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Thread: TN - Dennis Martin, 6, Great Smoky Mountains Nat. Park, 14 June 1969

  1. #1
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    TN - Dennis Martin, 6, Great Smoky Mountains Nat. Park, 14 June 1969

    Dennis Lloyd Martin
    Photo of Dennis:

    [IMG]http://www.charleyproject.org/images/m/martin_dennis.jpg[/IMG]

    Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

    Missing Since: June 14, 1969 from The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
    Classification: Endangered Missing
    Date of Birth: June 20, 1962
    Age: 6 years old
    Height and Weight: 4'0, 55 pounds
    Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Dark brown hair, brown eyes. Martin's hair is wavy and he has long, thick eyelashes. He was missing one of his upper front teeth at the time he disappeared. Clothing/Jewelry Description: A red t-shirt, dark green hiking shorts, white socks and black low-cut oxford shoes with a simple heel.
    Medical Conditions: At the time of his disappearance, Martin's mental age was about half a year behind his chronological age.


    Details of Disappearance
    Martin was visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with his father, his grandfather, his older brother and two cousins on June 14, 1969. The family lived in Knoxville, Tennessee at the time. Martin was last seen between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. that day as he played a game of "Hide and Seek" in Spence Field in the park, near the Appalachian Trail. He disappeared behind a bush in the area and has never been seen again. An extensive search of the area did not locate any evidence as to his whereabouts. Martin was a special education student at the time of his disappearance. His case remains unsolved.


    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Tennessee Bureau Of Investigation
    615-744-4000

    http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/...in_dennis.html
    Last edited by Kimster; 07-31-2011 at 05:23 PM. Reason: featured cold case from 7/24 to 7/31/2011

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  3. #2
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    Forum about the Great Smoky Mountain three:

    http://websleuths.com/forums/showthr...=dennis+martin

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  5. #3
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    Today, June 14, 2007, marks the 38th anniversary of the disappearance of Dennis Martin. Even though this case is cold, it needs to be solved. If you have any information on the disappearance of Dennis Lloyd Martin, please call the Tennessee Bureau Of Investigation at 615-744-4000 or your local police station. Please keep Dennis and his family in your thoughts and prayers. ♥

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  7. #4
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    "There are three main theories as to what happened to Dennis Martin.

    The first is that he simply got disoriented and perished in the rugged terrain. The other two are that he was attacked by a hungry bear, or taken by a human predator."

    http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2009/ju...dennis-martin/

    This article is a couple of years old but I hadn't seen it before and it has a lot of additional details plus comments afterward from a lot of locals and family. Yesterday was the 42nd anniversary of Dennis' disappearance.

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    Another interesting article on the tragic Dennis Martin case:

    http://tnjn.com/2008/dec/10/great-sm...ain-disappear/

    Satch

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    Here is a more detailed story about the case:

    http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2009/ju...artin/?print=1

    Three things that bother me about the story:

    1. The scream the witness heard? WS, do you think it should have been investigated more thoroughly? What does the community think it might have been?

    2. The footprint resembling the shoe type that Dennis last wore.

    3.) The strange-looking "Moonshiner" man, a few minutes after the scream was heard. Who was he? What was he doing?

    I think the investigators SHOULD have gone back following these leads!

    Do you think Dennis got lost? Was abducted? was mangled by an animal? or fell and drowned, and why do you support your theory?

    Satch

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  13. #7
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    So far,

    I have my predictions at about 40% that Dennis got injured by falling in a pit, or drowning in a river. (The footprints that resembled the shoes that Dennis was last seen wearing, were said to be near a river.) 30% that he was mauled and killed by an animal, and 30% that he was abducted. I don't think he just got lost. Tragically, I believe something very bad happened to him that day. A question about the river:

    Wouldn't LE be forced to drain the river presuming that he did drown to find his body?

    The other 30% is an abduction. We have to assume that the location that a 6 1/2 year old boy could travel from time he was seen, to not being seen could not have been too far. We don't know the sounds that were on the mountain during the time that Dennis disappeared. How far away was Dennis from the adults were their voices and his voice would have been heard? Were their rapids that could be heard that could have been strong? So strong in fact that ANY cries of distress or communication could not have been heard?

    If anyone is familiar with GSMNP and has studied the maps of were Dennis was last seen, the stories say that the boys "snuck around" to scare the adults? Were any of the families, the Martin's, or the other non-related Martin family, interviewed over the years as to the time-frame between how long the rest of the children were gone and came back?

    Dennis took a different root, Alone. Stories are that he was told to take a different route because his bright-red shirt would be easily spotted. Who told him to take this route? How many different routes could Dennis have taken to go "around the adults?" What dangers were in those areas? Had Dennis been to this area with his family before? Did he know camping and hiking skills? I know that times were different back in 1969, but IMHO, NONE of those children should have been wandering around the campsite or any hike trails unsupervised!

    Those children seemed MUCH too young to go wandering off without a responsible adult with them. The Dennis Martin case highlights the importance of safety in numbers, To be aware of camping and hiking environments at all times. To teach children and ANYONE who has not gone camping or hiking in a wildlife area that there are important wilderness and safety skills that need to be taught and reinforced so that people need to be safe.

    Cases like these show that tragic consequences can happen TO ANYBODY out in a wilderness area within a matter of minutes. Dennis Martin's tragedy teaches us the importance of camping precautions, hiking awareness, and safety.

