April 19, 2013
Oklahoma Teen Disappears After Taking Movie-Inspired Wilderness Trek in Oregon
By Chad Love
An Oklahoma teen who trekked into the Oregon wilderness after being inspired by the film "Into The Wild" is now missing.
From this story on abcnews.com:
The vehicle belonging to an Oklahoma teenager who disappeared last month in a remote region of southeastern Oregon after viewing the movie "Into the Wild" was found this week. Search crews are waiting out the harsh weather to continue the search for the young man. Dustin Self, 19, left his hometown of Piedmont, Okla., in mid-March for the Klamath Falls-Ashland area of Oregon, where he planned "to see if he could live in the wild," The Associated Press reported. According to the Harney County Sheriff's Office in Oregon, Self also planned to join the Church of the Holy Light of the Queen, a South American religion that uses hallucinogenic tea as a sacrament.
According to the story, Self's parents tried to dissuade him from going, but Self was determined. On March 16, Self's father called Oregon authorities after receiving a phone call from his son, who said he was lost and needed help. The area where Self disappeared is described as particularly harsh, with 15-20 foot snow drifts. The search has been hampered by storms and high winds. Self's mother described him as a vegetarian with no interest in eating animals, and that he had planned on eating berries to stay alive.
It should be noted (and hopefully without any foreshadowing) that Chris McCandless, the subject of the excellent-but-harrowing Jon Krakauer book and subsequent movie "Into the Wild", and the alleged inspiration for Self's journey, died of starvation in Alaska in 1992 after attempting basically the same thing. Thoughts?