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10 Mysterious Disappearances in National Parks


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Douglas Legg, 1971
The Santanoni Preserve features numerous historic structures as well as thickly wooded wilderness. Mwanner at en.wikipedia
The Santanoni Preserve features numerous historic structures as well as thickly wooded wilderness. Mwanner at en.wikipedia

Douglas Legg and some of his family was heading out for a hike in the Adirondack Forest Preserve's Santanoni Preserve when his uncle spotted poison ivy and told Legg to put on long pants to protect himself. The family's cabin was a short, straight shot from where they were, but Legg never returned.

Unlike a lot of the kids who have gone missing in national parks, Legg was very familiar with these woods. His family owned the cabin where they were staying and described Legg as a "mini- woodsman," because they all hiked there together so often. Legg's disappearance sparked one of the southern Adirondacks' largest search and rescue missions, with more than 600 people searching the woods, but like David Gonzales, Legg left no trail [source: Lehman].

Unlike in the Gonzales case, though, rescuers used dogs in their search. Some accounts describe dogs following Legg's scent over a 30-mile (48 kilometers) trail through difficult terrain [source: Vistaramic Journeys]. How could a young child have traveled alone for such a distance? Some searchers reported seeing bear-like tracks near the site. While black bears do drag their prey to cover, dragging someone 30 miles over difficult terrain seems unusual [source: Hygnstrom].

The family became desperate and began suspecting each other and even their friends of abducting Legg, but the police were certain that the "mini-woodsman" had simply gotten lost. He was never found.


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