We Need Proof of Life: Oscar Long is Missing

Have you seen this man?  His name is Oscar Long.  He’s a talented, long-ago, Lincoln, Nebraska friend who went missing in New York City near Penn Station on November 28, 2007. He left behind a wife and child. He has not been seen alive since then.

How is it possible for a 45-year-old man — today, he’d be almost 52 — to disappear into thick air without a human trace or, warrant of being, in the middle of New York City without anyone noticing?

Yes, Oscar had financial problems at the time of his disappearance — some say he owed over $50,000 USD in credit card debt — and yes, he was raised in the Midwest where that sort of trouble can unfairly treble, and scarlet letter you for life, but Oscar lived in NYC where money problems of all imaginations are the basic back-dealing dotage of the day and, frankly, $50k, in the grand scheme of memes, is nothing.

Sexual identity was also scarlet-letter worthy in the Midwest of half-a-century ago, but again, in NYC, nobody really cares about that sort of thing as long as you are able to face the truth of your life and not hide from the reality you create.

I find it hard to grasp that Oscar would harm himself over any sensed indignity of fortune or birth, and he was absolutely too smart, and too tall and tough, to get into a situation from which he could not escape — so my immediate thought, when I first learned of his disappearance years ago — was that Oscar purposefully did not want to be found.

I wondered if his perceived violations of the Midwestern morality that formed him had, perhaps, festered in him — and would not let him rest as he was — so he had to become someone else to survive.

Now, the mind riles with possibilities — and hope! — if Oscar is still alive and not dead.

People go missing every day, but do dead bodies go unfound in the center of New York City for over seven years? My experience tells me, no. Was he kidnapped? Or taken alive for nefarious purposes? Perhaps, but those sorts of abductions are usually youth-centered, or ransomed and, again in my ken, not the fate of middle-aged men.

Oscar was last seen with his wallet and cellphone near Penn Station.  Was he hiking a train and running away to Canada or some other wild?  Oscar was a man of many faces and talents — he came to NYC as a professional actor.  He knows how to disguise himself, mask his intentions, and change his fate.

Is Oscar Long living a new life as someone else and, if so, do those who knew him have a right to know?  Do we, who love him, own his life — or does Oscar alone decide his own fate?

Oscar was born and bred in Lincoln, Nebraska.  His father, William J. Long, taught English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for two generations.

Oscar attended Southeast High School in Lincoln. He was great friends with Greg Kubitschek and Mark Renken.  I made movies with Oscar. Devon Schumacher and Jim Hanna were also friends of Oscar’s and we’re all completely stunned and stumped and mystified by his erasure from the face of our lives.

Here are the vital missing person stats for Oscar Isham Long:

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

Missing Since: November 28, 2007 from New York City, New York

Classification: Endangered Missing

Date Of Birth: July 20, 1962

Age: 45

Height: 6’0″

Weight: 145 lbs.

Hair Color: Brown/Graying

Eye Color: Brown

Race: White

Gender: Male

Distinguishing Characteristics: Light complexion, Scarring on upper chest from severe sunburn shaped in V above shirt collar, sunburn freckles across top of both shoulders, stretch marks from weight loss along sides of abdomen. Bottom teeth slightly crooked.

Clothing: Possibly black T-shirt, gray pull-over fleece sweatshirt, dark blue jeans, brown leather shoes with laces.

Case Number: 8118

Details of Disappearance
On November 28, 2007 at approximately 6:00 AM, Oscar was last known to be in the vicinity of Penn Station in New York City and also was in the area of 181st and Broadway. He was only carrying his wallet and cell (now disconnected). Oscar had been working in real estate and experiencing significant stress due to financial problems. His family members are very concerned he could be a harm to himself.

Investigating Agency
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
New York City PD (34th Precinct)
(212) 927-0822

Oscar, if you’re reading this — we have not forgotten you — and we will not stop searching for evidence of you dead or alive. If you need a rescue, you must float us a clue.

We require proof of life.

If you are alive, but unwilling, or unable, to return to the life you knew that formed you, that’s fine, people change, and the world condemns, but please find a way to get in touch via phone or another form of contact to confirm you are, at least, living, but want to be left alone.  Then we’ll stop searching for you, and worrying over your missing corpse, and you may finally rest in peace.

Otherwise, you will never not know being the haunted, because we will hunt you down until we have confirmation of your life or death. It is our moral duty as your friends to do so — because you may be in danger — and you know, in your bones, without a wink of doubt in your sinew, that it is our binding, Midwestern, morality that commands us to never give up on you. That is a blood promise and our death oath.

19 comments

  • Reader Tip #1: Oscar spent a lot of time in the Dominican Republic. He loved it there. Might he have gone there to start a new life?

