Finding People on the Internet

A number of people from around the world have left messages on our guestbook, inviting old friends and relatives who may still be in Biggin Hill to get in contact if they should see the message. This made us wonder how easy it is to track people if you know their names and location, but don't know their email address. It must seem strange to those of us new to the internet that there are no national or international registers of email addresses, and that the best way is still to 'phone someone up or write a letter and ask! After all, nearly everyone using the internet has an email account so surely it is just a matter of getting ISP's to give someone a list of all their customers...right!?

So suppose you just have someone's name and their likely place of residence? Having spent a little time investigating this we can't say it's an easy job. Bascially there are two kinds of web sites you might try - personal sites with a special interest and search engines or directories of some kind. Of the first category we can recommend you take a look at Cliff Blake's site if you are trying to find someone who was in the RAF and stationed at Biggin Hill during the war or afterwards.

One very popular directory (at least for Americans) is Bigfoot. This invites you to register for its free email forwarding service. Often, changing an ISP or your job means changing your email address. Bigfoot will forward email sent to your Bigfoot email address to any other email address you like. When you register, you need to tell Bigfoot your name and current email address, and these details are made available for searching.

There are a number of other directories and sites, we have listed a few below to get you started...

Cliff Blake's Home Page RAF Special Interest, and more...
Howard Curtis Web Site Aviation-related links
Pilot - the UK General Aviation Magazine Pilot Magazine (includes pilot contact list)
/www.bigfoot.com/ Email forwarding and central register
www.whowhere.lycos.com/ The Lycos search engine people finder
http://alabanza.com/kabacoff/Inter-Links/phone.html A page of links for finding people
http://mesa.rrzn.uni-hannover.de/ A "Meta Email Search Agent"...
The Aircrew association If you are flying, or has flown in the RAF, Royal Navy, Army