Jared Negrete - Strange disappearances from U.S. Mountains

Jared Negrete, disappeared July 19th, 1991, Mt. San Gorgonio, San Bernardino National Forest, California

jared negrete disappearance

13-year-old, Jared Negrete, was a Boy Scout who was on his first overnight backpacking trip. He was last seen on Friday 19 July 1991 at about 6 p.m. when he fell behind his fellow Scouts on a hike to the summit of 11,500-foot Mt. San Gorgonio in San Bernardino National Forest, Southern California.

San Gorgonio Mountain, also known locally as Mount San Gorgonio, or Old Greyback, is the highest peak in Southern California and the Transverse Ranges at 11,503 feet (3,506 m). It is in the San Bernardino Mountains, 27 miles (43 km) east of the city of San Bernardino. It lies within the San Gorgonio Wilderness, part of the Sand to Snow National Monument managed by the San Bernardino National Forest.

Mt. San Gorgonio

The eighth-grader lived in El Monte, was 5 feet 2 inches tall and 150 pounds, was wearing green pants and a tan shirt and was carrying a two-quart canteen of water.

Another group of hikers spotted Jared straggling behind and notified the Scout troop leader at the mountain summit but the leader, an experienced hiker, said he would pick up Jared on the way down When the leader finally decided to descend the mountain, Jared was nowhere to be seen.

As soon as the troop leader realised that Jared had disappeared, he accompanied his five other Scouts back to the base camp and then hiked about five miles in the dark to get help.

Mt. San Gorgonio map location

San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies, along with search and rescue teams from as far away as Sierra Madre and San Dimas, began searching a 130-square mile area of the San Gorgonio Wilderness, a rocky, tree-lined terrain.

Within 3 days their search was focused on a six-square mile area, where a footprint believed to match one of Jared's high-top tennis shoes was found. Searchers also discovered beef jerky and candy wrappers believed to have been dropped by the Scout and most importantly his camera was located. On the film roll were twelve pictures.

Jared negrete last picture

Most of the photos were landscape scenes apparently taken before Jared went missing. But the final picture on the roll of film was a photograph of the Scout's eyes and nose, taken with the aid of the camera's flash, possibly at night after he disappeared. Family members said it appeared Jared pointed his camera at his face and snapped the picture. It seemed possible that the boy had lost the camera while sliding down a portion of the mountainside.

At least 70 officers, some of whom were airlifted by helicopter into the forest and horseback riders as well as helicopters with infrared were deployed. Over the next two weeks as many as 3,000 people had logged 45,000 hours scouring 50 square miles of the San Bernardino National Forest from Angelus Oaks to Whitewater Canyon. 

But no further clues were found, Jared had vanished. What happened on that day in July 1991. Did he fall off the trail and slip down the mountainside? But why after an extensive search wasn't the body or remains found? Was he abducted? Despite the discovery of the camera and its pictures, Jared remains missing 26 years on.

Stacey Arras - Strange disappearances from US National Parks

Stacey Arras, Disappeared July 25, 1981, Sunrise High Sierra Camp, Mariposa County, Yosemite National Park, California.

Stacy Arras, Yosemite park disappearance

On 25th July 1981, 14 year old, Stacey Arras, from Saratoga, went on a horse riding trip with her father, George, and seven others in the Sunrise Meadows area of Yosemite National Park in California.

After riding a few hours, they stopped at some cabins at Sunrise High Sierra Camp, around 3 miles South East of Tenaya Lake and 1.5 miles from Sunrise Lakes. The group decided to freshen up after the ride, having planned to stay the night. Sunrise camp is  9,400 feet above sea level and the last one on the fifty-mile High Sierra Camp Loop. Nine cabins provide beds for 34 guests and it is set against a lovely alpine meadow facing Mt. Florence and Mt. Clark. Later that day after going on a short hike, close to the cabin area, she was never seen again.

