested one of them was too badly hurt to walk and another had a severe head injury. I guess this would be a near miss, but a close call indeed. Unlike the movies the fuel tank didn't explode on impact. Instead.... the helicopter engine somehow got disconnected from the fight controls and couldn't be shut off, so people let it keep running until it emptied the fuel tank.... yeah... I guess the fuel tank wasn't even leaking? If the chopper had gone down in flames the crew would probably have died.
 

EnolaGaia

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