People Who Just Disappear

Discussion in 'Urban Legends & Folklore' started by swelle, Dec 8, 2001.

  1. Carse

    Carse Devoted Cultist

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    I've just had a look at the weather for the West Highlands overnight on 29th/30th September - quite a blustery south easterly wind, minimum temperature of 8 degrees (the lowest it reached during the month) and scattered showers heavy at times. Not a particularly nice night to be caught out in the country and at an air temperature of less than 10 degrees the risk of hypothermia is very real without suitable shelter or clothing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
  2. hunck

    hunck Justified & Ancient

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    He's been missing for 12 days. If he was going to turn up alive, surely he would've by now. I think he's either been hit or ridden off the road in the dark.
     
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  3. Carse

    Carse Devoted Cultist

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    South of Bridge of Orchy heading to Tyndrum there are some unguarded drops next to the road and some Forestry Commission plantations but you'd think that if he had come off the bike for whatever reason he would still end up fairly near the road and be easy to find given he was wearing a bright red jacket with a hi vis vest on top and was riding a yellow bike. It's not completely desolate country there like it is over Rannoch Moor to the north (I've done a lot of walking on the Moor and it would be very very easy to disappear without a trace there). The bit of road between Tyndrum and Crianlarich has much the same character but is more heavily trafficked so even if he did get past Tyndrum you'd think someone would have seen something by now. Have a look on streetview if you've not already.

    I'm now starting to wonder if he either went wildly off course for some reason - perhaps up Glen Orchy or back towards Glencoe, in which case he could be anywhere - or he was picked up by someone in a vehicle...

    As you can probably tell from the number of posts I've made, something about this particular disappearance has intrigued me!
     
  4. Ulalume

    Ulalume tart of darkness

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    I found it difficult to get to grips with the story of the lost cyclist, then I googled Bridge of Orchy and discovered it's a village, not just a bridge. Makes more sense now.
     
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  5. escargot1

    escargot1 Beloved of Ra

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    Me too! You know the area well and can picture the places he may have visited. I'm enjoying your input.

    Seems strange that there are people on the ground, so to speak, with similar knowledge who can't find him. Perhaps, as you've speculated, he has gone off-course so the search is concentrated on the wrong place.

    I'm interested because he seems to be an ill-prepared cyclist who was prepared to give it a go. However, as a grown man with a service background he should be able to cope with a setback. You'd think he'd have a back-up plan: he could surely afford £30 or so for a B&B. It's a quiet season.

    My suspicion is that he's had an accident. If he changed course he could be far from his expected route so might be in a ditch out of the way. What if he was in a lay-by fixing a puncture in the dark and a vehicle pulled in and hit him? The driver might decide to dispose of the evidence by hiding the body rather than face the inquiry. Could be a truck driver on a tight schedule, or a foreign one who panicked at the thought of dealing with the police.

    Or he's abandoned his ride and decided to take a holiday instead and is staying with a mate in a remote cottage with no phone reception. That'd be a nice outcome. He'd get his ear bent though.
     
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  6. Naughty_Felid

    Naughty_Felid No longer interesting

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    I think its because you know the area and have been out in the wilds there. I'm not familiar with that area (been along that road only a couple of times), but I have been in similar places doing a similar thing.

    Also having a professional interest in risk management helps. I'm very anal about being prepared when ive been off in the wilder parts of the UK, Australia and New Zealand but have almost come unstuck myself a couple of times. Once by getting lost and twice due to falling during mountain biking and hiking.
     
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  7. Naughty_Felid

    Naughty_Felid No longer interesting

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    The issue for me is that if he did this as a personal challenge he really didn't help himself with fitness or gear. If he was doing 10 miles every two hours, he must have known he was struggling. Also why did nobody try and talk him out of it? I Did he ask anyone with more knowledge about the trip? They would have almost certainly told him to drop it.

    I've given a ton of advice about this sort of thing for years and I would have.
     
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  8. escargot1

    escargot1 Beloved of Ra

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    Here's another Scottish man who's gone missing this week. His car has been found but there's no sign of him. Sadly, things don't look good.

    Police find missing man's car parked at nature reserve

     
  9. Bigphoot2

    Bigphoot2 Justified & Ancient

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    I notice that there is a parallel route to the A82 - The Old Military Road. I wonder if he decided to try that route to avoid encountering heavy traffic. It would certainly not be a route anyone with experience would want to cycle at night in poor weather.
     
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  10. Min Bannister

    Min Bannister Justified & Ancient

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    Not only has this happened before but I seem to recall the driver got off extremely lightly. I will try to find the story.
     
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  11. escargot1

    escargot1 Beloved of Ra

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    Yup, I've heard of it in this country and also elsewhere, such as the USA. There was a famous incident in America years ago where a woman ran over a man who somehow became lodged on the front of her car, still alive, and she drove home and garaged the car with him still on it. I believe he lasted a couple of days there before dying. She can't have been in shock ALL that time.

    For a driver to hit someone and not stop is completely despicable. It's bad enough when it's an animal, but to leave an injured pedestrian or cyclist without helping them is unforgivable. Hiding a body is even more callous.

    This is something that I'm conscious of when driving on lanes at night. Yes, I'd stop and help, no matter how much trouble I might find myself in. I'd hope that any driver who knocked me off the bike would stop too. (That has happened, on a legal bike crossing in broad daylight. The driver did stop, mainly because I was sprawled in the road in front of him. He won't do that again!)

    A friend of Techy's was killed in a hit-and-run on a pedestrian crossing. The driver was never traced. They must know what happened but chose to try to get away with it, and were lucky. They should really come forward and take their punishment.
     
