November 30, 2023

The Alaska Triangle, less famous than the Bermuda Triangle, is synonymous with mysterious disappearances. An astonishing number of people—estimated at 20,000 since the 1970s—have vanished in this remote region near Juneau, Alaska. With an annual average disappearance rate of around 2,250 people, this sparsely populated area has become known for its enigmatic reputation. Geographically, the Alaska Triangle spans between Anchorage and Juneau in the south and Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow), on the northern coast.

Prominent figures like House Majority Leader Hale Boggs and Congressman Nick Begich disappeared in 1972 while flying from Anchorage to Juneau. Extensive search efforts for the missing plane and its occupants—including pilot Don Jonz and Begich’s aide Russell Brown—yielded no bodies or wreckage. Another puzzling case involves Gary Frank Sotherden, a 25-year-old New Yorker who disappeared during a hunting trip in the Alaskan wilderness in the mid-1970s. A human skull found in 1997 along the Porcupine River was later identified as Sotherden’s through DNA analysis in 2022. US Army investigators concluded he likely died in an encounter with a bear.

The Alaska Triangle’s perceived connection to the supernatural and conspiracy theories is extensive. Sightings of UFOs, ghosts, and aggressive Bigfoot- or Yeti-like creatures are frequently reported. Various explanations for disappearances range from electromagnetic disturbances affecting compasses to alien abductions and encounters with a man-eating monster known as a Wendigo—a mythological being with roots in the folklore of Algonquin First Nations tribes. Witnesses have reported mysterious UFO sightings in the area, describing triangular objects that defy conventional aviation norms. Experienced rescue workers have also reported encounters with phantom voices, confusion, and dizziness. UFO expert Debbie Ziegelmeyer has suggested that the sparsely populated nature of Alaska makes it attractive to aliens, while paranormal investigator Jonny Enoch has speculated on secret military involvement. Cryptozoologist Cliff Barackman has proposed the presence of a local version of Bigfoot as the culprit behind the disappearances.