Sunrise Meadows area of Yosemite National Park

Sunrise Meadows area of Yosemite National Park

Sunrise Meadows area of Yosemite National Park

Stacey cleaned up, showered and changed clothes. An older member of the group, Gerald Stuart (70-77 years, age unclear) was sitting on a boulder about 100 feet away from the cabins. Stacey told her Dad she would go for a walk close to where Gerald was sitting to stretch her legs after the horse ride and to take some pictures of the views. She asked her Dad if he wanted to go with her but he told her he'd pass on this occasion. The last conversation she had with her Dad related to her footwear, where he advised her to change from her flip-flops/thongs to hiking boots. She was wearing an off-white, pullover windbreaker, white jersey blouse, leggings, grey hiking boots and also had metal braces on her teeth.

Everybody saw her go walking over to the boulder with the man and take some pictures. Subsequently, she told Gerald she was going to take a walk to a nearby lake or body of water. This was either a few hundred yards to flooded (lower) Long Meadow or the longer walk to Sunrise lakes 1.5 miles away (exact destination unclear). Stacey planned to take some more pictures of the lake and he offered to accompany her.

After a little while down the hill the elderly man felt tired and sat down, the rest of the group watching from up above saw the man sit down. They all watched as Stacey went on a little further towards the lake, go behind some trees and eventually disappear from sight. This was the last time she was ever seen. After a while when Stacey didn't return, Gerald got concerned and returned back towards the cabin area and gathered the group for a search. The horse riding group had no luck, reported her missing and summoned search and rescue. Gerald told park officials that he had spoken to a group of people coming from the direction that Stacey had taken, but they had not seen the girl

Stavey Arras SAR briefing
Stacey arras SAR

A huge search involving up to 100-150 people (including 67 Mountain Rescue Association (MRA) volunteers representing most of the Region's teams) and sniffer dogs were deployed over 10 days, concentrating on a 3-5 square mile area around Sunrise Lakes . Three helicopters were also used in the search, with the park's own contract chopper in the air for over 40 hours. Despite the efforts of SAR teams, the only thing ever found was the lens cap from Stacey's camera, just inside the tree line from where she walked in to the area by the lake.

Since she was wearing tooth braces, if her skeleton is ever found it will be easier to identify, but 36 years on no sign has ever been found of Stacey, her camera or her clothing.

It seems likely she was abducted given no signs of animal attack or her camera and given the proximity of Stacey's hike to the camp it would be implausible she was lost on her way to the lake. The Fresno Bee reported on July 28th, 1981 that Stacey was having some family or school troubles and was missing her boyfriend, but if she was intending to disappear why did she originally leave the camp in completely inappropriate footwear before her father intervened? A very strange disappearance from Yosemite.


Rosemary Kunst - Strange disappearances from US National Parks

Rosemary Teresa Kunst, disappeared August 18, 2000, Marble Mountains Wilderness,  California. 

Rosemary Teresa Kunst, Marble Mountains Wilderness,  California

Rosemary Kunst, aged 70, went missing on August 18th 2000, from Spirit Lake in California, part of the Marble Mountains wilderness. At the time of her disappearance she was wearing a blue fleece shirt, hiking boots, and a blue baseball cap.

Rosemary was married to Charles "Bud" Kunst and eighteen months before her disappearance they were involved in a serious car accident in which Bud was killed and Rosemary was seriously injured. As part of her recuperation from the tragic incident, as a keen outdoors woman she decided to go on a backpacking trip with the Earth Circle group based in Yreka, California, an organisation run by native American Karuk Chief and Elder, Charlie "Red Hawk" Thom. Annually the group visited the remote Spirit Lake area of the Marble Mountains Wilderness, part of the Klamath national forest and west of Mt. Shasta. The lake is only accessible from one direction with steep banks around it and tree cover, making access difficult apart from the trail at the northern end of the lake.

Spirit lake map Marble mountains

Each year, Red Hawk carried out spiritual ceremonies at the lake which included spirit dances to help bring the Native American ancestors down to earth and on August 17th 2000 this event was repeated with Rosemary Kunst. His group which included a cook used horses to bring in tents,food and other equipment. The whole group participated in the attempt to contact the ancient spirits. 

