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

Guns

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
I'm inclined to agree. We have made ourselves incredibly reliant on mobile phones & social media.

I found myself driving home from work. Why? Because I left my mobile phone there. I question my own sanity.

Many people live their lives on social media (says the guy who gets paid to work on social media). We also feed off each other's anxieties, increasing hysteria. Mobile phones give us the expectation of instant, on demand, 24/7 contact.

My missus, for example, never bothers charging her phone & frequently leaves it out of earshot. Conversely, if I don't answer mine within the first two rings, I'll come out of meetings with a dozen or more missed calls from her.

Sometimes it's nice to go off grid for a few days and unless the person doing it is at significant risk, it seems completely normal to me. Maybe I'm just OLD.

Old, you're old not odd. As jim has said it is very much a change in pattern that should be the trigger. For a large part of the community constant and persistent connectivity is the norm and every second of ones day is an open book.

I'm a child of the computer revolution however I have slowly crawled into to each phase of the brave new digital world. I had a BBC Micro at school and a Acron Electron at home. I went round to my mates to home-brew games and apps on his Spectrum or my Acorn. I hacked my first game, Elite, and from there on I have been at the edge of a bow wave of connectivity. I had internet and email in the 90s, I only knew one other person with email - a fellow geek who was in a cabin two down from mine in Moscow Camp NI. We email each other and then shouted down the corridor to make sure each other login to read it........

Now my four year old son is learning to count using the iPad, he can record using the camera app and is able to understand games and how to play them. It's frightening.

The generation behind me is all about connections, either real or virtual. If the kids of my friends who are 16 to 20 years old suddenly stopped using the online world it would be a strong combat indicator something is wrong.

Its classic warfare, you build your maritime picture so you know what is normal and can spot the abnormal. There is a very good company out there that I have worked with who are able to pull together the digital world, along with on ground observations, to deliver a stunning Common Operating Picture (COP) that covers everything that has an in/out - CCTV, phones, internet, Internet of Things, EM spectrum analysis... everything. From that they can spot changes a they occur far quicker than a human and deliver I&W at a speed that is incredible. As our lives become more dependant on being digitally connected it will be harder to go off grid without standing out.
 
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.

He didn’t, doesn’t go by the name of Corvid does he?
 
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I don't use social media and often work away so people don't expect me to be in the office. I'd be gone for a week before anyone noticed.
 
A grown man disappears for a day or so and people seem to think its something spectacular. Before we had social media it still happened, we just didn't have people hashtaging over a adult deciding not to tell everyone his business.

I had a close mate who, pre-social media, used to simply vanish for a few days once or twice a year - one of the vanishings was always at New Years eve. After a few years of knowing him he asked me if I wanted to come see in the New Year with him, so I went.

I watched the New Year in from the top of Pen-Y-Fan with a brew in my hand sat alongside a good mate and spent a couple of days walking the Beacons. That was, and to this day still is, his New Year, unless he is outside the UK and then he finds the highest, quietest, local place and does the same. But, back then people used to worry, or think he had gone for a gay bondage alcoholic weekend - not that he is gay, the other two maybe.
 

verticalgyro

MIA
DirtyBAT
I don't use social media and often work away so people don't expect me to be in the office. I'd be gone for a week before anyone noticed.

Yes dearie. You're posting on a forum saying that you don't use Social Media.

joey.jpg
 
My Brother (Paranoid Schizophrenic) left my house one night and fcuked of to Europe.
Que my Sister panicking and phoned the PSNI to report him missing with no idea were he was.
Turned up in Jersey sleeping rough on a farmers land and the family looked after him with grub. They contacted my Sister and put her fears to bed.

Que him then fcuking off again from Jersey with no warning and a couple of years later my Sister got a phone call from the Dutch police tonsay he'd been arrested. Ssafa helped bring him back to the UK and got him treatment in London.

Long story short he was eating out of rubbish bins from France to Greece and back across to Holland.

He could have been dead for all we knew.
 
I think your last paragraph sums it up perfectly Jim, if you’re advised to report things that look suspicious why not the same when someone’s behaviour suddenly changes? I’d bet a pound to piece of sh!t there are many many people that wished ‘social media ‘ had been around when their loved ones/friends went missing and possibly never heard from them again but maybe, just maybe might have done if their odd or sudden change had been picked up sooner

Agreed. Better a hundred false alarms...
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
RIP
Lord Lucan managed it.
John Stonehouse didn't.

One wonders how many thousands of unsolved missing person cases the police have on their books at any one time and how long some of them have been there.
 
Old, you're old not odd. As jim has said it is very much a change in pattern that should be the trigger. For a large part of the community constant and persistent connectivity is the norm and every second of ones day is an open book.

I'm a child of the computer revolution however I have slowly crawled into to each phase of the brave new digital world. I had a BBC Micro at school and a Acron Electron at home. I went round to my mates to home-brew games and apps on his Spectrum or my Acorn. I hacked my first game, Elite, and from there on I have been at the edge of a bow wave of connectivity. I had internet and email in the 90s, I only knew one other person with email - a fellow geek who was in a cabin two down from mine in Moscow Camp NI. We email each other and then shouted down the corridor to make sure each other login to read it........

