By Chris Klint
Channel 2 News
1:55 PM AKST, November 26, 2012
A search near Ambler for a survival expert from Wisconsin who planned to stay alone at area cabins has been suspended, after volunteers and Alaska State Troopers combed the area for nearly two weeks.
According to a Monday AST dispatch, troopers made a final flight of the Ambler River valley Saturday afternoon looking for 31-year-old Thomas Seibold, of Three Lakes, Wis. Troopers described him as an outdoors and survival instructor, with extensive experience camping in northern regions.
Seibold was reported overdue to troopers on Nov. 11, after he missed a planned return flight from Kobuk. He had arrived in the region with friends but separated from them in late September, saying he would stay in a remote cabin area through October, then hike out more than 25 miles.
AST spokesperson Megan Peters says Seibold, a German national, didn’t have a GPS device or file a trip plan with troopers. While items found at a remote cabin placed him there in October, the trail for him since has gone cold.
"We didn't find anything to show us where he could actually be," Peters said.
Troopers, as well as Northwest Arctic Borough Search and Rescue members and volunteers, have spent 13 days searching about 3,500 square miles in a mountainous area between the Ambler River and Shungnak River valleys.
While search efforts have been prolonged by hopes that Seibold’s survival experience might improve his odds of being found, Peters says searchers have covered the routes he would have logically taken.
"You have to consider what's happened in Alaska before -- some of the most prepared people easily succumb," Peters said.
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