Professor's story unravels an Alaskan mystery

UO journalism professor Alex Tizon

A tale of two families, unknown to each other until their lives intersect with two mysterious deaths in the Alaska wilderness, unfolds in a compelling nonfiction essay in The Atlantic magazine by Pulitzer Prize-winning UO journalism professor Alex Tizon.

Tizon’s extended piece picks up where an earlier story had left off: With the family of an Alaska man who disappeared after leaving his home in a small town on the Kenai Peninsula to go pick up his paycheck. Tizon had written about the family almost 10 years ago, when it appeared the man’s remains — and the story of what happened to him — might be lost forever in the rugged backcountry.

Then, unexpectedly, comes a chance discovery that would “set in motion a series of other discoveries, adding a surreal twist to a long and disjointed tale of people lost and found and lost again, and in the process reminding everyone involved of their smallness in this vast land,” Tizon writes.

For the full story, see “In the Land of Missing Persons” in the April 2016 edition of The Atlantic.