In November 1930, a fur trapper named Joe Labelle made his way on snowshoes to an Eskimo village on the shores of Lake Anjikuni in northern Canada. Labelle was familiar with the village, which he knew as a thriving fishing community of about 1200 residents. When he arrived, however, the village was deserted. The shanties were covered with snow and not a chimney showed smoke. All of the huts and storehouses were vacant. There was no sound of sled dogs to be heard. The village’s kayaks tied up on the shore of the lake. In the shanties he found meals left hanging over fires, old and moldy and seemingly abandoned as they were being cooked. He found one smoldering fire on which there was a pot of blackened stew. The men’s rifles were still in place standing by the doors. Labelle then became frightened because he knew that the men would never leave without their weapons.
He reported this discovery to the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), who investigated what Labelle had seen, and turned up some bizarre findings. The police discovered that the town’s dogs had died of hunger, chained beneath a tree and covered by a snowdrift. Also, all of the Eskimos’ food and provisions were found undisturbed in their huts. What was even more disturbing was finding that the Eskimos’ ancestral graves had been emptied, despite the frozen ground, the graves had been opened and the dead removed.
The case remains open to this day. The matter remains unsolved, and despite a search of all Canadian and worldwide inquiries, not one trace of the missing 1200 men, women and children has ever been found.
The Toronto Daily Star,
November 23, 1930
Lake Territory, Nov. 23. The Inspector for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police returned today to confirm the disappearance of an Eskimo village in the Northern Lakes region. Ten days ago, fur trapper, Joe LaBelle, contacted the RCMP to report a chilling discovery. While running a trap line, LaBelle snow-shoed out to an isolated Eskimo village on the shores of Lake Anjikuni, only to discover every inhabitant—man, woman, and child—had vanished from their huts and storehouses. “It was as if every one of them poor folk up and took off with no more than the shirts on their backs.”
Inspector Pierre Menard of the RCMP returned with his team’s findings today and confirmed the trapper’s story. The village had indeed been found abandoned under most strange circumstances. “In our search, we discovered undisturbed foodstuff, gear, and provisions but no sign of the villagers. Not a single footprint or track.” Even the Eskimos’ sled dogs were found buried under the snow, starved to death. But the most disturbing discovery of all was reported at the end: the Eskimos’ ancestral graves were found excavated and emptied.
The RCMP promises to continue the search, but for now the fate of the villagers remains a mystery.
The original article was written by: Shaman Cougar on 09/15/2008
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