This one here’s a great little piece of writing about a very interesting topic, in its day it had well over a hundred thousand reads. Unfortunately, Paulides did nothing but harass Gordon Duff and I when VT ran it and it looks to me like all the Youtube references have been taken down, making the citations useless , much like Paulides… – Jack
Hundreds of people had been looking for him — friends, family, and emergency service personnel. Helicopters had braved the driving rain, which seemingly came from nowhere, almost thwarting the rescue attempt. The rural community of Baldwin, Michigan, worked side by side with people bused in from all over the state to participate in the search.
All of them groped for answers as to how something like this could happen.
A call to the sheriff’s department by one local had even asserted that the man was being chased through the forest by Bigfoot. He was finally found by his friends face down and dead in a thickly-wooded area less than forty-eight hours after and not far from where he seemingly disappeared into thin air. His waders were askew and a trickle of blood ran down his nose.
An autopsy done the next day determined that he had a “slightly enlarged heart and slightly cloudy lungs”, but “no trauma to the body at all”. Months later, the initial autopsy, which found no reason for the man to be dead, would be redacted to speculate that he had died of pneumonia caused by inhaling his own vomit, in combination with a half dozen other absurdities. (1) The case was closed, just like a thousand other cases like it have been closed before.
Cullen Finnerty was the type of big robust Irishman that the Midwest seems to grow like corn. He was a man who lived for physical confrontation, and he was so good at it that, after a sterling college career he ended up for a while, as a backup quarterback in the National Football League. The New York Times would eulogize that he was “perhaps the most successful quarterback in college football history”. (2)
At six foot two and two hundred and forty pounds of solid muscle, by all accounts, the staunchly Catholic Finnerty ran over defensive lineman and to fights — not away from them. By all accounts, Finnerty had taken one too many shots to the head. He was suffering from a mild case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease prevalent in ex-football players.
Back in December of 2011, he had been in Detroit with some coworkers, when he had phoned his brother Tim claiming he was being followed. In that paranoid episode, the only time Tim had ever seen Cullen afraid of anything, Cullen drove 150 miles to Tim’s house in Grand Rapids in an effort to evade the FBI, whom he imagined being following him. (3)
By the time he went fishing on the evening of May 26, 2013, in the Baldwin River beneath the green canopy of Manistee National Forest Park, Cullen’s football career was behind him. He was thirty years old, married with two small children, and had a good job in medical sales. His carefully-concealed oxycodone habit was a memento from his playing days. His paranoid episode over a year ago had been an isolated incident, perhaps more likely attributed to overindulgence in Detroit’s thriving cocaine industry, than his imperceptible brain damage and medically-managed addiction to pain medication.
Cullen’s wife and friends had agreed to pick him up from the boat launching area at about 9.30 PM and bring him back to their rented cabin. At 9.27 she received a phone call from him in which he frantically described being followed by two men — one of which was twenty feet behind him, and neither of whom responded when he tried to talk to them. He then inexplicably stated that he was getting out of the river and taking off his clothes. He then hung up.(4 – 21:07)
His wife described him as sounding scared. Two more calls were made at 9.34 and 9.36 with Cullen again saying that he was being followed and he was nervous then hanging up. At 9.36 his friend, who was on the camping trip, asked where he was. Cullen replied that he’s not sure, but it’s getting a little rough. I think a couple of guys are following me. He then hung up again. During the last call, his wife was able to have him give her the coordinates from his iPhone. But when they went to the location, Cullen was not there.
At 10:37, a deputy responded, and it is at this point that the five-page long exercise in sentimental propaganda appearing in the June 8, 2013 edition of the New York Times makes a mockery of both journalism and the mysterious circumstances surrounding Cullen Finnerty’s death. The Times glibly states that the deputy “had a phone company ping his cellphone, and the results came back as far as three miles south and five miles north. Still no answers. Only questions.”(5)
Without missing a beat to even consider the cell phone evidence, the whitewash goes on to insinuate that Cullen died of a heart attack, mentioning pain in the left arm that a professional football player with too many miles on the odometer had been experiencing the week prior. The autopsy never even mentions a heart attack, not even the redacted autopsy.
Cullen Finnerty had with him an iPhone, which contains a Global Positioning System (GPS) transmitter that links to a ground station and then to several satellites. The margin for error on a GPS transmitter is fifty to one hundred feet. When the cell phone company pinged Finnerty’s iPhone, the coordinates that came back were for four different locations. Although the pings were within minutes of each other, the locations were 4.37 miles apart.(6 – 32:40)
The pings that the NY Times seems to find so mundane would ordinarily be good enough to get a murder conviction in any court of law in the western world. (7) Perhaps the NY Times just takes for granted that Cullen was traveling by rocket pack?
In order to get to any one of the four locations, Cullen would have to have crossed a paved road. If he had gone north from the campground where his boat was found, as is indicated by where his body was discovered, he would have traveled through heavily-posted and fenced land.
The area Cullen disappeared in is not so isolated. It is inconceivable that he could have eluded the hundreds of people searching for him — many of them seasoned woodsmen with dog teams — even if he was trying, for two days. Speculative hyperbole aside, the forensic and technological evidence indicates Cullen Finnerty, a man renowned for his physical courage, had been lost in limbo and scared to death.
