The Timothy Treadwell tape (lost audio of mauling death; 2003)
|This article has been tagged as NSFL due to its disturbing subject matter/audio.|
|The Timothy Treadwell tape|
|Werner Herzog listening to the tape in Grizzly Man.|
On the 5th of October, 2003, grizzly bear enthusiast Timothy Treadwell and his girlfriend Amie Huguenard were mauled to death by a grizzly bear while camping in Katmai National Park; 6 minutes of audio recorded during the attack were subsequently found on the couple's video camera (albeit with the lens cap still on), none of which has ever been released to the public (though, what is assumed to be a very convincing fake of the first 2 minutes did show up online in the years following the incident and is believed by some to be genuine). According to Alaska State Trooper Chris Hill (who was there when the tape was discovered and who has, incidentally, heard the death audio in its entirety), the 6 minute recording "starts while he's being mauled and ends while he's being mauled"; Hill also revealed that the recording abruptly cuts out, due to the end of the tape being reached, suggesting that it otherwise "probably would have captured the whole thing."
Treadwell, who had spent the past 13 summers living with the bears of Katmai National Park (and who had documented upwards of 100 hours of footage over said period) had risen to fame a few years prior to his death and was interviewed on The Late Show with David Letterman in 2001, during which Letterman suggested (with disturbingly accurate foresight) the possibility of one day reading a newspaper headline that Treadwell had been eaten by a bear, Treadwell shaking off the comment and denying the likelihood of such an event. Huguenard, (who was comparatively much less confident around bears than Treadwell) had apparently expressed concerns several times during their fatal trip; ultimately, it was she who initiated the recording of Treadwell's final moments (forgetting to remove the lens cap in her haste), after Treadwell presumably prompted her to turn the camera on upon noticing the approaching bear.
Kevin 'The Bearman' Sanders of Yellowstone Outdoor Adventures (who has been investigating the incident for years and who has since provided extensive documentation on his findings) claims that the aforementioned 2 minute online clip is indeed fake, citing differences between it and the actual audio (which he alleges to have heard the real first 2 minutes of and which he has partially transcribed on his website).
In 2005, renowned German director Werner Herzog released a documentary film on Treadwell titled Grizzly Man; during the production of said documentary, Herzog was granted access to the audio by Jewel Palovak (Treadwell's ex-girlfriend, who had been given the tape by authorities, along with various other possessions of his), with Herzog's reaction shown on screen (the audio itself was, of course, not included). After listening to the full recording, Herzog went on to suggest to Palovak that she destroy the tape, lest it become the "white elephant in [her] room" for the rest of her life. Palovak has since admitted that she did not destroy the tape, instead choosing to store it in her safe deposit box; she claims to have never listened to the recording and hopes that she never does.
- MEGA mirror of the alleged (presumed fake) first 2 minutes. Last retrieved 18 Oct 2014
- CBS News article on the incident, containing quotes from Alaska State Trooper Chris Hill; 08 Oct 2003. Last retrieved 18 Oct 2014.
- Kevin Sanders' Yellowstone Outdoor Adventures page on Timothy Treadwell. Last retrieved 18 Oct 2014.
- Radar Online article on the ninth anniversary of the incident; 05 Oct 2012. Last retrieved 18 Oct 2014.
- Werner Herzog's 2005 documentary film Grizzly Man, via YouTube; 31 Jul 2012. Last retrieved 18 Oct 2014.