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on 19 April 2013
I've got the other two editions of David Paulides' excellent work on missing persons, and this latest book is just as fascinating and disturbing. It's a study of how, inexplicably, people have gone, and are still going, missing. There is something deeply wrong in the rural and wild areas of the United States, and this has been recorded with sometimes stark, tragic detail by Mr Paulides. In this new edition he reveals new cases of those that have gone missing. Some are old reports, some are very recent. Some are painfully tragic, others are disturbing but come with happy (ish) endings. There is no wild speculation here about the cause, no single and absolute resolution of what is happening. He reveals highly disturbing details from those that have survived their ordeals, and offers the facts clearly, highlighting similarities in the cases and reminding us on almost every page that the stories here are depressingly familiar. There are some facts from survivors that are sometimes hard to believe, but can't be ignored. He also delves beyond the borders of the United States to other countries with similar tales. There were not enough of these for my liking (perhaps my only real criticism of the three books) so maybe this could be the focus for future works.
Once I started reading, I found it very difficult to stop. Some of the tales here are truly terrifying, and will have you thinking about them long after you have finished reading.
As I said in a previous review for the first book in the series, don't go into the woods alone. There is something going on out there that can't be explained. David Paulides has uncovered some dark tales here, and more people need to know about them. Excellent work.
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on 10 August 2013
It's odd how my view of just who or what is doing this has changed over the course of these 3 books and I feel David's view has changed too although he's not giving away what he thinks it is. The fact that there are disappearances from around the world challenges what I thought was just a North American thing.
It was nice this book added more stories to areas already covered and pointed out more clusters and types of people that go missing that has made me think even more.
David has done sterling work on covering this little known topic and everyone who hikes or enjoys the outdoors should read these books and be aware of just what might be in the National Parks and Wilderness areas or anywhere in the world. My heart goes out to the families that have lost loved ones and may never know what has happened to them and in some cases never find them.
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on 30 September 2014
Very interesting book, a real life horror story in the making. Truth is definitely stranger than fiction as you will find when you read this book. David Paulides is an ex cop who began to investigate strange happenings in Yosemite National Park - this led him to many, many more across the United States and indeed the World. A compelling read of simple facts about ordinary people who simply, inexplicably vanish, in most cases, never to be seen again.
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on 19 September 2014
I hate to use the word 'conspiracy' but what on earth is going on with the prices of these books? Considering the sensitive content, the ridiculous price hike from re-sellers ( you can buy for $25.00 from authors website) smells very fishy to me!
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on 23 January 2015
I first came across these strange missing cases via listening to the author and former lawman turned investigative journalist David Paulides via You Tube and Coast to Coast AM radio. Straight away I was hooked on these strange and disturbing cases, regarding people vanishing without a trace from national parks and forest. Not just is it happening in North America but this is a World wide problem. Its has cases in Australia, England and Iceland to name a few. After hearing about the sad and tragic case of six year old Dennis Martin (Eastern United States, second book) I decided I had to purchase these books straight away. Having picked up the first book Western United States, it didn't take me long at all to finish the book and from then on I was hooked. Book 2 Eastern, Book 3 North America and Beyond (five other countries) Book 4 The Devils In The Detail, followed. I would advise the reader to read these books in order to grasp some understanding to what's going on in the wilderness. I can't imagine on the amount of time and effort it took the author to put these books together, something that is being ignored by government agencies. I purchased these books at around £18 so beware on some of the prices advertised. Reader.......Enjoy.
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on 16 April 2014
Although this particular edition of the Missing 411 series is a substantial book and does get a bit repetitive, with some cases being very similar, it is still a very worthwhile read. This book also discusses cases that have happened in other parts of the world, which is important information that illustrates that people are going missing in strange circumstances all over the world, not just in U.S wilderness areas. We all need to be more cautious whatever country we are located in.

I disagree with a previous reviewer who said that Mr Paulides changes his position depending on the case presented. Although there were a couple of the older cases in this book which could have had more mundane explanations, the majority of the missing cases in here are pretty unusual and hard to explain away.. There are definite, strange, consistent similarities between many of these cases and it is not about people getting lost or injured whilst out hiking. Read the book objectively and you can't logically deny that something very sinister is going on.

