Missing 411: The Hunted (2019) Movie Script

My name is Dave Paulides
and I'm a former
police detective
and current
investigative author
focused primarily
on mysterious disappearances
in the North American
My journey into the disappearances
began when I was visiting a national park
and was approached by two park
rangers who knew I was an author.
They described strange circumstances
over the years involving missing hikers.
I immediately began looking
into the phenomenon.
Eight years
and eight books later,
I've now researched 1200
cases that fit the profile
we are about to examine.
While these cases involve people
of all ages and all walks of life,
I've chosen to present some
of the most intriguing cases
involving hunters.
Generally speaking,
hunters are very experienced,
aware, and knowledgeable
And so, when one vanishes,
you know something unusual
has occurred.
One of the most perplexing
cases I've examined
involves a hunter named
Thomas Messick,
who in 2015, went missing
in North-East New York.
For people
who don't know,
the FBI doesn't investigate
missing adults.
There's a sub-category for the
FBI, that they can become involved
in the disappearance
of extremely young children
under a certain set of criteria.
So, the million dollar question
is, why would the FBI arrive
on Tom Messick's case?
He loved the outdoors.
He loved being in the woods.
Hunting and fishing
was his life.
You want a cookie, honey?
He was a very good
husband, very good father.
And I don't think
you will find anybody
who ever met him
who didn't like him.
And how many kids
did you guys have?
We had three sons.
Tommy, Jean, and Rob.
So, tell me about your dad.
What kind of guy was he?
He was kinda, "Do what you got
to go to get things done."
Never had a contractor in the house.
We always did everything.
You name it.
We lifted the house up,
put a foundation under it.
When I was digging it out,
I looked up at him,
he had a cup of coffee
in his hand
and I said,
"Why don't we get a backhoe?"
And he said,
"I have one, right there."
What did you guys like to do
as a family?
We camped.
We did a lot of camping.
And the boys loved it
and, you know,
I was kind of the outsider
because they were boys
and they hunted and fished
and did those things.
I knew Tom
before we earned enough
'cause he used
to work in Norton with me.
I knew him probably about 55
years or somewhere around there.
What did you guys like
to do together?
Hunt. Hunt and fish.
It's what we did
all the time, really.
Yeah, we both had trailers
in which we used to go trailing
all the time, come to think of it.
We all got
the same vacation in Norton,
so we all took off and went
to different places like that.
So, what was your introduction
to the outdoors?
It was always there because my
father always hunted and fished.
We got a camp up North,
not far from Brant Lake,
for about a week every year.
A bunch of guys get together
and go hunting.
He taught hunter
training for a long time.
He probably taught every one
of the kids around here.
Tom was a great guy.
He was an old airborne Ranger.
He was unbelievable
in the woods.
He taught my hunting class for
me to get my hunting license.
He taught survival.
He had gunpowder
blow up in his face,
and that's how he lost...
He had a 159 stitches
in his hand
and he lost his eye that way.
So, he would say to these kids,
"This is what happens
if you're not careful."
I mean, he had a lot of issues
over the years,
but it never really seemed
to slow him down or anything.
So, obviously, he had one eye.
He was sort of blind,
it wasn't really that great,
but he could actually see
out of it.
And hearing was an issue?
He wasn't
that great with hearing.
he needed hearing aids.
Would Tom be the kind of guy
who would drink a lot or...
No. He didn't drink
that much, no.
So, the day when you guys went hunting,
did you guys drink when you hunt?
We might have beer
with us in the truck.
Out in the woods, we might have
a beer or something like that.
Nothing excessive, you know?
How would you describe
your dad's judgment?
It was good.
In fact,
it was probably one of his better days
I had seen in a long time.
He was in good spirits
and moving great.
Didn't seem to even have an
ache or pain in him that day.
He was moving good.
How often
do you think about it?
I just think about it, well...
You know,
it always pops into your mind.
We were doing
just kind of a quick thing.
It was late actually.
Almost lunchtime by the time
we ended up going up there.
Kind of just a two-hour thing
until evening
and we were going to go back to camp
and hunt around the camp until dark.
How many guys
went up there that day?
Someone made the decision
to hunt over by Brant Lake.
Who made that decision?
I did.
I messaged that we
had state land there.
We kind of agreed to hunt it.
The roads of Lily Pond.
I mean, we go up that road,
straight to the lake
and we parked
right at the lake.
And the old guys literally
walked down that road
in hundred yard increments.
We walked in 30, 40 yards
at the most and sat down.
Al was the first watcher.
I was the second.
Joe Capacelli, and then Tom.
So, Tom was furthest
from the lake?
He was the furthest one.
We followed the trail along
the lake,
come up that snowmobile trail,
hopped into the woods,
and swung up to him.
A slow
hunt-and-drive type thing.
The young boys said
to the old men,
"You four sit here,
and if we see any deer,
we'll push them towards you."
And if Tom was a watcher,
Tom would not have moved.
I know that for a fact.
He was a watcher,
that's where he was.
- Did you see any deer?
- None at all.
- No.
- Did you hear anything?
I heard a strange noise in the
woods, but I don't know what it was.
Just a different noise from what
I usually hear, you know?
Like what?
It'd be hard
to explain because...
But it was different.
Something different that I never
heard before in the woods.
I just can't say what it was,
you know?
How long in duration was it?
Was it two or three seconds?
No, it's just...
Whatever it is, you know?
How far away was it?
I'd say it was probably 150
yards, something like that.
Was it toward Tom,
or away from Tom?
This was up towards the hill.
The top of the hill. Yeah.
Did you tell
the cops this?
Yeah, I told them that.
But they just passed it off,
you know?
The report said that your
dad was carrying a walkie-talkie?
- Yeah.
- Who else had one?
We all did.
- All on the same channel?
- Yup.
- Anybody ever hear anything?
- No.
Did your dad know
how to use it?
Tom? Tom, you around?
It's one of those things where,
you know, he should have been out by now.
We called and called.
You know, he should have been
sitting on the watch.
Can you hear me?
Holler back.
And then we went
and started looking for him.
Anybody fire any shots?
Yep, we fired shots.
Somebody went down
and called the rangers,
and then, we just kept looking.
They stayed overnight at the
truck, beeping the horn.
I heard shots,
different things.
Robbie called me
that night and said,
"Daddy's missing in the
woods, but don't worry,
we'll find him."
And I said, "I'm coming up."
And he said, "No, don't come up.
I'm sure we're going to find him
and I'll call you."
The community is
very close-knit,
everybody has
pretty much grown up together
and knows everybody.
It's mountainous,
we have lakes,
we've got lots of opportunities
to enjoy yourself.
There's not
a lot of pressure here.
I came into work
one morning
and I noticed
a State Police helicopter
had landed in our ball field,
right here behind the town hall.
And then, I could see
some rangers
ranging in our parking lot.
Their vehicles and
different apparatus and...
I questioned what was going on
and they said there was a
hunter that had been missing.
We did note that
when we were up there,
it seemed to be
devoid of wildlife.
You know, we didn't see
squirrels, chipmunks, deer...
or any signs of them.
