Famous ‘Into the Wild’ Abandoned Bus Removed in Alaska

by Hunter Miller

State officials in Alaska removed the abandoned bus made famous by the book and movie of the same name, Into the Wild. The authorities airlifted the vehicle, known as the Fairbanks Bus 142, away from the backcountry by helicopter as a public safety measure.

Many travelers attempted venturing to the bus since Jon Krakauer’s novel was published in 1996. The bus’ location is where Christopher McCandless, the subject of the book and film, died of starvation in 1992. It lies about 25 miles from the Parks Highway.

Because of the unpredictable weather and dangerous terrain, a number of travelers died or had to be rescued from the area. Earlier this year, emergency responders rescued five Italian tourists from the area. Last year, a woman from Belarus died. The woman’s death intensified requests from local officials to have the bus removed.

Corri Feige, the Alaska Natural resources commissioner, released a statement explaining that the bus was moved as part of National Guard training. She adds that it was moved “at no cost to the public or additional cost to the state.”

Feige continued by adding that the bus will be stored in a secure location. However, the National Guard is weighing options for a more permanent solution.

“We encourage people to enjoy Alaska’s wild areas safely, and we understand the hold this bus has had on the popular imagination,” Feige said. “However, this is an abandoned and deteriorating vehicle that was requiring dangerous and costly rescue efforts. More importantly, it was costing some visitors their lives.”

About ‘Into the Wild’

The nonfiction book chronicles the life of McCandless, who grew up in a wealthy Washington suburb. Upon graduating from Emory University in 1990, he chose to ditch the comforts of normal life and head west. He left without telling family or friends.

McCandless hitchhiked his way to Alaska in 1992. A man dropped him off at the head of the Stampede Trail. Days later, McCandless happened upon an abandoned bus. He lived there for three months before deciding to return to civilization.

On his voyage home, McCandless arrived at a crossing of the Teklanika River. However, the river was too high and running too fast to cross. McCandless turned around and went back to the bus. He survived for about a month before dying of starvation in August of 1992.

[H/T The Guardian]