1962 Alcatraz Prison Escape

The official story is that they made it as far as the water and were swept out to sea to their deaths. As escape stores go, the 1962 Alcatraz escape was one of the most clever that came so close to success… or did it?

Everyone from the FBI to MythBusters has investigated the attempt and tried to determine if the three escapees made it to safety. The latest research shows that it all depends on when they took to their raft made of 50 inflated raincoats.

Yes, raincoats. 50. Inflated with a musical instrument converted into a pump. That’s not even the most interesting part of the plan.

As with many escape attempts, it started with holes manually drilled into their walls. To fool the guards, they crafted fake heads to stay in their beds. Through the holes, they emerged into a maintenance corridor. They made it to the roof and shimmied down smoke stacks to the bakery. From their they worked their way outside, over the fence, and across the rocky terrain to the shore. Then, the blew up the raft and made it out to see.

Officially, they’ve never been seen or heard from again.

A report last week by Dutch scientists concluded that it was possible for them to have survived if they left at the right time.

”The simulations show that if the prisoners had left before 23.00, they would have had absolutely no chance of surviving. The strong currents would have taken them out to sea. However, if they left between 23.00 and midnight, there is a good chance they reached Horseshoe Bay north of the Golden Gate Bridge”, Baart explains. The model predicts that any debris would then float back into the bay in the direction of Angel Island, exactly where the FBI found a paddle and some personal belongings.

The scientists built and tracked 50 boats, releasing them at the various times throughout the night and morning and simulating a paddling effect that the escapees likely would have used once they got close to land.

We will likely never know exactly what happened to John Anglin, his brother Clarence Anglin and Frank Morris, but over 50 years later it’s still fuel for conspiratorial speculation.

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The official story is that they made it as far as the water and were swept out to sea to their deaths. As escape stores go, the 1962 Alcatraz escape was one of the most clever that came so close to success... or did it? Everyone from the FBI to...