‘Alaskan Triangle’ swallows 16,000 people over 20 years

Mysteries

MYSTERY WIRE — You’ve heard about the Bermuda Triangle. You may even know about the Nevada Triangle. But there’s another notorious region known to swallow thousands of lives.

According to curiosity.com, more than 16,000 people have vanished in the Alaskan Triangle since 1988.

The triangle’s points are Anchorage, Juneau and Utkiagaviq (formerly known as Barrow). The region includes vast areas of largely unexplored wilderness.

Alaska’s relatively small population combines with the number of missing persons reports to produce a shocking rate: more than twice the national average. There’s one missing persons case for every 250 residents.

Authorities attribute the disappearances to the extreme terrain and climatic conditions. Similar conditions exist in South America, where one airplane crash was known to set off an avalanche that buried any trace of wreckage.

Plane crashes aren’t found often in the Alaskan Triangle because the rough terrain “obliterates” wreckage, and snow often hides it.

The 1972 disappearance of a plane carrying U.S. House Majority Leader Hale Boggs’ airplane vanished changed modern aircraft design by requiring emergency locator transmitters in all US civilian aircraft. The disappearance triggered one of the country’s largest ever search-and-rescue operations, involving 40 military aircraft, 50 civilian planes, and 39 days of searching an area of 32,000 square miles. Yet the search yielded nothing.

Local Tlingit Indian legends tell of a mythical shape-shifting creature — the “Kushtaka,” or “land-otter man” — that lures travelers to a nearby river, where they are killed and turned into another Kushtaka.

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