A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

Camino Forum Donation

Our "missing pilgrim" policy

Status
Not open for further replies.
#1
Dec. 18 — Two weeks of mulling, discussing, thinking, and reading forum comments led us to revise the proposed policy that was printed below. For the policy we will apply in the future, see the last post in this thread.


After much internal discussion and consideration, the moderators and Ivar have come up with a loose policy about how to deal with posts by people looking for pilgrims on the Camino. The following paragraphs describes what we think is appropriate in that situation. We will post this language at the start of every new missing pilgrim thread, but we wanted forum members to have a chance to see the policy outside the context of a particular case.

Over the past few years, we have seen posts by people looking for loved ones and worried because they have not heard from them recently. Forum members have gotten involved to try to help locate the “missing” pilgrim. This is a sensitive issue, because we have to respect the possibility that a pilgrim may intentionally want to cut off contact with “the world,” while in other cases the pilgrim may be unable to contact the loved ones. Because we cannot verify the intentions of the person looking for a “missing pilgrim,” and because we have no way of knowing whether the “missing pilgrim” wishes to be found, we have adopted these general guidelines:

The forum will allow the posting of “missing person” threads.

Responses to the thread should fall into one of two catergories:

1. Suggestions about steps the OP can take to try to find the missing person. Speculative posts, including those pondering the motivation of the missing person, will be deleted.

2. Factual information about the whereabouts of the missing person, for instance, “I was with XXX two nights ago in xxxx albergue”. If you can speak to the missing person directly, ask him or her to contact the OP rather than disclosing the person's location on the forum. Communications with the OP via the private message function would help preserve the privacy of the parties.

If you have any concerns please contact a moderator.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
#4
My take on it:

On one Camino, I was followed by a woman a couple of days. As she didn't speak Spanish, I gave her my phone number (I do that sometimes when I see it's needed, and I have had to make calls to other countries for solving bank issues, pay up for an Aussie girl who was robbed for all her money, healing blisters with my "superior blister knowledge" :);) etc), and felt really awkward when she called me a couple of days later, saying she missed me and wanted me to wait for her etc.

I had to give her some false info ("I was too far away") about my whereabouts. Luckily we never met again.

So my advice is to be careful with this issue.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
#6
I am certain you guys have thrashed this out “behind the scenes”, but I would like to ask you to consider one little tweak. Instead of “I was with XXX 2 nights ago in XXX albergue” could the suggestion be simply the time and NOT location? That would alleviate initial concerns about someone who has been missing a week or more, whilst protecting their privacy.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#8
I am certain you guys have thrashed this out “behind the scenes”, but I would like to ask you to consider one little tweak. Instead of “I was with XXX 2 nights ago in XXX albergue” could the suggestion be simply the time and NOT location? That would alleviate initial concerns about someone who has been missing a week or more, whilst protecting their privacy.
Exactly my thought when reading new policy. If any authorised person would want more detailed info (exact place, psychical condition etc.) it could be obtained by the same person that posted the date when s/he saw/was with "missing person". I think time info should definitely be allowed on the forum.

Another thought. Somebody that saw "missing person" can't post exact place in order to protect the "missing person" but the person (parents, kids, partners,...) searching for "missing person" can (and are encouraged to) post names, date of birth, photos etc.? Isn't that a little bit of discrepancy or double standards when (presumably) the goal is the same - find/help someone or relieve somebody else in their worries?
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#9
Heartfelt support can be shared in a Conversation, too. The rest of the Forum does not really need to know how sympathetic a member is. :) Useful advice can be sent in a Conversation as well, although publicly posting it could eliminate repetitive advice, such as a hundred Conversations suggesting contacting the police and embassy.

Perhaps the policy could include the suggestion that many posts would be better as a Conversation.:rolleyes:
 
#10
Another thought. Somebody that saw "missing person" can't post exact place in order to protect the "missing person" but the person (parents, kids, partners,...) searching for "missing person" can (and are encouraged to) post names, date of birth, photos etc.? Isn't that a little bit of discrepancy or double standards when (presumably) the goal is the same - find/help someone or relieve somebody else in their worries?
I think if anyone was to post the date of birth of a person and their name I would delete the DOB as soon as I saw it and encourage members to report it. This information is too much, a simple age range i.e. early twenties is enough.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#11
Isn't that a little bit of discrepancy or double standards when (presumably) the goal is the same
Yes, a discrepancy, but with a good reason. In the unlikely case that the searcher has bad intentions, we need to protect the missing person's most recent location. On the overall issue of privacy, the worried person has made the judgement that concern over-rules privacy at that point. I accept that, but will not add to the private information.

