411 Strange Disappearances in US National Parks Part IV


The unsettling legacy of unexplained missing persons in our nation’s wildlife and nature preserves continues as David Paulides probes more cases. It seems that the bizarre and seemingly supernatural aspects of these vanishings becomes more and more baffling as investigations go on. Slowly some additional common denominators have surfaced pertaining to the disappearances. It seems that his 20 years’ experience as a law enforcement and SWAT team member have done little to illuminate the exact culprit or cause of these irrational incidents.

Another odd case

Recently a firefighter on a break with his dog and a friend were enjoying leisure time at a camp site in the deep woods. Everything seemed normal at first as they settled back by the camp fire with their tents already erected and an evening began to approach. The experienced wildfire worker with his dog alongside all of the sudden his furry friend becomes agitated and begins uncontrollable barking. The dog had just been nosing around the campsite quietly doing what dogs do when his incessant growling began. According to the friend who was just a few feet away  he claims that his buddy dressed only in a pair of shorts and bare footed took off after his dog who had suddenly run off into the wilderness! Minutes turned into hours as the friend of the firefighter went searching for his buddy who left the camp, a meal on the fire, his shoes, shirt, and belongings left behind just to chase his dog. No sign of the young physically capable professional, nor the dog.

No trace

He waited until morning before hiking out to call for help and to start a search being that it was a long way back to the trail and this required him packing up in order to leave. Besides, he was hopeful that his buddy would show, but no sign of either him or the dog. Think about the incident. A man runs off chasing his dog bare footed. How far could he have run before giving up the chase due to not being equipped to go very far from camp? Wouldn’t any owner have given up just to wait for the dog to return? Instead, within a few short minutes an experienced first responder who fights forest fires and is an experienced woodsman goes missing without a trace along with his dog in moments never to be seen again. As soon as his friend gets back into town he notifies authorities who immediately deploy a full swing search and rescue operation. The friend heard no roar of a bear or scream of a cougar. No struggle was evident!

A mute witness

A couple of days later without any trace of the young man they are attempting to find his dog shows up in an area that already been thoroughly scoured . Tired, thirsty, obviously hungry, but without his master, the search team can only wish that the four legged witness could talk and tell rescuers what happened to his master. Yet, these types of incidents are typical and another common denominator that is now being identified indicating that even with a dog present this will not help either the party who has disappeared nor will this lend a clue to the fate of those who have vanished. It seems that having dogs present at the scene of the disappearance has become a frequent factor when victims disappear with the dog either being found later or vanishing along with his owner.

Dubious distinction

During the early centuries of North American settlement and the pioneering surge going west came the famous and sometimes odd names of particular regions and unique topographical features such as Devil’s Gorge, Demon Ridge, and other such names. These settlers fighting the elements, entering into possibly hostile Indian territory, and having to endure the rigors of rough overland passage often attributed evil labels for difficult terrain. Another peculiar aspect of many of these bizarre disappearances has been that they occur in areas with these “Demon” and “Devil” “Satan” “Lucifer” types of names that have long since identified the area to tourists and locals alike. Could it be that there were even disappearances in those times that spurred such names but that were never investigated or reported? History and recorded events would be understandably sketchy.

Growing suspicions

These cases have become so numerous as opposed to the typical and easy to identify disappearances usually explainable by being lost, attacked by wild animals, broken down vehicles, accidents, or homicides that the inexplicable is becoming more and more catalogued once the facts have been ascertained. David Paulides has struggled with the opinions of some that he has already arrived a privately held conclusion or has a preconceived notion that he is not sharing with the puzzled audience who asks who or what is really responsible for such a mystery. He is ready to accept just about any plausible explanation. Some have hinted at a type of dimensional shift where the disappeared have unwittingly been engulfed in a warp in the fabric of space time and are now caught in another dimension.  The cases have become that bewildering!

 A near miss

A hunter reported that while casually strolling through woods that he had roamed through time and time again in the course of his passion for hunting, a strange experience that could provide a vague clue. Just as in those who have narrowly escaped becoming another statistic when flying or boating in the Bermuda Triangle and seeing an ocean or atmosphere that suddenly becomes unfamiliar or very strange, the hunter reported that suddenly his surroundings changed and he had an intuition that he was being watched. A man with a high powered rifle in an area he knew well suddenly senses he is being watched by an invisible threat! His feelings in the passing minutes became so intense that he could no longer make his way through the woods so he simply sat beneath a tree with his rifle cocked and loaded waiting for whoever or whatever it was that was stalking him.

The unknown withdraws


After a period of time the intense paranoia subsided and his surroundings seem to transform back into their original, recognizable appearance again. The hunter quickly but carefully egressed from the eerie scene and got back to his vehicle driving away from the area glad to have survived whatever had just taken place. Most of us possess a sixth sense in some form or fashion especially the feeling of being watched, but out in the wilderness in a familiar place and heavily armed experiencing this kind of anomalous event would be particularly unnerving. There are others with similar experiences whether it be a suspected Sasquatch encounter, UFO sighting, or an odd inexplicable presence that defies normalcy. As David digs further into the missing element of those who should not have fallen off the face of the earth in the seeming paradise of National Parks and Forests the evidence reveals bits and pieces of itself but not the ominous source.

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