Missing from the Smoky Mountains: The Big Three

On June 14, 1969, six year-old Dennis Martin, his two brothers, and a cousin were playing a fun game of hide-and-go-seek as his father and grandfather talked nearby in the grassy area of Spence Field, a meadow which serves as a “crossroads” for several trails in the higher elevations of the Great Smokey Mountains National Park.

Dennis Lloyd Martin

Dennis Lloyd Martin

Three boys went one way, little Dennis opted to hide behind a bush. A few minutes later, the three boys jumped from their hiding places and frightened the grown men. It was supposed to be a joke, but the pounding of the hearts would never subside.

Dennis Martin, just six days shy of his seventh birthday, was nowhere to be found. He hasn’t been seen since despite the diligent efforts of law enforcement, the National Guard, Green Berets from Fort Bragg in nearby North Carolina, and thousands of volunteers whose search lasted through mid-September 1969.

The disappearance of the young boy slowly faded from the area headlines until October 8, 1976, when sixteen year-old Trenny Gibson seemingly vanished into thin air while on a hiking trip with her Bearden High School class. Although Trenny was walking alone, there were groups reportedly behind and in front of her but no one claimed to have seen anything – especially not an abduction. During the search for Trenny, scent dogs followed her trail to the highway before it was lost.

Again thousands of volunteers as well as military personnel spent months searching the mountain terrain for the teenager but it was to no avail. Treeny was gone without a trace.

Just as it was with Dennis, the missing Treeny began to slowly fade away from the headlines when suddenly 58 year-old Polly Melton of Jacksonville, Florida, disappeared while hiking with a couple of friends on September 25, 1981.

Polly, said the friends, was a smoker, overweight and suffered high blood pressure so they found it odd she was walking at such a brisk pace several yards ahead of them. Overhearing the comments, Polly turned and laughed before she went out-of-sight as she descended a hill. Initially her hiking companions believed she had went back to their campsite but upon their return they learned such was not the case.

Like Dennis and Treeny, Polly vanished without a trace, never to be seen again.

Unsolved Disappearances in the Great Smoky Mountains
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This time when the headlines became fewer, there would not be another one to revive the stories. Over time their disappearances have become something of urban legend to visitors, and especially residents, of the Great Smoky Mountains. Not only does the failure to locate the missing leave much to the imagination but no evidence whatsoever of who, or even what, could be responsible makes the stories fantastic.

Are these three a victim of an unidentified serial killer? Although it would not be the usual modus operandi, victims of such varying ages and even gender isn’t outside the scope of possibility for a serial killer. But why were there no other victims? It’s always possible the killer moved from the area or died, I suppose.

Other folks, however, swear by the “Bigfoot theory” and their ideas seems only to be bolstered by the recent release of a book titled Missing 411: Easter United States: Unexplained Disappearance of North Americans That Have Never Been Found by Bigfoot expert David Paulides.

In his book, Paulides summarizes newspaper articles about persons missing from U.S. National Parks, including the Smoky Mountain Missing trio. Paulides calls out the lack of suspects as one of several reasons why he theorizes a Bigfoot is responsible for the missing, although he fails to explain why Park Rangers, frequent visitors to the areas they patrol, have never fallen prey – or even witnessed such a “thing.”

On the other hand, Paulides does make mention of “wild men” (i.e., Deliverance-style) who live in the extremely rural areas of the park and the possibility of their involvement, as allegedly seen by a family from Carthage, Tennessee, on the day Dennis went missing. I’m not in total disagreement with such a theory. I’ve seen what lives in the “civilized” mountains near my home, so I can only imagine what lurks in those.

But isn’t it always possible the vanishings were more simplistic? Say, horrible accidents or planned disappearances?

Trenny Lynn Gibson

Trenny Lynn Gibson

Dennis Martin was a young boy fairly familiar with the area, living in nearby Knoxville. His family spent a great deal of time camping and hiking the Great Smoky Mountain park trails. He was energetic and fearless. It wouldn’t be outside the realm of reality for a six year-old to explore and become lost. Not to mention, children that age have a knack for finding the oddest places – places adults would never think of.

Trenny Gibson had walked on-and-off with friends during their field trip but the area from where she disappeared is known for its steep incline, sharp drop-offs, and dense undergrowth. Some locals also claim there are abandoned mine shafts whose openings are often covered with brush and easy to fall into. Those are definitely things to consider.

Then there is Polly Melton. She had been suffering bouts of depression following the death of her mother a few years before. Her doctor had prescribed her Valium to help ease the depression. Polly had supposedly stopped taking them by the time of her disappearance but her husband later reported his prescription for the same medication couldn’t be found. And Polly’s husband told police he suspected she was having an affair.

But Polly disappeared without her identification and, being unable to drive, she had no keys. Of course, if such were the case, Polly wouldn’t be the first person to skip out with no ID, with a paramour, from a predetermined meeting place in hopes she would be classified as a “victim” rather than a marital deserter.

Truth is, it’s been more than 40 years since little Dennis disappeared and almost 32 since Polly vanished, we’ll probably never know what happened – short of a miraculous discovery.

I do, however, have my own theories -

I am of the opinion that Dennis Martin and Trenny Gibson were abducted by opportunistic predators. Both were separated from their “pack” and easily snatched – by separate individuals. Each was probably whisked from the park and their bodies are now in graves somewhere in the Appalachian Mountains. May they be at peace.

Alternatively, I feel strongly Polly Melton walked away voluntarily, which contradicts with the thoughts of her family. The sudden change of routine the day before wherein she didn’t volunteer at the Senior Center, the mysterious phone call to an unidentified person, and the strange behavior noted by friends of her walking pace all lead to this conclusion.

Unofficially, Park officials have said they believe Trenny and Polly were abducted and taken from the park while they theorize Dennis simply wandered off and eventually died of natural elements.

I could be wrong but, then again, I’m not basing much of my theories on the proclamations of a celebrity psychic so…

If you have any information about any of these cases, please contact the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations at 615.744.4000 or visit www.tbi.tn.gov.

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89 Responses to “Missing from the Smoky Mountains: The Big Three”

  1. David Paulides says:

    It’s obvious from this article that Kim Cantrell never read either of the “Missing 411″ books I wrote. There is NOWHERE is either book where I ever make mention of what or who I suspect is causing these disappearances. There isn’t one metion of bigfoot anywhere in the eastern book which chronicles the Dennis Martin disappearance, NONE. I specifically state in the book that I won’t name what is causing this because it is disrespectful and takes away from the missing persons story. These stories stand on their own as a complete mystery.

    Dwight McCarter was the lead tracker for the National Park Service when Dennis Martin vanished. When we interviewed him, it was Dwight who brought up “wild men” in the park, not us. He stated that there were people living off the land and were sometimes attacking people. McCarter even explained a serious attack against a fellow ranger by a wild man.

    It’s interesting that the author states she feels that Polly walked away voluntarily even though there isn’t one shred of evidence stating she did. Polly’s family, park officials and myself believe she was abducted, where is your proof of your theory Ms. Cantrall?

    Celebrity Psychic Ms. Cantrall? The only thing I wrote about a psychic is what the park service gave me through a Freedom of Information Act Request. It was important enough that they kept the item after 40+ years…

    It is always amazing how some columnists will minimize the disappearance of people and the associated story when the only thing that appears in that story is facts.

    Very, Very disappointing article to downplay what is occurring in Rocky Mountain National park.

    Please do not put words in my books that don’t exist.

    • Kim Cantrell says:

      David, I’m not sure why you took this to be a derogatory commentary directed at your book.

      You’re right, I have not read either of your Missing 411 books, I simply gathered information about the contents as theories for the explanation of the disappearances. In that paragraph, I said you mentioned “it” in your book as witnessed by a family from Carthage, Tennessee. I see now my mistake was in neglecting to say “alluded” to it in your book. (Source: The Daily Times. But your other books are about Bigfoot, so I’m sure you can see where my verbiage could take a wrong turn.

      Proof of my theory on Polly? If there was PROOF, it wouldn’t be a THEORY – now would it? And I plainly explain what I base this theory on: the depression, the odd burst of energy, and the vague accusation of her husband that she was having an affair.

      As a former police officer, I’m surprised you don’t recognize this behavior as that of many who have wished to disappear from their present life; as the characteristics of those reported missing only to turn up years, even decades later, in another place living under another name(s). Am I 100% certain or even right? I don’t know, which is why I said “I am of the opinion”!

      And for the record, the idea of a Bigfoot – I don’t totally discount. I don’t know if they (it?) exist or not and, quite frankly, I get laughed at because I don’t close my mind to the possibility. But, I’ve got to say, the way the “leading expert” has taken offense over a single paragraph and managed to skew the entire article to be about him seriously makes me wonder if maybe I should rethink such open-mindedness.

      Really, sir, ego much?

      Spend anytime reading here and you will see I NEVER minimize the disappearance of anyone – especially children. Please, before you make such an accusation, understand the person about whom you are making it.

      If I did not make myself clear…this article is NOT about your book. You’re mentioned in ONE paragraph. Everything else is MY thoughts and MY theories based on facts gathered from a MULTITUDE of sources..


      And P.S. (1) My last line about the celebrity psychic was directed at the FBI, not you. (I’ve seen the same FOIA documents as you) and (2) this occurred in the GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS not the ROCKY Mountains. I’m sure that was a typo but I wanted to clarify for readers.

      • John Mosby says:

        Was Dennis Martin Autistic?

        A 2012 article in OUTDOOR describes the challenge of finding an 8 year old boy named Robert Arthur Wood Jr. with autism lost in a Virginia park on Sunday October 23, 2011, which resulted in the newest concern in the search and rescue world: lost autistic children. Why autistic kids have the tendency to run off is not known, but the urge is strong in half of all children diagnosed with the disorder. Robert Koester sums children with autism up as: “Not feeling pain the way normal children do. They could sprain an ankle or suffer cold and dampness without complaint. The pangs of hunger wouldn’t make them cry. They’d harbor no fear of the dark or the bogeyman and wouldn’t dread solitude, so they wouldn’t get panicky at dusk.”

        Robert was found alive on Friday October 30, (6 days and 5 nights) still dressed in all of his clothes except his shoes. He was cold and scared. His hands and feet were purple and swollen. He had been mauled by insects and spiders and inhabited by chiggers and ticks. His body was covered in dirt, bruises, and scratches, and his head was skinned up.

