Have you ever blacked out after a night of drinking, unable to locate your clothes, car keys, wallet, or even remember how you got where you woke up? Terrifying, right? Try that times seven. A 49-year-old skier from Toronto was out shredding Whiteface Mountain, near Wilmington, N.Y on February 7 when he vanished into thin air. He told a friend he was going for one more run on the mountain alone near the end of the day. He never returned.
Search and Rescue, ski patrol, helicopters and up to 140 people, spent six days searching for Constantinos “Danny” Filippidis in the Whiteface vicinity. He’s apparently well-liked as dozens of co-workers and friends traveled from Toronto to help in the search. The local hypothesis was that he’d hit a tree or fallen into a deep tree well and perhaps suffocated. But Filippidis was on a much stranger trip.
Fast forward a week and Filippidis had located a cell phone at the Sacramento Airport where he finally called his wife, who told him to dial authorities immediately. Police found Filippidis wearing the exact clothing he was wearing when he disappeared on that pow day at Whiteface on the other side of the country, he was even wearing his helmet and goggles. ‘Danny’ appeared extremely confused to law enforcement, unable to tell them where he’d been other than recalling a “big rig-style truck,” and “sleeping a lot.” He had no idea what day it was, only remembering being dropped off, “near a McDonald’s.” He had a credit card and $1,000 in cash.
“He was very nonchalant, and kind of out of it,” said Sgt. Shaun Hampton with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office. “Our officers were adamant to take him to the hospital to have him treated.” Hampton also added that officers didn’t think he was under the influence or taken by force.
The Canadian skier and firefighter did have a fresh haircut (at least he looked sharp in his confusion). Authorities are still putting the pieces together so no word on whether this was a horrible case of amnesia, early onset dementia, a head injury or any number of scenarios.
New York law enforcement is asking for help. If you know anything about Filippidis’ disappearance, call 518-873-2750.