I like many others have been intrigued with the mystery of persons that have “gone missing” over the years, often under mysterious circumstances. While by no means a recent phenomenon, and not lacking in coverage from researchers of the strange, none have been more been more successful in bringing the topic into the conciseness of both students of high-strangeness, and the mainstream at large than David Paulides.
With many books in a serious on this subject to his credit, his latest “Missing 411: The Hunted strikes an altogether different note. The subjects of these cases are not day-hikers or wilderness novices, they are experienced, well equipped individuals, and yet they too succumb to whatever unknown-factor affecting the less prepared.
Mr. Paulides has certain criteria that must be met before he includes any cases in his writings. Some of which include the individuals must not to have known suicidal inclinations, financial difficulties, or personal life situations that may make a person consider self disappearance. All of which are valid considerations to take into account.
Other points of interest Mr. Paulides has identified in these cases, and that seem to arise too often to attribute to coincidence are, abrupt weather changes either at the time of the disappearances or at the time searches begin, disappearances happen at high rates in or around boulder fields and berry patches, and when the person is found (which isn’t always the case) many times they have been found without their shoes, or they have found the missing’s shoes with the appearance they have been intentional removed.
The shoes being removed struck me as familiar. There is a “historical” account of a person’s shoes having been intentionally removed in the context of an extraordinary situation. “And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” Exodus 3:5.