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Missing AK - Thomas Aki Pungalik Brown and Josiah Ballot missing on snowmobiles near Kotzebue; Jan 2023

Cabin Fever

There's folks who disappear into the wilderness while they're recreating, and folks who disappear while doing what it takes to survive. There are many folks like that in AK. They are also difficult to find, because of harsh conditions, and unfriendly terrain.

Two young people have gone missing on snowmobiles. One has now been found. Let's not forget them.


I Am A Rock

For Real
I can't find any updates for TB. This is terrible. I still can't believe JB survived all that time, and only has frostbite. Maybe he'll be able to say what happened to his pal.

Something that really interests me in AK: how they do Search and Rescue. There's a lead-off from trained local SAR, but then the whole community seems to get involved. They have people go up in private planes to do a lot of the searching. We also learned in the Steve Keel case that the boroughs distribute PLB's out in the communities, and keep them updated. I guess the boys didn't have one with them, but I still think it's fantastic.


I’m super-annoyed at how disproportionate the attention is between missing hikers in CA and two missing local teens in AK. It seems like it’s always this way. And then if a guy from TN on a trophy hunt goes missing in AK, the media is all over that, too.


For Real
Unfortunately, the second teen—Thomas Aki Pungalik Brown—has been found dead. He was found nearer Kotzebue, 10+ miles from where JB was found. No reason given.

Article HERE
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Breaking Trail

In the Groove
It seems the two teens were discovered actually 18 miles from each other, and JB was 8 miles from his snowmobile which was on sea ice?

I suppose something happened to the sled, and the two went walking towards Kotzebue? What a terrible, terrifying, experience.