You know how during WWII Operation Fortitude was developed to keep the Nazis from finding out about Operation Overlord? H/L’s MIA pattern is like that.
When H/L go MIA it’s obviously noticeable to the fandom. For that reason, a few patterns have emerged that are definitely diversion tactics to keep people from looking in the right place
-We get an increase in visibility from the other three (usually staggered to cover more than a few days—so an example would be a Niall picture on one day, LiamORsophiam outing on another day, some article with photos about Zerrie on yet another day). This keeps people focused on the other three instead of the noticeably absent ones.
-We get tweets, instagrams, and sometimes even “fan accounts” of H and L being spotted in certain places (not the same one, obviously) periodically , and none of these posts are ever actually given a time or date.
-Then MIA time ends when H/L finally appear in the same place…but they never arrive together, and they never arrive at the same time either.
that’s the three parts of the pattern I’ve always noticed. If anyone would like to add on to this, feel free.