How unusual is that
for your mountains out here?
I thought it was strange.
Like I said, we didn't see signs
of anything out there.
How many people
did Warren County commit?
We had our Emergency Response
Team up there,
which is comprised
of 13 team members.
So, when you heard
about it, what did you do?
Go up there and join the search.
I figured it would be...
We'd go up there and we'd find
him and it'd be over, you know?
The Air National Guard
was going over with infrared.
State Police had helicopters
with a guy out.
We walked through the woods,
no matter how thick they were.
You had to see the other
guy's ankle.
We went through some terrain
you just wouldn't believe,
swamps up to your chest,
and we covered every bit of it.
They were thinking, maybe he
got to a road and got hit by a car.
And so, they checked on
the sides of the roads
and never found anything.
The first couple of days, I thought
for sure we're going to find him.
After about the third or fourth,
I said, "Boy, this ain't good."
A mile out, we were
still me to you away.
Walking through the woods,
you'd trip over somebody,
nevermind not see him.
We would have what they call
"bump lines."
Lines that they would
run through the forest
and we knew that was like a
start and a stop.
Guy in the end had
a roll of string
and would tie it to a tree
and just keep walking.
And when we're done with that
grid, they'd tie it off
and then everybody would
shift to the other side
and walk back.
And so you know between this
string line and this string line
and between your bump lines,
that area has been covered.
And few days later, we were back
to the same barriers
and did them the other way.
I mean, we covered every
inch of ground up there.
The immediate area
looked like a spider web,
because not only did they
go this way or this way,
and they went that way.
So, there was string everywhere.
They had 300 people
in there one day.
People asked who he was.
If he was a governor's
brother, or something.
It was incredible.
How many jurisdictions do
you think responded to this search?
There was probably a dozen
or so volunteer fire departments
that had members here.
Probably 50 or 60 altogether
in different organizations.
- That's huge.
- Yeah.
New York State Corrections came out
and they searched with their dogs.
There were tonnes of volunteer
search and rescue teams
that came out
with their K-9 units.
I mean, they... For a little
while, but not for very long.
Day two that we were involved
in the search up there,
it rained heavily all day.
Obviously, an animal didn't get to
him, because there'd be a big scatter.
There'd be a huge, you know...
His clothes would be ripped up,
his stuff would spread be all
over. He'd be easy to find.
Not even
a candy wrapper.
Not that my husband would throw
out a candy wrapper,
'cause he wouldn't.
That would be in his pocket.
But, nothing.
Not the walkie-talkie,
not his gun.
They never found anything.
You would think that
you'd find some trace
of somebody who was there,
especially a weapon,
because a weapon
is not going to disappear.
It's not going to blow away.
The FBI, according to their protocol,
doesn't search for missing people.
So, do you understand
why they were there?
I remember they were there.
I thought they were there to provide
some sort of technological support,
but I didn't have
any contact with them myself.
Have you ever had them
on a search that you've done?
You had a conversation
with the FBI, up in Horicon.
What did they tell you?
They said that...
Basically, they were there
to tell me that
he now is considered
a missing person.
And they felt that something
was definitely not right,
but unless and until
they made a recovery,
they wouldn't know what it was.
That was it.
That's basically what they said.
In the middle
of the Adirondacks
where an elderly man disappears,
two agents suddenly show up.
They made their way up
to Lily Pond Road
and they started to monitor
this incident.
Every time an FBI agent
arrives at a scene
and is stating that they're
monitoring it,
they're taking notes
and they're writing reports
and those reports go to the
behavioral analysts in Virginia.
And what their job is,
is to look for other cases
that match the profile
that they're writing about.
I think they get it.
I think they understand.
And maybe they're trying to put the
pieces together, just as we are.
We'd kinda like to know
what happened,
but I don't think we ever will.
Even if they found him,
we wouldn't know what happened.
Something odd happened,
We just don't know what.
I was there
until 11 days.
And then, I finally
said to my older son,
"I can't sit here anymore.
I got to go home."
We came back, I think,
for Thanksgiving.
That's when we stopped.
We were down to just me
and some rangers
and couple of other guys, that was
it, by the time it was over.
He is
such a sweet dog.
He sits at my kitchen window
all day long.
He sits here and he waits
for Tom to come back.
If you go by my house, you'll
see the dog in the window.
Did you dad tell you about a sound
he heard in the woods that day?
He said he heard some kind of
snapping or crack sound
that was strange.
It wasn't something
he normally hears in the woods.
He still talks to me about it.
He almost said it sounded like
a big trap closing or something.
I don't know, you know?
Anything that you think that the
audience should know about your dad
or about this incident?
I tell you, you really
do never know.
I mean, they always say
you should go in prepared.
I mean, we treated that hunt
like I was walking out here
in the backyard.
It was really nothing.
You just don't expect it.
An interesting side note to
the disappearance of Tom Messick
is the case of Fred Drumm.
About the tenth day
of Tom Messick's search,
the Department of Conservation
Rangers for the State of New York
were pulled off of that event
and sent 40 miles South
to Schuylerville, New York.
Fred lived on his rural farm
with his wife.
Fred was a retired supervisor
from his town.
Was an outdoorsman.
On Thanksgiving Day of 2015,
Mrs. Drumm went
to attend a banquet,
and when she returned in the
afternoon, her husband wasn't there.
His car was there,
all of his belongings were in the house,
but he had simply vanished.
There were helicopters, K-9s,
there was a huge SAR.
And the eventual outcome
was the same as Tom's.
It's quite a coincidence that
two elderly men, both hunters,
disappeared from a rural area,
weren't found,
and both have been just
chalked up to disappearing.
The thing that connects
all of theMissing 411 cases
are the profile points.
And these have been gleaned
after reading thousands of cases
and seeing them come up
time after time,
and realizing that they are
part of the underlying story
of each of these incidents.
If the victim is with others,
and decides to move away from
them and be on their own,
that's the point in time something
happens and the victim disappears.
We call this
the point of separation.
The most common time
for a victim to disappear
is in the mid to late
afternoon hours.
Granite boulders
and rock fields.
Victims are often found to disappear
in the areas of granite or rock fields.
Victims found
or disappearing near water...
This is a very common trait
and one that happens
anywhere in the world
and isn't isolated
to a geographical area.
There appears to be
a weather incident
in close proximity to the time
that the person disappears
or when the search starts.
The weather issue could be
anywhere from a dust storm,
to a full-blown blizzard.
Disability or illness.
Often times, the victim is
later found to have
either an obvious,
or a very subliminal disability or illness.
Canines can't find the scent,
or lose the scent quickly.
This is an extremely common
profile point
that's probably in 95
percent of all the cases
that have been documented.
This is an indictment
of Search and Rescue.
But for some unknown reason,
the victims are found in an area
that had been searched
maybe dozens of times.
Clothes, shoes removed.
A common trait is that the victims
are missing clothing or shoes
at the time they're found.
Unknown cause of death.
If the victim is found,
and when they go through
a medical examination,
the coroners can't determine
a cause of death.
