CA CA - Stacy Arras, 14, Yosemite National Park, 17 Jul 1981

Discussion in '1980's Missing' started by DayLea, Apr 20, 2015.

  1. Alleykins

    Alleykins Well-Known Member

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    My belief is the National Park Service doesn't want any bad publicity and are being a bit overly sensitive and cautious by not releasing information through FOIA. Stacy's case is considered a missing person case by the NPS, not a criminal investigation, so making the case file public shouldn't jeopardize anything, unless they're trying to cover something up, like if it were mishandled. Not saying it was, just using that as an example.
     
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  2. beubeubeu

    beubeubeu Well-Known Member

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    Who doesn't go through rough patch at 14?

    I couldn't find better resolution than this but I don't see anything like baby bump there. Looks like it's not a dress but skirt with top with wrapping or corset around the belly.
    upload_2021-5-19_4-40-0.png
    + I can't imagine any pregnant young teen, scared of sharing the news with her family who would risk to expose her round belly at the prom.
    With picture on the horse, she's a bit hunched, can't imagine how extremely slim a girl had be to not have a bit roundy belly look with that pose and shirt partially pushed into her jeans

    She looks very pregnant with that white curtain behind them, but her belly is not where the green line is but it's with blue.

    upload_2021-5-19_4-51-29.png

    With that said... she might be pregnant, we will likely never know, but 14 yo girl had to be pretty well aware of wilderness to find a place to commit suicide and esentially disappear from the face of the Earth while doing so. Very very unlikely way to go for a young girl to do so in the wild.
     
  3. beubeubeu

    beubeubeu Well-Known Member

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    They are for sure not overly sensitive and cautious.
    Paulides is a public figure, they were aware of that.
    He has his audience, they knew that as well.

    Nobody in their right mind would figure that the best way to hide some past mishandlings on their company/institution/whatever is to belittle and throw a bunch of insults on a public figure who asked them for legally available documents (which could reveal these mishandlings).
     
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  4. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

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    I found a couple other discussions of Stacy Arras on the internet. Following a link to Google Earth view of the area, the lake she was walking to was not in plain view of the camp area and it was much farther away from the camp than I had assumed. The distance appears to be nearly a mile from the camp site. JMO, that's a long hike for an inexperienced 14 yo girl to take alone in the back country.

    In addition, the Sunrise Lakes are over a large hill/mountain from the camp area. According to the files at the NPS link, Stacey left on that hike by herself. She wasn't traveling with a group of people. She did pass the elderly man on the trail.

    It's very easy to get lost in the back country of Yosemite if you are not an experienced hiker and wander off the trail. It's also rough terrain, so if you're injured wandering around off trail, it's an even greater risk.

    The park is huge. Searchers do the best they can, but victims can wander far or can fall into areas where they're difficult to discover.

    Here's the National Park Service link to information about the search for Stacy, lots of photos of the search

    https://www.nps.gov/aboutus/foia/upload/Released-files-for-Stacy-Arras-case.pdf
     
  5. Alleykins

    Alleykins Well-Known Member

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    Maybe I haven't had enough coffee yet this morning, but I'm not following your train of thought here. What does being a public figure have to do with the NPS not releasing the documents? If that's true, then someone else should try requesting Stacy's case and see how it goes. I'm betting it will be the same results for us everyday folks, too. So, I'm not able to connect the dots. And why would you say "Nobody in their right mind would figure that the best way to hide some past mishandlings on their company/institution/whatever is to belittle and throw a bunch of insults on a public figure who asked them for legally available documents (which could reveal these mishandlings)."? The government does it that all the time. And then they black out a ton of the content when they do release stuff.
    After hearing what the NPS has said to Mr. Paulides, how they've handled his requests for access to the records and to film in the parks, you're darned tootin' they're being overly sensitive and cautious. If they're not, then I don't know what is. We'll just have to disagree on that.
     
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  6. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

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    Pretty sure the documents have been released

    https://www.nps.gov/aboutus/foia/upload/Released-files-for-Stacy-Arras-case.pdf

    Sadly, many people like Stacy Arras go missing or are killed or injured in accidents in Yosemite and other parks. OTOH, a lot of them are found and rescued. S&R people have become more skilled at predicting where lost hikers may wander. Rescuers and hikers have more sophisticated equipment.

    Tuolumne River Hoist Rescue

    The back country is even more dangerous as it's huge, open and away from the more traveled areas. Easy to get lost if you're hiking alone and unlikely you'll find someone else to help you.
     
  7. Stella

    Stella Well-Known Member

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    Those aren't government documents, just a bunch of newspaper articles and photos that anyone can find on the internet.
     
