The ‘Untold Story’ of missing teacher with rare form of amnesia or ‘Jason Bourne Syndrome’ revealed in new doc

Maggie is hoping a brand new documentary will lend a hand in spite of everything resolve the curious case of her cherished easiest buddy.

Hannah Upp, a schoolteacher who went lacking on St. Thomas, within the Virgin Islands, in 2017, is the topic of a brand new particular hosted by way of Elizabeth Vargas, who’s in the back of the brand new A&E Networks docuseries “The Untold Tale,” about occasions that experience a profound have an effect on on our nation.


The episode “Vanished in Paradise: The Untold Tale,” set to premiere this Thursday, Might 16 at nine p.m., explores the mysterious disappearance of Upp, a 32-year-old lady from Oregon, who vanished within the chaotic days between two class 5 hurricanes, Irma and Maria. It options interviews with Upp’s mom, pals and legislation enforcement who’re nonetheless actively on the lookout for her.

Elizabeth Vargas speaks to investigators in St. Thomas about missing teacher Hannah Upp. — A&E

Elizabeth Vargas speaks to investigators in St. Thomas about lacking trainer Hannah Upp. — A&E

Maggie, additionally a schoolteacher, stated she temporarily bonded with Upp once they met in St. Thomas in 2015. Upp was once a instructing assistant for preschoolers at a Montessori faculty.

“We did Zumba in combination,” Maggie recalled. “We labored in combination. We cooked foods in combination, went to live shows in combination, did journeys in combination. We have been very shut. [And] I believe for probably the most phase she beloved residing in St. Thomas. There are numerous excellent issues about residing there. She beloved her activity on the faculty. It was once one thing she was once actually captivated with [concerning] her existence at the island. She additionally beloved occurring boat journeys, swimming, snorkeling — simply being at the ocean. She simply beloved residing at the island.”

On the other hand, Maggie insisted Upp wasn’t appearing like her standard self after they reunited after the summer time of 2017.


According to friend Maggie, Hannah Upp loved living in St. Thomas. — A&E

In step with buddy Maggie, Hannah Upp beloved residing in St. Thomas. — A&E

“She instructed me that the autumn was once an overly onerous time for her,” Maggie mirrored. “She instructed me she struggled within the fall however didn’t provide an explanation for the level of it. I later felt a little bit accountable that I didn’t know why about one in every of my easiest pals. That I hadn’t gotten that some distance to get that knowledge out of her.”

When Typhoon Irma hit St. Thomas on Sept. 6, Upp had launched into her fourth 12 months of training. Typhoon Maria, some other Class five typhoon, was once forecast to hit the island the next week. In a tale concerning the case, The New Yorker reported Upp was once serving to the college get ready for the typhoon and one morning she were given in her automobile and instructed her roommates she was once heading there. However she by no means confirmed up on the faculty and vanished.

The hole shared that once 3 days, her pals needed to name off the hunt to organize for Typhoon Maria. When the typhoon subsided, an EMT who had arrange a makeshift emergency scientific services and products station at the island arranged some other seek. In spite of canvassing the airport, homeless shelters, seashores, hospitals, the morgue or even after interviewing captains who got here out and in of the island’s marina, Upp was once nowhere to be discovered.

“I used to be simply fascinated by the entire issues shall we do to seek out her,” Maggie defined. “I used to be simply so apprehensive about her… I first of all idea she was once simply with some other buddy… I attempted to get involved with someone who may know anything else.”

Elizabeth Vargas interviewed Hannah Upp's mother.

Elizabeth Vargas interviewed Hannah Upp’s mom.


On the other hand, Maggie was once in for a large wonder. She had no thought Upp were prior to now identified with dissociative fugue, which is described as an extraordinary situation wherein sufferers “lose get admission to to their autobiographical reminiscence and private id.” In step with The New Yorker, the ones with the dissociative fugue once in a while undertake a brand new id or abruptly embark on an extended adventure. The state is usually induced by way of trauma, a herbal crisis or “by way of an insufferable inside war.”

The situation may be nicknamed “Jason Bourne Syndrome” after the fictitious personality from the “Bourne Identification” franchise.

11 years prior, in 2008, Upp, then a 23-year-old Spanish trainer, left her New York Town condominium to move jogging and vanished. About 3 weeks later, The New York Instances reported, a Staten Island Ferry captain noticed her floating face-down within the waters of New York Harbor. It was once then, after being pulled to protection, that Upp was once identified with the extraordinarily uncommon type of amnesia.

Dissociative fugue is also nicknamed “Jason Bourne Disorder” after the fictional character from the “Bourne Identity” franchise. — Getty

Dissociative fugue may be nicknamed “Jason Bourne Dysfunction” after the fictitious personality from the “Bourne Identification” franchise. — Getty

The newspaper printed Upp left New York in 2010 and labored at a Quaker learn about and retreat out of doors of Philadelphia. She then was a instructing assistant in Montessori colleges, together with one in Maryland. Then in September 2013, Upp skilled some other episode and disappeared for 2 days. She then moved to St. Thomas the next 12 months for a brand new instructing activity.


Maggie admitted she didn’t know what to make of the analysis.

“I sought after to be informed extra about it, however most commonly for the aim of making an attempt to determine what may have came about to her,” she defined. “Interest wasn’t actually an possibility at that time. When anyone you like is distressed, you’re made up our minds to do anything else to determine what came about to them. That’s the place my thoughts was once.”

Upp’s mom and brother have since written a long remark on Fb about supporting the A&E particular.

“We wish you all to understand that we struggled with the verdict of whether or not or to not strengthen and give a contribution to this documentary in any respect,” they wrote. “Ultimately, there have been two key elements that led us to make the selection to take action. One, a program was once most likely going to be made whether or not we contributed or now not, and we wanted to do what shall we to be sure that the tips offered in this system was once factually right kind to the most efficient of our wisdom.”


“Two, if Hannah remains to be available in the market someplace, we by no means know what surprising connection might lead us to a clue to finding her once more,” they persevered. “All it could take is for one individual to peer this system and acknowledge her. True, there could also be some misguided studies as smartly, however we really feel that it’s well worth the bother to sift thru them if it provides us an opportunity to find Hannah…. The circle of family and friends who leave out her remains to be broad and powerful, and each and every hyperlink issues. We take hope from the connections that proceed and all who sign up for us in achieving out to seek out Hannah.”

Maggie additionally shared that she was hoping the documentary will shed new gentle on Upp, in addition to inspire audience to put up any knowledge that might in spite of everything result in a solution.

“I need folks to grasp the person who is Hannah,” she stated. “She’s simply such an inspirational individual. She has impacted such a lot of folks in her existence.”

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