The goal of the forum should be to help reach the missing person and inform them that they are missed. It is then the responsibility of the "missing" person to contact home. This protects the welfare of a person who might have good reasons to avoid being tracked. A secondary goal is to relieve the worry of well-intentioned family who are looking. This can be done by posting a message on the thread that the person has been seen on a given date, without location. If the missing person has been informed of the search, we can say so but still not give location. I see no reason why that should not be on the public forum.

Contrary to a number of suggestions, I think that driving the conversation underground is not helpful. In fact, I think that forum members should be actively discouraged from providing location information even in a Private Message. We need to remind ourselves that we do not know the person who claims to be a worried family member. Anyone can make that claim on the internet and there could be cases of stalking. Giving the information privately could be even worse, as only the recipient would know and we cannot have confidence who that really is.

Our inaction (i.e. not telling location) will not cause harm, even though neither will it relieve all worry and uncertainty. However, our action (telling location) could cause harm. The truly worried parent/family would appreciate our care in protecting this information.

Just my thoughts!
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#12
I agree with this new policy and with most everything offered in the dialog. My only caveat is that we try to avoid information that specifically identifies or locates a "missing" pilgrim, EXCEPT to the person initiating the search.

My recommendation is for a moderator to immediately send them a Private Conversation that explains what they can and cannot post in open forum, and what is best to self-initiate and share via the Private Conversation sub-system. The moderators can then tell us, in open forum, which moderator to contact via P/C for specific information that should be shielded from the general population.

Let's try to remember that this entire forum is 'ported' out to social media in a parallel fashion. So, while you may not have a Facebook account, for example, everyone can read everything in the open forum. Only members can access the Private Conversation sub-system.

When I discovered this more than 5 years ago, I stopped using my true name in the forum and opted for an analog. Many of you already do the same... So, someone "from the outside" trying to find me would need to make that cross connection to search for my posts.

This is also one of the reasons I closed my Facebook account almost two years ago. There is no point in making it any easier for a malfeascent than I need to.

Hope this helps.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF-Finisterra-Muxia 2017; SK Camino Kosiče-Levoča Oct 2017; El Norte March 2018; Ingles Nov 2018
#13
After much internal discussion and consideration, the moderators and Ivar have come up with a loose policy about how to deal with posts by people looking for pilgrims on the Camino. The following paragraphs describes what we think is appropriate in that situation. We will post this language at the start of every new missing pilgrim thread, but we wanted forum members to have a chance to see the policy outside the context of a particular case.

Over the past few years, we have seen posts by people looking for loved ones and worried because they have not heard from them recently. Forum members have gotten involved to try to help locate the “missing” pilgrim. This is a sensitive issue, because we have to respect the possibility that a pilgrim may intentionally want to cut off contact with “the world,” while in other cases the pilgrim may be unable to contact the loved ones. Because we cannot verify the intentions of the person looking for a “missing pilgrim,” and because we have no way of knowing whether the “missing pilgrim” wishes to be found, we have adopted these general guidelines:

The forum will allow the posting of “missing person” threads.

Responses to the thread should fall into one of two catergories:

1. Suggestions about steps the OP can take to try to find the missing person. Speculative posts, including those pondering the motivation of the missing person, will be deleted.

2. Factual information about the whereabouts of the missing person, for instance, “I was with XXX two nights ago in xxxx albergue”. If you can speak to the missing person directly, ask him or her to contact the OP rather than disclosing the person's location on the forum. Communications with the OP via the private message function would help preserve the privacy of the parties.