I recommend buying all three books and listening to the author on some of his youtube interviews in order to get a full idea of the scale and circumstances of what's going on.
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on 9 April 2013
I have now read all three 411 books. This is by far the most repetitive and least alluring. The first two were certainly differently argued. I think Mr Paulides has found a certain anomaly which defies conventional thinking, but as I read through these books I found him shifting his position to suit the mystery. Wherever someone goes missing, there is usually something mysterious, eg whether it be granite rocks, or small pools of water, or creeks, or berry picking. I ended up coming to the conclusion that missing persons have to go missing somewhere, so not every circumstance can be suspicious or mysterious, as Mr Paulides seems to suggest. Yes there are certain trends, but I take the view the majority of the discussed cases can be explained simply by people getting into difficulties and unable to extricate themselves. Young children haven't got a clue where they are going, and we have all had walks where we have become disoriented. Its a wilderness out there, particularly in US national parks.
Having said all that, there are some truly weird cases he has found, which defy ALL attempts at explanation. For that alone, Mr Paulides should be applauded. I for one will be looking over my shoulder whenever I travel to the US.
Certainly worth the read, particularly if you are the wandering type.
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on 11 March 2014
Excellent as per previous 411 books. Might seem like just a book on missing people, but due to the sometimes extremely curious circumstances involved in far too many of the cases, you find yourself questioning the world as we know it. More than just missing people, missing answers, weird.
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on 13 May 2014
David Paulides used to be a law enforcement officer in California. This is his third book about human disappearances in rural or predominantly rural settings. For brevity, I'll refer to it as 'Vol. 3'. The first two volumes - 'Missing 411: Western United States & Canada' (which I'll refer to as 'Vol. 1') and 'Missing 411: Eastern United States' (which I'll refer to as 'Vol. 2') - discuss a total of 411 cases. Vol. 3 reports scores of additional cases, so the number '411' in its title shouldn't be understood literally. The page numbers cited below all relate to Vol. 3.

Paulides appears to have devoted a great deal of time and effort to collating his interesting data, and he deserves credit for that. In many of the cases, the missing people were never found, or were found dead. Assuming that the details have been reported reasonably accurately, a good number of the disappearances were decidedly mysterious (examples are given below). In some cases, though, the information available to Paulides was patchy or contradictory, and in other instances he's presented his material in a muddled way. For example, according to Paulides, a man called Steve Litsey went hunting with a friend "in early November 2011" (pp. 45-46). However, Paulides then contradicts himself, by stating that the men decided to make "October 29" the last day of their trip!

Most of the cases in Vol. 3 are from the USA and Canada, but Paulides has also included a few from elsewhere (e.g. Australia and France). Chapters 1-4 deal with the USA and are headed, respectively: 'Western United States', 'Midwestern United States', 'Southern United States' and 'Eastern United States'. But Paulides flouts convention. For example, he discusses cases from the Midwest state of Ohio in his chapter on the eastern United States, and he includes cases from Arkansas (normally thought of as being in the south of the USA) in his chapter on the Midwest.

Paulides declares (on p. 384, for instance) that he doesn't believe in coincidences. He attributes significance to correspondences that others might ascribe to prosaic factors or chance. For example, he refers (pp. 240-242) to the disappearance of a two-year-old girl called Jacqueline Simmons in Michigan in 1949, and he sees it as very significant that this occurred only five miles south of where a three-year-old girl, Katie Flynn, disappeared. But the Flynn case, which Paulides discusses in Vol. 2, goes back to 1868.

SELECTION CRITERIA

Paulides states (p. 150) that he's read thousands of stories about disappearances. On pp. ix-x of Vol. 3, he refers to the "criteria" (CHARACTERISTICS might have been a better word) he used for including cases in Vols 1 and 2, and it seems that they also apply to Vol. 3. Evidently, though, he didn't require that all of them be present in a case for it to be included. Here are three examples of the "criteria": (1) The vast majority of the disappearances happen in the late afternoon or early evening. (2) When found, many of the missing persons can't remember, or won't say, what has occurred during their disappearance. (3) When located, many of the missing people have clothes and/or shoes missing.

It's not surprising that certain features crop up repeatedly in Paulides' collection if he deliberately selects cases that exhibit them!

If the second half of the day features more than the morning in reported or well-publicized disappearances, that may not be surprising. Someone who gets lost in the afternoon or evening will have fewer daylight hours before nightfall. If someone gets lost in the morning, but manages to get back to safety using the available daylight, the incident might go unreported.

On the matter of people not remembering or not saying what happened while they were lost, fatigue, disorientation, and emotional stress could be important factors. Also, it's worth noting that many of the disappearances mentioned by Paulides involved very young children.

