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Missing Persons

Will do. So far I'm halfway through the West one and it's...chilling. There are some really creepy things about a lot of these disappearances.

I plan to do a proper review of the series when I'm finished, so I'll post a link to that.
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rynner2 said:
The Genette Tate case has always stuck in my mind - I almost felt personally involved. I was newly married at the time and living in Devon. Only two weeks after Genette disappeared my own daughter was born.

The papers continued to cover the ongoing police investigations of Genette's disappearance for quite some time afterwards. Her father was under suspicion for a while, which probably led to the breakup of his marriage. Every death of a child has unwanted results in the family and the wider world.
Genette Tate: New hope over Aylesbeare disappearance

Detectives are making another attempt to solve the mystery of the disappearance of Devon schoolgirl Genette Tate almost 36 years ago.
They have asked prosecutors to look at bringing charges against serial child killer Robert Black.

Genette, 13, vanished while delivering newspapers in Aylesbeare, east Devon, in 1978. Her body has never been found.
Black was convicted in 2011 of murdering nine-year-old Jennifer Cardy in Northern Ireland, in 1981.

Devon and Cornwall Police have asked the Crown Prosecution Service's Complex Casework Unit to examine whether Black, long considered the prime suspect, can be brought to trial for Genette's murder.

Bad character evidence about his previous child killings was put before the jury during the Cardy trial, a decision which was upheld by the Court of Appeal last year.
Black had previously been found guilty of murdering three other young girls.

Detectives want to see if such evidence could be used to help bring a case against Black for Genette's disappearance.
Devon barrister Gavin Collett said: "Evidence like this can have a powerful impact upon a jury."

A senior Devon and Cornwall Police source said that if the attempt to use bad character evidence was unsuccessful, detectives could once again interview Black in prison.
But, the officer said, it was "a long shot" as Black had previously refused to co-operate.

Tim Swarbrick, a retired Devon and Cornwall Police superintendent, said, "Cases like this are never closed. It would mean a great deal to the police and the community to see the mystery of Genette's disappearance finally solved."

Black was arrested by Devon and Cornwall Police in 2005 in connection with Genette's disappearance but there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him. He is serving multiple life sentences for his crimes.

In a statement, Devon and Cornwall Police said they were "liaising with the Complex Case Unit of the Crown Prosecution Service to ascertain if the 2013 Court of Appeal judgement following the murder of Jennifer Cardy in Northern Ireland [in which Black's conviction and the use of bad character evidence was upheld], has any bearing on the Genette Tate case".
The force added: "This liaison is still at a very early stage and will take some time to complete."

garrick92 said:
in Olden Dayes, sailors would begin to hallucinate that the sea was actually rolling green pastures, and would jump overboard, longing to tread on terra firma again. Not sure what the condition is called now, but it was well-known among mariners and was referred to as "The Calenture" -- it features in one of John Donne's poems, although I forget which.
The condtion now is known as Heatstroke!

"Sailors from temperate climes who were transported into the tropics sometimes suffered a heatstroke, called a calenture, that resulted in temporary insanity. The tale used to be told that weeks of being becalmed in the Doldrums led afflicted sailors to imagine the sea to be the cool green fields of home and that they would try to reach it by jumping overboard."

Link includes literary snippets.

I've spent a lot of time at sea, staring at it (or 'keeping a good look-out', as we quaintly termed it ;) ); also a lot of time on land, staring at the sea (the final straw that decided me to leave the Coastguard was when TPTB moved our Ops Room so that we could barely see the sea!); I've even spent a couple of weeks on a North Sea oil rig, which I left as soon as I could because of the constant noise, which might have driven me mad, in time.

So my experience leads me to dismiss the idea that staring at the sea causes insanity. Heatstroke or other privations of the seafaring life might well lead to mental problems, but if just staring at the sea was enough, cruise ships would lose hundreds of passengers each voyage, and quickly go out of business!
The word "calenture", discussed here, caught my attention. Hitherto, I'd encountered it only once -- long ago, in a ballad by John Masefield, Cape Horn Gospel, telling in "rough sailormen's language", about a disastrous voyage in the environs of South America. One stanza thereof, runs:

"Joe were chippin' a rusty plate a-squattin' upon the deck,
An' all the watch he had the sun a-singein' him on the neck,
An' forward he falls at last, he does, an' he lets his mallet go:
Dead as a nail with a calenture, an' that was the end of Joe."

