Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 7 August 2020

Famous bus from 'Into the Wild' is set to find a new home in Alaskan museum

The bus was removed from its remote location by authorities in a bid to prevent tourists from visiting it

A helicopter hovers near Bus 142, made famous in the book and move 'Into the Wild'. Courtesy Alaska Department of Natural Resources / Reuters
A helicopter hovers near Bus 142, made famous in the book and move 'Into the Wild'. Courtesy Alaska Department of Natural Resources / Reuters

The infamous bus that served as the final campsite for doomed adventurer Christopher McCandless in the film Into the Wild, could be preserved as a museum piece under a plan announced on Thursday by officials in Alaska.

The University of Alaska Museum in Fairbanks has offered to house the bus, removed by the state last month from its six-decades-long resting site near Denali National Park.

The 1940s-era bus had been an attraction for fans of the 1996 book Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, and the 2007 film of the same name. Over the years, hundreds trekked out to visit the abandoned bus, where McCandless spent 114 days before dying of starvation in 1992.

Many of those making pilgrimages to the site put themselves at risk, prompting the state to airlift the bus from the trail made famous by the 24-year-old adventurer.

Two hikers drowned during river crossings. Others have been rescued after becoming injured or stranded. In February, five Italian tourists, one with frostbitten feet, were rescued, and in April a stranded Brazilian tourist was helicoptered out.

A safer home

An abandoned city bus made famous in the book and movie 'Into the Wild'  looks set to find a new home in the University of Alaska’s Museum of the North. AP / Eric Engman 
An abandoned city bus made famous in the book and movie 'Into the Wild' looks set to find a new home in the University of Alaska’s Museum of the North. AP / Eric Engman

The museum’s offer allows the state to memorialise all those who took shelter in the bus while avoiding the “spectre of profiteering” from tragedy, Corri Feige, Alaska’s natural resources commissioner, said in a statement.

"I believe that giving Bus 142 a long-term home in Fairbanks at the UA Museum of the North can help preserve and tell the stories of all these people,” Feige said. “It can honour all of the lives and dreams, as well as the deaths and sorrows associated with the bus, and do so with respect and dignity."

Updated: July 31, 2020 12:29 PM

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