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In this thread I want to explore all of the possible explanations for the large number of people that go missing every year. While some trace of these people is found, (remains, artifacts, and so forth) Many of them are never seen again. It is if they simply ceased to exisit at some point in space time. Only evidence of their past remains. It is a very real phenomenon in a technologically advanced society.

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  • Elders (Moderators)

I started a topic about the apparent disappearance of my biological grandmother. You can read about it here:

There are many reasons why people go missing. Sometimes it's of their own volition, and for very many reasons. Sometimes it's because they have been "disappeared". Police forces, for a long time, have taken the view that if an adult seemingly just walks away, then that's their right. They didn't get involved unless there were indications that a crime had been committed, either to the missing person or by the missing person. That's understandable, given the high workload and limited funding for law enforcement.

But that leaves the family and friends of the disappeared in limbo.

One of my lecture-courses-on-DVD is about forensic science. Here's a quote from the guidebook:

The United States' National Institute of Justice project called the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, also known as NamUs, is a set of two databases: One stores information about missing persons provided by people who are looking for them – including family members and law enforcement officers – and the other holds the records of unidentified remains submitted by coroner's and medical examiner's offices throughout the United States.

In January of 2009, these two databases were linked to each other, creating a technological tool to help find missing persons and identify unknown persons. NamUs uses algorithms to generate potential matches. The NamUs system is also publicly accessible, unlike other databases that are available to professionals only.

Some estimates put the number of missing persons reports in the United States at about 2300 per day, which amounts to over 800,000 per year. Fortunately, many of these people are quickly returned to their families, but there are currently over 100,000 active missing persons cases in the United States, and only just over 9000 of them are currently in the NamUs system.

Technology, in that example, could mean that a loved one's remains being returned to their family.

We currently live in such a technological world that it seems impossible we couldn't be traced by our cell phones and credit cards. But a lot of people don't live that way. They get paid in cash, and they buy using cash. And often they live on the fringes of society, where no-one really cares about them.

That's completely different from cases of missing children. It took far too long to institute Amber alerts in the US, and Sarah's law in the UK: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Sarah_Payne#Sarah.27s_Law

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There are people who search databases of the missing, and try to match them with unidentified deceased and sometimes unidentified live persons. I did that for a while. I never was able to connect anyone missing with an unidentified person, and after a time it was frustrating just getting those "in charge" to even consider a match etc... so I decided if I do that, it will be solo.

I feel that most of the people who go missing have met with foul play. Way back when, it was possible to walk away, choose a new name and become someone else, leaving all your past behind. Now it is more difficult. You can't change your DNA or fingerprints, and getting new ID isn't cheap.

​ Most people that up and disappear though, have met with foul play. Some might have run away from life, or to a new life, but most have been abducted or even in some cases, ran their car off the road into a body of water, or down a ravine and wait decades for discovery. Very few abducted people survive for decades in stranger abductions. We have had a few exceptions, but those are exceptions.

I can't imagine what it's like not knowing whre your child is, or your sibling, etc... I know what it's like to wonder where a parent is, but not one that has disappeared without a trace, rather one for whom you have disappeared with the other parent. That is and has always been too common.

I know, it's possible to live cash only, but you have to work under the table, live in less than savory circumstances often. You can't have a car or license, or interact in society much because of the pesky id and credit check thing.

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48 Interesting Facts About . . . Missing People