If you have any concerns please contact a moderator.
100% agree. Thank you.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#14
My only caveat is that we try to avoid information that specifically identifies or locates a "missing" pilgrim, EXCEPT to the person initiating the search.
This completely ignores the point I was making about NOT necessarily being able to trust the person initiating the search.
 

walkingstu

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino SJPP to SDC 2007 Frances
Camino Aragon Pau Fr. to Pamplona 2010
Camino Burgos to SDC 2012
Camino Porto to SDC 2015
Camino VDLP Seville to SDC March 2016
#15
We have taken the "Keeping In Touch" aspect of our Technology too far. It is invasive, and it isn't healthy. Because we have the ability doesn't mean we should. If you're old enough to walk the Camino, you're old enough to manage your own personal affairs/relationships. You don't need help " Keeping in touch" If an adult is off the radar, it's because they want to be. None of us would walk away from a person we knew to be in need, or distress. But searching our Psyche is a singular endeavour, it requires solitude, new adventure, and a certain amount of discomfort. We have to get out of the moment. The last thing we need is someone trying to manage that for us.
 
#16
Contrary to a number of suggestions, I think that driving the conversation underground is not helpful. In fact, I think that forum members should be actively discouraged from providing location information even in a Private Message. We need to remind ourselves that we do not know the person who claims to be a worried family member. Anyone can make that claim on the internet and there could be cases of stalking. Giving the information privately could be even worse, as only the recipient would know and we cannot have confidence who that really is.

Our inaction (i.e. not telling location) will not cause harm, even though neither will it relieve all worry and uncertainty. However, our action (telling location) could cause harm. The truly worried parent/family would appreciate our care in protecting this information.

Just my thoughts!
Very good point @C clearly !
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (SJPdP-Burgos, 2015)
Camino Frances (Burgos-Sarria, 2018)
Sarria-Santiago (Oct. 2018)
#18
The goal of the forum should be to help reach the missing person and inform them that they are missed. It is then the responsibility of the "missing" person to contact home. This protects the welfare of a person who might have good reasons to avoid being tracked. A secondary goal is to relieve the worry of well-intentioned family who are looking. This can be done by posting a message on the thread that the person has been seen on a given date, without location. !
Well said. 👍👍
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
#19
May I suggest that the forum software be tweaked so that when any threads that need careful oversight of content get updated all moderators get an alert.
That is already in place for us. The only problem might be a situation where none of the mods are online and the thread is updated. If the update is not in keeping with the guidelines it should be reported asap, then we will see it as soon as we log in.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#20
This completely ignores the point I was making about NOT necessarily being able to trust the person initiating the search.
I agree with what you said. But, if we are to try to do anything to help locate pilgrims, we must have a standard procedure. My earlier post addressed, what I thought was reasonable, assessing all the other opinions in the dialog.

I think that at some point, the initial post needs to be taken at face value, just in case. My proposal moves initial discussion offline, with the moderators, to better ascertain whether we can or should help, or if the initial request was sketchy or somehow questionable.

I hope this clarifies that earlier post. My position is that we should help in all cases. But we need to have a process that ensures that we only leap into action for genuinely lost or at risk people.

I agree that some folks do not want to be found. In saying this, I am making no value judgments. I am offering no opinion on this issue...not wanting to be located or found.

In this case, if the back and forth is handled in the P/C sub-system, then the moderator handling the specific cases can pass filtered information back to the OP. Again, this is done using the P/C sub-system so the communication of factual or personal information (DOB, mobile number, email address, etc.) is only between the OP and the moderator handling the case. We ought not see any of it.

For example, let's say that a left-behind family member A posts that spouse B has dropped off the radar screen while on Camino and A is very panicky. Moderator C steps in and sends a P/C to the OP explaining the standard procedure.

The moderator then posts in the forum what we need to know to locate this person (B). We can provide our usual bevy of helpful advice in the open forum. In this relationship, the assigned moderator acts as a 'cut out' between the source of the request and the target of the search. The OP should remain in direct contact with the OP though the P/C sub-system, until the matter is resolved.

All forum members are simply told to relay all sighting information, location, or personal contacts directly to the named moderator. If B does not want to be located or found, C will simply report to A that B is well and prefers some quiet time, or however the policy for handling this contingency develops. The moderator (C) relays information between A and B.

To the rest of the forum, the moderator (C) would simply state that contact has been made, that pilgrim B is well, and the matter is resolved. OTOH, if B desires to be placed in contact with A, the moderator should be able to provide constructive advice that precludes us interfering what may be a very private matter.

Of course, if foul play is suspected, the moderator needs to provide specific guidance on dealing with relevant authorities, in priority order. We will naturally provide a lot of this information. But, it can be canned as a standard .pdf file that all moderators (C) have, and provided to the OP (A) early on in the private dialog.

