Ep. #2: Paul Miller - Joshua Tree National Park

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

My brother Paul went missing here on July thirteenth as search is currently underway for a missing hiker out in Joshua tree. Authorities say fifty one year old Canadian citizen Paul Miller heartache while the search for the wealth hiker missing in California has been scaled back family and friends of fifty one year old Paul Miller. Our brain fifty one year old Paul Miller went off on a hike alone. He called his wife Friday morning from the forty nine palms trail head. And that's the last time anyone's heard from him. Thousands of people have mysteriously vanished in America's wilderness. Join us as we dive into the deep end of the unexplainable in trae apiece. Together. What happened you are listening to locations unknown? All right. Welcome to episode. Two of the locations unknown podcast. I'm your host Mike Vanda bogert sitting alongside of me is our co host Joe Arado. How are you doing today? I'm doing good. We have a very interesting case for you today a little different than what we did. In our first episode in that this case is very recent. The case was about a Canadian by the name of Paul Miller who disappeared in jazz, a tree national park this July. The search is still ongoing. We were also lucky enough to sit down with the public information officer of Joshua tree national park, and we're going to be playing that interview a little bit later in the show. We'll call it. We'll cut in and out to it for parts that. Yeah, we it runs long. We play it straight. So we don't want to bore you. But George has a very unique insight in the park. He worked there for he's worked there for eight years and involved in every aspect of the search, and it's great hearing from someone who was on the ground there. So we'll get to that in a bit. I hear though Joe is going to go over a bit of the profile the park. Yep. So following the normal format there were doing we'll give you a location profile cut in at some point. We'll have George tell you more information on the part because he's there all the time. Time and then we'll get into the character profile time line. And then the theories so as Mike mentioned when we opened the show it's Joshua tree national park. It's in California. It's in San Bernardino county and Riverside County. So it straddles both those areas because the very large park. It was originally declared a national monument in nineteen thirty six Joshua tree was redesignated as national park nine hundred ninety four when US congress passed a California desert Protection Act. So it's just recently become a national park. If you're gonna go camping there there's nine established campgrounds to have water and flush toilets that can be reserved. So that's more your car camping. And then we talked about that. That's typically not are seen. We're more bad country. But when it comes at desert that might be nice. The other campgrounds are first-come-first-serve back country, camping is permitted with a few regulations. So it's like any typical park you can do some bad country. You have to let them know where you're going. That's usually for search and rescue purposes. So they do charge for this permits, but they're. Expensive. But they want to know where you're at. And when you're going to check back in. Yeah. It's every every place we've ever hiked. We always have to go to the permit office. And it's primarily so yeah, they can keep a catalogue of people coming in and out of the park for this very reason. Absolutely. So if you're going to be hiking there are several several established trails within the park, many can be accessed from campground shorter trails such as one mile hike through hidden valley can see the beauty of the park without staying too far in the desert. So there's a lot of hiking available to people who are not as experienced. Although as George will tell you later in the interview, they do have some issues with people coming out, they're not dressing appropriately or not knowing what really to expect in a desert climate. Because even if you're only walking a mile if you're one hundred five degrees the day with dry heat. You don't have enough water that can make a big difference. You sometimes don't even know you're sweating. It will just vapid it right off. And the next thing. You know, you're dehydrated. Yeah. So it's yeah. Single bottle water typically doesn't cut it. That's when you go out with gallons just for yourself. The last trillion. Was the forty nine palm away says we won't get into that just yet. But that's one of the trails that he was on where they found his car. It's it's not too big of a trail. It's not too hard of a trail some of the terrain that exists there. Just lots of rock lots of desert the animals, they're snakes scorpions, spiders coyotes mountain lions, Georgia's going to talk about that in a little bit exposures, just significant heat and son. So what we're going to do? Now is we're gonna cut to introduce George Mike said he's a piano of Joshua tree national park. We're gonna cut to George have him talk a little bit more about the description the park and what it's like there, George. Thank you very much for coming on the show. And if you could please introduce yourself and give us a brief background. Was George land. I am the public information officer and community outreach ranger here. Just between national apart. Excellent. So I'm just going to ask you a couple questions about the park, and then specifically about the hazards, and we'll just go forward from there. I'm so roughly how many visitors are at your park each year that come through. Series upswing. When I got here about eight years ago, we were at one point three million a year and. This year. Eight years later were going to probably the three point two million marks. So we've we've double more than double in the last last eight years. Oh, wow. So there's been a serious uptaken visitors. And I'm guessing issues can come along with that as well. You obviously the more people that you have come into park. It lends itself to the possibilities of of, you know, more incidents, but you know, considering the fact that, you know, get up three point two