Amber Rose Smith
In early October a few miles to the southeast, the summer of 2013 would end on a much happier note when two-year-old Amber Rose Smith vanished from in front of her home on East 13 Mile Road and Cottonwood Avenue. Her father was watching her and had just stepped inside to use the bathroom. When he came back out, Amber and their two dogs that she had been playing with were gone. When he called to them, the dogs slunk back out of the woods, but there was no sign of Amber.
After a frantic 24-hour search by over two hundred volunteers and a hundred emergency service personnel, she was found the next day, almost two miles southeast of her home, standing in the middle of a two-track road and staring blankly into space. She was unharmed except for some superficial cuts and scrapes on her body and face. How a barefoot, two and a half foot tall girl wearing nothing but a tank top had managed to traverse almost two miles of some of the most ruggedly-forested land in the lower forty-eight almost unscathed and without being discovered by all those people searching for her was never explained.
Newaygo County Undersheriff Brian Boyd said, “It’s hard to imagine how a 2 1/2-year-old can survive that distance through the woods with that kind of temperature.” Temperatures had plunged down to forty-five degrees during the night. (8) He went on to say “there’s some that aren’t convinced she walked that entire distance. Maybe she was dropped off. Those are things we might have to determine in the future.”(9 – 48:04)
Richard Shaver’s Return of the Titans
In Return of the Titans, evidence was produced that Richard Shaver, who along with his publisher Ray Palmer introduced the UFO phenomena to the world, had learned his extensive knowledge of forbidden science from National Socialism. If the pun on the acronym of his name, Sharpe Shaver, and the Bolshevik Zionists’ panicked efforts to silence him is not enough, then his use of the SS religion — Welteislehre or World Ice Theory — to explain his art certainly should be.
The SS, Shaver, and Hitler himself believed everything Victorian science expounds upon about the history of the earth and man is a lie. They believed that the moon periodically breaks free from its orbit and collides with the earth decimating whatever civilization is on the surface and leaving the earth a barren orb of ice. Shaver said that these past civilizations have all left imprints on the faces of rocks, and he developed a process that he called rock art to clarify those images. Posthumously, Shaver’s rock art has made him an internationally acclaimed artist.
Shaver was an agent of the SS. He was no serendipitous prodigy, as he pretended to be. But there is reason to believe he may not have falsified his story about having been taken down into the hypogean world of the Dero against his will. He grew up in Pennsylvania during the early twentieth century. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has had more children disappear than anywhere else on earth. Missing children were endemic to Pennsylvania from the early to mid-twentieth century.(10 – 57:46)
Raymond Howe, Jr.
On July 16, 1946, nine-year-old Raymond Howe Jr. went with his three sisters and brother to a park just outside of Pittsburgh for a lazy summer’s day fishing and swimming. Raymond went off by himself to fish in a secluded lake and didn’t return that night. A hundred and fifty emergency service personnel scoured the park for him in the ensuing days and found no sign of him. On August 9, another huge search was launched with the same result.
Forty-one days after he disappeared, twenty miles southeast of the park, a man exercising his dogs came upon Raymond’s body at the end of a trail near a bridge. The coroner fixed the time of death at no more than a month and could find no cause for it.
Raymond had somehow managed to wander twenty miles in ten days through a populated area with half of Pittsburgh looking for him. (11 – 47:03)
At the time, Raymond’s disappearance was a major media event, even bigger than the disappearance of Cullen Finnerty. All kinds of questions were asked. No answers were ever given.
The strange disappearances of Cullen Finnerty, Amber Rose Smith, and Raymond Howe Jr. are covered in David Paulides’ four-volume work, Missing 411, wherein the inordinate amount of people who inexplicably vanish in and around America’s national parks is given long-overdue scrutiny.
Paulides, a noted Big Foot author and a police officer for twenty years, has gathered around him a cadre of retired police officers, search and rescue experts, and other professionals.
Together they have logged over 9,000 hours in research and examined over 4,000 missing person cases after Paulides was tipped off over four years ago by some park rangers as to what might be the most insidious cover-up ever perpetrated against the human race. Paulides’ group calls themselves The CanAm Missing Project. (12)
The only consistency as to where the disappearances occur appears to be a lonely place with granite rock in the vicinity (13 – 24:46). In the cases Paulides cites, those that go missing either turn up dead in a place where they are not supposed to be; alive but unable to describe how they got there; or they are never found at all.
Daming Xu and Jake Dutton
In November of 2007, University of Oregon mathematics professor Daming Xu, an experienced woodsman, walked into Willamette National Forest carrying only a bottle of water on a day excursion. His body was never found. In 2012, nine miles away thirty-two-year-old physical fitness and outdoor buff James “Jake” Dutton walked in at the trailhead near Cougar Reservoir for a three-day hike. His body has never been found.
“There is a mystery here,” Dutton’s mother Cynthia Boucher is quoted as saying. “Both Jake and the professor were experienced hikers on wilderness trails. Two grown men can’t simply disappear from the mountains five years apart.”
Since 1997, 189 men and 51 women remain listed as missing after trekking into the Oregon wilderness. (14)
In his April 2012 interview with famed paranormal researcher Whitley Strieber, Paulides relates an anecdote about two-year-old Keith Parkins, who vanished in April 1952 from his grandparent’s ranch near Umatilla National Forest in eastern Oregon. Nineteen hours later and over two thickly-forested mountains, twelve miles north of his grandparent’s ranch, Keith was found by rescue workers unconscious in a riverbed. His clothes were torn to shreds, and he was suffering from severe exposure.
