Located on a lonely island in the middle of San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz—aka “The Rock”—had held captives since the Civil War. But it was in 1934, the highpoint of a major war on crime, that Alcatraz was re-fortified into the world’s most secure prison. Its eventual inmates included dangerous public enemies like Al Capone, criminals who had a history of escapes, and the occasional odd character like the infamous “Birdman of Alcatraz.”
In the 1930s, Alcatraz was already a forbidding place, surrounded by the cold, rough waters of the Pacific. The redesign included tougher iron bars, a series of strategically positioned guard towers, and strict rules, including a dozen checks a day of the prisoners. Escape seemed near impossible.
Despite the odds, from 1934 until the prison was closed in 1963, 36 men tried 14 separate escapes. Nearly all were caught or didn’t survive the attempt.
The fate of three particular inmates, however, remains a mystery to this day. Here is their story:
On June 12, 1962, the routine early morning bed check turned out to be anything but. Three convicts were not in their cells: John Anglin, his brother Clarence, and Frank Morris. In their beds were cleverly built dummy heads made of plaster, flesh-tone paint, and real human hair that apparently fooled the night guards. The prison went into lock down, and an intensive search began.
The FBI was notified immediately and asked to help. Their office in San Francisco set leads for offices nationwide to check for any records on the missing prisoners and on their previous escape attempts (all three had made them). They also interviewed relatives of the men and compiled all their identification records and asked boat operators in the Bay to be on the lookout for debris. Within two days, a packet of letters sealed in rubber and related to the men was recovered. Later, some paddle-like pieces of wood and bits of rubber inner tube were found in the water. A homemade life-vest was also discovered washed up on Cronkhite Beach, but extensive searches did not turn up any other items in the area.
As the days went by, the FBI, the Coast Guard, Bureau of Prison authorities, and others began to find more evidence and piece together the ingenious escape plan. We were aided by a fourth plotter who didn’t make it out of his cell in time and began providing us with information. Here’s what we learned.
The group had begun laying plans the previous December when one of them came across some old saw blades.
Using crude tools—including a homemade drill made from the motor of a broken vacuum cleaner—the plotters each loosened the air vents at the back of their cells by painstakingly drilling closely spaced holes around the cover so the entire section of the wall could be removed. Once through, they hid the holes with whatever they could—a suitcase, a piece of cardboard, etc.
Behind the cells was a common, unguarded utility corridor. They made their way down this corridor and climbed to the roof of their cell block inside the building, where they set up a secret workshop. There, taking turns keeping watch for the guards in the evening before the last count (see the crude “periscope” they constructed for the lookouts), they used a variety of stolen and donated materials to build and hide what they needed to escape. More than 50 raincoats that they stole or gathered were turned into makeshift life preservers and a 6x14 foot rubber raft, the seams carefully stitched together and “vulcanized” by the hot steam pipes in the prison (the idea came from magazines that were found in the prisoners’ cells). They also built wooden paddles and converted a musical instrument into a tool to inflate the raft.
At the same time, they were looking for a way out of the building. The ceiling was a good 30 feet high, but using a network of pipes they climbed up and eventually pried open the ventilator at the top of the shaft. They kept it in place temporarily by fashioning a fake bolt out of soap.
On the evening of June 11, they were ready to go. The prison informant, though, did not have his ventilator grill completely removed and was left behind. The three others got into the corridor, gathered their gear, climbed up and out through the ventilator, and got on to the prison roof. Then, they shimmied down the bakery smoke stack at the rear of the cell house, climbed over the fence, and snuck to the northeast shore of the island and launched their raft.
What happened next remains a mystery. Did they make it across the Bay, get to Angel Island, and then cross Raccoon Strait into Marin County as planned? Or did the wind and waves get the better of them?
You will win; - Craft grade deer skull - Craft grade mink skull - Pheasant feather - Blackbird foot (preserved) - Gorgeous shell - Tooth scavenged from the Thames - Big sheep half pelvis with gnarly arthritis - Mandible from the same big sheep - Various misc things not pictured here which will be added to the giveaway as I find them!
RULES: - Reblog as many times as you want (extra reblogs count as entries but don’t spam your followers!), likes don’t count as entries but like away if you wish. - You must be following this blog (morbidesque). Follows on Instagram (@TenvisHund) and my art blog @tenvishund are not mandatory but will count as extra entries! Following just for the giveaway is fine. - The winner will be randomly drawn on the 31st of July 2017. Winner has 48 hours to reply before another will be chosen - UK and EU ONLY, sorry! American vultures feel free to reblog for your followers though! - You must be 18 years old, or have your parents permission to enter. You must also be comfortable to give me your address if you win. - This giveaway is in no way associated with Tumblr. - Do not tag as giveaway, or reblog to giveaway side blogs
The black footed
cat is Africa’s smallest cat species, weighing only 1 – 2,45 kg! Male black
footed cats usually have territories which overlap with on average four
females. The Black Footed Cat Working Group is studying these small cats to
find out what needs to be done to ensure their survival in the wild. This video
of a female leaving her den was shot by the researchers.
I have a nice little vulture culture startup package. It contains: 1 tanned squirrel hide, 1 deer antler, 1 raccoon femur, 1 fox metacarpal, 1 nutria tooth, 1 rabbit skull, 2 Guinea hen feathers, 1 tanned rabbit tail, 1 preserved rabbit hind foot, and a nice chunk of rough Quartz.
Entry rules: USA ONLY. You must be a follower, and likes and reblogs count as entries. The winner will be selected June 1st. Entry winner must respond within two days or a new winner will be selected. You do not have to pay for postage, I will cover everything.
Good luck everyone!
EDIT: Please do not tag as giveaway, this will send a flag to tumblr.
Vulture-themed small giveaway for reaching 666+ folllowers!
31/07/2016 - GIVEAWAY CLOSED! THANK YOU ALL FOR ENTERING, WINNER WILL BE NOTIFIED VERY SOON!
You will win: - 1 craft grade bird skull - 5 craft grade rat skulls - 1 craft grade rabbit skull - 1 coffee stained deer jaw - 2 fox vertabrae - 1 preserved crow foot - 1 partial fox skull - 1 origin assured kit fox tail - 1 pheasant tail feather - PLUS various other misc bones not pictured, and a crow wing if they are preserved in time ;)
- You must be following this blog (morbidesque), following just for the sake of the giveaway is fine but I will check.
- Be 18+ or have parents permission to enter.
- Reblogs count as entries, likes do not. Multiple reblogs count as multiple entries.
- Do not tag as “giveaway” or anything similar.
- Tumblr is not associated with this giveaway at all, this is something i am personally doing to say thanks for following me! - Unfortunately, EU followers only due to laws about importing dead things, but if you enter/win and you are outside of the EU you can donate the prizes to any friend within the EU if you want. - Entries close on 30/7/2016 21:00 BST and a winner will be chosen and notified within 24 hours. Winner will be chosen via random selection technique. If the chosen winner does not reply within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen.
- Please have ask boxes/messaging available and open so i can contact you if you have won.
Please feel free to ask any more questions! Good luck!