(Reference letters are at the end of the list)
Every 40 seconds, a child goes missing in the U.S.b
When a child goes missing, the first 3 hours are the most crucial in finding the child safely. Approximately 76.2% of abducted children who are murdered are dead within three hours of the abduction.b
It can take over 2 hours to get information about a missing child from a panicked parent.b
Every year, more than 800,000 children are missing each year in the United States.e
A person can be declared dead in absentia or "legally dead” after 7 years of being listed as missing. This time can be reduced in certain cases, such as in mass disasters (e.g., Sept 11, 2001) or major battles.d
In 1980, roughly 150,000 people were reported missing per year. Now the number is 900,000.d
Approximately 2,300 Americans are reported missing?every day. This includes both children and adults. This does not include Americans who have vanished in other countries, individuals who disappear and are never reported, or the homeless and their children.d
In the mid-1980s, milk cartons with photos of missing children on them made their debut. The first child to appear on one of those milk cartons was Etan Patz, a 6-year-old from New York who disappeared walking to the bus stop in May 1975. He has never been found. However, in 2012, a man named Pedro Hernandez confessed to killing him.f
Minorities, those who suffer from mental disorders, and substance abusers who go missing often receive little attention from authorities and little sympathy from the press or public.d
In most jurisdictions, missing persons cases receive low priority. Authorities are already working homicides, robberies, rapes, assaults, traffic issues, and crime prevention.d
Most of the Indian Ocean tsunami victims in 2004 were identified thought DNA extracted from molars. Since teeth are one of the hardest and most indestructible substances in the human body, they are likely to survive trauma. They are also a good source of DNA if there have been no dental fillings, root canals, etc.d
Forensic artists use techniques such as age progression to help locate missing persons. A forensic artist must have knowledge about how the face changes as it grows older, such as what sags and what expands. Having a picture of the biological parents also helps construct an accurate age progression photo. Usually, a child must be 1 to 18 months old and missing for at least 2 years before he or she can be age progressed.d
Medical examiners and coroner’s offices in the U.S. hold more than 40,000 sets of unidentified remains. That number is large enough to represent a small city.d
There are as many as 100,000 active missing persons cases in the U.S. at any given time.d
Of the 692,944 people reported missing in 2010, 531,928 were under the age of 18. d
According to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), 355, 243 women were reported missing in 2010 compared to 337,660 men.d
Scholars note that the media focuses more on women, especially white women, who go missing because of society’s apparent obsession with “damsels in distress.” In other words, people are interested in cases in which young, beautiful, often blond, girls have been abducted and are in need of rescue. This is called “the missing white woman syndrome.”a
It is estimated that at least 8 million children worldwide go missing each year. d
It is estimated that nearly 800,000 children will be reported each year in the U.S; 40,000 children go missing each year in Brazil; 50,500 in Canada; 39,000 in France; 100,000 in Germany; and 45,000 in Mexico. An estimated 230,000 children go missing in the U.K. each year, or one child every 5 minutes.d
Child abduction alerts patterned after the U.S. AMBER Alert have been implemented in 18 countries: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Guatemala, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, South Korea, Switzerland, and the U.K.d
Europe is implementing a single missing child telephone number across Europe: 116 000.d
In most of the developing world, including Africa, Asia, and Latin America, no one is counting missing children. Additionally, there are no specific laws on missing children, no established protocol, and no central missing child registries.d
In 1998, the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC) created the Global Missing Children’s Network (GMCN), a multilingual database that features photographs and information about missing children from around the world.d
According to U.S. legal definitions, a missing person is defined as a “person 18 years or older whose disappearance is possibly not voluntary, or a child whose whereabouts are unknown to the child’s legal custodian.”d
There are several types of forensics that can be used for missing persons cases, including 1) computer forensics (examining files on the computer of a missing person or suspected abductor), 2) physical evidence (DNA samples), 3) forensic psychology (interpreting body language, verbal cues), and 4) positive identification.d
Of the 900,000 people reported missing each year in the U.S., 50,000 are over the age of 18. Half of missing adults are white, 30% are African American, and 20% are Latino.c
Minority children make up 65% of all non-family abductions. African American children make up 42%.c
Those with drug and alcohol addiction, psychiatric problems, and the elderly suffering form dementia or Alzheimer’s make up the bulk of missing-adult cases.d
Half of the 800,000 missing-juvenile cases reported each year are runaways. One quarter of missing-children cases are abductions committed by family members, often as a result of custody disputes. Approximately 100 are kidnappings by strangers. Of these, most of the victims are between 12 and 17, 80% are white, and 90% of the kidnappers are men. In more than half the cases, the victims are sexually assaulted.b
The FBI designates severe, urgent missing person cases as “endangered or
involuntary.” Approximately 15% of missing person cases are given that classification each year; most of them are applied to children.d
Over 83,000 Americans are missing from WWII, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, and the 1991 Gulf War.g
Japan has the 7th highest rate of international parental abductions involving U.S. children. Mexico ranks the first. Other countries that are uncooperative in returning abducted children to their U.S. parents include India, Slovakia, Honduras, Russia, and Switzerland.d
Of the 16 million Americans who served in WWII, there are more than 73,000 Americans still unaccounted for.g
More than 7,500 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War.g
More than 1,600 Americans remain accounted for from the Vietnam War.g
One of the first missing children in America was Virginia Dare, who was the first baby born in the New World on Roanoke Island in 1587. When her grandfather left for England for more resources and then returned three years later, he couldn’t find the toddler?or any of the other settlers. The only clue was the word Croatan, which was carved on one of the settlement posts.d
One of the most famous missing person’s cases was Charles Lindbergh’s baby. On March 1, 1932, his 20-month-old son, Charlie, was taken from his crib. Though a ransom was paid, the child was not returned and his body was found 72 days later. The tragedy inspired Congress to pass the Federal Kidnapping Act, also known as the Lindbergh Law, to make kidnapping across state lines a federal offense.d
On November 24, 1971, a man who called himself D.B. Cooper hijacked Northwest Airlines Flight 305. Once $200,000 and several parachutes were delivered per his request, he parachuted into the night. To this day, no one knows his whereabouts?or if he even survived.d
Missing Children?s Day May 25th is Missing Children's Day
May 25th is Missing Children’s Day in the United States and in several European countries. It was established in1983 on the anniversary of Etan Patz’s disappearance.d
Frank Ahearn, a skiptracer (a term for people who find others), says that people intentionally go missing for usually two reasons: money or danger. Men usually leave because of money, and women because of danger. While the bulk of intentional disappearances were once men, more and more women choose to bail out.d
Family abductions are the most common type of child abduction. Of family-abducted children, fathers are responsible 53% of the time, while mothers are responsible 25% of the time. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other family members abducted the remainder of these children. Around 46% are returned within a week and 21% are returned within a month.d
In the United States alone, enough children are abducted by family members on an average day to fill a school bus every other hour, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.d
According to the U.S. Department of State, there are no statistics that track the number of Americans who go missing in a foreign country in a given year. The United Kingdom does, however. In 2008, 481 British disappeared abroad, an increase from 401 the previous year and 336 in 2006.d
In 2008, there were 30 officially documented disappearances on cruise ships in the preceding five years.d
When children disappear, they fall under the auspices of the National Child Search Assistance Act, which was passed in 1990. This act prohibits law enforcement agencies from requiring a waiting period before taking a missing persons report and provides that certain information be entered into the national database known as the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).d
Police caution families of the missing to beware of scammers and people who claim to have psychic knowledge of the loved one’s fate.d
The AMBER Alert, or Child Abduction Emergency, was named for 9-year-old Amber Hagerman who was abducted and slain in 1996. Its official acronym is “America’s Missing: Broadcasting Emergency Response.”d
The first child in the U.S. to be recovered using the AMBER Alert was Rae Leigh Bradbury when she was abducted at 8 weeks old in November 1998 in Texas.d
-- Posted August 5, 2013
References ~
a Barton, Robin L. “The ‘Missing White Woman Syndrome.’” The Crime Report. August 22, 2011. Accessed: June 27, 2013.
b “The Facts about Missing Children.” AmberAlert. 2013. Accessed: June 27, 2013.
c Gaither, Tanita. “National Attention Rarely Highlights Missing Minority Children.” CBS Atlanta. Updated May 9, 2013. Accessed: June 27, 2013.
d Moore, Carole. 2011. The Last Place You’d Look: True Stories of Missing Persons and the People Who Search for Them. New York, NY: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
e “News Media.” International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children. 2013. Accessed: June 27, 2013.
f Talanova, Julia. “Case Against Man Accused of Killing 6-Year-Old Etan Patz Proceeds, Judge Rules.” CNN. Updated May 16, 2013. Accessed: June 27, 2013.
g “Welcome to DPMO.” DPMO. 2013. Accessed: June 27, 2013.
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Missing People Worldwide

