HI HI - Hauula, 'Barnacle Bill' UP6909, 19-25, SCUBA suit bought In Tacoma, Nov'82

Donjeta

Adji Desir, missing from Florida
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Namus link:

https://identifyus.org/cases/6909

He was found November 19, 1982.

Ruleouts:
Jan Jacob Blusse Van Oudalblas 1945 Alaska
Robert Chisum 1960 Oregon
Mark Michael Melanson 1958 Minnesota
Roy Rasmussen Unknown Washington
Michael Staab Unknown New York

Estimated age Adult - Pre 30
Minimum age 19 years
Maximum age 25 years
Race Unsure
Ethnicity
Sex Male
Weight (pounds) , Cannot Estimate
Height (inches) 69, Estimate

May have had brown hair and left arm amputated below the elbow, Namus indicates some soft tissue was present. There was evidence of injury to the right maxilla, most likely from past trauma. Had some fillings in his maxilla but most of the teeth were missing post mortem.

Red SCUBA-like suit with mittens, boots & hood; encrusted with marine crustaceans; label stated:
Exposure Suit

DNA is not available.
 

blondegiraffe

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in the 70's and 80's bayley was a higher end maker of exposure suits. they still make custom suits. there is no picture of the suit the UID was wearing, but having a hood, mittens and booties, i would think it has to be a drysuit, not a wetsuit. drysuits are a lot pricier than wetsuits, even today, a new bayley drysuit will run $1200-$1800. seems like a scuba shop owner might remember this suit. especially since it was manufactured less than 3 years before he washed up. maddening that there is not more info on this case.
 

Laughing

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but even the serial number of the suit doesn't help???

Copied from NAMUS:

Red SCUBA-like suit with mittens, boots & hood; encrusted with marine crustaceans; label stated:
Exposure Suit
Bayley Suit, Inc.
900 S. Fortuna Blvd.
Fortuna, CA 95540
Model 7-01-00
Serial 1-38-54
Date 4-3--79

Size Adult

How many of these are sold in a year? IIRC, this one was sold in Tacoma, WA. How many retailers were there in this time frame?

I'd like to go to Hawaii, but not this way....
 

U2forever

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but even the serial number of the suit doesn't help???

Copied from NAMUS:

Red SCUBA-like suit with mittens, boots & hood; encrusted with marine crustaceans; label stated:
Exposure Suit
Bayley Suit, Inc.
900 S. Fortuna Blvd.
Fortuna, CA 95540
Model 7-01-00
Serial 1-38-54
Date 4-3--79

Size Adult

How many of these are sold in a year? IIRC, this one was sold in Tacoma, WA. How many retailers were there in this time frame?

I'd like to go to Hawaii, but not this way....

Laughing, the serial number is a great idea and I'm going to assume LE checked out that angle.
I hope they did cause it's probably much to late now but, wouldn't hurt to inquire.

What an interesting story, it's right up Unsolved Mysteries alley. :websleuther:
 

kemo

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This is a very interesting case. Scuba divers are generally not the type of people whose disappearances go unnoticed. They tend to be middle class; particularly if they own their own equipment.

Hawaii is a popular place for Scuba. My guess is that this guy is not from Hawaii as the water there is not very cold and the type of suit he was wearing would 't be necessary. Many serious divers prefer to transport their own equipment (except perhaps the tanks and weight belt which are quite heavy) to where they dive so it seems most probable that he was from the mainland and brought at least some of his his equipment with him. Diving suits are seldom purchased used so the guy probably bought it in Tacoma so it is very likely he is from the greater Seattle area.

Most Scuba Tourists in Hawaii hook up with an outfitter who can rent them any equipment they need and then take them on a boat with other divers to a desirable diving spot. The ones I have been on carried 10 to 15 divers. These operators are pretty professional and have liability issues. It is always possible that one diver will separate from the others and get in trouble and die, but the operator would know it and initiate a search. It seems close to impossible that an operator would depart without knowing that one diver was missing but it happen once in Australia. I seriously doubt that happened here.

Sometimes divers go on " do it yourself dives" from the beach. This is cheaper and many off shore reefs are well worth seeing. The big danger in such dives is that you can be carried by the current further from the beach than you expected and run out of air before you get back. A particular problem in Hawaii is that impossible to climb cliffs are often right next to easy beaches and swimmers or divers find themselves trapped by the current. Diving alone, even for experts, is considered dangerous. Beach dives are particularly dangerous and are usually done in larger groups. Sometimes very confident divers take foolish risks.

