I sit here, yet again, on the final day of my latest ‘Still Missing’ bimonthly newsletter. I sit here, thinking yet again, is there any point in me keeping this up. Is there any value in my input to the Missing Persons field?
I know that recently my interest in a particular missing person’s case was no longer welcome, and I get it-I wasn’t helping the distraught family’s quest for answers.
This happened once before in another case, around ten to twelve years ago.
I am not obsessed with this line of work, (or phenomena) but I am hugely interested. I would say that ten or twenty years ago, yes, it was easy to get an obsession in believing that I could be the one to solve the mystery. But too many failures, going down wrong paths, and obtaining no results made me realise, yes, I may have an interest, but I was not the sole person out there who could have the answers. In fact, I had no answers.
So why my interest, why is it one of the first things on my mind when I wake up, the last thing before I sleep? Why does it cross my mind multiple times a day, and why do I repeatedly talk to God and ask for help, not only in helping people find their loved ones but also, if there is a place for me in the field, where is that place?
More recently I have started to watch ‘Missing Persons’ videos on You Tube. Again, this is not done obsessively or out of an obsession. It is more to do with replacing my, yes, near on obsession of watching comedies-(to keep my spirits up)-to keep myself smiling and smirking! The amount of evening time I spend/spent watching episodes of programmes such as Cheers, Everybody Loves Raymond, Mock The Week, 8 out of 10 cats, Dragon’s Den is now gently being replaced by learning the many ways that people disappear, the many ways that people are found, and sadly, the many people that still remain to be found. The amount of Missing Persons videos found on You Tube are vast, and the more popular of them rake in millions of views.
It is heart warming to see how many long-term cold cases are now managing to be solved through the ever evolving dna matching processes. Human intelligence in this field is a definite good contribution to society’s well-being.
I can see by watching these videos that one is immersing oneself in the subject. I learn something new from most of them. I learn that we are all different and can live very different lives. It shows me how much crime and deception goes on around the world, and how people get tangled up and drawn into an energy that gets out of control.
To bore people yet again, I found someone who was missing, in a far-off country back in the early 1990’s. To me it was a miraculous occurrence, right people, right time, right place. And over the years I have tried to replicate this phenomenon in the hope of being able to help others.
But I am obviously not doing it correctly, because I am not helping. It would be really nice, really helpful, if the Universe put me in my place and told me distinctly what my place is within the Missing Persons field, and if there is no place, if that one miraculous event back in the 1990’s was a one off, and is meant to stay that way, then Universe, please tell me.
I am hugely heartened, as I mentioned earlier, that advancement in dna technologies is starting to give answers where impossibility seemed to reign full time.
Maybe I can become a Genetic Genealogist? I could do with a change in career.
Waiting until the last day of August to write this bi-monthly newsletter is not really a very professional or caring way to go about things-is it. My reason for starting these newsletters was because a few people told me that nothing would result from a single person’s efforts trying to solve one or any of the so many desperate Missing Persons true stories we see within humanity’s society.
I get it. I understand why people think this. Mass media, newspapers, publicity, all seem the way to go when trying to find loved ones and friends when they go missing.
But so many people are still missing, some for decades, and mass media and newspapers, however hard they try, still unearth nothing.
So it seems no harm, I hope, to believe that single people, with the right intention, might and sometimes can be of use.
I returned from a three month working trip to Scotland over the weekend, and en route I stopped off to revisit the woods where ‘The Man from Balmore’, (April newsetter), was sadly found back in 2011. He is yet to be identified. I managed to prompt the Glasgow Times to write another article stating it had been ten years since he was found.
I see that dear Andrea Frances is undertaking her second 100km ultramarathon on September 4th on behalf of all Missing Persons and in particular on behalf of her daughter who disappeared from her hometown of Worthing on March 7th 2018. Andrea is attempting to raise thousands of pounds to afford a large publicity campaign to raise more awareness about Georgina’s disappearance, in the hope of obviously finding answers as soon as she possibly can.
This newsletter, I know, at the moment, is a poor contribution towards helping solve these heart-wrenching Missing Persons stories we see about us, but I do believe we all have certain abilities to be of use at certain times in certain situations. Sometimes we try too hard to help. Sometimes we don’t know how to help. But if we want to help, sometimes we just have to say, I am willing, and when willing, sometimes life, the universe, circumstances, God, can then use us.
