5 People Went Missing in U.S. National Park Where ‘Feral Cannibals’ Are Feared to Live

5 People Went Missing in U.S. National Park Where ‘Feral Cannibals’ Are Feared to Live

Five people have mysteriously disappeared in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, fueling fears and rumors of “feral cannibals” living in the area. Despite the lack of concrete evidence, these contemporary legends suggest that the supposed cannibals are descendants of Civil War deserters who live isolated from civilization. The U.S. Army’s elite special forces unit was even called in to investigate but found no trace of the missing individuals, including the well-known case of six-year-old Dennis Martin, who vanished during a family camping trip in 1969.

National Park Service

Brian Jeffrey from the Black Mass Paranormal podcast claimed that special forces encountered some of these “feral” individuals and reported their cannibalistic tendencies. Donnie Laws, another podcaster intrigued by the legend, shared historical accounts of wild men sightings dating back to 1877. These reports included encounters with miners who found bones in a cave, though it’s unclear if they were human.

Over the years, other disappearances have fueled these fears. In 1981, Thelma Pauline ‘Polly’ Melton vanished during a hike with friends, and in 1976, 16-year-old Trenny Gibson disappeared during a school field trip. More recently, Christopher Cessna went missing in 2011, followed by Derek Lueking in 2012, who left a note telling others not to search for him.


These unsettling cases have led locals to be extremely cautious, particularly with children, advising against letting them wander alone in the park. The continued mystery and fear surrounding these disappearances highlight the need for vigilance and the ongoing search for answers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.