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  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by ValerieKay View Post
    The theory that he fell into something; a pit, cave, mine, whatever is good except...his body would never have been found. If those bones were his (and we don't have any reason to suspect they are anyone else's), how did they wind up above ground?
    That's a good point. If you saw my earlier post, I believed that those bones were Dennis' by about 60%. Now I put it up to 75% or more. The more I think about it, I just cannot get away from the skeletal remains as evidence that they were his bones. There were two other cases of human disappearances in the Smokey Mountains in 1976 and again in 1981.

    Trenny Gibson in 1976

    Thelma Pauline Melton in 1981

    Dennis Martin vanished in 1969 and the reports of the skeletal remains specifically said a "small child." and that this was found a few years after Dennis vanished. The exact year would be best for historical reference. However, a few years later, would probably be between 1971-1974 in that range. Way before the other two disappearances. Trenny Gibson was 16, but 1976 is a little too far from 1969 to represent "a few years later."

    The ultimate question I guess for the Webslueths forum would be, could this man who claimed to have found the skull bones come to Webslueths here to post anonymously and talk in more detail about the experience? I would hope that he would not be chastised for not reporting the skull, until 1985. It just seems that he holds one of the keys to the strongest piece of physical evidence in this case. Very powerful evidence. And since he waited until 1985 to report the find, I think the details that the man would have could be of incredible importance and insight. Given the magnetite of this case, maybe some of the details may be a little hazy, but there are at least generalizations that I am sure this person has never forgotten.

    The only thing I could guess would be Dennis' body going from below ground to above ground might be weathering erosion. However, that would be a lot of erosion over an approximate five year period of time. From a scientific perspective, I don't know how long it would take for a body to decompose to a skeletal structure. (Sorry for the morbid details.) Bad weather over time would have certainly hastened the process.

    I think the main focuss is the skeleton as evidence and any possible relationship to the Oxford Shoe print in terms of distance and time elements. The questions raised by the poster above are outstanding!

    Satch


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  3. #47
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    Here is Wikipedia information about Spense Field and Tremont, which I assume is part of Tremont's Big Hollow. Note that Wikipedia is not always the most accurate because anyone can add to the database, but at least it might be a good starting resource:

    Spense Field: Spence Field - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Tremont: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tremont,_Tennessee

    Satch
    Last edited by KateB; 04-03-2015 at 04:54 PM. Reason: repair url tag.


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  5. #48
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    This link below shows a picture of one of the Spense Field shelters, and a very brief, slightly inaccurate account of the case. It states that the other Martin children, the Carter Martin Family were cousins. Other accounts say that the Dennis Martin family met them on the mountain, but were not related.

    The picture of the shelter does not take into account the vastly wooded area and the thicket of these areas. It seems to imply that the children went around the shelter and Dennis, "never returned from his side of the shelter." This is a contradiction to him disappearing behind a bush or brush. It does however say that the shelter has since been replaced with a much larger one.

    http://activerain.com/blogsview/7106...-national-park

    Satch


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  7. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satch View Post
    Foliage is deep thicket of trees, flowers and terrain that is bunched together, and he claims that when you go off the trail if you are not careful, there are some areas of foliage that actually have deep holes and caverns.
    I just thought of something that wasn't considered. Now when you walk in a mountain terrain, you have to be careful walking through foliage. Snakes, especially venomous snakes, are known to hide in the foliage.

    One possible scenario here is that he could have accidently been bitten by a venomous snake hidden in the foliage.


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  9. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by nerosleuth View Post
    I just thought of something that wasn't considered. Now when you walk in a mountain terrain, you have to be careful walking through foliage. Snakes, especially venomous snakes, are known to hide in the foliage.

    One possible scenario here is that he could have accidentally been bitten by a venomous snake hidden in the foliage.
    Yes,

    I have heard there are poisonous snakes in the area, and tragically, if Dennis was running along as part of a joke to get as far away from the adults as possible, he could have yelled, or cried out and not be heard. He also could have cried out and not have have been heard if a strong wind, or rushing creek drowned out his cries for help, just running or walking around, normally.