While looking for the statistics on how many people just disappear each year around the globe, the one thing that has become apparent is the sheer disappointment and heart ache that follows.
Here are some facts from the U.S. released in October 2002.
800,00 under 18 a years of age
2,000 a day
58,000 abducted by non family members
115 victims to stereotypical kidnappings that result in ransom demands and death or the kidnapper indents to keep the child.
This shows children in the U.S. only. So what are the world wide children and adult numbers likely to be?
1 million children are reported missing in the US and the UK every year. If lees than 200 of these are murdered, where do all the rest go? This would be like loosing the population of a city such as Amsterdam every year.
It would seem that 800,000 go missing but a further 500,000 can be added if you include the numbers that don't get reported.
Perhaps Belgium may have the answers as this would seem to be the leader in global trafficking of children and woman. Belgium may be a small country consisting of around ten million people but, in the Brussels region it was revealed that 1,300 children disappeared between 1991 and 1996. The same repeating story is told all over the world. Multi-millions of children are going missing every year, they are never seen, heard of or found.
35,439 bodies found dead. All of them were unidentified. This was in India 2000. Over the years there had been a massif increase in the number of woman who are disappearing too. Its assumed that this is directly linked with the sex industry. Although we cant place all the blame here.
Women are more likely to leave an abusive marriage simply because very few find themselves being abused by woman and feel the need to run. Mental health issues also play a part.
California numbers show that 25,000 adults and children are active missing persons cases.
France reported 13 adults and 3 small children found dead. Some of them had been shot, all were burned and they were laid out in a star burst pattern. This shows that there are cult related reasons for people going missing. Missing people reports show that 39,000 children go missing in France, 50,000 missing children in Germany,, 8,400 in Spain, 1,100 in Italy and 500 in Greece. Brazil is said to report up to 40,000 missing children a year. There were 4,802 in the UK alone reported missing. 88.5 reports per day go to the Metropolitan police. Greater Manchester takes 30.1 and 4.1 are received by Cambridgeshire. Those numbers are per day. This report was made in 1997. The problem has increased since then. Don't forget, there are more than this but not all are reported.
Even when enjoying a holiday abroad, people go missing. Again, children seem to be the focus point here, Madeleine McCann being the most well know and publicised victim due to the efforts of her parents. She is only 1 of many children to go missing in Spain. Thousands of others do not get the news coverage to same incredible high standards.
A missing persons report is made to police every 18 minutes in Australia. That's about 30,000 a year. Many of these reports are cleared up when the person missing is found or shows up safe and sound.
When looking for information about the number of people worldwide who go out one day and never return home, you come across lots of statistics for children but not many focus on adults. This is most probably because adults have more choices. Many of them choose to become lost. There are those who fall into the wrong company and many who are taken for the sex industry against their own free will. Some will even have mental health issues or commit suicide. It doesn't change the fact though that people do just disappear and a whether its 1 or 100, 000, its still too many.
Children however don't have the legal power to decide to go away and start a new life. They should be in the care of their parents or guardians at all times so when a child goes missing, it can only mean that harm has come to the child due to an accident of some sort or foul play is to blame.
Its for this reason that you can find information about children very quickly because there are so many organizations that support the families in their heart break and the search to find the missing child.
We also have to consider these numbers very carefully. Some reports are made, documented on statistic sites but many of the numbers are found some time later and the documentation may not have been updated. Also, we should consider that not all disappearing people, (mainly adults) are reported. There are many unidentified bodies all around the world that could be any one of the people on the lists or they may be an unreported case that although found, are never identified because no one has said they've gone.
It still remains that even 1 person, be it an adult or a child, should not be able to just disappear. They have to be somewhere out there. Lets hope that one day Madeleine McCann will be found safe and sound so as to give hope to the many other thousands of families suffering the same but unpublicized losses. Sadly, given the numbers of those people who do just seem to vanish, we should at the very least learn from the previous victims and find a way to protect better our children and families to prevent these numbers rising even more in the future.
MCA Tracing Services are experts in Debtor Tracing, finding Missing Persons and Missing People.
Contact us TODAY on 0121 428 1188 and remember No Trace No Fee.
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  • 4 weeks later...

