How Many people DISAPPEAR Every year?

Years ago, I once read that around 4500 persons per year (in the USA) literally disappear=that is, the go off to work or out for a jog, and never come back!
Now, sometimes somebody leaves a nursing home (who is obviously demented), and winds up in the woods or in a lake-and the body is never found. What I am interested in is : has anybody ever studied these disappearences? Do people just decide they can’t take life, and “drop out”? Do most of these people assume a new identity (and how hard is this to do)?
Leaving aside abducted children, anybody know what happens to most of these people? Are aliens involved?

Sites on studies into missing persons stats: (UK) (Australia)

I’ve always been partial to the psychological condition known (still? I think) as dissociative fugue, where someone seemingly out of the blue becomes a completely different person with a different identity, personality, history, etc., and no memory of their previous life.

I mean, talk about putting your troubles behind you!

If their bodies are never found, how do we know they were in the woods or in a lake? Personally, I think you know more than you’re letting on.

Planning on helping someone disappear? :smiley:

Me! Help me disappear!

I had a friend who decided that he just was tired of “the whole thing.” He dropped out in a big way. He just decided to stop paying for things. So he was put in jail. He was so not playing by the rules that they shipped him to the psycho ward @ the state hospital. Since he wasn’t a danger to anyione he couldn’t be locked up there so he’d wlk away in his paper shoes and come to my house. :eek: Mind you, this whole time he maintained to authorities that he didn’t knoe who he was. I even saved the clipping that the local newspaper ran “Do You Know This Man?”
This is only marginally related in that I don’t think that anyone reported him as missing.
He was/is very, very bright and holds a college degree.

      • It was a while ago, but I read a magazine article a few years back that investigated the “Wal-Mart” missing childred deal: Wal-Mart had some figure, of tens of thousands of kids disappearing each year, never recovered. The conclusion of the article (Reason magazine, IIRC) was that as a “community spirit” publicity ploy, Wal-Mart stressed the numbers of “children reported missing” but rarely if ever bothered to follow up on any–and most of those children are gone only a few days, and return on their own. The article found that most turned up within three days and were found to be with friends or relatives; most of the small children were taken by a parent without legal custody, and of all cases, almost all turned up within one year. Most of the older children reported missing were essentially suspected runaways–not kidnapping victims at all (tho bad things can happen to runaways it’s true). The total yearly average was about 300 kids that went missing and were not recovered within a year later. Scary in a way, but as they pointed out, not bad for a nation of 250 million people.
  • Comparing figures of different countries was difficult, as most don’t use the same legal and reporting standards.