Noted author on bear behavior, Alaskan Larry Kaniut writes that he heard
an interesting story; it's unconfirmed at this time but
allegedly was written up in Alaska Magazine at some point.
Kaniut is investigating, in the meantime Kaniut writes, "My friend Jack Gwaltney and I traveled to Wasilla, Alaska to meet with Ken Taylor, Jr., and Jack shared this story. He remembered the story’s source when we reached the Best Western where we were to eat lunch. Jack said that he was pretty sure that ALASKA Magazine carried the story around 1985. I’ve made a little effort to confirm the story at Anchorage’s Loussac Library but as of yet have had no success. In the spring of 2002 I stopped to see Andy Hall at ALASKA Magazine regarding permission to use the story, if located, talked with Jill Shephard who was going to look in 1985 mags for the story. I’ll email Andy to see if they’ve discovered anything yet."
The story goes like this:
Supposedly a Nome, AK (or Bethel) pilot and his newly wed wife were en route to Anchorage where they would make connections for their honeymoon. The weather turned sour so he touched down in a Cessna 180 or 185 on floats. He taxied to shore where he and his wife looked for a spot to pitch their tent for the night. Having found one, he turned toward the plane to fetch the tent with his wife following him. He heard his wife
scream and turned to see a hairy biped running from the location toward the woods with his wife under one arm.
The pilot chased after the critter before realizing that he could best stop it with a firearm and returned to the plane to fetch his rifle. He followed, seeing them three times before he lost sight of them. He found a particle of cloth from his wife’s garment.
He either spent the night in his tent and looked the next day or flew on to Anchorage and reported the event to the Alaska State Troopers who began a search but were unable to come up with any positive results. The wife was never found and Jack told me that the pilot was distraught and a “basket case” for years.
Citation: Larry Kaniut,
Alaska July 2007
Kaniut is the author of such books as:
"Cheating Death: Amazing Survival Stories from Alaska"
"Alaska Bear Tales"
"More Alaska Bear Tales"
"Danger Stalks the Land: Alaskan Tales of Death and Survival"
"Bear Tales for the Ages: From Alaska and Beyond"
"Some Bears Kill"
"Instant Sourdough" and many others...
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