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19 Jun, 2020 11:33

Alaskan National Guard removes ‘Into the Wild’ bus from remote location that lured thrillseekers to their deaths (VIDEO)

After multiple search and rescue missions to save thrillseekers from the Alaskan wilderness over the years, the state National Guard removed a 1940s bus, featured in the 2007 film ‘Into the Wild,’ using a Chinook helicopter.

In a joint mission between the Department of Natural Resources and the National Guard, soldiers flew to the remote location 25 miles west of the Parks Highway on Stampede Trail on Thursday, retrieving the world-famous vehicle known to some as “Bus 142,” or the “Magic Bus.” The vehicle was reportedly hauled to the trail about 60 years ago by a road crew.

Holes were cut in both the roof and floor of the vehicle and chains were fed through before it was hoisted into the sky by the powerful Chinook aircraft and taken to cold storage while authorities figure out what to do with it.

The bus featured in John Krakauer’s 1996 book “Into the Wild,” and the subsequent 2007 film adaptation of the same name directed by Sean Penn. 

So inspiring was the story of leaving the world behind in search of self-sufficiency and survival, that many people attempted to replicate the 1992 adventures of 24-year-old Chris McCandless. The adventurer, on whom the book and movie were based, spent the summer in the bus but later died of starvation after 114 days.


There were a total of 15 bus-related search and rescue operations by the state between 2009 and 2017, while Alaska State Troopers had to rescue five Italian hikers as recently as February of this year, one of whom suffered frostbite. Lone adventurers from Switzerland and Belarus drowned crossing the Teklanika or Savage rivers in 2010 and 2019.

“After studying the issue closely, weighing many factors and considering a variety of alternatives, we decided it was best to remove the bus from its location on the Stampede Trail,”said Commissioner for the Department of Natural Resources Corri A. Feige.

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