Is this more responsibility and perhaps more work for the moderators? Perhaps. But, if we are to prevent becoming an open gossip board, I submit that this process is necessary.

I sincerely hope this helps, both to clarify, and to move the dialog along...
 
Last edited:
#21
@peregrina2000 discussed this policy with all the moderators for a week or so before putting out the version above. We realise that it is not perfect, perfect in this instance is impossible but we hope it balances the need for a worried relative for reassurance with the right to privacy of the pilgrim with whom they have lost contact.

After reading all the posts on this thread and considering them the policy may or may not be altered.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF Sep/Oct 2015
C Primitivo Sep / Oct 2016
Portugese Fatima Santiago Sep/Oct 2017
VdlP, Muxia 2018
#22
After much internal discussion and consideration, the moderators and Ivar have come up with a loose policy about how to deal with posts by people looking for pilgrims on the Camino. The following paragraphs describes what we think is appropriate in that situation. We will post this language at the start of every new missing pilgrim thread, but we wanted forum members to have a chance to see the policy outside the context of a particular case.

Over the past few years, we have seen posts by people looking for loved ones and worried because they have not heard from them recently. Forum members have gotten involved to try to help locate the “missing” pilgrim. This is a sensitive issue, because we have to respect the possibility that a pilgrim may intentionally want to cut off contact with “the world,” while in other cases the pilgrim may be unable to contact the loved ones. Because we cannot verify the intentions of the person looking for a “missing pilgrim,” and because we have no way of knowing whether the “missing pilgrim” wishes to be found, we have adopted these general guidelines:

The forum will allow the posting of “missing person” threads.

Responses to the thread should fall into one of two catergories:

1. Suggestions about steps the OP can take to try to find the missing person. Speculative posts, including those pondering the motivation of the missing person, will be deleted.

2. Factual information about the whereabouts of the missing person, for instance, “I was with XXX two nights ago in xxxx albergue”. If you can speak to the missing person directly, ask him or her to contact the OP rather than disclosing the person's location on the forum. Communications with the OP via the private message function would help preserve the privacy of the parties.

If you have any concerns please contact a moderator.
This is very good. I would agree with KIWI Family - exclude the exact location. I too met quite a few pilgrims, of all ages, who needed "space" and this time during their Camino is very precious to them. Personally, I try to avoid social media during my walks. I restrict communications to the regular contact with home. It is one of the conditions when I am granted "leave of absence" by my very kind and understanding wife and family.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
#24
In fairness we have not had any missing person threads posted by stalkers and hopefully we won't but the guidelines should protect the privacy of the missing pilgrim.
Just go ahead, as long as you moderators see it from both sides (Unwanted attention, as in my case above), which I am convinced and certain you all do.

Edit I: Maybe in those cases, you could do a PM conversation with the OP in order to thorougly establish the exact cause for his/her search for the "missing" pilgrim.

Edit II: I would hate to be stalked on the Camino, assisted by MY forum :)
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
#25
The goal of the forum should be to help reach the missing person and inform them that they are missed. It is then the responsibility of the "missing" person to contact home. This protects the welfare of a person who might have good reasons to avoid being tracked. A secondary goal is to relieve the worry of well-intentioned family who are looking. This can be done by posting a message on the thread that the person has been seen on a given date, without location. If the missing person has been informed of the search, we can say so but still not give location. I see no reason why that should not be on the public forum.
Please, please, moderators listen! This is the most sensible and balanced statement about this matter that has been made so far. I would go even further, and suggest that until the person posting a 'missing person' message has established their bona fides at the same level that might be needed by police or consular staff to take action, no time or location information should be shared. I am aware that in general, this would be a difficult test, but it has been achieved in the past, and presumably could be again should the circumstances warrant that.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#26
at some point, the initial post needs to be taken at face value
Yes. I would, from the start. But we still apply the rules.
we only leap into action for genuinely lost or at risk people.
If we ever get to the point of knowing that a person is genuinely lost or at risk, we should step aside and let the authorities handle things.

