Northern Mariana Islands

I was looking at the NCMEC site today and I came across this poster for two sisters, Faloma and Maleina Luhk, age ten and nine respectively, who disappeared on May 25, 2011. Listed as non-family abductions. I was a bit confused when I saw they were missing from “Saipan, MP.” That didn’t match any state abbreviation I had heard of.

Then I figured out that “MP” was the Northern Mariana Islands, which until an hour ago I didn’t know were part of the US. (Not sure what the P stands for. Maybe it was just that NM and MI were already taken?) I have a few cases from Guam but never a case from the Northern Mariana Islands. For that matter I was barely aware of their existence until today. But if these girls are still missing come November, I’ll have not just one Northern Mariana Islands case but two.

Makes me feel kind of ashamed how ignorant I am about my own country. When I was in college I had to look it up to see if the Bahamas were their own country or a US territory like the Virgin Islands.

17 thoughts on “Northern Mariana Islands

  1. Justin August 12, 2011 / 12:11 am

    You are way ahead of the game. More than a few Americans are so apathetic that they couldn’t tell you who the President is because they flat out don’t care.

    • Meaghan August 12, 2011 / 12:23 am

      There’s a blog called Eavesdrop D.C., which is snippets of conversations overheard in the Washington DC area. One entry says a guy on the steps of the Capitol was holding up a sign saying “Free Tibet” and one businessman-type said to another, “Who is Tibet anyway?”

      *headdesk*

      • Princess Shantae August 12, 2011 / 10:30 am

        I heard about a sign somewhere a long time ago that said “Get out of Angola!” and somebody wrote underneath it “What’s her last name?”

    • Jer August 12, 2011 / 12:23 am

      It’s that Bill Clinton guy, right?

  2. Lindsay August 12, 2011 / 2:14 am

    I believe the P is for Pacific.

  3. Karen August 12, 2011 / 3:40 am

    MP=Marianas Protectorate

    • Meaghan August 12, 2011 / 4:10 am

      Makes sense. What’s the difference between a protectorate and a territory? And what would the US want with the Marianas anyway? It doesn’t appear to have any important resources, like Nauru (once) did, or be of strategic value.

  4. Jaime August 12, 2011 / 7:28 am

    I believe Saipan and Guam are all part of the Marianas Islands. Guam is the largest island in the southern islands, Saipan is the largest island in the northern islands.They are an autonomous territory they are governed by their own people but are protected by the U.S. (Henceforth Protectorate) They were given the chance to succeed from the United States in the 1970’s but decided not to. Instead, they have forged closer ties to the U.S. The Marianas Islands were of strategic importance during WW2. The islands are where the Enola Gay took off to drop the Atomic Bomb on Japan. The greatest importance that the islands gave the U.S. was to have an influence in the part of the Pacific where the islands are.

  5. Lindsay August 12, 2011 / 11:13 am

    There is some interesting reading about the islands on their wikipedia page. Japanese soldiers were put in concentration camps there until Japan surrendered control of the islands.

  6. Sibyl Reagan August 12, 2011 / 6:48 pm

    Jaime is exactly right. The northern Marianas came under US control at the end of WWII. Saipan, Tinian, and Rota are the three most-populated of the 15 or so islands of the Northern Marianas.

    • Meaghan August 13, 2011 / 12:04 am

      That is a pretty interesting article. It kind of confirms everything I’ve thought about the South Pacific — maybe a nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there. Once you’re there, you’re stuck.

  7. Kat August 13, 2011 / 8:59 am

    I always somehow have managed to reverse a few letters and call them the “Marinara” Islands. I have no idea why.

    • KER August 15, 2011 / 11:42 pm

      because it’s good on pasta?

  8. Sharmaine November 3, 2011 / 11:24 pm

    I’m actually from Saipan and I can answer a few questions you have. MP stands for Marianas Pacific and were a commonwealth of the US just like Puerto Rico is. Military wise the CNMI is very good when it comes to Asia (China and Russia back in the day as well as Japan). The US has tried in the 80s I believe to have Guam and the CNMI unit to be a state of the US. A choice of the people and Guam having too much pride voted no. The CNMI with Guam makes up the chain of islands next to the Marianas Trench and still to this day is important to the US military wise. There are marine merchant ships always just off the shore of the CNMI. And don’t put yourself down for not knowing there are so many ignorant Americans who don’t even realize there are 50 states. It amazes me that I have people born and raised in the US tell me the wrong number of states and I’ve known there are 50 states since I was little. My reply would be “oh yeah well why are there 50 stars on the US flag?” Lol ignorance is bliss I’m a fellow American so I’m talking about my own people lol.

  9. Crymeariver November 29, 2011 / 6:37 pm

    What’s embarassing is how tiny of island it is and yet people go missing and can’t be found, no trace what so ever. Saipan is a bit of a disgrace in my opinion and I’m from there so I would know.

    No one is “IGNORANT” for not knowing about the islands, it’s a tiny piece of land with people who turn against each other for political gain and bullshit. The police department is a joke with very few qualified individuals (I mean for goodness sakes there are numerous murders that have not been solved). To be governor all you need is “popularity” votes.

    It’s an island the US got control of because at the time it was of convenience to them (for war purposes) and nothing else. It just happens to be located near the asian regions in case World War III stems along and they need a location to have quick access to military equipment.

    • Meaghan November 30, 2011 / 6:00 pm

      It may be a tiny collection of islands, but there’s this enormous deep ocean all around them. My guess is that if the girls are dead, they became shark food. 😦

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