And finally, clusters.
There's a geographical
clustering effect
to the victims that fit
theMissing 411 profile.
There can be anywhere from
three to 70 or 80 people
in each geographical cluster.
This is an area that
I've always wanted to come to
for a variety of reasons.
First of all,
it's just drop dead gorgeous.
But also,
it's a regional cluster
of unexplained missing people
going back decades.
This is one of those clusters
of the 59 I've documented
that really has intrigued me
over the years.
And within this
Santa Fe cluster,
we're going to focus on
three very unusual,
very mysterious disappearances.
The first being 75-year-old Audrey
Kaplan who disappeared in July 2014.
She was with her husband,
they had a house here
in Santa Fe.
And they decided to come up to the
ski-resort and look for mushrooms.
It was a popular mushroom
picking site up in here.
And what they did,
is they hiked up the trail
into the wilderness area
and somewhere or another,
they got separated.
Audrey, who was in extremely
good shape for an older person,
couldn't be found,
and they started to search for her.
Audrey disappeared July 30th,
one of the hottest months
in the Santa Fe area.
Now, there were thunderstorms
that happened post disappearance.
And that night,
they had searchers on scene
and for the following
several days,
they scoured that mountain.
And eventually, days later,
one searcher,
way off the primary grid area,
came upon a very unusual sight.
He started to see a camping area that
seemed to be pretty much destroyed.
And he walked up and he saw a
woman in the fetal position,
in about four or five inches
of water in a creek,
deceased, naked.
No shoes, no clothing,
no nothing.
Her face was in the creek.
Her entire body was lying on
its side in the fetal position.
A very strange sight.
And the coroner
made a determination
that was even more unusual
than the sight in the creek.
And he said that there
was no physical evidence
that she died of hypothermia.
But the determination was
hypothermia that killed her.
Now, I've read
that report 20 times.
It makes no sense.
She had no distinct injuries
to her body,
that there was no physical
symptoms of hypothermia.
He also stated that in his report,
her face wasn't in the water.
And the crime scene photos
clearly show
Audrey was completely
in that creek.
So, a lot of confusing,
strange aspects
to the Audrey Kaplan
The second story that
involves this exact area
and that's
61-year-old Mel Nadel,
who disappeared
up in the wilderness.
Went up to Elk Mountain in
the Santa Fe National Forest.
Elk hunting.
What kind of wildlife
would somebody find
up in the mountains out here?
We're rich.
Elk, mule deer, bear, lions.
And the size of
the elk and the deer?
Really good,
trophy quality.
Mexico's got
really good animals.
We're stingy on our tags,
it's a draw system.
So, hunting is
a really big sport.
New Mexico is a destination
for elk hunters.
The numbers out there are very small
compared to our western states,
but our hunting quality
is really high.
Mel had
a slight knee injury.
He had stepped in a gopher
hole while target practicing
a day or two prior.
Once Mel met up with his
friends at Elk Mountain,
and the three made a plan
for the evening's hunt,
Mel would stick close while the other
two would go on a pretty good hike.
Mel pointed at a group of trees
about a 100 or 150 yards
down the trail,
while the other two would
hike in the opposite direction
toward the peak.
Did you expect him
to come home that night?
No. The following morning
he said he's coming back.
So, he was going
to camp up there?
- Spend the night.
- Yeah.
And he's done
that before?
Did Mel ever jog
or walk long distances?
So, if Mel saw an elk,
he's not going to walk three miles?
He won't do it?
He doesn't like to walk.
So, knowing that,
then that really
puts confinement...
- Yeah.
- ...on where he would have been.
He didn't go
hiking with them.
The friends went up the mountain,
like, searching for animals.
And then, when they get down,
the jeep was there,
there was no Mel.
But he should
have been back by then.
He should have been there.
Eventually, another hunter
came along with a satellite phone.
They called Search and Rescue,
they responded with K-9s, ground teams.
And the K-9s tracked
right to the spot
where everyone expected
Mel to be, at his blind.
Now, think about this
for a minute.
If Mel had wandered,
maybe shot an elk,
and traveled to look for it,
his tracks and his scent
would be past that point,
but they weren't.
And Mel was carrying a bow.
He was carrying a firearm.
Where are those items?
When he went out hunting,
he had a pistol.
- Never found the bow?
- No.
- Did they ever find anything?
- No.
- Never found anything?
- No.
That is the bizarre stuff.
How can you carry it
if you get lost?
Isn't it going to get heavy
to hold onto all of it?
There's nothing.
Shoes... One of the arrows
would have fallen,
or the bow has to drop
because those are heavy.
Did the Search and
Rescue people say that was odd?
Everybody said it was odd.
There's nothing.
A shred of clothing, nothing.
If he was attacked by a bear,
there's no shred of clothing anywhere.
And, Bob,
how many years have you been guiding?
- This is my 25th year.
- 25th year.
And how many years
of experience do you have
in the mountains
surrounding Santa Fe?
I'm 53 now,
almost my entire life.
I know
you know the story.
What could have happened to him
in your mind?
Here in New Mexico, Roswell,
alien abduction.
Really, he had
to have gotten a ride out.
He had to have been picked up
or gotten a ride out, I assume.
If he was a mobile person
and a hiking person,
he could just be
so far off target
from where anybody assumed
he was going.
But in his sense,
what we understand,
he probably didn't do that.
He probably didn't take off
on a long march anywhere.
History mystery.
What happens to a big jet
airline in the huge ocean?
As strange
as Mel Nadel's case was,
there was another case
much more recently.
On November 7th, 2017,
another hunter disappeared.
Stanley came up to an area
about 10 miles from
where Mel Nadel disappeared.
In an area called
Barillas Peak.
And he was in his vehicle with
his father and another friend
and they were driving the
dirt roads looking for deer.
Deer crossed in front of him,
Stanley jumped out with his
rifle, chasing the deer.
And just as he was
chasing the deer,
fog and heavy rain
simultaneously hit that area
where he disappeared into.
And then he wanders,
I've started a seven-day
search for Stanley.
The canines can't
pick up the scent.
Helicopters in the air
can't see him.
Professional trackers
can't find any tracks.
Fast forward five months later,
and an off-duty New Mexico
State police officer
and his son are fishing
on the Pecos River.
They find a body.
He wasn't immediately
but the coroner eventually
came around
to say that it was and that
he had some skull injuries
and he had two broken ribs.
Presumption was
that he drowned.
Stanley's body was found nine
miles from his point of separation.
It's another weird disappearance
with this one just happening.
Especially in these
cluster zones,
this is one of those
recurring phenomena.
It's going to happen again.
It's just a matter of time.
In talking with Edna,
one of the things they found in
Mel's jeep was his GPS.
Now, that's an important device
that will help you get back to the
point where you started the hike
and it's supposed to be
a trail guide for you.
Now, personally,
I don't think it's unusual
that Mel didn't take that,
because he knew in himself
that he was only going to walk a
100 or 150 yards down that trail.
If you're going to purchase
a GPS device,
consider it
your insurance plan.
