The 1969 Disappearance of Dennis Lloyd Martin
On June 14, 1969 the National Park Service began the largest search and rescue mission in the history of the park service. Seven year old Dennis was attending a Fathers Day outing with his father, brother, and grandfather in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. While the adults were setting up their camp site in Spence Field Dennis and three other children staying at the camp site decide to play a trick on the adults. The children went into the woods and planned on sneaking around the adults and jump out of the woods to scare them.
Several minutes later three of the children ran out of the woods in an attempt to scare the adults. Denis never exited the woods. The three other children had sent Dennis on another path because at the time Dennis had been wearing a bright red shirt which the children thought might be seen by the adults. After realizing that Dennis had not come out of the woods the adults began searching for him. Hours later the park ranger service entered the search.
The search was hampered by heavy rain and lightning over the next few days. It is estimated that a lost person can walk twelve miles in a twenty-four hour time span. The search for Dennis Lloyd Martin lasted until June 29, 1969. It was estimated that at one point in time there were over 1,400 searchers in the park. President Richard Nixon had requested daily up dates on the search which by that time had made national news.
The search was aided by the FBI, local and state police services, as well as specialized units of the Special Forces and Green Berets. The assistance by these agencies were the origin point for many conspiracy theories which included the abduction by Bigfoot were later debunked in the book “Forever Searching.” The book include updated interviews with all of the primary people involved in the search and a last rear tell-tailing interview Harold Keys who provide the author with details never released to the public.
Fifty-one years later the FBI who classified the incident as a lost person case still refuse to release their one-hundred-forty-seven-page report to the public even after several Freedom of Information Act requests. This leads to further questions outside of the realm of the search. If the case had no criminal aspect or suspects to be adjudicated why has the FBI failed to release the report? I mean lets face it, the FBI released all of John Gotti’s files, a mob boss and murderer, but they refuse to release a lost person report. It only proves the Freedom of Information Act has nothing to do with the Freedom of Information. I encourage the reader to check-out the Micah Hanks podcast “The Gralien Report” and the new episodes of “Savage Watch - Killer Chronicles.”
I will leave you with my personal thoughts on the Dennis Lloyd Martin disappearance. Even with 1,400 searchers, park rangers, trackers, Special Forces, Green Berets, dogs, and helicopters no trace of Dennis Lloyd Martin was ever found.