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Strange Disappearances of Hunters

Date Sunday - July 31, 2016
Host George Knapp
Guests David Paulides

David Paulides joined George Knapp in the first three hours to discuss his new book in his blockbuster series about people that have disappeared in the national forests and elsewhere. "Missing 411- Hunters" chronicles hunters who have vanished under very unusual but extremely similar conditions from four countries. In contrast to many of the those who've gone missing in national parks such as children, and people hiking alone, deer hunters and bear hunters-- "those people are attuned to being in the woods. They know exactly where they're going to go out and hunt, they know the terrain...the dangers. They carry weapons with them," he noted, so it's all the more startling when they vanish in inexplicable ways.

There are 59 geographical clusters of missing people in North America, with the largest being in Yosemite Park, he reported. The largest number of disappearances of hunters have taken place in the states of Idaho, Montana, Washington, Maine, Oregon, and Colorado, he cited. In one of the strangest case histories, three hunters disappeared in separate locations in far northern Michigan within seven days of each other in 1909. Paulides detailed the 1966 case of an accountant from Reno, who went hunting in McCarthy, Alaska and then was never found despite numerous air and ground searches. The Nevada State Journal had a headline saying "Tony walked into what has proven to be a mystery void."

Paulides also has documented cases of bow hunters' mysterious disappearances, in which they are either not found or found under very bizarre conditions. An experienced hunter, Aaron Hedges, was hunting with friends in the 'Crazy Mountains' in Montana in 2014, and get separated from the group, but was in contact with them via radio, before he went missing. A week after his disappearance, they found his boots and camelback in the snow, but ground searchers and dogs yielded no further evidence in the area. Nine months later, his backpack and vest were found, 15 miles away from the other location, yet it would seem impossible that he could have traveled that distance in the snow without shoes, Paulides noted.

He also shared advice for people planning to hike or hunt in the woods or national parks. Among the tips: tell someone you trust your planned itinerary, and that if they don't hear from you by a certain date that they should call authorities; carry a GPS trail device and hard copy of a map; pack a cheap, plastic whistle; bring a satellite phone and an emergency locator beacon. During the last hour, Paulides' son, Benjamin, spoke about their new documentary "Missing 411," which he co-directed. The just completed project, which was successfully funded by a Kickstarter campaign, is being considered by several film festivals.

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