Marble Mountains Wilderness,  California

On August 18th Red Hawk told the group of his plan to go for a day hike and they would be all back in camp later that evening. Rosemary declined this invitation for reasons unknown and decided to stay behind and subsequently she asked his 12 year old son, Chalet, whether he would accompany her on a small hike to other side of the lake. Chalet declined and stayed behind with the cook. Rosemary had a small lunch prepared for her to take and she headed off towards Wooley Creek, the southern part of the lake, which had no obvious exit apart from climbing the steep hillsides (up to 70 degree angle). 

At 5pm that day, the rest of the group came back from their hike and Red Hawk enquired where Rosemary was, but she was not in the camp. Some of the group was dispatched to the Wooley Creek outlet and told to locate her but 1 hour later they came back and said they had no success in finding her. The Siskiyou Sheriff's department and county rescue team was notified that Rosemary had vanished and over 50 searchers began a search and rescue operation. In addition a FLIR equipped helicopter, sniffer dogs, horseback searchers and California highway patrol helped. 

Spirit Lake, marble mountains wilderness

The chief of the search operation, Grizz Adams (see also Carl Landers disappearance, Mt. Shasta), was mystified as getting from the south part of the lake was virtually impossible off trail without climbing equipment and especially for a 70 year old lady. The only other exit was through camp past the cook and Red Hawk's son. The sniffer dogs never picked up any scent, her lunch bag wasn't located but a tuft of hair was located around half a mile from the  area where it is believed she was walking but unfortunately this was never DNA tested. No clothing, body, bones, tracks, blood were ever found, which would dismiss an attack by a bear or wild cat. 

In an interview by Dave Paulides and Red Hawk, he believed that Rosemary had got to a place called Devil's Back Canyon. He didn't have any direct evidence for this but seemed sure.

Some have postulated that Rosemary committed suicide after depression caused by the death of her husband Bud, but if so why did she ask Red Hawk's son to join her on the walk?

Carl Landers - Strange disappearances US and Canadian National Parks

Carl Herbert Landers, Disappeared May 25th, 1999, Lake Helen, Mount Shasta, California, .

Carl Landers Mount Shasta disappearance

Carl Herbert Landers, a 69-year-old Orinda, California resident, disappeared on Mount Shasta, north of Sacramento, California during an attempt to climb to the summit on May 25th, 1999. He was accompanied by two friends, Milton Gaines and Barry Gillmore, who he had met through a local running club.

Mount Shasta or "White Mountain" is a potentially active volcano at the southern end of the Cascade Range in Siskiyou County, California. At an elevation of 14,179 feet (4321.8 m), it is the second-highest peak in the Cascades and the fifth-highest in the state. The mountain and surrounding area are part of the Shasta–Trinity National Forest.

Helen Lake to Mount Shasta trail

Helen Lake to Mount Shasta trail

Mount Shasta

Carl's colleagues and friends described him as an experienced climber, hiker, and distance runner in good shape. For 30 years he had run every morning and even completed the Boston Marathon in 5 hours 30 minutes. In his later years, he had the ambition to climb the highest peaks in every county of California. In May 1998, a year before he disappeared he climbed Mount Shasta, but didn't manage to reach the summit and vowed to return to reach the peak.

The route they planned started at Bunny Flat Trailhead, at 6,860 ft, a distance to the summit of Mount Shasta of around 6 miles. From Bunny Flat to Lake Helen 10,443 ft, a distance of 3.5 miles, taking around 3-4 hours. From Lake Helen its a 3-6 hour climb to the summit, 2-3 hrs back to Lake Helen and 2 hrs with backpack down to the trailhead. 

The night before the group's visit to Mount Shasta, the three men stayed together in a motel. They left the motel at 4 am, equipped with ice axes, crampons and climbing clothing and left for the trailhead at Bunny Flat, an area which was well covered in deep snow drifts. From there they hiked 4 miles to a place called Horse Camp. The next night they camped at a location on the mountain called 50/50 plateau, below Lake Helen, where most climbers spend the night before the last push up to the summit.

