Is It Still Possible to Disappear From Society?

Posted on 16 Apr 2013


Two of the country’s most notorious survivalists – the Hermit of North Pond in Maine, and The Mountain Man of Utah, were found and arrested in the last few weeks. And a case of a missing family, the McStay family of southern California, was effectively closed when investigators said the family appears to have gone to Mexico voluntarily.

So is it still possible to “disappear” in 2013?

“Is it more difficult? Yes,” said Jim Biesterfeld, a former U.S. army counter-intelligence special agent who teaches private investigations at California State University-Fullerton Jim Biesterfeld. “Impossible? Not even.”

For someone to hide away from society, he said, at least two things are essential: self-sufficiency, and desire.

“There are not that many people who want to stay hidden for that long” in solitude,” Biesterfeld said. “Most people try to establish new identities.”

That’s why it’s unusual for two cases of solitary survivalists to have been solved in such close succession.

Christopher Knight, 47, also known as The North Pond Hermit, appears to be one of those few who truly wanted to live on his own…

Posted in: Survival