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^^^^ That's been postulated as an explanation but it does not jibe with the hairs Henner Fahrenbach examined.    The ones I've handled were similar-ish to an irish setter dog or an orangutan, maybe a little more brown but not much.   I'm not putting any weight on it.   Whatever "that" was, in the movie, if it is an accurate depiction .. it's not a sasquatch.   No point in muddying the waters trying to mix in oil that doesn't belong with it.

 

If that predator effect is real, it's a result of technology, tech beyond ours.   That doesn't jibe with the behaviors I've experienced from sasquatch: F&B, pre stone-age tech.

 

MIB

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Explorer
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On 9/25/2020 at 6:15 PM, Explorer said:

They took into account the quote below from the StrangeOutdoors article.

"All three hunters were known for trespassing and poaching. When Christine Hedges initially reported her husband missing, she told dispatch he had entered the area by trespassing on the Park County side."

 

 

After reading the Park County sheriff interview where he says that the Aaron Hedges party started their hike at the Cottonwood Creek TH and went up the Trespass Creek trail, I feel that the “StrangeOutdoors” website probably misquoted Hedges' wife.

She probably meant to say that they went up to Campfire Lake via the Trespass Creek trail (which was on Park County).

The map below shows the Trespass Creek trail up to Campfire Lake.

The distance and elevation gain seems to be reasonable to be accomplished in one day (6.5 miles and ~ 3,000 ft climb).

 

Also attached is a map of all the private properties around the trail routes that Hedges took.

He definitely was hiking and hunting around private properties, but Campfire Lake and Sunlight lake are in public lands.

The land to the east of Campfire Lake is private.

 

The route that Aaron Hedges wanted to take from Campfire Lake to Sunlight Lake is shown on the map below (in red).

This route is a long and difficult route and would have been hard to do a round-trip in one day (8.3 miles one way with 2,000 ft. climb and 1,800 ft. drop).

Thus, if he was planning to go to Sunlight Lake, he probably would have spent the night there (even though his buddies wanted him to return the same day).

Aaron, however, does not seem to have made it to Sunlight lake, because he communicated via walkie-talkie with his buddies on Sept. 7 that he missed the turn to the lake and seemed lost.

 

The time-line table below is a summary of the dates and events (as best as I can extract from public information). 

 

The weather changed and snow fell on Sept. 10 (they day Sheriff was informed) but search did not start until Sept. 11 when 2 ft of snow fell on the mountains.
The weather information below is for the small town of Melville, which is located east of the Crazy Mountains and much lower elevation.

 

It is hard to believe that Aaron was already suffering from hypothermia on Sept. 7 or 8 (when he was lost) and that it was the cause of his disorientation.

While I don't have the coordinates for where the boots were found (next to his campfire), the reports say it was next to the trail and next to a fall.

My guess is that the fall is on the Comanche Creek junction to Sweet Grass Creek (based on the Google Earth photos).

If so, this is very close (~1.5 miles) to the junction that he missed to Sunlight Lake.  Maybe he camped there on Sept. 7 but it was not snowing yet.

 

The distance from the Sunlight Lake trail junction to the first private ranch (Carroccia Ranch,  which is located on the east end of the Sweet Grass Creek drainage) was ~7.6 miles and mainly downhill.

Not sure if this is also owned by the Rein family or if its a different ranch than the one shown on the video.

Nonetheless, you can see this property in Google Earth clearly at 46.12339, -110.19890.

 

I wish I had the exact coordinate of where the backpack and bones were found.  Will need SAR or Sheriff report to get better and more accurate information.

 

Many components of this story remain unexplained.

Among them,

  • How did he get lost before the snow fell while still on a trail and with a Rhino GPS unit?
  • Why did he remove his boots and left them on the trail camp?  Presumably this happened before the snow fell.
  • Was he chasing Elk down the Sweet Grass drainage and that is why he went east and down (and thus not lost but intentionally going on a solo hunt)?
  • Once the 2 ft of snow hit on Sept. 11, getting hypothermia, getting trapped, and dying from exposure makes sense.  Nonetheless, his body was found ~ 2 miles from a ranch, and already out of the canyon.

