A noted Bigfoot researcher has written a book about disappearances in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and across the U.S.
David Paulides, a California resident, came to Alcoa Tuesday to distribute copies of a new book to the media during a press conference that touted “disturbing new information” about the cases of Dennis Martin, Trenny Gibson and Thelma Pauline Melton, who all disappeared in the Smokies.
The book, “Missing 411: Eastern United States,” summarizes information from newspaper accounts and other sources to offer recaps of unexplained disappearances.
In the book, Paulides also raises questions about what he considers unusual elements of the stories.
In a wide-ranging presentation that skipped from questioning the presence of Green Berets during the search for Martin in 1967 to the content of letters from psychics concerning the investigation, Paulides alluded to what he considered discrepancies.
Afterward, though, the journalists present pressed Paulides to explain the point of his presentation. “I’m not making any allegations,” he said in reply.
Paulides did refer to accounts of “wild men” living in the Smokies but never directly made any allegations concerning a connection between their possible existence and the disappearances.
“If these wild men exist, then there is an illicit element going on that is not being acknowledged,” he said.
The author of such books as “The Hoopa Project: Bigfoot Encounters in California” and “Tribal Bigfoot,” Paulides is a former police officer.
Several people have vanished into the 800-square-mile Park without a trace. Perhaps the most famous of these was Martin, a 6-year-old boy, who disappeared in 1967 while on a family hike to Spence Field. Despite days of searching by nearly 1,000 people, there was never a trace found of the boy.
Other unsolved disappearances:
• Gibson, 16, disappeared Oct. 8, 1976, while she was on a Bearden High School field trip with other students.
• Melton, 58, of Jacksonville, Fla., was hiking near Deep Creek Campground on Sept. 25, 1981, with two friends when she went missing.