million people in the park this past year. If you put those numbers out on the Santa Monica freeway or driving around in their automobiles, you know, we're we're really pretty safe up here. I mean, it's it's not a situation where you know. It's it's one incident or search and rescue after another. Okay. Can you tell us a little bit about the park? It's history some significant features because what we try and do is paint a picture of what the climate is like there. And what's unique about that park for people that haven't even seen pictures or ever been there before? Glad to adjust between national park is located in southern California. We're in the high desert for the most part, it's actually where two distinct desert ecosystems come together, we have the Colorado desert, which is extension of the Sonoran, the run SUV, Arizona, and Mexico and those areas, and we have the Mojave which is the higher elevations. And that's where the majority of the Joshua trees are and also a lot of the popular Mazda, granite rock formations that makes us kind of an international rock, climbing destination. We are almost eight hundred thousand square acres to put that into perspective that's over twelve thousand square miles or to make a little bit easier. We're little larger than the state of Rhode Island. It's a big park. You gotta manage. It's a fairly large park. Yeah. There are bigger parks. But given the fact that we're kind of. A natural island surrounded by sea humanity, you know, within oh three and a half hour drive of our inference stations. We probably have close to thirty million people that live around the area. So we also have a lot of the same challenges and pressures that a lot of those communities in southern California have as well with that large of a park. I mean, it's basically a state in and of itself how common is it for people to go missing there. And do you find most of them within a certain amount of time? Yeah. We we really do e it's not extremely common. We do have people that are lead on what we call eight on a rival. And sometimes when they get to be a certain point and the friends or family or. You know, people that are with them get concerned, they notify us generally, those people tend to show up within a few hours of of the report, we do, unfortunately have times when there are people that are out on the trail the disoriented. They get turned around off the trail or because we have so many rock formations up here. It's tough to keep people off the rocks and not that we want to. But you know, when you when you climb rocks there one wall that is very strictly enforced in just treat national park. And that's the law of gravity. And so, you know, sometimes people meet less than fortunate circumstances just by calling off a rock or or down into a crevice or that type of thing and. That's when we have to go out, and and take a look around, and and find them and bring them back to their family and loved ones, so falling hazards are obviously a big thing. And I I know just from Mike, and I are very experienced hikers, and we climb as well too. And whenever we go in parks that have become more popular. And even just in general people getting out in the wilderness is becoming more popular you've a lot of inexperienced people going out. Maybe doing things they shouldn't so outside of fall hazards. What are some of the other hazards that people would run into our expect to run into your park? Well, and that's a really good point. Joe, you know, we have one of our scenarios up here is, you know, CD kid comes out from LA is not used to the desert has flipflops on. And what's left of the thirst BUSTER and takes off on a seven mile hike on a day where it's one hundred hundred five degrees. So you know, that that usually does not end. Well, and so we do have issues with with that segment of of visitor. Just not prepared for the height, and there are places in because of the terrain here in Joshua tree national park, there are places where you can get turned around. I'm even experienced hikers occasionally, you know, get a little misdirected, and and you know. Maybe two three four hours late or have to end up spending the night in the park. Very seldom. Do we have major searches and rescues we probably had more last year than what I can remember in almost nine years that I've that I've been here and one of those you want to talk about unfortunately is a gentleman from Canada that when missing back in July, and unfortunately, we still have not been able to bring closure to that particular incident absolutes, very sad story, we're gonna talk more about calls profile later in the show. But from what it seemed like he was a very experienced hiker, and he was even in the park the day before. So just when when we looked at his case, it didn't seem like it was just like you said kind of a city slicker coming out for the first time really wanting to enjoy the outdoors. He seemed to know what he was doing in the last time. He was seeing was on the forty nine. Away says trail, can you give us a little bit of background about that trail in particular? Pretty straightforward trail. It goes in actually from outside the border the border of the park you walk in. And in other words, you don't have to go through an entrance station to to access the trail. It goes in. It goes in about a mile and a half to a natural oasis where there's spring out there. The Bighorn sheep come down to water there. There's a number of very much, you're Washingtonian poems. Don't trees indigenous to this this part of the country that are out there. And then when you're done you turn around and you walk back in the same three old Milo hat back out. So that is one of the things that is kind of in a mystery news how to to get turned around if he. Did. In fact, stay on the Creole ever made it to the trio. I mean there there's a lot of different series out there. Now, just because we have spent really been in that area. You know, are searching jobs are three national park. Search and rescue has been doing training exercises out there every since we call offer or reduced the search from Mr Miller in technically Joe in national park, the search for someone who is missing or lost never totally