Wanted to refer everyone to this article

Charley Project Facebook user Michelle S. found this article about the 1987 disappearance of Ronald Oquilluk (who was not on Charley) and how he was identified over thirty years after he went missing. It’s a very good article and there’s a bit at the bottom about the recent identification of missing hunter Patrick Chambers.

Oquilluk’s case reminds me of the 2016 disappearance of Walter Hawk, another Native Alaskan man with special needs who wandered into the wilderness and never came back. What’s particularly frustrating in Hawk’s case is that searchers actually saw him in the days after he went missing, just hoofing it across the tundra, but apparently they weren’t able to get his attention. So close, yet so far.

I’ll say it again: Alaska eats people.

Oquilluk’s remains were found a full 450 miles from where he was last seen, and I wonder whether Hawk wandered as far as that. He disappeared during the summertime, and if he knew how to live off the land he might have been able to survive for an extended time period.

Native American Heritage Month: Walter Hawk

In honor of Native American Heritage Month I’m featuring a Native American missing person for every day in the month of November. Today’s missing person is Walter Hawk, who disappeared from Tuluksak, a Yupik village in Alaska, on July 13, 2016, at the age of 43. He is considered a vulnerable adult and apparently had a habit of wandering.

Hawk left a relative’s home in the early morning hours and never returned. Frustratingly, searchers actually saw him when they were combing through the wilderness, but he would vanish again before they could make contact. Like, they’d be in a plane or a kayak, and they’d see him walking along, but a good distance away, miles even, and they couldn’t get to him.

Apparently Hawk had a good set of legs on him and good wilderness survival skills; he was capable of making it on his own for some time. But two winters have passed and we’re going into a third now, and I don’t think he can still be alive in the bush.