    Satch

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    Questions that I have

    Why isn't there an age progression picture for Dennis Martin anywhere? Or maybe a better question would be, what would be needed to create an age progression picture?

    I wonder if DNA had been used as forensic evidence back in 1969, if investigators could have matched up that child's shoe print found near the river? That's what keeps flashing through my mind, and in hindsight, something tells me that that shoe print, could have been Dennis' footprint.

    We still need to find out if any rivers and streams were drained? What, if any underground, tools were used during the investigation? I am leaning more and more toward an accident situation. I think that Dennis, heartbreakingly, fell into an underground pit or cavern, or into the river, or was horrifyingly, mauled and eaten by an animal.

    The abduction there has two sub-theories that are almost polarized IMO. The first is, some pedophile out there in the middle of nowhere just decides to grab a child. However, the contrast of that, would be the difficulty in walking through rugged mountain river and rocky terrain carrying a child. I believe that any vehicle transportation would be impossible. The time-frame just seems awfully short, within about three minutes being with family and friends to just vanish and never be found again. That would be a super fast kidnapping.

    One can never rule-out what some sicko can or can't do in a case where an abduction may be possible. But I would like to find some way to ask or revisit this investigation with some thoughts to consider:

    1.) Write ups of the case said Dennis disappeared behind a bush and was never seen again? Who saw him go behind a bush? What, if anything was in this close vicinity
    that could have presented a serious threat to a small child?

    2.) Other accounts say that "Dennis took off in another direction, alone" in the game with the other children to sneak up on the parents? As I think I asked above, or someone else may have questioned it, who told him to go in another direction? If that direction was out of sight, how is it known that Dennis disappeared behind a bush?

    3.) The lead park investigators believe that Dennis "Got disoriented, and perished in the wild." Why do they hold that theory as top priority compared to an accident (i.e falling or drowning, or animal attack) or an abduction? The family believes he was abducted.

    4.) From the campsite, how many distances could Dennis have gone from a starting point? What geographical hazards were in those areas?

    5.) How many other people were on the mountain that day? Aside from the Martin Family and their friends and children of the Carter Martin family?

    6.) Did Dennis know the dangers of wilderness and mountain terrain? His father's assertion that "Dennis really was not afraid of anything" really is a sad and frightening thought. Dennis could have ran after something anything from a butterfly to an animal cub, and gotten to close to a den, and was attacked. Or just be running along, oblivious to his surrounds, and slipped and fell being critically injured. So sad!

    7.) An assessment of the weather and any other people in the area at that time could also provide additional information. I wonder, if a human were to scream for help in a tragic distress situation, how far away could a cry for help be heard? Assume no other people around? Now how much would the ability to hear a cry for help be diminished under normal quiet conversation?

    Satch

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  17. #9
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    Hi Everyone,

    This is a text from a PDF file taken from the following Google Search. I typed the following to get it 'Dennis Martin", search.

    The first result is the text from that PDF File. It is taken from published information from the US Coast Guard and provides the closest to some main details and highlights of the search and resue efforts that the team did from about the day of Dennis' dissaperence to several weeks later. This seems to have been used as an educational resourse in schools. I have not checked any of the URL's mentioned in the article.

    It also discusses some points of why the Martin family believes after reviewing the evidence that Dennis may have been abducted.

    It's a long article, (11 Pages.) If you want to see it in it's original format in that first result, you will need Adobe Reader or an eqivlant PDF file reader on your computer. I am going to try to format the article for easy reading:

    ************************************************

    Dennis Martin Case Study

    Introduction

    Purpose

    This lesson is designed to introduce you to the Inland SAR Planning course and to highlight areas in which the course will concentrate.

    It is also designed to get you thinking about SAR in your own agency and
    location, to help us discover areas in which we might improve.

    Caution

    The Dennis Martin case was chosen because of its extreme complexity and the variety of examples it provides.

    It is often easy to get caught up in the scenario, to finger-point, and to pick at the flaws of other people; but, that is not our purpose.

    As You Read

    Read as though you are the person in charge on scene. It is NOT intended that you try to pinpoint everything that went “wrong.” Rather, use the events in this case as springboards to discover similarities in your own agency and location.

    o
    As events unfold and information comes out, ask yourself if your agency
    (or other agencies yours works with) ever experiences similar events or
    information flows, at similar times, in similar manners/conditions.
    o
    As you identify “errors,” ask yourself if your agency (or others yours
    works with) ever experiences similar problems.
    o
    Periodically ask yourself, “For the given information or conditions, what
    questions should I be asking right now? Of what should I be deeply
    concerned?”

    Inland SAR Planning Course Read-Ahead National SAR School (tsar)
    Dennis Martin Case Study (Rev 12/01) 1

    TC Yorktown, VA 23690


    Dennis Martin Case Study

    THE DENNIS MARTIN SEARCH
    GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
    JUNE 14 - SEPTEMBER, 1969


    DAY 1, SATURDAY, JUNE 14

    Dennis Martin, 7 years old, was last seen at 4:30 p.m. in the Spence Field area on the
    Appalachian Trail. Initial information:

    o
    Last seen wearing a red T-shirt, short green trousers, and low cut oxford shoes with a simple heel.
    o
    He was a quiet boy and would not normally call out, but he would respond to his name being called,
    even by strangers.
    o
    He was in a special education group at school, his mental age was a half year behind his
    chronological age.
    o
    Dennis, his nine-year-old brother, and two other unrelated boys had been playing near the Spence
    Field area. This area consists of:
    -Two shelters.
    -The Appalachian Trail runs east and west through Spence Field.
    -Two trails and one jeep road lead from Spence Field to other destinations.


