People go missing every single day, and unfortunately, some of their disappearances will always remain an unsolved mystery. When there’s a pattern in the type of victims that go missing, police typically believe it’s the work of a serial killer. But in the case of Missing 411, the explanation to these disappearances could be something else entirely.
A retired police officer named David Paulides noticed similarities in unsolved disappearances occurring near National Parks. Just a few of these common traits are that none of the victims left behind a scent trail for search dogs to find. Search parties will spend months looking for them, and the bodies are never recovered. Sometimes, their clothes are found in an area that had already been searched hundreds of times before. Pauldies went on a personal mission to solve these mysteries, or to at least gather as much information as humanly possible. He compiled his findings in his book series, called Missing 411. He’s also gone on to film a documentary.
Out of respect for the families, Paulides never shares his own personal theories about what happened to these people. Fans of his work try to use these cases as proof of Bigfoot, aliens, or interdimensional wormholes. Some think it could be a clan of cannibals living in the wilderness, or maybe they were dragged off by mountain lions or bears.
The strangest cases, though, are when these people are found alive to tell their story… and yet there is still no logical explanation for why they disappeared.
10. Steven Kubacki
In February 1977, a 24-year-old man named Steven Kubacki was cross-country skiing through the snow near Lake Michigan. Once he reached the edge of the lake, he took his skis off to sit down and rest. When he got up to leave his own tracks were gone, and he became lost. The last thing he remembers was walking through the snow, feeling numb and exhausted. He blacked out. In the blink of an eye, it was spring. He was lying in a grassy field in the middle of a forest, wearing clothes that weren’t his. Sitting next to him was a stranger’s backpack containing running shoes and glasses that did not belong to him, either.
He hiked to the nearest town, and asked a local resident where he was. They told him he was in Pittsfield, Massachusetts — 700 miles away from where he had been skiing. His aunt and father lived in Pittsfield, so he knocked on his aunt’s door. His family was in shock, hugging him and asking where he had been. Kubacki had been missing for 14 months.
When Kubacki had first gone missing, the search team found his poles and skis at the edge of the lake. There was only one set of his footprints leading toward the water, but none walking away. They could only assume he drowned himself in the freezing lake. He had been missing for so long, everyone assumed he must be dead.
The official explanation is that he had amnesia, and that he was wandering in a fugue state. But even doctors are baffled by this case. It’s incredibly rare for someone to lose their memory of such a large chunk of time. And it still leaves so many unanswered questions. His story was included in a psychology case study in a book about amnesia, but even experts have been unable to figure out what actually happened.
Kubacki had already earned a degree in linguistics before he went missing, but he was so fascinated by his own case that he went on to earn his PhD in Psychology. He wanted answers about his own disappearance, and yet he still couldn’t find them. Solving the mystery of his missing year became an obsession, and he went on to publish a book called Meta-Mathematical Foundations of Existence: Gödel, Quantum, God & Beyond. In it, he writes about the possibility of alternate universes.
9. Maurice Dametz
In 1981, an 84-year-old man named Maurice Dametz went topaz hunting with his friend David McSweeney. Dametz had a PhD in Theology, and in the ’70s had said in several publications that he believed the Anti-Christ was coming. He wrote that the devil would appear as “A political, religious, commercial autocrat of the world.”
They drove to Pike National Forest in Colorado. Once they were in the park, they had to drive 16 miles down a dirt road until they reached a spot called “Topaz Point.” Native Americans claimed it was haunted by evil spirits. Early settlers called this place the “Devil’s Head” — which was a very interesting coincidence, considering his theological background.
Maurice could barely walk, because he had bad knees. He needed David to help him down a small hill to get to a sandy digging spot in the forest. When it was time to leave, David walked to Maurice’s digging spot to say that they should go in about 10 minutes. He went back to his own digging site 150 yard away to clean up his tools, but when David returned to Maurice’s spot, the elderly man was gone. With his bad knees, it would have been impossible for Maurice to climb up the hill on his own, and he couldn’t have gotten far into the forest. Yet, he was gone.
He honked the horn, called for him, and searched for a long time. McSweeney flagged down a nearby car and asked them to find the police, while he continued the search. The local authorities searched for five days, and yet they never found any evidence. The police closed the case, claiming that they did all they could do. Dametz’ wife sent a letter to the governor of Colorado to re-open the case, and she never received a reply. After Paulides created a mini-documentary about the case for Missing 411, pointing out that there have been a cluster of similar disappearances in Devil’s Head. After premiering the mini-doc, the police re-opened the Maurice Dametz case over 30 years after the disappearance.
