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REVISITED: Are National Parks Home to Feral People?

Lately, the Internet is ablaze over the topic of feral people in national parks. Visitors and enthusiasts have chimed in with stories and ideas of these so-called wild and cannibalistic people. 

Conspiracy theorists have also taken to the Internet to perpetuate these stories. Indeed, they make efforts to tie them in with missing person cold-cases from national parks around the country.

Is there any truth to the claims? And where did it all start, anyway? 

Let’s dig in!

TikTok Users Claim Cannibalistic, Feral People Living in National Parks

In recent years, videos and theories about feral people in national parks and wilderness areas started exploding on the short-form video platform TikTok. 

It’s unclear exactly where it all began. However, a user named Ariele (@thepresentbeliever) posted a video about a strange experience she had in the Big Bend Area. 

In her video, she claims she was camping with her husband and daughter in Big Bend National Park. Later, on their 5th day, they stayed the night at the lodge in the basin and hung out on the patio.

At one point, they heard multiple people screaming off in the distance. Then a woman screamed, “we’re gonna die!” Ariele claimed the bloodcurdling screaming went on. Finally, she heard a woman’s voice saying, “I love you, just know that.” 

She also alleged she heard a child screaming “mommy” and other voices saying “help” and “call a ranger.” 

Ariele said they immediately called the police and a park ranger, but they found nothing. She explained that they asked about the family the next day. But none of the park employees or park rangers knew what she was talking about. 

After Ariele’s video, other TikTok users started posting their own stories and theories about bizarre happenings in the wilderness. 

There are no official reports or documentation whatsoever to back up any of these claims, but the conspiracy theories persist. 


So no one knows what we’re talking about bc everyone’s okay & accounted for, right? #fyp#scary#truestory#nationalparks #wtf #traumatized#omg#help

♬ Somebody to love Basstrologe Bootleg – mthekyng

Missing 411 and Unsolved Disappearances In Wilderness Areas

Missing 411 is a book and Hulu documentary series by retired police officer David Paulides. He chronicles hundreds of eerily similar yet unrelated cases of missing individuals in national parks and wilderness areas. 

He’s not a conspiracist, rather he studies the cases of missing people in National Parks.

Many TikTok users have taken to the platform to share their own ideas and experiences. Mal (@coincidence.theorist), who lives in Appalachia, explained that local lore suggests feral people have lived there for centuries. 

Mal posted this information in reply to the video by Ariele, and it quickly disappeared from the platform. It’s unclear if she deleted the video or if TikTok took it down. But it was recorded and reuploaded by other users. 

After Mal’s video circulated, users speculated about the connection between cases in Missing 411 and these so-called “feral people.” 

Among these theories is a common thread of “truth suppression” by the National Park Service and local government authorities. The fact that the original video disappeared only added fuel to the conspiracy fire. 

Among these theories is a common thread of “truth suppression” by the National Park Service and local government authorities. The fact that the original video disappeared only added fuel to the conspiracy fire. 


Reply to @ivveweflen Normally I would never share fear promoting things, but I feel like I don’t kno what else to do w/this info.

♬ original sound – Ariele (she/her)

Bigfoot, Aliens, and Feral People in National Parks, Oh My!

Followers of the Missing 411 series favor supernatural ideas over rational explanations for the many unexplained disappearances in national parks. 

Some viewers say the series hints at things such as bigfoot, aliens, and more. 

And, thanks to TikTok’s virality, feral people now join the roster on who’s-to-blame for missing person cases in wilderness areas. 

Are There Cannibals in National Parks?

There are no reports or official documentation suggesting that cannibals or feral people live in our national parks. 

This theory continues to spread through unsubstantiated claims on platforms like Reddit, YouTube, and TikTok. Of course, anyone can speak their mind and share their ideas. But, just because something is posted on the Internet doesn’t make it true. 

However, for conspiracy theorists, the number of alleged eyewitness (or earwitness) stories is too much to write off as coincidence. 

What’s Really Behind National Park Disappearances?

Feral people in national parks and supernatural occurrences aside, what’s really behind the national park disappearances? 

Most of the cases presented through documentaries like Missing 411 are cold cases. A cold case is considered unsolved, so no one really knows what’s behind the disappearances. 

Officials have their ideas for each case, and rational explanations suggest various causes for the disappearances. 

Hikers get lost and can succumb to illness, extreme weather events, and more. Also, the sheer vastness of rugged wilderness areas can be difficult for search teams to navigate. 

You can read the current list of cold cases on the National Park Service’s Investigative Services page. 

What Do You Believe? 

If you spend time learning about the national park cold cases, watching Missing 411, or reading Reddit threads, it’s hard not to get spooked!

Some cases do share eerie similarities, but could supernatural forces truly be to blame? And are there really wild people living in the national parks? With the vast amount of land, it’s entirely possible. But there are no official records of feral people in the national parks, cannibals or not. What do you think? 

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  1. Bonnie says:

    Too many Americans have had very scary encounters to not take them seriously. Believe if you want or don’t believe the hundreds of eyewitness reports.

  2. Ariele says:

    This is Ariele, @thepresentbeliever. Mallory, @coincidencetheorist, was recent killed in a hit and run accident. You can find her obituary if you search Mallory Amanda Hoff, Tennessee.