Like a lot of other people I’d been waiting impatiently for this movie to be released and I’m slightly disappointed. As a fan (is that the right word?) of the Missing411 books, stories and podcasts, I know a lot about the popular and not so popular cases and have discussed possible explanations with various people over the last couple of years. I was expecting this movie to be an in-depth analysis of the phenomenon and maybe even touch on what Paulides thinks might be behind them – assuming anything is behind them and they are not just simply ‘people going missing’ in the forest. He occasionally hints at something and his background in bigfoot research is what lead him here and in my opinion is a chain around his neck. More of that later though.
The movie revolves around a few cases and goes in to depth on DeOrr Kunz, a two year old boy who disappeared within a few feet of his parents and a couple of other adults from an Idaho a campground in July 2015. The tl;dr behind this case that the boy was seen at the campground near his parents, turned around to go back to his uncle but they didn’t see him return. 20 minutes later they called 911 and reported him missing. An extensive search was then put in place but nothing turned up. There’s some vague, unfounded assumption that the parents did it in an echo of the case of Madeleine McCann and but it doesn’t move to any resolution even though Paulides goes through his ‘boulder field, K9 scents, missing clothes’ oddity checklist (although he missed out the German heritage, berries and strange weather aspects). Someone in the film mentions bigfoot in a throwaway manner but that’s the only paranormal aspect to this. It’s perhaps not the most iconic Missing411 case and I’m not sure why Paulides included it – maybe it was the availability of witnesses and search data? Dennis Martin is a more typical Missing411 case but that happened in 1969 so maybe the witnesses and data are not available?
The addition of Coast2Coast radio snippets is odd as is the segment with Les Stroud who adds his 5c about outdoors survivability. The film production is excellent and the graphics really help visualise the layouts and terrain of the various cases. The wider issue of the parks service and their (deliberately?) poor record keeping is suspicious and hinders any meaningful investigation. Paulides doesn’t visually appear in the film at all and I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not? It’s not about him, sure, but he should really be there presenting and supporting his narrative.
About Paulides and bigfoot. His background is firstly police officer and then bigfoot investigator. It’s this bigfoot research which lead him in to missing people in national parks and although he’s left that behind it still sticks with him. The film is copyright NABS LLC (North America Bigfoot Search LLC as per his other/previous site http://www.nabigfootsearch.com) and although he repeatedly refuses to be drawn on the causes behind these missing people someone with a working knowledge of the subject and the ability to read between the lines could reasonably infer bigfootian involvement – although my personal view is that it’s much more disturbing than that, hence the header image for this review, and I’m not going to be drawn on it either…
It’s good that this film was made and that Paulides is bringing publicity to such and interesting and potentially disturbing subject. I think that this needs a funded, professional and scientific investigation and maybe the future of missing research will fall to such a group but for the moment we have only David Paulides and thousands of amateur investigaters around the world collecting and collating data to keep interest in this subject going.
He’s not the leader we need but he’s the only one we have at the moment.
You can purchase and download the film here.