        At some point, Robert had climbed a wire fence posted with no trespassing signs and two strands of barbed wire strung across the top, or he found one of two openings where the fence had been breached by fallen trees. He then pushed his way through scrub brush and onto the backfill from the quarry, scrambling over soft gray earth toward a vast, deep quarry pit in a deep wet gully; he was found lying on its left side, tucked into the fetal position.

        Did this happen to Dennis Martin? Who knows? There is a large body of speculation and twice as many after action repots on his disappearance. One has been listed here and the other is a Coast Guard Case study. Without rehashing what has already been said, a positive outcome to Dennis’ disappearance is the way Search and Rescues are conducted. No more will you find 100’s of people tramping through the woods. Could Dennis be described in modern times as Autistic? That can be debatable. One thing is for sure, if he was Autistic by today’s standards, then maybe he thought it was a game, running and jumping playing hide and seek until he ran out of time.



    • Andy Tong says:

      I’ve just stumbled across this stuff and find it very interesting. Seems to me there are probably a number of different possible causes but some of the cases are very strange indeed. I’m looking forward to reading these books.

  2. Richard Hucklebridge says:

    It is obvious that this lady, Kim Cantrell, hasn’t read either one of the “Missing 411” books, because of her statements that she has concocted in her rendition on how these missing people might have gone missing; as in something went astray, and or it was possibly the fault of the missing person themselves. Also, at no time did the author of “Missing 411” ever mention who or what might have taken those missing people.
    I believe the author of these “Missing 411” books incorporated an extensive investigation on most of these case; where possible, as in interviewing the primary people involved on quite a few of those missing people cases.
    I also believe that this author wanted to bring out the fact that the United States Park Service people wanted to conceal most of these missing people cases, so as to keep the public uninformed; as to what is really going on in our National Parks across this country of ours. Please be advised, that these Park Service folks still refuse to give out very little information or none at all concerning missing people in our National Parks, even when the freedom of information act is invoked. That in its self has to tell us something!!
    I think the author of these “Missing 411” books has accomplished a service to the people of our once great country; where you Kim, are attempting a to achieve a disservice to the public at large with your lame comments on how these folks may have gone missing.

    • Kim Cantrell says:

      Kim Cantrell, bad. Missing 411, good.

      Yeah, we get it. Sigh.

      • Bud says:

        Go away Kim.

        • Kim Cantrell says:

          Well, Bud, since this is MY blog, I’m not going anywhere. But please feel free to never visit again.

        • Boone says:

          Actually Bud, why don’t YOU go away since this happens to be Ms. Cantrell’s blog. No one asked for your opinion and no one asked you to visit this blog ( which is excellent, by the way ). I will never understand the mentality of people like you, Bud. I don’t think I want to either. Also, considering Mr. Paulides above comment to Ms. Cantrell, I will not be reading his books which I was going to do. If he feels he is that important, more important than the people in the cases he wrote about, then I have no interest in reading his stuff. He’s being a bully and a real A- hole to Ms. Cantrell for no apparent reason that I can fathom and I find that to be a very rude and disreputable attitude. That goes for Bud and a few other commenters on here too. What is the point, boys? Is that helping solve anything? Especially these mysterious disappearances?

          Thanks for the excellent commentary and for your phenomenal blog, Kim. I’m definitely a fan and an avid reader of it. I have my own theories about what happened to many of these people who have gone missing in The Great Smoky Mountains. My main goal and wish however, is that they are eventually found or the cases are solved. Thanks for all the hard work you put into your excellent blog, Kim. – Boone

  3. Richard Hucklebridge says:

    Kim not bad, just not willing to read something that might possibly educate her concerning these missing people, and how they go completely missing some times, and the ones that are found, well they tell their story, and nobody will listen or believe them.

    You may possibly redeem yourself by either purchase or barrowing one of those “Missing 411” books, where they could enlighten you as to what is really happening out there in our wild places some of the time, and it is being hidden from the public most of the time. Richard

    • Kim Cantrell says:

      Richard, did you miss the part of my previous comment to David about how I’m not close-minded to the idea of a Bigfoot (but I gotta say, I’m seriously starting to sway the other way with the obvious inability to read in this group).

      Do I know what happened to these three? No, I have theories – an opinion derived from facts presented. Quite frankly, until their bodies are found and/or one of them reappears, everybody only has theories.

      Nobody, NOBODY, will bully me into accepting their ideas. Presented in a respectful, non-insulting, professional manner, I’m all for considering but to strong-arm me based on ONE paragraph in an article gets you or the author of Missing 411 absolutely nowhere.

  4. David Paulides says:

    It’s amazing how some people can write columns, write anything they want, misstate facts, claim others made statements which THEY NEVER DID and wrote thoughts that never existed, then not apologize for getting the entire summation of the column 100% wrong.

    Writing factual stories about moments in history is work. When I spent three plus years getting the facts correct and then others disregard those facts, don’t do their own homework by even reading a book they quote in their column, that’s not good journalism.

    Yes, I wrote two books about bigfoot, did you read those, Kim? You state that you believe in the possibility of there existence, great, lay foundation for your beliefs if you are going to bring a topic into the disappearance of three people since you must believe they are involved since you brought up that topic. Nowhere, repeat nowhere in my books did I ever bring up the topic of bigfoot or wildmen. I quote the head tracker from a National Park about his beliefs of wildmen, that’s the totality of the written word on that topic, yet that is the centerpiece of your column. The families of the missing need due respect and publicity about FACTS of their disappearance, as I presented. Unless you are a trained investigator, police officer, retired law man, feelings of journalists about specific causes of criminal activity and disappearances are usually not found in articles they write, that would be called a blog.

    • Kim Cantrell says:

      I hate this term but I’m not sure what else to say here – WTF??!! The centerpiece? Far from it.

      Did you visit the source I provided? You’ll see The Daily Times says you mention “wildmen” and such was based on information provided by witnesses from Carthage, Tennessee. (Gawd, how many times do I have to say that??!!)

      Um, I am a blogger not a trained journalist, never claim such. But, quite frankly, JOURNALIST do include their personal opinions. Ever read Time or watched CNN? FOX? Yeah, there’s no personal opinions there. (Could really use a set of rolling eyes here!)

      YOU are not the centerpiece. WILDMEN are not the centerpiece. The FBI and their CELEBRITY PSYCHIC readings are not the centerpiece.

      Are you so narrow-minded and self-centered that you can’t freakin’ read past the one paragraph where you somehow have construed that I’m making derogatory comments toward or about you??

      Really, sir, get over yourself. Move along and bully someone who you deem intelligent and worthy enough to be in your presence.

      • Bill Gibbons says:

        Let’s all take a breath here, OK?

        David Paulides has published what is undoubtedly the first comprehensive series of books on missing persons in the national parks and other wilderness areas of Canada, the USA, and beyond. As someone who has spent considerable time in remote wilderness areas of North America and in the jungles of equatorial Africa, the points concerning the cases that David has raised in his books are clear, concise, and difficult to dispute.

        1. People go missing in wilderness areas & national parks and are never found again, or are found dead or disoriented and unable to explain what happened to them.
        2. They can be grouped into age, gender, physical size & type, which also corresponds with ‘clusters’ in specific locations.
        3. Infants and young children are sometimes found alive in locations that are far away from where they originally vanished. National parks officials would have us believe that a 2 year old child can run non-stop for 19 hours over two mountain rangers and down a valley.Some children are found in good physical condition even after spending 24-48 hours or more in extremely cold, wet and extreme weather conditions.
        4. Many young people who go missing have some form of disability that prevents them from explaining what happened to them. Before emigrating to Canada in 1994, I spent three years working as a residential social worker, teaching basic educational skills to profoundly mentally handicapped adults who had the mental age of a 2-4 year old. I can tell you that communicating with them effectively was a difficult task at the best of times.
        5. Certain locations, such as boulder fields, berry patches, ridge lines, and even well trodden mountain paths play a significant role in these disappearances. Why?
        6. often when searches are started, the area in question is hit with storms that come out of the blue. Why?
        7. Search dogs, often the best in the world, exhibit bizarre behaviour and will often refuse to track the missing person. Yet these are dogs that otherwise have no trouble chasing down fugitives from the law. Why?
        8. . Place names such as Devils Peak, Devils, Punchbowl, Devils Woods and Devils Swamp play a prominent role in these vanishings. How did such places get their names? Even in Russia (the Novgorod region) you will find the mysterious Shaytan (Devil’s) swamp. where many have vanished. Why?
        6. Minimal skeletal remains of hikers, hunters, ramblers, campers, ranchers and even farmers in North America are found long after they have vanished. In more than one case, the remains of the victims were found to have been chewed into tiny pieces. These events often happen when bears are in hibernation, and the remains are not typical of wolf or mountain lion kills. I have seen bear kills in Canada and Leopard kills in Africa, they do not chew their victims into tiny pieces.
        7. Why do SARS teams sometimes search beyond normal search parameters in certain areas for missing children? What do they know that they are not telling us? Indeed, why do they call in investigators when they find missing/dead people in locations where the find disturbs them? What did they find that they are not willing to disclose, even if no foul play was officially listed in those deaths?
        8. Why do specialist military units such as the Green Berets involve themselves in searches for missing people when they have not been contacted?
        9. Why does the FBI take an interest in missing persons (something they are never officially involve in), unless they are aware that something unusual is connected to specific locations where people vanish?
        10. Why do young children (if they are found alive), talk about being cared for, even fed berries, protected and nurtured by “wolves” that have hands instead of claws, and walk upright like humans? bears and wolves will look upon young children as an easy meal and devour them, not run away with them and care for them!
        11. Why do [people dismiss reports of feral “wild men” that allegedly live around the Smoky Mountains? Reports of these terrifying figures come from several different sources. They cannot all be wrong. While David Paulides did not bring up or mention his personal belief in feral wild men, I personally believe that there is enough (circumstantial) evidence to warrant further investigation.
        12. Finally, the centre piece here is the question “WHY?” What is behind the clusters of missing persons? What is the relationship between missing children and berry patches? Why do boulder fields and ridge lines play such a prominent role in these disappearances? Why do the National Parks officials refuse to release certain missing persons case files (many of them now decades old) when they are available via the Freedom of Information Act, to the public? What are they trying to hide? There are no easy answers. You can blame Bigfoot, alien greys, wild men, dog men, serial killers, elves that live in boulder fields (such as Iceland), occult activity, and tears in the time/space continuum.