stops. Obviously, you know, it's not sustainable to keep a hundred troops out there, beating the bushes, and helicopters, and and canine teams, and that type of thing I mean, there comes a point where that has to see, but we we make that those areas. Part of our ongoing training scenarios for our search and rescue teams. And so we've been out there on a regular basis, George, and if you just hang on, we're going to go over polls description with Mike, and then we'll come back to you for some more information. Pull Miller obviously was from Canada a city called wealth and Antero Candida. He was fifty one years old. He had a wife and two kids. His wife. Stephanie is a kindergarten teacher in the Waterloo region and Paul was imperials manager Eddie water treatment and filtration company. Both our kids are in public high school. So the description of Paul he's your you've graduated public high school graduated public. Yeah. Their college age now their college age now politic pre typical male five foot five hundred sixty pounds. He had salt and pepper hair. So grain a bit the clothing he was last seen in. He was wearing dark shorts dark gray almost black high-tech altitude hiking boots. It's black hat and carrying sunglasses. He also did have a Camelback for hydration and a Nikon d fifty three hundred camera his personality medical issues, everything that we could find researching Paul happily married to his wife for twenty six years. No issues at home, no issues at work. So everything seems normal nothing jumps out as no like we've said the prior episode. We look for red flags to help really identify. What could have happened in these cases, and everything seems normal everything checks out so far and another another box that checks out is his experience in the backcountry. Paul and his wife liked to go on a lot of vacations and they like to mix and a lot of back country hiking those vacations so they've been they've been in Canada, North America, Mexico and everyone described him as a moderate to advance hiker. We kind of see him as someone like ourselves who've gone on a lot of back country hikes. And I'd say, we're not experts. Sense where this guy's live. We're not survive on exactly what we're going on trips. That's what we do on vacation. We go on these trips. We find new places, and we've been to all different climates from freezing to desert and know, generally what to do in each one. You anyone can get hurt in those? But we know what we're doing this seems like that type of guy. Yeah. He seems like a kind of guy that if something did happen to him. He would keep calm level head and figure out a way out of it. I think he'd would to do in in a dire situation where other people might panic and their panic can inevitably lead to making bad decisions said me and Mike don't know him. Personally. We've never talked to him. We haven't talked to his family, unfortunately, but just based on the history, and what they've said, you don't do that many hiking backcountry trips kayaking, whatever in not learn a thing or two about what to do. Exactly. It's this is a big red flag for any case where you see someone going going missing if they're experienced that that just makes. It a lot more puzzling. But in fact, about it in the interview to say often issue at the city slickers coming out from LA that are wearing flip flops, and they have just like a water bottle like let's go hike in the desert, and they have to go get him or because they don't they don't know what they're getting themselves into so this this isn't seem like what Paul was like. Yeah. High desert hiking, if you're not prepared can can be deadly. We've all been on hikes personally, where we've experienced issues with lack of water and exposure to sun, and yeah, the part where it's you don't think it's dire yet. But you're starting to go by the time you needs water now by the time, you actually feel dehydrated. It's almost too late at that point. Yeah. You you're you go any further into dehydration. You're gonna start getting delirious, and you're not gonna be making clear decisions. But so that's a basic profile of Paul. You're you're pretty typical middle aged man had a good family life, two grown kids, experienced hiker. And she oh now is going to start. Going into the timeline of what actually happened. What led to his disappearance? Yes. We've some good. We've seen good times and dates here that we're gonna go over on like last episode. We're going to start off why he was out there on his wife Stephanie were on vacation in California, Nevada, including Las Vegas. They're celebrating their twenty six anniversary. So again, you're not going to go on a great wedding anniversary trip with your wife, if you're not happy marriage. So I mean, that's where you know, he from everyone. The interviews. I've watched and you guys can find these on YouTube. There's a ton of interviews and reports of the family, he seemed like a great guy in everyone seemed to like, and you know, they have their friends doing it. They have a gofundme page for him. People are coming out that you to help search exactly we're going to go over that. I mean, so people don't help or want to get that involved for someone that wasn't a good guy. So they're out here for their wedding anniversary. And it was not uncommon for them to do the backwoods camping hiking kayak, and that's what they would do together. So that's again playing news experience. So July twelfth two thousand eighteen both Paul and his wife were hiking. In the park and came back to their hotel room at the twenty nine palms. So not only is he an avid hiker. He spent time the day before in that environment. So even if you're gonna make a mistake somewhere or realizing impact appropriately that's gonna be your first day out. So he he was out the day before and it was July thirteenth at a he essentially went missing. So this is the first date July thirteenth, they're prepping to leave the hotel room in Paul wanted to do one more short hike try and get a photo of the big horn sheep. That's why head that camera with them. So he really wanted to get a good photo of the sheep. So he at nine AM left, the hotel room and drove his car to the forty nine poems away trail head at eleven