A topic that is highly under reported are the stories of people that go missing in National Parks. There are a handful of people who have dedicated their life's work for finding answers but for the most part, the only people who know of the strange phenomena are the National Park Rangers, Rescue personnel and the family of the victims. Every year hundreds, perhaps thousands of people, go missing in National Parks but since the Park Rangers do not keep an actual count of the missing people the exact number is unknown.
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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: Luanne M. Ferris</span>
In 2015, a man claiming to work for the US Forest Service as a Rescue Officer came forward with some first-hand accounts of the circumstances surrounding the disappearances and recovery of missing people. The main claims to have been a Rescue Officer for many years but do not disclose his identity. One thing that is certain, his stories will leave you terrified to go in the woods alone. One story that stands out is of a family who was camping in a National Park. A father and mother were berries picking with their two young boys, both under the age of five, very close to the entrance of a National Park when one of the children disappears without a trace.
There is a massive search for the missing boy but there is no trace of him, it's as if the boy was never there. The search dogs just sit down and don't pick up on any scent, no trace of the boy is found. The search continues for around two months but is eventually called off. Fast forward to six months later, the family comes back to the park to bring flowers to a memorial for the missing boy. While they are placing flowers, they lose sight of their remaining son for only a few seconds but in that short amount of time, he too vanishes seemingly into thin air.
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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: Wikipedia</span>
The parents are devastated at the loss of their second and only remaining son and one of the biggest searches every to take place in the state ensues. Over 300 volunteers assisted in the search and they combed every inch of the park they could, but again there is no trace of the boy. About 15 days later, a volunteer searching 15 miles from the designated search area radios in and says he has found the boy. The Park Rangers and Rescue Officers are expected it to be a dead body, but the volunteer says the boy is not only alive but he is in good shape.
The Rescue Officers go to retrieve the kid and they could not believe what they see. The kid is perfectly clean, there is no dirt on his clothes at all and he does not appear traumatized. The volunteer says he found the kid sitting on a log playing with a bundle of twigs that are bound together with rope. When Rescue Officers ask where he has been, the 5-year-old tells them that he has been with 'the fuzzy man'. The Rescue Officer asks what he means by fuzzy, "Is he hairy?" she asks. But the kid says no, he wasn't hairy. The boy then goes on to calmly reiterate, "He was a fuzzy man."
He says the fuzzy man came out of the trees and took him deep into the woods. The boy says that he slept in a hollow tree and the fuzzy man gave him berries to eat. The rescue officer asks if the man was mean or scary and the kid says "No, he wasn't scary but I didn't like how he didn't have eyes." The boy is taken to police headquarters where they question him further, but he only repeats the same story of being taken by the fuzzy man and fed berries in the woods. The boy said that he was allowed to wander in a specific area, but when he tried to go further the fuzzy man would get mad and yell even though he didn't have a mouth.
He goes on to say when he would get scared at night the fuzzy man would 'make it go brighter' and give him a bundle of sticks tied together with rope to play with. The kid says that the fuzzy man eventually lets him go because he 'wasn't the right kind'. He can't or won't elaborate on what that means and police are left to scratch their heads in confusion. The search for the boy's brother who initially went missing before him is renewed but there are no results and the brother who was found has no idea where he might be.
He is never found.
Sometimes missing people are found, other times they are not. In some cases, the ones who are found only add more questions. The Rescue Officer describes finding missing children on sheer cliff faces or 60 feet up in trees, places they could not have reached on their own. Sometimes their bodies are found mutilated but inexplicably so. One case a boy's body was found in the tree tops, it was as if his body had been turned inside out and parts of his insides were exposed.
Another case a boy was found who had died in agonizing pain, he was doubled over in a fetal position grasping his stomach. When he died his face was left in a contorted expression of pain but he had no exterior injuries. Later an autopsy found that he was missing parts of his insides.
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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: cahalpech.com</span>
The coroner described it was as if a hole punch had just punched holes out of every one of his organs but there was no sign of exterior wounds. Some people have theorized it is a serial killer living in the mountains, others say it is aliens who are abducting the missing people and then dumping their bodies after their experiments are over. We may never know the true stories behind these disappearances, but in the meantime, do not go off into the woods alone or without the proper gear and always let others know where you will be.
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