        Or all of them.

        Take your pick! One thing is clear, David Paulide’s work has uncovered a series of disturbing trends that deserves to be taken seriously by every law enforcement agency in North America – and beyond.

    • William Debold says:

      Well isn’t that what you did with the Dennis Martin case? According to the report issued by the Park Service the parents thought that he was abducted and names of suspects were included. In the two radio interviews I heard you never mentioned anything about this or when you interviewed Mr. Martin. Wouldn’t you call this “misstate facts”? If I were to be objective about this I would think that you did mislead readers by misstating facts so they would think something else happened. How about the SF guys who were over the state line in NC training? You made it sound like they were reassigned from the other side of the world. If you leave facts out you change the tenor of the story, don’t you think?

      Bart Schleyer seems to be another one you seemed to have left some facts out about. I have some knowledge of this guy and they did find his remains as well as bones! You have repeatedly said that they only found a skull and some teeth that were used in identifying him. Sir they found his remains in both Grizzly and coyote scat, they also found his bones in a patch of spruce! How can you say that his disappearance was mysterious? It was determined that he was either eaten or scavenged by either a grizzly and or coyote. This was corroborated by the tracks of both of these animals in the area! The only mystery is how it happened, not what happened!

      You may not come out and say it but you want everyone to think its Bigfoot don’t you?

      • Mr. Debold-I’m not sure where you are getting your information as it’s surely not from the park service report issued under FOIA or face to face interviews of Mr. Martin interviews with the head tracker from the National Park Service at GSM. Both Mr. Martin and the tracker state they felt that that Dennis was kidnapped. There WAS NEVER any suspects listed in any reports. There were inquiries about many people in the area and follow-up of that information. There were NEVER any official suspects, FACT.

        You say you have some knowledge about Mr. Schleyers case yet you provide no specifics. I gave specifics in the book. I interviewed the lead investigator in his case from the Yukon Department of Natural Resources, and NAMED him. It was his opinion, not mine that were in the book. This individual stated that there were NO REMAINS found in the scat and they could not determine what consumed Mr. Schleyer. You can peruse all of the news clippings you want, when you look for specifics on cases you need to interview who actually were there and did the work. There were many false reports regarding this case and that’s why we went to the lead investigator for all specifics regarding this case, FACT

        It would seem that you and other bigfoot believers continually bring up bigfoot in an attempt to make THAT the story and not the people that were assaulted or have disappeared. You should make it clear in your statements here in this column that you are stating YOUR opinions that a bigfoot was involved, not mine or the researchers who contributed to the book. There is NOT ONE statement in either of the MIssing 411 books where we make an accusation or an innuendo that a bigfoot took, ate or molested any of these individuals, it is you and people who believe like you that continue to perpetuate these accusations regarding Missing 411.

  5. David Paulides says:

    Kim-As I stated earlier, you continue to get the facts wrong, in the original article and with your latest rant.

    “Tribal Bigfoot” and “The Hoopa Project” are the only books I’ve written about bigfoot and they WERE NOT self published, Hancock House Publishing purchased the rights once the book was originally written and is the original publisher and they still are today.

    • Kim Cantrell says:

      Actually, David, I edited that line because I realized it was unbecoming and rather childish on my part. However, I concede your books are not self-published as I originally believed. I admit my statement was based on quick-draw and strictly from memory.

      That said -

      My entire article IS based on facts and my opinions formed on such – with a possible exception to the paragraph or two in which you are mentioned and those were derived from an article at The Daily Times.

      Normally I would go in and do a rewrite based on discussions with the author(s) but I believe these comments will stand for themselves.

      Thank you for your contribution.

  6. Eric horn says:

    Hey David. Just read the eastern version. I have been up to the Smokies a lot . Just went hiking this past weekend up on the AT at newfound gap. I met some people up there that are good friends of mine now and they have been wanting to read the book so I took it to them. We met at the Thomas Divide Overlook outside of Cherokee where you can see the mysterious light orbs all over the mountain ridges. I was skeptical at first untill I saw them myself and now I’m hiking trying to get close up so I can see what it is. Also heard a lot of Cherokee lore about Genoskwa and there are a lot of people up that way that take it serious. I used to laugh at the thought of something like that but I’m having second thoughts . Being on the Appalachian trail, or anywhere up that way in the dark by myself isn’t something I want to do again. There were just two more that went missing back in march and , as usual , a big rain washed away any scent for the dogs. The search was called off in April. Still haven’t been found.

  7. John A. Lutz says:

    It never fails to amaze me, why offiicals are so quick to immediately downplay the thought of an “eastern cougar, mountain lion, puma” NOT being responsible for a disappearance of a child or adult, who become disoriented or confused in an unfamilar environment. NATIVE, WILD cougars, pumas, mountain lions have been documented as inhabiting the Great Smoky Mountains & adjoining National Park since the days of 17th century hunters, pioneers & settlers. As of 1930, official forestry documents list 75 to 150 wild American Lions within the Great Smoky Mountains.
    Wild South American cougars/pumas have been documented in dozens of books for protecting young children from adverse weather elements and other predators, after becoming lost in the Andes Mountains. Its NOT impossible such an event would NOT occur in the Smokies or other wilderness, when a lost crying child is found wandering around by a female-mother cougar/puma who tries to offer comfort for the child.

  8. tony lang says:

    the fact is that bigfoot/genoskwa dosent exsist and never has done ..no fossil records of ANY apes in north america EVER so whatever happens to these missing people they arent being abducted by mythical man-apes or aliens although the intimation that they may be is a great selling point . why concentrate on the national park system when a survey of people missing in widerness on a national level would give a more balanced picture ( and a much higher total)

  9. Tony-If you haven’t read the books it is difficult to discuss this without writing another chapter. In short, the National park Service has the largest contingent of federally trained law enforcement officers of any group patrolling our woods. No other group comes close. They go to the same federal training as every other federal law enforcement group. They know the importance of keeping data (statistics) on various issues. Missing people is a statistic that EVERY medium size law enforcement agency in North America tracks, most have the missing on their websites. Think how ridiculous this sounds, we ask the National Park Service for information on how many people are presently missing in Yosemite, they tell us they don’t know. They advise us that if we send $34,000 they will research this and get back to us, what?? We asked for stats from their entire system, that will cost us $1.4 million dollars. If this was a municipal law enforcement agency and the mayor or city council asked for this information and the chief didn’t have it, he be ruled incompetent.

    We believe that congressional hearings need to be held so the public can understand why members of our public, people who are missing, why this information isn’t tracked and publicly available. How would the NPS know if they had a problem in a specific park or area of a park if they didn’t track this information? How would they know if a serial killer wasn’t working their system unless they tracked missing people? When a body is found in a specific sector of a park, how would they know who it might be? The park service has avoided answering all of these questions.

  10. Rob Morton says:

    I live in Maryville,Tn and i have my own theory of what may have happened to Dennis.i have talked several times with his father after gaining his trust and his version is very interesting many things the public does not know.It is a very heart breaking thing for the parents and they will get peace when they reunite with their son in heaven

    • Kim Cantrell says:

      Oh, Rob, you’re killing me. You have info but obviously not willing to share – which I understand given your position but now curiosity is going to kill me.

      • William Debold says:

        Kim good piece. A piece of information (Park Service report) regarding Dennis Martin was posted on the reviews of 411 on Amazon that lists 2 or 3 people that may have been involved with taking Dennis, at least according to the parents. I am also inclined to believe that he was abducted and removed from the park. It was different back then, people were more trusting and children weren’t taught “stranger Danger”.


    • Shannon Cole says:

      I am a high school teacher in the Chattanooga area and I have told these stories several times to students to get them to theorize possible scenarios of what could have happened. If you have any addtl. info. that you could share with me, I would be very grateful.

  11. [...] too long ago I published a story about “The Big Three,” a trio of missing persons who remained the largest of the unsolved disappearances in the [...]

  12. David Paulides says:

    Response to Mr. Debold- I am a bit surprised that you would refer to anonymous postings and believe they were fact when they refer to suspects in the Dennis Martin disappearance. As the only journalist that Mr. Martin has granted an interview in many years and as one of the few people diligent enough to pull every report generated by federal government investigators on this case, I can guarantee that there was NEVER any viable suspects in this case mentioned in any report. Mr. Debold, Dennis was in a field with family members, his father was watching him as he went behind a bush and never came out. There were no public roads in the area, there were no suspicious people in the area mentioned by ANYONE on Spence Field at the time. The ONLY major lead ever developed in this case involved the “Key” family observation. The Martin’s were lied to about the facts surrounding this incident and if not for the diligent efforts of National park Service Head Tracker Dwight McCarter to prove to Mr. Martin that this incident could involve his son, this issue would never have been brought to anyone’s attention, it would’ve been buried in paperwork by the FBI agent on the case. Anyone can say anything they want about this incident. The facts have come from interviews with people who were there and reports generated at that time.

    • George says:


      Are we dealing with malevolent Sasquatches? I know there is such a thing and these disappearances occur in the same areas where there are Sasquatch sightings, places I have researched myself. I have you The Hoopa Project, Tribal Bigfoot and they are great books but I haven’t read Missing 411 so maybe I have missed something but from what I have heard or read you haven’t stated what YOU think is doing this, am I wrong?
      We have a mutual friend and you Told her a while back you were getting out of the Bigfoot world, if this isn’t Bigfoot what is it? I will buy Missing 411 but as far as I know you don’t tell us what you think it is am I’m sure you know full well what it is.



      • George says:

        Please excuse my poor grammar in above comment, i wrote it on my phone. Thanks.

      • Smashy says:

        Hi George, I’m just a reader of the books and listened to the Coast 2 Coast interviews David did and you’re correct that there isn’t any mention of what could be causing the vanishings. There is no connection to Sasquatch or Bigfoot in these books, nor are any conclusions drawn about who or what is stealing away the kids and people in the National Parks. I think that makes these stories that much scarier.

        Awesome reads though!