AM. Stephanie said she started to become concerned that he didn't return but decided to wait another hour so poems wastes trail head is roughly amount and a half. After I go through the timeline. We'll cut back to the interview will have George talk a little bit about the trail head itself to give you the features. But it's not a difficult trail. It's very short. And it doesn't even. Loops you go up when when you come back the exact same way. So it's not a difficult one to really get up and down at eleven am Stephanie said she was concerned, but not really ringing the alarm bells just yet because you can be laid on arrival that that's that's a very common. Maybe he found a Bighorn sheep. And he was exactly so many times where I think I'm going to be back a certain time, and I'm probably two hours late, and you know, when you're walking and you're not sure about the terrain. There's there's a big window there. But at noon when Paul still in return, she contacted the park service because she was she was worried reported missing park service jumped right into action. They had a team together in thirty minutes. So they team ready together. And they started the search. They found Paul's rental car at the trail head so he hadn't left the car is there. So he went to the trail head in the park superintendent, David Smith said there was one witness who saw Paul in the morning at the trail head. So there was somebody who saw someone else or they talked to a witness that saw someone who met the descr. Of Paul at the trail head. So I think we can reasonably believe that he went to that trail head. So it's not one of those instances of he left at nine his car's not anywhere. Did he even make it to the trail went and saw him at the beginning of the trail had walking in? Yeah. And it's a popular trail too. So yeah, there's a lot of people that would notice things like that. So his car was there somebody saw him there. So we can reasonably say that he began the hike that he planned. They went through do the search didn't find Paul that day. And they started the search effort. So they have search teams going so they're doing that for days. Not find anything we're gonna jump forward to September. Now, we're we're going to get into so employing some of the technology to do a much wider breadth of area of the park. Yeah. So September rolls around park officials actually closed the trail for a few days because they bought brought in some new technology, which George will explain when we talked to him, but this technology, basically, it's a helicopter with high res- photography equipment on the bottom of it. And it takes really quick pictures. It basically is looking for anything out of the ordinary in the in the wildlife, and then it takes those pictures, they put it into a program in that analyzes that. So the chaff this shot it down. So that there wouldn't be people there throw off the imaging. So they want us desert, and they're going to search for anomalies that aren't desert a so this. Happened on Tuesday the eighteenth of September. And then by the next day on Wednesday. There is still no word of any new discoveries for the search Miller. So the trail was then reopened on the twentieth. The park officials mentioned that it will take some time to get those pictures, analyzed talking with George he'll go into more detail, but they they spared no expense. No manpower in looking for Paul. They brought out every everything that they have to their availability was in that park looking for him. Yeah. Absolutely. We're talking hundreds of people canine units. Helicopters over six thousand man hours were put into looking for Paul lot of the problems. They were running into probably been the same problems, Paul experience potentially a lot of the searchers were experiencing a lot of heat exhaustion. So they a lot of them would try to wake up at four AM go out and search and by nine AM maybe back at camp, you know, exhausted. Because it's one hundred five degrees. The low humidity even prepared search and rescue people are succumbing to exposure out there. So that was a major obstacle that hindered. Some of the search and rescue efforts at one side notes that we noticed in one of the articles are reading was there is a lot of frustration with the family of the the rental car company charging Paul while he was missing. And we recently just read that the rental car company, which we won't name. They issued an apology and recent all the chargers seem more like it was like a paperwork thing because it's writing hundreds of cars a day. And then everyone is not getting returned. Yeah. Everyone in these cases, the family is going through enough with trying to find their missing missing loved one. And then you've got things like, yeah. No one was worried about getting a rental car back. Yeah. That's nor should they. That's the last thing on their mind. He's exactly I gotta get this car back by noon. So that is kind of what happened in September. And like I said George is going to go. Into further detail on the search and rescue efforts. Yeah, we had a company come in. Actually, a Canadian company that. Take rapid fire photographs from helicopter, and then comes back and the computer analyzes those for anything that any any color, Grady, aging, or whatever that. That looks different than than what's an actual terrain. And look, and we had them come in and fly over and additional things like that that we've done to try to bring closure to this though have not been able to to find. Any trace of Mr. Bella. I've seen some search and rescues underway. And you guys are extremely thorough. And from what I read you have the dogs out. You have this incredible new technology where it's skin, and I'm assuming you can correct me if I'm wrong does it scan the landscape and kind of take that. And then just look for anything that doesn't fit. Exactly what it does. Like, I said things that I necessarily wouldn't take on a fly over this actually goes in. And it makes all these almost looks like a tiny, mosaic when when you see what's produced by it. And then they feed that into the program that the company has developed, and it any anomalies that come out it kicks it out and says, okay, squadron, you know, given