This work seems really interesting. Othram inc and Dr. David Mittelman use genomic sequencing to help solve long term cold cases, more specifically unearthing names for bodies that to date remain unidentified. David operates out of the USA.
On his allied website, www.dnasolvescrime.com David and his team use crowdfunding to raise the funds needed to do thorough examinations of cases put before them. On looking at the site you will see thirty-nine cases, of which twenty-two they have solved, nine have been funded ready for examination and the remaining 8 are in the process of requesting funding, and those funds continue to flow in.
This man is getting results, and on communicating with him, he showed his interest in working with cases within the UK.
If this subject and work interests you please do follow the links. It is explained there far better than I could explain it.
I wonder if his work could help in the identification of The Man from Balmore?
A newsletter dedicated to those people that are missing, to their families, and to those people found, yet remain unidentified. Six bi-monthly editions. This is the first edition, April 2021.
I decided to start this project on a whim, after having seen yet another desperate plea for media help from Andrea, Georgina Gharsallah’s mother. Georgina has been missing from her hometown of Worthing since 7th March 2018. She was 30 years old at the time. Georgina has two small boys that all too obviously continue to ask where their mummy is.
This newsletter will comprise of around 700 words, two foolscap pages of writing. I wanted to send it out by ordinary mail but asking for people’s address perhaps is not the right way to do things.
How can we help Andrea, her family, friends and all those other families that continue to search and pray for answers to those they love, but cannot find? Mainstream media follow certain Missing Person stories, others get left by the wayside, anniversaries sometimes remembered, but even high-profile true stories, given multiple headline exposure, even after decades, still, are not able to give answers. It would make sense that mass publicity ought to give maximum possibility of solving these horror stories, but it is often not the case.
There are numerous reported stories where missing persons are found by coincidence, a jogger out running stumbles across a body, a dog walker does the same. Sometimes bodies wash ashore, sometimes bodies buried amongst slow moving glaciers reveal those missing as the ice melts due to the rhythms of nature.
How can we access these coincidental occurrences? How can we access or ask for help from nature, the planet, God, to hugely reduce the pain and torment that those searching for loved ones experience, moment by moment, day by day, yearly and then sometimes into decades?
This newsletter series is asking, please, for the world at large, however we see it or perceive it to be, to help us solve these appalling sets of circumstances. The newsletter asks life to tell us please how we can create the right circumstances for healing to take place.
On the UK Missing Persons Unit website there is a list of hundreds of bodies that having been found, lack identification. How can this be so? How can bodies lay for so long in wait? I urge anyone who hasn’t looked at this site, to please do so, and give it a chance. The site is very well documented, and just perhaps you could be a vital link in helping to identify someone. Do we have the right to identify people who perhaps do not want to be identified?
I would say one unknown gentleman on the site could be ready to be identified. I say this because of the nature in which he was found. The way he was found, to me, says “Here I am. Treat me gently, no fanfares please. I’m tired. I want to be known again. Please find my name.”
A wildlife photographer was walking in the woods in Balmore, North of Glasgow, UK taking pictures back in October 2011. He returned home, uploaded the pictures onto his computer, and there in one of the pictures he saw the daunting image of a man hanging from a tree.
How coincidental is that? I would even go so far as to say, how magical is that, could I even say, how beautiful is that? (I say these words presuming it must have been a huge shock for the photographer).
Many people that go missing disappear amongst severely stressed situations. It is often the case that many people who are subsequently found, are found when stress is non-existent, a circumstance has occurred where there is no pressure on the Missing Person to be found. It just happens.
How can we reduce, or eliminate the severe stresses surrounding Missing Persons stories so that coincidence, the natural laws of nature, life, God-might be able to help in solving so many nightmare cases/stories?
This newsletter hopes to help make this happen, somehow.
Can we create the right circumstances for truth to come to the surface, gently, without further horror, to help heal the wounds of so many people? We can try.
Links for Georgina:
Links for ‘The Man from Balmore’.
And pages 193-196, 341-342 of Professor Sue Black’s amazing book on her life as a forensic anthropologist. Her book is called ‘All that remains. A life in death’.