After 27 Years The Mystery Of “The North Pond Hermit” Appears To Be Solved
One of the great mysteries in central Maine, the mystery of the North Pond Hermit, appears to have been solved.Police have arrested a man they say has committed more than 1,000 burglaries in the Rome and Smithfield area, including admittedly burglarizing a camp for special needs children more than 50 times, over the past 27 years.The story of the North Pond Hermit has baffled authorities and residents of the area for generations. Now, the Maine State Police and the Maine Warden Service say they have their man, 47-year-old Christopher Knight”It’s a little overwhelming because it’s been a myth, it’s been this character, this folklore person who’s known as the hermit who we’ve all heard about,” Sergeant Terry Hughes of the Maine Warden Service told reporters at a press briefing Wednesday. “We have pictures of him, we couldn’t identify him. This unknown suspect who moves around in society and burglarizes camps. When I first saw him inside the building, it was an immense adrenaline rush.”Authorities say they finally arrested Knight when he tripped a sensor while stealing food from the Pine Tree Camp in Rome. But that’s just where this bizarre story begins.Tuesday, authorities found his campsite, deep in the woods, where they believe Knight has lived the past 27 years. Even through brutal Maine winters, authorities say Knight told them he spent his days reading books and meditating. “I asked him how he stayed warm. Multiple sleeping bags, lots of sleeping bags, he said.”Police say his possessions, including piles of cash, knives, and screwdrivers, were stolen. Hughes said Knight kept the money just in case he needed it, but never spent it. Authorities say Knight kept up on current events using this radio and listening to Rush Limbaugh and he told them he hadn’t spoken to another person in years. “He did tell me the last contact he had was in the 90s,” said Maine State Trooper, Diane Vance. “He passed somebody on a trail and just exchanges a common greeting of ‘hello’ and that was the only conversation he had, or any human contact he’s had since he went into the woods in 1986.”Despite his arrest, many questions remain. What led him to take to the woods 27 years ago? “He said he just disappeared one day,” Vance said. “He just decided to take off into the woods. He’s telling us there’s no reason for it. It was just something he decided to do.”And how did he manage to go undetected for nearly 30 years? “He walks through the woods very meticulously,” Hughes told reporters. “He steps on roots. Rocks, stumps, stays out of the snow. Doesn’t track, doesn’t leave a track and only travels at night.”Authorities say Knight is in reasonably good health and they describe him as intelligent and well adjusted. State Police have contacted Knight’s mother to let her know he’s alive.Officials from the Pine Tree Camp, who seemed to be Knight’s most consistent target, are happy he’s been caught. They told reporters Knight used their camp as a “local Walmart” and said they wished he’d provided them a list of what he needed, saying they would have helped him out.Right now, Knight is charged with burglarizing the Pine Tree Camp, but more charges are likely coming. He’s due in court later next month.