    o
    His father later stated he began calling and looking for Dennis 3-5 minutes after he last saw him.
    o
    Some of the trails were quickly checked out by the father and grandfather.
    o
    The grandfather hiked out to report Dennis missing, arriving at the Cades Cove Ranger Station
    about 8:30 p.m.
    Initial search actions after Dennis was officially reported missing:

    o
    Family members and one other hiking group in the Spence Field area continued to search.
    o
    Three rangers from Cades Cove checked the area, the trails from Cades Cove to Spence Field,
    and interrogated any hikers they found in the area.
    o
    ALL RESULTS WERE NEGATIVE, NO CLUES FOUND
    o
    A heavy rainstorm ( 2.5-inches) occurred at Spence Field at dark. All streams became high and
    turbulent.
    o
    The three rangers and family members continued to search the immediate area the rest of the night.
    o
    Chief Ranger notified at 8:40 p.m.
    o
    The Park had no detailed search and rescue plan in existence.
    Inland SAR Planning Course Read-Ahead National SAR School (tsar)
    Dennis Martin Case Study (Rev 12/01) 2

    TC Yorktown, VA 23690


    Dennis Martin Case Study

    Plans for the next day’s search effort:

    o
    Base Camp at Spence Field.
    o
    Resources:
    -1 crew, 30 men with 5 leaders.
    -10 crews, 2-4 men each, and 10 leaders.
    -A helicopter will be obtained if weather permits.
    -Additional National Park Service personnel (NPS), local rescue squads, and a hiking club
    were contacted to provide manpower. They were asked to be at the Bote Mountain Road at

    5:00 a.m.
    DAY 2, SUNDAY, JUNE 15

    o
    Weather is moderate.
    o
    Nine jeeps and three trucks are used to transport searchers from the Bote Mountain Road to
    Spence Field, 7 miles away.
    o
    Searches of these trails continued, and initial searches of drainages began as more search personnel
    arrived.
    o
    All hikers and campers spotted in the area were interrogated.
    o
    A large helicopter was acquired and was used to haul equipment for the base camp at Spence
    Field.
    o
    Total number of search personnel on day 2 was 240.
    o
    Poor coordination and inadequate food and water for the personnel involved.
    DAY 3, MONDAY, JUNE 16

    o
    The trail and drainage searches continued.
    o
    Many areas searched again, especially the immediate drainages in the Spence Field area.
    o
    An intensive grid search of Spence Field was conducted.
    o
    A heliport was established at Cades Cove, and several military helicopters arrive.
    o
    The news media arrives in force.
    o
    40 Special Forces troops, self-contained with communications, are requested.
    o
    Hundreds of offers to help search were received from individuals and groups.
    o
    Two bloodhounds arrive and are used during the day.
    o
    Some overhead team coordinator positions were designated.
    o
    The Red Cross establishes a food service operation for searchers at Cades Cove.
    o
    The total number of people involved on day 3 was 300, including personnel from the Park, the local
    rescue squad, the Air National Guard, and other volunteers.
    Inland SAR Planning Course Read-Ahead National SAR School (tsar)
    Dennis Martin Case Study (Rev 12/01) 3

    TC Yorktown, VA 23690


    Dennis Martin Case Study

    DAY 4, TUESDAY, JUNE 17

    o
    Rain continued in the area.
    o
    Trail searches were extended, and field drainages were searched/re-searched again.
    o
    Another heliport was established at Russell Field.
    o
    The intensive grid search around Spence Field was expanded by adding 50 student searchers from
    a junior college.
    o
    Additional NPS teams were alerted.
    o
    50 Tennessee Air National Guard personnel with two HH-52 helicopters arrive, and join the search
    effort.
    o
    The north shore of Fontana Lake is patrolled and searched by boat.
    o
    Another heliport was established at Cades Cove.
    o
    The helicopters were unable to fly until 11:00 a.m. due to fog.
    o
    Meals for searchers began to be served at a Job Corps Center.
    o
    The total number of searchers on day 4 was 365, including 149 people from 20 different county
    rescue squads, 40 special forces military personnel, 50 junior college students, 75 NPS personnel,
    and 51 assorted volunteers.
    DAY 5, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 18

    o
    It rained during the previous night, and there is a 4,000 foot ceiling.
    o
    Four helicopters are in the area, but are unable to fly due to weather.
    o
    The grid search of Spence Field continued with 97 searchers.
    o
    A fixed wing aircraft with a loud speaker system was requested. Upon landing at Cades Cove, the
    rear landing gear hit a rock and was knocked through the rear stabilizer, rendering the aircraft
    unusable. After repairs, it returned to its base.
    o
    Small groups of searchers camped in various areas overnight (Tuesday), building large bonfires in
    hopes of attracting the boy.
    o
    Large numbers of predictions by clairvoyants begin.
    o
    An over-abundance of unsolicited food began to arrive, including a semi-truck/trailer of lettuce.
    o
    22 more Special Forces personnel arrive.
    o
    An operations center for search activities is set-up at the Cades Cove maintenance building.
    o
    The special forces establish a communications unit.
    o
    The total number of searchers on day 5 was 615.
    Inland SAR Planning Course Read-Ahead National SAR School (tsar)
    Dennis Martin Case Study (Rev 12/01) 4