    My Response: I think it makes great sense. If you are reading this from the Dominican Republic, memorize Oscar’s face and look for him on the stage, on TV or in some sort of ephemeral drama and report back here!

    • Reader Tip #2: Oscar may have owed “bad people” a lot of money in NYC. Maybe they made him pay his debt with cement shoes in the river?

      My Response: Perhaps, but owing a debt to loan sharks or the mob doesn’t usually end in death. They want you alive to repay or to work it off for them. They might take a toe or break your arm or hammer your ear a bit to make a point, but they wouldn’t hurt you enough to kill you — just enough for you to find the money to pay them back. Now if you “disrespect” someone — then that’s grounds for instant, and permanent, termination — but that sort of scenario would never be in Oscar’s wheelhouse… disrespect is beyond him in that context.

      • Reader Tip #3: Oscar moved to NYC to be a famous actor. Sure, he did some local theatre and national road work, but he was never the superstar. Maybe he offed himself over that?

        My Response: Actors have tremendous egos and, unless you’re high or a drug addict, you aren’t going to kill yourself because it ruins your Second Act and completely “murders” the possibility of you ever being discovered. Oscar’s best roles were ahead of him as an aging character actor and I’m sure he knew that and was trying to bide his time until he became a little more decrepit. However, what would be the greatest role of a lifetime? Pretending you are someone you are not for the rest of your life? Now that’s a worthy challenge on many levels — as long as the “old you” is dead and tucked away.

  • UPDATE:

    The 7-year waiting period for being declared “legally dead” as a missing person is fast approaching for Oscar and if his surviving family decides to force the courts to produce a death certificate, and they should not — then he has it made — mission accomplished, he’s The Greatest Actor That Ever Lived! And his Second Act begins…

  • If you have any tips to share about Oscar Long and his current condition, or past lives, please leave a comment here so we can keep this comments thread alive! This is our best hope to keep this whole topic front-and-center in our foremost minds!

    If you need to remain anonymous to share your information, please use the Contact Form —

    http://BolesBlogs.com/contact/

    — but be prepared to prove your identity as a real and verifiable person before anything you write makes it here in print.

    Thank you!

  • Reader Tip #4: Oscar had a lot of credit card debt. He also took all the savings his family had and disappeared and his wife didn’t know about the credit cards or the missing savings until after he disappeared and she started opening the mail again. Oscar had been burying the credit card bills in the back of the closet. Do you think he was getting money from the credit cards and saving that, too, for an escape?

    My Response: I think a scenario like that makes some sense. There’s no such thing as a coincidence. Money is owed. Money is missing. Credit card bills are hidden. Oscar is last seen at Penn Station with only a cellphone and his wallet.

  • Reader Tip #5: If Oscar wanted to disappear, what’s so wrong with that? Let him go! Get over it! He doesn’t want to know you, or anybody else, anymore. This happens more than you know.

    My Response: If Oscar didn’t have a child, I’d agree with you. His life. His rope. His disappearance. Let the adults deal with the mess — but a child he brought into the world deserves greater moral respect than is being allowed. The child has a right to know if Dad is dead or alive.

  • What was Oscar Long’s middle name? What are the names of his siblings? Where do they live? Has his wife remarried? Where does she live? What other skills/training did Oscar Long have besides acting and real estate? What sorts of jobs did he hold in high school or college and later? He “. . . went missing in New York City near Penn Station on November 28, 2007″. Did anyone ever check his cell phone records with the telephone company? I’ll bet they are still available. Other than the filing of a missing person’s report, what efforts have been made to find him? If you want proof of life and are asking for assistance, it seems to me that you need to provide some very detailed information that is now lacking. Without that, it is only an interesting story. Could this be similar to another guy who went missing some years ago, was declared dead, and years later turned up living with his wife?

    • You ask many good and fair questions and I’ll do my best to answer them, though I haven’t seen Oscar for over 25 years and I didn’t even know he moved to NYC even though I’ve lived here for over 25 years.

      My hope is that a family member or someone else who knew him well will have more detail for you other than what I linked from the missing person website in my article.

      I also find it odd I couldn’t find Oscar listed as missing in the NYState Missing Persons database http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/missing/ or in the the Federal Missing Persons Database: http://www.namus.gov/

      Maybe I’m not searching the right databases. Certainly he left DNA and fingerprints behind. I hope it was all collected and stored in the case of a future “hit” for identification.

      Oscar’s middle name is in the article: “Isham.”

      I believe Oscar was an only child.

      I do not believe his wife has remarried. After Oscar disappeared, she moved to Lincoln, NE with her child to live with his parents and to try to straighten out the financial problems he created in NYC for the family.