And this is an example
of why you should always carry
that insurance plan with you
whenever you go
into the wilderness,
hiking, hunting,
or sightseeing.
We're paid to hunt
for a five-day period.
So we make sure
people pack the right gear
to be able to stay in
the field all five days.
Therefore increase our odds
the highest possible.
And so, our basic packing list
that I expect hunters
to carry in the field
has a hunting license and has a
bottle of water they're drinking.
It has a bottle of water you're
not planning on drinking.
It has a garbage bag.
That's the most useful
wilderness tool in the world
for a raincoat, to sit on,
to pack something in.
As a hunter, you're like,
"I'm fine. I'm armed, I'm safe.
I'm the baddest thing out here
because I have a firearm with me."
And then, you read
more and more
and these are people
that are more experienced.
They've been in the woods
more than I have, you know?
There's no reason
for why these people go missing.
And you're like, "Okay,
I'm going to pack things differently."
You change your whole mindset.
Take advantage of the technology
that you're given today.
You've got the sat phone,
you've got GPS, you've got all that.
But then, if you don't want to have
to rely on a cell phone signal,
if your battery dies
or something like that,
you know, I've got a whistle,
I've got a knife.
My knife's got a fire starter.
It's just all about,
"I'm going to be able
to take care of myself."
You know, with the camouflage
patterns available today,
you've got this one on right here,
it's going to be hard to get spotted.
So, carry something
bright with you.
This is a space blanket.
And the reason I grab this
'cause it's fluorescent orange,
which is a universal
"here I am" code.
Tell somebody
where you're going.
Tell somebody that is trusted
that is going to look after you
and tell them what time
you're going to be out.
And if you're not out by then
and you're not calling them,
say it's Lauran that you told,
then Lauran you know
is going to call the authorities
to come out there and look for
you. Super important.
It is and I've heard you
say this many times.
Especially writing
about Missing 411.
Check the weather.
If you do get lost,
it's common sense to stay put.
Stay close
to where you started.
if you told somebody.
And you don't want to lay
your pack down,
but one thing I will never
compromise on is extra ammo.
There's a three-shot rule
that a lot of people might...
I don't even think they still
teach it in hunter safety course.
That's not where I learned it.
I learned it from him.
And it's not only "I'm lost,
three shots, here's where I am."
In addition to that,
if I go missing,
and for whatever reason
I have that extra ammo,
I've used it up,
I've spent my shells,
back at camp,
they can fire those three shots
and you can tune into
"Okay, I need to turn around.
I need to do this."
If you are lost,
the best thing you can possibly do
is get yourself
into an opening.
And I always tell people,
"Take your coat, take something bright,
and wave it around over the top
of your head in a big circle."
Like a set of roller blades
or a rope that you're
spinning over your head.
It's really, really easy
to see that from the air.
Typically, we find,
either the person is alive,
or you know, deceased.
Not very often
do we not find them.
The Crazy Mountains
are a geological upthrust
that is 300 million years younger
than the Rocky Mountain range.
So, they're not part of
the Rocky Mountain range.
They're an isolated
island of mountains.
If you're
in the Crazies,
I don't care where you're at
in the Crazies,
if you follow a stream down
you're going
to be somewhere soon.
No matter where you are
in these mountains.
Because they're just
an island chain of mountains.
There are several versions of why
the Crazy Mountains are called crazy.
The one I believe is it's a
curse from the Crow Indians.
Because this used
to be Crow reservation
and when they were
moved off the land,
the Crow Indians supposedly put
a curse on the Crazy Mountains
for the wind to blow and
drive the white man crazy.
My name is Alan Ronneberg.
I'm the Undersheriff with the
Sweetgrass County Sheriff's Office.
I'm also the Search
and Rescue coordinator.
I've actually been with Search
and Rescue for 24 years.
I grew up in this community.
I've been here...
I'm 52 years old now.
I've been here all my life.
My parents, grandparents,
great grandparents.
They've been here
since the 1880s.
It's always been an agricultural
and mining community.
The family ranches have been handed
down for over a hundred years
to people that work here,
raise their families here
and their kids stay here.
And a fantastic place
to grow up.
I'm Rebecca Rein.
I'm Charlie Rein.
And we live in Sweetgrass County
in Montana in the Crazies.
So, tell us about
the kind of wildlife
that we would expect to see
in the wilderness.
Deer, white tail,
and mule deer.
Elk, black bear.
I don't see many wolves,
but they're here.
So, no grizzlies
up there?
Not that we know of.
Now, there have been
folks that say they saw grizzlies.
We don't have a resident
population of grizzly bears yet.
I think they're coming,
but there's nothing now.
You know,
the Crazies themselves...
are unique.
They are the youngest
mountain range in the country.
It's horrendously rugged.
And you don't really understand
it until you get into it.
What supposedly happened
as they started on the trail
going up to Campfire Lake,
they had a horse wreck.
Their mule spooked and
started bucking and throwing
all their supplies
off the trail.
All of Aaron's
camping equipment
was basically on that mule.
I know he lost
his sleeping bag.
And once they got into
Campfire Lake, what happened?
They started their hunt.
This was their base camp and
they went and hunted from here.
They were planning a week trip.
Would you describe
that he had good common sense?
Yeah, Aaron had
good common sense.
Aaron wasn't a dummy.
I mean, someone that comes up
here every other weekend,
always hunts up here,
has stashes up here.
He knows the area
like the back of his hand.
They spent two days
here at Campfire Lake.
The one fellow had a cache here,
somewhere, below Sunlight Lake.
So, Aaron was going to go up the
trail, to Sunlight, into the cache
and get what he needed.
He was supposed to go up here,
grab the cache,
and then come down
to his friends.
Come back
into Campfire Lake.
Later that day,
Nate had called Aaron
on the radio.
He had a walkie-talkie?
Yeah, a walkie-talkie.
Yeah, I think it was a Garmin
Rino is what they call it.
And on that Rino,
there's an LED screen
and it also gives the GPS position
of the person that's talking.
As well as their position.
You know, back and forth.
And when they did that,
the GPS position showed him
on the very edge of the screen
over in this area here,
on the main Sweetgrass trail.
so that's confusing.
When he gets to the fork
right here...
- This fork?
- Yeah.
How evident is it that there's a
fork in that trail to the lake?
So, it's real obvious.
It's very obvious.
So, at this point,
where he's down the trail over here,
he's next to a creek, right?
And the creek, everyone knows,
runs one direction.
So, for him to get
disoriented right here,
and not know which direction
he was going on the trail
doesn't make any sense.
At what point do they
realize that he's missing?
The next day actually.
And they waited
for him for a day
and then looked
for him for a day.
And that's
when the storm starts.
And the storm is coming
in from this way.
How much did it snow?
Between 18 to 24 inches
within 12 hours.
The temperature was
in the 40s and 50s
and then, all of a sudden,
it was in the teens.
And the snowstorm kinda
forced them out.
We received a call from
one of the individuals
that was hunting with him,
saying that he was overdue
and hadn't come out.
You know, they hadn't seen him
for a couple of days.