Now my four year old son is learning to count using the iPad, he can record using the camera app and is able to understand games and how to play them. It's frightening.

The generation behind me is all about connections, either real or virtual. If the kids of my friends who are 16 to 20 years old suddenly stopped using the online world it would be a strong combat indicator something is wrong.

Its classic warfare, you build your maritime picture so you know what is normal and can spot the abnormal. There is a very good company out there that I have worked with who are able to pull together the digital world, along with on ground observations, to deliver a stunning Common Operating Picture (COP) that covers everything that has an in/out - CCTV, phones, internet, Internet of Things, EM spectrum analysis... everything. From that they can spot changes a they occur far quicker than a human and deliver I&W at a speed that is incredible. As our lives become more dependant on being digitally connected it will be harder to go off grid without standing out.
An interesting point and I agree with much of what you have said. To make an obvious point, those who are experiencing serious problems can devote a lot of energy to appearing 'normal'. I mention that just because our responsibility can extend only so far. A person's actions are essentially their own concern and, even with those close to us, it can be hard to know what's going on inside, or behind the facade. It can be hard even to know ourselves, never mind others.
 

PFGEN

GCM
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.


I have friends who live in one of the more remote parts of Sweden. Even with the current situation there is little crime in their area. Occasionally though it goes wrong and somebody is being sought for a serious crime. A few take to the woods and embrace their inner Grizzly Adams. The police just wait it out, the area is too big to cover with the resources they have and they know that as soon as the snow arrives they'll start receiving reports of sightings that they can act on.
 
Old, you're old not odd. As jim has said it is very much a change in pattern that should be the trigger. For a large part of the community constant and persistent connectivity is the norm and every second of ones day is an open book.
Yep, I'll go along with that.

The problem, (for me, admittedly) is that I prefer not to be available 24/7. Nothing irks me more than having a pint with someone more preoccupied with communicating with people not present, either on social media or interupting a conversation with a "Sorry, got to take this call".

"No, actually you havent.....and anyway, I was just getting to an interesting bit about the Falklands" :)
 

jim30

LE
Yep, I'll go along with that.

The problem, (for me, admittedly) is that I prefer not to be available 24/7. Nothing irks me more than having a pint with someone more preoccupied with communicating with people not present, either on social media or interupting a conversation with a "Sorry, got to take this call".

"No, actually you havent.....and anyway, I was just getting to an interesting bit about the Falklands" :)

396fc3be1b652f19810ef745328dae34.jpg
 

Guns

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
Yep, I'll go along with that.

The problem, (for me, admittedly) is that I prefer not to be available 24/7. Nothing irks me more than having a pint with someone more preoccupied with communicating with people not present, either on social media or interupting a conversation with a "Sorry, got to take this call".

"No, actually you havent.....and anyway, I was just getting to an interesting bit about the Falklands" :)

Sorry, what was that?
 
The generation behind me is all about connections, either real or virtual. If the kids of my friends who are 16 to 20 years old suddenly stopped using the online world it would be a strong combat indicator something is wrong.

Most of my soldiers are of the Facebook generation, they are always losing/breaking their phones no one start flapping.

If someone really has fallen off a cliff/met Jack the ripper/starting swinging from the rafters there's a 99% chance they have done it in the first couple of hours so it doesn't really make much of a different if you notice they are missing or not.
 
Sorry, what was that?
Something about a war off the coast of Scotland I think...maybe a JMC like what you used to “spectate” in the ops room as a PWO(c) ;)
 
Sorry, what was that?
Exactly..

I can't be doing with this Facebook faux "concerned about my imaginary friend" nonsense. It permeates my generation in particular, like a disease.
  • The"You OK hun?" nonsense when someone dribbles about their woes whilst pissed/smacked off their tits, playing "I will survive" at 2.00 a.m., volume to the max.
  • The other fcukwittery on social media, that grips me, is when people copy and paste clickbait spam about dodgy algorithm (they got a U in GCSE maths) and then want to give me instructions on how to re-post their gullibility.
  • Then there's the perverts that want me to tell my male friends to let someone poke a finger up their arse to check their prostrate. I'm not falling for that old gag again
Whoops, thread drift....
 
@ 4,000 children disappear off official records each year, stop going to school, no NHS interaction.....
 

Yokel

LE
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?

Maybe the individual could state what information can be released - to whom and under what circumstances? However the DPA probably forbids this - or at least the common fear of having a DPA breach and staying silent regardless of the circumstances.

.....that want me to tell my male friends to let someone poke a finger up their arse to check their prostrate. I'm not falling for that old gag again

Just remember not to let them steady themselves by putting both hands on your shoulders.

@ 4,000 children disappear off official records each year, stop going to school, no NHS interaction.....

If true - that is really shocking. That has the word 'abuse' written all over it.
 

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