the GPS coordinates, and we found this was actual blue or something. And like I said he was without any positive results as well. It's incredible. The technology that they're using a obviously with the people on the ground and everything to it's just really unfortunate that there isn't closure for his family yet. So thank you very much for that update on pulse. Case are there any other unsolved missing persons cases in that park currently that you're still kind of ongoing looking for but have scaled back from. We had a gentleman about nine years ago from Georgia that it hiked in the park before that. His name was Mr. Wasco and. We found his vehicle with the car door open. Few supply type of things in it. But he has never been located as well. And so that remains. History and also an area as mentioned before Joe is of a place where in the general area of juniper flats where he's Geico was located and where he was fought to have taken off hiking. It continues to be. An area that we go back and forth over with our training exercises. And and search and rescue problems that we we present to our rescue team for search teams and the far still no still no indication of what happened to mR Wasco or there other animals besides like, how your small poisonous animals that could potentially get somebody or or do something like that. Or is it all smaller? No, we have obviously we have my lion in the park coyotes, which are not known to be a two. Komo alive human for the most part. However, they will they will feed on carrying so. So, you know, if if someone went out had a heart attack, or or some other issue fell and he their head, and whatever, you know, there are animals that. Like coyotes and vultures, and and some other animals that treat on carrying that, you know, would dispose of the soft to Hugh of a body. Okay. I just want to reiterate for the listeners my background is I'm a paramedic. So sometimes I'll come off and ask a lot of these questions that seem kind of morbid, but I'm looking at it from a factual basis, so not to be respectful of families or anything. So if anyone thinks that when they're listening to that, this is just fact based conversation. So in those cases, where you do have animals potentially feeding on someone that's passed you'll usually find clothing or bone are their animals that will then take the bone that will potentially take the clothing for any reason where there could be a potential with there really is no sign or evidence left behind that. There was a body even there. Clothing in this type of harsh environment clothing has a whippy of. Either being washed away many times domino Roleo or you know, because there's not. Grainy throughout the desert when when we get a flash flood it'll wash away everything. Okay. So that creates a problem with that bones? Are are you know, many times scattered? There's not that there's not that many animals that actually make a meal at of. The skeleton. Leftovers, but it's big they are scattered and moved around and that type of thing. So you know, that that is a challenge for for people trying to reconstruct. Some of these disappears in in certain areas. Yeah. Especially like, you said if it rains, then all the sudden in air, you might not have searched yet or went over that it could have been there. It gets moved and things like that. Six of one half does that other eight. Also there have been, you know, situation where we have found clues to different situations because something was washed down the wash from where regionally was okay. You know, it's one of those things where it's. It's a blessing and the curse sometimes. Sure. Okay. So that was information on basically, the technology. They're employing, and it was really cool to image. It has like almost like a mosaic. It's taking a ton of pictures. Putting it all together in in a large profile and the computers just analyzing for anything that stands out colors things that don't match landscape. So it's really really high def high. He's yeah. Anything? So it's really cool. And they haven't turned up anything as of yet. I know when they first took the images people are wondering what it sawn they said back to that time that it takes time, obviously for the computer analyze it. But still up to now they're not seeing any anomaly, so and they're doing a wide area. I mean when you're flying over in helicopter doing that you're covering area that you probably can't walk. Yeah. So as of as of now, the most recent thing we have updated on November six was a Tuesday. Dawn Robinson and her husband. David Robinson arrived from Canada late Tuesday in. Repeatedly hiked the forty nine palms ways trail company by Park, Rangers and volunteers and other search and rescue team members know dawn is Paul sister. So they're still obviously trying to finances for this. It's really it's really sad because they're getting no closure at all whenever you have any of these unexplained events, it's going to be kind of this open chapter that you can't finish in the story. So she said herself the fact that he's still hasn't been found is just baffling and it's true. And they're desperate Frances what she said. And we've really got the sense fruit with talking with George that these people that work at the park really care about finding this man to they they take it seriously. They take a person I feel bad that they've they've not been able to find anything. Yeah. I mean, if you can imagine for the men and women who do search and rescue like that's their job search rescue. So if they have an open case, they're not finding like that's going to hit you hard. I could imagine because it seems like a failure. So what they typically end up having to do in George mentioned the interview is that they got to scale down the. You can't put six hundred people every day all day long. All the time. You have to evidently scale back the the manhunt, but he said all they do is then whenever they're doing training operations. They pick their areas based on those areas where Paul could be exactly so they're doing their training missions or doing stuff in there. So they're able to mix training with still continually searching for so they don't ever close cases as he said, you know, they're leaving