Do you know that the unexplained disappearance of the Anjikuni village is still a mystery that haunts everyone even today?
The Canadian territory of Nunavut’s Kivalliq Region is home to lake Anjikuni. This lake is just one of many that line the Kazan River. Particularly, Lake Anjikuni is placed in a central portion of the country, nearly 1500 kilometres northwest of the capital Ottawa. Lake Anjikuni is 191 square miles in size and is located about 256 meters above sea level. With less than two people per square mile, the lake is currently nearly completely unpopulated in this highly rural area.
The richness of wildlife in this harsh terrain has drawn people for thousands of years, including the Chipewyan Sayisi Dene and the Caribou Inuit. The Inuit people, however, did not initially dwell in the region; instead, they would spend the winter close to the coast. It is important to emphasize that the average annual temperature is between -10 and -25 degrees Celsius. That corresponds to temperatures of 14 f and -13 f, respectively. For reasons I’m not aware of, the Dene people started to leave the region in the 18th century, whilst the Inuit, notably the Harvaqtuurmiut and Ihalmiut bands, began to reside year-round near the lakes and rivers.
The Inuit no longer reside there, but they still visit occasionally for fishing and hunting. The Inuit people are sometimes mistakenly believed to be confined to the vast Arctic wilderness of Canada, but they are part of a much broader family that stretches from the Bering Strait through northern Canada and Alaska to Greenland.
1. What Did JOE Labelle Witness When He Visited Anjikuni Lake Village?
Let’s understand more about the unexplained disappearance of the Anjikuni Village. The original story went like this, it was a freezing November day in 1930, and a Canadian fur trapper, a north mystery stranger, Joe LaBelle arrived at the shores of Canada’s Lake Anjikuni in hopes of warmth, food, and somewhere to sleep. LaBelle had visited the small Inuit village before and knew it to be welcoming with friendly faces, but upon approaching the village, he was met with an eerie silence. He discovered that the entire village disappeared. The village was gone.
LaBelle beached on the lake’s shore about a hundred yards from the lake Anjikuni village and began yelling a greeting while making his way towards the settlement instead of a response from his Inuit friends he was greeted by two bony nearly starved huskies that crawled towards him, Not far from where the dogs met LaBelle, laying on the ground were the corpses of seven dogs that has starved to death.
LaBelle saw that there was physical evidence of burning embers of long cold fires in fire pits. On closer inspection, he found a pot filled with burnt remains of food. He searched the village in hopes of finding someone or an explanation for their absence.
LaBelle grew more suspicious, he makes his way to the village which consisted of six elk-skinned huts with almost thirty inhabitants, LaBelle enters a hut and begins investigating. He was fully expecting to find skeletons or decomposing corpses but instead finds what you’d expect personal belongings of the tribe’s people, deer skin parkas, boots, clothes that are in the process of being sown, and greasy iron pots, long dead cooking fires. The only bones LaBelle found were of fish and deer which were scattered all over the ground LaBelle notes that interestingly of all he found a rusty rifle something the vanished Eskimo tribe surely wouldn’t have left behind if they were vacating.
He found a hut stocked with foodstuff and weapons, another had a half-mended, child-seal skin coat, the needle still in the coat as if, it were abandoned mid-stitch.
LaBelle searched for a reason why the locals would abandon the Anjikuni village when there was plenty of food hanging. They also left their weapons behind. LaBelle was exhausted but he wasn’t about to take shelter in an abandoned village.
2. The Involvement Of The Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Frostbitten, LaBelle walked into the nearest telegraph office and told of his discovery, after hearing the whole story an emergency message was fired off to the closest rural Canadian Mounted Police barracks.
By the time they had arrived, Joe LaBelle was calm enough to explain his discovery. The Mounties paused on their journey in a shanty. Trapper armoured Laurent and his two sons and asked them for the visit. The police told them they were headed to deal with a kind of problem. They asked Laurent if he or his sons had seen anything out of the ordinary recently
They told the police, that they had seen strange lights in the sky near the Anjikuni village. They confirmed – the lights were unlike the northern lights, aurora borealis. He said the enormous illuminated flying thing, seemed to be changing shape, transforming from a cylinder into a bullet-like object, and was headed in the direction of the missing villagers’ camp.
The police continued and met Joe LaBelle at the camp. Not only were they able to confirm the fur trapper story, but found other noteworthy findings.
On the outskirts of the village lay the burial grounds with empty graves. Those looked like recently dug-up graves. Removing the deceased from their grave was a great taboo for the residents. Troop believed it, not to be the work of animals, as the ground was too hard and it would require tools to unearth the graves.
This idea was supported by the stack of Malko stones or headstones behind their empty graves, hardly the neat work of an animal.
No less than seven sledge dogs were found frozen about 300 feet away from the village. The frozen bodies of the dogs were investigated and it was concluded that these villagers’ dogs died of starvation and were then covered by a 12-foot snowdrift. Many wondered how the dogs could have starved to death, whilst the food was abundant in the Anjikuni village.
One report state, of that the dogs were tied up but even still how would there be time for the dogs to die between the villagers leaving and Joe LaBelle’s discovery of the abandoned village?
