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Alaska Troopers seek survival instructor overdue in northern wild

Alaska Dispatch

Alaska state troopers are searching for a Wisconsin man reported missing in the wilderness of Alaska's Far North. According to Alaska State Troopers, Thomas Seibold, of Three Lakes, Wisc., was reported as "overdue" on Nov. 11 by friends after he failed to arrive in the village of Kobuk, about 120 air miles northeast of Kotzebue, as previously arranged.

Seibold, 31, and his friends traveled to the Far North in September to hike and explore the area near the Northwest Alaska villages of Ambler and Kobuk. Troopers say that toward the end of the trip, Seibold informed his companions that he'd be staying alone in a remote cabin to "spend time with nature," in the words of authorities.

He told them he planned to return to civilization at the end of October, when he would hike out to meet a plane in Kobuk. However, he missed his return flight home.

Although Seibold is an outdoors instructor with extensive experience in wilderness survival, he may still be in need of rescue.

Troopers say they searched the area around the cabin where Seibold was last seen by air without success. They're now focusing the search to an area near the confluence of the Ambler River and Ulaneak Creek where it is believed Seibold may have built a base camp.

Troopers say that weather conditions have restricted flight efforts and a ground search is being hampered by open rivers, thin ice and a lack of snow. Troopers are continuing search efforts with the assistance of North West Arctic Borough search and rescue and residents of Ambler.