In the interview with Strieber, Paulides asks the now unanswerable question of why rescue workers were looking for Parkins that far away from where he went missing.(15)
It may not always be a round trip
In Paulides latest book, The Devil’s in the Details on page 362, he recounts how a seven-year-old boy was found alive and well two days after and fifty miles from where he had been lost. Another eleven children, some alive others dead, were found twenty or more miles away from their vanishing points. Others were found in areas that had been repeatedly searched before. Two-year-old Arthur Leo Ivey was found the next day sleeping in a ditch by his neighbor within a half-mile of the home he disappeared from, after two hundred and fifty searchers had spent the night scouring the same area where he was found.(16)
Dr. James McGrogan disappearance
On Friday, March 14, 2014, thirty-nine-year-old Dr. James C. McGrogan disappeared while hiking with some friends north of Vail Colorado. He had a cell phone, food, water, medical supplies, GPS, and other tools. A fellow physician who was with McGrogan at the time told his father he couldn’t understand how his son had just disappeared from the trail. They had been close together the whole time (17). After a thousand hours of combined effort, search parties gave up looking for him on Tuesday, March 18, when high winds made it too dangerous to continue.
Three weeks later, Vail Mountain Rescue pulled Dr. McGrogan’s body from the bottom of an icefall four and a half miles away from the trail he had gone missing on. The area had already been searched multiple times. The press reported blandly that Dr. McGrogan had fallen off a cliff, but Paulides’ group using Colorado’s mandatory disclosure laws filed against the county sheriff and coroner for their post mortem reports on the incident.
Dr. McGrogan’s body had been found without any boots on. His boots in fact, although searched for, have never been found. Without any boots on he had somehow managed travel four and a half miles out of his way, on a route his equipment rental company would later describe to Paulides as insane, in twenty to thirty-foot drifts of snow in spite of having a cell phone and a GPS.(18 – 1:12:32)
When people are recovered, dead or alive, missing articles of clothing, with footwear being the most frequent (19 – 20.04), are a constant. The dead are almost always found face down. (20 – 24:18)
Violent storms seem to arise out of nowhere, with the calculated intention of stymieing the rescuers (21 – 14:00). Search dogs are useless, and in some cases, have even laid down refusing to follow scent trails (22 – 28:53). Those that are recovered alive are invariably in a dazed state and cannot recount coherently what happened to them.
Most report blacking out right before the vanishing event, with some not even remembering how they left the house. In his September 2012 interview with Strieber, Paulides relates tales told by women who were chased by men on the Appalachian Trail. They are not clear in their descriptions, but one woman said she was chased for three days. She dumped her backpack and consistently hid in order to avoid them. For days, she saw no one else on the trail but her pursuers. She was unable to provide a detailed description of the men, nor give any real details of how she managed to evade them.(23 – 1:08:39)
Arteaga and Huff in the Ozarks
Right after that interview, on Saturday, September 22, 2012, 53-year-old Linda Arteaga and her 56-year-old brother Eddie Huff walked into the woods surrounding the tiny town of St. Joe in the Arkansas Ozarks. Huff was going to teach his sister backwoods survival techniques. Huff walked out of the woods on Monday and told their niece Shelly Friend that he had seen Arteaga safe on the porch of a relative’s house. It wasn’t until Wednesday that Friend and Huff realized Arteaga was still in the woods. On Thursday morning, about 75 volunteers on foot, horseback, and all-terrain vehicles started searching the area for Arteaga. They found her on the same day. (24)
Arteaga was unable to explain how she and her brother had become separated on Monday, saying “I thought he was hurt or something, so what I did, I tried to find help for him, but I didn’t know there was nothing wrong with him.” According to Arteaga, she wasn’t alone out there. She said “I would see people. I’d ask for help, and they’d act like they didn’t even hear me.” She described herself as being very scared and her plight as freaky, saying “These people were hiding in bushes. They were weird people, very weird people.”(25)
Some tried to rationalize her story by saying she was hallucinating from the berries she was eating to survive.
The internet media giant Daily Mail neglected to even mention any of the strange circumstances involved in Arteaga’s ordeal. Instead, they give the medical opinion of backwoods deputy Dewayne Pierce, who said that when she came out of the woods “she wasn’t quiet about her head.”(26)
The distinguished deputy’s diagnosis aside, Dr. John Sorg of North Arkansas Regional Medical Center (NARMC) said: “I suppose she could have had some toxic ingestion that may have caused, a hallucinogen, in other words; but you know, she’s been very consistent with that story, and today in her mental examination, she seems very oriented and appropriate in conversation.”
The Medical Director of NARMC’s Hospitalist Program went on to say “Whatever she experienced, whether or not it was real or hallucinatory, she clearly did experience that.”(27)
Reports of Large Bears
In 1868, a three-year-old girl disappeared from her father’s lumber camp in Northern Michigan. After enlisting the help of a pair of professional hunters, who happened on the hysterical search scene by chance, the men traced the little girl’s feeble cries to a dense stand of brush. When the men advanced on the thicket, they saw what they said looked like a giant bear burst from it and run across the river, heading for the distant horizon.