them open. And they're always always searching to hopefully, bring closure to the family. So really his sister went there hoping that by hiking the trail, she can look at things to brothers is. And really come with clues about what he could have done or what could happen. So she said they knew he was in a rush that morning has small window of opportunity key picked the trail based on that he could do a short hike and get back to hotel than a couple of hours. So he left with the idea in mind of really want to get a picture of a big horn sheep. But we're leaving today. Here's a quick trail. I can do in a couple of hours that I might be able to my snapshot. And then we can get we can get out of here and. And she even said to when she's going to trail her her statement was it's pretty obvious trail. If you stay on it, you'll get to the away system back without any problem. She said, it's quite hilly. If you get off the trail, it's hard to see where the trail is and it disappears quickly with that said the town can still be seen from the tops of the hills. So a hiker could get lost. But then as soon as you climb a hill, you can quickly orient yourself day or night. You're going to see lights you're going to see civilization off in the distance. Absolutely. Yep. So it's a huge park in regards to George even said, it's bigger than the state of Rhode Island. But the areas that people are occupying our small. Yeah. So highly trafficked exactly, so it'd be different. He's got like a forty two mile desert trail. And now you have the area the size of a quarter of a state to search for somebody. Yeah, it's a small area. And I'm assuming being experienced hiker if he would have been injured, you know, a lot of times if you're by yourself, one of the best things, you do is maybe you take shelter and kind of stain this place. That you got injured because that gives you the best chance of search and rescue finding you especially on a well traveled dwell traveled drilling Zion. People saw at the trail head why because they were going to the as well. So there's you it's unlike last case where it's small park not a lot of visitors. Yeah. This one you have a ton of visitors Georgieva mentioned they've doubled their numbers. They have millions of people come as Parker here. This is a high traffic park, and if you've ever been to national park with high traffic, it's almost annoying at some of the show Israel's you'll have it'll be crowded. There's when we went to glacier national park. Glacier. We back country we hiked. But then we did a couple of the more touristy trails, and there's some times when you're going along a narrow part you have to stop let people. Yeah. That happened. I was hiking out in the Tetons earlier this year and the section towards the end. It's a traffic jam of people. You're literally. Yeah. Waiting for people to go by? Yeah. So it's nothing happens. You have the thirty people. Porting it and stuff like that. So the fact that no one saw him outside of just catch him to the trail head, and that was it is a little crazy in a little obscure so official theories right now, Mike, I mean, what what are you hearing from law enforcement family? I mean, the the most logical, and what people are kind of hanging their hat on is that maybe he may have tried to climb up on some rocks. Or he went out there. Trying to find some Bighorn sheep. He maybe tried to climb up on some rocks in slipped and fell into an area that wouldn't be easily. He won't be easily found when he fell in there. But you know, Joe, and I were talking about all the different possibilities of what could happen to them. And nothing nothing really makes sense. So you would assume. Yeah, you have your animal theories. So you have the there's no big predators. Other poisonous snakes. Scorpions mountain lions coyotes about lions always sound. Bad, but they typically leave people alone. Yeah. In one thing, you'll know about if you've ever hiked national parks is. And we always joke about this. We hike is we never we never see wildlife because the animals are smart enough to not kind of steer clear of some of the higher traffic areas unless it's like Yosemite when they're feeding them. Yeah. But even then they're not attacking the exactly up for him for food, which we don't condone. But yeah. So while areas you typically don't see them unless you're sneaking around and trying to catch them. Yeah. And so the the most logical explanation of what happened the Paul a lot of people are saying is he was injured either climbing on some rocks or going over an obstacle. But then what happened if you perished out there? What happened to his body? They had canine units all over the park. They had these helicopters taking these high risks photos, if you fall, even if you fall into a crevice or some type of hole in the ground dogs are going to find you. Yeah. Yeah. The that's that's what's the craziest. We'll jump into our theories. Really? So we kind of talked about animals, I think exposures extremely relevant. Yeah. He disappeared around noon in the desert. You know, one hundred five hundred ten degrees is not uncommon dry heat. So I'd say exposure for sure. Yeah. With exposure, anybody that's hiked and desert. Climates? Dehydration. Does cause people to not think clearly I mean, there's a chance that he got dehydrated wandered off the trail maybe walked for several miles just out into the desert, somehow, you sort of delirious, haze. Well, yeah. Yeah. I mean, that's that's actually very good point. Because you hear about the people that think they see water things. Then desert granted he was going towards an oasis. But again, you have a situation where? Maybe you're just unaware of what's really going on. So he's normally a hiker, but you can kinda you can kinda get caught in those situations where you're not really sure. And then maybe it was just one of those times he was in the desert the day before. So he'd a lot of sun exposure the day before maybe he brought it on water, but wasn't really attuned to the symptoms that he was having traveling a lot. So if you get out and get delirious did he go off trail, and then think he was on the trail and just walking and walking and walking possibility. That's a