What is the deal with missing threads?

I’m not talking about controversial threads that were killed for one reason or another, but “harmless little threads” that can’t be found with the search engine.

I remember a couple of different topics from “a while back,” but I can’t find them despite using words that I know should find them.

Were any threads actually lost in one of the board meltdowns?

Just in case you’re interested, I posted a question about William McKinley’s injuries in GQ (two years ago, maybe).

Another one was in GD, which was about Shoeless Joe, and cited a study that ESPN had done that showed he wasn’t quite so innocent as is often believed (three or four years ago).

The whole period from ~12/07/2001 to ~03/20/2002 is missing, and back in UBB days, some forums were purged of stuff prior to ~07/01/1999. Individual items here and there have gone away as well.

Plus, If you remember only 3 letter words from the thread, you can’t search for it. The search engine requires a 4 letter word minimum.

You might be able to locate some lost threads with a search on http://www.boardreader.com

Also make sure that you’re setting an appropriate range of dates to search. I think that the default is “since yesterday”, whereas you probably want “a year ago or older”.