  13. Evidently this is a phenomenon that has peaked a good degree of public interest. From what I see there is a problem coming up with reliable figures in regards to the missing along with general release of infomation concerning these peoples cases. Maybe what the relaives and friends of the victims can do is file a class action suit against the park service and other responsible entities, and demand realease of information about all individuals that have disappeared in the park systems. A database needs to be implemented and the American People need to be rightly informed in all areas concerning this phenomenon.

  14. terry says:

    No doubt that violent encounters have occurred in wilderness areas, as there have been several assaults and homicides on the AT and in national parks. However, most disappearances, including those that were resolved, have the commonality of being due to disorientation or health issues (the latter often the case with older individuals who have gone missing while out hiking or hunting).

    It’s possible Martin and Gibson became lost and disoriented and potentially died of hypothermia. Gibson was hiking with several different sections of students that day, so there was increased likelihood that she was traveling from one group to another. It’s very common for children and adolescents to want to wander off established trails, either to go the bathroom, take a shortcut or to play a prank or one up their companions. Another typical behavior for lost and disoriented individuals, including adults, is for paranoia to set in which causes them to hide from searchers and those attempting to rescue them.

    Deviating from the disoriented theory is that tracking dogs in Gibson’s case followed a scent up to a paved road, where several cigarette butts were located. Searchers had also found cigarette butts and a fresh beer near where Gibson was last seen; those who hiked with her that day denied smoking or drinking on the trail. Both a student who had previously stalked Gibson and another student who had hiked with Gibson that day came up on the radar but there was never anything directly implicating them, or anyone else for her disappearance.

    Thelma Pauline Melton’s case is more of a mystery, as someone cashed a check made out to Melton in April 1982 (she disappeared in September of 1981). Investigators decided against using a handwriting expert to determine if the signature was Melton’s, so it’s question of who cashed the check.

    • Bobbie Casteel says:

      I was with the group of three that last saw Trenny Gibson on the trail. We were interviewed by TBI and I don’t remember if they asked us about smoking. For the record, all four of us (Trenny included) were walking back toward the bus when myself and the girl stopped to smoke. The boy with us also wanted to stop because he had asthma. Trenny didn’t smoke and she said that she was going on and left without us. We were the last people ever to see her. This case has haunted me ever since.

  15. Scott Kerry says:

    Having read the Western book, and being halfway through the Eastern, I have to say David has done a very good job of not insinuating. While he may be of the opinion that one thing or another is ‘taking’ these people, he very delicately puts forward the data and simply lets you take it in. The only ‘spin’ I have read in the book is always regarding the investigative procedure and, considering he’s an ex-officer, it’s a spin I feel SHOULD be in there. As an ex-officer he is knowledgeable on policy, procedure, etc etc.

    Now to get to it… whether or not Bigfoot is taking people, or people are being snapped by grizzlies, wandering off and becoming dazed or whatever, the book is showing that something is happening to these people, even today, and nothing is being done to remedy the situation.
    What I take away from this book, more than anything else, is that David feels that whatever it is that is occurring in your National Forests is something that needs to not only be addressed, but something that DEMANDS an immediate and thorough investigation. People don’t just disappear, there is always a cause. Whether they walk away voluntarily, are grabbed by a bear, or whatever. Almost 300,000,000 people visit the Parks each year, and if they are not informed and able to take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of themselves and their children, they are walking blindly into a dangerous situation.

    Stop arguing semantics and look at the core of the problem!

    • Pam says:

      Well written observation.
      I just found out that no records are kept about anyone lost in US National Parks which amazed me. Records are kept in every Federal agency except this one apparently. Congress needs to enact a law that every person reported missing in a Nat’l Park be on a list that is available under the FOIA, regardless if they were lost, abducted, fell whatever. A missing person is a missing person and is reportable.
      I have been to the Great Smokey Mountains with people who knew the area. I was going to go maybe a hundred feet in on the trail and I got told that 4 to 5 people go missing a year there. The people I was with blamed moonshine operations and backwoodsmen. As upset as these people were I did not go on the trail.

  16. Boyer Barner says:

    A week or so ago, a father and his two younger sons went for a day-hike on the Ozark Trail in Missouri. They got lost (missing a spur trail) and the weather turned very cold. All three froze to death that night. Their bodies were found the next day. (And not that far from “home base”).

    I can see how an individual under the same circumstance might wind up in a place where they (or the body are not found).

    Back to bigfoot, I am a believer. I have been solo camping in Tennessee the past few years (with my dog). I have always shined my light around at night if walking off from the fire to use the bathroom, thinking that a mountain lion could be around. The last time I went solo camping, bigfoot was far from my mind. Though since studying and following BF blogs, the creature will certainly be on my mind when I go camping (particularly solo camping).

    Do they abduct people? I tend to think not. Though there could be a “renegade” or two who might (sort of like with people). Going back to the news story I cited above, you can see how easily people can get lost and find themselves in a circumstance where they may die in a secluded area, never to be found. (I forget the person’s name, but a few years ago, there was the guy who got lost in the desert, his arm pinned. Had he not cut off his own fore-arm, he too would have likely died and his body never found).

  17. Vicki Wood says:

    Regardless of why, how or what caused these people to be missing, I support Paulide’s position that the National Park Service and the federal government should have better accountability in place. It’s unthinkable they don’t have documentation on all missing person reports originating from federally owned and operated land. This situation needs to be corrected as soon as possible. I haven’t read the 411 books yet, but plan to.

    Paulides has brought awareness to the problem, and the public needs to demand that something be done. To “rely on the institutional memories of park employees” is a disgrace, particularly in the digital age. Better for them to have said the documentation was lost, at least it may have been excusable somewhat. If they found one of the victims and located a good suspect, how would this be prosecuted effectively on “the institutional memories of park employees”? (Mr. Paulides said this is what he was told when he asked for lists of the missing–from a radio broadcast he appeared on).

  18. Scott Kerry says:

    I agree Vicki. Especially now, as you say, when making a list is as simple as typing out at least a paragraph detailing name, age, gender and the circumstances around what had happened. I’m not from the US so I’m not 100%, but aren’t the Park services classified as a federal institution? As in the federal government?

    • Vicki Wood says:

      Yep, Scott. They are under the federal government I believe. It sure seems like the govt. doesn’t give a damn about it, which doesn’t surprise me really. It comes off to me as they think there is a certain amount of risk in the wild and things happen, so they don’t worry about it too much. Sort of like swimming in the oceans. But don’t they keep logs of all accidental drownings, fatal shark attacks and people who go missing at sea? Don’t know if “they” is the Coast Guard or the city, state or county, but I’m sure records are kept most diligently. So should they be regarding missing people in national forest land.

      About the idea of getting lost, as in the example of the 3 that froze to death, I understand that some of the bodies that Paulides details in his book were found. However, I think he included those when something odd surrounded the disappearance and the way they were found. Many of the others were never found, with no signs of disturbance or struggle, no sounds, nothing. Massive searches were done, and if they got lost, they should generally be found within a reasonable perimeter from where they were last seen as the 3 that froze to death were. I know that a mountain lion is quite quick and tends to stash away their kills, even burying them, but you would think you’d find blood, drag marks, shredded clothing or something. Same with bears. It’s very strange. If there are wild and dangerous mountain people in the Smokies, then people need to be advised of the risk. Those wild people should be investigated if they are suspected in harming or abducting someone just like they would be anywhere else. How could you ever prosecute one of them if they did find a body and linked it to one of these wilderness squatters based on the memories of park employees? What if the employee with the best memory were dead by then? Of course, someone’s memory without documentation to corroborate it would be easily attacked in court. Doesn’t make any sense to me.

      I just received my copy of the Eastern US book and can’t wait to read it. His book should be a huge embarrassment to the government and the park system. It would be nice to think they might correct the problem, but not holding my breath on that one.

  19. Smashy says:

    Wow. Just wow.the only wrong doing you guys can call on David Paulides, would be plagiarism due to him researching the information and then taking the facts regarding the cases and putting them in his Missing 411 books. Not only should this Blog writer apologize for her disregard towards Paulides efforts to provide this information to bring this issue into the public, she should apologize to her followers who she has lied to by telling people what the book is about without even reading it. This is the same as telling people how bad a resturant is even though you’ve never went. Instead of becoming defensive and acting like a complete twatwaffle to Paulides who has spent the last 3+ years gathering, verifying information and spending thousands of hours working on the book. I haven’t even read the books yet, but I don’t lie and mislead people into thinking I did by offering my opinion about something I know 0 about.

    It’s really easy folks, if you don’t know WTF you’re commenting or reviewing, shut your mouth. Kim, we’ve never met, we don’t talk, I don’t know you, but would you be ok with me telling people about your life and family?

    • Kim Cantrell says:

      Another one who paid no mind to the FACT that I provided a SOURCE for how I came to this conclusion nor seems to realize this article is NOT about David Paulides.

      And “Twatwaffle”? Really? Sigh.

      • Smashy says:

        ” Paulides calls out the lack of suspects as one of several reasons why he theorizes a Bigfoot is responsible for the missing,” Yeah I can see that with this quoted statement from YOUR article.

        You’re getting the hard time cause you deserve it. Seeing as you decided discuss a book and it’s contents without even reading it, makes you not only totally unreliable, but a liar as well. You are what is wrong with media today. You offer opinions about subjects and information you know nothing about. It’s sad and honestly, pathetic. Then you continue to argue with your reader’s who have called you out regarding your attempt to sound informed, when you’re not. You argument is that you provided a source? Did you research that source? did you do your due diligence to confirm your source? Or did you just decide that your so call source is more reliable and believable than if you actually read and did your own research? Your source is your responsibility. You chose to publish information without researching it, as well as you decided to comment on a book you haven’t read, with the hope of sounding superior and ridiculing the information and contents, yet you didn’t do your part as a responsible individual that has a following. You don’t get to criticize something you haven’t read, researched or know anything about via a public forum that will mislead other’s. Your column might have reached a person with information regarding the disappearance of one of the individuals mentioned in the books, “Missing 411″ but due to your failure in providing legitimate, researched information, that individual will not see the possible connection, nor would they want to be part of “Bigfoot” and the fringe media it’s associated with, Yes, that is the far end of it but it’s a possible reality. An apology to your followers, the author is what you should be spending your response on, not trying to minimize you being a twatwaffle. “sigh”. Buck up, be responsible and right your wrongs. Do your research, research your sources and present a proper review and column that has real information.