My guess is that this guy was a diving tourist who secured full tanks and took his rental car to a beach where he took a solo dive and didn't make it.

The rental car would eventually be recovered and all the expenses charged to his credit card. Any equipment he rented would be billed the same way. The hotel would hold his cloths and luggage a few days and then get rid of it but no one in Hawaii would be likely to report him missing. Back in Seattle or wherever he was from, friends, his employer and landlord would know he was missing but would they report or would the police even take a report from a non- relative?

Before the national data bases were set up and reporting methods standardized it was very possible for a "normal" person with normal social, work and family contacts to disappear and not turn up on any data bases.
 

cvaldez1975

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I agree, checking with missing persons from WA from that time makes sense. Hopefully records from that long ago have been kept.

Is it possible he didn't dive in Hawaii? That he washed up there after diving off the west coast?

This is a very interesting case. Scuba divers are generally not the type of people whose disappearances go unnoticed. They tend to be middle class; particularly if they own their own equipment.

Hawaii is a popular place for Scuba. My guess is that this guy is not from Hawaii as the water there is not very cold and the type of suit he was wearing would 't be necessary. Many serious divers prefer to transport their own equipment (except perhaps the tanks and weight belt which are quite heavy) to where they dive so it seems most probable that he was from the mainland and brought at least some of his his equipment with him. Diving suits are seldom purchased used so the guy probably bought it in Tacoma so it is very likely he is from the greater Seattle area.

Most Scuba Tourists in Hawaii hook up with an outfitter who can rent them any equipment they need and then take them on a boat with other divers to a desirable diving spot. The ones I have been on carried 10 to 15 divers. These operators are pretty professional and have liability issues. It is always possible that one diver will separate from the others and get in trouble and die, but the operator would know it and initiate a search. It seems close to impossible that an operator would depart without knowing that one diver was missing but it happen once in Australia. I seriously doubt that happened here.

Sometimes divers go on " do it yourself dives" from the beach. This is cheaper and many off shore reefs are well worth seeing. The big danger in such dives is that you can be carried by the current further from the beach than you expected and run out of air before you get back. A particular problem in Hawaii is that impossible to climb cliffs are often right next to easy beaches and swimmers or divers find themselves trapped by the current. Diving alone, even for experts, is considered dangerous. Beach dives are particularly dangerous and are usually done in larger groups. Sometimes very confident divers take foolish risks.

My guess is that this guy was a diving tourist who secured full tanks and took his rental car to a beach where he took a solo dive and didn't make it.

The rental car would eventually be recovered and all the expenses charged to his credit card. Any equipment he rented would be billed the same way. The hotel would hold his cloths and luggage a few days and then get rid of it but no one in Hawaii would be likely to report him missing. Back in Seattle or wherever he was from, friends, his employer and landlord would know he was missing but would they report or would the police even take a report from a non- relative?

Before the national data bases were set up and reporting methods standardized it was very possible for a "normal" person with normal social, work and family contacts to disappear and not turn up on any data bases.
 

Magnum P.E.

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image.jpgimage.jpgI've been a diver for 37 years. This man was not diving when he died. That is an exposure suit, not a diving suit. Here is a picture of a Bayley 7-01-00. They likely were not familiar with cold weather gear in Hawaii and mistook it for a diving suit.
My money says he was a sailor or fisherman who fell overboard nowhere near Hawaii. Figure out about how long he has been in the water based on marine growth,then look at the ocean currents to see where he could have come from. And if they are right about his amputation being antemortem (probably based on new bone growth) there could not be too many missing like that.
 

apearn

Paratrooper John Doe, May 1984, Florida #UP1254
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My money says he was a sailor or fisherman who fell overboard nowhere near Hawaii. Figure out about how long he has been in the water based on marine growth,then look at the ocean currents to see where he could have come from. And if they are right about his amputation being antemortem (probably based on new bone growth) there could not be too many missing like that.

I agree.

The only thing I would add is that if he has the exposure suit on I'd think it would be a vessel in trouble. Coast Guard calls or missing fishing commercial fishing vessels from that year or so would probably narrow it down. I don't know how many pleasure crafts would have that type of gear so I'm thinking commercial fishing.

I found a pretty simple current map. There is a current that runs right past the beach he was found on - it loops down from the North Pacific Current. Maybe he was on a Canadian boat, but Washington or Alaskan boats are certainly possible.

pacific currents.jpg

I don't have any more time to look but here is one boat with missing crew: http://www.upi.com/Archives/1981/12/03/The-bodies-of-five-of-the-12-crewmen-who/8418376203600/

KODIAK, Alaska the fishing vessel St. Patrick Dec 1981
 

Magnum P.E.

