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Finding missing people - thoughts on how easy it is to drop off the grid.

I'm inclined to agree. We have made ourselves incredibly reliant on mobile phones & social media..
I don’t think I do agree.

Jim’s thread persuaded me to revisit the disappeared person case that I was interviewed about over 20 years ago. It’s pretty clear from the website and Facebook pages thathos family knew he was missing on the night he went missing.

I think we were far more diligent about telling people where we were going and when we’d be back before we had mobiles and social media. If someone disappeared for 24 hours in the 80s the reaction would have been the same.
 
As one whose elderly step-mother went for trip into a nearby city for a bit of shopping and never returned - still missing to this day and now declared dead officially - and a father who had dementia and went on walkabout, I have a lot of sympathy for Jim, or anyone, when someone they know suddenly buggers off for their own reasons.

It is worrying and I just hope it doesn't happen to the keyboard warriors on here.
 

PFGEN

GCM
Big celebrity hunted love island?

Great idea, you need to pitch that to the media types with one qualifier, that being once they are all on the island we don't actually look for them....ever.

On the serious side good to hear that that your brother has been found.
 
Very glad that the OP's case is resolved.
There is a class factor to consider in terms of how easy it is to go missing without attracting attention. Gordon Burn's book - 'Happy Like Murderers' - about the Fred West murders is a disturbing read, in part because he draws attention to the way that the nature of West's victims - young women, often from a poor and troubled home environments - meant that police were quick to decide that the person had run away from home and was likely in London or another large city. Burn says that police made little effort to look for many of West's victims. The obvious question is, what proportion of those the police assume have run away are in fact victims of crime against the person?
One sometimes sees this today: many adults and children are reported as missing each year (250,000 to 300,000) and some are never found. Only a few cases attract the attention of the national media and it may be speculated that those are sometimes cases where the missing person is from a family whose background or connections make it easier to attract police attention and assistance. As well as factors such as connections, issues such as whether the family of a missing person know who to speak to, and how to speak to them, to obtain assistance also play a part.
There was a case in the press a few days ago about a homeless man who had been found dead in a roadside tent. He had apparently been there for a year. In this age of apparent interconnectivity, it is very easy for someone to have no living family and few friends.
The other issue that occurred to me this morning, when considering the OP's incident, was that data protection rules might actively inhibit attempts to locate someone. A bank would, for example, know where and when someone last used an ATM. They would likely not be willing to tell a relative that information. Perhaps a protocol can be developed which can be invoked when someone is formally reported as missing, to allow a pre-nominated person access to bank records, etc?
 
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Only a few cases attract the attention of the national media and it may be speculated that those are sometimes cases where the missing person is from a family whose background or connections make it easier to attract police attention and assistance. As well as factors such as connections, factors such as whether the family of a missing person know who to speak to, and how to speak to them, to obtain assistance also play a part.

A rather well known case in Portugal springs to mind
 
How easy would it be for some of us on here ,with military backgrounds to pack a Bergen and just Foxtrot Oscar out into the sticks. You can literally just vanish. No mobile phones, no going near populated areas, no using cash machines etc.
 
I don’t think I do agree.

Jim’s thread persuaded me to revisit the disappeared person case that I was interviewed about over 20 years ago. It’s pretty clear from the website and Facebook pages thathos family knew he was missing on the night he went missing.

I think we were far more diligent about telling people where we were going and when we’d be back before we had mobiles and social media. If someone disappeared for 24 hours in the 80s the reaction would have been the same.

There were many a time people had one night stands, or slept in a hedge, or got nicked etc etc, in the 80s most friends/family wouldn't have noticed unless they lived with that individual.
 
How easy would it be for some of us on here ,with military backgrounds to pack a Bergen and just Foxtrot Oscar out into the sticks. You can literally just vanish. No mobile phones, no going near populated areas, no using cash machines etc.

Civvies do it all the time, its doesnt take any special training.
 
There were many a time people had one night stands, or slept in a hedge, or got nicked etc etc, in the 80s most friends/family wouldn't have noticed unless they lived with that individual.
Of course, and I’m one of them. But we checked in if someone was expecting us.

I’m pretty sure I’d have been concerned if one of my mates went awol for 24 hours.
 
Of course, and I’m one of them. But we checked in if someone was expecting us.

I’m pretty sure I’d have been concerned if one of my mates went awol for 24 hours.
Really?

Likewise I'm delighted everything turned out OK and it is of course easy to be wise after a good outcome.

There were no outward indicators to cause alarm, as Jim made clear - other than the fact a healthy, sane family member wasn't available on Facebook, WhatsApp or contactable on their mobile for less than 24 hours - and that was out of character.

Friends were clearly verbalising and publishing worries or concerns that previously would only have been thought, not uttered, hence the heightened cause for concern. Maybe even maliciously driven.

