Search Called Off for Man Missing in Olympic NP
A new mystery has been added to the chapters of Olympic National Park lore, as officials have called off the search for a 47-year-old Washington State man who vanished during what friends thought would be a day hike into the Staircase region in the park's southeast corner.
Ground teams, aerial teams, divers and even underwater cameras were used during the eight days of searching for Gilbert Gilman, the deputy director of Washington's Department of Retirement Systems. Gilman, who went for a hike on June 24th, was reported missing later that weekend when he failed to turn up for a planned business trip.
Olympic encompasses some pretty rugged landscape, and the area where Gilman was last seen is no exception. Mountains climb to about 6,000 feet, and the hiking terrain is steep and rocky at times, with thick undergrowth.
Searchers spent more than 5,000 hours looking for Gilman. They went so far as to use underwater cameras to explore rapids in the North Fork Skokomish River.
"We’ve explored both the logical and the more remote scenarios of what Mr. Gilman may have done, decisions he may have made, and routes he may have chosen, but none of them produced results,” said Ranger Mike Danisiewicz, head of the search effort. “No one knew of his plans, and we’ve found nothing to help determine where he might have gone. We’ve reached the limits of what we can do.”