My brother Noah Pippin is a former Marine who served three tours in Iraq as an infantryman. He's currently in the California National Guard and he disappeared last summer. He left my parents' house in late-August 2010 headed back to California in a rental car but he didn't show up for his National Guard one weekend a month duty later in September 2010. The first we knew that anything was amiss was when the National Guard folks called us asking where he was. The Michigan State Police were very slow to move forward with the case which prevented us from making much progress for a fair while last fall. We've only been very slowly getting more information as time drags on. We finally found out from Noah's credit card statements and phone records that he stayed in Hungry Horse, MT the night of August 31, 2010. We then contacted the authorities in Montana and they and the Forest Service have been very helpful in trying to track Noah down. The areas Noah disappeared in are very remote and mountainous and were of course not accessible during the winter months. From what we've been told by the Forrest Service these areas will not be clear enough of snow to travel again until about now (mid-July). We know that he hiked into the Flathead National Forrest/Bob Marshall Wilderness along the Eastern route which begins in Martin City, MT 48.391057,-114.030147. That he traveled past the area of the Spotted Bear Ranger Station 47.928593,-113.526278 and through the Blue Lakes area 47.920814,-113.282154. We've recently learned that he encountered a group of hunters near My Lake 47.742036,-113.14064 on 09/14/2010 which is in the back-country of the Bob Marshall Wilderness/Flathead National Forrest/Lewis and Clark National Forrest. He told them that he was headed to the White River Pass 47.7427,-113.12047 which is many miles South of My Lake. Later he encountered a family hiking near the Chinese Wall and Salt Mountain 47.688388,-113.145103 and indicated to them that he intended to go off trail at the point 47.651166,-113.120384 on the Chinese Wall where the trail detours East to go around the perimeter of some terrain. He indicated to them that he hoped to save some time by going due South along the Chinese Wall which is a more direct route as the crow-flies.
We're interested in finding people who have hiked these areas in the past or are planning on hiking them this year to ask them if they may have seen Noah last fall or if they're going to be in these areas if they could keep an eye out for any sign of him. If you can, please help us by letting other hikers know about Noah and where he was last seen. Please let me know if there's any more information that would be helpful to you or if you have any suggestions for communicating with hikers who use those areas.
Below is a picture of Noah Pippin (Black shirt) sitting with my dad in Michigan in August 2010 not long before he departed.