The Alaska Triangle – Disappearing Into Thin Air

The area known as the Alaska Triangle.

The area known as the Alaska Triangle.

The Alaska Triangle, sometimes called Alaska’s Bermuda Triangle, is a place in the untouched wilderness of the Frontier State where mystery lingers, and people go missing at a very high rate.

The Alaska Triangle connects the state’s largest city of Anchorage in the south, to Juneau in the southeast panhandle, to Barrow, a small town on the state’s north coast. Here is some of North America’s most unforgiving wilderness.

The area began attracting public attention in October 1972, when a small, private plane carrying U.S. House Majority Leader Hale Boggs, Alaska Congressman Nick Begich, an aide, Russell Brown, and their bush pilot Don Jonz seemingly vanished into thin air while flying from Anchorage to Juneau. For over a month, 50 civilian planes and 40 military aircraft, plus dozens of boats, covered a search area of 32,000 square miles, but no trace of the plane, the men, wreckage, or debris was ever found.

Afterward, more planes went down, hikers went missing, and Alaskan residents and tourists seemed to vanish into thin air. In fact, since 1988, more than 16,000 people have disappeared in the Alaska Triangle, with a missing person rate of more than twice the national average.

Denali National Park Alaska by Carol Highsmith

Wilderness at Denali National Park Alaska by Carol Highsmith.

In any given year, 500-2000 people go missing in Alaska, never to be seen again. Authorities conduct hundreds of rescue missions and often return without finding the missing person or evidence.

These disappearances are blamed on everything from severe weather to aliens, swirling energy vortexes, and an evil shape-shifting demon of Tlingit Indian lore called Kushtaka. But the most likely explanation for these many missing people is the wilderness itself. This area has dense forests, craggy mountain peaks, massive glaciers, hidden caves, and deep crevasses where downed aircraft or lost hikers might easily be hidden and then covered by snowfall, hiding any trace of human activity. This harsh landscape is also filled with wild animals and is subject to unforgiving weather, including avalanches.

Hiker at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

Hiker at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

More th­an half of the nation’s federally-designated wilderness lies in Alaska, and many of the permanent disappearances are linked to dangerous, natural elements. Alaska is bound by 33,000 miles of coastline and contains more than three million lakes, untamed wildlife, and winters that blanket vast reaches of the state in snow and ice.

However, many support the idea of energy vortexes within the triangle. Energy vortexes are considered swirling centers of energy concentrated in specific places where the energy crackles most intensely. The energy radiates in a spiraling cone shape clockwise or counterclockwise, creating positive and negative effects. They are thought to affect humans physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Alaska Vortex

Alaska Vortex

Positive vortexes spiral upward in a clockwise motion, enhancing energy flow. This type is conducive to healing, meditation, creativity, and self-exploration. People actively search these places to feel inspired, recharged, or uplifted. Positive vortexes are said to exist in the Egyptian pyramids, Stonehenge, the Sedona desert, and sacred temples and cathedrals worldwide.

Alternatively, negative vortexes spiral downward counterclockwise, creating a draining or depleting energy and depleting the positive energies in its vicinity. In humans, they are believed to cause health problems, including depression, nightmares, disorientation, confusion, and both visual and auditory hallucinations. They are also said to cause electrical instruments to malfunction. Some places that are said to be filled with negative vortexes are the Bermuda Triangle, Japan’s Devil’s Sea, and Easter Island.

“A vortex is a mass of energy that moves in a rotary or whirling motion, causing a depression or vacuum at the center… These powerful eddies of pure Earth power manifest as spiral-like coagulations of energy that are either electric, magnetic, or electromagnetic qualities of life force.”

— Page Bryant, Terravision: A Traveler’s Guide to the Living Planet Earth

Tidewater Glacier at Prince William Sound, Alaska by Carol Highsmith.

Tidewater Glacier at Prince William Sound, Alaska, by Carol Highsmith.

Electronic readings in Alaska have found significant concentrations of magnetic anomalies, some of which have disrupted compasses to the point that they are as much as 30 degrees off. In addition, some search and rescue workers have reported having audio hallucinations, disorientation, and lightheadedness.

It is unclear whether vortexes exist, and the theory has been open to skepticism, but is it possible?

Despite the warnings from authorities regarding weather, wildlife, and environmental conditions, hundreds of tourists visit Alaska to see the unspoiled land, many of whom are unprepared for the natural elements. Some of these people probably became lost in the middle of nowhere, resulting in the numerous search and rescue operations performed each year.

That, however, does not explain why there are more disappearances in the Alaska Triangle than elsewhere in the state. Whether the mysterious disappearances of the Alaska Triangle are the result of natural perils, strange energy vortexes, or ancient evil spirits, they are undoubtedly alarming.

©Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated March 2023.

Also See:

Mount McKinley and other rugged peaks in Alaska, by Carol Highsmith.

Mount McKinley and other rugged peaks in Alaska, by Carol Highsmith.

Alaska – The Last Frontier

Disappearances & Mysterious Deaths

Legends, Ghosts, Myths & Mysteries

Mysterious Objects & Places


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