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August/September 2009Letters to the Editor
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Mystery Mania
Finding Everett Ruess ||| April/May 2009

We fully expected David Roberts’s article “Finding Everett Ruess” to generate discussion, but we couldn’t have guessed just how big the reaction would be. Weeks after Roberts’s investigation into the legendary explorer’s 1934 disappearance first hit newsstands, the responses keep pouring in. “I commend adventure’s complete coverage of this affair,” wrote one reader. Said another: “The mystery of [Ruess’s] disappearance may be at an end, but the spirit of adventure that inspired him will never end. One of the places it lives is in your magazine.” Not everyone was so pleased. The FBI lambasted Roberts’s editorial commentary in a two-page letter:

“Mr. Roberts states that [Ruess’s] burial site was trashed completely by the FBI team, and . . . he and Mr. Bellson characterized the actions of the FBI at the site as a ‘goddamned picnic.’ . . . [The author’s] unfortunate characterization of the actions by FBI Agent Boisselle, Sheriff Lacy, and the Navajo tribal policemen does a grave disservice to these individuals and the dedicated men and women who toil on a daily basis to ensure justice on Native American tribal lands.” One reader questioned adventure’s decision to cover Ruess at all: “I honestly wonder what I am missing about Everett’s life story that has caused society to admire him so much. I was thoroughly unimpressed. . . . He was filthy rich and felt like traveling to see the beauty of the country.” Like our in-box, the blogosphere has also been pulsating with Ruess rants and raves. Best we’ve seen? “[I know] a remarkable theory about what happened to Ruess, which I find especially poignant in the light of [Roberts’s] new discovery. I will convey the rest of the story to anyone who sends me five bucks and a SASE.” Cash or check?

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