    TC Yorktown, VA 23690


    Dennis Martin Case Study

    Notes from the First Strategy Meeting, Wed, June 18, 1969, 9:00 p.m. Park Headquarters.

    o CHIEF RANGER:
    -Unable to transport men; Bote Mountain Road in bad shape.
    -Need more helicopters, at least two more.
    -Expect largest build up by Sunday.
    -Rescue squads not physically prepared, but doing their best.
    -Helicopters use jet fuel, not aviation gas. Losing time flying to base for fuel.
    -Reaching cut-off point on field operations on Tennessee side; should turn to North Carolina


    personnel for expansion of search personnel and area.
    -Don’t worry about technical accuracy on grid search; keep men moving.
    -Helicopters nullify need for huge base camp at Spence Field.
    -What about sanitation in Spence Field?
    -Mud is more than wheel-deep on jeeps.
    -Diverting every volunteer into North Carolina, where the search will concentrate.
    -Another operations center in North Carolina? What about Hazel Creek dock? Fontana

    Dock?
    -Want reference map to show area covered daily so we can record areas covered and effort
    made.
    -If we ever have this situation again, we will have a press coordinator on the scene to deal with

    reporters.
    -FBI Agent Jim Ride checking Martin family background for possibilities.
    -Should pursue extra helicopter request; six or seven by Sunday?
    -If grid is negative, boy is somewhere in low country.
    -Tell select leaders to watch for circling buzzards and note any odors.


    o
    ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT:
    -Need to schedule normal daily work loads for personnel.
    -When cut-off begins of NPS personnel, maintenance gets first priority due to heavier costs.
    -We will have something going on this for weeks.
    -Boy had been covering several miles, capable of covering several more miles.
    o
    NORTH DISTRICT RANGER:
    -Impossible to keep records complete.
    -When will contributions cease? Will we be prepared when they do? (food, etc.)
    -Have plenty of jeeps now.
    Inland SAR Planning Course Read-Ahead National SAR School (tsar)
    Dennis Martin Case Study (Rev 12/01) 5

    TC Yorktown, VA 23690


    Dennis Martin Case Study

    -Another rain will “kill” jeep road.
    -Ten jeeps are maximum numbers for operations on jeep road.
    -200 persons about maximum for jeep transport.


    o
    PARK FORESTER:
    -If boy got out of Spence Field, could he have mistaken Little Bald for the field?
    -Special Forces intend to stay indefinitely.
    -Helicopters not getting in to Spence Field today because of 4,000 foot ceiling. They could
    have landed at 3,800 feet. A few heath balds in the area may be available for helispots.
    -Reluctant to do any extensive clearing on heath balds.
    -Good helispot available near Haw Gap (heath bald) on Jenkins Trail Ridge.
    -Need to designate the following positions:

    Plans Chief Operations Chief
    Ground Traffic Officer Air Traffic Officer
    Communications Officer


    DAY 6, THURSDAY, JUNE 19

    o
    All grid, drainage, and trail searches continue.
    o
    Clairvoyant predictions increase and the Martins believe they are significant. The media has many
    of the predictions and public pressure is heavy to check all of them.
    o
    All animal excrement found is checked, and all buzzards are watched.
    o
    Use of airborne infrared sensing devices was discussed, but dismissed as impractical.
    o
    The total number of searchers on day 6 was 690.
    DAY 7, FRIDAY, JUNE 20

    o
    Additional NPS overhead team personnel arrived during the night.
    o
    An additional 200 Army National Guardsmen are called in.
    o
    All grid and drainage searches continue.
    o
    There is continued, substantial pressure by the press, radio, and television media.
    o
    The total number of searchers on day 7 was 780.
    Notes from Strategy Meeting - Friday, JUNE 20, 1969, 8:00 p.m., Park Headquarters.

    o
    NPS AND SPECIAL FORCES:
    -
    Chief Ranger set up Plan A (if found alive) and Plan B (if dead). Under Plan A the boy would
    be taken by helicopter to the Knoxville Hq. of the U.S. Marine Reserves and then by
    ambulance to University of Tennessee Hospital. Under Plan B the Blount County Coroner
    should be notified.

    Inland SAR Planning Course Read-Ahead National SAR School (tsar)
    Dennis Martin Case Study (Rev 12/01) 6

    TC Yorktown, VA 23690


    Dennis Martin Case Study

    -
    Instructions to finders of boy:

    1.
    Determine if dead or alive.
    2.
    Notify Chief Ranger by most expeditious means available and give: location in detail, dead
    (radio code 10-200), or alive (radio code 10-100-A).
    3.
    Climb tree and set flag, build smudge fire, use smoke bomb (military only), or other signal for
    helicopter.
    4.
    Stand by while Special Forces rappel a man in by helicopter and secure boy in litter if alive,
    or if dead, guard area until released by Chief Ranger or coroner.
    5.
    Get name and address of person(s) who found boy.
    -Plans Chief stated the top country was pretty well covered now. Additional helispots will be
    set-up at Russell Field, Thunderhead, Derrick Knob, Gregory Bald, Eagle Creek, Hazel
    Creek, and Fontana. An auxiliary operations center will be set-up at Fontana for the North
    Carolina operation.

    -The Superintendent issued an announcement that the Laurel Creek Road will be closed at the
    Townsend “Y” over the weekend, and bona fide searchers will be transported form the “Y”
    to Cades Cove by bus convoys.