When they told me
Campfire Lake, I said,
"Well, you need to
get hold of Park County."
Park County goes out,
they start a search.
They start a search
in their county
and we go ahead in kind of
a military blocking maneuver.
You know, there's still 16 inches
of snow practically melting.
The temperature is getting
better. It's warming up.
We don't find anything.
There's a key point.
So, as you guys were
coming up the trail,
you're not seeing
any footprints going out?
- Negative.
- Right.
We're here
from Sweetgrass County.
Alan. Good to see you.
I believe it was the second
day that I was working there.
I had landed with the deputy
after dropping off two
separate dog teams.
'Cause that terrain
is so steep and so deep,
and very wild country.
Started up high,
and they were going to work
the dog teams coming down,
and there was a girl
with her German shepherd,
I believe that found
a pair of boots.
This will be the road that
Aaron and his two buddies
drove in on to pick up the horse trailer.
I know they had two horses
and a mule.
So, you guys, the horse wreck
happened right up ahead of us.
So, the trailer is over here
on the right side.
On the right.
Stays on this bench here
for a while.
You get glimpses of it whenever
we go through a meadow.
We're going to make
a right-handed turn, fellas.
And we're going to follow
the rest of the trail here.
You can see where the trail
is right in front of you.
The zig-zag.
You're going
to reveal into Campfire
as soon as you look straight out
on the outside of this cliff.
Their base camp. They're basing
out of Campfire Lake.
So, when you come up here,
you sit up here in you spot
and that's what they were doing.
That spot...
We saw elk
all the time over here.
So, this is loaded.
So, we'll go
down to the bottom.
You can see this kind of
tough country
even on the trail when
you kind of move through.
- It is.
- It's a work out.
Going up and down these trails
is one heck of a work out.
- You could see the trail easily.
- Yeah.
And the trail is like this
all the way from Campfire
over to Sweetgrass.
This is the tee in the trail.
Trail goes through
those rocks right there.
There was fresh snow
on the ground.
It could have been easy
to miss that turn.
He left before it started
to snow, though.
- Oh, did he?
- Yeah.
- Gotcha.
- I think it was bare ground.
When he took off,
it was actually
pretty warm out.
Into the 50s at least.
They were right
at the county line.
We're coming into Sweetgrass
County and leaving Park County.
A lot of boulder fields
through here.
It is, yeah.
And these are all loose.
These aren't set.
They're all loose.
You take one step forward
and you slide two steps back
on each foot.
So, in our search area,
that's what restricted
our search area so much.
It was so small,
because you can't get off of
the trail very far.
You know,
you start going across it's sharp.
If you don't have
a pair of hard sole boots,
they're going to eat your feet.
Even into the timber
is loose rock
all over the place.
Immediately from the boots,
there is a scree pile.
If he was barefoot, he would have
torn up his feet immediately.
Not to the falls, no.
Well, we have to turn around
to see him better.
Yeah, this is the bench
of other falls
where the boots were found.
And this bench
is nice and subtle.
It's kinda protected.
A walk that way into the...
And you're limited
where you can go.
Right there.
- Yeah, he was right over there.
- Those are trees.
Those trees, yeah.
Right in here.
Close to the creek,
there are ways down
into the creek
that you can do it.
Especially underneath
the falls here.
You can get into the...
Into this creek.
Now, when we searched,
we searched this entire flat.
After we found the boots,
we ticked through this
like nobody's business.
I had a bunch of people
and they... three searches
is what we did.
So, we had evidence here.
At the falls, we find...
See, there's the pair of boots,
I mean, set purposely
side by side.
Next to that is
basically a water bladder,
like a Camelbak water bladder.
Just off the trail,
there is a fire pit.
In that fire pit was a partially
burnt cigarette container
that we knew was Aaron's brand.
Also in the immediate vicinity,
a fire bundle partially burnt.
Alongside that,
in the fire pit
were two waist belts
from a backpack.
Straps that
come around the back
- and sits on your hips.
- Correct.
Is that what
we're talking about?
That's what
we're talking about. Correct.
Why would anybody
take those off?
Cut 'em off,
there's a little bit of insulation
in there because they're padded.
And you can slip
your hand in there
for a little bit of protection.
That's the first thing
we thought of.
That's about the only thing
that made any sense.
Why a person would take
that waist belt off.
That must have been a
little confusing to the searchers.
I throw another little bit of
rankle in there,
they were up in the same spot
a day or two days before
and never saw it.
Never saw those items.
Never came across those items.
Same spot?
Same people, same spot.
And they said that
they never saw those boots.
They never saw any of that.
How is that possible?
I don't know.
These are seasoned guys.
They do good at their jobs.
rated by NASAR.
They know what the heck
they're doing.
When they see
the waist belt cut off,
and then the items laid out.
It's starting to look
like hypothermia.
If you look at evidence
from hypothermia cases
in the wild,
or in remote areas,
this is kind of the behavior
that you see.
So, I narrow my search
both sides of the creek,
all the way as far up
on the slope as I can get.
Because we didn't think
if he was bad enough
that he was leaving stuff,
he wasn't going to get very far.
So, somebody who is that hypothermic
isn't going to go very far.
You wouldn't think so. No.
So, the area East of the falls.
You guys covered
that pretty thick.
Oh, yeah. Yeah.
We turned over everything.
And you're a former K-9 handler.
So, did the dogs
hit on anything?
- No.
- Nothing?
Well, every spring
we maintain our fences,
you know, so we can graze our
cattle the way we want to.
So, it's just an annual
spring thing.
And my father-in-law was here.
He just happened to be with me.
And just, you can see
the ridge up there,
where a section of fence runs
between us and our neighbors
and just annual routine
and I was going over the fence and
he was kind of hiking around and...
He looked down
and he saw an orange vest.
So, he went down
just to go pick it up.
And then, that's when he proceeded to
find the backpack and everything else.
So in his mind, he thought,
"Well, what hunter
lost his stuff up here?"
And he comes down
off of there just like...
Grinning from ear
to ear, just...
"Hey, was there a hunter
lost up here?"
I'm like, "Yeah,
actually there was."
"Oh, cool! His license
is still in here in his pack."
"Okay." So, I look at it
and it was Aaron Hedges'.
Did you
recognize the name?
Oh, yeah.
I recognized the name.
I mean, there were helicopters
flying way up the valley up there
and a big searching
that was in the local press.
And inside
was there any food?
There were snack bars.
There was
nutrition inside?
Correct me if I'm wrong,
but the backpack, I understand,
was actually leaning against a tree.
So, somebody just didn't
strip it off and drop it.
They put it there with intent.
They put it there with intent.
They put it there purposely
and it was protected.
Okay, and what was
in the backpack?
I understand you found a gun.
A .44 Ruger Redhawk
I believe it was.
- Find a bow?
- Yes.
It was alongside
the backpack evidently.
In our search,
another interesting point, I guess...
When we searched this area,
here, at the head
of this ridge,
where it starts to drop off,
was a cup. A Thermos cup.
And beside that cup
was an open energy drink.
Somebody had, you know,
had basically sat down
and drank a cup of tea.
