From Scholar Athlete of the Year to Documentary Filmmaker

July 2015

Miami’s 2014-15 Scholar Athlete of the Year, Entrepreneurship major/Film Studies minor, Redhawk hockey defenseman Ben Paulides graduated with honors in May and immediately turned his attention to a project close to his heart, an unsolved mystery in our national parks and forests.

Over the last few months, Ben has been filming a feature length documentary about strange and unusual disappearances in rural public lands across the United States. Ben believes the public outcry and attention generated from a theatrical release of his feature length documentary will force the hand of the National Park Service to provide answers to the families of thousands of victims nationwide. The project is based on the series of books, Missing 411 written by David Paulides, Ben’s dad.

Ben combined forces with another ex-Miamian, multiple Emmy winning videographer-editor Michael DeGrazier, to lead a team spending the last two months filming the trailer for this movie. They interviewed victims’ families, filmed in National Parks, and interviewed ex-park rangers and researchers. This week, they are taking their story national with a Kickstarter campaign that they hope will provide the funding to complete the movie.

Ben explained, “The project began after a meeting with a park ranger and slowly evolved into a study of missing people who have vanished in our national parks, many under highly unusual circumstances. We found that in a majority of the cases researched, parents and relatives of the victims believe their loved one was kidnapped.

Law enforcement and the media typically do not publicize concerns of kidnapping or abduction when the missing incident can be indolently explained through natural means. But there are too many similar cases to ignore the trend. The consistencies must be explored.

“Missing 411 will begin a societal dialogue about these disappearances. We aim to be a voice for the victims and their families. Missing 411 The Movie will add visual clarity to these cases.”