    On average, how long would it take a person to die from a venomous snake bite if help is not reached and the poison is not extracted from the body?

    Satch


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  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satch View Post
    Yes,

    I have heard there are poisonous snakes in the area, and tragically, if Dennis was running along as part of a joke to get as far away from the adults as possible, he could have yelled, or cried out and not be heard. He also could have cried out and not have have been heard if a strong wind, or rushing creek drowned out his cries for help, just running or walking around, normally.

    On average, how long would it take a person to die from a venomous snake bite if help is not reached and the poison is not extracted from the body?

    Satch
    Depends on the snake and where on the body they're bitten. If he had been with someone when he was bit, there most likely would have been time to get help. But if he did get bit he may have been in too much pain to walk back, or got scared and ran further away.


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  13. #52
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    I don't think the boy's disappearance had anything to do with him coming in contact with an animal (bear, cougar, snake, etc.). If such an encounter took place, his body would no doubt have been found in that immediate area. In addition, the sound of an attack by a large animal should have resulted in enough noise to have been heard by the family members and others who may have been closeby.

    The Smokey Mountains bring many people to that location. Most are visitors there to take in the wonder of it all, but there are those who use such settings for their criminal activities. The outdoors - especially in a place as large as the Smokies - provide those who think in such ways as a better place to abduct a child than a shopping mall or a playground. I tend to think abduction when no body is found after a certain period of time. I really doubt the story of the guy who said he came across a child's skeleton years later, but was afraid to admit it because he was there doing something illegal. If he had that kind of a find, all he had to say was that he was there just enjoying the park.

    I don't know if this is still the case (or was in 1969), but the park has used persons who were incarcerated in the area to perform clean-up and similar duties there. I assume such individuals were not being incarcerated for a violent offense, but it's just an example of persons of a criminal mindset being mixed into that setting.


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  15. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cincinnati Kid View Post
    I don't think the boy's disappearance had anything to do with him coming in contact with an animal (bear, cougar, snake, etc.). If such an encounter took place, his body would no doubt have been found in that immediate area. In addition, the sound of an attack by a large animal should have resulted in enough noise to have been heard by the family members and others who may have been closeby.

    The Smokey Mountains bring many people to that location. Most are visitors there to take in the wonder of it all, but there are those who use such settings for their criminal activities. The outdoors - especially in a place as large as the Smokies - provide those who think in such ways as a better place to abduct a child than a shopping mall or a playground. I tend to think abduction when no body is found after a certain period of time. I really doubt the story of the guy who said he came across a child's skeleton years later, but was afraid to admit it because he was there doing something illegal. If he had that kind of a find, all he had to say was that he was there just enjoying the park.

    I don't know if this is still the case (or was in 1969), but the park has used persons who were incarcerated in the area to perform clean-up and similar duties there. I assume such individuals were not being incarcerated for a violent offense, but it's just an example of persons of a criminal mindset being mixed into that setting.
    Good post Cincinnati Kid!

    So you do not believe the skeleton story at all? I still kind of do, because why would John Doe say that otherwise? Maybe the family does not believe it either. What is strange, and the thing that puts doubt on this credibility is, "I am not gonna report it, because I fear being prosecuted for hunting guising, a misdemeanor offense." And let's say that this alleged skeleton story happened in, 1972. We don't have an exact year. And this guy waits from 1969 to 1985 to report it? If you are going to bring about closure to a case as important and tragic as Dennis Martins' you don't wait over 15 years to come forward!

    Now we are back to the abduction theory, and we know that Dennis was not particularly fearful of people so yes he could have tragically been enticed by a stranger. But don't you think that his screams and crying would have been heard by the family members? How would an abductor carry a child through rugged terrain? Wouldn't Dennisbe crying, yelling at the top of his lungs in fear in an abduction situation

    Has anyone read Ranger McCarter's account of the Dennis Martin Case, in his book, Lost: Disappearances in the Great Smokey Mountains? I am not sure on this, but I think there was a little boy who went missing in the Smokies way back around 1919. He vanished as his mother was hanging out clothes and went into her cabin for a second. I believe his name was Abe Ramsey. But I don't know if he was found or not.

