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Backpacker Magazine – November 2009

America's Scariest Trails: Vanished

Lost? Murdered? When the wilderness swallows people without a trace, who's to say what happened?

by: Anthony Cerretani

Bennington Triangle
There are plenty of good reasons to hike Vermont's 272-mile Long Trail. It's the country's oldest long-distance path and still one of the hardest. And it takes you over Glastenbury Mountain, site of the backcountry's most bizarre–and still unexplained–case of missing hikers. Between 1945 and 1950, five people disappeared in the area. Amazingly, three of them were walking with other hikers when they momentarily slipped out of sight–only to vanish forever. Only the remains of one, Frieda Langer, were ever found; her decomposed body was discovered one year after she disappeared, in an area that had been exhaustively searched.

Despite thorough investigations at the time, no one has ever discovered who, or what, was responsible. Theories range from inter-dimensional portals (really) to sinkholes that swallowed the victims whole (not kidding) to a Bigfoot-like creature called the Bennington Monster (yup) to, disturbingly, a serial killer dubbed the Mad Murderer of the Long Trail (yikes). Check it out on a hike to Glastenbury's 3,748-foot summit:

Still Missing
Paul Schoch
In September 2007, Schoch finished a weeklong trek in Alaska's Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. But when his bush plane arrived–a day late due to weather–the 68-year-old was gone. Though his camp was in order, Schoch was never found, despite the open tundra surrounding the pass.

Jack Coloney
He went camping in a remote area of the Adirondacks in June 2006. When he failed to return, searchers found his kayak and undisturbed camp–and nothing else.

Yi-Jien Hwa
In August 2007, this well-equipped hiker started a weeklong trek in Glacier National Park. He vanished on the first day, and despite the detailed itinerary he left, searchers found no body, not even a clue.

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Oct 25, 2012

Ti-Jien Hwa's body was found in May of 2012, and though he may have been well equipped and experienced in backcountry travel, his "detailed itinerary" was in fact a backcountry permit issued by a park ranger who noted on the permit itself that the trip was not recommended due to a variety of dangers, and that solo travel was especially a bad idea. The trip covered 97 miles with nearly 29,000 feet of elevation gain and loss over rugged, snowy, remote terrain filled with bad weather and wild animals. That he vanished and remained undiscovered for so long is hardly a mystery. The same region of the park claimed the life of another solo hiker earlier this year, and his body went undiscovered for weeks.

The dangers on trails like these may be scary, but they definitely don't stem from inexplicable or supernatural causes.

Jun 06, 2012

Yi-Jien Hwa :


Jesus Christ
Jun 25, 2011

1900 - 1.6 Billion People,
2011 - 6.9 Billion People,
111 years - 5.3 Billion People,
Solution to problem - Stop Creating Babies,
The life you save just might be the one you don't create.

Oct 30, 2010

Ti-Jien Hwa did go Missing in Aug 2008.I was in glacier park at the time!

Oct 12, 2010

Paul's remains were found in August of 2009 about 12 miles from his campsite. Cause of death was natural causes. RIP Dad

spiced outb
Nov 02, 2009

Whoops, should have been Yi-Jien Hwa. A correction to my correction.

And yes, after looking back and from the help of a friend, he did go missing in 2008.

Nov 02, 2009


I beleive Ti-Jien Hwa went missing in 2008 not 2007.


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