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  8. beubeubeu

    beubeubeu Well-Known Member

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    Unlawful, unexplained refusal is one thing, refusing while belittling and insulting a person who makes request is a different story.
    My train of thought is that anyone who refuses such request cause of fear of bad publicity possibly caused by revealing these documents should not be additionally rude and obnoxious with it. It makes them look guilty and unproffesional and acting like that towards public figure pretty much guarantees bad publicity, doesn't it?
    For me it just doesn't make any sense: that refusal happened because they tried to avoid bad publicity, since the way they refused him guaranteed them worsening their image. They made it worse than it would be if they refused keeping things formal.
    Reportedly other people did requested her case files in the past. They were refused obviously but not exactly same outcome since with Paulides many people got angry cause of the way he spoke to him.
    US Government having ability to simply drown a person in formalities, make documments disappear, block whatever, black out whatever is all the time going out of their way to do not only that but additionally openly insult and belittle people who make lawful requests?
     
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  9. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

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    Those are photos of the teams who did the searching and maps of the different areas searched. It also summarizes all the special services used to search. They had no cell phones back then. The base camp for the search was many miles away from civilization with no typewriters, computers, etc. There's no electricity there. They used radios to communicate and coordinate, took photos and used paper maps. Any notes were written with paper and pencil. That's the file.

    What do you think should be there?
     
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  10. beubeubeu

    beubeubeu Well-Known Member

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    No, no, no. Her files are reportedly huge, over 2000 pages, unusually a lot of these, much more than with any other National Park disappearance.
    Did you by any chance stumbled on someone who was actually there, not necessarily at that time but at least visited the area and was aware where exactly it happened?
    I believed that she and the path she took wasn't visible from the camp but the lake itself and it's shore (with that lense found nearby) was. And that old man was with her, and at some point just lost sight of her.

    But if it's not even clear if that older man was hiking with her and got tired as they go or of if he was simply resting while walking there on his own and just whitnessed her passing by...

    It's a shame that this seems to be another case where strange theories appear just because there is not a clear description where and what actually happened before her disappearance.
    I doubt that anyone can form any valuable theory while descriptions vary so much that it could create a few different stories.
     
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  11. beubeubeu

    beubeubeu Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't it like that? With Camp Sunrise somewhere in that red circle and lakes in blue?
    upload_2021-5-20_2-18-24.png
    It doesn't look very far but for sure it doesn't look like any lake was visible from the camp because of that hill.

    I found picture like that (Sunrise High Sierra Camp - Bing images)
    upload_2021-5-20_2-22-37.png
    I've never been there but it doesn't look like area when sound/scream wouldn't be heard in a mile distance.

    It's certainly not very welcoming nor particulary easy to hike terrain but from that general area of three lakes and camp there are no dense woods and in more or less a mile in each direction there is a trail and lakes are relatively small.
    Of course any amount of water is enough to drowin in it if you are unlucky enough, but to drown and disappear forever?
    She was fourteen, almost fifteen not four.
    She lived in Saratoga which isn't exactly a metropolis, she knew how to ride a horse, she had at least some basic experience with hiking, she should not be unable to get lost in that area and find herself unable to find her way back or at least a trail.
     
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  12. beubeubeu

    beubeubeu Well-Known Member

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    What about for example a copy of that picture which is pinned on the map?
    upload_2021-5-20_2-50-36.png
    It's any of the three available pictures of her.

    11 days of searching by over 100 people, proffesional searchers, dog teams, park rangers, climbers, divers, helicopter and they ruled out foul play because of what exactly?
    Why do reports differ so much?
    "McClatchy News Service" reports that 77yo man met her on the trail and walked significant amount of road (20-30 min) with her, and after that he turned back towards the camp.
    Were they walking for 20-30 minutes in complete silence?

    "The man who was travelling with the packers told park officials he walked with a group of people coming from the direction in which the girl had hiked but he haven't seen her."
    What packers was he travelling with? Other members also didn't saw her? When did they hiked there? Did they meet that 77yo man on the trail? Or possibly they walked through at the time that she couldn't be there anyway?

    "Park officials have said it is possible that the girl hiked to a road and left the park. The investigators have been checking that angle too, answering queries about what they are doing with a "No comment".
    Road is not that far from where she disappeared.
    How they were able to rule out foul play?
    So it's possible that she intentionally hiked out of the park but impossible that she got lost and confused, and while unable to find her way back hiked to a road or through one of these trails and met foul play there?
     
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  13. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

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    It's not really strange theories as much as it's people sharing a lot of gossip, rumors and scary stories. Sadly, Stacy's case is textbook typical of how people get lost in the wilderness.