    I bring up this other 1919 incident because in my view, it does only take a matter of seconds to be unaware of something in an area as vast as the Great Smokey Mountains. It would also be interesting to learn the nature and extent of Dennis' disability. If he was diagnosed with a learning disability, I know someone, who also as a visual perception deficit. This is when people can't judge distances, directions, and places in their mind in relation to their environment. In other words, they have no "Mental Map Abilities."

    Every time I look at the millions of trees in the Smokies, those areas are so dense with thicket that a small child could very easily become lost just by naturally walking around. Now if a person has some kind of visual perception impairment, just magnify the difficulty that they would have getting around from place to place. And now picture them doing the same thing in bad weather. Now account for their vulnerability to environmental hazards and potentially crazy people who might be in the area. All of these are serious concerns in this very sad case.

    Cincinnati Kid, what's your take on the shoe print, and the scream the witness heard several hours later on the day Dennis vanished? What about the unkempt man the witness saw?

    Satch


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  17. #54
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    Satch -

    Thanks for your comments.

    No. I don't believe the skeleton story. I think the guy that claimed it was just trying to build himself up.

    The child falling into a stream or something similar is possible given the reports of such dangers in that area. I go with the abduction theory mainly because no body or clothing was ever found in all these years. Certainly, there is the question of how someone would get the child out of the area. However, a person (or persons) who chose to do something like that could have planned it in advance. This isn't to say someone targeted the Martin child ahead of time, but predators are much like sharks or other animals who seek prey. They place themselves in certain areas and wait for opportunity. Although the disappearance of Trenny Gibson over seven years later is probably a better example of abduction, it tends to show me that such criminal activity can take place in the Smokey Mountains. Such a criminal mind may also have taken something to take the body away from the area such as canvas which to others might just seem like a rolled-up tent or other camping equipment. The abductor could have remained in the vicinity for a time before going to a car or being picked up by another party.

    With regards to the shoe print, it may very well have been from the Martin child's shoe since it was said to resemble the oxford-style he had on. My question would be - how common was that style then? Could many other children of that age and size have been wearing them, too? The scream heard later on may have been connected. It was heard some miles away from where the child disappeared and a few hours later, but if you consider an abductor would have left the area, that may account for the distance and time. However, the strange-looking person seen after the scream by the witness was not said to be carrying anything. To me, that might mean that if that man was involved in the abduction, he apparently had left the body behind, most likely where that scream took place. Yet, no body has ever been found.


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  19. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cincinnati Kid View Post
    Satch -

    Thanks for your comments.

    No. I don't believe the skeleton story. I think the guy that claimed it was just trying to build himself up.

    The child falling into a stream or something similar is possible given the reports of such dangers in that area. I go with the abduction theory mainly because no body or clothing was ever found in all these years. Certainly, there is the question of how someone would get the child out of the area. However, a person (or persons) who chose to do something like that could have planned it in advance. This isn't to say someone targeted the Martin child ahead of time, but predators are much like sharks or other animals who seek prey. They place themselves in certain areas and wait for opportunity. Although the disappearance of Trenny Gibson over seven years later is probably a better example of abduction, it tends to show me that such criminal activity can take place in the Smokey Mountains. Such a criminal mind may also have taken something to take the body away from the area such as canvas which to others might just seem like a rolled-up tent or other camping equipment. The abductor could have remained in the vicinity for a time before going to a car or being picked up by another party.

