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  1. #1
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    Theory #4: All Other Theories

    This thread will be for discussing any non-abduction theories of what happened to Anna (i.e., drowning, etc.). I will copy forward the relevant material from the previous thread and re-post it her in a condensed form.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Ford
    Despite the understandable lack of enthusiasm and reluctance for yet another search of Purisima Creek, I would suggest that it would still be worthwhile. Having been involved in that endeavor on so many past occasions one might think that I would be convinced that Anna is not there. Yet, I am not.

    There are areas of the creek, such as the dam near Verde Rd., with its almost inpenetrable overgrowth, that leave me unconvinced that it may not yet reveal some hidden secrets. With no organized searches in the last thirty years, might not one now be considered? Perhaps the intervening years have uncovered something that we have not?

    While I agree that a total dismantling of the creek is beyond our capabilities, could not the Sheriff’s Dive Team or Cold Case Department be approached about such a possibility, and their resources availed? Failing that, could a small group of volunteer professional divers be found that might take an interest?

    The prospect of such a search and its resultant publicity would, no doubt, be stressful to Annasmom... Yet that same publicity (failing any positive search results) may be helpful in rekindling useful memories of Anna’s disappearance. A renewed and thorough search could, once and for all, eliminate the creek as a possibility.
    Unless she surfaces somewhere else, nobody can be 100% sure that Anna did not go into Purisima Creek in 1973, but that avenue has been searched as intensively as was possible over many years, with the expertise of divers and geologists as well as family and neighbors. What was not done was to pursue other possibilities, and through the incredible drive and goodness of Doogie and members of the forum, those things are being researched now. Energy, money, interest--all are finite. To divert these resources away is (in my opinion) to repeat the original mistake, which was to search the creek instead of questioning people who might have seen something. Because you, of all people, spent the most time looking at the creek, and nobly so--nobody could ever deny you gave it everything you had--your opinion carries a great deal of weight in these matters. One cannot simply dig up several miles of creekbed, not then and not now. But if you make other options seem hopeless, futile, or even not your first choice, it might well slow or stop the present investigation, which I think you do not want. My comfort in this matter is not an issue.

  3. #3
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    I think it important for people to understand what was happening in the bay area that day. Between 8 and 9 am that morning, it was reported over 8 inches of rain had fallen in the previous 24 hours. That is comparable to hurricane conditions. Roads were flooded, newspapers showed photos of vehicles trying to negotiate city streets with flood water flowing over their hoods.

    One part of this case that has always bothered me...Why would anyone pick this day to go "fishing" for a child to take? The likelihood of a stranger abduction, to me, seems less likely.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowangel
    I think it important for people to understand what was happening in the bay area that day. Between 8 and 9 am that morning, it was reported over 8 inches of rain had fallen in the previous 24 hours. That is comparable to hurricane conditions. Roads were flooded, newspapers showed photos of vehicles trying to negotiate city streets with flood water flowing over their hoods.

    One part of this case that has always bothered me...Why would anyone pick this day to go "fishing" for a child to take? The likelihood of a stranger abduction, to me, seems less likely.
    Shadowangel, as much as I would like to be able to eliminate ANY theory regarding Anna's disappearance, I have to say that the Bay Area is famous for its microclimates, and the weather on the San Mateo Coastside that day was stormy, but certainly not as dramatic as it was in other parts of the area. The school bus ran to and from school over the mountain roads with no impediment, the horse people came to feed their horses, the blacksmith showed up on time, and the mail was delivered. Nobody even used an umbrella, though we did wear rubber boots when we went outside, because of the mud. Carpenters, however, were not able to work outdoors because of the rain, which is why Joe Ford was home at the time Anna disappeared.

  5. #5
    iNTERESTEDWOMAN's Avatar
    iNTERESTEDWOMAN is offline I'll trade you a bushel of corn for a barrel of oil.
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    abandon Wells

    I became interested in this case because the age enhanced picture of Anna looks very similar to one of my friends. Though my friend was born in 1962 and was legally adopted as an infant....Anyway once I started I couldn't stop reading.

    After reading for several hours and viewing the pictures of the farm Anna became missing at, my very first thought was she fell into an abandoned well. With all the rain at the time, a formerly insufficiently capped well could have become weaken. If the child fell through, a pooling effect of dirt/mud could have recovered the hole to appear as just another mud puddle.

    We moved to an old farmstead in NE when we first got married, and capped an abandoned well when we had our first child. Years later we received a letter from the State of Nebraska with a "Platte map" of our farm showing THREE other abandon wells on our immediate property that we never knew existed. After careful examination we located them, and capped them, but one was so disguised by brush and tall grass that we would have never noticed it until it was to late.

