Alaska Dispatch News was the first source to report the unbelievable story of an 80 year-old man who got stranded in the harsh Alaskan wilderness and had to walk ten miles over the treacherous terrain before his calls got him rescued by a chopper.
On Saturday evening, William Page, a proud octogenarian, decided to go solo on a trip down the Bonanza Creek, which is located West of Fairbanks in The Yukon, a Northern Canadian territory that nearly every Canadian calls the harshest wild the nation has to offer.
Even much younger and fitter adventurers than Page are known to lose their lives to the Yukon’s unforgiving environment on a regular basis, which makes it all the more unbelievable that a man who was born in the 1930s would feel comfortable trekking by himself into the area, even if he calls Alaska his home. But the actions he took to get himself rescued are what make the story truly unbelievable.
An Alaska State Troopers dispatch report reveals that at 7:46 on Sunday morning, authorities received some unbelievable calls from an elderly man claiming that he was stuck in the wilderness. He said he had failed to tie up his boat properly when he had decided to set up camp the previous night, and it had drifted away. He had noticed it was gone at the time and had attempted to find his way back to civilization on foot, but he had only gotten himself more lost.
When the troopers asked page if he knew the exact location from which he was making the calls, he told them he was near one of the countless logging roads located north of Bonanza Creek. He was not able to determine his exact location, though. The Alaskan wilderness being unbelievably huge made the chances of finding the man remote, but the State Troopers sent out a vehicle to look for Page anyway.
The van sent out in response to the calls drove around the area that William Page had specified for several hours before returning to the station, unsuccessful.
The Alaska State Troopers were not about to give up, though; they quickly put together a larger-scale search party and sent out a helicopter to peruse the area the calls had named.
It did not take too long for the helicopter to locate Page, and the official report states that he was found at 11:51, more than 16 hours after his boat was lost.
During the night-long walkabout that Page had referred to in his calls, he told the Troopers, he had ventured at least ten miles. He was, however, totally unharmed. Not bad for someone old enough to have witnessed WWII!
Thanks to his unbelievable calls, it was only noon when Page was brought back to the Fairbanks Trooper Post. Once there, he was greeted by his worried family, who were undoubtedly overjoyed that William was not only alive, but uninjured.
In the end, Page lost a boat, but gained an unbelievable story about the Yukon wilderness with which to regale his grandchildren. How many 80 year-olds can claim that?
[Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Getty Images]