        • Kim Cantrell says:

          Panties in a bunch much? Seriously, save your silly, name-calling insults for somebody who might actually lose some sleep over them. Or keep coming back with your long winded, silly rants and entertain us. Your choice.

          • Smashy says:

            Every time you pay attention to me and my posts, with your pathetic attempts at a response, you give me the satisfaction of knowing it matters to you. See, this isn’t my blog, this isn’t something that questions my credibility and this isn’t something I’m continually making myself look uneducated with. You’re continuing inability to take your lumps and do the right thing by apologizing and correcting your column only calls into question your ability to write factual information and provide something of substance to the public interested in this media format. But then again, you clearly state you’re not a journalist and you’ve proven you have no idea what you’re doing, so why have you continued to defend your lies like you even matter? If you attach your name to something, you should put effort into making sure you don’t look like the fool you do by lying and misleading readers… Readers that used to be your audience.

  20. Kim Cantrell says:

    Eerily obsessed, bullying words, and temper tantrums, sound familiar, folks?

  21. Smashy says:

    No tantrums, not obsessed and bullying? Seriously? Actually, I’m not sure why I’m surprised by your response. You’ve already proven you have no clue what you write about, so its no surprise you have no clue how to know context. “sound familiar, folks?” so this isn’t the first time you’ve lied to your readers and have been called out due to your failure as writer? I feel sorry for you.

  22. artan says:

    REALLY people…?

    No wonder this country is so messed up. People expect the leaders to man up and be mature when THEY themselves can’t?

    Ms. Cantrell is a blogger. She comments on what she reads/observes. In doing so she presents her views and opinions. If you don’t agree,… so? Get over it and move on.

    Mr. Paulides, I haven’t read your two books, I would like to but the cost puts them far out of reach on anyone on a fixed income, so I don’t expect that I will be anytime soon…. But SERIOUSLY? You are a successful author. Not everyone who reads your material is going to agree with it or you, regardless of whether you present a trillion facts or none at all.
    I honestly think you are being a bit immature. Personally, I’ve authored historical, historical, and religious oriented articles and even though I backed up every thing I presented with facts, people still found issues. SO…? If they like it they do, if they agree they do, if not…who cares? Move on. Those who are truly interested will stick around, those who aren’t, well, you didn’t need them in the first place. My ego is never tied into what I write or anything else I do, its a recipe for disaster. When you respond to someone like you did to Ms. Cantrell, you REALLY look small, not to mention whiney. It seems to me you would have other things to do than waste time responding to a blogger you obviously don’t aggree with, so why do it?

    Ms. Cantrell, this is the first time I’ve ever read your blog. I was searching for info on Mr. Paulide’s books, as to where I might find them at a reasonable cost, and got interested in the information you presented, which i actually found interesting. Then I went onto read the comments section….

    You presented your views. ….O.K. Then Mr. Paulide responded…. WOW.
    …and I went on to read the rest of the comments….


    You two (not to mention the others who took sides and joined in the frey) sound like the politicians in D.C. … all I can say is… wow. Glad I have THICK skin and a tiny ego.
    I might happen back by here again sometime,… and i might read those books if I ever find them under $20, … but if I do niether, it will be because Mr. Paulide seems like an egotistical snot nosed kid who didn’t get lavished on to the degree he thought necessary, and you played into it and permitted him to goad and draw you down to his level.

    Whatever, …. that’s my feelings bout the books and your blog now.

    • Kim Cantrell says:

      Thank you, Artan, for voicing your opinion as well as your criticism. I agree with you wholeheartedly. I allowed Mr. Paulides (and others, on other articles, at times) to get the best of me. I’m not proud of my behavior, neither then or now. But I do choose to leave my responses standing, regardless of my shame, because to remove them skews context so I have to deal with my foolishness.

      I truly do, however, very much appreciate your feedback. You were polite, articulate, and honest. It may not be what I wanted to hear, but what should be heard. I’m sure your views are shared my many who have landed here. Thank you for sharing. Really. :)

    • Smashy says:


      You wrote the following,
      “REALLY people…?
      No wonder this country is so messed up. People expect the leaders to man up and be mature when THEY themselves can’t?
      Ms. Cantrell is a blogger. She comments on what she reads/observes. In doing so she presents her views and opinions. If you don’t agree,… so? Get over it and move on

      This is the problem Artan, she didn’t read or observe. She simply lied and stated un-truths and non-facts, then took a defensive stance to try and justify her failures to provide a “blog” of misinformation. So yes, that is what is wrong with your country. No one takes responsibility for their actions or in this case their lies. A apology to the readers and the little effort it would take for her to right her wrongs is all that would have been needed for her to maintain a shred of credibility, but she decided to dig her heels in and continue her ignorance.

      Now she’s having a tantrum over the consequences of her actions. So typically pathetic.
      She appreciated your polite, articulate and honest response, which is ironic as it’s the same thing she failed to give her readers or anyone who read her “review” or “observation” of something she isn’t qualified to give, as she didn’t even read it.

      How can she expect respect, but not respect her readers by at least giving them the truth? If it’s not truth she gave, then what is it?

      It’s a lie.

      Her smug attitude and responses are exactly what is to be expected from such a low class of person who offers up misinformation to their readers.

    • Cmecc says:

      His books are around $ 25.00, if you buy them off his website. Js.

      • Ant says:

        I’d never buy that nutjob’s (Paulides) book. His disrespectful, unprofessional comments made is pretty clear of his “level” (I wonder how much “education” this one has…. I’m sure he’s been to Harvard and studied science ;)). The comment by brainwashed cult members also made it clear his books are not worth it.

        Get over this, uneducated yahoos…There’s NO Big Foot — no fossils at all, sorry. The tales your mommy told you, just ain’t true…stop clinging to them and grow up.

  23. Vicki Wood says:


    You can find the books at http://www.canammissing.com/page/page/8396197.htm. I bought the Eastern one, and it was 24.99. It’s really very interesting and a lot of research was put into it. I don’t want to step into the disagreement going on, just mentioning that the cases are really fascinating regardless of any personal issues between the author and critics.

    You can also listen to Paulides talk about the books on Youtube. My favorite interviews are the Coast to Coast shows he did. Really compelling. Just put in “Odd Disappearances Coast to Coast AM” for the first show and “More Odd Disappearances Coast to Coast AM’ in the Youtube search. I’ve listened to them multiple times because they are so interesting and ended up buying the Eastern book and will probably get the Western one later.

  24. Vicki Wood says:

    Wow, I just read the reports on the link that Mr. Debold provided. Very interesting. I must be overlooking where the Miami person or the person named French is mentioned that the Martins were concerned could be suspects in possible abduction of Dennis. I notice they mentioned the other Martin family that they began talking to right before Dennis went missing. I’ve wondered about that, seems strange coincidental. Could they have made up the name and could they have purposely distracted Mr. Martin?

    I also just read about the boy spotted wearing the same color T-shirt and shorts as Dennis who parents identified as their son Michael D. I wonder if the Martins got a look at the child themselves? You never know. Today Dna testing could reassure that Michael really belonged to the family if there were any doubt. It doesn’t say how they determined that the child was definitely the son of these people. Did they photograph him and show him to the Martins or did they take the couple’s word? I wonder if any investigation was done on the other Martin family or the French person (who I can’t seem to find referred to in the report other than where the Martin’s possibly suspects are listed). Lots of questions.

  25. Vicki Wood says:

    Oops, messed up some words there–*strangely* coincidental and Martin’s *possible* suspects.

  26. I’ve learned through my years of researching that certain people are going to attempt to blur the truth. It’s impossible to know their intentions or background because they hide behind anonymity. I can attest to the fact I’ve read EVERY law enforcement report from the National Park service, EVERYONE. There are NO suspects in the Dennis Martin disappearance and there never have been any listed in ANY reports. The news media in Knoxville was desperate to pin this incident on someone and then have it go away. Great Smoky Mountain National Park has more of a fiscal impact on the Knoxville economy that just about anything else, 818 million dollars to the local economy (http://www.nps.gov/grsm/parknews/tourism-local-benefits.htm). The fact that people were disappearing in the park, vanishing without a trace isn’t good for business/visitations. Newspaper accounts of this incident don’t factually represent what was actually occurring inside the investigation. Anyone who represents they know what happened, isn’t telling the truth and hasn’t interviewed the Martin family. Mr. Martin is still so angry with the local press for not telling the truth, he won’t give them an interview, fact!

    • Ant says:

      They should just ban this idiot from the blog…on the other hand, this greedy attention whore who’s trying to profit off death of these people by spreading his ridiculous fantasies and manipulated facts is getting even more exposed for who he really is here.

  27. Vicki Wood says:

    The link looked like a report by the NPS to me. But that would be fitting with what you are saying. Do you know if the incident with a boy wearing the same color clothing being spotted actually happened? It said they asked the parents to change his clothes. Also, were the other Martin family checked out by authorities?

    I know the Key family sighting was dismissed and the press wouldn’t print the whole truth about it. I saw a news clip that said that McCarter said there was a print of a small Oxford shoe in the area near the Key sighting. That definitely supports their sighting. I can’t believe this wasn’t thoroughly investigated. I can’t imagine what the reasoning behind this was. The report that was in the link never mentions the Key family that I saw–though I did skim through some of the many pages. So again, why would something that important not even be listed if this was a report by the NPS?

    I have a family photo of me with my parents at Clingman’s Dome when I was around 2 or 3 which would have been 68 or 69. Scary to think about that. I don’t remember that trip at all, however.

    Thanks for responding and trying to clarify my questions, Mr. Paulides. I have the Eastern copy of “Missing 411″ and it’s very well written. The research you and your team have done is quite outstanding. As I commented earlier, I’ve listened to your C2C interviews multiple times as they are so compelling. I’m hoping you will consider doing a Texas and Florida book in the future. I can’t help but feel intrigued by the fact that there were so many cases in those states you felt they needed their own books.

    Thank you for bringing attention to the negligence by our National Forest and Park services in this matter. I hope it will inspire them to change the way they handle and keep diligent records about missing people within their system. It would never be easier to do that than it is now.

  28. Vicki Wood says:

    Mr. Paulides,

    Do you know if the Martins have ever had an age progression sketch and a computer generated one done for Dennis? Harvey Pratt, as you well know, is very skilled at that. Both could be done on the chance that Dennis was abducted and is still alive.

