Patt Morrison for December 14, 2009

In the electronic age, is it possible to vanish without a trace?

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Is it possible to vanish with a trace in this technological age?

In the age of Facebook, Twitter and constant email access, can someone disappear and start over again? That’s the question WIRED contributor Evan Ratliff posed to his editors before he dyed and cut his hair, printed fake business cards, and donned the name “James Gatz.” He sold his car and tried to vanish for an entire month. His editors went for it, and even offered a $5,000 reward to the reader who could find him. He talks with Patt about his adventure.


Evan Ratliff is a freelance writer and a contributing editor at Wired magazine; his article “Vanished” appears in the December issue

Jeff Reifman, founder of NewsCloud, a provider of social media solutions for Facebook; he was one of Evan’s “hunters” and was instrumental in finding him

Sarah Manello – one of the few female hunters.

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