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In Outside‘s October 2003 cover story, “The O Files,” we explore the creepy side of adventure: murder, shocking disappearances, haunting riddles, and inexplicable creatures. But this isn’t the first time we’ve delved into nature’s dark enigmas—Outside has a history of delivering eerie tales of the outdoors. Below, we present some of our all-time favorites.
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Death of an Innocent
On April 28, 1992, 24-year-old Christopher McCandless walked off into Alaska’s lonely outback, hoping to make sense of his life. Four months later he was dead. This is his story.
By Jon Krakauer
The Good Company of the Dead (August 1999)
George Mallory’s disappearance high on Everest begat mountaineering’s greatest mystery: Did he reach the summit 29 years before Hillary? The recent discovery of his body offers up another tantalizing mystery: Who was the man behind the legend?
By Mark Jenkins
Hypothesis #1: Amelia Earhart Perished on a Lonely Pacific Island. Hypothesis #2: Amelia Earhart Lies at the Bottom of the Ocean. Hypothesis #3: Who Cares? We’re Having a Helluva Good Time Not Finding Her!
Ever since the famous pilot vanished in 1937, aviation buffs, treasure hunters, and conspiracy theorists have clamored to find out what really happened. The latest crop of Amelia-heads think they’ve got the answer—and they’re racing to cash in on flying’s favorite unsolved mystery.
By Stephen Titus
It started out as a blissfully ordinary summer Thursday in the sports-happy little mountain town of Lander, Wyoming. But then Amy Bechtel didn’t come home, and nothing has been quite the same ever since.
By Bryan Di Salvatore and Deirdre McNamer
Even as he stumbled over the foggy passes of the Himalayas, he felt close to the secret Arizona grave where he’d buried his friend. Far too close, it turned out.
By Doug Peacock
A Natural Death
He was the conscience of the northern New England mountains, a revered conservator of Yankee wilderness values. Then one morn-ing this past winter, Guy Waterman said good-bye to his wife, hit the trail for the last time, and deliberately froze himself to death on the gale-swept slopes of Mount Lafayette.
By Rob Buchanan
Eric Rudolph Slept Here
How did accused domestic terrorist Eric Rudolph elude a massive FBI manhunt for more than five years? We find out by visiting his deep-woods hideouts.
By Bruce Barcott
Goatsucker Sighted, Details to Follow
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Fanged, two-legged creature on the loose. Mutilates livestock, drinks the blood. Spotted in Puerto Rico, Texas, even New York. Extra! Extra!
By Bucky McMahon
“SASQUATCH IS REAL!” FOREST LOVE SLAVES TELL ALL!
So far, the hunt for Bigfoot has netted only near misses, tall tales, and sarcastic chuckles. But a new generation of high-tech hunters are on the loose—and they won’t rest until they’ve nailed something big and hairy.
By Bruce Barcott