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I need to find a way to explain away the simultaneous quiet deaths in the night of a couple of thousand people worldwide such that (were this the only thing to happen, of course) nobody would ever think to take a second look into "why." There's nothing particularly special about them; they're in perfect health for the most part, and odds are only a few of them know another member of the group. They're distributed randomly around the globe too, so it can't be local. They just don't wake up one day.

Ideally, answers should work equally well as a cover for mass alien abduction or a secret society snuffing out dissenters or any number of other situations where someone would rather not let the true reason for the deaths get out.

Assume the actual method of the deaths is completely clean in itself; your answers can involve the planting of any kind of false evidence if required.

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    $\begingroup$ Why kill them when you could just replace them by clones or robots OR mind control them!? As for deaths, a death in itself will always be examined and some people are always too suspicious of any kind of death when someone in perfect health is concerned... $\endgroup$ – Spacemonkey Apr 17 '15 at 19:00
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    $\begingroup$ The NSA probably has a special team assigned just to monitor Worldbuilding.SE $\endgroup$ – Seth Apr 17 '15 at 19:20
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    $\begingroup$ @Seth Following that logic so do the people at SyFy ;-) $\endgroup$ – JDSweetBeat Apr 17 '15 at 19:23
  • $\begingroup$ Can you control the people (e.g. - induce suicide, stop the heart beating, etc.) or does there need to be a truly unremarkable death? All you need is to prevent oxygen from reaching the brain; that's basically what gets us all. $\endgroup$ – Mikey Apr 17 '15 at 20:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Mikey For my particular case, inducing suicide would take some lead-up to make it believable, so it's less desireable. The idea is that they would be sudden and silent. $\endgroup$ – AdamHovorka Apr 17 '15 at 21:37
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About 151,600 people die every day on Earth.

Killing a couple thousand people, distributed across the entire world, will not be difficult to hide.

If there is some requirement that they die in the same way then simply cause cardiac arrest. Even if they just had a medical check up the day before, and appear perfectly healthy, no medical professional would seriously consider some global conspiracy. There are several ways to cause this type of death, and if this organization has the ability to simultaneously kill a couple thousand people around the world in a single day, they probably have the resources to deliver this method.

This wouldn't be discovered because someone would have to be looking at death records for the entire Earth, which simply doesn't work across borders. All they would find anyway is that a few thousand people, along with several thousand more, died of an apparent heart attack. Not very shocking.

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    $\begingroup$ Even if you look at large statistics, a one-shot event would go unnoticed. Given the US death rate vs the gobal rate, 2000 worldwide would translate to ~95 deaths in the US, as opposed to an average count of 7100 per day. Even if someone noticed a spike in cardiac deaths, since it only occurs once it would be written off as a normal statistical variation. $\endgroup$ – WhatRoughBeast Apr 17 '15 at 23:56
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The most common way for otherwise young and healthy people to die is in accidents, so if people were to "fall" off ladders while changing lightbulbs, be killed in a car "accident", get run over by a bus, electrocuted while pulling a piece of bread out of a toaster etc. then this would not arouse much suspicion even in the home jurisdiction, much less globally.

Since you have suggested some sort of global conspiracy/aliens cause, then there are plenty of resources available, and getting your minions to arrange a plausible accident it actually less difficult than arranging some sort of death using exotic poisons or other means to simulate heart attacks.

In fact, especially in the here and now, you could arrange for the people you want to have killed concealed in a greater tragedy, for example a terrorist bombing of a building fire. Now even when the police are investigating, John Smith is simply one of a large number of victims who were in the "wrong place at the wrong time".

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Gas leaks in houses can kill, and no one would think much of the tragic "accident". I've seen kits for radon detection (which apparently can kill you), and I hear that leaving the stove's gas on can lead to asphyxiation.

This could be just one of a variety of common ways people die that is utilized by your aliens / secret society / whatever. In other words, if all the deaths have the same cause, someone may notice the pattern and investigate. If they deaths have a variety of causes, and fewer people die from any single cause, then the chances that anyone would notice the pattern is much less.

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    $\begingroup$ Radon kills (presumably) by increasing cancer rates, not killing people in their sleep, so this doesn't really count. $\endgroup$ – WhatRoughBeast Apr 17 '15 at 23:52
  • $\begingroup$ Didn't know that about radon. Thanks. $\endgroup$ – BrettFromLA Apr 20 '15 at 17:59
  • $\begingroup$ Well, if you got enough radon to displace all the air in a dwelling, you would asphyxiate the inhabitants, but that's not real likely. A concentration of 1000 Bq/m^3 (very high) amounts to 0.17 picogram /m^3, or about .0001 picogram per lungful. So, a lethal concentration would be something like 1,000,000,000,000,000 times greater than you might expect to see, and 1,000,000,000,000 times greater than found in a uranium mine. $\endgroup$ – WhatRoughBeast Apr 20 '15 at 18:14

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