October 17, 2019

North Pond Hermit

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Last week a story broke out of Maine about a man, who at the age of 20, decided one day to just walk into the woods and disappear. 27 years later, he was arrested for stealing food and other supplies from a nearby camp for disabled people.

It’s a fascinating, bizarre and inexplicable story of a man who built himself a compound on the side of a hill in the dense forest and eluded law enforcement for 27 years. Everything he needed for survival he stole; mostly from camps nearby and surrounding North Pond. He averaged about 40 break-ins a year and a favorite target, Pine Tree Camp, was where he got caught.

There appears to have immediately developed the somewhat romantic sympathy among the people for a man “living the life” away from it all and of course being able to elude the strong arm of the law, never hurting another, other than taking what didn’t belong to him. Cheering for the underdog came to an end last week.

He didn’t know why he walked into the woods one day or much of everything else he did.

He talked one time briefly to another human during the 27 years.

There was quite a legend that had been amassed over the years as over 300 camps and seasonal residences within walking distance of his wilderness compound were at the North Pond Hermit’s disposal and regardless of the perpetuated myths of this man, hermit, thief, and hero, law enforcement couldn’t catch him…..or never really tried. It took 27 years before one Maine Warden thought up the idea of an alarm system that would notify him when someone had broken into the Pine Tree Camp.

BRILLIANT! And that’s where Christopher Knight, known as a nerd in high school, met his capture.

And it only took a few hours before Troy Bennett composed a song about the “North Pond Hermit” and it appears below on video.

The North Pond Hermit from Troy R. Bennett on Vimeo.

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