Saturday, August 22, 2009

Searching the Wayback Machine

Searching the Wayback Machine for the archives of and .org I found some known associates, Jennifer Kahn and Stuart Luman, from November of 2004: site

Another known associate is Brian Dalton. site This site is from April of 2003.

I don't know what, if any, link the information below might have to Evan. I thought I would provide it as it was found in the archives of

I found this site, which was designed by Atavistic Productions. It is for a company that at one time sold car insurance for people taking their cars to Mexico. Here are the address details for that business:

Baja Bound Insurance
2222 Coronado Avenue
San Diego, CA 92154
(619) 429-8810 Fax: (619) 429-8805
(888) 552-2252

Their current web site can be found here: site

Here is their staff bio page: site

I don't know if this is helpful, but I thought it would be good to put out there.

Photo of Evan with Beard and Sunglasses

Here is a photo stolen directly from @atavisttracker avatar. It is a known photo of Evan with beard and sunglasses added on with Photo Shop.

Rooting for the Underdog

There is only one Evan Ratliff. There are hundreds, if not more, searching for him in hopes of winning the $5,000 prize. Now, there is a new Facebook group dedicated to helping Evan avoiding being found. This group is Run, Evan, Run and membership in the group is available only by invitation and approval by the group administrator. This group was created by Rich Reder of Cincinnati, Ohio, and he hopes the group can, "...put ourselves in his shoes, and discuss ideas/ways Evan might evade detection." Reder goes on to explain the group is "... a place for those with no hope of winning the $5K prize, yet intrigued by the thrill of the chase, to band together in support of our favorite fugutive(sic)!".

As with the crowd trying to find Evan, the Run, Evan, Run Facebook group is leery of possible double agents and misinformation, "...beware of double agents trying to infiltrate our ranks!"

Or is this new group a trap to help catch Evan? You can't always believe what you read, especially on the internet.

1999 Honda Civics for Sale in CA on CraigsList

There is speculation as to whether the $3,000 Evan deposited on Friday came from the sale of the car we believe he is driving. I did find three Green 1999 Honda Civic for sale in the Greater Los Angeles area. I do not know if he has sold it or he is having someone sell it for him. I don't know if he is planning to sell it.

This listing from Bellflower, CA, which is approximately 32 miles from Santa Monica, CA. It's a used car dealer.

This listing from Culver City, CA, which is approximately 8 miles from Santa Monica, CA.

This listing in Los Angeles, with the exact address of the seller being approximately 22 miles from Santa Monica, CA.

I used the search engine to find these listings.

The discussion is open.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A chat with @JohnsonThrimp

I just had a Gmail chat with @JohnsonThrimp

7:58 AM thrimpjohnson: Fiedler & Jones
Enemy Of The State imdb, seriously.
You can do better than thta
Sorry in a rush, on timer here
7:59 AM me: oh, straight google led me to a london real estate agent
thrimpjohnson: pfft#
8:00 AM no clue, just a gag!
8:01 AM me: STO
thrimpjohnson: I'm pretty sure you are supposed to be on top of this. Pls let Nick know, Ileft him a present in my desk. Must dash.

Times are CDT which is where I live.

In a tweet I asked him "Why do you need Fiedler and Jones" I asked because he tweeted this yesterday:

My comment "STO" means Standard Training Op, a quotation from the movie.

I have no idea what he means by "I'm pretty sure you are supposed to be on top of this." On top of what? Minor characters from a movie eleven years ago?

So, Nick, is there a present to you in Evan's desk?

Thrimp Johnson is getting a lot of our attention and using a lot of our time and resources. Fits right in with what Nick said yesterday, "I can guarantee you that Evan has created a new identity and is monkeying with us."

Maybe we need a time out from Thrimp.

Updated Dossier Info August 21, 2009

*Other known email addresses

*Personal Blog The Atavist

*Flickr Account: Atavist

*Drinks Red Wine. Usually Cheap Red Wine

*Masks the location of his computer usage using TOR. On two occasions, unmasked IPs were used. One IP linked to Los Angeles and the other to San Diego

*He has a residence in San Francisco and another one in Brooklyn.

Edit: Comment from Dave-O "IP address ( used August 21, 2009 7:53pm tracks back to San Diego Ca This after suspected purchase of pair of swim trunks"

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Classic Misdirection?

The hunt for Evan Ratliff continues. The IP addresses that have been provided so far are mostly TOR nodes that mask someone's location. Two notable exceptions are an IP address in Los Angeles and then another one from San Diego. In the article that started this hunt, Evan describes how Matthew Alan Sheppard used an intentional misdirection to help him vanish. 