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  12. Bigphoot2

    Bigphoot2 Justified & Ancient

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    Margaret Fleming's house to be demolished

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/carers-missing-margaret-fleming-clear-11315741
     
  13. Carse

    Carse Devoted Cultist

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    It's possible that the driver of a long vehicle like a lorry or coach could be unaware of hitting him. If they were a bit tight pulling in after overtaking him (remember it's really dark out there, and probably raining too) then he could have been swiped by the rear of the vehicle and if the driver didn't check the mirrors properly and note the absence of the guy's lights behind them they would never know. However you'd think that someone who'd overtaken him like that would have seen the publicity by now and come forward.

    I can't imagine someone being aware of hitting him and deciding just to get rid of the evidence. Clearly it does happen but it would require them to find a bloody good hiding place in difficult terrain without being seen. It'd be easier and less incriminating to just leave him where he lay.

    It would be interesting to find out more about his background, preparations and plans. What was his level of fitness? Had he done anything like this before? What was his state of mind? Was he new to cycling entirely? Did he tell anyone he was planning this and if so how long did he think it would take? What exactly did he take with him? It strikes me now that it's possible by leaving Fort William at 16:00 on Friday (I mean, he must have researched the train times at least) he was actually planning for it to take the whole weekend...

    It's intriguing because cycling is usually seen as a fairly benign activity and people usually don't just disappear without a trace on one of the busier roads in the West Highlands. Until he turns up one way or the other, it's a mystery.
     
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  14. Carse

    Carse Devoted Cultist

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  15. escargot1

    escargot1 Beloved of Ra

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  16. hunck

    hunck Justified & Ancient

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    Doing a night ride like that on your own if you're not extremely experienced doing them is a not a good idea for sure. You need a buddy in case things go pear shaped. Surprising that no trace has been found, considering they more or less know his route, unless he went wildly off course or something more sinister happened.
     
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  17. PeteS

    PeteS Devoted Cultist

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    Me too
     
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  18. UnknownUnknown

    UnknownUnknown Devoted Cultist

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    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
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  19. escargot1

    escargot1 Beloved of Ra

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    Yup, when I only had a mountain bike with huge knobbly tyres I rode it everywhere and couldn't go much faster than that! I was always pushing the bugger up hills.

    Techy changed the tyres for German bicycle courier ones which are MUCH better for the road. More suitable for, say, cycling a few miles on-road to a canal towpath.

    Wasn't this bloke on a hybrid bike, so not much better, probably with similar tyres? Hard going.
     
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  20. Bigphoot2

    Bigphoot2 Justified & Ancient

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    Quite a disturbing report
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-41579840
     
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  21. Bigphoot2

    Bigphoot2 Justified & Ancient

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    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/police-renew-appeal-trace-missing-11371925
     
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  22. Bigphoot2

    Bigphoot2 Justified & Ancient

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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-41679631
     
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  23. McAvennie

    McAvennie Justified & Ancient

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    Wow, never heard of the Margaret Fleming case. So bizarre. Seems like the police have a pretty good idea of what has happened but no hard evidence to proceed with the obvious next step.

    Very sad.
     
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  24. escargot1

    escargot1 Beloved of Ra

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  25. Bigphoot2

    Bigphoot2 Justified & Ancient

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    The problem is that he could be a tourist who is now back home and completely unaware of the case.
    Sadly, after this length of time a happy outcome seems less and less likely.
     
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  26. Bigphoot2

    Bigphoot2 Justified & Ancient

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    It must be really frustrating for the police waiting for that one lucky break.
     
  27. maximus otter

    maximus otter Recovering policeman

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    When out of the house l invariably wear an “emergency necklace”. It’s simply a chain from which are suspended a few items that would prove useful if “the wheel came off”. One of them is a whistle. I’ve been teased about this, and my stock reply is as follows:

    “When l was working in my force’s Force Control Room a motorcyclist skidded off a major road in our county. He ended up in a ditch with both legs broken, pinned down by his machine. Despite being only yards from a large layby on a busy dual carriageway, it was three days before he was found. By the morning of the third day, how much do you think he would have paid me for this £1.99 plastic whistle?”

    As Baden-Powell tells us, Be Prepared.

    maximus otter
     
  28. David Plankton

    David Plankton Justified & Ancient

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    The whistle's a good idea I never thought of.

    When I used to go out running (which I must seriously get back into soon. I've an NHS health check next week, no doubt that'll be a kick up the arse) I used to write my post code on the back of my hand.
    No, not in case I got lost.
     
  29. maximus otter

    maximus otter Recovering policeman

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    You don't have the "Need to Know."
    One of the other items on my necklace is a personalised dog tag. Mine bears my name, address (as postcode plus house number), my wife's contact 'phone number and my NHS number. (NB: Your NHS number is different from your National Insurance number).

    For anyone who's interested, here's the necklace in question with its current range of tools:

    [​IMG]

    From L to R:

    Leatherman 6

    Arc AAA torch (long out of production)

    House key

    Personalised dog tag

    Perry whistle

    Peanut lighter

    Total weight: 87 grams/ 3.1 ozs.

    As I always carry a Swiss Army Knife and/or Leatherman tool (when out cycling), and my watch has a built-in compass, I reckon I'm adequately prepared.

    maximus otter



    maximus otter
     
  30. Spookdaddy

    Spookdaddy Cuckoo

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    I have a rather excellent Lundhags waterproof rucksack that has a whistle built into the clip for the sternum strap. Such a simple idea - one of those which is obvious...once someone else has come up with it!!

    Actually, I've just realised that my bigger Fjallraven pack has the same thing - those Scandinavians are a clever bunch of ergomaniacs.
     
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