Reading the above back then, I figured out the meaning of "calenture" from the context: which would indicate that Masefield here, is in the "straightforward heatstroke" camp, minus the "delusion that the sea is fields on terra firma" element.
4 February 2015 Last updated at 17:01 GMT
''Brice Veevers: Missing man's bone found on Fleetwood beach''

More here, http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-lancashire-31136221

What a great post - short and to the point, and intriguing! This is how it's done. ;)

Anyway... I wonder why the girls handed in the bone? I've often seen bones washed up on beaches and assumed that they were from unlucky sheep. Perhaps I should take more notice next time.
If I'd found a bone like that, I'd have left it in place and then called out the police.
Moving it is just daft.
If I'd found a bone like that, I'd have left it in place and then called out the police.
Moving it is just daft.

It could be carried off by the tide or by a dog (police do not always respond in a timely manner). A more careless person might pick it up and throw it into the sea.
Someone else might take it home for an amulet o_O I know I'd be torn between the (in my eyes at least) auspiciousness of coming across human bone and my hookey materialism, and thoughts of the guy's family and their right for information & evidence on what happened.
The Genette Tate case has always stuck in my mind - I almost felt personally involved. I was newly married at the time and living in Devon. Only two weeks after Genette disappeared my own daughter was born.
Genette Tate murder file against Robert Black submitted to CPS

A file of evidence against a man suspected of murdering a schoolgirl almost 40 years ago has been submitted to prosecutors, the BBC has learnt.
Robert Black - who died in prison in January - was believed to have murdered 13-year-old Genette Tate in Devon in 1978.
Devon and Cornwall Police said the file runs to "scores of pages".

Genette's body has not been found since she vanished while delivering evening newspapers in Aylesbeare, near Exeter.
Her case is believed to be the longest running missing person inquiry in Britain.

A senior police source told the BBC: "We would like a clear statement that it [Crown Prosecution Service] would have charged Black with Genette's murder.
"It's the closest we can now get to justice and might offer some comfort to her family and the community."
The new file is the result of two years of work by a dedicated group of eight detectives - including some who worked on the original inquiry - from the force's Major Crime Team.

But, John Tate, Genette's father, said: "It's a shame this file was not submitted earlier to the CPS.
"There was some talk of it being submitted last autumn, then the CPS would have had several months to decide whether to prosecute Black.
"That would have meant that Black would have died in January knowing that he was going to be put on trial for Genette's murder."
He added he awaited the "result of the CPS decision with interest".


Yeah tough though. Like Scarg says you see it and it might have come from a sheep.
My dad tells the story of how, as a young lad on the Isle of Wight in the 30's, he found a bone on the beach at Binstead, and took it to school to show his teacher. He - my dad - thought it was an animal bone. The teacher identified it as a human femur, and reckoned it had probably come from the monks graves at Quarr Abbey, where they were being washed away by the sea. He told my dad to take the bone and bury it. Dad, being an eight year old lad, threw it behind the nearest hedge and left it there. I've often wondered if it was actually a bit of a missing person or murder victim. I've also wondered if anyone else found it afterwards....
Some human bones, IIRC amounting to a complete skeleton were found by workmen digging up the road not far from me a few months ago. Plod was alerted and a crime scheme established and guarded day and night. A press release stated they were launching a murder enquiry as, worryingly, the skull and other bones had been found wrapped in two plastic bin bags!

Except they hadn't: the workmen had placed them into the bags but apparently it hadn't occured to the attending officers to check such important details. Bones went to a coroner who confirmed they were human and also many hundreds of years old - as was pretty obvious even to the untrained eye. Murder enquiry quietly abandoned...
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Reminds me of the time a few weeks back, when local road-builders unearthed an ancient burial ground. In this case, everyone knew exactly what they were dealing with, but check the slightly-misleading headline from the DP (which also popped up verbatim as a link on social media) :eek:
When I first met my husband, there was a possible femur in the garage just detached from his house. The current and former tenants were pretty sure it was a human femur. As if to confirm its creepiness, all tenant and visiting dogs shunned it; most of them were dogs who were normally delighted by bones.
When I first met my husband, there was a possible femur in the garage just detached from his house. The current and former tenants were pretty sure it was a human femur. As if to confirm its creepiness, all tenant and visiting dogs shunned it; most of them were dogs who were normally delighted by bones.
Very intriguing! May I remind you, though, that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who can cope with incomplete information.