The only "clues" we have from someone on Twitter, from a recently opened account (August 18), is from @JohnsonThrimp a variant of a known alias (Thrimp Johnson) for Evan given to us by Wired. The @johnsonthrimp account today added his location as London. Anyone can put any location on the Twitter account. The "clues" Thrimp have mostly pointed in the direction of Sacramento, California. Evan's FastTrak toll bridge account has him leaving San Francisco heading possible towards Sacramento.

I don't know if @johnsonthrimp is Evan or someone helping Evan. It's odd that the two times Evan has not masked his IP address, the locations are in southern California, and the clues we have from @johnsonthrimp lead us to northern California.

Just some thoughts, feel free to draw you're own conclusions.

Camping, Contiguous 48, Novice Tracking

Nicholas Thompson, Evan's Editor, has a great article on how a tech novice, such as myself, join the hunt for finding Evan Ratliff. Article is here:

In this article, Nicholas says: "A few hours ago, I posted something that has what I think is a very useful piece of information in it that’s discoverable by anyone who reads carefully. It requires zero computer skill." I think this means a post on Twitter since he didn't post anything on on the Vanish site

Breaking development as I write this@finderofevan points out that Nicholas changed the sentence I quoted above to this: "Lots of clues can be figured out just by reading closely." I don't know if this is significant or not.

Looking at Nicholas' tweet from today what I find interesting is that he says Evan can use a tent, but not camp wilderness. To me that means he can"t set up stakes in the middle of no where, but doesn't preclude camp grounds, like KOA, or camp grounds in parks. Another thought I had about using a tent and not going off the grid is that I remember seeing a story about a high-end hotel in southern California, I think near Palm Spring or Palm Desert, that had rooms for about $29. The catch is that you had to bring your own tent and put it in the room that was stripped of lots of the basic amenities.

There has been some discussion on Twitter about whether or not Evan is restricted to the 48 contiguous states or can he go to any state including Hawaii and Alaska. Evan's original rules say 48 contiguous states. However, the final rules posted by Nicholas says he is limited to the US, no mention of whether it is only 48 contiguous or all 50.

A couple of people have mentioned possible clues they have found on Craig's List. Here is a tool to search all of Craig's List: Maybe Evan is leaving clues in the "missed connections" section or some other section. Another tool is to use this tweet analyzer,, for anyone wanting to analyze Evan's writing style. I haven't tried this site but I wanted to put it out there in case it could be useful.

Happy Hunting!

Updated Dossier Information on Evan Ratliff

Updated Thursday, August, 20, 2009

Wired Contributing Editor Evan Ratliff is on the lam. He's actually doing it on purpose.
Here's the background info from the Find Evan Ratliff Site

Name . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Evan Donald Ratliff
Hometown . . . . . . . . . . . . Atlanta
DOB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . April 23, 1975
Height . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5'11"
Weight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
Eyes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Blue
Hair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. Brown
Build . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. Medium
Medical condition . . . . . . . Celiac disease
Twitter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . @theatavist
Email . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Known online alias . . . . . . Thrimp Johnson
Known to frequent . . . . . . . Beaches, Wi-Fi-enabled coffee shops, soccer-watching bars, used bookstores, taco stands, dive bars, fishing holes
Last seen in . . . . . . . . . . . . San Francisco

Here's a quick list of things gleamed from information on Wired and from Twitter searchers using the hash tag #Vanish and the Facebook Group, The Search for Evan Ratliff

  • Evan is left-handed
  • He sometimes wears glasses
  • He's a night owl
  • We think he is driving 1999 honda civic License Plate 4mun509 CA
  • Plays Ultimate Frisbee
  • Nickname from Duke Ultimate Frisbee club Ratty
  • Degree from Duke University in Environmental Sciences
  • Loves eating at fast food restaurant Chick-Fil-A
  • Avid reader

I'm sure I've missed some "known" info. I'll post more later today.

More Details on the Fed Ex Packages.

Here is some more information that has been obtained legally about the Fed Ex packages. This information was obtained legally and no pretexting was involved.

Package Number One
Fed Ex Tracking number: 869744129440

Package was sent by Evan on August 8th from a Fed Ex Office store located at:
8 E 23rd St New York, NY 10010 (212) 505-5730

The package was sent to:
Elena Sheviko National Geographic Photography 1145 17th st NW, Washington, D.C. 20036

Package arrived on August 10th. This package was signed for by D. Person at the shipping/receiving dock.