The men recovered the girl unharmed from the brush. She later told them that “Mr. Wolf” would not let her leave, and had eaten her hat from right off her head; although, he had also gathered berries and fed them to her. (28 – 16:42)
On the night of July 2, 1955, Mrs. Curtis, summoned by her distraught older children, arrived just in time to see what she and the children said was a was a huge bear cradling her 2-year-old daughter Ida Mae Curtis in its front paw as it scurried off on three legs from their tent in a lumber camp at the wild Kootenai National Forrest in Montana (29). On July 4, after a search by 350 backwoodsmen in heavy rain, Ida was found dry and safe in a crudely built shelter across a river, just 300 yards away from where she was taken.
Ida would later relate, to the best of a 2-year-old’s ability, being cuddled and comforted by the bear during the time she was missing. The Sheriff became so angry that he actually paid the Curtises three separate visits demanding that they stop telling their story of a bear abducting and caring for their little girl. He told them “quit telling that story. It could never happen. It didn’t happen and don’t say it anymore.”(30 – 54:27)
It was late in the afternoon on June 14, 1969, when six-year-old Dennis Martin ducked into a stand of woods on Spence Field; a boulder-strewn and windswept meadow high up in Great Smokey Mountain National Park. Intersected by the Appalachian Trail, the scenic tourist destination straddles the Tennessee and North Carolina border. Dennis’s bright red tee-shirt made him easy to spot in the dazzling sunlight as he circled behind the densely-tangled thickets of mountain laurel and rhododendron, all laden with pink and lavender flowers. The men shared a knowing smile as the boy tried to “sneak” upon them.
His father, grandfather, brother, some friends, and their father had lost sight of him for no more than 3 minutes before the search for him began. Within an hour, the mountain was crawling with rangers. The sky opened up that evening and dumped two and a half inches of rain on the park. The torrential downpours would continue on and off for the rest of the week, dropping three more inches.
Park rangers, dog teams, firefighters and police, students, boy scouts and hunters, all worked side by side with military personnel. By June 21, 1,400 people were scouring that park on their hands and knees desperately seeking signs of little “Denny”.
About a week later, they were joined by a contingent of 60 battle-hardened Green Berets, seemingly pulled right out of the jungles of Southeast Asia.
Special Forces. Choppered in to search for a lost child?
When the search officially ended in September, over 13,000 man-hours had been logged and helicopters had spent almost two hundred hours in the air. But a washed-out footprint halfway down the Tennessee side of the mountain, found in the early stage of the search but ignored, is all that would ever be found of Dennis Martin.
Late in the afternoon of Martin’s disappearance, Harold Key was less than five miles to the northwest of Spence Field and unaware of the growing search or the lost boy. He was sightseeing with his family on the Tennessee side of the park when they heard the ear-piercing shriek of a distressed child. Looking up the mountain, in the area where the scream had come, the family saw something bipedal and moving stealthily along the wood line. Then it melted back into the darkness of the forest. (31)
The incident was reported the next day and the Keys were interviewed by a park service agent and an FBI agent. It was then arbitrarily dismissed, with the FBI saying there was no way a man could carry a child and cover the distance from Spence Field to the Keys sighting from the time of Denny’s disappearance. (32 – video 2:40)
The footprint which was en route to the Key sighting was also disregarded because there were indications that other searchers had been in the area before it was found. But there were no children with them and the experienced trackers who found the print measured it and identified it as being made by the oxford shoe of a “little boy”. Dennis Martin was wearing oxford shoes at the time of his disappearance. (33 – video 3:53)
As did everyone else who recently covered the story, Paulides interviewed renowned man tracker Dwight McCarter who participated in the search as a young park ranger. But Paulides is the only investigative journalist ever to get an interview with Bill Martin, Dennis Martin’s father. Bill Martin has steadfastly refused all attempts by the media to talk to him since the time of the incident. He blames them for helping to cover up his son’s abduction.
Bill Martin’s revelations to Paulides make it quite clear that the disappearance of Dennis Martin was officially whitewashed. The FBI agent who had participated in and seemingly directed the Martin search ended up committing suicide. What the Key family had sighted moving along the wood line, and was originally mistaken for a bear by Key’s nine-year-old son, had something slung over its shoulder.
In his interview with Paulides, Dwight McCarter confirmed that what the Keys had sighted was carrying something. Paulides quotes him as saying “they buried that information. The press would never talk about it and the park service would never talk about it.”(34 – 1:44:17 – 1:47:09)
At the time, Bill Martin, contrary to a deal he had made with the Park Service to be kept informed of any leads on his son, only learned about the Key sighting from the press days after the federal agents had met with the Keys in private outside of the park. Martin then went to McCarter, and when McCarter asked questions, he was told by the FBI agent that the distance was too great and the time to short to travel it. Putting the agent’s reasoning to the test, McCarter and Martin walked from where the boy disappeared to where the Key sighting had occurred with plenty of time to spare from what was allotted.
McCarter also remarked in his interview with Paulides about how strange the arrival on the scene of the Green Berets was. They were supposedly training in the area, but no one could confirm where, and no one in the Park Service admitted to knowing anything about their deployment in the search. They just showed up in choppers about a week into it, carrying their own equipment and their own communication systems.
They searched on their own and refused a supervising rangers request that they work with the other emergency service personnel. They stayed for four or five days searching but never coordinating their efforts with the rescue workers.
Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), orders for military units can be requested. Paulides filed three such requests inquiring as to the Green Berets mission in the Martin search. He never got an answer not even a denial of the request.(35 – 14:02 – 19:53)
When Paulides sent the park service an FOIA request for their files on the Martin case the package they sent him in compliance made no mention of the Key sighting. When Paulides sent a secondary request asking for the file they had on the Keys the park service replied that there was no such file. (36 – 10:08)
Paulides carefully restrained law enforcement demeanor cracks a bit when he describes the media, as exemplified in Knoxville Tennessee, as being absolutely “corrupt and worthless.” Shortly before the Missing, 411 books were released Paulides group held a press conference on the Dennis martin case in Knoxville. It was attended by regional representatives of NBC, ABC, CBS, and FOX.
Graphs and charts were produced and the presentation was lauded by all in attendance (37 – 1:47:20). Yet till this day the official story of what WBIR, Knoxville’s primary news channel, recently called the “biggest search in the history of the Great Smoky Mountains” has not changed one word since 1969.(38)
The corporate Medias obfuscation of the facts may just be the least disconcerting element of Paulides investigation. The Park rangers who originally tipped him off did so because they had seen a pattern of what appeared to be a premeditated dereliction of duty with the National Park Service (NPS).
Both rangers had been rotated to several different parks during their careers and each of the parks they had served in had made much ado whenever someone disappeared. But as soon as the attention generated by the disappearance subsided it was treated as a non-event with follow up investigations almost never done. Information, particularly about the frequency of disappearances and in many cases the strange circumstances they occurred in, was routinely withheld from the public.
The vanishings occur in clusters throughout eastern and western park systems and all around the Great Lakes. America’s central corridor is practically unscathed. Paulides initial investigation revealed that the highest number of incidents occurred in Yosemite.
People vanish with what can only be described as astonishing regularity in its sparsely forested boulder-strewn landscape seemingly devoid of cover for anything larger than a rattlesnake.
“photograph of the map by David Paulides removed at his request. as for why he made such a request when this is only a photo of his map used well within “free use” guidelines is another story, what does he have to hide and who has gotten to him?
Toward that end, we will begin sending the ferrets out to look into Paulides proverbial “underwear drawer” for what is hidden there.” – Gordon Duff
Missing 411 Map
Working in concert with four other retired law enforcement personnel, Paulides filed an FOIA request with the park service asking for a list of people that have gone missing in Yosemite. The park service replied that they kept no such lists. As ex-law enforcement officers; Paulides and the company immediately grasped the breathtaking level of negligence required for the park service not to keep such lists and the unlikelihood of such incompetence existing in a federal agency of the NPS’s stature.
They filed their FOIA again, rewording it in case it was a question of semantics. The chilling response of the NPS western regional director was blanket denial of such a list existing at either the park level or the national level. Paulides quotes her as saying “we rely on the institutional memory of our employees to help us on missing people and to understand the magnitude of it at different parks.”
Paulides then sent her a letter stating that he was a published author that had requested an exemption. He was entitled by law to a list utilizing the resources she had just quoted. The park service responded that his books were not carried in enough libraries to get an author’s exemption and they would have to go into the archives and formulate a list and that would cost him thirty-four thousand dollars. That would be for a list of missing people in Yosemite. For the entire park system, Paulides was told he would have to pay 1.4 million dollars. (39 – 7:00 – 9:58)
There are rooms in coroners offices all across America filled with bodies and bones that cannot be identified. More than one in five physicians working in America’s busiest morgues is not even board certified in forensic pathology. In sixteen hundred rural counties where coroners are appointed or elected the only qualification necessary is a high school diploma.(40)
There is no centralized registry or database of persons who have gone missing in America’s national parks and forests or on land under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The NPS, the United States Park Police, and the Department of the Interior will not put on their web sites any information about missing people other than for the first seven to ten days after their initial disappearance.
After that period those that have vanished usually fall into the category of Missing Presumed Dead. There is no recorded account of their disappearance. The situation virtually assures that those who go missing on land under the jurisdiction of the NPS or the BLM will never be identified if their remains are not found in the area they went missing in.(41 – 56:52 – 58:48)
Yosemite National Park
Stacy Anne Arras disappeared on July 17, 1981. She was fourteen years old and on the trip of her lifetime horseback riding into the backcountry of Yosemite with her father and his party of a half dozen. In front of witnesses, to get a better angle for a picture she was taking, she walked into a stand of trees by their Sunrise High Sierra Camp. She was never seen again. After an intensive two week search, only the lens cover from her camera was ever found, still in the stand of trees.
After the NPS denied Paulides first FOIA request for the Arras case, he appealed and was denied again. He then got a call from the NPS asking why he wanted the files. Paulides asked whether Arras was a missing person case or a criminal investigation, to which the NPS agent replied she was a missing person case. The agent then confirmed that there were no suspects, and no one has even looked at the case in twenty years. Nevertheless, he told Paulides that he will never see the case.(42 – 6:49 – 9:48)
The Park Service answered Paulides’ FOIA request in the same manner concerning the case of 30-year-old George Penca (43 – 33:20). Penca seemingly vanished into thin air on June 20, 2011, when, after tiring, he fell behind his church group as they were descending the Upper Yosemite Falls Trail.
The three and half-mile long trail winds its way 2,500 feet up an almost vertical cliff ending at the tallest waterfall in North America. It may very well be Yosemite’s biggest tourist attraction. It is heavily-trafficked and is in full view of Yosemite village. Outside of plunging to one’s death on the rocks below, there is no way off it. A dozen helicopters, seventy-four ground teams, and six search dogs failed to produce Penca’s body, or any other sign of him. (44)
Jaryd Atadero and Bobby Bizup
Three-year-old Jaryd Atadero vanished from the Big South trail in Poudre Canyon, Colorado on October 2, 1999. He was hiking with a Christian singles group that was staying at his father’s lodge; a well known Christian retreat.
