If you look on the Lucie Blackman Trust website you will see the photographs and names of seventy five people that have disappeared abroad. Forty seven of these people have disappeared whilst in Europe, the remaining twenty eight people have disappeared in countries outside of Europe.
These are not the only people that have disappeared whilst abroad but these are the people that friends and family have decided to seek the help of the Lucie Blackman Trust for.
The Lucie Blackman Trust was set up in 2008 by Lucie’s father, Tim Blackman. Lucie went missing in the year 2000 whilst working in Japan. Tragically, after months of searching, Lucie’s body was found. She had been brutally murdered. Her father and sister set up the Trust to help others in similar circumstances, and to date they have helped thousands of people who have found themselves in the horrific situation when a loved one goes missing abroad.
The Lucie Blackman Trust exists to “support British nationals in crisis overseas”.
The Trust obviously does vital work. Supporting the Trusts’ financial costs must be an obvious starting point to help them in their work. But as individuals and groups outside of their close knit operation, are we able to do more to help, and without hindering?
In a confusing world, it can only be assumed that everyone has the right to disappear, to go missing. That is my assumption. But with the free will to disappear and to create a new life for oneself, I am again assuming that family and friends of the disappeared have the right to look for the disappeared. This does not take away the free will of the disappeared but just stamps the approval for the free will of the searcher.
Sadly, apart from those people wishing to remove themselves from their old lives and to set themselves up as missing, people also succumb to crimes abroad, and people also go missing after having fatal accidents. Sadly, many people are missing because their bodies lie waiting to be found whilst they were out walking, trekking or sailing. Sadly, many people lie waiting to be found after a murder has been committed.
The complexities associated with such disappearances often lead to utter despair on the family’s and friend’s part. The not knowing of what has happened to their loved ones can lead to panic, utter horror, and huge despondency.
How can we further help the families and friends of those that have disappeared abroad? Can we set up ongoing search parties for those that have gone missing whilst out walking abroad? Focusing on those that have gone missing in Europe whilst out walking or trekking, according to Lucie’s site the number of people is five, in countries such as Greece, France and Portugal. And two gentleman have gone missing whilst sailing in European waters.
What is stopping us from organising ongoing, professional well run search parties? Would the families and friends support such thinking? Or would this just further raise the angst of the horrendous waiting game these people are up against? Would it be more helpful not to raise their hopes to try and find answers?
For those people that we feel are still out there but just living different lives, would the family and friends welcome discreet, sensitive searches-to find out if their loved ones are still alive-to carefully respect the will of both parties, and to potentially come to terms with an understanding that for the time being contact is not needed or wanted-for whatever reason that might be?
Where the reason for disappearance can only be speculation, and this perhaps is in the majority of disappearance situations, is there a role for individuals, and or groups, with the permission of the loved ones to go out there into the field to sensitively, calmly and with the best of intentions unearth what may have become of the disappeared person?
At the last time of reading Lucie’s site, the youngest person mentioned at the time of their disappearance is fifteen years old, the eldest at the time of their disappearance being eighty four years old.
Thirteen people have gone missing in Spain, nine in France, six in Portugal. Four people have gone missing in Greece, three in Germany, three in Italy and two in Switzerland. In Hungary, Malta, Austria and Holland, one person has gone missing in each country.
The longest person missing on Lucie’s site is from nineteen ninety four. The shortest period so far missing is from the year two thousand and eighteen, last year.
The statistics above don’t quite add up because some people’s disappearances involve the potential of more than one country. Similarly the way people may have gone missing statistically don’t quite add up because one is still not quite sure of the definite way. However, it is thought that three people went missing after taking cross channel ferries to France. It is thought that two people went missing after having taken the Eurostar train. It is thought that a further nine people went missing whilst on holiday in a European country, six people whilst working in a European country, eight people whilst living in one, eight people whilst travelling in one and two people whilst visiting friends in one.
There are a further twenty eight people on Lucie’s site that have disappeared whilst travelling, living or walking in countries outside of Europe. These people deserve equal mention. My only reason for concentrating on those that have disappeared from Europe is because I have wanted to set up a project within Europe to potentially search for particular people that have disappeared within Europe’s boundaries. I have a campervan. I have travelled abroad widely. I have often come across strange situations on my travels. I found a missing person quite by chance whilst travelling back in the early nineteen nineties.
When one feels one has a knack to potentially help, when one feels one’s life has been a training ground for potentially helping in particular missing persons cases I guess one can only put one’s thoughts out there, and wait, look, for a response.
In my quest to help people whose loved ones have gone missing I know for sure that I have butted in when in fact my help was not needed, not wanted, not appropriate.
I have a big belief in a God, in a force for good within life, a force that wants to help and rectify the horrendous situations we witness in life today. When you feel you have some form of vocation, sometimes you have to step right back, try and make yourself available and then potentially be asked to step forward. You need to be the right person to be of use in this particular line of work, I assume.
In the first instance, the Lucie Blackman Trust does enormous and important work for so many wounded, frightened and seemingly helpless people who are searching for their loved ones. Raising money to continue their operations must surely be a big help, and in that, perhaps I can recommend a look on Lucie’s site, http://www.lbtrust.org
Similarly, if you feel like talking about the ability, the necessity and the permissions to potentially help search further please do get in touch with me. For me, this is a God thing. Searching could be done by listening extremely hard to a force within that knows the wheres, the whys and the hows.
Perhaps I am a dreamer. But it feels real to me.