At the outset there’s little reason to take notice.  It’s hardly a big deal when a small object we’re holding slips out of our hands.  It could be an earring, the backing for an earring, a button, a needle, contact lens, pill or charm.  Happens all the time.

Naturally your next move is to locate it and pick it up.  Easy enough.  But here’s the rub. More  often than not you look down at the floor – but it’s not there.  No cause for immediate concern.  Even if it bounced, how far away could it be?  Still, it is small; not easy to spot.  So you bend down, get real close to the floor, your eyes surveying the immediate area.  A dust ball here and there, a paper clip, a crumb – otherwise nothing doing.  That’s strange – why isn’t it there?

But then you recall other occasions when such objects were spotted at remarkably distant locations.  Accordingly you expand the search area, your eyes scanning larger sections of the floor, extending under beds and across adjacent sections of carpeting.

Could it be that it never hit the ground, but instead got caught up in your clothes?  Off with your sweater.  You shake it.  You check all of your pockets.  Nothing.

Several minutes have elapsed.  Should you concede defeat, admit that it’s lost?  That’s absurd!  At this point you acknowledge just how haphazard has been your search, your efforts decidedly unsystematic.  So, it’s down on all fours now as you traverse one section of the floor at a time.  Good idea – but it’s not working as you find yourself exploring, absurdly distant locations.

Is your quest doomed to failure?  (With kidnappings we’re told that the period shortly after the event is critical, rescue chances diminish rapidly after that.)  Are you simply going through the motions?  Have mysterious and perhaps sinister forces beyond understanding or control assumed control?

It’s time our scientists devoted themselves to examining this troubling phenomenon.  When we consider their recent success in uncovering long elusive sub-atomic particles,is it too much to expect that they can get to the bottom of this and  reveal how it is that small objects can disappear right before our very eyes?

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