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David Paulides is a former police detective who is now an investigator and writer known primarily for his self-published books, one dedicated to proving the reality of Bigfoot, and his Missing 411 series of books, in which he documents the disappearance of people in national parks and elsewhere. Paulides attributes mysterious, unspecified causes to these disappearances, while data analysis suggests that these disappearances are not statistically mysterious or unexpected.
Early life and career
In his online biography page, Paulides states that he received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of San Francisco, and in 1977 he began a 20-year career in law enforcement, transferring in 1980 to the San Jose Police Department, working in the patrol division on the SWAT Team, patrol, and Street Crimes Unit, and a variety of assignments in the detective division. In 2011, Paulides received approval for a deferred vesting status totaling 16.5 years of service for his time with the San Jose Police Department.
After leaving the police force, Paulides wrote books on the topic of Bigfoot, as well as on the disappearances of people in national parks and elsewhere which he attributes to unspecified, unknown causes.
Bigfoot or Sasquatch
Paulides has said North America Bigfoot Search was instrumental in the genesis of a paper published in 2013, which claimed that Bigfoot was real: "The world needs to understand that North America Bigfoot Search was the organizer of the study. We orchestrated the search that led to picking Dr. Ketchum to conduct a study of bigfoot DNA." The resulting paper documented the analysis of 111 samples of hypothesized Bigfoot DNA and was written by 11 different authors. On November 24, 2012, DNA Diagnostics, a veterinary laboratory headed by Ketchum, issued a press release prior to peer review claiming that their DNA sequencing study confirmed the existence of a hominin hybrid cross between modern humans with an unknown primate. Shortly after publication two months later in the inaugural issue of DeNovo: Journal of Science, the paper was analyzed by Sharon Hill of Doubtful News for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Hill's report concluded that the paper was of poor quality, stating that "The few experienced geneticists who viewed the paper reported a dismal opinion of it, noting it made little sense."
The Scientist magazine also analyzed the paper, reporting that the analyses and data fail to support the claims of existence of a human-primate hybrid, but rather, "analyses either come back as 100 percent human, or fail in ways that suggest technical artifacts." The website for the DeNovo Journal of Science was set up on February 4, and there is no indication that Ketchum's work, the only study it has published, was peer reviewed. The paper failed to influence the scientific consensus that Bigfoot is a combination of folklore, hoax, and misidentification of animals, particularly black bears.
Following his work on Bigfoot, Paulides' next project was Missing 411, a series of self-published books and two documentary films, documenting unsolved cases of people who have gone missing in national parks and elsewhere.
According to Paulides, his work on this subject began when he was doing research in a national park and an off-duty park ranger found him and expressed concern about the questionable nature of some of the missing person cases which occurred in the parks. The ranger knew Paulides' background and asked him to research the issue. Paulides obliged, and asserts that he uncovered multiple lines of evidence suggesting negligence on the part of the park service in failing to locate the missing people. He broadened his investigation to include missing people from across the world, and this led to his belief that he has uncovered a mysterious series of worldwide disappearances, which defied logical and conventional explanations.
As of 2019[update], Paulides has written nine books on this topic. According to A Sobering Coincidence, he does not yet have a theory on what is causing the disappearances, although he indicates that the "field of suspects is narrowing." Paulides advised his readers to go outside of their normal comfort zone to determine who (or what) is the culprit.
The interest in the book series prompted the creation of a documentary film based on the Missing 411 books; this film was released in 2017.
Kyle Polich, a data scientist and host of the Data Skeptic podcast, documented his analysis of Paulides' claims in the article "Missing411" and presented his analysis to a SkeptiCamp held in 2017 by the Monterey County Skeptics. He concluded that the allegedly unusual disappearances represent nothing unusual at all, and are instead best explained by non-mysterious causes such as falling or sudden health crises leading to a lone person becoming immobilized off-trail, drowning, bear (or other animal) attack, environmental exposure, or even deliberate disappearance. After analyzing the missing person data, Polich concluded that these cases are not "outside the frequency that one would expect, or that there is anything unexplainable that I was able to identify." This presentation was discussed in a February 2017 article in Skeptical Inquirer, a publication of the CSI. In the article, Susan Gerbic reported "Paulides... gave no reason for these disappearances but finds odd correlations for them. For example, two women missing in different years both had names starting with an "A" with three-letters, Amy and Ann. Polich concluded in his analysis: "I've exhausted my exploration for anything genuinely unusual. After careful review, to me, not a single case stands out nor do the frequencies involved seem outside of expectations."