    DAY 8, SATURDAY, JUNE 21

    o
    A road block was established at the Townsend “Y” at 5:00 a.m. to control the entry of volunteers.
    The volunteers waited long hours in line, and many never did get into the search area and were very
    agitated. Two CH-47 "Chinooks" and four other helicopters airlifted 600 searchers to Spence
    Field.
    o
    An area with a one mile radius from Spence Field (approximately 3 square miles) has been
    thoroughly searched. All immediate drainages have been covered, 250 feet up on each side.
    o
    The total number of searchers on day 8 was 1400 from 35 different organizations.
    DAY 9, SUNDAY, JUNE 22

    o
    The road block for traffic control continued.
    o
    Estimates of the total area searched were 56-3/4 square miles, with 13-1/2 square miles receiving
    intensive coverage.
    o
    It was felt all logical search areas had been covered. Nothing was found. The decision was made
    to begin all over again on the morning of June 23. Search crews will start at Spence Field and
    research the entire area.
    o
    The total number of searchers on day 9 was 1,000. Volunteer turnout was lower.
    DAY 10, MONDAY, JUNE 23

    o
    Heavy rains in the area.
    o
    Helicopters unable to fly, and police dog was used with negative results.
    o
    The total number of searchers on day 10 was 427.
    Inland SAR Planning Course Read-Ahead National SAR School (tsar)
    Dennis Martin Case Study (Rev 12/01) 7

    TC Yorktown, VA 23690


    Dennis Martin Case Study

    DAY 11, TUESDAY, JUNE 24

    o
    The Federal Bureau of Investigation continues their investigation.
    o
    Two more dogs are used, with negative results.
    o
    The total number of searchers on day 11 was 482.
    DAY 12, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25

    o
    Press release issued stating the search operation will be greatly reduced as of June 26. If the boy is
    not found by June 29, the search will continue on a limited basis only for 60 days.
    o
    The total number of searchers on day 12 was 463.
    DAY 13, THURSDAY, JUNE 26

    o
    The Martins phone the Chief Ranger stating they now feel Dennis may have been abducted,
    reference a particular individual had been camping in Spence Field when the boy disappeared.
    o
    The total number of searchers on day 13 was 121.
    DAY 14, FRIDAY, JUNE 27

    o
    One of the Martin’s neighbors in Knoxville had telephoned a Tennessee Senator asking for 300
    Federal troops to search for a week. The White House was monitoring the search effort. The
    decision was to accept the Federal troops, if offered, largely due to the NPS being accused by a
    Tennessee Representative of not wanting or accepting outside help. These facts were considered in
    extending the search effort.
    o
    The total number of searchers on day 14 was 68.
    DAY 15, SATURDAY, JUNE 28

    o
    The Park was notified that the family was considering offering a reward.
    o
    Vulture activity over Sugar Cove was noted. It was discovered to be a dead bobcat.
    o
    The total number of searchers on day 15 was 196.
    DAY 16, SUNDAY, JUNE 29

    o
    Search operations concentrated in an area from Spence Field to Russell Field.
    o
    The operation was closed down by 6:00 p.m. All searchers and equipment were brought out of the
    area. The captain of a county rescue squad severely injured his back when he fell against the rear
    bumper of a refrigerated truck.
    o
    The total number of searchers on day 16 was 318.
    Inland SAR Planning Course Read-Ahead National SAR School (tsar)
    Dennis Martin Case Study (Rev 12/01) 8

    TC Yorktown, VA 23690


    Dennis Martin Case Study

    Notes from Strategy Meeting - Sunday, June 29, 1969, 5:00 p.m., Park Headquarters.

    o
    At 5:00 p.m., a meeting was held at the operations center with Mr. and Mrs. Martin, FBI Agent,
    Chief Ranger, District Ranger, and Sub-District Ranger. They discussed “where do we go from
    here?” Points discussed:
    1.
    Absence of evidence to support kidnapping, etc. FBI cannot launch a full-scale
    investigation, but investigation will continue; search will continue.
    2.
    Reward: up to the family.
    3.
    Chief Ranger assured Martin’s they are prepared to continue search 30-60-90 days
    with three of their best men, who also can handle volunteer searchers.
    Inland SAR Planning Course Read-Ahead National SAR School (tsar)
    Dennis Martin Case Study (Rev 12/01) 9

    TC Yorktown, VA 23690


    Dennis Martin Case Study

    PREDICTIONS, SUGGESTIONS, AND SUSPICIONS

    Predictions

    o
    From Jeanne Dixon, Washington, D.C.: “Look around area where boy was last seen playing. He went out on level ground, went down (was walking, did not stumble or fall) an incline and turned off to left at 40-50 degree angle and up a little, then went back down and would be underneath the
    point of incline. The area where he turned left has shrubbery and thicket. Did not see any trees where he veered off to left, more or less bare ground.”
    o
    Harold Sherman, Los Angeles, California: “He will be found 2-1/2 miles to left of where last seen
    by father or brother. Fell off steep place. Hung up in bushes.”
    o
    Jeffrey Owens, Gatlinburg, Tennessee: “Had dreams last two nights about lost boy. In dreams he is not very far from where lost. Night before last saw him lying on hill behind a log, but last night
    dreamed he had dragged himself down to the river for water.”

    There were numerous other predictions and suggestions, and the family was most receptive to
    these:

    Suggestions

    o
    A Mr. Billy Noland, Psychic Interpreter of New Orleans, La., arrived on 6/25/69; talked with the family and headed for Rocky Top on the Appalachian Trail. Here without funds and equipment.

