An American military helicopter retired an old green and white bus from the 1940s that had become a sometimes dangerous attraction for hikers in the wilds of Alaska.
The so-called Magic Bus, or Fairbanks Bus 142, appeared in Jon Krakauer’s book “Into the Wild” (1996) and in a self-titled film directed by Sean Penn in 2007.
“Into the Wild” tells the story of a young adventurer named Chris McCandless, who spent the summer of 1992 on the bus and starved to death after 114 days.
Abandoned at the head of the Stampede Trail, in the confines of Denali National Park, near Healy, the bus attracted adventurers over the years, some of whom ended up having to be rescued from the middle of the nothing.
An Alaska Army National Guard heavy-duty CH-47 Chinook helicopter hitched, suspended and airlifted the bus in coordination with the state Department of Natural Resources out of concern for public safety, the body said.
What did they say?
“After carefully studying the matter, weighing many factors, and considering several alternatives, we decided that it was best to remove the bus from its location on the Stampede Trail,” said department commissioner Corri Feige.
Between 2009 and 2017, 15 bus-related search and rescue operations were carried out, the Department of Natural Resources said.
In February this year, state soldiers had to rescue five Italian hikers returning from a pilgrimage to the bus. One of them suffered severe frostbite.
Tourists from Switzerland and Belarus drowned in 2010 and 2019 respectively in raids related to the famous bus.
Feige said the vehicle will be kept in a safe place until authorities decide what to do with it, which may be to put it on display.