    Also, I’m wondering about the Martins providing their DNA. If Dennis is still alive and got arrested later in life, perhaps CODIS could be searched for combined profile alleles matching Mr. and Mrs. Martin. It’s unlikely–I realize that, but you just never know. Today John Does have their DNA taken. If he were taken and later killed, if his body was found in another state and was found before DNA testing it wouldn’t be available, but if found later it might. Even years ago did they keep a part of an unidentified body such as the hands and the jaw? DNA might be able to be retrieved from the teeth. Another one in a billion chance and an exhaustive search would be required (as it could have happened in any year and in any state), but I’m just trying to think of ideas that could help.

    I believe you said Dennis and Trenny are not included on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s website. Any chance that could be done? This way they could get age progressions done and get the DNA of Mr. and Mrs. Martin and Trenny’s parents on files. This should be done for other missing children as well.

    I’ve always wondered about that with Jacob Wetterling as well. We know he was abducted by a stranger. It is possible he was kept alive and is still alive. His is another case that if the parents submitted DNA it could be searched for in CODIS in case he went on to be arrested. I am not privy to law enforcement procedures and how cases that happened before DNA testing was available are handled so I’m just throwing out questions and ideas. It seems as though it is being assumed that they are all deceased, but we know that now and then abductors keep their captives alive and raised them as their own.

    It would be so nice to see another miracle in any of these cases such as what happened with Elizabeth Smart and Jayce Dugard.

  29. Robert Siverify says:

    The tragedy and subject of missing people and children is not some parlor game to titter about with George Knapp in the middle of the night. This is a subject in which children die. Parents and surviving family members are left devastated. To that end David Paulides has some serious credibility issues with the truth about his works as well as the facts he presents.

    David I think the rest of the readers on this blog would like to know the answers to the following questions.

    How is (according to what you state on this Blog) that Dwight McCarter was the lead tracker for the National Park Service when Dennis Martin vanished, when he was just starting his career?

    Why have you not reproduced one shred of documented evidence in the form of FOIA’s and FOIA reply letters to corroborate your claims about the park service’s refusal for information in any of your books?

    Why did you misrepresent the information from the Park Service report relating to Dennis Martin? Specifically, On Page 138 of Missing you state “forty Special Forces (Green Berets) from the Third Army Headquartered in Fort Benning GA, were requested and dispatched.” However, This report states that these troops were actually on a training missing numbering 400 strong just across the state line in the Nantahala National Forest, Gorge, North Carolina.

    The report mentions the reason that Cades cove road area was closed was due to it being converted into a helipad and to keep the curiosity seekers at bay. I guess having a CH-47 or UH-1H landing on someone would have made a bad situation worse, not because of a sighting as he made it out to be.

    On page 143 you wrote about appendix “f” and suggestions. However, appendix f includes predictions, suggestions and suspicions. Why did you omit the entire section of suspicions?
    If there is another report you used why not include this in your narrative?

    Here is the link to the Park Service report, no mention of Dwight McCarter as a lead tracker:


    How about the information you failed to include regarding Bart Schleyer?

    You state that no evidence was found by the lead investigator of any human remains on scene or in the scat. The Yukon Coroner’s autopsy confirmed that the bones had been gnawed on by an animal. Bear scat recovered in the area contained human tissue”. Here is an excerpt From the Daily Sitka Sentinel, December 8, 2004. Sharon Hanley the Yukon Coroner’s statement on what was found regarding Bart’s remains.


    (This is a cached version; scroll down for the archived copy)

    What about Kenneth R. Schneider?

    On Page 210 you write “The San Juan County Sherriff’s Office still holds a case file on Kenneth Schneider,” “Police were able to contact Kenneth’s family and determined that he had a hip condition that prevented him from walking more than a half a mile without discomfort.”

    No mention of him being found 3.1 miles away was mentioned in the reports as mysterious or inconceivable when he was found, if he did have a hip issue. The articles mentioned him having high blood pressure, which could have contributed to a heart attack. He did not have his medication as it was left in his car.

    Here are the links:



    What about Evan Thompson from Colorado? He was the boy who vanished on camping trip found alive after 4 days? On page 234/235 you wrote, “He did tell them that one night he slept in a tree, one night under a log, and one night in a cave”. “Searchers stated that from the prints they found, they estimated Evan walked over eleven miles in the four days he was missing”

    He was subsequently found about five miles away from the campsite. Helicopters scared the boy, who has attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, into hiding. “He was afraid of that noise and he hid in a cave, that’s why they couldn’t find him with that.”

    There is no mention of trees or logs or anything about walking eleven miles written about in those news reports. Is this your idea of adding facts and distance traveled to sensationalize the narrative? This young man was extremely lucky, if it had been colder this may have been another tragedy where his remains may or may not have been found!

    Here are the stories links:




    What about Ernest Matthew Cook from Oklahoma?

    This was a case that you jumped the gun on. A John Doe was struck by a train May 20, 1999, later identified through DNA testing as Earnest Matthew Cook. This would have been an easier identification except for him being struck by a train. Nothing strange with this story, other than the fact it happened almost a month after he was last seen. The location where he was struck was close to where his ex-wife and daughters lived, and it is surmised that he was going to visit them. Earnest wasn’t identified until May 2012; however, his death was ruled as, “blunt head injury”, as a result of the impact.

    Here are the story links:



    Then there is Christopher L. Jones from Arkansas. This is another case that is explainable, as they found Christopher’s remains 200 yards from his house. I have to seriously question the local law enforcement for their effort in not finding him sooner, as a cause of death may have been determined. This seems to be an example of not checking everywhere based on an assumption about a person’s capabilities rather than possibilities. Christopher did have mobility, otherwise he wouldn’t have been employed as an electrician and operate a motor vehicle. The county Sheriff dropped the ball on this one.

    Here is the story link:


    How about Michelle Vanek disappearing in Colorado?

    According to you “something catastrophic happened to Michelle Vanek that no one could have probably survived”! You state as fact in the narrative “She brought warm clothes, food and water, and Michelle brought a back pack and ski poles.

    However, Michelle was wearing a light jacket, hat, gloves and black stretch pants, carried a Camel-back water pack, and her climbing partner Eric Sawyer left his lunch and water purifier in the car. There is another narrative regarding her hiking partner and an unidentified camper who refused to answer questions.

    Here is the link to that story:


    How about Thomas Bowman and Bruce Kerman?

    You included them in the book without the inclusion that both are presumed the victims of the serial killer Mack Ray Edwards. In the Bowman case, Weston DeWalt and Kenneth Todd Ruiz wrote about their disappearances and possible abduction by Edwards in 2008 and 2007 respectively.

    Furthermore in the Ruiz article, the Pasadena Police went on record that they are giving serious consideration to DeWalt’s suspicions that Edwards might also have killed Bruce Kremen in Angeles National Forest. These articles were written and published 4 and 5 years, respectively before you wrote Missing 411.




    How about Brennan Hawkins? You state that the Hawkins disappearance is mysterious. You go on to state “The thousands of newspaper articles I have read in the last several years have shown me that law enforcement and the press try to twist the facts at times to fit the story they want to place in front of the public. I’ve seen this too many times. You go on “I believe there are more details to this story that need explanation”. “Brennan’s disappearance mimics many I have researched I think it is incredibly important for searchers to interview the lost after they are found. We need to understand human behavior of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds”.

    There is absolutely nothing mysterious about his disappearance, or being found. A simple Goggle search of Brennan Hawkins resulted in the first return from an article from PEOPLE Magazine dated July 11, 2005 that recounts in Brennan’s own words what happened to him.

    According to Brennan, “His biggest fear was being abducted, so when he spotted rescuers on horseback, he stayed hidden”. I find this fascinating, as this seems to be a re-occurring theme throughout your book. So could this be normal behavior when lost and hiding form rescuers, then reappearing later in the same area that was previously searched? Or in a worse case scenario, hiding then succumbing to hypothermia and dying, never to be found or found years later by happenstance? Behavior like this doesn’t strike me as mysterious or sinister. The article goes on for a more detailed account of what happened and guess what? He became lost amidst hundreds of other Boy Scout’s and he wasn’t abducted, or taken by anyone, but you would have everyone think otherwise!

    Here is the article:


    Then there is Jay Toney. You version of events doesn’t quite jibe with the newspaper accounts. Furthermore, why didn’t you interview him as he survived and could have been an unimpeachable witness?

    According to Sarasota Harold Tribune article Jay was found by tracking dogs and handlers. They found a footprint near the stream and tracked the youth 4 miles in rugged territory until they saw a tennis shoe and a flattened spot in the grass. The article goes on to state that they had to transport him 8 Miles to Elkmont Campground then to park headquarters where he could be taken by helicopter to a hospital.

    It’s quite clear that you used the 8 miles it took to transport Jay as a linear distance he was found, not the 4 miles as reported. How can someone who claims they spent over 7000 hours investigating cases miss this? I don’t think you missed it at all. You used what was good and cobbled the rest to make you think this was part of a cluster. There was nothing sinister or mysterious about Jay’s disappearance. He became disoriented, lost his bearing and became lost, due to his weakened condition and lack of insulin, just exasperated the situation.

    Here are the articles in question:



    David can you explain to the blog readers here how you spent 7000 hours and 3 years and fail to report these cases accurately and more importantly, include interview notes or excerpts of FOIA requests?

    Finally, why is Wisconsin, Ohio and Alabama listed as a cluster when no one disappeared?

  30. To Robert
    First, tell us your real name and you’d get a complete response. Why hide behind an alias? What are you afraid of? This exact question has been asked of you many, many times in many other posts by several readers. On one post one of the responders said that you were so infatuated with me that you needed to move on, stop the endless statements, apparently you didn’t listen.

    You’ve posted your allegations on many other sites in an outright slander of the books and our team, a ruthless attempt at internet terrorism, thus your refusal to identify yourself. You know that this is libelous and you don’t want to be served. Period.

    You were asked on another site if you were an employee of the National Park Service, you failed to respond, that speaks volumes!!

    If you were a thorough investigator you’d find each of the citations you’ve asked me to provide. No, I don’t bend to terrorist behavior, Robert, I never have and never will.
    We have large binders in our office that hold each of the assertions made in the books. You are making claims because you can’t find the articles, and, because of this, you are insinuating they don’t exist, amazing…In prior rants you’ve demanded that we post the FOIA reports, we don’t even know who you are and you are demanding?? Once I start complying with your demands Robert, once I prove each and every allegation incorrect, you continue to demand and continue to fabricate issues, a trait of someone who is bent on slander and libel, not the truth.

