I’ve got someone writing to me asking if I can add an MP who vanished from a military base in Okinawa, Japan. I’ve never encountered this issue before.

I’ve put an unofficial moratorium on posting cases of Americans who go missing abroad, but I realize that US military bases, as well as embassies, count as American soil wherever they’re at. But, regardless of what international law says, wherever this young woman is, it’s likely to be somewhere in Japan. And given the very, very long list of US cases I’ve got waiting to be posted, I just…don’t want to do this one.

What do y’all think?

11 thoughts on “Opinions?

  1. Sean Munger July 9, 2015 / 11:02 am

    I don’t think you should do it. The legal technicality of military bases being “U.S. soil” doesn’t change the logistical issues of maintaining cases in foreign countries. It seems to me that the rationale for staying U.S.-centered is that the enforcement agencies with jurisdiction over cases are U.S.-based, so updates you might need to make to case files would be much more likely to circulate within American networks (NAMUS, news sources, etc.). That’s not true for any case where a foreign institution is likely to be the key or perhaps the only jurisdiction maintaining files on a case. If that person is found in Japan or the case resolved, how would you ever hear about it?

    • Meaghan July 9, 2015 / 11:31 am

      You make a good point. On the other hand, I do add cases from Guam and the Northern Marianas, which many people don’t even know are part of the US. People born in the American Samoa aren’t even considered American citizens (muttergrumble) but I’d add an American Samoan MP if I came across one.

      • Sean Munger July 9, 2015 / 12:01 pm

        Yes, but even those territorial cases are likely to be handled by U.S. jurisdictions… I’m not sure the military base cases would be. Actually it’s an interesting legal question, if a U.S. service person disappears abroad, who investigates?

      • Meaghan July 9, 2015 / 12:40 pm

        Wrote back to the guy asking that very question.

    • D'Lil July 9, 2015 / 12:59 pm

      Why couldn’t the person mention the case on your fb page? Others would see it but you wouldn’t have to do any upkeep with it. Has it not been listed anywhere before, like Project Jason?

    • david July 22, 2015 / 12:21 am

      I think the case under question might well be Kelli Abad – her case was covered in US media and has a NAMUS page, so it wouldn’t difficult to keep track of:


      A simple Google alert on her name + missing would be enough to keep track of the case. Maybe it’s someone else but she’s the only one I could find who fits the details. The criteria page says:

      “The missing person must have vanished within the United States or in one of its territories or foreign military bases” http://charleyproject.org/criteria.html

      Of course that doesn’t mean you have to put anyone in – Lauren Spierer and Natalee Holloway are so famous that there’s no need for pages for them, and Kelli Abad is fairly well-covered already too.

  2. dedekeene July 9, 2015 / 1:19 pm

    OUR MILITARY SO VITALLY IMPORTANT women and men shouild have every venue there is AVAILABLE with their info posted .how else can their PLIGHT be recognized PLEASE CONSIDER A MILITARY PAGE

    • Meaghan July 9, 2015 / 1:23 pm

      There is already a website out there just for missing military people and veterans. I note their service in their casefiles, if I learn of it.

  3. Justin July 9, 2015 / 6:39 pm

    Would you post a MP who went missing in Hawaii or Alaska prior to when they became part of the United States in 1959?

    • Meaghan July 10, 2015 / 4:40 am

      It is my understanding that before 1959, both Alaska and Hawaii were U.S. territories. I’ve got no problem posting people from U.S. territories: got ’em from Guam, Puerto Rico and the Northern Marianas, though no one from the American Samoa yet.

      My father-in-law and I got into an argument recently; he claims the Marshall Islands are to all intents a U.S. protectorate and not their own country. I said that they were their own country and I had never seem them listed otherwise in all the geography books I read. He said he didn’t care about the geography books I read. This is how most of our arguments work out.

  4. Jessica July 9, 2015 / 9:23 pm

    An American is an American regardless of where they go missing. Please consider lifting your moratorium.

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