TikTok users panic over missing people in U.S. national parks
In a viral TikTok video from May, Becca Goldman, @ bbetter10, explains the global trend of missing people in heavily forested areas of the world. The video has over 14.3 million views.
Now, she delves deep into the subject via a new TikTok series.
According to Outside, 1,600 people are currently missing on US public lands. But Goldman claims that number is far lower than the reality because so many cases have not been made public.
“We don’t see it in the news because we don’t really talk about it at all. Why would they tell you? That would be just another thing you would be afraid of, and they want your money to go to national parks so that you pay the fees to go camping and hiking, ”Goldman told The Daily Dot.
According to New York Post, 600,000 Americans disappear each year but 92% are found, dead or alive. However, note the To post: “[H]How many of them go extinct in the wild is unclear. Neither the Home Office, which oversees the National Park Service, nor the Department of Agriculture’s US Forest Service is monitoring.
In 2017, as Strange Outdoors notes, more than 4,000 search and rescue incidents were reported in US national parks.
As a fan of national parks herself, Goldman hopes that by speaking openly about what goes on inside the parks, more people will understand how little is known about what goes on deep down. of the forest, even in the United States.
“I just want to say that I’m not trying to derail the conversation about fear of American national parks, because they are, but it’s not an American problem. It is a global problem. We have no idea what exists in heavily forested areas, ”Goldman explains in his viral TikTok.
Goldman goes on to tell viewers about his travel experiences in Australia and the Philippines, meeting tribal groups who live far from nearby towns or villages.
“It had been a while since we were in the middle of nowhere and a completely naked person ran across the road in front of us. This person was pale white with blood red eyes. We don’t know what’s going on there, ”Goldman said.
Goldman told the Daily Dot that she was completely surprised by her success on TikTok as she began on the platform to create content for her friends and family, but felt it was a topic more than people should know.
In response to the video, many viewers were shocked at how little information was available on forests around the world, similar to oceans, as much of the topography has yet to be explored.
“I’m from Washington !! We were taught as young people to respect the forest and the ocean because you never know what you are going to encounter there, ”commented one user.
“The non-heavily forested areas are slowly overtaking my fear of the deep ocean omg,” another user added.
Indeed, there is no complete list of all those missing inside the national parks system, according to National Parks Traveler.
“As part of the legality of national parks, they do not legally have to report missing persons. So if someone goes missing in a national park, the national park itself doesn’t legally have to report that person as missing, ”Goldman told The Daily Dot.
That’s because, according to Culture Trip, the National Parks Service leaves the tracking of missing persons to local law enforcement.
Retired Police Officer David Paulides is said to have submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for the National Park Service’s list of unresolved missing persons cases for his book on Missing Person Stories and he was told said he would be charged $ 1.4 million in fees, according to National Parks Traveler.
After the viral reaction to Goldman’s first video about national parks, she decided to create a TikTok series called “Are You Afraid of the Park?” in which she discusses many different cases in which visitors have gone missing in different US national parks. Each of Goldman’s videos in the series tells about a different victim who went missing in a national park.
Viewers on TikTok were excited about the series and encouraged Goldman to create a podcast where she could delve into each story in a longer form, as the creators of TikTok are limited to three minutes per video.
The National Park Service did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment.
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* First published: June 4, 2021, 11:41 a.m. CDT
Michelle Brandabur is an intern at The Daily Dot and a student at Boston University. His work has been featured in the Somerville Journal, Capital Public Radio and WTBU Radio.