Our role is only to help the family understand how the camino works, and to use our pilgrim network to reduce the anxiety, without compromising safety.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#27
Reading all these posts filled with so much attentiveness for "missing persons" needs, their peace of mind and getting off the grid etc., makes me think what kind of persons are they actually? Is it really so hard to say or send a note to be left alone for some time? With all respect to their needs I think they are acting immature (in general, not in individual cases which I know nothing about) not to tell the persons that care about them what is the situation. For me it's like ending a relationship without even noticing the partner. Like "Honey, I'm gonna get some cigarettes. Be right back." and then I would vanish.

Sorry if I steer this in completely off-topic direction.

But I do concure that the location of "missing person" shouldn't be exposed.
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
#29
Missing is an emotive term, to me it says the person has been out of contact long enough that there is reason to report it to the police. I am uncomfortable with this forum swinging into action in any way which either over dramatises a situation where someone has been out of touch for a little longer than expected, or conversely, tries to give a sense that the forum can do something that the police cannot do.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
#30
This forum has at least on two occasions that I'm aware of helped locate and had missing pilgrims contact home, maybe those of us who are here a bit longer may remember a few more.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
#31
@KinkyOne while I agree with your thoughts about those who go MIA without a courteous word to whomever might be concerned about them, there is another scenario that withholding location info covers - that’s the presumably rare, but possible situation of the person posting the thread being a stalker and we have no way of knowing.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#32
Through all of these many discussions, Denise Theim keeps coming to mind. She went MIA unintentially through foul play and met with a terrible ending to her life. Although that was probably a never before occurance, I still sympathize with any parent or loved one who is concerned when contact has been lost. Just last year a walker on the Norte fell off a cliff and died.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Several alone and with children
#33
Reading all these posts filled with so much attentiveness for "missing persons" needs, their peace of mind and getting off the grid etc., makes me think what kind of persons are they actually? Is it really so hard to say or send a note to be left alone for some time? With all respect to their needs I think they are acting immature (in general, not in individual cases which I know nothing about) not to tell the persons that care about them what is the situation. For me it's like ending a relationship without even noticing the partner. Like "Honey, I'm gonna get some cigarettes. Be right back." and then I would vanish.

Sorry if I steer this in completely off-topic direction.

But I do concure that the location of "missing person" shouldn't be exposed.
Oh Kinky you know I love you!!!!
I wanted to offer my opinion on this kind of situation. I'm not convinced that these "missing" pilgrims have not thought of their loved ones. I suspect most are first time pilgrims who can't even imagine what to expect on this wonderful journey. I also suspect many of them have actually shared with their loved ones and that their loved ones have a since of anxiety about such a hike, distance, time away and the need of finding of ones self etc...
In todays time so many of our problems can be answered by going on the internet and sounding a horn, and nervous loved ones do just that.
I imagine many of these "missing" pilgrims are from a different continent than Europe and therefore loved ones can't even imagine this endeavor...
I guess Im not convinced that these missing pilgrims on the Camino haven't to the best of their knowledge communicated to their loved ones. I know my first Camino I was so tired every evening, the hours that separated me from communication at home were an obstacle, let alone the phone issues that I never even imagined.
I'm not supportive of the idea of any forum accepting photos or taking the names for people searching for anyone.
...but then there was Denise...a beautiful soul who I so wish we found on the Camino for her loved ones.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#34
Through all of these many discussions, Denise Theim keeps coming to mind.
Yes, that is true. It makes us want to act on our sympathy and fears, just to be doing something. However, nothing we do on this forum will make those missing pilgrims any safer. Whatever caused them to go "missing" happened well before we got involved. All we are doing is reducing anxiety for the family, and we should do it in a way that does not create a new risk to the pilgrim (unlikely but plausible) and hopefully also respects the privacy of the pilgrim.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Several alone and with children
#35
We have taken the "Keeping In Touch" aspect of our Technology too far. It is invasive, and it isn't healthy. Because we have the ability doesn't mean we should. If you're old enough to walk the Camino, you're old enough to manage your own personal affairs/relationships. You don't need help " Keeping in touch" If an adult is off the radar, it's because they want to be. None of us would walk away from a person we knew to be in need, or distress. But searching our Psyche is a singular endeavour, it requires solitude, new adventure, and a certain amount of discomfort. We have to get out of the moment. The last thing we need is someone trying to manage that for us.
This is EXACTLY how I feel!