    I have read numerous stories over the years of children as well as Adults falling into abandon wells. In one story a grown woman was knocked out cold for several hours from the fall until she regained conscience. It was still 2 days before she was found alive.

    Hopefully this scenario has already been checked out over the years but it could be a highly probable answer. Living in a farming community with a history of raising livestock (Various wells for stock water tanks) this is a fear of many country parents in my area.

    The following is a link I found describing the dangers...though it's a MO site, the facts remain the same for any state.

    http://www.dnr.mo.gov/env/wpp/wellhd/plugging.htm

    >Snip<
    DEADLY TRAPS

    Abandoned, large-diameter dug wells and cisterns are a very real and deadly threat to the residents of rural Missouri. If kept in good repair, they present little threat to human safety, but many well and cistern covers were constructed from wood that can be weakened or destroyed by the elements. Even concrete covers are subject to deterioration. In recent years, abandoned wells have received much notoriety in the press when they have claimed the lives of children who have fallen into them and drowned. Many dug wells and cisterns are still in use. When properly maintained they present little risk, but when abandoned they become potential traps and are an unnecessary risk to human
    <Snip>

    Hopefully for the sake of Anna and her obviously loving family this is not the case. My prayers are with you on your search.

  6. #6
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    [QUOTE=iNTERESTEDWOMAN]
    After reading for several hours and viewing the pictures of the farm Anna became missing at, my very first thought was she fell into an abandoned well. With all the rain at the time, a formerly insufficiently capped well could have become weaken. If the child fell through, a pooling effect of dirt/mud could have recovered the hole to appear as just another mud puddle. [QUOTE]

    Thank you for your post, iW. I actually fell into an abandoned well myself when we first moved into our present location (a small town some miles north of the farm.) Fortunately, most of the well had been filled with gravel, so I only fell a couple of feet. However, the farm at Purisima never had a well as far as anyone knows. It was so close to Purisima creek that everyone got their water from the creek or streams which fed the creek. As far as I know, no one on Purisima Creek Road ever had a well.

  7. #7
    Annasmom, do you want me to attach the surveyors map here?

  8. #8
    iNTERESTEDWOMAN's Avatar
    iNTERESTEDWOMAN is offline I'll trade you a bushel of corn for a barrel of oil.
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    I would SherlockJr. I've been searching for hours and have come up with a lot of information that could support the fact that cisterns & wells where often built for homestead use in the area. Remember these wells where often dated in the late 1800's to the early 1900's. Once rural water was established they just abandoned these wells. (or if a well ran dry, collapsed etc. they'd just dig another) Where did the water come from when Anna Lived in this house? Was it retrieved at the creek? Was there running water in the house? Did the family receive a monthly water bill? Was there "rural water" pipelines from a nearby water treatment facility or was it pumped out of the ground from an aquifer (well)? Please forgive me if I sound callous, but there is nothing that really makes sence in the disappearance of Anna. I have a strange feeling there was nothing sinister, but a tragic accident. I also read that there are several old oil wells and mines in the area.

    Our house sits on a hill overlooking a small river. The river is less than 1/4 mile from the house, but still there where 4 wells drilled (and abandoned 50 to 70 years ago) around the farmstead.
    Last edited by iNTERESTEDWOMAN; 02-16-2007 at 01:12 AM. Reason: to add more stuff

  9. #9
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    This is the response I received. (Is anyone out there in Ca. willing to pursue it?)

    Mr.Ford
    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. All of our information is
    available to you. Most of the accurate information was collected 3 or 4
    years ago as part of grant. We had an intern visit every property where
    there was supposed to be a well and later on other interns visited
    properties where septic systems were located.



    Steven R. Hartsell, Program Supervisor
    Environmental Health
    455 County Center, 4th floor
    Redwood City, CA 94063

    (650) 363 - 4798
    joepoke

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by iNTERESTEDWOMAN
    I would SherlockJr. I've been searching for hours and have come up with a lot of information that could support the fact that cisterns & wells where often built for homestead use in the area. Remember these wells where often dated in the late 1800's to the early 1900's. Once rural water was established they just abandoned these wells. (or if a well ran dry, collapsed etc. they'd just dig another) Where did the water come from when Anna Lived in this house? Was it retrieved at the creek? Was there running water in the house? Did the family receive a monthly water bill? Was there "rural water" pipelines from a nearby water treatment facility or was it pumped out of the ground from an aquifer (well)? Please forgive me if I sound callous, but there is nothing that really makes sence in the disappearance of Anna. I have a strange feeling there was nothing sinister, but a tragic accident. I also read that there are several old oil wells and mines in the area.

