Cannibalism in national forests?

Cannibalism in national forests?

America Castrejon (9th), Editor

There have been MANY theories through the years that I have seen, heard, or been told, but this theory is the one that scares me, yet interests me the most. My sister actually told me this theory, but she told me at the worst possible time… I’m starting to think she did that on purpose. She told me a theory about how cannibals live in national forests. I got very paranoid because I thought at any moment, I would get attacked and eaten! 

This theory started from a lady who made a TikTok discussing how there was cannibalism in national forests. On an episode of the podcast “Unsolved” they discussed “Cannibals in National parks?” In this podcast they discuss how people have gone missing, and how people have reported seeing people walking around in the middle of the forests while hiking. They also talk about a missing persons case about how 12 year old, Jared Negrete, had gone on a hike with his church that included five other group members and the leader of the church. They had decided to hike in Mount San Gorgonio, which is also known as the highest peak in southern California. Some reports stated that they saw him wandering off the trail, stopping to tie his shoe, and even had been told to stay at the beginning of the trail alone and wait for them to get back from hiking. 

After all that, they never found him again. Search teams went as far as north, and Malibu, eventually finding Jared’s backpack, some candy wrappers, beef jerky, and a camera. Twelve pictures were printed and they came back mostly landscapes but the last picture was of Jared after he went missing and only showed his nose and eyes. His camera was found near all the other items. After a mass search involving helicopters, rangers on horseback, and heat sensing cameras Jared was never found. It infuriates me how they had so much technology that they used and still found nothing. Even after 30 years, his remains were never found. Did he just take a wrong trail and get lost, or was he attacked by these cannibals? 

There are a lot more of these kinds of stories of people just going missing out of the blue in national parks. Most stories told of people going missing are strange, some people have found remains of other people that have gone missing years ago. The remains that are found are left in weird orders and shapes. If these people had gone missing and maybe were attacked by an animal, or just died of heat or lack of food, how would their bodies end up like that? Someone had to have put the bodies in strange orders. Even the locals around the area say that they have seen these people in the forests and warn hikers. 

In 2021, a movie called Wrong Turn came out. I actually watched this movie not too long ago when I discovered the feral people in national parks theory. In the movie, six teens went into a national park to hike and they ended up taking a different trail, leaving them to get lost and have to camp overnight. They came across these people who had been living in the forest for over 100 years, many of whom didn’t even know english. Many people believe this movie was based on how feral people live in these parks. 

I asked some friends, “What do you think about this theory? Do you think its fake? Why or why not?” here was their response: 


Emma Gonzalez (9th grade): “Yes I think that cannibalism in national forests is possible because of how the bones of some people were arranged in weird patterns and since there are some reports of people seeing other people walking around deep inside the forest who don’t even speak English.”


Natalie Rodriguez (9th grade): “I think that it’s true, that the evidence of how the bones were never found or some scattered, I think people are living in these forests. They could possibly have an unknown scent to K9s. They could also have the scene of the people who are getting kidnapped so the dogs won’t be able to find them. It’s also hard for me to understand how people can fully disappear by going over cliffs, or just by going ahead, but overall I do think this theory is possible.”


Overall, there are a lot of weird occurrences of people going missing in these forests…with no trace. With all the evidence there is starting with the bones, then to disappearing without traces, then how people can just be in groups and they still all go missing, I believe that it is real.