And then...there was Denise, I am so thankful to this forum for being there for her family...
With that said I thank the moderators for trying to take this on to the best of their abilities.
I do hope it is decided that those looking for pilgrims are educated to go to the authorities though and not on forum that would understand being "missing" on the Camino more than anyone else.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Several alone and with children
#36
Yes, that is true. It makes us want to act on our sympathy and fears, just to be doing something. However, nothing we do on this forum will make those missing pilgrims any safer. Whatever caused them to go "missing" happened well before we got involved. All we are doing is reducing anxiety for the family, and we should do it in a way that does not create a new risk to the pilgrim (unlikely but plausible) and hopefully also respects the privacy of the pilgrim.
Beautifully said.
I appreciate the reminder, "nothing we do on this forum will make those missing any safer", if that is acknowledged then we need to consider do we want to be a forum that supports fellow pilgrims getting "lost" and being adults with adult decisions to be connected or not. Or be a forum to reduce anxiety for families?
And if we decide to be the former the door is not closed to these families, they then go to the appropriate resources, authorities.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#37
Denise Thiem's name was mentioned in few last posts and maybe I can add another aspect of virtual community being involved in such cases. Denise's story ended awful and very sad and I guess there was nothing we could have done to help her but when more and more details of her last whereabouts were revealed I have this feeling that we "the community" helped or even speed up the investigation. I remember the info on older Italian man that had breakfast with Denise on the day she disappeared and someone mentioned something about this man's book he wrote. I don't remember the details but after doing some extensive internet research I found his name related to the book (only by its topic). Would police be faster than we were? I don't know. I don't know if there was any police inspector involved that was reading our forum or any FB pages etc. to obtain such information but we did. And that's all we can do, we can't get info on cash withdrawals or phone calls or GPS positions etc., all we can operate with is the info from concerned relatives, partners, friends. What I'm trying to say is that we have the power, the knowledge and established connections all over the world and also in the field (Camino itself). And we have to use that to help the police which is, I agree, only authority in such cases. For that we need information. What should or shouldn't be disclossed is not part of this post. I was just thinking aloud...
 
Last edited:

4 Eyes

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF from SJPP 14, VDLP from Seville 15, DN&P from Irun 16, Portuguese from Lisbon 17
#38
After much internal discussion and consideration, the moderators and Ivar have come up with a loose policy about how to deal with posts by people looking for pilgrims on the Camino. The following paragraphs describes what we think is appropriate in that situation. We will post this language at the start of every new missing pilgrim thread, but we wanted forum members to have a chance to see the policy outside the context of a particular case.

Over the past few years, we have seen posts by people looking for loved ones and worried because they have not heard from them recently. Forum members have gotten involved to try to help locate the “missing” pilgrim. This is a sensitive issue, because we have to respect the possibility that a pilgrim may intentionally want to cut off contact with “the world,” while in other cases the pilgrim may be unable to contact the loved ones. Because we cannot verify the intentions of the person looking for a “missing pilgrim,” and because we have no way of knowing whether the “missing pilgrim” wishes to be found, we have adopted these general guidelines:

The forum will allow the posting of “missing person” threads.

Responses to the thread should fall into one of two catergories:

1. Suggestions about steps the OP can take to try to find the missing person. Speculative posts, including those pondering the motivation of the missing person, will be deleted.

2. Factual information about the whereabouts of the missing person, for instance, “I was with XXX two nights ago in xxxx albergue”. If you can speak to the missing person directly, ask him or her to contact the OP rather than disclosing the person's location on the forum. Communications with the OP via the private message function would help preserve the privacy of the parties.

If you have any concerns please contact a moderator.
I really don't see the problem as whether a pilgrim is right or wrong in wanting to get away and being alone. Stalking is a real and serious problem. I have experienced it myself and have witnessed 2 other pilgrims being stalked at different times. The latest one I met both the stalker and the stalked and it is no joke. So on the topic of Denise Thiem, disclosing information about a pilgrim's location could possibly create a risk situation for the person and turning her into a real disappeared person like Denise. We would not want that. When I was being stalked I would be super upset and really be put at risk if another pilgrim had disclosed my location on line.
 
#40
After much internal discussion and consideration, the moderators and Ivar have come up with a loose policy about how to deal with posts by people looking for pilgrims on the Camino. The following paragraphs describes what we think is appropriate in that situation. We will post this language at the start of every new missing pilgrim thread, but we wanted forum members to have a chance to see the policy outside the context of a particular case.