    Here's a link to Google Earth, to the location of the Sunrise Lakes at Yosemite. View it in 3D. Look for the green marker that says Sunrise High Sierra Camp. It's on the other side of a nearly bald mountain ridge.

    Google Earth

    Here's a screen cap in the attachment below. In 3D you can see the camp sits on the other side of the ridge from the lakes, down lower. There's no way the lakes can be seen from the camp area. The information that the people at the camp could see her at the lake was probably just a wrong version of the story that has been repeated many times.

    The distance from the camp to the closest of the 3 Sunrise Lakes is 1 mile. That's quite a distance and according to people who have hiked that area, it was probably getting dark during her trip back to the camp. She didn't have a flashlight, she probably wandered off the trail without realizing it and by the time the sun came up, she was lost.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

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    There are other photos of her in the collection of papers at the link. At the time they began searching for her, they probably used the first photo the family could provide. There were no fax machines or email back then.

    They probably interviewed her family and friends as well as other people in the group and reached that conclusion. They searched the trail to the lake and the area around it for any evidence of foul play.

    We don't know. One would assume they chatted if they walked together for a while. Always be skeptical of news reports. Reporters make mistakes sometimes. Sometimes they talk to people who claim to be witnesses and give wrong information.


    Is this from a news article? The quote by itself is confusing, I don't know who that's referring to. See comment above about confusing reporting. Best thing to do is try to read all the news stories written at the time she went missing and figure out the most accurate version.

    A reporter who claimed park officials said its possible she could have hiked out probably through that suggestion to the park official during Q&A. The park official probably said something like "we're keeping an open mind for now, considering all possibilities". They would have to do that. She's lost, they don't know where she is, they're going to keep an open mind. You might want to check the Google Earth link above and see how close the Sunrise Lakes are to the closest road, then figure out if she could have found the closest road after walking through the park in the dark.
     
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  15. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

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    Here's a video made by a hiker going from Cathedral Lakes to Sunrise Lakes via Sunrise High Sierra Camp. If you start the video around 10 minutes, you'll see the trail into the Camp. At about 12:00, he begins the video of the hike that Stacy would have taken from Sunrise High Sierra Camp to Sunrise Lakes. He says its 1.6 miles. Elevation is at 9,500 ft.

     
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  16. Stella

    Stella Well-Known Member

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    I was referring to classified/declassified documents held by the government that should be released under the FOIA. Those have not been seen by anyone outside of the government.
     
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  17. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

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    How does anyone know such files exist?

    A few years ago, I read a book written by a retired National Park Ranger that researched the history of the National Parks and the records of all the people who went missing or were killed. It was very interesting and its often the same situations that repeat themselves over and over again. People get lost in the same ways, for the same reasons, some from taking the same risks. People who go off trail and get lost always make the same mistakes, too. The tend to keep turning to the right, which makes them go in circles.

    For instance, I have a relative who has worked in SAR for many years in a region that has both mountains and desert. He says the same thing. Inexperienced people who don't pay attention, don't read signs or go off trail.
    Here's the story of a woman who hiked the Appalachian Trail who went off trail to go to relieve herself and got lost. She camped for weeks while she slowly starved to death, just a short distance from the trail she couldn't find.

    Geraldine Largay’s Wrong Turn: Death on the Appalachian Trail (Published 2016)

    She was afraid of being alone and prone to anxiety, a diminutive 66-year-old woman with a poor sense of direction, hiking the Appalachian Trail by herself, who wandered into terrain so wild, it is used for military training. She waited nearly a month in the Maine woods for help that never came.

    Geraldine A. Largay chronicled her journey in a black-covered notebook that summer of 2013, and she kept writing after she lost her way, even as her food supply dwindled along with her hopes of being found. Her last entry reflected a strikingly graceful acceptance of what was coming.

    “When you find my body, please call my husband George and my daughter Kerry,” she wrote. “It will be the greatest kindness for them to know that I am dead and where you found me — no matter how many years from now.”

    It would be two years before a logging company surveyor stumbled upon her campsite and remains, solving a mystery that had tormented her family and defied teams of experienced searchers. Ms. Largay, a retired nurse from Tennessee, had survived nearly a month on her own — longer than many old backwoods hands thought possible — before dying of exposure and starvation.

    The author of the book mentioned above noted that when he did his research, he wasn't too surprised to find that, especially in early days, there weren't many records about disappearances and accidents in the National Park. Park rangers aren't paper pushers. They don't do a lot of record keeping, just basic information. Today, they probably keep more info, thanks to computers, but many are still in very remote areas without electricity or computers. That's the way the park rangers like it - they want the parks to be unspoiled nature. They don't want to install electricity and phone chargers and wifi for everyone at Sunrise High Sierra Camp.

