In July 2003, a young man from a middle class family in Portland OR took a ferry to Alaska and then a jet to Cancun
and journeyed alone down the Yucatan Peninsula visiting various Mayan ruins. He was last heard from heading into the
ruins in Tikal Guatemala. His name was Michael Rhine. He had cashed out his bank accounts, sold all the stock his grandfather
had given him for college, sold his car, and took off without telling his family or friends where he was going or why.
Three weeks into his journey, he sent a package of writings to his grandfather postmarked on July 24th, 2003, from Flores,
Guatemala. Included were "good-bye" notes to his grandpa, his parents, his brother, and his aunt & uncle. Though his family
and others have been searching for many months, he has not been heard from since.
While packing up his belongings, we found a copy of Jon Krakauer's "Into the Wild" among Mike's books.
In December 2003, an ad was placed in a Guatemalan paper which resulted in various sightings of a young man matching
Mike's description, appearing drunk or drugged and begging in the marketplace.
After a hurried trip to Guatemala, a young man who looked like Mike was found in the Guatemalan central market.
It was not Mike.
August 2007 - Mike's dad had moved to Guatemala where he hoped to make some contact with Mike. Early
in 2007, he reported that one of his contacts in Central America claimed a young man had been admitted to a hospital in Costa
Rica with a serious head injury who was carrying Mike's drivers license. The brain injury had damaged his
memory. Before any contact could be made, the young man escaped from the hospital with some others and took off.
Mike's dad returned to the US in February of this year and was diagnosed with lung cancer. He passed away
in April. We do not know whether the story about Mike was true or was a fabrication.