    Wants permission to stay in area for several days. Is sure he can find boy. (Without funds, food or shelter!)
    o
    On 6/26/69 Carson Brewer of the Knoxville News-Sentinel called and forwarded a suggestion received from a lady telling us to start looking in trees and treetops -- stop looking on the ground.
    o
    Telegram received on 6/22/69 from Glen Chandler, Rt. #1, Mascot, Tennessee: “Take several friendly dogs including the boy’s own, put package containing food and plastic raincoat around their necks. Release dogs 1-2 miles apart. Be sure dogs are lost same as Dennis. By chance one may
    find his trail and follow him for friendship. Dogs could be released by helicopter. Thank You.”
    o
    Info called in to Cades Cove store, caller unknown: “Two branches go through Spence Field and come together. There’s a hole. You have to step in it to know its there. Fern growing out of it.”
    o
    Betty Phillips of Townsend, Tennessee, called to say a boy was seen by himself at Elkmont by a waterfall by Joe Jones who lives in a trailer court, first trailer on left marked private, at Walland.
    Turn right at King’s Grocery and cross bridge to trailer court. We can check this by calling Joe Makee, a preacher, at Walland.

    ALL OF THE ABOVE WERE CHECKED AND RE-CHECKED: NEGATIVE RESULTS

    Inland SAR Planning Course Read-Ahead National SAR School (tsar)
    Dennis Martin Case Study (Rev 12/01) 10

    TC Yorktown, VA 23690


    Dennis Martin Case Study

    o
    Memo to Chief Ranger from Secretary:
    -
    “Issac Welch of the Indian Agency talked with me Sunday AM at the information desk about the possibility (don’t laugh) of using the powers of an old Indian he knows to locate Dennis Martin. The Indian is not a tracker, but possesses special power and, with these, has located
    people before. It would be necessary by jeep or plane to transport this man to Spence Field. If interested, phone Welch’s number.”

    Suspicions

    o
    The Martin family had suspicions concerning several persons, especially during the latter stages of
    the search.
    o
    (John Doe), Dandridge, Tennessee: Mr. Doe was one of the parties camped at Spence Field when Dennis was last seen. He stayed with Mr. William Martin during most of the search. A lady, unknown, claiming to possess extrasensory perception, had gotten in touch with Mrs. William
    Martin through the Miami, Florida, Police Department and told her that Mr. Doe should be watched. (FBI Agent checked on this lady.)
    o
    Mrs. Martin felt that the lady in Miami and Mr. Doe, or others, could possibly have taken Dennis for reasons unknown.
    o
    Carter Martin, other Martin camped at Spence Field: Could someone have gotten the two Martin families mixed up and “kidnapped” the wrong boy?
    o
    As stated before the FBI has no evidence to start any large investigation on any of this. The fact should be noted the family may be avoiding acceptance of the possibility the boy will never be accounted for.

    On-line maps available (as of 12/01/01) include:

    hxxp://www.nps.gov/grsm/ppmaps/grsmmap1.pdf (park map)
    hxxp://www.nps.gov/grsm/ppmaps/grsmmap4.pdf (trail maps)

    Inland SAR Planning Course Read-Ahead National SAR School (tsar)
    Dennis Martin Case Study (Rev 12/01) 11

    TC Yorktown, VA 23690


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  19. #10
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    Questions?

    1.) When the above article talks about drainage, does that mean that rivers and streams were drained bone dry? What does this process involve in draining a river or stream and how long (on average) would that take? How many rivers and streams are in the area?

    2.) If draining involves all water being removed there would have had to have been some remains of some sort, if sadly Dennis had fallen and drowned.

    3.) How were cliffs and canyons searched?

    4.) I always thought an abduction was possible, but the least likely scenario, because it would be difficult to take a kid and navigate through rough terrain without a vehicle.

    BUT

    4.b) I did NOT know about the jeep road that lead to other areas. How far would Dennis have had to have traveled to reach the jeep round? My fear of an abduction has now been raised, because we know that Dennis would respond to strangers and if he could have been walking along the road and some sick pedophile tragically offered him a ride, or candy or something, than that would tragically explain why no clues of Dennis Martin have never been found.

    5.) The animal attack is possible, but it sounds like if that were the case, isn't it true that most wildlife predators only carry their prey maybe about 100-300 yards from a kill? (I read that somewhere, I don't remember where.) I know that this is kind of of morbid thought, wouldn't you think that if an animal were to maul a human and eat the remains that some parts of the body would still be found? Unless the animal were to carry it's prey back to a live den, which would be heavily guarded by the parents of the wildlife. Therefore, I don't think any rescue people would go directly into a live animal den.

    6.) Note that the article above does not mention the mysterious shoe-print of the Oxford type shoe several days into the search. Nor does it mention the "scream" the witness heard, or the unkempt man the same witness saw, much later that evening. The shoe-print estimated to be between 2.5-3 miles from where Dennis was last seen. The scream and unkempt man about 7-9 miles from where Dennis was last seen.

    What are everyone's thoughts?

    Satch

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  21. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satch View Post
    Questions?

    1.) When the above article talks about drainage, does that mean that rivers and streams were drained bone dry? What does this process involve in draining a river or stream and how long (on average) would that take? How many rivers and streams are in the area?
    No, they are talking about searching creeks and streams in the area. They should have called it the drainage area or watershed. Here's a link to a better definition.
    http://www.expertglossary.com/water/...-drainage-area

    Quote Originally Posted by Satch View Post
    What are everyone's thoughts?