50/50 Plateau Mount Shasta

50/50 Plateau Mount Shasta

Carl was taking a drug called Diamox (Acetazolamide) to combat the effects of altitude sickness. He was also suffering from diarrhoea and had to leave the tent several times during the night to relieve himself in the midst of a blowing gale. In the morning he still complained of feeling unwell, and he left the 50/50 location without his friends to get a head start up towards Lake Helen as he was feeling cold. The lake is a short distance around the mountain from the campsite and at a slightly higher elevation. He was wearing 2-3 layers of clothes including a rust coloured coat, ski pants, plus boots with crampons. 

View from Lake Helen South Mount Shasta

View from Lake Helen South Mount Shasta

His friends subsequently left the camp around 30 minutes after Carl. After a short time, Barry returned to the tent which was left at 50:50 as he too wasn't feeling well  Milt, therefore, got to Lake Helen on his own and he asked a ranger if he had seen anyone passing through on the way to the mountain. He replied that he had seen only one person, so Milt tried up to catch up, but subsequently discovered he was way too fast to be Carl and he turned back and asked the ranger again but to no avail. So Milt headed back to 50:50 to meet Barry, hoping Carl would be there. This was around 5 pm.
Unfortunately, Carl wasn't back at the tent, he had vanished. Milt then decided to hike back to Bunny Flats at around 8 pm and notify the Siskiyou County Sheriff that Carl had disappeared.
The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department started searching the area the next morning after Carl was reported missing on a grid pattern basis, using the National Guard air ambulance helicopter and a CHP helicopter equipped with an infrared sensing device called FLIR. A ground search was conducted by U.S. Forest Rangers and volunteers on skis and on foot. The helicopter pilot took professional climbers to the summit and they descended the mountain using separate routes at different points on the compass. Despite this extensive search, they found no sign of Carl on the mountain. Neither his body, clothing, backpack, or other equipment. There were no footprints in the snow and nothing to suggest that he was ever in the area of Mount Shasta.

Grizz Adams

Grizz Adams

The search effort was headed by a man named Grizz Adams and during an interview with David Paulides he said "In 35 years I've never had this happen to me…we were all over that mountain, he was not on the mountain…we brought canines in, they didn't pick him up…we flew around it, we dropped guys at the summit, they came down all sides, they couldn't find him…they talked to people who were on the mountain, they didn't see him…there's snow around the path where he was, and nobody went outside the path…" When Paulides asked Grizz Adams what he thought happened to Carl Landers on the mountain, he replied: "…that's the million dollar question, he either went up, or in-but he's not on it.".

County Sheriff's spokeswoman Susan Gravenkamp."We've just looked everywhere that we can look, and we just don't know where else to look".

To this day nothing has ever been found, not even a trace of his equipment, and it is assumed that Carl disappeared somewhere between 50/50 plateau and Lake Helen as no tracks were spotted off trail. The topography of the are makes it very difficult for someone to disappear and there are no obvious crevices, nor is there any dense vegetation or trees which would obscure a body. Even after cadaver sniffing and human scent dogs were used, they detected nothing.

With the Native American importance of the mountain and the many stories they tell about Mount Shasta, they have a wary respect and probably for good reason.

Legends and stories about Mount Shasta

There are many stories, legends and myths about Mount Shasta.

The Shasta, Wintu, Achumawi, Atsugewi and Modoc tribes all have territory around the mountain and conduct many sacred ceremonies. The Native Americans believe that the mountain was the sacred centre of the universe and being the home of the creator and the Wintu tribe trace their people's origin back to a sacred spring in the area.

Then there is the story of the Lemurians, a race of higher-dimensional beings, and Telos, the crystal city inside the mountain. Legend says they originally lived in the ancient continent of Lemuria that was in the North Pacific Ocean many thousands of years ago and went to war with Atlantis. The Lemurians fled inside Mount Shasta and in the 1940's there were apparent reports of people who were 7 feet tall, dressed in long white robes and sandals going to the general store to buy supplies, and paid for their purchases with chunks of gold. The shopkeeper would take the gold, turn around and try to give them change, and the Lemurian had disappeared.

Some locals believe the saucer-shaped lenticular clouds that often gather at the summit of Mount Shasta are engineered by the Lemurians to camouflage alien cargo ships docking at Telos.