8. Danny Filippidis
In February 2018, a Canadian man named Danny Filippidis was on a ski trip with his friends in New York. It was around 2:00 p.m., and they had been skiing for hours. They were getting ready to go into the lodge, and Danny said that he wanted to go on one more run down the mountain before their lunch break. By 4:00 p.m., Danny was failing to return any calls or texts, and the friends were concerned. They began searching for him, and after being unable to find him they told the employees at the lodge that he was missing. A team of 130 people scoured the mountain without finding him.
Six days later, Filippidis’ wife received a phone call. She didn’t recognize the number, and it sounded far away and staticy. It was Danny’s voice. He was incoherent and confused, and then hung up the phone. She called the number back, and pleaded with him to call 911 for help, so he did. He had no idea where he was, and he just described his surroundings. When the paramedics finally found him, he was still wearing all of his ski gear and in need of medical assistance. He was holding a brand new iPhone, and someone had cut his hair.
Somehow, he ended up in Sacramento, California, at the airport terminal car rental depot. He was 3,000 miles away from where he disappeared. He couldn’t remember how he got there, and he had no idea what day it was. When he learned where he was and how long people had been looking for him, he got very overwhelmed and emotional. The leading theory is that he was kidnapped in the back of a big-rig truck, but no proof of this has ever surfaced.
7. DeOrr Kunz
In July 2015, DeOrr Kunz and his girlfriend Jessica Mitchell were on a camping trip with their 2-year-old son, DeOrr Jr. They brought along Jessica’s grandfather and a family friend named Isaac Reinwand. The campsite was extremely remote, on the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park. There was only one dirt road leading to the area where they parked their trailer and car.
The morning after their arrival, Jessica, DeOrr, and DeOrr Jr. all went into the nearby town to run some errands. When they came back to the campsite, Reinwand was holding a large fish. He said he’d caught it in the nearby river. Jessica and DeOrr Sr. asked to see where he caught the fish, so they began to follow him with their son. The little boy suddenly decided he wanted to get candy from his grandfather, and they allowed him to walk by himself back to the campsite, which was only a few yards away. The grandfather confirmed that little DeOrr returned safely to him, and that he was watching over him. But in the blink of an eye, the toddler was gone.
During an interview, the parents explained that they searched for the boy for about 20 minutes before trying to call 911. There was no cell phone service at the campsite, so they had to drive down the road until they could complete the call. A search party helped them comb the area for several days with no sign of his scent or tracks. Helicopters with heat-tracking cameras flew over the area, as well. A 2-year-old should not have been able to go very far. Everyone was baffled. Where was DeOrr Kunz?
Years later, the case is still unsolved. Many in the general public believe that DeOrr’s parents are suspects, and there was public outcry to have them tried for murder. However, there is no evidence that they actually killed their son.
6. James McGrogan
In 2014, a medical doctor named James McGrogan went on a “split snowboard” trip with friends in Vail, Colorado. Not many people have heard of split snowboarding. This a sport that’s a lot like cross country skiing, or hiking in snowshoes. He came prepared with his cell phone and a satellite GPS system. He was much faster than his friends, so he said that he would wait for them at the next stop. They lost sight of him, and never saw him at any of the stops along the trail.
When the search team went looking for him, they found no tracks in the snow that veered off the trail, so they had no idea where he could have possibly gone. Five days later, his body was discovered 4.5 miles away “as the crow flies,” which was more like a 14-mile hike, as he would have had to climb up mountains in order to get there. His body was found by two hikers at the bottom of a frozen waterfall. The search party had gone over that area multiple times before, but had never seen him until that day.
McGrogan was mangled in a strange position. His skull was crushed, as if he had fallen from the sky. He was still wearing the full ski outfit and helmet, but there were no boots on his feet, and he had also taken off his gloves. The search and rescue team later found his discarded split snowboard, but they never found his boots. His cell phone and GPS were still working, and he had packed a backup battery, as well. They tested the area where he was found, and there was a cell phone signal. Yet he never called anyone for help. The police deemed this an an “accidental death” and closed the case.
5. Keith Parkins
In 1952, a 2-year-old boy named Keith Parkins went missing from his home in Ritter, Oregon in the middle of winter. He had been playing outside with his jacket on, but he was far from equipped to spend the night outside alone. His family and a local search party looked for him immediately. They could follow his tiny footprints up to a point before they completely stopped. There were no other animal or adult tracks nearby. 19 hours later, they found Keith. He was about 15 miles away. He had taken his jacket off and was laying face-down in the snow on a frozen pond. Keith was alive. When they asked him why he had run away and how he survived, he said he didn’t remember.
A survival expert named Les Stroud filmed a segment for the Missing 411 documentary to demonstrate just how impossible it would have been for 2-year-old Keith to walk so far on his own, especially at night. To this day, no one is sure exactly how Keith survived the night, and we may never know.
