AK AK - Richard Griffis, 55, Wrangell-St Elias Nat'l Park, 20 Sept 2006

Discussion in '2000's Missing' started by JerseyGirl, Jul 24, 2017.

  1. JerseyGirl

    JerseyGirl Moderator Staff Member Forum Coordinators

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    Richard Lyman Griffis, a continent roaming inventor who lived in Spokane, Washington, Oregon, California, New York and Florida before heading north. He came to Alaska in the fall of 2006 to test a “survival cocoon” he’d invented.

    He disappeared into the northern edge of the Wrangell park. It would be almost a year before he was reported missing and even then it was unclear where he’d gone. Investigators finally tracked him to a lodge along the White River in the Yukon Territory, Canada, where he’d left some gear and told the proprietor he planned to travel upriver through the Wrangells to the Alaska community of McCarthy on the south side of the park.

    He never showed up there, and there was never much more than a cursory search for him. Still, some expected the “survival cocoon” or some part of it would one day be found in one of the big river valleys that offer the easist travel through the uninhabited region. It never did. Griffis remaining missing.

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  3. Henry2326

    Henry2326 Active Member

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    Interesting article updated in 2016...

    Former Nabesna District Ranger Mike Thompson has a faint memory of the search for Griffis's cocoon in the park, or near it, in the fall of 2006.

    "He was so unique because of that pod thing,'' said Thompson, now a ranger stationed in the isolated Alaska coastal village of Yakutat, population 600, near the southern edge of the 13.2-million-acre park -- a park bigger than the nation of Switzerland, but far more rugged.

    Searches in this area are always difficult because of the huge glaciers, the jagged mountains, the sheer remoteness, and the limited search-and- rescue assets. But the search for Griffis was especially difficult.

    "In all likelihood, he went messing in September 2006, but it was not reported until August 2007,'' said Sgt. Ben Sewell of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. "(And) he never told anyone where he was going.''

    Sewell is now a mountie in northern Manitoba, but in 2007 he was the official Canadian government presence in Beaver Creek, Yukon Territory, a wide spot along the Alaska Highway just across the U.S. border in Canada, northeast of the Wrangell Mountains.

    We were go able to go back to that year and track him,'' Sewell said. Mounties found where Griffis paid for a bus ticket north. They tracked him to where he'd been dropped off by the bus along the Alaska Highway. He left some of his gear at a lodge near the White River. He told people there he was going upriver to McCarthy, an outpost town in the Wrangell-St. Elias Park in Alaska, to test his orange cocoon.


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