Madeline McCann. I have this weird hope that she is alive. That maybe, her unusual eye, the coloboma in her eye, was cause for her to perhaps even be revered as special and well taken care of? I'd never seen the defect before the force Majeure episode. I actually looked it up because of that episode so when little Madeline disappeared, and I saw she had a coloboma, I immediately wondered if that was somehow the cause, or the attraction, and I hoped, that she'd be found fast because of it.

a weird note, this article mentions Millennium and the Force Majeure episode in relation to the Madeline disappearance... It's from 2008.


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What freaks me out about the article is ~

"...evidence is mounting that points to one or both parents. Blood identified as Madeleine’s was discovered in a rental car used by the McCanns two weeks following Maddie’s disappearance. How did the blood get there?"

An now they are chatting with a film company about a movie. Wonder if they sold her. Check this out ~

Today we learn the McCanns are chatting with a film company about a movie! This is ironic, since a ‘Disney film that bore striking similarities to the McCanns’ story was pulled from British cinemas last September for fear of offending Madeleine’s family. Gone Baby Gone recounted the tragic tale of a four-year-old girl snatched from her bed.’

Here's our part ~

The first season of Millennium (the series whose logo features prominent MM for the year 2000 — Madeleine McCann’s initials are MM) featured a show called ‘Force Majeure’ (episode 13, of all things). The plot revolved around a family of cloned women who all looked alike — blonde, beautiful, and each with a congenital coloboma in the right eye — who were killing themselves in Biblical ways. Their father (an old man who saw himself as a post-apocalyptic Noah) directed his brood from an iron lung.

The initials MM got to me...wow.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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