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*** ALERT *** APPALACHIAN TRAIL HIKER FOUND!

*** ALERT *** APPALACHIAN TRAIL HIKER FOUND!

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by BackpackingLight.com Staff | 2009-04-30 10:04:00-06

*** ALERT *** APPALACHIAN TRAIL HIKER FOUND!

UPDATE 5/2/09 4:07 PM:

KEN KNIGHT WAS FOUND TODAY AND WALKED OUT UNDER HIS OWN STEAM.  HE IS AT THE HOSPITAL AND MORE DETAILS WILL LIKELY FOLLOW ONCE WE HAVE THEM.  -Addie Bedford


Name
: Ken Knight
Height: 5'4"
Weight: 180-200 lb
Point Last Seen: Punchbowl Mountain on the Appalachian Trail in VA
Time Last Seen: Sunday, April 26, 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Unique Characteristics: wearing a dry-bag style backpack with a bright orange packbag, hiker is vision-impaired.

If you have info, please contact us: publisher@backpackinglight.com.

Photo above taken Wednesday, April 22 on the Appalachian Trail.


Citation

"*** ALERT *** APPALACHIAN TRAIL HIKER FOUND!," by BackpackingLight.com Staff. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/missing_hiker_alert.html, 2009-04-30 10:04:00-06.

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KEN KNIGHT IS MISSING ON APPALACHIAN TRAIL IN VA
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Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Ken Knight Missing on 04/30/2009 14:49:31 MDT Print View

We are thinking of Ken and sending lots of positive vibes for his safe return home.

Hang in there everyone.

Bryan and I have posted this on the front page of our outdoor adventure site. Although it is Canadian we do have several American hikers there. I will also post the information, as promised, on my blogs and other sites throughout the course of the evening.

If anyone can think of anything else we can do to help please let me know.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: KEN KNIGHT's FOOTWEAR on 04/30/2009 15:26:52 MDT Print View

Emailed Rob.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
KEN KNIGHT IS MISSING ON APPALACHIAN TRAIL IN VA on 04/30/2009 16:01:01 MDT Print View

I didn't see a post on Sgt Rock's Hiking HQ, so I posted there. http://hikinghq.net/forum/showthread.php?t=4360

Not much use posting on our Pacific NW forums, so I didn't.

Edited by hikinggranny on 04/30/2009 16:21:24 MDT.

Gregory Knight
(gregoryknight) - F
ken knight on 04/30/2009 16:50:33 MDT Print View

I am Ken's brother, Greg. As has been said, Ken is a very capable and experienced hiker.

Because he has been missing and not heard from in so many days, at this point we are quite concerned that something bad has happened.

I wanted to let you all know how much we appreciate anything you do to help find Ken.

with appreciation,

Greg

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: ken knight on 04/30/2009 17:08:58 MDT Print View

My prayers and thoughts. Let's hope this ends well.

Edited by kennyhel77 on 04/30/2009 17:09:31 MDT.

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: KEN KNIGHT IS MISSING ON APPALACHIAN TRAIL IN VA on 04/30/2009 18:30:56 MDT Print View

Posted at equipped.org

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: KEN KNIGHT IS MISSING ON APPALACHIAN TRAIL IN VA on 04/30/2009 18:38:46 MDT Print View

Posted to my blog, which auto-publishes to my Facebook account.

Chris Maltese
(WolfTracker) - F

Locale: Boynton Beach, FL
Posted at bladeforums on 04/30/2009 19:21:43 MDT Print View

Posted at bladeforums on Wilderness and Survival Skills forum.

Sending up smoke and prayers for a safe and speedy return.

Matt Mahaney
(Matt_Mahaney) - MLife

Locale: In the District
KEN KNIGHT IS MISSING ON APPALACHIAN TRAIL IN VA on 04/30/2009 19:46:02 MDT Print View

Ryan I wrote Leonard Adkins an email. He suggested contacting the Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club. http://www.nbatc.org/ Does anyone know if they have been contacted?

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
KEN KNIGHT IS MISSING ON APPALACHIAN TRAIL IN VA on 04/30/2009 20:58:43 MDT Print View

I went through this a few weeks ago when a mate went missing in Alaska, took a wrong turn in a whiteout. What saved him , and I hope will be the same with Ken, was the experience accumulated over many years in the outdoors.
Franco

James Walke
(jaywalke2) - F
Re: KEN KNIGHT IS MISSING ON APPALACHIAN TRAIL IN VA on 04/30/2009 21:16:46 MDT Print View

Unfortunately, it won't do much good to contact them until we have a location for the call-out. I'm planning on going, and I can get the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club moving, which is a bunch of strong hikers who know the trail like their own back yards, but without a location we are all just waiting with a thumb up . . .

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: KEN KNIGHT IS MISSING ON APPALACHIAN TRAIL IN VA on 04/30/2009 21:40:06 MDT Print View

First of all, thank you everyone for your patience, consideration, and information. I'm in awe at the amount of information that we've received, consolidated, and have been able to pass along to VA SAR.

Second, the ATC has been notified and their information officer will likely be the liaison to the individual trail clubs. If trail clubs would like to help, they should call ATC.

Third, a statewide VA SAR callout has been issued. There are going to be a very large number of searchers on the ground by morning. This is a huge, complex search encompassing an area of more than 300 square miles for the initial search focus. It's heavily wooded, steep, and almost futile to scan from the air. Spend some time in Google Earth and you'll appreciate what these guys are up against.

Today, NPS, along with some private parties, were the first on the ground to do a preliminary trail sweep. This was vital to making sure nobody was missing anything obvious. Tonight large search parties are being organized, and in the morning, a massive search begins in earnest.