    Sorry Robert, or whoever you are, official reports and first hand statements from on scene investigators take precedent over newspaper articles, that’s the thoroughness of our research. You quote newspaper articles like they are god (Maybe you work for the press!), or they are always accurate, very, very untrue in some instances, especially in the Dennis Martin case and is the VERY reason why the Martin’s won’t talk to the Knoxville Press. Just an FYI Robert, if there was suspicion in certain cases that a serial killer “may”, repeat “may” have been a suspect, they were never arrested and never charged, thus an open case, meaning, good investigators keep investigating…

    Robert, or cameraman, journalist, researcher, whoever, I’ve had many people thank me for the accurate portrayal of their families tragedy, NOT ONE has come forward stating I got the facts wrong. Your attempt to act as an authority on each issue involving each case and then to take certain facets and try to impugn my credibility doesn’t work. If you had any courage, if you were a man of integrity, you would’ve called Coast to Coast and asked these questions directly and allowed me and George the opportunity to correct the misperception, you didn’t, because, that’s not your goal. You want to hide behind the protection of anonymity and shoot arrows in an attempt to alter factual renderings of cases, one of the truly most low blows any family of a victim of a missing person can additionally be victimized by. HORRIFIC.

    George Knapp has been given the highest award in journalism, the “Peabody”. He has personally vetted each book and takes the issue of missing people seriously. It’s interesting that you take a swipe at him…A man of extreme integrity.

    Finally, when people hide behind an alias, when they make baseless claims on a site where their identity can be filtered, you have to question their motives. As another reader stated on a site where Robert made another lengthy baseless attack, that reader warned me about Robert being dangerous and they were afraid that Robert may harm me. People like Robert live to intimidate, unfortunately for him, the truth prevails and I’ll always stand behind the work of our team. Terrorism never works when the victim doesn’t bend to their demands.

  31. Andy Tong says:

    Well said. Nothing to hide, no plausible reason for doing so.

  32. Kerrin Churchill says:

    Author David Pauludes does _not suggest that “Bigfoot abducted” the missing persons. In none if his Missing 411 books does he suggest any such thing.

  33. terry says:

    I’m interested in information about Martin’s, Gibson’s and Melton’s disappearances — not bellyaching about who ever David Paulides is or about his damn book (which I haven’t read, and have no opinion about.. did Bigfoot ghostwrite it or something?). Seriously, for both Paulides supporters and detractors, why not take the debate to the comments section of his book page on Amazon or something.

    What I will say is that national parks system probably doesn’t go out of it’s way to publicize the disappearances and deaths that happen in our state and national parks – but it’s done inthe same manner that many universities and colleges don’t want to mention the crime that occurs on their campuses. It scares tourists off,, although the chances of going lost or being harmed in a national park are no higher than being harmed in a parking lot.

    Does anyone know of any other unsolved disappearances worth mentioning here? I recall from Dwight McCarter’s Lost, that a little boy went missing in the area around the turn of the last century. Also plenty of plane crashes in the region, and I’d be amazed if more hunters and hikers haven’t gone missing. Just to add, the “Hug a Tree” campaign has helped reduce the amount of both children and adults getting lost in remote areas — it’s something all kids should learn before going on day outings or camping in parks.

    • John Mosby says:

      The park system does keep records.

      The park system does keep records. Michael Ghiglieri authored two books dealing with all the deaths, strange occurrences and other mishaps by people in Yosemite and the Grand Canyon during the course of each parks existence. Michael’s co author for OFF THE WALL was Charles Farabee. Charles is a retired Ranger with extensive Search and Rescue experience. Both of these books utilized extensive records that the park(s) maintained. This was outlined in these books and these included monthly reports, Police coroner reports and the Freedom of Information Act.

      I have heard a few references that Mr. Paulids claims that the Park Service is covering up these disappearances. I think this is disingenuous. Maybe his affiliation with Bigfoot was a turn off and they didn’t want to deal with him. Reproduction costs are genuine issues. To say that the Park Service is covering up mysterious disappearances without offering any speculation as to what it is, is just as disingenuous.

      I did listen to him on a radio show and after his dismissal of the effects of hypothermia, I turned the radio off. I have participated in a few search and rescues that turned to recovery over the years (since 81) and on more than one occasion I/we recovered bodies with little to no clothing and some where found in the strangest places, under boulders, fallen trees and stumps etc. Most Search and Rescue teams are well aware of paradoxical undressing and the hide and die syndrome. Missing people that were never found more than likely fit into this category.

      In my time I preformed missing/lost searches one to two twice a week. I have worked on plenty of body recoveries and performed countless helicopter extractions. The biggest problem I see is the amount of unprepared and uneducated (in relation to the outdoors) people flocking to the parks with numbers increasing every year.

      A majority of the cases I have worked are just plain and simple “lost”. It amazes me how many people go out with-out a map or any prior knowledge of the area. Everyone today relies on cell phones for help and don’t realize how many dead zones there are in the mountains. I also see many groups of hikers split up and take different routes out, again to become lost and panicked.

      I’ve seen almost every kind of injury and have seen animal encounters. Children LOVE to run off while exploring and often get themselves into trouble quickly. The areas I have worked, are very harsh and offer little to no protection from the elements. I used to do two to three hypothermia cases a week. I’ve seen lightning strike victims, minor and major fatal fall victims, stroke, seizure, heart attack, altitude sickness, and about anything else you can imagine.

      One of the most increasing statistics is now suicides. For some reason, people are finding the forests and parks a great place to end their lives. Not fun when I have to find them. There were plenty of cases where I discovered an abandoned vehicle in the lot for multiple days and the owner is no where to be found. Sometimes a body was found sometimes not. One case I found the body of a missing man (3 years later) badly decomposed with a self inflicted gun shot wound.

      Could there be some unexplained supernatural phenomenon responsible for all these disappearances? Possible but most likely not probable, take away the following circumstances and you’ll find very few cases that may be strange.

      Under prepared
      People in ill health
      Climbing accidents
      Hiking accidents (rock slides etc.)
      Stumbling on Illegal grow operations
      Other accidents
      Animal attacks
      Weather related incidents
      Freak others


      • David Paulides says:

        John-You are the one being disingenuous and not telling the entire truth.

        Michael Ghiglieri and Bruce Farabee have written “Off the Wall, Death in Yosemite.” I spoke with Bruce to understand several issues he brought up in his book, namely, how he was able to get reports we can’t get. He explained that he was employed by the National park Service as a Ranger when he viewed these reports. He wasn’t constrained by the FOIA in the way the public is. He merely walked into the report rooms and pulled to view them.

        You make references to hearing this but never reading the books, a familiar statement from people who haven’t heard the truth and are working off rumors. If you read the books you’d understand these are simple missing person cases where children ran off. Inform yourself, read the books.

        I made a presentation in front of the largest search and rescue conference in the world in 2012, NASAR. Our finding were presented to one of the largest groups of SAR personnel in the world, the reception was overwhelming. People were lined up into the hallway to talk after the presentation, why? We were presenting FACTS that the majority refuse to bring up. Suicides are irrelevant to our study, we won’t investigate those cases and canines can easily track down a person under those circumstances. The SAR people at the conference explained time and time again that they were faced with identical circumstances I was presenting. Information is being withheld and the public is the victim.

        There is a campaign to blur the reality of “Missing 411″ and smear the validity of the study. In each place we see these lies posted, we’ll post information to allow people who are interested to get the truth for themselves.

        The fact is that the National Park Service claims they do not keep statistics on missing people and wish to charge $34,000 for a list of people from Yosemite National park and $1.4 million for a list of people from their entire system. If someone wants to know the truth and not listen to internet rumors and lies, I recommend that you go directly to the horses mouth. We received the communications from the FOIA regional officer from NPS. If you truly wish to know the truth, ask for the communications between NPS and myself where they quote the amount of money it will cost for the lists, or call and just ask Charis directly.

        Charis Wilson
        12795 W. Alameda Parkway
        P.O. Box 25287
        Denver, CO 80225
        Fax: 303-969-2557 (Call to confirm receipt)

        • John Mosby says:

          Mr. Paulids what truth I am not telling? Please do not make assumptions about what I have read and have not read. For the benefit of the people that read this blog, Michael Ghiglieri’s co-author was Charles Farabee. I do not know them well enough to address them by their first names. I would like to believe that I comprehended what I read on page 3 of OFF THE WALL in the introduction it states in part:, Butch a former Yosemite Ranger and Deputy Coroner but now working on his own time and money began compiling the first such lists. It goes on to read:, For earlier incidents, an excellent resource turned out to be the Superintendents monthly report (MR). From about 1926 until at least 1963, each park was required to submit a monthly report to agency superiors.

          On page 476 of that same book it lists all the people that were lost and never found. These reports start in 1909 with F.P Sheppard age 37 and end in 2005 with Michael Ficery age 51. The names below those were listed as found but never identified. From my understanding, Mr. Farabee utilized the Freedom of information act as he stated on page 3. He made mention that details-proved highly challenging despite improved access due to the Freedom of information act.

          I don’t need to call anyone, and what Information is being withheld? it appears that the park service does keep statistics on missing people (pgs. 476-483 OFF THE WALL.) You may say what you like about receiving this or that, but the information is their contrary to your claim that it’s not.

          Speaking at the National Association for Search and Rescue in 2012 does not make you an expert on search and rescue. I didn’t see you at the 2012 conference or the 2013 conference in Myrtle Beach. Are you attending this years’ conference in New Jersey? Attending a conference in 2012 (the year your book was published) and none since or prior comes off as self-promotion with a sprinkling of free publicity.

          I have been involved with SAR since 1981, and I agree kids do run off. My baptism by fire was Jimmy Beveridge in 1981. He ran off was found missing articles of clothes and died from hypothermia. As I have said, there may be a few cases that could be considered out-of-the ordinary after you exclude:

          Under prepared
          People in ill health
          Climbing accidents
          Hiking accidents (rock slides etc.)
          Stumbling on Illegal grow operations
          Other accidents
          Animal attacks
          Weather related incidents
          Freak others

          I have experienced them all.

