Missing Children and LUFC

By Jonathan D. Whitcomb, cryptozoology author

The tragedy of strange missing-persons cases—that compels me to write about my interpretation of the more mysterious aspects of these disappearances, especially because so many of these lost individuals are children.

In giving this explanation, I don’t mean to imply that all the details in all these cases fit well with my model. Not at all. But many strange aspects of these vanishings become easy to understand with a LUFC (large unidentified flying creature) interpretation. Many of these cases appear to come from attacks from large flying predators, be they huge unclassified birds or ropens (long-tailed modern pterosaurs) or non-ropen Pterodactyloids (short-tailed pterosaurs).

Earlier this month (April of 2016), I was one of those interviewed for a television episode on missing persons in national parks of the United States, in this case Yosemite. This should be broadcast on American TV sometime around the end of 2016 or the beginning of 2017 on the Travel Channel.

David Paulides, author of a number of books about these strange disappearances, apparently has not taken a stand on LUFC (or other explanations involving cryptozoology, as in Bigfoot), but he has noted a  number of similarities in many of these cases of missing persons:

  1. Dogs fail to track or refuse to track the missing person
  2. Some clothing, or one or both shoes, are missing from found person or body
  3. No sign of any struggle and no evidence the victim was dragged away
  4. Body (or living person) is found far from where it would be expected to be
  5. Body is found where searchers had already looked (not finding it before)

The above mysteries are explained below, under the heading “explanations.” Be aware that this is my own theory of LUFC and human disappearances: my own ideas.

Children who go missing

A disproportionately large number of these cases involve missing children. Especially vulnerable are the two-year olds, who are just beginning to become slightly independent.

I have gathered data from the book Missing 411 – Western United States & Canada, by Paulides. I found that small children (under the age of three years old), in these strange cases, are found an average of 7.2 miles from where they became lost. Keep in mind the overall tragedy: many of these little ones are not found and many of those who are found are no longer living.

Children aged three to eight, on the other hand, when they are found, are an average of 5.2 miles from where they became missing. Older children, teenagers, and adults are found at a similar distance away as the 3-8-year-olds.

Many of these areas are rugged wilderness areas, some of them difficult for even experienced adult hikers to get to. Obviously, the two-year-old kids are not just wandering off, hiking up steep mountainous terrain for miles.

Why is a body often found in water?

Mr. Paulides has found many reports in which a missing person’s body was discovered in a lake or other body of water. Coroners often fail to reach a conclusion on cause of death. In addition, much of the evidence shouts loudly at investigators: The missing person was dead before the body got into the water.

In those cases in which the person may have been carried away by a large flying creature, the explanation is not so strange. It has two parts:

  1. Bodies are easier to discover (by searchers) when they are in the water
  2. Large flying creatures are often near water, and they can tire and drop a human body.


1. Dogs fail to track the scent on the ground because a large flying creature has carried the person up into the air.

2. We may have two reasons for missing clothing and shoes. While the person is being carried through the air, the LUFC’s grip may be more on the clothing or shoes. The victim can fall out of the clothing or shoes, leaving the predator flying away with a boot or jacket, etc. In addition, when the predator stops to eat the victim, it may remove clothing. The first explanation appears more reasonable, but some of the details in some cases—those point to the possibility of the second explanation for missing clothing or one or more missing shoes. In addition, the researcher Gerald McIsaac, in British Columbia, where large flying creatures are reported to attack animals and people, says that sometimes a human victim is partially dragged on the ground for a short distance, before being lifted up into the air, and that this causes one or more shoes to be pulled off sometimes.

3. The victim is probably overcome by a noxious mist or vapor used by the flying predator to subdue prey. This mist or vapor is debilitating to inhale. The person is unable to call for help or to struggle against a predator that very soon returns to find that the victim is in a weakened condition. (This may be more like seconds than minutes.) The person is then carried into the air, without leaving much of a drag mark on the ground, or at least for only a short distance.

4. The person is carried in the air towards a location, possibly a cave or other secluded area, where the predator usually takes prey. This is usually far from where a human hiker would be expected to end up.

5. The flying predator may loose track of where the person falls out of clothing. The animal may not be able to find the fallen victim for some time, after discovering that it is carrying only an article of clothing. It may take even more than one day for the flying predator to find the body that was dropped, killing the victim perhaps. The predator may take the victim up into the air again but only for a limited distance, as it stops to rest. Search parties may have already been organized, with many people looking where they would expect that the missing person might be. When they return from a particular search route, they may then find the person’s body at a place where they had already searched. While people are searching for the missing person, the predator may be in the process of moving that person, in degrees, and sometimes losing the intended prey temporarily (or permanently, if people find the person or body).

Report a sighting

If you, or someone you know, have seen a large featherless flying creature, please report the sighting to Jonathan Whitcomb. Thank you.



The ropen and missing persons

A kind of unidentified flying creature has been suggested as the cause of a portion of the missing children cases, for two-year-olds who disappear in or near wilderness areas of the United States and Canada . . .

Two-Year-Old Children Missing

A kind of unidentified flying creature has been suggested as the cause of a portion of the missing children cases, for two-year-olds who disappear in or near wilderness areas of the United States and Canada . . .

Why the Ropen is a Modern Pterosaur

Eyewitnesses from around the world report a large featherless flying creature with a long tail. These reports of long tails outnumber reports of a lack of a long tail by 20-to-1 ratio: 41% to 2%, according to analysis of data compiled at the end of 2012. Those sightings come from eyewitnesses of various cultures . . .

Missing People and Pterosaurs

Some of the strangest missing-persons cases may relate to a few individual animals of one species of ropen in North America . . . When a person is alone in a wilderness area in the United States, a large hungry ropen may attack, subduing the human by a mist or vapor that is debilitating when inhaled by prey. This may explain why human victims, when found alive, are asleep or unconscious or in a state that rescuers may describe as “confused” or “disoriented.”

Flying creatures and missing persons

From reading only a few dozen pages, I noticed the possibility a rogue ropen may have attacked some persons, although this is still speculative, based upon a small percentage of the living-pterosaur sighting reports that I have received over the past eleven years. A few modern pterosaurs do seem to have gone bad, and an apparent ropen has been known to approach a human through a suspicious dive.


Nonfiction cryptozoology book on non-extinct pterosaurs

Fourth edition of the nonfiction cryptozoology book

Searching for Ropens and Finding God – by Jonathan Whitcomb