We've had the opportunity to work with the VA SAR tracking team and we hope to God Ken is wearing his Inov-8's because they have one of the most unique sole patterns found anywhere...

SAR Trackers are on the ground TONIGHT working the area before it gets too contaminated. This is a key reason why the search must be organized and directed by VA SAR. Tracking and K9's may be really important in this type of search, and minimizing contamination of the area early is key.

In addition, our friends in Ann Arbor were able to go into Ken's house this evening and secure laundry items that will be delivered to VA SAR tomorrow evening for the K9 search teams. We were unable to make the last flight out of Detroit that could have gotten the items into Amhurst early tomorrow, so they are being driven across the country and delivered by hand.

I have been flooded with emails from people offering support and have a willingness to help with the search. I'm humbled, and thankful for that.

However, it's really important at this point to let VA SAR take the reigns and do what they are trained to do. VA SAR is somewhat unique in that it's one of the few states in the nation where statewide SAR teams can be mobilized quickly and consistently. They have good infrastructure, good support, and a lot of people.

Adding more people to the mix *right now* who are not VA SAR trained is probably going to slow things down rather than help. The next 24-48 hours are extremely critical and SAR operations must happen as efficiently as possible.

However, stay alert. If this search winds down and Amhurst County starts pulling back resources, then that might be the right time to jump in. I've been involved in that situation before, having served on SAR teams in both WA and MT, and all I can say is that Ken is resourceful enough to survive out there for a pretty long time. Not finding Ken is not an option for me.

Finally, please don't stop distributing this information. My hope is that somehow, somewhere, we can find somebody who ran into Ken since Sunday morning so that we can update is last known location and make this search area smaller. 300 square miles of steep woods out there is a crazy big area to start on.

Again, thanks for your patience, and prayers.

Stay tuned,
Ryan Jordan
President/CEO
Backpacking Light

Edited by ryan on 04/30/2009 21:57:23 MDT.

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: KEN KNIGHT IS MISSING ON APPALACHIAN TRAIL IN VA on 04/30/2009 21:45:46 MDT Print View

Ryan, you rock.

Matt Mahaney
(Matt_Mahaney) - MLife

Locale: In the District
Re: KEN KNIGHT IS MISSING ON APPALACHIAN TRAIL IN VA on 04/30/2009 21:54:45 MDT Print View

Thanks for the update.

Pamela Wyant
(RiverRunner) - F - M
RE: KEN KNIGHT IS MISSING ON APPALACHIAN TRAIL IN VA on 04/30/2009 22:08:52 MDT Print View

Thanks for the update Ryan. The SAR operation sounds much as I figured it would be, based on past experience. I know even though many are willing to help in these cases that too many people looking can definitely create more difficulty in the early stages of a search.

I will be praying he is found quickly, and in good condition.

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
First news report I've seen on 05/01/2009 05:27:25 MDT Print View

http://www.wdbj7.com/global/story.asp?s=10284936

As pulled from the station's Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/WDBJ7

Also, if you're using Twitter, search for "Ken Knight" and then save the search. Twitter will then pull up real-time results of your search every time you go to it.

Rosaleen Sullivan
(MamaRosa43) - F - M

Locale: New England
Re: First news report I've seen on 05/01/2009 08:46:04 MDT Print View

No matter what our individual politics and beliefs, it is so awe-inspiring to see the caring and efforts of the PEOPLE of the USA: No matter by prayers or actual showing up and sweating.

Our people ROCK!

(No offense meant to you readers outside of the US, many of whom also are showing support.)

Rosaleen

Ellen Zaslaw
(ezaslaw) - F
anxious on 05/01/2009 10:08:44 MDT Print View

I'm as anxious as everybody else: Ken is at the forefront of my thoughts. He's so tough and so vulnerable at the same time. I'm immensely grateful for the highly organized and professional search that is under way, and for the efficient dissemination of information. I'm grateful too thinking of Ken's intelligence and backcountry skills.

I can't imagine I'm a useful contact, having last hiked with Ken several years ago. Many, many people know him better. But I know him enough to feel a real personal involvement in this--and oh how I ache for his family, whom I almost feel I know, I've seen and heard so much of them in Ken's journals. I'll be following this closely.

Sean Walashek
(caraz) - F

Locale: bay area
Prayers and blessings on 05/01/2009 13:06:50 MDT Print View

I have been sending out the good vibes. Not knowing the man first hand and only through the tellings of you guys I am holding high hopes. If he found his way off trail by accident it certainly seems like he knows what to do as far as waiting to be found.

Jocelyn Dawn
(JocelynDawn) - F

Locale: BuenaVista, Glasgow
Distributed the alert... on 05/01/2009 13:32:50 MDT Print View

I posted this alert on the forums of the Roanoke Outdoor and Social Club... we're a more diverse group than the local AT clubs, but there are over a dozen strong hikers/backpackers in the club who are out on the trails every weekend. If someone's available to help, they'll use the contact info provided.

I also alerted my 'peeps' via MySpace - I live in the immediate alert area so I know people who know people, y'know?

Also - to all the family and friends who are waiting for Ken, there's... well, not exactly *good* news, but certainly one less thing to worry about - I live on the opposite side of Three Sisters Knobs from the Punchbowl shelter and I can tell you the weather's been really mild here all week. It's been a little on the chilly side overnight and the days are a mite damp/overcast but even the temps up in the mountains have stayed well within comfortable ranges for Ken's attire.

Edited by JocelynDawn on 05/01/2009 14:02:03 MDT.