That's an odd sight.
Yeah, absolutely.
What do you think
when you see that?
"What the hell
is this guy doing?"
And from this point,
you could see the Rein buildings.
From where the cup is?
Yes, absolutely.
I mean, they're right there.
They're right down there.
And could you see a road?
Does that make any sense to you?
No, it doesn't, because...
Well, I don't know
if it makes sense to me or not,
but it is funny.
So, you don't find
a body after your search.
No, we couldn't cover
a large area
and we didn't have a lot of
time to be able to do that.
There wasn't a life or death
situation at this point?
No, not at that point.
It was evidence recovery.
So, how far does it go on
for the next thing to happen?
Another year.
Off of the Sweetgrass ranch,
which is a dude ranch,
they have a dude ride.
A string of dudes
who were guests at the ranch
were on this ride.
And as they come up the hill,
on a little bench,
one of the guests
looks over and goes,
"Hey, there's
a skull over there."
And lo and behold, there's a
human skull underneath a tree.
I mean, just pretty as a
picture, bright as a penny,
underneath a dead tree.
Did you go back out?
Sure did.
And what did you find?
We find the skulls
and the remains
and where we find that...
is right here.
We did find the pelvis
and one femur
on a cow trail,
partially buried.
I did find Aaron's cell phone.
A jacket, like what you're
wearing, a thin jacket.
Any pants?
Pants? No.
I don't believe
we found any pants.
- I can't remember.
- Socks?
No, because we didn't find
any feet.
No feet?
Did any of his bones appear
to be broken like his femurs?
Did the coroner come up
with any cause of death?
He could have seen the creek?
Yes, he could
have seen the creek.
So, there he had water.
I understand that there was also
a lighter in his backpack?
I think so, yeah, probably.
So, he could have made fire.
He had a gun,
he could have signaled help.
He had food,
e could have eaten.
Well, you're a nurse.
So, you understand hypothermia
and how it affects the body.
That distance...
Somebody said,
"Well, he was hypothermic
way back at the falls.
That's why he took his boots off."
Okay, great,
we're hypothermic then.
How in the heck are you going to
make it all that distance?
You know,
that's the other thing.
If he was hypothermic,
why didn't he drop his bow?
Why was he still packing it?
That's a heavy thing to be
packing in your backpack.
This all doesn't add up to me.
Does it add up
to you in any way?
No. You go through
your lost person behavior,
your behavior is,
exposure takes a hold of you
it just...
None of it makes any sense.
There's two things that bothered
me most about the Hedges' case.
First I'd like to know
what caused Aaron to change
course so drastically?
Even if he had missed
the turn to the cache,
he'd eventually known
he had gone too far
merely by the fact that he's
walking adjacent to the creek
that's flowing downhill,
away from the location
he's supposed to be in.
This was an experienced
hunter who hunted here often.
And this was a full two days
before any bad weather.
The second major issue
is his body being found
six miles from the falls,
where he apparently shed his boots
under the theory of extreme hypothermia.
Somehow, while hypothermic,
he carries his bow,
his backpack,
a jacket, his cell phone
and thermos
six miles through a foot and a
half to three feet of fresh snow
with no shoes.
Then sits on a rock
overlooking safety.
His remains were found 11 miles
from the camp
he was supposed to return to.
It's too much.
This is one strange case.
I never take those mountains
for granted.
Every time I drive home
from the East,
it's like, "There they are.
There's our mountains."
It's the best place on Earth.
You know, it's the prettiest
place on Earth.
We're prejudiced.
Where we are, here in Sonora,
you see
the remnants of the 1800s
in just about every place.
It's an old mining town.
Sonora is kind of at the lower
foothills of the mountain.
And as you head Eastbound,
heading up into the forest,
the dense,
you know, wild forests
where there is no more cities,
it becomes even clearer to you
that this place is not like
other places.
There is sort of
a strange sense of mystery
that abounds.
My name is Giuseppe Ricapito.
I am a police
and courts reporter
here at The Union Democrat
in Sonora,
Tuolumne County, California.
So, in a county like this,
do you have a lot of homicides?
Not necessarily.
There's been a handful,
maybe in the past
couple of years
and none of them were unsolved.
Your county goes all the way up into
the high mountain area, correct?
Yeah, it spreads
all the way over
into the Sierra
Nevada mountain range
all the way to Sonora Pass.
There's a gorgeous lookout up there.
Tell us about that.
If you are
traveling up that corridor
which passes through
the county, Highway 108,
you basically advance
up a steep grade.
You're fascinated by, like,
how lush it is, right?
The wildlife, the trees.
And as you wind up further
and further up this grade,
you get the feeling like you've lost
it, or you're lost,
like you're never going to find
it, because it's a single turn off,
a single sign
pointing you to the left.
It's called Donnell Vista.
And, it's sort of,
I've been thinking about it.
It's, like, etched
into the mountain side.
If you're standing there
at the lookout point, right,
and you're
overlooking that area,
you're seeing these crags of
rock jutting out
and I couldn't even
tell you how far
the blips of a river
far down below.
As you look over,
you say to yourself,
"If you fall down here,
you're not going to survive."
We just left the vista.
Just a quarter mile East,
Breck Phelps' vehicle was found
at this turnout.
Under the small, old dirt road,
that eventually leads
and turns into a trail
down by the Stanislaus river.
His pastor found
the vehicle here
because he knew Breck had fished
here in the past.
And that's where
the search started.
They brought in Cobra
helicopters, four dog teams.
There was even some bad weather
that hindered the search
for a short period of time.
They found nothing after many
days of looking for the man.
He was never found.
The strangest thing about
Breck Phelps' disappearance
was that it seemed to align
or parallel itself
to the previous disappearances
that had happened
in that same region.
Patti Sue Tolhurst
and Nita Mayo
both commonly like Breck
Phelps, left their car,
within a quarter mile
of that vista point.
The true oddity
of this location
is that we have three people
in eleven years
that have disappeared
from essentially one spot.
That is very odd.
It's easy to say
these people slipped on a rock
and they fell into
the river canyon, right?
But then, why haven't we
found remains?
When you're walking
on the paved path,
you've got boulders
all around you.
And it's something that I've
written about hundreds of times.
You just can't ignore it.
And here,
it raises its face again
right amongst a cluster of
missing people.
Did you ask the Sheriff
what their feelings were?
The Sheriff's Office
doesn't like to speculate.
The Sheriff's Office is a real
cut and dry,
black and white,
we found him, or we didn't,
this case is open
until it's closed.
The one thing that I wanted to
bring up is, in April,
before the disappearance
of Breck Phelps.
In April 2016,
they did find human remains
over in that area.
They didn't match
Patti Sue Tolhurst,
not did they match Nita Mayo.
They tested the dental records.
It was just like,
what are these?
And this was before the
disappearance of Breck Phelps.
Did they ever ID the remains?
So, we don't know who it was?
People aren't talking about
this story anymore.
The news cycle being very, you
know, I'm doing two stories a day!
But if it does happen again,
people are going to be
reminded of these past stories
and it's going to
only increase speculation
and increase
the sense of concern.
