In these crazy times, have you ever wanted to know how to disappear, vanish or completely exit the life you've led? Well, Frank M. Ahearn is an expert on the matter. The skip tracer and privacy consultant has even written a guide on the matter: "How to Disappear ... and Fall Off the Grid."



"Simply put, [disappearing is] the reverse engineering of skip tracing," says Ahearn, referring to the process by which you locate missing persons. So we tapped the man of mystery to tell us exactly how it's done.

The Three Keys to Disappearing
1. Misinformation -- "There is so much information about people out there. We need to locate what is known about people and deviate the located information. I don't mean credit or social security information. More so the information gathered by big business, like contact information on your cell, utility, cable, various marketing information people give up too freely."

2. Disinformation -- "We create bogus trails for the stalker to follow. It might look like our client went to Boston, but he's really tucked away in Chicago. The other purpose of disinformation is to make the search costly for the aggressor."

3. Reformation -- "This is getting my client from point A to point B and not leaving any trails. We also teach our clients how to communicate with family and friends securely by use of prepaid cell phones, prepaid calling cards and internet cafés."

More on pulling off the perfect disappearing act, after the jump.


Knowing If You're in the Clear
"I think it's a sense of knowing we are complete as opposed to a checklist of things. Also, my partner Eileen C. Horan is an amazing skip tracer, so she hunts down the client as I disappear them to see if I left any loose ends."

Never a Sure Thing
"The first mistake is thinking a new identity solves all. Besides being illegal, you don't know whose identity you are buying. When you do test out the new driver's license, you may get pulled over for speeding only to find out the identity you have is a wanted felon."

Desperate Times, Desperate Measures
"I think more people are preparing for an alternative or, should I say, 'A backup plan.' It's obvious things are getting scary, or at least been scary with George W. having left us in two wars and massive plunges of our economy. My wealthier clients want an alternative. I don't mean to be negative, but no one ever imagined Rome falling and it did."

The Benefits
"Disappearing is the extreme. Most of my clients want privacy. Sometimes the wealthy use disappearing as a security measure to prevent abductions. My celebrity clients use the disappearing philosophy to create an insulation from the public ... I think when it comes to the ones who disappear, they get a second chance."

Looking for more expert advice? Check out some of our recent columns.
Common Ways Sh*t Happens and Ways You Can Prevent It
William H. Macy's Advice for Prom, Losing Your Virginity
The Gentlemen's Guide to Dumping Your Girl
How to Infiltrate the Playboy Mansion