Interesting article from the BBC about why and how people disappear

Thought I’d share this BBC article, which was prompted by the police locating a man who disappeared in 2015. They found him alive and well, living in the woods near a town called Wisbech in the Fens. The man, an immigrant to the UK who was originally from Lithuania, had apparently gone missing on purpose because he was being “exploited” which in this context I think means enslaved.

For the article the BBC interviewed, among other people, a University of Glasgow professor who is “an expert in the geography of missing people.” From the article:

Most missing people, she said, disappeared for a day or two. Cases of long-term missing people were far less common.

Smartphones, social media, CCTV and bank cards can now document our every move, making it more difficult to escape.

But in her study of 40 missing people, many were “very aware” of the locations of CCTV cameras and avoided travelling by bus or train where their image might be caught on camera.

“It surprised us how, in the midst of a crisis and when big emotions are happening, these people managed to navigate such things,” said Prof Parr.

“People are incredibly resourceful.”

Prof Parr said many of those who had disappeared kept moving while missing.

Far more rare, she said, were cases of people “making home”, whether in a deserted building or in woodland, for example.

2 thoughts on “Interesting article from the BBC about why and how people disappear

  1. Ivana Lucy August 18, 2020 / 6:08 pm

    here in Balkans many people chose to disappear during the civil wars 1991 /1995, and I do not mean these that disappeared because of war activities, but these that used war activities to disappear. Some went abroad and never called their families, some actually stayed in the region a couple of hundreds of miles away from where they lived before. And every now and then some of them re/appears for different reasons, like, 20 and more years later.
    What is amazing there is that that many people actually want to abandon their lives and not tell anyone, as well as that they do not get recognized earlier.

    • Meaghan August 18, 2020 / 6:12 pm

      My fiancé’s great-grandparents came to the US from central Mexico. One of the reasons they left was his great-grandmother had been raped by a soldier and the whole village was talking about it and she couldn’t deal with the shame. They chose to cut it off entirely when they left, never contacted anyone in the home country again. My fiancé says they didn’t want to deal with umpteen Mexican friends and relations showing up on their doorstep asking for money and jobs and what have you.

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