Somehow Jaryd got ahead of the party of twelve, and the last people to see him alive were two men fishing in the Cache la Poudre River. The fishermen claim he was still within sight of his group when he asked them if they had seen any bears in the area. They told him to get back with his group and kept fishing. Four teams of tracking dogs could find no trace of him, and during the search, an Air Force helicopter crashed, injuring its five occupants.
His remains wouldn’t be found until four years later and over five hundred feet above the trail he disappeared on, in a place only accessible by scrambling on all fours up a steep incline most adults couldn’t climb. It was tentatively blamed on a mountain lion, but multiple cougar experts brought in by the boy’s father said that wasn’t likely, based on the absence of damage to the sweater near the stomach and neck.
Strange scratches were found on the cranium. The forensic experts consulted by Paulides are unable to identify their source, but unanimously concur that they were not made by any animal (45 – 45:46 – 49:37). Many of the children who are found have been severely scratched on their skin.(46 – 1:14:47)
The search for little Jaryd was a media event right from the start. But according to Allyn Atadero, Jaryd’s father who wrote the book Missing which recounts it, it was bad, if not deliberately, botched. Jaryd had disappeared in forestland under the jurisdiction of the federal government. Inconsistent with the past policy in the thousands of cases investigated by Paulides the FBI refused to get involved or even to send an observer.
During the search, the Atadero family was inexplicably threatened with arrest by the sheriff if they set foot on the Big South Trail. A sheriff’s official saw fit to tell the already distraught Allyn that his son’s body was beneath the freezing waters of the river and wouldn’t be found for four years.
When Allyn checked what the dog handlers were using as an example of Jaryd’s scent he found it was a pair of his own shorts. When he asked how they could mistake a grown man’s shorts for a three-year-olds the man in charge of the search and rescue operation became annoyed and threatened to call it off right then and there. Throughout, the sheriff and rescue workers maintained that the Big South Trail was the only way in and out of the valley. Allyn would find out later that there were several other routes.
Jaryd’s remains were found on June 4, 2003, by some hikers. They were lying out in the open. Allyn suspects they had been placed there to be found. The colors of the sneakers were still vibrant and his tooth was on top of a decaying log when it should have been submerged in humus accumulated in over four years in the wilderness. The sweat pants had been found inside out yet when the sheriff held his press conference they had been turned right side out for display to the media. When Allyn objected he was ignored and the sweat pants left that way.
The tooth could have been placed there by a rodent.
But there is no logical explanation for this sneaker appearing like this after being exposed to the elements nine thousand feet up in the Rockies for four years.
The tooth, cranium, and clothes were sent to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for DNA analysis. No blood was found on the clothing and the CBI claimed the degraded cranium only allowed for an 85% return. The identification of the tooth was also inconclusive because testing showed the DNA was mixed with other DNA. A DNA expert from Ohio privately enlisted by Allyn later told him the tooth was contaminated with more than one person’s DNA. All items undergoing DNA tests are supposed to be routinely cleaned prior to testing to avoid just such contamination.
Hair fibers that were found on the boy’s sweater were also analyzed, but no test results were ever released. All Allyn has ever been told was that the hairs were non-human, not a Mountain lion and that he shouldn’t worry about it. (47)
Many of Paulides’ readers have remarked that the phenomenon seems to target Christians (“religious” people) and military personnel. (48 – 1:12:18)
About twenty miles south of the Jaryd Atadero tragedy, a generation before it, and again in Rocky Mountain State Park, 10-year-old Bobby Bizup vanished on the evening of August 15, 1958. He was staying at Camp Saint-Malo, a Roman Catholic boys retreat at the foot of Mount Meeker. He was the only son of master sergeant Joseph Bizup, who was stationed at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver at the time.
In spite of a massive search, including bloodhounds and airplanes, the only sign of Bobby found that year was his bait box about a mile from the creek where he was last seen by his counselor, fishing (49). The following year, some of his bones and his hearing aid were found three miles up Mount Meeker, all the way at the timberline. (50)
On Friday, August 13, before his Sunday mass in Denver celebrating World Youth Day on August 15, 1993, Pope John Paul II visited the St. Malo Retreat Center (51). He was helicoptered in and spent two hours alone on the trail that Bobby Bizup disappeared on. (52 – 1:14:29)
Only on Long Island could a handful of well to do politically-connected dilettantes simply appropriate for themselves the choicest part of a legendarily scenic state park, mar it with McMansions that were certain to erode the ecological system of a bay vital to an entire nation’s food supply, then erect gates and use the state police to privatize their commandeered land.
I was there. I worked for Bob Matheson who owned the Oak Beach Inn (OBI) South when they forced him to shut it down because it was a “nuisance” having all those young people on the beach bordering “their property.”
To young people living on the west end of Long Island, the OBI South was the place to go on a Sunday afternoon or on an evening where you felt the need to see or be seen while having a beer or sipping a pina colada by the seaside. Thousands would throng its expansive dock, tailgate on its cavernous parking lot and mill around the beach it was built on, just to watch the sunset over Fire Island Inlet.
