A new story in Popular Science takes us inside the search for the 83,000 US military members—dating back to World War II—who are still missing. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) regularly dispatches teams of scientists and military personnel to search for the remains of those missing, many of whom died in plane crashes or shipwrecks.
The teams deployed include everything from aircraft experts to archaeologists to anthropologists. When the teams return from their missions, whatever evidence they have found is sent to the lab for DNA and forensic testing, with the hopes of identifying the remains.
After the program suffered heavy criticism for identifying just 72 military members a year between 2002 and 2012, the DPAA took over the missions and last year 201 missing members were identified. Currently, roughly 700 staff members are working on 1,200 recovery cases.
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