      I believe Oscar was just an actor for the length of his life. I had no idea he had a financial background or that he dealt in real estate and my thinking is he was, perhaps, just working temp jobs and using those labels without really feeling any other sort of career other than acting.

      I know his wife worked closely with the NYPD for awhile after he disappeared, and as I understand it, the NYPD sort of suggested to her that he most likely disappeared, on his own, on purpose, because they would have found a body it if were suicide:

      http://www.columbiaspectator.com/news/2014/05/05/missing-dental-student-jiwon-lee-found-dead-hudson-police-confirm

      You may be right! This all may be some sort of hoax or scam and Oscar is back living with his wife in his parent’s basement! I do not know his wife. Never met her. Oscar was my friend, though, and I am bothered that his disappearance has lingered for so long without a right resolution, so I’m doing a certain amount of dredging and tree-shaking here, hoping to bust loose a confirmation of some sort. Maybe nobody cares if they find Oscar again, but I do, because this is a story without a right end.

      • I, too, have several friends from long ago that just “disappeared”. No one seems to know where they went. They are just gone. I found them “missing” when I started a effort to reconnect with people that I knew in high school over 50 years ago. Except for a couple of them, I was able to find everyone over a search that went on for over a decade. Surprisingly, one person that was the hardest to find was a guy was living only ten miles from where we went to high school. After he graduated, he got a job and just vanished from everyone’s radar.

        • I get it that people disappear all the time.

          As I understand it with Oscar, his wife had no clue anything was wrong. She came home one day from work to an empty apartment and no husband. She looked for him, waited for him, searched for him, called NYPD and he never came back. No note. Nothing.

          Only when she was giving up on NYC, and moving to Lincoln to live with Oscar’s folks — and she was packing her belongings and cleaning out the apartment — did she find the buried credit card bills in the back of the closet. That would’ve been a shocker! I’m sure she was getting lots of notices in the mail, but she likely didn’t connect it all to pure deception until she found the hidden bills and dunning notices.

          • Yes, people do “disappear” on their on accord, but they don’t usually vanish. They can’t drive without a driver’s license, they can’t work or open a bank account without social security number, the list goes on and on. They can hide, but their interests will remain the same. Eventually, they will begin reading the same books again, watching the same sports, eating their favorite foods, They may disguise their appearance, but their habits and interests will remain. He will seek out the same sorts of friends that he once had.

  • Reader Tip #6: Oscar disappeared seven years ago and you’re just writing about this now? Why? Why not when you first learned of it?

    My Response: Good question. When I first learned Oscar Long disappeared, I immediately thought he was running. He’d been collecting money and had hightailed it out of town. Perhaps, I pondered, he was even living as a woman by choice or knife — as an almost perfect ruse against his old life. It was a fascinating plot, but not one that occurred to me to propagate as a missing persons meme. It was only lately, in the resurrection of http://Boles.com as an archive of my early work —

    http://bolesblogs.com/2014/04/28/relaunching-boles-dot-com-as-a-preservation-portal-and-restoration-reserve/

    — that I began to reflect back on the years, and how long Oscar has been gone, and how completely wrong not knowing what happened to him was in every way, and I decided to try to make some noise.

    I am glad to report that, as of right now, a Google search of — “oscar long” missing — provides the URL of this article as the first return:

    http://boles.co/1nZF0Hg

  • Yes, people do “disappear” on their on accord, but they don’t usually vanish. They can’t drive without a driver’s license, they can’t work or open a bank account without social security number, the list goes on and on.

    I think that’s true if you stay in the USA, but if I were Oscar, I would’ve carefully planned to leave for Canada or the Dominican Republic or some other faraway land to truly start over again. Getting forged IDs and documents for that one-way trip would not have been hard in New York.

    I don’t think Oscar had a bunch of friends or interests. He was a pretty quiet, one-note, sort of guy hiding in plain sight. You’d never notice him unless you looked. His best acting roles were that surprised in the revelation of a dark side.

  • As Oscar Long goes viral:

  • Here’s the original article Tweet response:

  • This is the story of a man “gone missing” since March 23, 2014, and the recent discovery of his body:

    A body pulled from the water in Brooklyn has been identified as that of an emerging fashion designer missing since March.

    The body of James Ott, 31, was identified by relatives on Friday, one day after the police retrieved the remains from the water near a pier at 58th Street in Bay Ridge.

    http://boles.co/1qpfqgT

    As I previously said in this thread, missing people, who are dead, tend to be found pretty quickly in NYC.

  • Pingback: The DiJiFi Review: Film, Video and Audio Restoration, Preservation and Translation | Boles Blogs

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