I'm just throwing this out there, as the first person I thought of when I saw this was Richie Manic. Unlikely I know, but still.

Local historian, Sandy Tebbutt, said speculation the skull could belong to Cdr Eric Robinson, who crashed a plane in Redcliff Bay in 1938, was likely to be wrong as the bodies of he and his co-pilot were recovered from the crash site at the time.

There's another line of enquiry closed.
When I first met my husband, there was a possible femur in the garage just detached from his house. The current and former tenants were pretty sure it was a human femur. As if to confirm its creepiness, all tenant and visiting dogs shunned it; most of them were dogs who were normally delighted by bones.

Fascinating, Gerda. :eek:

You've just brought back an old memory. Near our elementary school, right on the other side of the school fence, there was an old shed. It was half rotted away and covered with vegetation, but we could just see inside to what looked like some old bones hanging from rusty chains. I don't know the names of the bones, but it looked like part of a human heel bone suspended from one chain and partial foot and lower leg bones from the other.

Being 10 years old, we used to gather at that part of the fence and just stare at the bones during recess. Eventually a teacher asked what we were doing, so we told her and she had a look. All she said was "ew" and forbade us to go near the fence again, but this gave us the idea that she thought the bones were real and that there might be something sinister about them.

Thinking about it now, I can't see an innocent explanation for those bones being there. At the time, I had told my mother about it and she said it had probably just been a deer, but even at 10 I knew that deer don't have bones like human feet!

This seems like something I ought to follow up on, but no idea who to ask about it now. Perhaps there's a police report somewhere. That is, if anyone ever reported it.
Here's a recent follow-on to post #122 above ...

Sea hero’s fate revealed after 217 years

FRENCH scientists and divers in the South Pacific have finally answered the last question asked by Louis XVI as he waited to be guillotined in 1793: “Is there any news of Monsieur de la Pérouse?” ...

This week the French confirmed that la Pérouse, who was last seen setting sail from Australia in early 1788, almost certainly died when his ship, La Boussole (the Compass), broke up on a reef off the remote island of Vanikoro in the Solomons. ...

New clue may reveal the fate of famous French explorer
An anthropologist at The Australian National University (ANU) may have stumbled across a clue to resolving one of the most enduring mysteries of Pacific history -- the fate of famous French navigator, Jean François de Galaup, Comte de La Pérouse who disappeared in 1788. ...
Dr Garrick Hitchcock, of the ANU School of Culture, History and Language, believes the last survivors of La Pérouse's voyage were shipwrecked on the Great Barrier Reef near Murray Island, in northeast Torres Strait. ...

What is known is that La Pérouse's ships Astrolabe and Boussole were wrecked in 1788 on Vanikoro, a small island in the Santa Cruz Group of the Solomon Islands.

The survivors made it to shore and spent several months constructing a small two-masted craft, using timber salvaged from the wreck of the Astrolabe. Once completed, they launched the vessel in a bid to return to France.

"What became of this ship and its crew, desperate to return to France, has been an ongoing mystery."

While researching a project on the history of Torres Strait, Dr Hitchcock came across an article published in an 1818 Indian newspaper, The Madras Courier. He is confident the article reveals what became of the survivors.

The article tells the story of Shaik Jumaul, a castaway Indian seaman who survived the sinking of the merchant ship Morning Star which was wrecked off the coast of north Queensland in 1814. Jumaul made it to Murray Island, where he lived for four years, learning the language and culture of the Islanders. He was finally rescued by two merchant ships that passed through the area in 1818.

"Jumaul informed his rescuers that he had seen cutlasses and muskets on the islands which he recognised as not being of English make, as well as a compass and a gold watch," he said.

"When he asked the Islanders where they obtained these things, they related how approximately thirty years earlier, a ship had been wrecked on the Great Barrier Reef to the east, in sight of the island.

"Boats with crew had come ashore, but in the fighting that followed, all were eventually killed, except a boy, who was saved and brought up as one of their own, later marrying a local woman."

The La Pérouse expedition crew list includes a ship's boy (mousse), François Mordelle, from the port town of Tréguier in Brittany, northwestern France. Dr Hitchcock wonders if Mordelle could be the last survivor of the La Pérouse expedition. ...

