National Guard Chopper Lifts ‘Into The Wild’ Bus in Alaska

World famous ‘Into The Wild’ bus has been lifted out of the Alaskan wilderness. The stranded bus got famous in 1996 non fiction book by Jon Krakauer and Sean Penn’s 2007 film, the long-abandoned vehicle provided a safe haven for hunters and general adventure seekers. This 1940s Fairbanks transit famously sheltered Chris McCandless, a young man from California who succumbed to death of starvation after being cut off by the Teklanika River near the Stampede Trail in 1992. Aged just 24, his story forms the basis of ‘Into The Wild’.

The bus has attracted many travellers, several of which had to be rescued due to harsh conditions and river crossings. Between 2009 and 2017, the state had to undertake 15 bus-related search-and-rescue operations.

The bus was lifted in a joint operation between Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources and the Alaskan Army National Guard’s 207th Aviation Battalion. The effort was named “Operation Yutan,” after the Yutan Construction Company that originally placed the bus on the Stampede Trail in 1961. The bus, originally part of the Fairbanks City Transit System, was one of three purchased by Yutan and placed on the Stampede Trail during its construction as housing for trail workers. Two of the buses were removed in 1963 but the third was left as a shelter for outdoorsmen and hunters.


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