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

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 any case clear up the curious case of her cherished absolute best 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 affect on our nation.


The episode “Vanished in Paradise: The Untold Tale,” set to premiere this Thursday, Would possibly 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, buddies and legislation enforcement who’re nonetheless actively in search of 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 instructor Hannah Upp. — A&E

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

“We did Zumba in combination,” Maggie recalled. “We labored in combination. We cooked foods in combination, went to concert events in combination, did journeys in combination. We had been very shut. [And] I feel for probably the most section she beloved dwelling in St. Thomas. There are numerous just right issues about dwelling there. She beloved her task on the college. It was once one thing she was once actually enthusiastic about [concerning] her lifestyles at the island. She additionally beloved happening boat journeys, swimming, snorkeling — simply being at the ocean. She simply beloved dwelling at the island.”

On the other hand, Maggie insisted Upp wasn’t appearing like her same old self once they reunited after the summer season of 2017.


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

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

“She advised me that the autumn was once an excessively exhausting time for her,” Maggie mirrored. “She advised me she struggled within the fall however didn’t provide an explanation for the level of it. I later felt somewhat to blame that I didn’t know why about certainly one of my absolute best buddies. That I hadn’t gotten that a long way 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 educating. 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 advised her roommates she was once heading there. However she by no means confirmed up on the college and vanished.

The opening shared that once 3 days, her buddies needed to name off the hunt to arrange for Typhoon Maria. When the typhoon subsided, an EMT who had arrange a makeshift emergency scientific products and services station at the island arranged some other seek. Regardless 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 with the entire issues lets do to seek out her,” Maggie defined. “I used to be in order that nervous about her… I to start with idea she was once simply with some other buddy… I attempted to get in contact with any individual who may know the rest.”

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 marvel. She had no thought Upp were up to now identified with dissociative fugue, which is described as a unprecedented situation wherein sufferers “lose get admission to to their autobiographical reminiscence and private identification.” In step with The New Yorker, the ones with the dissociative fugue sometimes undertake a brand new identification or embark on a protracted adventure. The state is normally caused by way of trauma, a herbal crisis or “by way of an insufferable inside struggle.”

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

11 years prior, in 2008, Upp, then a 23-year-old Spanish instructor, left her New York Town condominium to move jogging and vanished. About 3 weeks later, The New York Occasions 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 persona from the “Bourne Identification” franchise. — Getty

The newspaper published Upp left New York in 2010 and labored at a Quaker learn about and retreat outdoor of Philadelphia. She then become 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 task.


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

“I sought after to be informed extra about it, however most commonly for the aim of attempting to determine what may have came about to her,” she defined. “Interest wasn’t actually an choice at that time. When anyone you’re keen on is distressed, you’re made up our minds to do the rest 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 give a boost to and give a contribution to this documentary in any respect,” they wrote. “Ultimately, there have been two key components that led us to make the selection to take action. One, a program was once almost certainly going to be made whether or not we contributed or no longer, and we wanted to do what lets to be sure that the ideas introduced in this system was once factually right kind to the most productive of our wisdom.”


“Two, if Hannah continues to be in the market someplace, we by no means know what sudden connection might lead us to a clue to finding her once more,” they persisted. “All it will take is for one particular person to peer this system and acknowledge her. True, there could also be some faulty reviews as smartly, however we really feel that it’s definitely worth the bother to sift thru them if it offers us an opportunity to find Hannah…. The circle of family and friends who omit her continues to be huge and robust, and every hyperlink issues. We take hope from the connections that proceed and all who sign up for us in attaining 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 would in any case result in a solution.

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

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