If you happen to spot a Sasquatch in Montana's Rocky Mountains, ask him if he answers to "Noah."
Sound unlikely? The truth is, there are many documented cases throughout history of people who have abandoned society to live in the woods. And guess what? The sort of person who moves to the forest to live alone among the animals is also not the sort of person who will react kindly to encountering other humans.
Growing up in Alaska, I heard many stories of people who left it all behind, walked into the woods and never came back. Alaska is kind of a mythical destination for some people. It draws that sort of dreamer. Sometimes stupid dreamers, like Christopher McCandless, who starved to death amidst a bounty of wild food. Or the recent Seattle-area survivalist murderer who built a secret underground lair, but only stocked it with Coke and Snickers bars.
And then you have men like Noah Pippin.
This sad and heartbreaking story from Outside Magazine details the life of Noah Pippin, interwoven with the last sightings of him in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Pippin was a combat veteran, and served several tours of duty with the Marines in Iraq. When he returned from service, he refused any psychiatric help, fearing that it would go on his permanent record and hurt his career chances.
Pippin grappled with his demons alone. He withdrew from his family, then slipped away from society while ostensibly driving cross-country to re-deploy with the military. There are several credible and detailed accounts of encounters with Pippin in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex in Montana, but the last of these was in September, 2010.
Where is Pippin now? Dead, either suicide or through misadventure? Has he left the woods, and started a new life somewhere else? Or could he still be out there, eking out a living from the harsh wilderness?
All of which is to say, if you happen to spot a Sasquatch in Montana's Rocky Mountains, ask him if he answers to "Noah."