Discussion in 'Missing Persons Discussion' started by cybervampira, Jul 16, 2018.
What a loving sister!
“We saw numerous spots just off the trail where he might have gone to get a better viewpoint for a photo.”
“There are so many crevices there!”
After what his sister says about the trail, I think considering he was in a hurry PLUS possibly going into spots off trail for photos it’s probably likely that he did fall into a crevice that can’t be seen from above.
1. He was in a hurry.
2. The fast hike was just intended for photos.
Respectfully snipped for focus.
Yes, I agree. He was in a rush to find the Big Horn, get some pics, and make it back in time for his flight. It was this rush, no doubt, that left him vulnerable to error in unforgiving terrain...
Opinion and speculation only
Tomorrow marks 6 months since Paul vanished. I thought the cooler, more search-friendly weather would bring answers.
Hopefully there are more searches planned before it gets too hot again. Kudos to Paul's sister for making the trek; hopefully she has inspired others to do the same. I think it's important for search & rescue to see Paul's family make a 'boots on the ground' effort.
This is terrible news! Instead of destroying the park it would be nice if the vandals would do something constructive and look for Paul.
I get so frustrated when I see stuff like this because they can use drones to police this vast territory; flying at levels that will not disturb animal/bird life. Some of the more sophisticated drones have satellite precision and can fly in a zone that doesn't disturb man nor beast. They are expensive, but not when comparing them to the cost of person power, or cost of these repairs or the irreparable damage to the park.
As always, just my opinion and speculation only.
This does support and go back to the witness, Neil, and his observation that the man he claimed to have seen was walking quickly, "as if on a mission."
Assuming the witness account is accurate, and that this was Paul, my theory has always been that he (Paul) became lost trying to return on the trail back to the parking lot. After arriving at the Oasis and perhaps wandering a bit to find sheep to photograph and/or resting a bit in the shade, he wasn't able to find his way back...OR proceeded in a direction he thought to be the way out which was, in fact, not the correct direction. Heat of the late morning, dark clothing, lack of sufficient water also contributing to his demise. JMO
I think this is the most likely scenario, and that you are probably spot on.
Now, to find the dear man, and return him home...
The ever-elusive desire. I wish for the same.
It's been a long time since I hiked this trail. I am trying to recall if there are washes right off the trail. There are countless washes all over the desert and I'm sure there were here as well. If you've ever hiked in the desert you know how confusing it can be to follow a wash. There are other washes that branch off of them quite regularly. If you follow a wash you are unfamiliar with, you can easily become disoriented because of the sheer number of side washes you could mistake for the main wash. I wonder if Paul followed a wash and got lost on what he thought was the wash he followed in. He could have wandered for a long time thinking he was heading back toward the trail and with the heat succumbed along the wash far from the trail head.
Over winter break I hiked several parks in Arizona. They have weather and terrain similar to JTNP. At one of the trail heads I saw a sign asking if you knew your heat risk based on the temperature. Below 80 degrees the risk of heat related effects is low. If the temperature is 80-95 degrees it is recommended you finish hiking by 2 PM, 95-110 degrees by 10 AM, and above 110 degrees no hiking is recommended.
This trail head is in the park, but not in the main part of the park. In order to access it, you leave the main drive of JTNP, drive down highway 62 a few miles, and take a short road up to the trail head. Like I said, it's been a long time since I hiked the trail, but if my memory is correct, the only thing on the road to the trail head is a veterinary office on the corner. Of course more things could have been built since I hiked there. I usually just hike in the main part of the part or the south part. However, the area near the city of Joshua Tree (the city and the park are both named JT) has been built up substantially in the past few years.
I'd like to hike this trail again with a new perspective and to see if I can imagine what might have happened to this gentleman. I do believe he's out there, just waiting to be found. JTNP is a beautiful, magical place, but it's also unforgiving.
An overview from hikers along the trail, including the short drive into the park where the trailhead begins.
it's been a few days - bump you go, Mr. Miller, right back up for some new eyes. We're just not giving up.
I’m going to JT tomorrow and intend to do this hike and I’ll check off trail afterwards. Can anyone tell me where Paul was last seen and his direction of travel? I do a lot of Desert hiking and it strikes me odd that there weren’t any of his footprints on the trail. When all else fails I just follow my own footprints back.
A witness reported seeing him hiking on the way out to 49 Palms Oasis (about halfway out). This has been a bit controversial, and so to be more valid, his car was found at the trailhead of same trail. It is presumed he hiked here because of car, his wife's account and potential witness sighting. Not known if he made it to the Oasis, or if he made it back to trailhead, or became lost somewhere during the out-back hike.
IMO He made it out and became disoriented and lost trying to hike back. Maybe take a look-see if there are any potentially misleading other directions he could have headed from the Oasis.
It's great you're doing this. Be careful yourself. Keep us posted. TIA
Thanks for the quick response. I’ll use my imagination and look for places to make a wrong turn. I’ll be bringing my Garmin GPS so I can mark any points of interest. And lots of water.
Please look down between the boulders and down the ravines. This is how I believe he will be found.
Safe hiking to you.
This is the best video I've seen yet - thank you for posting!
This really gave me a great perspective on the terrain, and why Paul is yet to be found.
Thank you for doing the hike. Stay safe.
If you see this in time, I am also curious about the area on the other side of the parking lot. Rather than going up the trail, if one walked across the lot to the other side, there are some rocks there and what may possibly be a lookout of sorts? I am curious if Paul went over there and fell. I wonder if that was thoroughly searched.
I think the best starting point is where Neil said say Paul.
However, I think "what if" thinking such as the above, is very useful at this point.
(Prayers for Paul)