    I listened to some of those 411 podcasts several years ago and found them unbelievable, no offense. It's easy for people to think that stuff is true if they've never spent much time out in the woods or at a national park.

    I know its impossible to discuss things with people who believe in conspiracy theories, so I'll let the discussion end here.



     
  18. Laughing

    Laughing Well-Known Member

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    bbm

    Oh, dear Lord!

    My family is Park Service people. Had Christmas dinner with the superintendent of Cape Cod National Seashore at Cape Cod National Seashore; a retired superintendent of Grand Canyon (and other parks) attended my wedding. When Great Smoky Mountains became a park, many locals were against it....

    That terrain tells its own story. Big uphill from that camp to the ridge, big downhill to the lake. That's not a stroll but rather technical hiking.

    If the trail was indistinct, and I expect in this part of Yosemite it was, getting back to that camp in the dark would be extremely difficult.

    What was this groups' level of experience? Rather limited, I'd say, to let anyone walk away from the group no matter what time of day.

    If you're interested in understanding this terrain, read Young Men and Fire, by Norman Maclean. He's well known for A River Runs Through It, and he understands the West:

    Norman Maclean, Young Men and Fire, excerpt

    Keep the group together
    Hike with a buddy
    Carry more water & food then you think you'll need
    Always watch for bears
    Stay on the marked trail
    Expect the unexpected

    One child, lost in the West, in my experienced opinion.

    jmho ymmv lrr
     
  19. beubeubeu

    beubeubeu Well-Known Member

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    These are strange theories.
    Anyone who tries to figure out what could happen but can rely on facts (however little of them is available) will end up with a theory.
    Anyone who tries to do same thing but is unable to figure out what is true, what is hypothetical and what is just straight up gossip and misinformation will end up with a strange theory because he will try to solve a unexisting mystery.

    As far as these articles go it looks like NPS and volunteers did all what they could do. So what is there to hide?
    So she came back to the camp from riding through the park with her group, rest for a bit and decided to go back and take some pics of the lake which she likely saw before, while on horse.
    She was wearing her flipflops and dad told her to change it into proper hiking boots.
    She went there alone and people from the camp saw her while she went through first part of that trail... likely till before she disappeared behind trees after turning right.
    Sometime during that walk she met 77 yo man and they walked together for 20-30 minutes which I guess is something between one half and third of the distance between camp and lake.
    We don't know if that man was horseback riding with her group before, if they knew each other or if Stacy was aware that he went towards the lake before her, he just decided to take his way back at some point - either because he was tired or cause he wanted to go back before the dawn.
    Some time later other group went through the trail where they logically should met Stacy at some point but the one man asked about it reportedly never saw her.
    Then people realized that Stacy disappeared and searches for her went fruitless.

    This for me brings different questions.

    Was there a possibility that she lost something while horseback riding and went to "take some pictures" as an excuse to look for that?
    Was she riding horse in flips or did she wore hiking boots?
    Was her attempt to walk there in flops caused by her possible naivity or were her feet possibly hurt from wearing those hiking boots and that made her reluctant to wore these again?
    How fit was that 77 yo? How fast did he walked? I can't imagine him being fast hiker at this age but if he was well rested before and quite fit he might walk as fast as relatively tired 14 yo... but if he wasn't very fit nor strong and walked slowly then it might be telling if Stacy slowed down to walk with him or if she was already exhausted.

    I would expect to find answers for all of these and few more in case report files, at least some notes had to be taken, right?
     
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  20. beubeubeu

    beubeubeu Well-Known Member

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    I was wandering why it isn't available now when internet exist, and why it is not included in her supposed case file if it they clearly had it. Shouldn't it be there? What faxes and emails had to do with it? Whatever picture is used in searches is usually included in case files, isn't it? Isn't it copied and archived?

    My only point was that doesn't look like a case files, at least not like complete case file.
    Yet no notes reffering to these interviews were made?
    Fair point, but that's why case file should represent more than collage from newspapers.
    Yes, it is there. It reffers to one member from another group of hikers, unrelated to her or her group in any way - but that group possibly, theoretically could met her there. But even in that article it sounds so vague that they might walk by the lake too early or too late to see her.
    Yes, but since she was never found that open mind should stay in place.
    No evidence of foul play, no evidence of an accident, no evidence of anything, no remains or tracks found, case is not solved, not NPS's responsibility anymore but hey, this girl disappeared with no track, even if everyone is 99,9% sure that she died tragically in the Park, she should be listed as missing person since she disappeared even if any criminal nor other investigation is needed.
    I'll believe anything if I don't find any better theory.
    Quite often they are skipping at least few good theories before they go wild with it.
     
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