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Excellent work!
Possibly but not necessarily a vessel in trouble. If he was sailing singlehanded maybe no one ever missed him. From looking at that chart, he could have met with misfortune anywhere from Alaska to the Pacific Northwest.
I may post this case on some sailing forums.
Bayley still exists.
 

apearn

Paratrooper John Doe, May 1984, Florida #UP1254
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I posted asking their help, it is awaiting moderation. Anything similar for Washington/Oregon?

Actually, I wonder how an ID could be made even if we found a possible match? There is no DNA, no prints, and no dentals.

NamUs says: Dental information / charting is available and entered

I sent a message to that same place via their FB page.
 

apearn

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The person from the Alaska site got back to me. They picked up on the shorts (which I had missed) and mentioned that it was unlikely that the person was on any of the fishing vessel wrecks in their original message. That's a good point. Maybe it was a pleasure craft then.

Anyway, they also said the type of suit they were found in wasn't normally used on the commercial boats so, again, probably a pleasure boat or something along those lines. I'm thinking shorts equals a warm weather accident of some sort. Maybe Washington, Oregon, N. California areas.

I sent them this link so maybe they will pop on and add some thoughts. That is a fascinating site they have!
 

kemo

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Exposure suit shorts seems almost a contradiction. Possibly something one would were in reasonably warm weather while sailing or fishing on cold water? Sounds like the Pacific North-West in summer. This is consistent with the suit having been purchased in Tacoma. I will check out MP lists from the north-west.
 

Magnum P.E.

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Bayley seems to be gone, unfortunately. No numbers that I found were good. I have an email in to another company in Bayley's old territory to see if they might know who bought them out and/or who might have sales records. They conceivably could exist, as there was a warranty and the owner could be on record.......somewhere.
Suit was made April 79, Bill washed up Nov. 82.
We need to look for missing sailors off Washington/Oregon in that time interval. Then on to Northern Cali if need be.
 

Captain Warren Good

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The Bayley survival suit is used primarily in shipwrecks from northern climates to prevent hypothermia. Life preservers are are jokingly called "body finders" by northern fishermen because they do nothing to preserve life in cold water. It takes about two years for surface drift materials to reach Hawaii from Alaskan waters. The late 1970's were the peak of the crabbing boom and we were losing about 30 boats a year. Many of those left port and were never seen again. I worked the area from 1972 to 1992 from the Prince William Sound area through the Kodiak area as well as the Aleutian Islands and the entire Bering Sea. I do not recall any commercial fishermen with missing limbs other than fingers and toes. I never saw a commercial fisherman wearing blue jean shorts while out fishing either. In my experience, Bayleys immersion/survival suits were much less common at that time than other brands because they were more expensive and a little harder to get in and out of. Most shipwrecks involving casualties happen when the vessels are traveling to and from ports, not while they are engaged in fishing. In Alaskan waters, one third of all shipwrecks involving loss of life are from vessels that disappear or are lost with all hands. If this was one from the north, which is likely because southern vessels did not usually carry immersion/survival suits, it was likely a vessel that was traveling from the fishing grounds to port, from a southern port to a northern one or visa versa. This is my first post so I am going to take a moment and see if it works....
 

Tulessa

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The Bayley survival suit is used primarily in shipwrecks from northern climates to prevent hypothermia. Life preservers are are jokingly called "body finders" by northern fishermen because they do nothing to preserve life in cold water. It takes about two years for surface drift materials to reach Hawaii from Alaskan waters. The late 1970's were the peak of the crabbing boom and we were losing about 30 boats a year. Many of those left port and were never seen again. I worked the area from 1972 to 1992 from the Prince William Sound area through the Kodiak area as well as the Aleutian Islands and the entire Bering Sea. I do not recall any commercial fishermen with missing limbs other than fingers and toes. I never saw a commercial fisherman wearing blue jean shorts while out fishing either. In my experience, Bayleys immersion/survival suits were much less common at that time than other brands because they were more expensive and a little harder to get in and out of. Most shipwrecks involving casualties happen when the vessels are traveling to and from ports, not while they are engaged in fishing. In Alaskan waters, one third of all shipwrecks involving loss of life are from vessels that disappear or are lost with all hands. If this was one from the north, which is likely because southern vessels did not usually carry immersion/survival suits, it was likely a vessel that was traveling from the fishing grounds to port, from a southern port to a northern one or visa versa. This is my first post so I am going to take a moment and see if it works....

Welcome to WS, Captain Warren Good ! :)
 
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