 

Trespass Creek to Campfire Lake.JPG

Trespass Creek to Campfire Lake Metrics.JPG

Crazy Mountains Private Property Map.JPG

Campfire Lake to Sunlight Lake Metrics.JPG

Aaron Hedges Timeline.jpg

Aaron Hedges East Exit Route.JPG

Trail Junction to Ranch Metrics.JPG

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Explorer
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Wanted to add a few more clarifying points and corrections:

  • The elevation at Melville Montana is about 5,000 ft and the elevation at the Sunlight Lake trail junction is about 7,000 ft.  Thus, at the 2,000 ft higher elevation, Aaron Hedges would have been exposed to lower temperatures by about 7 to 11 degrees F (depending on whether air was wet or dry) from those shown on the table above.
  • To get hypothermia, snow is not a requirement. You could get hypothermia even at 50 F.  Thus, Aaron could have suffered from that condition after his first night out without a sleeping bag.  The low would have been ~ 36 F at that elevation his first night.  Nonetheless, he had the capability to build a fire (a fire ring was found next to his boots), he had matches and a lighter (found in the backpack).  I don't know how good his clothes were for cold weather.  Nonetheless, the 2 ft of snow that fell on his 5 day out would have pushed his limits.
  • In the 411: Hunters, the Sweet Grass County sheriff says that Aaron communicated with his buddies using a Rino GPS walkie talkie, that showed them that he missed the trail junction.  However, when his skeletal remains were found, they only found his cell phone not his Rino GPS unit.  Wonder if the batteries of both his cell and Rino unit died with the cold.  They found his gun inside his backpack but not the Rino unit.  I know that my cell phone battery will drain quickly when the temperature outside is in the 40's-50's.  I always carry a power bank that can charge my cell for at least 5 days (and it does not seem to drain with low temps as much). Always good to keep your cell phone close to your body or inside the sleeping bag to keep it warm.
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On 10/2/2020 at 10:11 PM, Explorer said:

 

Many components of this story remain unexplained.

Among them,

  • How did he get lost before the snow fell while still on a trail and with a Rhino GPS unit?
    • I have a hard time believing he got lost.  In that terrain there are not many options and he was a skilled hunter operating in known area.  I believe he knew exactly what he was doing and simply decided to change plans.
  • Why did he remove his boots and left them on the trail camp?  Presumably this happened before the snow fell.
    • If you ignore foul play or something ET-like the only explanation is had an extra pair of lightweight shoes he changed in to once the snow melted.
  • Was he chasing Elk down the Sweet Grass drainage and that is why he went east and down (and thus not lost but intentionally going on a solo hunt)?
    • That is my assumption and he changed his mind from the stated plan.  He still had food so the cache was not needed
  • Once the 2 ft of snow hit on Sept. 11, getting hypothermia, getting trapped, and dying from exposure makes sense.  Nonetheless, his body was found ~ 2 miles from a ranch, and already out of the canyon
    • Maybe something was going on in his life and he decided this was going to be his "Last" hunt.  I wonder if he discovered a untreatable medical condition, severe depression,  or perhaps had relationship issues.

 

Thoughts inline.  There are rationale explanations for all of these.  Whether they are correct will never be known.  Certainly more likely than the snatched by an alien BF who then planted evidence all over the canyon theory.

 

 

 

 

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Explorer
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@NCBFr,

 

I tend to agree with you that this particular case (of Aaron Hedges disappearance) is not really pointing in the direction of anomalous phenomena (despite the mysterious nature of his disappearance).

Anomalous phenomena might remain a possibility, since we don't really know what happened.

But there are more reasonable explanatory hypotheses.

 

Below is a diagram where I develop 4 possible hypotheses based on the limited evidence found (that is publicly known).

For sure this is not comprehensive, but it is one way of linking the pieces of evidence together.

 

We don't have to invoke UFOs, portals, bigfoot, or alien predators yet.

Unless I am missing something. 

The Messick case is indeed harder to explain.

Hedges Potential Hypotheses.jpg

Hedges Potential Hypotheses.pdf

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Huntster
On 7/17/2020 at 5:42 PM, Huntster said:

.......People disappear with predictable regularity, they do that in wilderness areas at a higher rate, and this has been occurring since the dawn of human existence. Note that Otzi was found in an Alpine glacier some 5,000 years after he disappeared.

 

I write that as an Alaskan quite familiar with disappearance in the wilderness, almost disappeared myself on at least one occasion, and who just spent a classic, grueling 24 hour suicide run looking for a missing friend in the wilderness. Some details are warranted here:

 

My missing friend was two months shy of his 90th birthday, but was in excellent shape, and had spent the past 55 years of his life as an Alaskan outdoorsman. He was going to his homestead cabin near Slana for his annual spring visit there. His vehicle was found unlocked at the gravel pit trailhead, the keys were gone, his wallet was found in the vehicle, and his cabin was unlocked (lock hanging on the hasp, which was closed), and the windows were still boarded up. The Alaska State Troopers (eminently qualified and experienced in these matters) were called in 16 days after he was last seen in Slana where he stopped at a friend's house before hiking the 3 miles to the cabin from the trailhead. The Troopers searched for 4 days, and interviewed everybody involved and who lived in that little valley. They searched with a cadaver dog. They flew the area with a helicopter. 