    With regards to the shoe print, it may very well have been from the Martin child's shoe since it was said to resemble the oxford-style he had on. My question would be - how common was that style then? Could many other children of that age and size have been wearing them, too? The scream heard later on may have been connected. It was heard some miles away from where the child disappeared and a few hours later, but if you consider an abductor would have left the area, that may account for the distance and time. However, the strange-looking person seen after the scream by the witness was not said to be carrying anything. To me, that might mean that if that man was involved in the abduction, he apparently had left the body behind, most likely where that scream took place. Yet, no body has ever been found.
    Great observations,

    I think that it is possible if Dennis got injured or something, he could have fallen into a pit, cavern, or river that could not have been reached by search and rescue teams. This would have him falling into an underground area that might have been unsearchable. I think we have to consider areas of the Smokey Mountains that might have been unsearchable because of them being underground or underwater situations. Remains from his body or clothing may never have been found in those areas, because support crews could not get to them.

    The abduction would be hard, but not impossible. Cincinnati Kid, you mentioned a tarp or something being used as camping equipment, and this is a horrifying thought. But maybe someone could have snuck up behind him in a thicket or underbrush and maybe just put that tarp over his head, muffling his screams for help. A big tall heavyset guy could have taken him in that tarp to anywhere and done who knows what to this poor kid. They take him out of the area, and no evidence is found because there is no evidence to find. When I say out of the area, I mean out of the park completely.

    If the Oxford shoe prints were his, it was said that they stopped near a river and/or stopped near a bush. Due to the close proximity to the river, if the prints were Dennis' a drowning is very possible. And since they can't drain rivers in the Smokey Mountains, we are back to the impossible to search area theory.

    Satch


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  21. #56
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    I hate to say this but I think it would have been relatively easy to lure Dennis away. I have a 6.5 year old son and some kind of smooth talker could probably have him following him through the woods with no problem (makes me sick to think about but if the bad guy knew what a kid wanted to hear...). Even something as simple as "your mom and dad are want you to wait for them with me over at my camp. Come on! We'll go fishing until they get there - I have an extra pole just for you!" ((shudder))

    Yeah, I don't think Dennis would have necessarily been hollering and fighting. He was probably pretty naive and trusting, especially with his being a bit developmentally delayed.


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  23. #57
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    Thoughts as to how a predator may have undertaken such an evil deed are not pleasant ones, but in looking into such a tragic matter as the loss of a young child, various avenues must be examined and considered however unpleasant.

    It does concern me that areas in the ground where a human being might fall in and be unable to be found are a cause for concern. Is or was there some kind of warning about these posted in that area? Such a hazard is as dangerous as a predator or wild animal - maybe more so.


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  25. #58
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    Another article I found on-line about Dennis Martin,

    This is unique because it is the first time it mentions SPECIFIC ROUTES that the family took the day before and during the day Dennis went missing, as well as the direction that Dennis went in when he ventured off by himself. The names of specific sites in this article I had not seen in other places:

    http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com...national-parks

    Although not implicitly stated, the conclusion from this writer is that Dennis probably got lost or injured in the wilderness and died of injuries, starvation, dehydration,these type of natural causes types of things, because although there was incredibly massive amounts of help, the search teams were not adequately trained to do the kinds of preparation that they would do today.

    This is very insightful to learn, because I keep reading "new details on on old, cold, case." Maybe this new information will be of even more help to us all.

    Satch


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  27. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satch View Post
    Another article I found on-line about Dennis Martin,

    http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com...national-parks

    Satch
    That was an interesting article. One of the comments at the end of the article mentioned the possibility of Dennis being in a crevice of a fractured rock.

    I do wonder if Dennis and his family have ever been inside a cavern on a cave tour anytime prior to their trip to the national park.

    If Dennis have been inside a cave before, then it could be possible that he saw a crevice opening somewhere, thought it was a cave and went inside that crevice opening.

    Now the area where Dennis disappeared, just how far is it from the North Carolina border? Is it possible for him to have walked into North Carolina?


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  29. #60
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    The article is interesting and provides details of the group's movements leading to the child disappearing. I noted that at no time does the author suggest a predator or abuction as a possible theory.

    One question I would have for father and grandfather - did they see any other hikers or persons in the Spence Field area after they arrived or on the last portion of the trail as they reached that area?

    There is no doubt that the Smokey Mountains has rough terrain and dense areas of growth, but in the 42 years since young Dennis went missing, you would think something would have been found unless he was taken from that location.


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