FULL STORY: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170830114820.htm
Since this thread has been bumped anyway.. I was discussing cruise ship disappearances with my sister when I saw her at Christmas. She works on oil rigs in the North Sea and says that there is a reasonably commonly held belief out there that looking at the sea for too long will result in the compulsion to jump in..

My Grandfather told me that. Oddly not the ex Merchant Navy one but the ex-East End barrowboy one.

Wow, Ulalume, that sounds really bad. Isn't it annoying that adults never tell kids what happened so we are left to work out our (invariably scary!) solutions for ourselves.
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Someone (I thought on this thread, but can't find it now) recommended a podcast about missing people. I had a listen and was astounded to find an edition about an American who vanished in China; abducted, it seems, by North Korean agents. Sounds farfetched but apparently it goes on.

The story goes that the North Korean government needs scientists, technicians, engineers etc whom it can't train itself and so it sends out squads to kidnap suitable foreign nationals. The American may have been of interest because he speaks Korean, having been a Mormon missionary in South Korea. He may also have looked like a spy.

Mad, eh!
Dual mystery: Who is "Paul Fronczak", and where is Paul Fronczak?

The I-Team first told the story a year ago about the Henderson man who discovered he is not the person he always believed himself to be.

DNA tests have proven Paul Fronczak is actually someone else, and the real Paul Fronczak is still missing.

He has since managed to track down his blood relatives, discovered his birth name and real DoB. He's now trying to find his twin sister and the "real" Paul.

He has since managed to track down his blood relatives, discovered his birth name and real DoB. He's now trying to find his twin sister and the "real" Paul.


Just been reading this myself, and thought I'd come on here to see if anybody on here was discussing it.

Having written that book Paul Fronczak does also have a website, including a relatively regularly updated blog section:


But as the BBC article says, this is now basically a hunt for two people.

1) The biological Paul Fronczak - The man whose name he currently has. The baby who was kidnapped from his (adoptive) mother's hospital room back in the 60s.

As Paul has now found his biological family he knows that he was born Jack Rosenthal. His biological family are based in Tennessee.

2) Jill Rosenthal - His biological twin sister.

Yes. Twin. Paul's biological mother gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl. And seemingly those twins just disappeared. When family members asked where they were they were always told that they were both staying with a different family member to the person asking. Eventually the extended family realised that they had gone. It is assumed that Paul's biological parents sold him and sister in illegal adoptions. Black market babies.

Heck of a lot to go through.
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This missing Frenchman is missing no more ...

French skier who disappeared in Italy in 1954 is finally identified

A French skier who disappeared in Italy more than 60 years ago has been identified after his story was shared on social media, Italian police say.
Human remains, ski equipment and glasses had been found in 2005, high in a valley in Italy's Aosta region.
But investigators were unable to identify the victim, and, last month, shared their findings on Facebook.
A French family then matched the glasses to a relative, Henri Le Masne, which sparked a forensic investigation.
The belongings were discovered 3,000 metres (10,000 ft) high in the Alps, near the Swiss border.
There were some clues about the man's identity - such as clothing embroidered with initials and wooden skies, which at the time of use would have been expensive - but the investigators remained puzzled.
They established that the remains belonged to a man who would have been about 1.75 metres tall and aged about 30, with his death likely to have occurred in the spring, said Marinella Laporta, an investigator with the forensic police unit in Turin. ...

In June, the Aosta valley prosecutor's findings were shared on social media with an appeal for readers to spread the information, especially in France and Switzerland. ...

The story was then picked up by French media.
Emma Nassem heard the report broadcast on her local radio station and questioned whether the missing man could be her uncle, Mr Le Masne, who went missing after skiing in a storm near the Matterhorn by the Swiss border in 1954. ...
Mr Le Masne's younger brother, Roger, now 94, also came forward with an email describing his sibling.
"I am the brother of Henri Le Masne ... who is likely the skier who disappeared 64 years ago. He was a bachelor and quite independent. He worked in the finance ministry in Paris," he wrote in an email, which was shared with the police.
The police said a photograph provided by the family showed glasses matching those found by the investigators.
A subsequent DNA test confirmed the identification, they said.

SOURCE: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-44999385
The day Genette Tate disappeared, my mum and I had been on a visit from Exeter to Budleigh Salterton. The bus route took us past the lane end that led to Aylesbeare, and we were heading back at roughly the time she would have gone missing. I often wonder if we might have seen something significant and just not known...