In rather extraordinary news, Maine Warden Service Lieutenant Kevin Adam was filmed explaining to Maine press members why three passes by searchers of the area where lost hiker Geraldine Largay’s body was found near Redington Pond, Maine, did not yield her or her body. A member of the press asks if her body was located inside the Navy SERE (survival, evasion, resistance, and escape) School and Adam confirms that it was located about “100 yards” inside.
Adam also noted that foul play is not suspected, but that the case’s standing could change pending the consideration of medical examiners.
The Navy SERE school is noted by Bollard for “enlisted fighters and, on occasion, non-enlisted contractors (soldiers of fortune), as well as foreign troops, [who] run around the woods in mortal fear of being captured and tortured. The elaborate war games at SERE Schools also involve scenarios in which the trainees encounter ‘allies’ in the field, who later betray them and turn them over to the interrogators at the fake P.O.W. camp. After being subjected to beatings, sleep deprivation, and numerous other torments and humiliations over the course of several days, many trainees forget the ‘scenario’ is fake.”
The SERE school is the place where the body of Geraldine Largay was found two years after her disappearance, not far from where she was expected to be, in an area that had been searched with canine units three times.
How is it that a woman who can repeatedly hike distances of eight and 13.5 miles in a day suddenly disappear without a trace and then her body be found on a naval training ground? As Adam remarks, more insight may be gained from tests on Largay’s belongings and medical tests.
Geraldine Largay had hiked close to 1,000 miles of the Appalachian Trail and intended to complete the entire 2,100 miles in the summer of 2013. Largay’s husband George was reportedly driving an SUV and meeting his wife at intervals along the trail with supplies and moral support.
The last time George Largay watched Geraldine disappear into the bush in July 2013, he never saw her again. Some have asked questions about Geraldine possibly suffering from Alzheimer’s like so many other Americans who disappear each year, reports the Boston Globe. Those close to Geraldine appear to say that wasn’t possible. And the evidence of her nearly 1,000 miles hiked in 2013 would seem to back this up.
A reported 24 hikers get lost and need rescuing on the Appalachian Trail each year, the majority of people are found within the first two days. Geraldine Largay’s case is tragic. It is also intriguing not just because she was an experienced hiker and outdoors-woman, but because her remains were found so close to her planned route, and that investigators were so close to finding her, but were unable to pinpoint her location.
Before the announcement that Largay’s remains had been found, she had vanished without a trace and no clues had ever became apparent.
Largay is reported to have chosen the nickname “Inchworm” before starting out on her last hike, perhaps as a euphemism for possessing a steady hiking pace. Geraldine was reported to regularly carry packs full of gear weighing 30 pounds or more. The section of the Appalachian Trail Largay attempted alone is known for its difficulty. The trail includes dozens of miles and seven mountain peaks; her journey was no beginner run. Somewhere along the line, something went wrong. Did Largay suffer a heart attack or a stroke? Is her death related to the Navy SERE school in any way? What will the medical and forensic tests reveal?
There are reported to be 80,000 active missing persons cases in the United States at any time. More than 40 percent are said to involve children. Substance abuse and mental health issues are said to account for the disappearance of many adults.
[Feature Screenshot Courtesy Boston Globe / Twitter]