'Paradoxical undressing' is known to occur in some cases of hypothermia, although Paulides seems to think that it doesn't account for the instances he mentions in which missing people were found with clothes or footwear missing. But hypothermia is, of course, a major potential hazard for people lost outdoors.

CASE EXAMPLES

Prosaic factors of the type just mentioned may have played a major role in many of the cases. But if they've been reported accurately, a good number of the disappearances defy easy explanation. The following are some examples from Vol. 3:

In May 1891, the four- and eight-year-old daughters of a John Hammond went missing while walking home from their sister's residence in Nebraska (pp. 179-181). On the fourth full day of searching, the younger child was found, unconscious and with a swollen tongue, 15 miles from the roadway that would have taken her home. She recovered. Tragically, though, that same day, her eight-year-old sister was found dead, 75 MILES from where the girls had lost their way!

In June 1940, five-year-old Larry Lewis and his family went on a fishing trip to the south fork of the Mokelumne River in Calaveras County, California (pp. 75-76). Larry went missing, but according to an 11th June 1940 article in the 'Lodi News Sentinel', he was found alive the next day, up a mountain. Sheriff Joe Zwinge reported that Larry had climbed about 11,000 FEET above the river bed! However, from what I can gather from Internet searches, there aren't any mountains as high as 11,000 feet in the immediate vicinity of the Mokelumne River, and I doubt whether the river bed was below sea level. Also, it's perhaps unlikely that people would have been searching an area some 11,000 feet above the point where the boy went missing. Therefore, I wonder whether the sheriff or the writer of the newspaper article made a mistake, perhaps inadvertently turning 'eleven hundred feet' into '11,000 feet'.

In December 2011, 21-month-old Jason Burton went missing from his home in Cross Anchor, South Carolina (pp. 207-209). The next day, he was found, wet and cold, lying on a sandbar IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TYGER RIVER, about two miles UPSTREAM from where he'd last been seen! He was flown, by helicopter, to a hospital, but found to be in good condition.

INTERPRETATION

On p. 451, Paulides indicates that he's aware of six "extremely viable hypotheses" about what's going on. Disappointingly, though, he doesn't specify what they are. It's a bit like writing a thesis on the assassination of John F. Kennedy without bothering to outline the competing theories about who carried it out!

In lieu of a concluding discussion that explicitly tackles the question of what's behind the disappearances, Paulides interweaves his presentation of cases with hints and allusions. Taken together, they suggest something along the following lines: (1) A non-human (or perhaps quasi-human) animal, entity or intelligence, which I'll call the AGENT, is behind the disappearances. (Although I'm using the singular, I don't mean to rule out the possibility that there are multiple agents.) (2) The agent is able to affect the mental processes of its victims, causing them to wander away from their intended routes; and it can induce amnesia, or render the victims unable to describe clearly what happened to them. (3) In cases where people are found, dead or alive, many miles from where they went missing, the agent may have carried them away. (4) After perpetrating abductions, the agent can make the weather turn bad, thereby hampering search efforts and endangering the victims. (5) The agent can only operate in, or prefers to operate in, rural areas (mountains, forests, swamps, deserts, etc.) or in places that are very close to the countryside.

GENERAL COMMENTS

Paulides is the only named author of the book, but he's inconsistent in referring to himself, sometimes using "I" and sometimes "we". The latter implies that he has co-researchers, but he doesn't name any.

The text of the book is unclear in parts, and there are grammatical errors and oddities of wording. For example, on p. 364, Paulides misuses 'notoriety' (which has a negative connotation) for 'fame': "[Jacques Vallee] has notoriety for mapping the landscape of Mars..." In referring to people, Paulides often uses 'that' instead of the more natural relative pronoun 'who' (e.g. "...a very, very intelligent boy THAT [my emphasis] acts much older than his three years", p. 60). And he tends to use 'city' over-inclusively. For example, on p. 138, he refers to Widstoe in Utah, stating that the population of the "city" rose to just over a thousand in the early 1900s.

On p. xv, Paulides explains that there are no state maps in the book. But I think it would have benefited from some, with dots or other marks to show where the disappearances had occurred.

In conclusion, I'd say that this book contains many interesting case reports, but it's incomplete and disappointing, given Paulides' failure to discuss theories about what's behind the disappearances.
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on 23 May 2014
My husband loved it. Wants to read the rest of the series now. Don't what esle to say ummm yes.
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