Friday, April 27, 2007

Non-paranormal non-phenomena. . .

Today I saw a link that looked intriguing on one one of the "weird stuff" websites about an entire village that had disappeared.

Clicking on the link to the story on, I discovered this article. Here's an excerpt:

How can an entire village with 1,200 people simply disappear without a trace? The Royal Canadian Mountain Police has been asking that question for many years. . .

This remarkable incident took place in the winter of 1930s in Canada. A trapper Armand Laurent and his two sons observed a light crossing the northern sky. According to Laurent's description, the object was cylinder-shaped and it was heading toward the[sic] Lake Anjikuni.

Some days later, Laurent was visited by a couple of Mounties who were on their way to Lake Anjikuni where they said there was "a kind of problem". Not yet knowing what had happened in the village, Laurent related the sighting he had a few days ago. At that time, the police did not the reveal what was later classified as one of the most mysterious disappearances in Canadian history. . .

Another trapper named Joe Labelle called the Royal Canadian Mountain Police to the crime scene, if we can use the term. Labelle noticed that [the] village of the[sic] Lake Anjikuni was unusually quiet. There was not a person moving in the streets, no smoke from the chimneys, boats and kayaks were still tied up at the shore, but the village was empty.

The police noticed a couple of strange things. To begin with, it seemed as if the residents had been suddenly interrupted by something. In many houses, meal was still standing at the table. Additionally, rifles were left at home, which is very usually [sic] as the men always take the rifle when they go out. The most peculiar discovery was yet to come.

At the Anjikuni burial ground, they discovered that graves were opened and bodies of the dead were gone! Someone had removed all the corpses. . .

The case remains open to this day. The village residents were never found, neither [were] the corpses stolen from the graves. How can 1,200 people simply disappear off the face of the earth without a trace and who would be interested in acquiring bodies of dead [people]?

Hmmn. Intriguing, I thought, if this is true.

So I went to Wikipedia and made a quick search for Lake Anjikuni. Wikipedia is of course not an authoritative source on any topic, however it is often a useful starting point. But not in this case. . . Wikipedia returned my query with this message:

No results found. For help on searching within Wikipedia, please see Wikipedia:Searching.

Alternatively, you may be able to use an external search engine such as WikipediaSearch to find what you are looking for and/or identify misspelled words

I clicked the link "search Google for Lake Anjikuni" and this time came back with some hits. From the search engine summaries, a bunch of the results appeared to be relaying the same story as However, the very top of the results referenced the RCMP website. That looked promising. Here is what the RCMP has to say:

Historical Notes — Anjikuni


The story about the disappearance in the 1930's of an Inuit village near Lake Anjikuni is not true. An American author by the name of Frank Edwards is purported to have started this story in his book Stranger than Science. It has become a popular piece of journalism, repeatedly published and referred to in books and magazines. There is no evidence however to support such a story. A village with such a large population would not have existed in such a remote area of the Northwest Territories (62 degrees north and 100 degrees west, about 100 km west of Eskimo Point). Furthermore, the Mounted Police who patrolled the area recorded no untoward events of any kind and neither did local trappers or missionaries.

So there you have it. Unless someone can come up with convincing evidence that the RCMP is lying, and some good primary sources, this one ought to be filed in the "tall tales" folder. Apparently isn't the only one media outlet to flub this story: according to the australian Skeptic, People Magazine was also taken in. . .


JackP said...

Ha! I was reading the post thinking "wow - that sounds a bit bizarre. But it's probably been exaggerated somewhat..."

Then I started wondering "so how come I've never heard of this one when I have heard of the Roanoke thing and the Marie Celeste thing?"

And then you supplied a wonderfully neat answer. Because the story wasn't just exaggerated - it was entirely made up.

Just as well you do your research, isn't it?

M.C. said...

Well I've been known to fall for a few tall tales, but I'm learning. . .