- Hoopa Project: Bigfoot Encounters (2008)
- Tribal Bigfoot (2009)
Missing 411 Series
- Missing 411 — Eastern United States: Unexplained Disappearances of North Americans That Have Never Been Solved (2012)
- Missing 411 — Western United States & Canada: Unexplained Disappearances of North Americans that have never been solved (2012)
- Missing 411 — North America and Beyond (2013)
- Missing 411 — The Devil's in the Details (2014)
- Missing 411 — A Sobering Coincidence (2015)
- Missing 411 — Hunters (2016)
- Missing 411 — Off the Grid (2017)
- Missing 411 — Law (2018)
- Missing 411 Canada (2019)
- Missing 411 (2017)
- Missing 411: The Hunted (2019)
- Gerbic, Susan. "Local Skeptical Outreach & Activism: Monterey County SkeptiCamp (Feb. 3, 2017)". CSICOP.org. The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Archived from the original on 3 February 2017. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
- Polich, Kyle (August 2017). "An Investigation of the Missing411 Conspiracy". Skeptical Inquirer. 41 (4): 54.
- "David Paulides Bio". AboveTopSecret.com. 24 September 2013.
- "Board Meeting Notes (June 2, 2011)" (PDF). SJretirement.com. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
- "Hoopa Project: Bigfoot Encounters in California".
- Johnston, Scott D. "'Sasquatch Summit' brings Bigfoot believers to the beach". The Daily World. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
- "Home Page". NAbigfootsearch.com. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
- Hill, Sharon. "The Ketchum Project: What to Believe about Bigfoot DNA 'Science' (Spring 2013)". CSICOP.org. Center for Inquiry. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
- Paulides, David. "Blog #188". NAbigfootsearch.com. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
- Cossins, Dan (February 15, 2013). "Bigfoot DNA is Bunk". The Scientist. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
- Nickell, Joe (January 2007). "Investigative Files: Mysterious Entities of the Pacific Northwest, Part I". Skeptical Inquirer. Retrieved October 20, 2009.
- Bear signs, San Diego Natural History Museum.
- Daegling 2004, pp. 62–63.
- "Hundreds Have Vanished from National Parks. Is Bigfoot to Blame?". HowStuffWorks. 2017-09-26. Retrieved 2018-11-29.
- "Los Gatos author explores 'Missing 411' from national parks". The Mercury News. 2012-03-12. Retrieved 2018-11-29.
- Paulides, David (2011). Missing 411 Western United States and Canada. North Charleston, South Carolina: CreateSpace. p. ix–x. ISBN 1466216298.
- Marsh, Roger. "Missing Person Cases: Never Be Last in Line". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
- Paulides, David (2014). Missing 411 The Devil's in the Detail. North Charleston, South Carolina: CreateSpace. p. xiii. ISBN 1495246426.
- "I-Team: Strange Circumstances Surround Park Disappearances". Las Vegas 8 News NOW. 2012-05-04. Retrieved 2014-08-16.
- Polich, Kyle. "Dataskeptic: Podcasts". Dataskeptic.com. Data Skeptic. Archived from the original on 22 September 2017. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
- Polich, Kyle. "Missing411". Dataskeptic.com.
- Taylor, Dennis. "Skeptics take on God, psychics, even science". Monterey Herald. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
- "MCS SkeptiCamp 2017 – Kyle Polich – Frontiers in Woo". Youtube.com. Monterey County Skeptics. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
- "Missing 411- Eastern United States: Unexplained Disappearances of North Americans That Have Never Been Solved".
- "CanAm Missing Project: Missing 411". 2018-12-11.
- "Strange Disappearances in National Parks – David Paulides News Clips". Las Vegas 8 News NOW. 2012-05-04.
- "David Paulides Missing 411 – C2C – 12th March 2014 HR (1)". Premiere Networks. 2014-03-12.
- David Paulides on IMDb