          Mr. Paulids

          1 how many search and rescues have you participated in?

          2 What truth is being covered up?

          3 What is happening in the woods of America that has gone on until recently that only you have been able to uncover?

          4 If your research is so invaluable and cutting edge why are your books not sold in the national parks?

          I am beginning to believe some of the things I have read about you. You are immature, unprofessional, childish, bitter, angry, and egotistical. Put as much time in Search and rescue as I have and you will see firsthand what the elements do to an exposed body, that includes hypothermia, paradoxical undressing and the hide and die syndrome. It’s bizarre, counter intuitive, but a real phenomenon none the less.


          John Mosby

          • David Paulides says:

            There is an entire chapter about the National Park Service in my books. You either didn’t read the books or you skipped the chapter.

            One last time, Mr. Farabee was a National Park Ranger and accumulated his reports while a Ranger. He had unencumbered access to reports, something that the public does not have. If you read the books you will readily understand the road blocks the NPS has put in front of the public in getting these reports and other data. THEY won’t give the data or reports to the public that we have asked for, it is ALL IN THE BOOKS.

            You will soon read about a retired National Park Service Special Agent that decided to come forward and tell the truth about the posture and level of integrity that exists inside NPS. It is stunning.

            The cases that we cite and research have nothing to do with conditions you have described, and, you’d realize that once you read the books.

            Have a great day!!!

        • Michael Barke says:

          David I was wondering If the case of young Breiton Ackerman of Orange City Iowa was covered in your book?

        • John Mosby says:

          Mr. Paulids,

          I did read your first two books. I did not see a chapter dedicated to the Park Service. I did see that 92 of “Missing” were found alive, but fail to understand how they fit into your clusters.

          You keep mentioning that Mr. Farabee accumulated his reports while a Ranger. He had unencumbered access to reports, something that the public does not have. He didn’t admit to that. He did mention FOIA. If that’s the case how do you explain Michael Ghiglieri’s accumulation of 600 or so cases in his other book Over the Cliff? He did not have Mr. Farabee’s unencumbered access to reports.

          I look forward to reading a stunning account of the retired National Park Service Special Agent. Will the wait be as lengthy as your Bigfoot DNA fiasco?

          The cases that you cited and “research” have quite a bit to do with the associated effects of hypothermia. Since you have not answered the question asked, how many Search and rescues have you participated in? I will assume it is zero, otherwise, you would know many people take clothing off during the later stages if Hypothermia.

          As someone who has read your books and participated in search and rescues for over 30 years, when you remove from your books:

          The 92 folks who were found alive
          Under prepared
          People in ill health
          Climbing accidents
          Hiking accidents (rock slides etc.)
          Stumbling on Illegal grow operations
          Other accidents
          Animal attacks
          Got lost
          Weather related incidents
          Freak others

          You may have a few that are strange and weird. Outside of that, I believe you are sullying the deaths of people that died.

          So Mr. Paulids you still didn’t answer the questions:

          1 What truth is being covered up?
          2 What is happening in the woods of America that has gone on until recently that only you have been able to uncover?
          3 If your research is so invaluable and cutting edge why are your books not sold in the national parks?
          4. Why have you not spoken at any recent NASAR conferences?

          • Ryan Fox says:

            The fact that you can’t even spell the man’s name right tells us all a lot right up front. You can’t logically make the statements you wrote after ACTUALLY reading the books and absorbing the information collected. If people refuse to get certain things, they just won’t.

        • Ant says:

          Why don’t you go away, greedy fake publisher? If idiots like you go wandering into the woods, you’ll get eaten by a lion or bear, too. Get over it. Seek help, as there’s nothing “mysterious” about these disappearances and it’s a shame you seek to profit from dead people. You’re uneducated; you’re incapable of analysis and separating fantasy from reality, Paulides.

  34. Reginald Denny says:

    Can’t we all get along?

  35. Tori says:

    Just stumbled across this from a forum thread. I have to say, kudos to the blog aithor for maintaining some composure when attacked by the author of that book and his supporters. I did not read through all of those comments because frankly, I was disgusted by how immature and unprofessional the book author was behaving. Sir, if you’re reading this, please consider the first impression of someone who has never heard of you: you come across as childish, bitter, angry, and egotistical. Really, why did you think this was about you? Why did you feel the need to hijack someone’s blog with continual aggression? I’m very impressed that the blog author did not go off on you; I’m not sure I would have been so generous. I’m also impressed she left your comments in place instead of deleting them. Mr. book author (forgot your name already) I suggest you read through your comments with a fresh perspective and take a hard look at yourself.

    • Scott Kerry says:

      I think while his reply may not have been as ‘neutral’ as it could have been, the entire situation could have been avoided by the blog author simply having read the book she decided to bring up. It’s never a good idea to discuss something you have second or third hand knowledge of.
      Paulides was invited to several news rooms after the books were published, and not one of them made mention of his previous works relating to Bigfoot. Assuming that because his last books were about the big guy this one must be too, is a very ignorant thing to do. To then put forward the idea that his book supports that idea is also wholly unprofessional. Had she simply read two or three of the accounts in the books would have squashed that notion almost instantly.

      Paulides’ books, in my opinion and as I have said, simply say “This person was this old and disappeared here at this time. Here’s a brief description of what was happening before, the search effort and what (if anything) was found.” Not once does he add anything beyond that, with the exception of expressing disbelief in the sometimes less than satisfactory search efforts or conclusions the authorities offered for very strange findings.

      While I have to agree that maybe his replies were a little strong, as I said, had Kim simply read the book beforehand the entire situation could have been avoided. Paulides did a pretty damn good job collecting information on some of these cases and, more importantly, pointing the finger at the people who should be working to stop this and demanding they pull their finger out and start trying to prevent this stuff from happening.
      If the books do indeed have an agenda, it’s simply that the upper levels of the Park Service should be wholly ashamed of themselves and begin to keep some sort of track of what is going on.

    • Ant says:

      Paulides is bitter because he’s a wannabe celebrity (he had criminal charges filed against him earlier, because of some celebrity chasing by the way). This is a mental case, trust me, and not worth reading this comments (or his books)–yes, bitter, delusional loser.

  36. Dana says:

    Wow Kim, these Bigfoot people take their Bigfoot seriously. I love how they came to your blog to yell at you and tell you to go away. (I’ll admit, I only read a few of the entries, they all started to sound the same.) Now I’ll get yelled at for not reading ALL of the entries.

    I always see your reviews on Amazon and I didn’t even know you had a blog. Love your reviews! You think like me (yes I have an ego – I don’t think like you – YOU think like ME!)

    I feel like I have read all of the good true crime books that have already come out and I am getting REALLY pissed at Amazon for re-packaging books and making it look like they just came out in the last few years when they really came out in the ’90′s! I have complained about this but they do nothing!

    Anyway, keep up the good blogging and reviewing. Do you have a list of your favorite true crime books?

    • Ant says:

      Some seriously mental, delusional and uneducated crowd here (Paulides-bigfoot-paranormal ones). This is called “delusional disorder” (with clear signs of paranoia). You can’t argue with them, as they’re mentally ill.

  37. […] Smoky Mountains Missing: Dennis Martin, Polly Melton, Trenny Gibson | True Crime Zine 0 __________________ A man, without his word, is nothing. […]

  38. OverMachoGrande says:

    David Paulides: I’m a fan of yours. I’ve also been the victim of internet “attacks”, misrepresentations, had “vested interest stalkers”, etc., as well on a completely different topic. I know you already know this, but don’t make the mistake of engaging these people too much –that Mark Twain saying “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference” is happening here. Case in point: there are various people applauding the courage of this blogger that completely fabricated your stance in your books, and people are taking your cool, level-headed responses as you being rude or something. You clearly are not -but some of these people will always “read it wrong”.

    Most of us out here “get it” –and sorry you have obvious park service reps stalking you. Most of us can see right through that stuff. So, please keep your faith in humanity, and thank you.


  39. lavisa says:

    I believe Polly Melton walked off, Trenny Gibson was abducted, and Dennis Martin fell in to a hole or crevice of some kind. So sad. I dont really believe in BF, although I find it fascinating as well as Davids books. Loved reading all the posts:)

  40. Jack Clifford says:

    Bigfoot has already been cleared of these disappearances. In Feral Court Bigfoot produced a strong alibi claiming that he was visiting Dollywould at the time. Mr. Dolly testified that Big was indeed there at the times mentioned.
    Bigfoot’s cousin, Able Bominal S. Noman even testified that he saw UFOs in great numbers present in the mountains at that times in question and heard a lot of commotion going on in one case where a UFO abducted a brat of a kid and the aliens had to put him out because he would not sit down quietly and be abducted. So I think we can put the theory that Bigfoot stole these folks to rest… in fact, I would watch out for future lawsuits as Mr. Foot is indeed tired of being blamed for every little thing these days.

    I think a smoker kidnapped Lynn Gibson. They are bad peopleses.

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  42. Ryan Fox says:

    Well at least this “bloger” admits to not reading the actual book that she is making bold statements about..lol. Thats worse than reviewing a movie I never watched. Anyway..David has really done serious, investigative research that sometimes is lacking, when subjects like this dip into the paranormal realm. And unfortunately you have to deal with craziness, the division and the main stream’s mandatory “giggle response” associated with anything paranormal or outside the box. The division and straight hating comes from the”my theory is right, I’m making a career out of it and I can’t afford to be proven wrong..whether its the truth or not..Bigfoot is an ape, nothing more, case closed.” The $Makers of the world..we don’t really want to find em..just run around and make noise in the woods. People aren’t ready to understand whats really going on with these cases..and anyone that says its this or that. Knows not.

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  44. Cmecc says:

    Just wow. Now I’m really buying the books.
    I work for the government, and no, I’m not surprised by almost anything unethical they do. They live by their own made up rules on any given issue whenever they choose( and they are completely at ease with themselves). Great broadcast on Coast to Coast David.

  45. Ant says:

    Wow, I’m said there’re so many mentally unstable brainwashed Paulides cult members out there. This is what happens when persons lack science education…Oh btw, these were DINOSAURS who eaten those people! Boo, be scared! NPS is hiding the truth about giant dinosaurs! Get a life, there’s nothing mysterious about forest disappearances–it’s ain’t no city you live in, there’re hungry bears and cougars, and stupid city people are rightfully food for them.

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