Teenager, Trudie Adams went missing in 1978 while hitch hiking home in the Northern Beaches area. Bush Search and Rescue NSW (BSAR) took part in the subsequent NSW Police investigation of this disappearance.
On Tuesday evening 30 October ABC TV aired a program on missing person, Trudie Adams. At that time none of our members wore any style of uniform, even the Committee. So Bushwalkers Search and Rescue (full name then was the ‘Search and Rescue Section of the NSW Federation of Bushwalking Clubs’ now BSAR) was often just mentioned as among the ‘volunteers’. The TV program aired a lot of archival news footage but nothing of BSAR members. The NSW Police uniform was very different to now.
BSAR rescheduled a training weekend for the search. Walkers went home each night. Sunday morning had a particularly fierce frost. The area was very different to now. An oval (now gone) at the junction of Mona Vale Road and the Forest Way was the search command base. Mona Vale Road was just one lane each way except for a long slip lane from the Forest Way towards Mona Vale.
Long stretches either side of Mona Vale were searched. Among the ‘finds’ was a pile of Playboy magazines. We could only guess why they were dumped; upcoming marriage? A dank pool of water was bubbling. This was from something dead but a pig not a person. Equally, the Police were interested in a mound from a small grave but it was that of a dog. Other tracks in the immediate area were also searched. On Sunday, one searcher noticed a garbage bag under a tree. The Police got very excited when it turned out to be a sawn off shot gun! It was promptly collected by the relevant Police Squad.
Later, the family of Trudie Adams sent a hand written thank you note to BSAR.
The past is always another country, especially 1978. BSAR still had their basic first generation field radio – AM HF. There are two more TV programs to come about this unsolved disappearance. Pre program promotion suggests that a murky time of Police corruption may be investigated in the next two weeks.