    Satch
    I still tend towards Dennis falling into a creek or stream and being washed away as the most likely possibility. The heavy rains later that evening may have carried his body miles from where he fell in. Please note, I am not familiar with the area in question. I don't know how large the creeks and streams in the area are. That the Park Rangers consider his being washed away as likely makes me think they must be of fair size. Possibly Dennis' body became snagged on submerged brush or some other underwater object which kept his body from surfacing. The rain would have made the creeks muddy, obscuring anything below the surface. I've been trying to look over the area using Google Maps, but I'm not having much luck. I'm on dialup, which makes things slow. Perhaps someone with cable would have better luck.
    I think the heavy rains that night really ruined things for the searchers. Quite possibly washing away any indications of what happened.
    Last edited by Bargle; 07-23-2011 at 06:04 PM. Reason: Remove unnecessary quote.
    If coincidence never happened, there wouldn't be a word for it.

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  23. #12
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    Here's a link to a photo gallery about the search. #3 shows the field and surrounding area. You can see how thick the woods and brush become not far from the camp. It wouldn't take Dennis very long to walk or run out of sight.
    http://www.knoxnews.com/photos/galle...section_header

    Here's a link one of the maps in the case study. The original link no longer works.
    http://web.archive.org/web/200303080...s/grsmmap4.pdf
    If coincidence never happened, there wouldn't be a word for it.

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  25. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bargle View Post
    No, they are talking about searching creeks and streams in the area. They should have called it the drainage area or watershed. Here's a link to a better definition.
    http://www.expertglossary.com/water/...-drainage-area



    I still tend towards Dennis falling into a creek or stream and being washed away as the most likely possibility. The heavy rains later that evening may have carried his body miles from where he fell in. Please note, I am not familiar with the area in question. I don't know how large the creeks and streams in the area are. That the Park Rangers consider his being washed away as likely makes me think they must be of fair size. Possibly Dennis' body became snagged on submerged brush or some other underwater object which kept his body from surfacing. The rain would have made the creeks muddy, obscuring anything below the surface. I've been trying to look over the area using Google Maps, but I'm not having much luck. I'm on dialup, which makes things slow. Perhaps someone with cable would have better luck.
    I think the heavy rains that night really ruined things for the searchers. Quite possibly washing away any indications of what happened.
    Thanks for the clarification. That moves me back up to thinking an accident or injury situation.

    Satch

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  27. #14
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    Wow it's been a while since I heard Dennis' name. I was 7 yrs old when he disappeared and every so often since then I've heard bits and pieces about his case. I didn't realize WS had a thread for him. I wish his case could be solved.
    Last edited by christee; 07-23-2011 at 10:19 PM.


    In The Forest With The Top Down

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  29. #15
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    Here's another link to info about Dennis (I don't think it's been posted):

    http://tnmissing.org/topic/482/Littl...orever-Changed


    In The Forest With The Top Down

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  31. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bargle View Post
    Here's a link to a photo gallery about the search. #3 shows the field and surrounding area. You can see how thick the woods and brush become not far from the camp. It wouldn't take Dennis very long to walk or run out of sight.
    http://www.knoxnews.com/photos/galle...section_header

    Here's a link one of the maps in the case study. The original link no longer works.
    http://web.archive.org/web/200303080...s/grsmmap4.pdf
    WOW!

    Everyone take a look at picture #3. This is my first view of the amount of trees and wooded area in that picture, and it is jaw-dropping to me how easily even some adults, let alone a 6-year old child could get lost in minutes.

    It also reinforces my belief that none of those children should have been left unsupervised! Sadly, I think many children may have mistaken those wilderness type woods for a massive playground area. The Park Personnel, I recall talked about many dangers involving both animals and rough terrain that inexperienced hikers and campers may not have seen.

    Satch

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  33. #17
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    Yes, one of the problems with the search was inexperienced searchers getting injured and having to be aided. That's one of the reasons why searches these days are usually done by trained searchers. They're much less likely to get lost or injured while searching.
    If coincidence never happened, there wouldn't be a word for it.

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  35. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satch View Post
    WOW!

    Everyone take a look at picture #3. This is my first view of the amount of trees and wooded area in that picture, and it is jaw-dropping to me how easily even some adults, let alone a 6-year old child could get lost in minutes.

    It also reinforces my belief that none of those children should have been left unsupervised! Sadly, I think many children may have mistaken those wilderness type woods for a massive playground area. The Park Personnel, I recall talked about many dangers involving both animals and rough terrain that inexperienced hikers and campers may not have seen.

    Satch
    From what I was able to find out about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it was created in 1934 and officially dedicated in 1940 by President Roosevelt. The link below shows some pictures of the park and gives some history about that area.


    [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Smoky_Mountains_National_Park"]Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia@@AMEPARAM@@/wiki/File:Main_Entrance_to_the_Great_Smoky_Mountains_Na tional_Park_from_Gatlinburg,_Tennessee.JPG" class="image"><img alt="Main Entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from Gatlinburg, Tennessee.JPG" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c5/Main_Entrance_to_the_Great_Smoky_Mountains_Nationa l_Park_from_Gatlinburg%2C_Tennessee.JPG/284px-Main_Entrance_to_the_Great_Smoky_Mountains_Nationa l_Park_from_Gatlinburg%2C_Tennessee.JPG"@@AMEPARAM @@commons/thumb/c/c5/Main_Entrance_to_the_Great_Smoky_Mountains_Nationa l_Park_from_Gatlinburg%2C_Tennessee.JPG/284px-Main_Entrance_to_the_Great_Smoky_Mountains_Nationa l_Park_from_Gatlinburg%2C_Tennessee.JPG[/ame]


    Here are some thoughts that I had about this park in the area where Dennis Martin disappeared.

