Strange Disappearances/ Japanese Mythology

Hosted byGeorge Knapp

Strange Disappearances/ Japanese Mythology

About the show

Joining George Knapp for the first 2 ½ hours, David Paulides discussed more strange, eerie, and downright weird disappearances from his Missing 411 books. After filtering for mundane explanations, he says his anomalous missing person database is "up to about 1600 stories" and that he gets a new case from somewhere in the world "almost every day." Strangely, he says that most of the missing persons stories he has uncovered involve victims who are either developmentally or physically disabled or are conversely in perfect health and are actually considered at the top of their fields. Paulides has noticed many similarities with unsolved cases, such as: search dogs which can’t or won’t track the victim, bodies found miles past or at altitudes greater than they could have conceivably traveled, drastic weather changes which affect search efforts, and a disproportionate amount of the disappearances which occur near granite or boulder fields. Throughout the show, Paulides recounted a few stories of strange disappearances and the bizarre circumstances surrounding them.

Paulides has started to include reports from outside of the U.S. and says that they eerily match the circumstances he has encountered in this country. He has spoken with search and rescue professionals and reports that they have confided to him that the cases from his research are more common than most people realize. Another strange aspect that has been mentioned "hundreds of times" is the finding of bodies of the victims right on trails that searchers have been using for days or weeks, as well as many cases of bodies being recovered within 2 miles of the primary search area, where searches have been ongoing. Paulides revealed that when found, many of the bodies from his cases have high levels of the "date rape drug" GHB in their systems. This is significant, since he says that under its influence, "you realize what is happening, but you can’t move." Paulides says that many of the people who disappear are reported by those who last saw them to be acting differently then they normally do and seem like they "are in some kind of zombie state and that they’ve got to get somewhere."


In the last hour and a half, Antony Cummins discussed Japanese mythology, filled with intriguing legends and superstitions, some of which still exist today. Cummins originally went to Japan to train with ninja masters, until he found that "most of them were quite fake." He discovered that what westerners think of as Ninja martial arts were actually invented in the 1950s by one man who wanted to revive the idea, and have no basis in historical fact. Cummins said that the Ninja were originally a sect of Samurai who engaged in a certain type of fighting that valued silence and techniques to make the soldier hard to detect. He said that some Samurai practitioners even specialized in attempts to invade the very dreams of enemy generals.

Cummins said that much of traditional Japanese culture is disappearing, and that the younger generation only knows about some the older mythologies and stories if they have seen it in anime comics or films. He related that much of his early understanding of Japanese culture came from Lafcadio Hearn, an American writer who moved to Japan in the late 19th century. Cummins also discussed Japanese mythology and superstitions, in particular the fox, which is a major trickster figure. Cummins said that "we have a very simplified view" of Japanese culture, and he is out to change this.

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