The credit card purchase wasn't processed/billed to his account until August 13th. Yikes, five day lead time on credit card purchases.

Package Number Two

Fed Ex Tracking number: 868322701268

Package was sent by Evan on August 12th from a FedEx Office Print & Ship Center located at:
303 2nd St San Francisco, CA 94107 (415) 495-8880

The package was sent to his home in Brooklyn, NY. The package arrived on August 13th.
No signature for this package as a signature was not required.

Evan used his credit card to pay for this and the processing date on his credit card bill is August 17th. Yet another five day lead on credit card purchase. Come on, Evan, use that debit card, we might get the information faster.

Remember to follow the rules: "You will be excluded from winning if you commit a crime in your efforts to find me, contact my family, or physically harm me."

Follow the search for Evan on Twitter using the hash tag #Vanish and on the official Wired page for Finding Evan Ratliff

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fed Ex Link to Evan's Previous Work History

In 2004 Evan was a Fellow with the International Reporting Project. They are located in Washington D.C. You can find Evan's bio from the IRP here.

There were other Fellows that year with Evan. Their bio's can be found here.

As we know from the Wired Data Dump site Evan had something delivered to a Washington, D.C. address just before he vanished. The package was signed for by D. Person. I wonder if the IRP has someone named D. Person who would have signed for the package? Or it's likely that D. Person (The Person) is a ruse as Nicholas mentioned in a tweet. I'll keep looking for a D. Person on the IRP's web site.

International Reporting Project
The Johns Hopkins University
School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
1619 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

Phone: (202) 663-7761

Fax: (202) 663-7762


More Dossier Information on Evan Ratliff

Here are two photographs of Evan playing Ultimate Frisbee in 2005 in Northern California:

Evan was a photographer and writer for Duke University's student newspaper, the Duke Chronicle. Evan is a very knowledgeable fan of Jazz Music. The Duke University yearbook is The Chanticleer. I could only find online editions of the yearbook up to the year 1960.

On his Flickr account, the last photos posted from were taken with a Nikon D70. Other photos on his Flickr were taken with a Canon PowerShot SD600. I mention this because in Evan's article about Matthew Sheppard (Gone Forever: What Does it Take to Really Disappear?) he talked about how this type of information can be useful to investigators.

On a side note, you can follow me on Twitter: @evanoffgrid

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Here's Looking Up Your Address

Brooklyn Apartment/Condo Address

Found a deed to an Apartment/Condo in Brooklyn, NY, under the name of Evan D Ratliff. Deed dated November 2008. Address: 264-266 Cumberland Street, Unit 7, Brooklyn, NY. Eileen Connor also listed on the same documents.

Link to NYC database. Couldn't get link to work in Firefox 3.5.2 which I believe is a Beta. Link worked in Chrome.

Google Street View of address:

VW Cars Parked in front of Hermann Street Address

View Larger Map

My Theory (SWAG) on Where Evan Might Be Heading

My thoughts on where he might be. He was presumably heading east on I-80 last week. According to the Amazon wish list found by William Yale, Evan is a fan of Hunter S. Thompson. Hunter's last residence was Woody Creek, CO. I-80 isn't a direct shot, but it gets one going in the right direction.

My thought process to Hunter S. Thompson starts with atavism. The first time I remember reading the word atavistic was in a Hunter S. Thompson book. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, I believe, though not sure. As you probably know by now, Evan has a web site called The Atavist. This is my how I got to the SWAG about being near Woody Creek, CO, HST's last address.

The Las Vegas angle. Since I mentioned Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas it made more sense that Vegas would be a good hide out in the open sort of place. "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." Another thought I had Vegas is that Evan mentioned the cost of wi-fi at hotels. Evan has been all over the world. He probably has enough frequent traveler points for most hotel chains to stay for free. In Vegas, the hotels on the strip charge $10 and higher per 24 hours. Evan mentioned the cost of wi-fi in this tweet.

Just some random thoughts about where he might be. I know it's not concrete proof, just a SWAG.

Edited to add tracking someone through Frequent Traveler numbers was used in Evan's article.

Latest Data Dump from Wired

If you have found this blog, then I probably don't need to explain what this is all about. If you don't know, here is the link to why we are looking for Evan Ratliff.

Follow the data dumps from Nicholas Thompson who edited Evan's Story about the difficulties of being on the lam in the digital age, Gone Forever: What Does it Take to Really Disappear?

The photo is of Evan at a friend's wedding. Source