The Mystery Encyclopedia

Disappearance of Dennis Martin

On June 14, 1969, Dennis Martin was playing with his brother, Doug, and other young campers when the trio attempted to scare the elder Martin, Clyde. When Dennis failed to jump out of the woods the family became concerned and began calling and searching for Dennis.
Dennis Martin

51 year old mystery brought change to how rescuers search for missing people

That night, temperatures reached a low of 50 degrees Fahrenheit and rained 2.5 inches causing creeks and rivers to overflow and gush with water. High winds on Spence Field made hearing a small child calling for help nearly impossible. Despite thousands of volunteer searchers, helicopters, sniffer dogs, and 50 years of time, Dennis Martin remains lost in the Great Smokey Mountains.

The result of search efforts to find Dennis pushed park officials to review how young Dennis remained lost given the resources used to find him immediately after his disappearance. Since 1969, the park’s used Martin’s disappearance as a guide and a group formed in Utah in 1972, National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR), has used Dennis Martin’s disappearance as a guideline for its internationally recognized organization.