possibility. But then again, you have helicopter you have six thousand hours of manpower six hundred searchers canine units. Yep. You have all this plus all of the other people in the park. Yeah. Out there. You know, one other possibility is in our first step sewed. We talked about one of the leading theories of pulse. Eight went missing was some type of criminal activity being that Paul Miller was on a trail that goes in one way and out one way if someone was trying to rob him for his Cam. Mourra or, you know, say he again came across something that he was supposed to see there's only one way in and out of there. Yeah. And it's a very heavily trafficked trail. People are going to see. You know, see him you see this happening. I mean, there'd be no way to get away with that. And then and then it's the whole idea of why would a criminal be out there. Yeah. And that's in that spot is Georgia in the mill is George stated the park is basically surrounded by humanity. So it's not like in our first episode of the park was near the Mexico border. This park is literally in the middle of humanity. Yeah. There's no reason if you're doing a big trafficking line he might have stumbled across. Yeah. That's not gonna happen in this park. Yeah. It's a short trail should only take a couple of hours, and there was water at the end of it. And and that's that's like a big thing. And he had a Camelback on his so he probably at least had two years of water on them, and he experienced hiker as soon as I get to water. They're going to fill that up again. I mean, the one thing George Mitchell interview to is what they can run into. Because as you heard. We asked about can an animal an animal be interested in human remains as far as bones go because he said, the coyotes mountain lions will leave you alone until you've passed and then they'll obviously turn the scavengers. Exactly. But I as you heard I asked him about just clothing him bone. I know typically animals aren't gonna eat Bom. But like, I don't know that area. You know, is there an animal that typically collects them for nesting or something like that? He said not really know what you have the issues with flash flooding because there is no drainage in a desert that they can have things completely wash away. So he said, it's kind of a blessing and a curse to blessing the sense where sometimes that occurs and things wash up, and they discover stuff or tonight they wash away and they. Russia way. So it wasn't a completely normal thing that happened. And then it was moved from search area. I dunno. And another thing we looked at two was he left his rental car there. So that rules out that he left the park on his own. He's driving himself out of there. Now is it possible that he came off the trail and got into a car with someone else? It's possible. But it's really dizzy park in there would have been whitland farfetched. Yeah. Because they pretty much interviewed everyone that was in that area after his wife reported a missing, and you would have you'd think that someone would have said, oh, yeah. I saw him walk out of the trail and getting somebody else's car. That would be something a couple people probably see Yan unlike less case those forty years ago. Yeah. This is now it's blasted all over the news. It's been in the desert sun news for several articles and news broadcasts pretty much across the southern New South, western you. United states. This story has been in and out of the news for the last couple of months. Yeah. So anybody who follows hiking or anything like that area? Yeah. I'd say it's pretty much. If you don't follow the hiking stuff. You're not going to hear about it in the news around us by Wisconsin. But if you live down there it a ton of stories about it because it's not a very common thing for someone to disappear. Yeah. Jordan, Georgia saying that this is a very uncommon thing to happen in his park. Yeah. Which surprised me like an eye? Even even asked him. I said, you know, with all those people are you having a lot of these issues that not really the only hiker that they've had still missing was nine years ago. You know, basically your before he started his position. So that that actually did surprise me. But that also weighs into how heavily traffic this park is and how short the trails and that weighs into how bizarre this case is. I mean missing people going Missy and Joshua tree. National park is very very rare. Yeah. And you want who gets destroyed hunter lost gets found within twenty four hours a day nine point nine nine percent, again not to be morbid. But they'll find the body if they did perish because something they find them. And it's very rare that it's completely without a trace so say, yeah, there's there's the possibility that always, you know, months from now someone can somebo cross a bone or whatever, and it can be identified. But it's it's it's pretty crazy. This case almost baffles me more than the pulse gay case. Because that one seemed to have he he came across something criminal activity going on. It's so close to the border, and they. Not to rehash a case. But it just got so weird at the end. Yeah. It's almost like a bunch of people knew something was happening. But no one was talking about it. But this one yes, this is a a regular guy who hikes ended up modern times. I guess is makes it seem more baffling because we have the technology. We have the manpower. We have the experience they it's heavily traveled. We have witnesses and there's nothing. Yeah. It's we have the most advanced technology available to search and rescue right now in the form of the helicopters with that imaging technology. I'm sure they're also using helicopters with flea on it for nighttime searches. It's it's baffling. I we we tried to think of every possibility that doesn't sound absolutely crazy to explain what happened to Paul. Yeah. We kept coming back to what we can't talk about aliens can't talk about aliens Bigfoot. Yeah. But it's sasquatch hit how. But it's it's a yeah. He went there disappeared. Then finally looking for months using the technology people out there looking for him. In modern society around heavily traffic area late twentieth. Eighteen you know, connected society. Everyone's got cell