Now, if you just step out
from this area a little further,
there's also a larger cluster
in geographical area
where there's
three people missing
so close
to Yosemite National Park
and the biggest cluster of
missing people in the world.
I don't know why,
I don't know where,
I don't know how,
but I don't think
it's a coincidence.
Now, within this region,
there's a hunting camp
dating back to the 1950s.
Over the years,
the hunters have experienced
something highly unusual.
And by proximity alone,
this is worth investigating.
And just so people can get
some idea,
we're not that far
outside Yosemite.
We're not far at all.
I tell people we're in
between Yosemite and Tahoe.
Yeah, that's where we are.
We're in a 6000 feet elevation,
you're hiking
close to 10000 feet
before you start dropping
back, you know, up and down.
The whole topography up there
changes every year,
you don't know what to expect.
You don't know what...
across the trail
that you have to work your
way around.
You really need to know
which trails to get here.
And if you don't know where it's
at, you'll never find it.
It's just one of those places.
What year did
the Sierra Camp start?
The camp's
been here since the 50s.
I didn't start coming
up till 1971.
And do you know what
brought 'em to this spot?
This is one
of those spots that
Warren used to say this is as close to
heaven as you think you'll ever get.
It's so remote.
The deer are plentiful.
There's a lot of bear up here.
It's pristine,
a lot of granite.
Fresh water coming right out of the ground,
especially where
the spring starts.
There's a lot of rivers and it's
just a gorgeous place to be in.
We're a very sober cap.
A very strict camp.
We don't unload
before you came into camp.
No alcohol in here.
It was really a quite
disciplined camp.
All the guys were
professional people,
so we kept going on up here.
What it was, we don't know,
but had it to ourselves
for a long time.
And what was the average success
rate for you guys coming up here?
The deer was
100 percent.
We never didn't get a deer.
It's that kind of a place.
We really didn't realize
what we were dealing with.
We still don't know
what we're dealing with,
but it's something
very unusual.
Strange things happened and
most of the stuff happened
in the evening time, just at
dusk, nightime, like now.
The first time I ever heard
anything was later in '71.
I came back up with the guys
and we were here by the stove.
There was a stove here then.
And as soon as it starts
getting dark, we'd go in.
Sometimes we might hear a grunt
or a whoop or...
or blowing sounds like that
and that's when you know you
want to get inside the shelter
because you still don't know
what you're dealing with.
Whatever it is, it's big.
Very, very big.
We would all go inside,
close the shelter's door
and that's a log we would put
in between these trees
and then strap it inside
with cable.
And then, they would start
making their sounds.
That was in 1971, when
I first started hearing them
and we started recording them.
We were all talking about,
"Maybe I can figure out a way out."
You're just sitting there
and all of you are petrified.
You're just waiting
for the wall to break open
and something to reach in there
and grab you.
Hold you up and...
Waiting for the light to break in
through the cracks of the walls
and it never happened.
That's the strange part,
'cause you hear it over there,
but you don't see it over there.
As time went on, '72,
same thing.
We thought something might be
trying to scare us out.
Maybe this is their territory.
We don't know, we can only guess
why they were doing
what they were doing.
But they were observing us,
that's for sure.
What we do know is that
their vocal range
is much greater
than human beings.
Their frequencies go way above
and way below
the abilities of humans.
I was trained in all
of the deceptive practices
in voice and communications.
Besides the fact
that you have the creatures
stepping on each other
in their conversational turns,
you have humans, like Ron,
stepping on the creatures
back and forth,
overlapping their voices
on the tapes.
It can't be faked.
Not in 1974.
Plus, it would be
extremely dangerous
to come up here at night,
into a camp
full of well armed hunters.
They don't go to bed at night
without their guns at their sides.
It's ridiculous to think of it.
You wouldn't do it.
You wouldn't do it
just to hoax a bunch of
hunters up here.
So, from a 100 percent
factual standpoint,
we really don't know what's
making these language sounds.
That's right. We don't know.
One time I heard a sound like
a huge tuning fork
above us and couldn't
find the source of it.
It was just a big sound
like that.
Sometimes you hear
a sound out here
and one time we thought our camp
was being torn apart by something.
We thought the barrels
that we packed in was being
torn up and tossed around.
When we came out when all the
commotion and sound had stopped,
nothing changed.
Now, how do you explain that,
you know?
One time, when I was in there,
I thought I heard a car door slam.
Now, we're
eight miles into wilderness.
So, aside from the sounds,
you also saw some things
in the sky and the air?
Yeah, lights.
You know, orbs.
All the guys have reported orbs
when I wasn't here.
Me and my friend Bill saw one
night was a big blue ball
coming down from up here.
Slowly moving,
definitely controlled.
It had some type
of intelligence around it.
You know, if you were
just looking up there,
you would think it was the moon.
But it was blue.
It was moving down. We lost it behind
the trees and it went over there.
I don't know
what to think of it.
You don't know what to think of
any of this stuff.
We were in a tent
and it almost wasn't this dark.
But this thing,
whatever it was
just comes and starts
moving up behind us.
An elongated light,
probably about three-foot long,
probably about that big around
and just a rod of light.
I tell people
when I talk about it
that it's like
a Star Warssaber.
Like, glowing, but not bright
glowing. Just glowing.
And it just moved slowly
through the trees.
Definitely controlled.
And dissipated over here.
Is it embarrassing
to talk about?
No, I don't care.
Now nothing bothers me.
What makes you
keep coming back?
The mystery that's still here.
There's still a mystery
that needs to be solved
or understood.
And I'm here now
because you're here.
I've been asked multiple times
to be brought up here
by different people,
and I've turned them down
basically because
I don't want this area,
such pristine areas
to be exposed
to a bunch of researchers
just come up here
and inundating the area.
And I'm also told that the
hunters that still come up
and their offspring
could still hunt the area.
You know, they'll all kind of
keep it very private
as much as possible.
Our shelter, although, has been
dismantled now, years ago.
It's still a place to come to.
Nothing surprises me.
Nothing up here.
Why this is such a strange
place I have no idea,
but it is
a very interesting area.
We spent seven days with
Ron and Scott at the Sierra camp.
Now, although we didn't
experience anything paranormal,
this area holds many secrets.
That we know for sure.
The last case
I want to investigate
is even a little deeper
down the rabbit hole.
It's not about
a missing hunter,
but instead, about
a strange experience
one hunter faced in Lima, Ohio.
It's important to know that this
isn't a connection to the missing.
It's simply an odd event
that's worth looking into.
And it's associated with one of
the smartest people I've ever met.
There's a difference, I guess,
between being freaked out
by things that you imagine
and being freaked out by things
that you actually see.
This, I have to say,
was the most...
terrifying experience, but yeah,
I don't know why I didn't react
to it and that bothers me.
Hunting in Ohio
is awesome.
We have some great, big
trophy deer in Ohio
and we happen to have
some of the biggest right
here on our own property.
It was the most beautiful
night to deer hunt.
It was the second day
of season.
I wanted to get into
the woods to hunt.
