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A Big Foot-like creature in a forest

The Ircenrraat and other urban legends from Alaska

Here are eight famous Alaskan urban legends from hairy men to child snatching water creatures.

Image: Missing In Alaska

In the past 50 years, over 20,000 people have vanished in an area of northwest Alaska known as the ‘Alaska Triangle’. Famous for its vast and dangerous landscape, many believe the terrain and local predators are the cause of these disappearances. Alaska, however, is a place of folklore and some believe these urban legends are the key to understanding this mysterious location.

Here are eight famous Alaskan urban legends.

1. The Alaskan Hairy Man

Stories of Bigfoot sightings are reported globally but the Alaskan version is apparently the most extreme. Standing over 10 feet tall with shaggy, coarse hair and elongated arms, this foul-smelling ape-like creature is said to live in the wide tundra of Alaska. According to the Inuit native people, the Hairy Man is descended from a species of creatures known as the Tornits. According to legend, the Inuit’s and the Tornits once had a harmonious relationship which all ended when a young Inuit killed a Tornit who had damaged his kayak. Ever since that time, there have been hundreds of stories about hunters going missing and never being found or their bodies eventually turning up mangled and mutilated.

2. The Kushtaka

The Kushtaka are shape-shifting creatures said to look like a cross between an otter and a man. Although some stories describe them as helpful, most portray them as deceptive creatures, said to mimic the screams of women and children to lure in concerned fishermen to their deaths.

3. The Keelut

According to Inuit legend, the Keelut is an evil spirit on earth, described as a black hairless dog that preys on those travelling at night. With only hair on its feet, the Keelut’s tracks are said to disappear into the snow, meaning those unlucky souls who happen to be stalked by it have no warning of its lurking presence.

4. The Qalupalik

The Qalupalik are child snatching water creatures described as being human-like with green, scaly skin, long dark wet hair and very long fingernails. According to Inuit legend, they live at sea and wear amautiks (an outfit worn by Inuit women that contains a pouch to hold a child). They are said to hum to entice children to come closer to to the waters edge so they can snatch them away, never to be seen again.

5. The Ircenrraat

In the Alaska tundra lurks the Ircenrraat, which according to Yup’ik tradition are small human-like creatures that enjoy causing mischief. They are believed to disorientate and confuse unwary travellers before trapping them in their caves or underground lairs.

6. The Alaskan Vortex

Alaska is covered with a large concentration of magnetic anomalies, which has given rise to a theory that the Alaskan Triangle could in fact contain a space vortex. This vortex is said to have the ability to transport things into another dimension, explaining why so many people and objects go missing in the triangle every year.

7. The Secret Government Mind Control Facility

HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) is a controversial U.S. research facility based in Alaska that investigates the potential for developing ionospheric enhancement technology for radio communications and surveillance. Conspiracy theorists have long believed the facility does in fact have the ability to modify the earth’s weather, disable satellites and even control people’s minds.

8. The Alaskan UFO Base

Mount Hayes is the highest mountain in the eastern Alaskan range and is speculated to house numerous extra-terrestrials and UFOs. UFO sightings began during the 1940s and were soon numerous enough to gather the attention of the FBI who started investigating the area. Experienced military personnel continued to report strange phenomena throughout the following years and in the late ‘90s Pat Price, a former CIA remote-viewer, claimed the mountain, “housed one of the aliens’ largest bases.”