The Alaska Triangle

Most everyone has heard of the Bermuda Triangle—an area of the Atlantic Ocean where numerous ships and planes have mysteriously disappeared. I wrote a blog post about five planes, known as Flight 19, that vanished there in 1945.

However, did you know there is a similar phenomenon in Alaska? It seems there are also many mysterious happenings in our largest and northernmost state.

The Alaska Triangle is located in a vast and largely untouched wilderness. It stretches from Anchorage, southeast to Juneau, then to the north coast city of Utqiagvik (formerly known as Barrow). The area has some of North America’s most unforgiving wilderness.

The Alaskan Wilderness area near Denali National Park (Public Domain)

In October 1972, a small private plane carrying House Majority Leader Hale Boggs, Alaskan Congressman Nick Begich, an aide named Russell Brown, and bush pilot Don Jonz vanished on a flight from Anchorage to Juneau.

An extended search consisting of fifty civilian planes, forty military aircraft, and dozens of boats searched a 32,000 square mile area. They found no trace of the plane, wreckage, or debris.

Strangely, this wasn’t the first disappearance in the triangle. In 1950, a military aircraft with forty-four passengers disappeared without a trace. In 1990 a Cessna carrying four passengers vanished.

These mysterious disappearances are strangely typical of this area, and they aren’t uncommon. Since 1988 more than 16,000 people have vanished there. This amounts to an annual rate of about four missing persons for every 1,000 people in Alaska. More than twice the national average.

An aerial view of Denali’s summit. Creative Commons photo by unagiinu via Wikimedia Commons

There are many theories for these unexplained vanishings—everything from aliens, to swirling energy vortexes, and even a shape-shifting demon known in Tlingit Indian lore as Kushtaka. Some attribute the vanishings to cryptids that supposedly live in the area.

A more scientific explanation is geography and climate. Alaska is also known for extreme weather conditions, including avalanches. While it’s easy to imagine hikers wandering off trail and succumbing to the elements, how do you explain the disappearance of aircraft?

Again, science has an explanation. The state’s massive glaciers contain giant holes, hidden caves, and crevices large enough to swallow a plane.

But isn’t it more intriguing to consider the other possibilities?

It’s Friday!

Hey everyone. Yes, I know this was going to be the week (month) where I began posting two or three times a week. Of course, I didn’t get anything prepared.

Last night, I was going through some old photos in search of ones I might use for the covers of my new series. No, the first book isn’t finished, and yes, I’m already brainstorming the other three.

Anyhow, I found a few vacation pictures. Since we won’t be making a trip this year (if I travel out of state, I would have to quarantine for fourteen days before I go back to work), I thought I’d share a few photos from past trips.

The Window – Chisos Mountains, Big Bend National Park

In 2013, we visited Big Bend National Park and stayed in the Chisos Mountain Lodge. The sites were incredible, including the one above. I have an unfinished novel that I worked on during that trip. Maybe I’ll dust it off one day.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Palo Duro Canyon is just south of Amarillo, Texas. It’s the second-longest in the United States, behind Grand Canyon. We visited there in 2011 and even took in an outdoor play.

Alaska’s inside passage between Ketchikan and Juneau.

It’s hard to pick just one photo from our 2012 Alaska trip since I took over 900. Our seven-day cruise began in Seattle with stops in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, and Victoria, British Columbia. It was almost 9:30 p.m. when I took this shot.

Looking down from Little Round Top, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

I only took around 600 pics during our 2015 trip to Virginia, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania. We traveled over 3000 miles through eight states. Most of the photos were taken inside museums, but in keeping with the outdoor theme, I selected this one from Gettysburg National Military Park.

The good life!

Broken Bow, Oklahoma is about a three-hour drive. it’s a nice place to kick back and relax. We always rent a cabin. Our last trip there was in 2018.

That’s it for the week. Hope you enjoyed my trip down memory lane. Next week, I have a book review post. On WIP Wednesday, I’ll share a snippet from Cold Dark Night.