Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Valley Of The Headless Men

Aerial view of a section of the Nahanni valley
The Nahanni Valley of Canada's Northwest Territories has been called one of the last truly unexplored places in the world. Lying above the 60th Parallel, it is accessible only by air, water or a long overland journey from the village of Tungsten. As a result, much of the area remains unexplored, despite being declared a national park in 1976, and a World Heritage Site in 1978.


   Native tales tell of an unknown evil lurking within 200 Mile Gorge, and most avoid the area. Local oral history also tells of a mountain-dwelling tribe known as the Naha. The Naha were feared by the region's Dene people, as they often descended to raid nearby villages. These tales end with the rapid, mysterious disappearance of the Naha. No trace of this tribe has ever been found.

   The eerie nickname attached to 200 Mile Gorge is the Valley Of The Headless Men. This name comes from a series of unexplained incidents in the Gorge during the Gold Rush of the early 20th century. Two brothers, Willie and Frank McLeod left in 1906 in an attempt to reach the Klondike through Nahanni. Nothing was heard from them for the next two years. Rumours spoke of the two finding the "mother lode" of gold. Despite this, no efforts were made to find them. In 1908, another prospecting expedition discovered two bodies, later identified as the McLeod brothers. Both had been decapitated. This incident would likely have been marked up as just another macabre tale of North had they been the only headless bodies.  In 1917, the body of a Swiss prospector by the name of Martin Jorgenson was found next to his burned cabin. Decapitated. In 1945, the body of a miner from Ontario, whose name seems to be lost to history, was found in his sleeping bag, without a head. A trapper named >John O'Brien was found frozen next to his campfire, matches still clutched in his hand. I cannot find any reference to the state of his head.

Theories abound as to what happened to these men, and others (up to 44 people are said to have disappeared there). Some put these attacks down to grizzly bears, some feuding  prospectors, others natives. Some say the area is naturally heated by hot springs, and is practically a tropical paradise, a Shangri-La if you will, with the valley floor covered in gold nuggets. These theories often speak of the valley being a haven for the Sasquatch. Some even claim the valley is an entrance to the "Hollow Earth". My view lies somewhere in-between all these. I believe that the native Naha people discovered this sheltered valley, and settled there. Theoretically, food would be plentiful if the valley is the veritable paradise described in some reports. These people then likely became highly territorial over their lands, and killed any trespassers. The decapitation is reminiscent of certain other tribal practices designed to instill fear in their enemies. The image provided is for reference only, and as far as I am aware, there are no images of the 200 Mile Gorge available online.

21 comments:

  1. Thanks for the post,

    The Nahanni Valley is a hugely fascinating and inspiring place that I have been studying for months. Its a dream of mine to travel to the park and find out whats going on for myself.

    Your welcome to join me on the trip when and if i go.

    Thnaks again,
    Dionisius

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    1. I want in...lets start an expedition team to explore the area!

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    2. You will need protection by the sounds of it so I will join you for free as I am intrested aswell email me kaneobrien18@yahoo.com

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    3. have you guys gone yet? if not i would really like to go explore it with you guys you can email me at austins4233357@gmail.com thanks!:)

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  2. be sure and take equipment with you that can take photos and post them if messed with so your headless bodies and perhaps the perps will show up online.

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  3. I've always wanted to go, and I think if anyone is planning an expedition I would like to be included. If noone will come with me I will most definitely go alone someday regardless of risk.

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  4. anyone still interested in going out there to explore the area? if so contact me
    dirtdog207@gmail.com

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  5. Count me in. I was interested about this place the minute i heard about it. lets get a great, strong team and explore this place. see whats really going on. Let me know. Docgenius21@yahoo.com

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  6. These must've been the same words spoken by the donner party just before they went hiking.

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  7. I will monitor the remote web cams from here...and make sure you guys are cool and stuff :-)

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  8. lol, I will be watching the remote webcam too. Enjoy.

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  9. If this ever happens, I am in. I am a geologist, outdoorsman, and adventurer and would very much want to explore these legends.

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  10. Has anyone gone yet? If not & you're planning a trip this warm season count me in. If you have costs figured out send them to my email joeydiamanti@gmail.com

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    1. If you go email me im in! I live 100 miles from the canadian border in bemidji mn. We could use my sisters place as a staging poont before we cross the boarder oit of america. ryan.lane357@gmail.com. given the change in canadiam gun laws any self defense measure would need to comply.(that means sadly no black rifles lol) however a high caliber revolver and a shotgun both comply as well as are reliable amd affective as well as affordable.

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  11. I'd rather like to keep my head, if it's all the same to you. Feel free to go, I'm sure it's a beautiful area, but I'm not going there.

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  12. I'm ready to go!

    alicerose1129@hotmail.ca

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  13. Count me in! I am completely willing regardless of risk! zhenya.d@hotmail.com

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  14. is this still going to happen - I live in the uk but have friends in canada

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  15. Serious individuals only for a 2015 7-10 days summer expedition. Contact r.lawrence.porter@gmail.com

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