Appreciate we're all different and family dynamics are constructed differently but if I rang my brother every 24 hours, just in case, I'd be on the missing persons list within three days myself.
 

jim30

LE
Really?

Likewise I'm delighted everything turned out OK and it is of course easy to be wise after a good outcome.

There were no outward indicators to cause alarm, as Jim made clear - other than the fact a healthy, sane family member wasn't available on Facebook, WhatsApp or contactable on their mobile for less than 24 hours - and that was out of character.

Friends were clearly verbalising and publishing worries or concerns that previously would only have been thought, not uttered, hence the heightened cause for concern. Maybe even maliciously driven.

Appreciate we're all different and family dynamics are constructed differently but if I rang my brother every 24 hours, just in case, I'd be on the missing persons list within three days myself.


To be fair, I speak or see my brother very rarely - our lives are very different. But I know him well enough to know his close friends; and they dont flap or get concerned without reason.

Its all situational - plenty of people do drop off grids, sleep in bushes or not speak to people for ages. If it had been me, no one would have cared.

But when you drop off radar, dont turn up for an agreed meetup with a mate (that emerged as key issue a short time ago) who had seen you the previous day, and where you are usually.highly reliable at meeting people, and then stop answering phone etc, and then not come home for a second night, despite having work, it is easy to quickly get concerned.

It boils down to knowing the person, their way of life and spotting when all the warning signs are going 'something isnt right' and stepping up. My view is that had something really bad happened, I'd have spent rest of my life kicking myself if I'd said 'whatever mate'.
 
My best mate was declared a missing person three years ago this November. This was after his crashed car was discovered on a road in country New South Wales. It appears he got out and wandered off. Despite extensive searches, no trace of him was found, alive or dead. His family have made use of a new Facebook service which involves persons friending the missing one and facial recognition technology being employed if he turns up in a pic anywhere.

Despite this, there has been no word. The not knowing has been hell at times. It has been harder on the family than their being told he had been killed outright would have been. So I am glad your brother turned up Jim.
 
Of course, and I’m one of them. But we checked in if someone was expecting us.

I’m pretty sure I’d have been concerned if one of my mates went awol for 24 hours.

How would you have known your mate was AWOL unless you had planned to meet them sometime in the 24 hours. I can think of literally hundreds of occasions where squaddies have tapped off with the local tart and not been seen for 24 hours. Nobody raised the alarm because no one noticed. When Corrie Mckeague disappeared no one really noticed/cared until he didn't turn up for work on the Monday.
 
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ugly

LE
Moderator
As a kid in the 1970's my brother would bunk off school for the day, often rolling in just in time unless he was distracted. No one seemed to know and he got away with for ages. We did work out that he had been doing it since Junior School and just got better at it!
 
How easy would it be for some of us on here ,with military backgrounds to pack a Bergen and just Foxtrot Oscar out into the sticks. You can literally just vanish. No mobile phones, no going near populated areas, no using cash machines etc.

Far easier to disappear in a city than it is out in the boonies.
 

Dark_Nit

LE
Book Reviewer
Glad you found him.
It's pretty easy to go off grid though. There are literally tens of thousands of people who don't come up on any radar. Mostly they are illegal immigrants or pikeys but it's not too difficult if you are prepared to live in a bedsit / caravan and work strictly for cash.

My cousin's half brother (I deny any connection as I'm not a blood relative) vanished some years ago when he was due to appear in court. Nobody in his family saw him for years until he appeared out of the blue one day looking for a handout and was promptly told to fvck back off under which rock he had been hiding.

From what I gather he had been working as a cash-in-hand roofing labourer and living in a static caravan somewhere (shacked up with a woman) for about 5 years when he started drinking again (which is what got him in bother the first time). That was 10 years ago and we've not seen him since. He's not on any electoral records and doesn't come up in any google searches.
 
How easy would it be for some of us on here ,with military backgrounds to pack a Bergen and just Foxtrot Oscar out into the sticks. You can literally just vanish. No mobile phones, no going near populated areas, no using cash machines etc.

I think that would be a time-limited thing, and also depend on where you did it. You'd probably be fine for a week, but then you'd run out of bog roll. Or steritabs. Or a storm would destroy your tent/basha. Or you'd need medical attention. Or your hunting and foraging skills would not be up to providing enough food on a continual basis. Or the landowner would ping you and call the Police. I'm not sure you could do it for very long before something happened, or crept up on you that would make you reconsider.

Of course you could do it in somewhere like the GAFA for longer, but the more remote the place you do it in, the more chance there is of it not ending well, because when it inevitably goes tits up, there's no-one there to help.

Even the hold-out Jap soldiers on remote islands after WW2, they were known to be there.
 
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