 

When I spoke with the investigating Trooper a month ago, he asked if I was going into the area to search for myself. I told him that I might. He suggested I walk Bear Creek from the rugged "footbridge" down to its mouth at Slana Slough. He said that he saw a spot where the trail may have given away right near the bridge, and someone may have fallen into the creek, which would have been swollen with spring runoff. I fully understood his thoughts. Drowning and falls are the top killers in Alaska.

 

My wife has been a royal PITA for the past few years, and had a big part in not letting me go have a look. But finally getting all ducks in a row here at the household, and after my friend's remote neighbor called me and asked me to go with him to search the creek, my wife didn't have "my responsibilities" and "going alone" excuses anymore. Instead of going up there for a few days, the neighbor wanted to do the classic Alaskan "suicide run", which is the common term for leaving Anchorage after work, driving 4 hours to the Kenai River, catching a limit of salmon, then driving back for work the following morning. In this case, it was going to be a 5 hour drive each way, and a seven mile hike round trip on a rough, rarely used trail or on game trails. 

 

We found no trace at all of our friend. None. Zip. No footprints, no clothing, no gear, no trash, no body, no blood. Bear Creek eventually lead through a thicket so clogged with downed spruce trees and snags that I believe it impossible that a body could be forced through it without leaving some bits of clothing or his backpack on or in the snags. We found very little bear sign, too. Most of it was from last year, but I did find tracks left by a very large bear that might have been from early spring.

 

I have yet to write up a report for the Trooper and send with my pics, again, because Mrs. Huntster and my family need continued diaper changing 24/7, but in sum, my friend simply vanished. The most likely causes? I suggest these, in the order of my opined likelihood:

 

1) He fell into Bear Creek (swollen with spring runoff), drowned, was washed downstream, hung up on a snag, was fished out by a bear, and was carried off into the woods and consumed.

2) He was taken by a bear while walking in to his cabin, carried off into the woods, and consumed. (Yes, the idiot commonly walked in to his cabin unarmed despite the place being full of both black and brown bears, and despite knowing about more than one trouble bear in the area over the past 30+ years).

3) He was followed into the gravel pit by a criminal(s), or stumbled upon them upon his arrival, and taken before he ever left on foot for the cabin.

4) He was murdered by one of the kooky homesteaders of the area.

5) He became psychologically disoriented due to a sudden medical condition, or physically incapacitated while walking in, became lost, and either lays out there unfound, or was consumed by the wildlife......

 

Update:

 

Five months after he was last seen, the guy I went up there to search Bear Creek for my friend "found" Don's head. 

 

Don's wife called my house phone and told my wife after the Troopers notified her last week. Yesterday the Troopers published the results of tests that confirm that the head was Don's. The investigation into cause of death continues. I'm not sure if Troopers found the rest of Don or not.

Screenshot_20201012-205250_Samsung Internet.jpg

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norseman
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I’m so sorry bud

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BlackRockBigfoot
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On 10/13/2020 at 12:07 AM, Huntster said:

 

Update:

 

Five months after he was last seen, the guy I went up there to search Bear Creek for my friend "found" Don's head. 

 

Don's wife called my house phone and told my wife after the Troopers notified her last week. Yesterday the Troopers published the results of tests that confirm that the head was Don's. The investigation into cause of death continues. I'm not sure if Troopers found the rest of Don or not.

Screenshot_20201012-205250_Samsung Internet.jpg

Just now seeing this...

 

I am sorry about your friend, man.  

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Huntster

Having also lost Mom last week, and will be burying her today, I haven't had time to call the investigating Trooper for a personal update. I hope to do that in the next week or so. His answers to my questions will pretty much tell me what the Troopers are thinking as to cause of death, even if he is vague. From what Don's wife told Mrs. Huntster, and the way the official statement reads, I'm thinking that it was a homicide.

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hiflier
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My sincere condolences, Huntster. I'm so sorry to hear of your losses. I hope it's comforting for you to know that in loss this community grieves as one for you and everyone in times like these.

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BFF Donor

Hunster...so sorry to hear about the loss of your mom and a dear friend.  We're thinking of you. Keep the faith.

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