I was very excited about it.
There was band,
over at the high school.
By the time I got to my deer
stand, I could hear 'em.
I was all settled in.
Didn't see nothing coming
down the pass.
Trails of birds, crickets,
everything was normal wood sounds.
When you're hunting,
you have two
of your keenest senses.
It's your hearing
and your eyesight.
All of a sudden, the woods
went to this dead quiet.
If I had dropped a pin,
I know that deer would stand.
They had cut off.
No birds, no crickets,
no nothing.
With the sun still up,
we were not calling for
bad weather that night.
It was a great night to hunt.
All of a sudden,
I thought I had a mote in my eye.
I even took my finger
and rubbed my eye, like,
when you get that fogginess
over your eye,
like, it's just...
I look and I'm thinking,
"What is this thing
in the trees?"
It looked like a large piece
of Saran Wrap.
It's the only way
I can describe it.
But this thing was very wide.
'Cause I'm up 14 foot
and it hung quite a ways down
and I'm thinking...
"What is this thing?"
It didn't really scare me
at that time,
until it moved and formed
the arm that reached over
to the other tree.
It reached over
about 12 to 14 foot.
And then, it all, like a
blob, sucked into it.
And it went to
a whole other tree.
I had this very important
feeling, like,
something ain't right here.
Normally at that time, I would
have probably got down
and stopped hunting,
but for some reason, I didn't.
So, as you're sitting
in your blind,
and you're looking across,
where did the blob come from?
I have no idea.
It just appeared in the one tree.
As it was moving
through the woods,
it went from tree
to tree to tree
and then it just disappeared.
It didn't continue on.
So, where it went I don't know,
but it just... Right before my
eyes, just vanished.
And I don't remember
taking the picture,
but being married to who I'm married
to, Dr. Bruce Maccabee,
he always said, "If you see
anything weird, get a picture."
I don't recall actually when either
that the sounds had returned.
It's just like I don't remember.
That's not me to this day.
Normally, I would probably
crawl down,
come around the house and say,
"You ain't going to believe
what's back there in the woods."
How much longer do you
think you stayed in the stand?
About half hour till sundown.
It was time to come out.
The strange part about this is,
Jan goes off to hunt,
we have guests show up,
we're having dinner.
She comes back from the hunt
and says nothing about what
happened. It was strange.
The guests are
about ready to leave.
Later on, Matthew sends me
an e-mail.
There was sighting
by a number of students
and faculty in the high school
band practice,
just before dark.
I'm like, "Holy crap.
Maybe it has something to do
with what I saw in the woods."
And Bruce goes, "What?"
And I said,
"I forgot to tell you what happened
in those woods to me tonight."
And I'm reading
this from Matthew
and then I start
getting goosebumps.
He said
this light appeared above
like big stadium lights
in the football field.
Had Matthew
not sent that e-mail,
I'm not sure if I would have remembered
even that night to say anything.
How many kids
were on the field?
At least 30.
Thirty to forty I would say.
And was that
the high school band?
And so, this was just before
you guys went back to school?
Yes, band camp.
- Late August.
- Late August?
So, what time at night
do you think that was?
Between six and seven.
We were rehearsing
normally out here
about six or seven o'clock,
doing our normal routine.
When, all of a sudden, there was
this bright light in the sky
that just came out of nowhere.
And we all just kind of stopped
and looked at it as one.
Where was the light?
So, the light was anywhere...
It was above
the treeline for sure,
just kind of hovering
in the skyline.
Close enough for it
to catch your attention.
Like, it shouldn't have been
there, I guess.
If it was some man made thing,
it was too low to be there.
Okay, what was the weather
like that night?
Clear and hot.
Typical August Ohio weather.
what color was it?
Candle orange.
As far as I can tell,
the thing had
no definable edges to it.
There were no,
like, dimensions.
It was just kind of waxing
and waning
till it zapped out.
You know, our band director,
he never stops for anything.
He stopped and turned around
and looked at this and goes,
"What the hell was that?"
Before I had time to even think
of what I was seeing, it was gone.
And then it was just kind of
an imprint in your mind,
like I've seen
something strange.
So, in your gut,
are the two issues related?
I often wonder now.
All I can say is it happened
within the same time frame
basically as
my experience here.
About half a mile over there,
as the crow would fly.
This is a Blackberry.
On the back it has the lens.
It's not like the modern ones.
It has a camera on the front
and a camera at the back.
Though I'd be taking
your picture right now,
but I would not be
taking my picture.
Something happened
to the camera.
I don't know what.
But there's hard evidence of
some weird thing that happened.
She took a couple of pictures
of herself before the event,
which provided a fixed point of
investigation, you might say.
And she took
another picture afterwards.
So you have the camera phone
doing its normal thing
before and after,
but right in the middle,
with this one photo,
something bizarre happened.
The picture she took,
the resolution somehow changed
for that one picture.
You could manually change the
cellphone 1600x1200,
or something like that.
And 640X480.
But it got changed
to 500X400 or something.
Numbers that don't exist.
I don't know how to
make it do that resolution.
You have to get it out
and re-wire it somehow,
or it changed the software.
But even changing the software
doesn't change the pixels
along the edge of the sensor.
I don't know how to explain
this film imagery stuff.
I can't imagine what this...
what it looks like well focused.
I don't know what that is.
I've had people
write to me and say
"What that is is that Jan took
a picture of her own hair."
My hair was back. Through the
back of the ball cap.
Where it...
It was tied back.
So, there was no part of
you that could have been in that?
No way. No way.
It'll be possible for us
to take a picture,
of her hair,
if she put her hand back there.
But that wouldn't
change the resolution
of the camera or the
byte size of the picture.
So, Jan, let me ask you,
since that has happened,
has it changed your life?
Yeah, I've never been
back in that wood.
I actually ended up buying
a Redneck deer blind.
I mean, I want something
surrounding me.
Imagine if you
saw something in the woods
some strange thing like that
like the...
you'd probably be wary
of going back there, too.
When looking at
these cases individually,
Aaron Hedges, Tom Messick,
Mel Nadel,
it's easy to pass them off as
isolated strange occurrences.
But when you look from
an informed perspective,
and you see hundreds of victims
falling in to same profile points
scattered throughout our national
forests and national parks,
you have to stop and
question the reality of it.
Is it possible for
an 82-year-old man
with heart, eye
and hearing issues
to simply vanish while
sitting alone in the woods?
Can a man with severe hypothermia
hike six miles through
a foot and a half to two feet
of snow with no shoes?
In many of the cases,
rifles, pistols and archery
equipment are never found.
These items don't blow away and
animals don't drag them off.
Sometimes, their remains are
found miles and miles off track,
where the victim had no
intention of ever going.
Often, they're found in an area
that's been searched dozens of times.
It's like they've been placed there
after the searchers have left.
To this point,
we've investigated close
to 1200 cases
that fit theMissing
411 profile.
They're not all hunters.
Some are children, some are people
vacationing in national parks,
some are just out taking
a walk in nature.
Each are beyond the scope of
normal scientific understanding.