The possibility of being made to vanish, to lose one's very self, taps such deep human fears that, in ages past, people blamed the devil or other dark forces for unexplained disappearances.
However, a vanishing is more likely to be an escape - faced with overwhelming adversity, who would not dream of slipping anonymously into another life and place? In the United States alone, about one million people are added to the missing person rolls each year; almost all have merely dropped out of some frame of reference and reappear within six months.
Nonetheless, there remains a kind of aristocracy among the vanished, some real, some legendary, and all cloaked in the mythology of the inexplicably absent.
Their disappearances often occur without visible motive, defy every rational explanation, and thwart even the most diligent investigator.
Series: Curious & unusual facts
Number Of Pages: 128
Published: 18th November 2003
Dimensions (cm): 27.6 x 21.3 x 2.000
Weight (kg): 0.924