The day of The Sudden Departure has been seen a few times in the series. The opening scene to the series shows a short moment of the departure. It is shown again in Two Boats and a Helicopter and The Garveys At Their Best. From all the flashbacks we've seen so far it appears that nobody has actually seen a person disappear although this could possibly be shown in a later episode. (However this is debatable, it is unclear if the little boy in the opening scene of the Pilot, actually saw his father vanish or if he had been looking in another direction when he disappeared. )
It has been shown that the people who vanished simply disappeared, not leaving their clothing behind, like other rapture themed novels portray. Many people first noticed the moment of departure from the sudden silence. Cars whose drivers vanished crashed, causing chaos in the streets, as people tried to help each other find the departed, or the injured. It's likely that many highways were blocked up from these crashes, and other forms of transportation were stopped. It was revealed in The Garveys At Their Best that fetuses also simply vanished from the wombs of pregnant mothers.
Animals also began to act strangely after this event. As stated in the Pilot, dogs who actually saw their owners disappear returned to a feral state of mind, becoming vicious and no longer friendly to humans.
The Sudden Departure took place during the mid-afternoon (U.S. Eastern Time) on October 14, 2011. In The Garveys At Their Best, the time on the screen of the ultrasound machine shown moments before the fetus (and everyone else) departed is 2:23 p.m. This is consistent with the date being referred to as "October 15th" by the Australian weatherman in Don't Be Ridiculous, as Western Australia is 12 hours ahead of New York in October (2:30 p.m. EDT on October 14 = 2:30 a.m. AWST on October 15).
Impact on SocietyEdit
The Sudden Departure left a huge impact on the world. People who lost loved ones had to grieve without knowing what truly happened. Scientists all over the world attempted to try and explain this event but eventually could not find anything. In public school systems, students are allowed to pray for forgiveness and/or the return of the departed after Other structures of society, such as shopping, Christmas holidays, school still continued, however October 14th is seen as a memorial day to remember those who left.
The government has also somewhat changed. The Department of Sudden Departure was created in order to give insurance to those who have lost loved ones in the departure. Companies were made after the event such as, Loved Ones Bereavement Figures, selling to those who lost family or friends.
Culture has been changed as well. The Annual DROP conference is a convention for all Departure related events. The convention features people telling their stories of the departed, and other information. In Guest, Nora Durst is a panelist there. Many have written books about their experiences the most seen one being What's Next.
Religion has been greatly affected by the departure. Some belive that the Biblical rapture has taken place and the end is near. Others believe that it is not the biblical rapture, since people who weren't good were taken. Other groups have been formed such as The Guilty Remnant, who believe that the world has changed and live in certain ways.