    1. How far was the Appalachian Trail from the area where Dennis disappeared?

    2. Are there any underground caves or any old abandoned wells in the park? I'm thinking of an old forgotten cave or well that could have been remembered by locals many years ago before that area even became a national park.

    3. Are there any creeks or streams in the park that flows into an underground cave?

    4. Are there any sinkholes in the park? I suspect that there could be an unknown or forgotten sinkhole.


    Now as for the Blue Ridge Mountains and Appalachian Mountains, I think this is one possible scenario here involving a child that isn't familiar with a mountain terrain.

    Say you're walking on a level ground in the mountain and you're not paying attention to your surroundings. The next step you take the ground is suddenly off level by more than several inches. That is how many folks have taken a sudden tumble when walking on the mountains.

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    Dennis is our Featured Cold Case from 7/24 to 7/31/2011
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  39. #20
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    oh wow, hubby, little one, and I just back back from the Smokys 3 weeks ago....

    this just breaks my heart --- sending hugs and prayers out to Dennis!
    "The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, and the process is its own reward." Amelia Earhart

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  41. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by GracieLu View Post
    oh wow, hubby, little one, and I just back back from the Smokys 3 weeks ago....

    this just breaks my heart --- sending hugs and prayers out to Dennis!
    and to add on to this, (after looking at search pictures), we were at Cades Coves the very week Dennis went missing (42 years later) with our little then 6 year old (she turned 7 last week).... oh goodness, this just makes my stomach sick!
    "The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, and the process is its own reward." Amelia Earhart

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  43. #22
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    Thank you for featuring this heartbreaking case!

    Satch

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  45. #23
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    I think I lean towards him simply getting lost and wandering. That would include injury, though. Those woods sound kind of dangerous with the mentions of hidden pits/ditches I saw in some of the articles. Part of me feels like (unless it were a serious deathly sort of injury) even if injured, there were enough searchers that he might have been heard crying?? I noticed some comments said the scream the one person heard was likely an owl. If a man was then spotted, perhaps the man startled the owl? You'd think if this man had anything to do with Dennis, they'd have seen the boy with him.

    I think the bones found were most likely him. What other reason could there be for child bones in the forest?? Unless there were another missing child in the area at some point, but you'd think it would have been mentioned if there was.

    How frustrating that some of this stuff was never even investigated.

    Misty Copsey | Robert Manwill | Kyron Horman | Baby Kate | Mickey Shunick

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  47. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucid View Post
    I think I lean towards him simply getting lost and wandering. That would include injury, though. Those woods sound kind of dangerous with the mentions of hidden pits/ditches I saw in some of the articles. Part of me feels like (unless it were a serious deathly sort of injury) even if injured, there were enough searchers that he might have been heard crying?? I noticed some comments said the scream the one person heard was likely an owl. If a man was then spotted, perhaps the man startled the owl? You'd think if this man had anything to do with Dennis, they'd have seen the boy with him.

    I think the bones found were most likely him. What other reason could there be for child bones in the forest?? Unless there were another missing child in the area at some point, but you'd think it would have been mentioned if there was.

    How frustrating that some of this stuff was never even investigated.
    Hi Lucid,

    Welcome! I think I agree with just about everything you said. Yes, also about your assessment of the skull bones. It is too bad that the person who found them did not initially report them A lot of the articles are running together and sometimes it is hard to keep them straight. If I remember the person did not report the finding of the skull bones to park authorities, because he had been involved with some other misdemeanor hunting offenses at the time. But one of the articles said in 1985, he told the lead park ranger who was assigned to the case about the "child skull." he found.

    The ranger went back to investigate but nothing was found. The skull bones were found I think about three miles from where Dennis was last seen. Sadley, I think they might have been his remains. OMG, I've got goosebumps and chills just writing this because it is so emotionally sad and heartbreaking.

    Lucid, do you think the shoe print that investigators found was Dennis'? The investigators did not go back to check that specific spot because they said it had already been checked. I think it might have been. I don't know how much of the rains would have washed the footprints away. But if I was on that investigation team, I would be examining that shoe print and the whole area with any other fragments from Dennis' clothes that could have been brought from the Martin home as evidence, or anything else for a possible match. And certainly that skull found should have been analyzed the same way.

    I do think that the scream heard by the witness and the strange man he saw are not likely related to Dennis' disappearance, but the man still should have been questioned as to who he was, and what was he doing. I think the scream was probably an animal. The distance from the scream the witness heard and the man sighting does seem to be too far to be related to Dennis' disappearance. I believe the investigators were probably right on this assessment.

    However, to not do more with that shoe print sighting or the skull bones found several years later, was just FLAT OUT WRONG!

    Satch

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  49. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucid View Post

    I think the bones found were most likely him. What other reason could there be for child bones in the forest?? Unless there were another missing child in the area at some point, but you'd think it would have been mentioned if there was.

    How frustrating that some of this stuff was never even investigated.
    I agree with this. I can't believe the person who found the bones could be so completely selfish as to not report it.

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