    Our house sits on a hill overlooking a small river. The river is less than 1/4 mile from the house, but still there where 4 wells drilled (and abandoned 50 to 70 years ago) around the farmstead.
    I appreciate an unbiased look at these possibilities of falling in some kind of well or something but would like to clarify a few facts that might help:

    After the disappearance there were literally hundreds of people that scoured the surrounding area of the house - every inch. It was the biggest search in the history of San Mateo at the time. There was a helicopter, busses full of searchers, police on horse back, firemen, and volunteers. When I got home from school on the bus the whole area was crawling with activity. I don't see how they could have missed any kind of well or hole. I played all around that area for a few years as a teenager and never knew of such a hole or well in the area around the farm. One of the reasons why they focused of the creek at the time was because it was an unknown where as every inch around the farm was searched and searched with nothing found. The unknown of the creek was investigated quite completely by divers and scores of searchers through the years pulling apart every log jamb and has been determined unlikely.

    We got all of our water from the creek. It was pumped up to a large wooden water tank on the side of the hill. As far as we all know this was allways the source of all the water on the farm which was established in the mid 1800s. Later when more people were allowed to move into Purisima Canyon, they were allowed to build only if they found a well. That was only in the late 60's. Until then everyone, as far as we knew, got their water from the creek.

    The houses on the road were separated by great distances. Our closest neighbor was about one half mile west. There were two houses there and they were built in the late 60s with a modern enclosed well on each of their properties which both had gates and were off of the road.

    We had a septic system at the house. It had a leech field. I wasn't aware of where the tank if there was one was. Again every inch of that yard was searched and it was not overgrown.

    I hope this helps - thanks


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annasbro
    I appreciate an unbiased look at these possibilities of falling in some kind of well or something but would like to clarify a few facts that might help:

    After the disappearance there were literally hundreds of people that scoured the surrounding area of the house - every inch. It was the biggest search in the history of San Mateo at the time. There was a helicopter, busses full of searchers, police on horse back, firemen, and volunteers. When I got home from school on the bus the whole area was crawling with activity. I don't see how they could have missed any kind of well or hole. I played all around that area for a few years as a teenager and never knew of such a hole or well in the area around the farm.

    We got all of our water from the creek. It was pumped up to a large wooden water tank on the side of the hill. As far as we all know this was allways the source of all the water on the farm which was established in the mid 1800s. Later when more people were allowed to move into Purisima Canyon, they were allowed to build only if they found a well. That was only in the later 60's. Until then everyone, as far as we knew, got their water from the creek.

    The houses on the road were separated by great distances. Our closest neighbor was about one half mile west. There were two houses there and they were built in the late 60s

    We had a septic system at the house. It had a leech field. I wasn't aware of where the tank if there was one was. Again every inch of that yard was searched and it was not overgrown.

    I hope this helps - thanks
    Annasbro has written exactly what I was going to write. I will add only the fact that I have written JK, the neighbor who usually took charge of any problems with the water supply, to verify the above. Also, you might note that the entire farm (three houses, barns, etc.) is now owned by an individual
    who does not allow access and who has not responded to our letters. If anyone fell down a well, the earth would not close over them. Some sign would be there.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annasmom
    Annasbro has written exactly what I was going to write. I will add only the fact that I have written JK, the neighbor who usually took charge of any problems with the water supply, to verify the above. Also, you might note that the entire farm (three houses, barns, etc.) is now owned by an individual
    who does not allow access and who has not responded to our letters. If anyone fell down a well, the earth would not close over them. Some sign would be there.
    I was not aware of the current resident's stand on access and lack of response. How very sad and upsetting.

    Even in trying to place myself in their position, I don't understand the lack of concern or response to a missing child's family.

    That's a shame.
    Last edited by mfmangel1; 02-16-2007 at 06:33 PM. Reason: Spelled "missing" with three "s"s; I am tired.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfmangel1
    I was not aware of the current resident's stand on access and lack of response. How very sad and upsetting.

    Even in trying to place myself in their position, I don't understand the lack of concern or response to a missing child's family.

    That's a shame.
    What's more, she is a famous singer whose songs concern social issues. Go figure.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annasmom
    What's more, she is a famous singer whose songs concern social issues. Go figure.
    I wonder if the reporter who recently wrote the article for you would be willing to try to contact her... sometimes, an implied "threat" of making something like this public get's the person to consent to a search...

    I know I wouldn't like to be known for blocking an investigation on a missing child myself.

    “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sr.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagicRose99
    I wonder if the reporter who recently wrote the article for you would be willing to try to contact her...
    We have not confirmed it yet, but it appears that Mark Longpre has moved on to a different newspaper. His byline hasn't been seen in the Review for a few months.
    Order the book "Searching For Anna" directly from [URL="http://www.lulu.com/conte

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