Long Island was different then, thirty years ago. Oak Beach was the personification of its seaside innocence and yearning for life. It wasn’t, in the words of Shannan Gilbert’s mother, “an evil dirty place.” Now, “It’s isolated. It’s desolate. It’s a rich community. You’ve got doctors and cops and very very wealthy people who live there. No one’s ever going to think that that’s a bad dangerous area. But it is.”(53 – 0:16)
Sometime around midnight of Walpurgis Eve 2010, Shannan Gilbert, a twenty-four-year-old call girl, left Manhattan and took the last ride of her life in Michael Pak’s SUV. They would have got off Ocean Parkway where the OBI south once stood and gone left about a half-mile down the pitch-black Oak Beach Road till they got to the gate and someone let them in. Pak, her regular driver to escort appointments, says it was Oak Beach resident Joseph Brewer and they followed his car to his house (54 – 2:32). Brewer admits to hiring her but says it was not for sex (55 – 27:28). Brewer and Pak’s stories collaborate and they both passed lie detector tests but sociopaths laugh at lie detector tests.
At 4:51 AM Shannan made a terrifying 911 call from her cell phone that for reasons that are unclear to this day was transferred to the state police who no longer have jurisdiction in Oak Beach (56 – 9:02). Although she was on the phone twenty-three minutes screaming “their trying to kill me” the 911 operator was unable to get her location. Two male voices that have been identified as Pak and Brewer can be heard in the background.
Shannan then showed up banging on the door of Oak Beach resident of over thirty years Gus Colletti. Colletti, perhaps not coincidentally, comes across as the only witness in the CBS 48 Hours news investigation who is not being disingenuous. According to Colletti, he opened the door. “And I said to her … ‘What’s the matter?’ She wouldn’t answer me. She just kept staring at me and going, ‘Help me, help me, help me.’ I reached over and grabbed that phone, dialed 911. When I said to her, ‘I called the police. Sit down in that chair. They’re on their way.’ She just looked at me and she ran right out the door.”
When Colletti followed her outside he saw her cowering under his boat in the driveway. He says “I could see a car coming down the road very slowly … would stop and then go a little bit. Stop, go a little bit.” Colletti ran up to the car and confronted the driver; Michael Pak, asking him ‘Where do you think you’re going?’ Pak replied that he was looking for Shannan and Colletti told him ‘Well, I called the police … they are on their way to bring her back,’ to which Pak replied ‘You shouldn’t have done that.’ Colletti answered ‘Well, I did.’ At this point, Shannan bolted from under the boat and into the darkness. Pak drove off after her ignoring Colletti’s shouts for him to stop.(57 – 7:07)
Pak claims that they had been at Brewer’s house for about three hours when Brewer came out and got him. When he went in Shannon was “freaking out” and accused them both of trying to kill her. She then went behind the couch and crouched down. Pak says he followed her and asked her if she had seen the movie Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas. She replied coherently and at that point, he says he realized she wasn’t high.
It was then he heard the 911 operator on her phone and he thought Shannan might be trying to set him up. So he left. When he was outside he saw her run out of the house and tried to follow her. From there his story match’s Colletti’s. With him giving up and leaving when he couldn’t find her after pursuing her from Colletti’s house.(58 – 56:39)
The next 911 call came from Oak Beach resident Barbara Brennan, who says Shannan showed up banging at her door at 5:21. But neither Shannan nor Pak was anywhere to be found by the time the Suffolk County Police Department (SCPD) got there at 5:40. SCPD was unaware of Shannan’s initial panicked 911 call received by the state police and wouldn’t find out about it for at least a month. So when they didn’t see Shannan or Pak, SCPD assumed they had left together.
Two days later on Monday May 3 at 1:42 PM, Oak Beach resident Dr. Charles Peter Hackett made a phone call to Shannan’s mother Mari (59 – 31:34). Mari says that Dr. Hackett told her Shannan had been staying at his house in Oak Beach which doubled as a halfway home for wayward girls. Dr. Hackett told her that Shannan had been agitated, so he had sedated her and she had left with her driver.
Dr. Hackett at first denied making the call but after 48 Hours dug up the phone records he wrote 48 Hours’ investigative journalist Erin Moriarty a series of letters claiming he hadn’t said he had seen Shannan nor did he say he ran a halfway house out of his home. He was just trying to help. According to him, he had become involved after meeting with her family and Pak and Shannan’s boyfriend Alec, when they came looking for her in the ensuing days.(60 – 30:36)
But Alec did not even realize Shannan was missing until Sunday night (61 – 6:06). Shannan’s family only came to Oak Beach to look for her eight days later (62 – 4:38) after SCPD refused to take the case seriously and made them file the missing persons report in New Jersey where Shannon lived.(63 – 8:25)
In August, under relentless pressure from Shannan’s family and their pit-bull of a lawyer, John Ray, SCPD finally got around to interviewing Gus Colletti (64 – 9:14). By December they began their search for her and on the eleventh a K9 team working its way down Ocean Pkwy, less than three miles from where Shannan had last been seen, turned up the first body.
In the following days, they found three more in the same area within five hundred feet of each other. All of them had been asphyxiated, wrapped in roll-off burlap used by landscapers, and dumped haphazardly a few feet from the road in marshland bordering one of the most crowded beaches in the world. (65 – 11:26)
All of the dead were call girls, petite, attractive, and White, between the ages of twenty-two to twenty-seven, who had advertised their services on Craig’s List just like Shannon Gilbert. But none of them were Shannan Gilbert. The girls had all disappeared between 2007 and 2010.