Over the past few years, we have seen posts by people looking for loved ones and worried because they have not heard from them recently. Forum members have gotten involved to try to help locate the “missing” pilgrim. This is a sensitive issue, because we have to respect the possibility that a pilgrim may intentionally want to cut off contact with “the world,” while in other cases the pilgrim may be unable to contact the loved ones. Because we cannot verify the intentions of the person looking for a “missing pilgrim,” and because we have no way of knowing whether the “missing pilgrim” wishes to be found, we have adopted these general guidelines:

The forum will allow the posting of “missing person” threads.

Responses to the thread should fall into one of two catergories:

1. Suggestions about steps the OP can take to try to find the missing person. Speculative posts, including those pondering the motivation of the missing person, will be deleted.

2. Factual information about the whereabouts of the missing person, for instance, “I was with XXX two nights ago in xxxx albergue”. If you can speak to the missing person directly, ask him or her to contact the OP rather than disclosing the person's location on the forum. Communications with the OP via the private message function would help preserve the privacy of the parties.

If you have any concerns please contact a moderator.
I agree.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances
#41
Well said. 👍👍
There are private investigators for this. They are very professional and will enquire the reason for the search. They have to be paid. The person looking for the person lost should use a PI if they're worried, and pony up the money to pay the PI. Otherwise, using fellow peregrinos for a no cost "missing person" search could just be the equivalent to harassment.
 
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#42
There are private investigators for this. They are very professional and will enquire the reason for the search. They have to be paid. The person looking for the person lost should use a PI if they're worried, and pony up the money to pay the PI. Otherwise, using fellow peregrinos for a no cost "missing person" search could just be the equivalent to harassment.
So I expect you would first pay and then ask about how you get from Biarritz or Paris or Madrid to St.Jean, about the list of albergues opened in wintertime, how you pronounce queso etc.? I mean we all do that for free here on this forum. Well, I for one could use some additional income for all my shared knowledge, GPS tracks, photos and so on if you really think that "pros" should be paid. Nah, let's say "rewarded" to avoid taxes ;)


PS (Caminos I have walked and can help you with are listed in my signature below this post.)
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#44
Kinky, my eyebrows were raised a little at Sal's comment, but does your response to him have a tad of that grumpiness you had mentioned earlier? 😁
Yep ;)
Actually more or less all my grumpiness is about such posts. But after I went off topic I think we shouldn't continue this. I was also thinking of erasing my post completely in a thread of such delicate matter...
 
#46
We have done more thinking, more listening, more discussing. We have changed the policy to say that we will delete any posts that identify a person’s location. Thanks to all of you who contacted us and gave us your comments and those who posted here. It helped us think things through. I am going to lock the thread, because I think we have discussed this from every possible angle. Buen camino, and let us hope we do not need to apply the policy often.

FORUM POLICY ON MISSING PILGRIM THREADS

Over the past few years, we have seen posts by people looking for loved ones and worried because they have not heard from them recently. Forum members have gotten involved to try to help locate the “missing” pilgrim. This is a sensitive issue, because we have to admit and respect the possibility that a pilgrim may intentionally want to cut off contact with “the world,” while in other cases the pilgrim may be unable to contact the loved ones. Because we cannot verify the truthfulness of the person looking for a “missing pilgrim,” and because we have no way of knowing whether the “missing pilgrim” wishes to be found, we have adopted these general guidelines:

1. The forum will allow the posting of “missing person” threads

2. Forum members can provide suggestions about steps the OP can take to try to find the missing person. Speculative posts, including those pondering the motivation of the missing person, will be deleted.

3. Posts should not reveal the location of the missing person. Efforts should focus on trying to contact the missing pilgrim so that he or she can decide whether to contact the OP.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

OLDER threads on this topic



Most read today


A few items available from the Camino Forum Store



Advertisement

Booking.com

Latest posts

Most read today

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • February

    Votes: 5 0.6%
  • March

    Votes: 35 4.4%
  • April

    Votes: 117 14.8%
  • May

    Votes: 192 24.3%
  • June

    Votes: 55 7.0%
  • July

    Votes: 15 1.9%
  • August

    Votes: 12 1.5%
  • September

    Votes: 236 29.9%
  • October

    Votes: 96 12.2%
  • November

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.6%
Top