4. Dennis Martin
It was Father’s Day Weekend 1969. 6-year-old Dennis Martin was at Smoky Mountains National Park with his brother, father, and grandfather. They camped out for the night, and the next day, a man approached Mr. Martin, asking if his sons wanted to play with his kids, since they were about the same age. Dennis’ father agreed, and the children started a big game of hide-and-seek. Dennis’ father kept his eyes on his son from a distance. Dennis hid behind a tree, and when the other kids jumped to reveal themselves, Dennis didn’t. His father got up and ran over to where he had last seen his son, and he was gone. The Appalachian Trail was nearby, so he ran at full speed for two miles, yelling and calling for Dennis, but he couldn’t find his son. They called park rangers, and spent all night looking for him.
The search for Dennis Martin became massive. The FBI, Green Berets, park rangers, and local volunteers searched for six weeks. The only thing they found belonging to Dennis was one shoe, and one sock. They never found a body.
Paulides conducted interviews and dug through files with testimonies. The Key Family had been camping in the park that same weekend, and they asked park rangers where they could go to see bears. They were told where to go, and when they arrived, they reported hearing a scream. The child pointed at the top of the hill, saying that he saw a bear. The father said it looked more like a scary looking “wild, hairy mountain man” dodging behind trees while carrying something over its shoulder.
3. Bobby Bizup
In 1958, a 10-year-old partially deaf boy named Bobby Bizup was attending a Catholic camp for boys called Camp Saint Malo that sits on the border of Rocky Mountain National Park. A camp counselor found him fishing at the river, and told him to come back to camp for dinner. The boy started to follow him, and when the counselor glanced over his shoulder to double-check, Bobby had disappeared.
400 people searched for 9 days, but they found no clues. One year later, counselors found his hearing aid and bits of torn clothing 2,000 feet up the side of the mountain. The search party had already searched that area at least three times the year before. None of his other remains have ever been found.
2. Jaryd Atadero
In 1999, a 3-year-old boy named Jaryd Atadero was living with his sister and father, Allen, at the resort Jaryd’s dad worked at in the Comanche Wilderness (which is a national park in Colorado). A Christian Singles group was staying at the resort, and one of the women in the group offered to take Allen’s kids with them for a few hours to a local fish hatchery. They never asked Allen if they could take the children hiking as well, but they saw a sign for a nearby trail and decided at the last minute that they would go through the forest. The Christian Singles were so involved in their own hikes that they lost track of Jaryd, and he wandered away from the group. Two hikers in the area saw him walking alone, but assumed his parents must be nearby. After this, he was never seen again.
In 2003, two hikers climbed up a very steep rock face roughly 550 feet above the trail. They found one child’s tooth, a piece of skull, and Jaryd’s clothes, which were fully intact. They had been taken off his body and turned inside-out. There was one shoe, which looked brand new. Somehow, it was perfectly preserved for those four years.
The area where his remains were found was far too difficult for a child to climb to himself, and it would have been an unnecessarily difficult location for an adult kidnapper to carry him. It also doesn’t line up with a bear or cougar attack pattern, because the clothes would have been ripped and covered in blood. The Atadero family is still haunted by the unanswered questions.
1. Bessie and Glen Hyde
In 1928, a newly married couple named Bessie and Glen Hyde wanted to take a boat down the Colorado River, which runs through Grand Canyon National Park. The river was hundreds of miles long, and it would take several days to make the journey. Glen had been preparing for their honeymoon for a long time. He built his own 20-foot boat that was very safe. He wanted to win prize money for a new speed record to travel down the Colorado River, and if they succeeded, Bessie would go on record as the first woman to ever make the trip.
During their journey, they would stop to hike some of the trails. They met a photographer named Emery Kolb, who took pictures of them and later gave the photos to the police. When they never arrived at their destination, Glen’s father became very worried. He asked the park rangers to send an airplane over the river, and they spotted the couple’s boat. It was floating upright, with no sign of it ever being overturned. Their supplies were still in the boat, as well, but the couple was nowhere to be seen.
The story of Bessie and Glen Hyde has been retold so many times it’s even become a sort of legend — like stories of Bessie’s ghost spotted standing in the river. There are multiple theories. In 1971, an elderly woman claimed that she witnessed Glen abusing Bessie, and Bessie stabbed him and ran away. This woman later recanted her story, however, saying she made it up for attention.
A few years later, the unidentified body of a man in his 20s was found buried near the cabin of the photographer, Emery Kolb. The man had a bullet in his skull. It was determined that this was not the body of Glen Hyde, but it has still led some people to believe that, since Kolb was one of the last people to see them alive, he could have murdered them.
Sadly, we may never know the true story behind this, or any of the other Missing 411 cases.