In March of 2011, the remains of six more bodies were found by SCPD in the marsh’s bordering Ocean Pkwy between where the first four were found and Oak Beach where Shannan disappeared. Only one could be identified. She was a twenty-year-old escort who had gone missing back in 2003. One was a baby girl and another a slightly built Asian man dressed in woman’s clothes. The rest were women. Again none of them were Shannan.(66 – 25:48)
It wouldn’t be until December that SCPD would finally find the first sign of Shannan. Her pocketbook, jeans, and shoes were found just about in the driveway of a house on Hatch Way Street. A week later and about a quarter of a mile from where they found her clothes, less than a hundred feet from Ocean Pkwy, Shannan’s rotting corpse was found face down in the marshes.(67 – 33:29)
Unlike the other four call girls, two of which were dead longer than Shannan, the Suffolk County coroner was unable to determine a cause of death for Shannan. Case closed for SCPD. Former Suffolk County Chief of Detectives Dominick Varrone says Shannan died of “fatigue and exhaustion” after becoming lost in the marsh grass a hundred feet from the well lit and heavily-trafficked Ocean Pkwy.
Varrone insists over and over again that her panicked flight was drug-induced, and she shed her clothes because it is easier to run through razor-sharp marsh grass naked. The fact that he found eleven dead bodies while searching the area she disappeared in, nine of girls exactly like Shannan, doesn’t sway his conclusions in the least.(68 – 34:11)
Varrone also says that Dr. Hackett is not a suspect. Although he admits that Dr. Hackett might have made that phone call Varrone feels that Dr. Hackett is just a busybody who is prone to exaggeration (69 – 32:10). When pressed by Erin Moriarty about the nature and timing of Dr. Hackett’s call Varrone actually accuses the victim’s bereaved family of lying and then claims that SCPD did not know about the phone call till months later. The call and the details of it are contained in the New Jersey missing persons report made two days after Shannan disappeared.(70 – 37:08)
Shannan Gilbert was a resident of New Jersey. Her strange death is clearly the FBI’s case. She crossed state lines to commit an act of prostitution, which facilitated her death in circumstances that are more than a little suspicious. Perhaps they can start by arresting Varrone, if not for deliberately ignoring the best lead he had on the investigation of at least 11 homicides, then for criminal incompetence. All the evidence they need is right on the internet due to CBS’ crack piece of investigative journalism: “48 HOURS” UNCOVERS MISSING ESCORT SHANNAN GILBERT’S FINAL MINUTES. (71)
If that’s not enough; before the conclusion of this piece right before Christmas, Newsday miraculously managed to obtain a report on the autopsy. Shannan’s autopsy, just like a full transcript of her desperate 23-minute 911 call to the police, has been kept from the media at all costs by local law enforcement. Shannon Gilbert’s remains tested negative for drugs and parts of her fingers and toes had been eaten off. There was also a small piece of her neck bone missing. (72)
Back in September, renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden, at the request of Shannan’s Family and their attorney John Ray, asked the Suffolk County coroner for Shannan’s body. Apparently they had seen this report or parts of it, and Dr. Baden wants to take a closer look at her hair and bones for drugs. He also wants to take a good look at her larynx and windpipe. Turns out the missing piece of her neck is the Hyoid bone. Coincidentally, a fractured Hyoid bone is the primary determinate for a coroner in detecting strangulation in skeletal remains.
Dr. Baden’s credentials include being the former Chief Medical Examiner of New York City and former chief forensic pathologist for the New York State Police. While serving in these prestigious positions, he participated in the investigation of more than 3,000 homicides, suicides, and drug deaths, including the deaths of President John F. Kennedy and the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. By law, the Suffolk County coroner must turn Shannan’s body over to Dr. Baden. (73)
The coroner’s office has now agreed to release Shannan’s remains to a Long Island funeral home that will turn them over to Dr. Baden for an independent autopsy but not before someone coughs up sixteen thousand dollars. They say that will be the minimal amount for a funeral, headstone and burial plot. (74)
All over the world people simply ‘vanish into thin air.’ The saying itself is a platitude. There are geographic pockets where it happens with alarming regularity. Some like the Bermuda Triangle are part of human folklore. Others like Myrtle Beach in South Carolina and America’s national park system are popular tourist destinations. Even when the missing turn up, no explanations are ever forthcoming.
Evil stalks the human race and evil with millennia of practice at remaining invisible. But if you know where to look you will see the footprints of evil.
Cover Photo: Pinterest
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2 – Bishop, Greg. “Questions Linger About Death of Former Quarterback.” College Football. The New York Times, 8 June 2013. Web. 30 Nov. 2014. <http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/09/sports/ncaafootball/questions-linger-about-death-of-former-quarterback-cullen-finnerty.html?pagewanted=all&_r=3&>.
3 – “Cullen Finnerty, Former Grand Valley QB, Had Brain Trauma, Died of Pneumonia.” WZZM 13 ONLINE. WZZM13abc, 8 Aug. 2013. Web. 3 Dec. 2014. <http://host-220.127.116.11.gannett.com/news/article/264127/242/Cullen-Finnerty-former-Grand-Valley-QB-had-brain-trauma-died-of-pneumonia>.
4 – “A NEW! Missing 411 W David Paulides 11/10/2014 Interview. (21:07).”YouTube. FritzCayoVids, 16 Nov. 2014. Web. 30 Nov. 2014. <