phones. Everyone's got. Yeah. GPS? Everyone's that was the one thing we didn't bring up. I forgot about that. He left a cellphone at the hotel. Oh, gets good point. So and they said it's spotty connection to the park. And I had that in the notes, and I forgot where I put it. But he didn't bring a cell phone. But again, I've done that too. If you're tripping or run out and grab something real quick. You know, I'm going to grab the bare essentials to make that thing happening go. So the key wanted that picture of being cheap. And I'm right there with them I go when he thought he's gonna be gone for an hour care so much extra equipment to get that shop like I bring drones out and stuff where I can because some parks allow it like I bring camera Costa, like a pack my bag for backcountry. And it'll be under like thirty pounds. And it's good because a lot of people be at fifty. But then I'll put in fifteen pounds of camera equipment because like I'm kind of right right right there with Paul like if I can get a cool shot of us hiking or some animal like I'm not trying to be a National Geographic. But it just really helps me relive that scene. So for him. He. He wanted to take back something memorable from his trip. And he really wanted that picture again, not the actions of somebody who's trying to disappear it is very disappointing that he didn't have his phone with them because even spotty connection you'd assume they'd be able to track his location PS. PS and they could ping the cell phone. I think they comparing paying it or they could least figure out oh an hour ago. He was in this these coordinates. It's it's everyone in these cases. There's always something where like pulp Fugate not having his radio or Paul Miller forgetting cell phone. It's kinda like man if if you had that anew if they just had it on him, we wouldn't be talking about it, and he'd be found. That's I mean, that's the sad. And that's the sad part. That's it's almost like a warning for people going on. It's like just bring yourself. Oh, man. Like just I mean, I have an iphone. So I bring it for the camp. I bring my for the camera. But like there is some truth in the sense that like just have it with you. Because why not and it's another. It's another tool for in case, something happens. You will you have service. Maybe maybe not in Colorado. We didn't have service, and I got to thirteen thousand feet on his mount on all of a sudden, I got service that called my wife. I'm almost made it to the Senate in the me on rainier. Like, I I get terrible reception at my house in Lahti, but I was on the side of mount rainier, and I was getting full bars Swain that one but. Before we wrap up. I do wanna cut to Georgia's final comments about how his team takes to search and rescue cases in the park say cloak thing. That. You know to a lot of people. This is a headline in a newspaper on a on. A TV telecast, you know, to us at the parks. We take these situations very very seriously because we know that it's not just a person out there. That's losses lives an extended group of people that care about this person that loves this person that when it leased. Like to have closed early. And we. I just want to ensure the public we take it very seriously as a part of our job, and we will continue to do our very best to try to bring closure to to these cases and to anything else. Arise in the park. Absolutely, george. Thank you very much for taking your time to come on the show and answer some of these questions. I always liked getting the information from people that are there every day. And no at best rather than me and Mike trying to convey what the park's like or what the conditions are like so thanks again for coming on the show. And I hope we can contact you in the future. For more interviews. I don't talking with you. Have a good holiday season. You too. So that was George and again, thank you very much for coming on the show and thanks to the park service. We're going to try and wrap things up. Now, Mike, why don't you take it away? Unfortunately, we can't really come to a conclusion what happened to Paul. We will really come to many conclusions on any of these episodes. Yeah. It is called locations unknown. Vocations were known. It would just be us reporting the news if anything develops in this case down the road. We definitely will revisit Paul Miller. Yeah. This is so fresh we will probably see updates. We even debated doing this episode because it was so new, but it was there was a lot of interesting facts out side, just a normal missing person. And if if you know anything about the case, obviously, call the National Park Service call Joshua tree state park. The family has several Facebook pages ongoing right now or they're trying to get any type of information on Paul. If you have anything that you might know go to go to their page. There is a go funny from what I read paula's the main income earner in the household. So they ever go fund me if you want to help the family, it does obviously none of it's good. But it's someone with kids if I had something like that happened to me their kids are grown up which totally helps. Yeah. So not it's still not a good thing. But there there so it's a little bit better. The family. But yeah, go to the go fund me if you can spare anything go to the gofundme me and contribute. It's a sad case. Maybe one day one of these cases. We'll we'll be able to report at the end that. Yeah. Somebody was actually found. Yeah. But if you like these episodes, check out our first episode on Paul Fugate, also you can visit us online at locations, unknown dot org at locations, unknown on Facebook and Instagram. And we'd like to think the Joshua tree national park ranger service and George for allowing us to do the interview on the air any feedback. You have in the episode. Let us know on Facebook. We add some good feedback on the first episode, and we interact with everyone who comments on. Yes. So if we made it worse. Let's no. Yeah. We can undo it and go back. We can go back to the way it was before. Yeah. So with that said, we're gonna have a good holiday if you don't hear from us again before Christmas, and we'll talk to you soon.

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