After two weeks of investigation, the troops concluded that the villagers had been gone for around two months. If that was so, who was responsible for the fire embers, LaBelle found when he first entered the village?
During that season, Keller, the author of the story states, Labelle went to various other Inuit villages during his travels, to ask questions about the missing tribe they all had no idea but all blamed Torngarsuk.
Police do discover that in an Inuit village 150 miles north of the abandoned Anjikuni camp, an Inuit boy has wandered into the village. No one in the camp knew where he came from but they took him in another apparent lead from the police when an Eskimo was discovered named Samak, who was brought to the hospital on the Hudson bay railway for treatment.
Police finally found a translator and wanted to question Samak about the Anjikuni village. It’s noted that he totally denied any questions about the village and only mentioned Torngarsuk police then tried getting Samak drunk to spill some information. This didn’t work however as Samak refused the alcohol because he didn’t like the taste.
The 1930s article finally ends with Keller saying the police are trying their best to unravel the unsolved mystery.
Whilst the investigation took place, several officers said they witnessed strange lights in the sky, they described them as blue and pulsating. Not like the northern lights of the aurora borealis.
The first official written account of this case was published in November 1930 by special correspondent Emmett akela. The article was called tribe lost in Barrens of North, the village of the dead found by wandering trapper Joe LaBelle.
This occurrence is a strange one, to say the least. But many people dismiss it as fiction. After researching, I found several things, wrong with the stories and the accounts.
Today there are no physical remnants of the Inuits living near Anjikuni lake but there are also no records of anyone clearing the area. There were no images of this entire village.
In 1976, Dwight Whalen wrote a story for Fate magazine called “Vanished Village revisited”.Upon questioning the police, he was told they had no record of the event. With a quick look at the website, a short paragraph confirms this. It states the story about the disappearance of the 1930s of an Inuit village near Lake Anjikuni is not true.
This story is thought to have been introduced in the book At the oldest version by an American author by the name of Frank Edwards. Frank Edwards book named Stranger than Science has become a popular piece of journalism repeatedly published and referred to in books and magazines.
There is no evidence however to support such a story. A village with such a large population would not have existed in such a remote area in the Northwest Territories.
Likewise, neither the local trappers nor missionaries nor the Mounted Police who patrolled the area made any records of suspicious activities.
In 2013, Brian dunning wrote a detailed article for the skeptoid website, named The Vanishing Village of Anjikuni Lake, which talked about the possibility of alien abduction and the relation of UFO sitings.
The Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police decided to release an investigation led by Sergeant Jay Nelson Nelson, who spoke to locals and found that Joe LaBelle was a real individual but works only in northern Manitoba and not near the supposed Inuit village. He also discovered no one had heard of the village or its disappearing inhabitants. Because of this, Nielson concluded callous telling of the story, was just that, a story.
3. Theories To Explain What Happened At Lake Anjikuni
3.1 Joe Labelle Never existed:
This version of the story suggested that Joe Labelle never existed. The vanished village, the missing Inuit kayaks, the sudden disappearance of the Inuit settlement on a cold November day, all of this never happened as Labelle claimed in the original story. As no physical evidence exists to prove the existence of this tribe. Cause it is believed that Labelle wasn’t a real person.
3.2 The World’s Greatest UFO Mysteries:
The reports of the Royal Canadian mounted police officers who observed the weird lights in the skies during the first inquiry, similarly by Laurents have sparked a popular hypothesis among UFO enthusiasts. In this version of the story, they believe that the aliens abducted the poor souls of the entire village.
In Nigel Blundell and Roger Boar’s 1983 book the world’s great UFO. Mysteries, the population of the village increased to 1200, including three trappers, Armand Laurent and his two sons, who saw a UFO flying towards Lake Anjikuni. When the Mounties arrived to look into the flying objects, they came into a bunch of them. Although there is no telegraph within a thousand miles of the lake in this version of the story, Joe Labelle used one to report the village missing. Frank Edwards’s book, Stranger than Science, is the earliest recorded publication that was published about the vanishing village on the shores of Anjikuni lake.
There are a lot of conspiracy theories as to what exactly happened at Anjikuni Village, The unexplained disappearance of the Anjikuni Village remains a daunting mystery to all and nobody knows exactly what happened, some even doubt the existence of Joe Labelle. But if the Anjikuni Village really existed, and Everything did happen as how Labelle described it. Then the question arises, did the village vanish into thin air? Can a village with a mighty population just disappear overnight with no trace of existence? And is there any foul play involved or extra-terrestrial involvement?
These are some of the many questions that arise. And as of now, the only source of truth is the book by Frank Edwards, Stranger than Science, and also by analyzing the stories of Joe Labelle. Even today the unexplained disappearance of the Anjikuni Village and the people of the Anjikuni village is a tale that is yet to be proven. The Anjikuni Village History remains a mystery even today.
I’m currently in my final year of engineering, in computer science. Along with problem-solving, I am keenly interested in mythology and ancient Indian history. I would love to express the knowledge and ideas that I acquire through my reading journey in these articles. I hope you enjoy reading them. Keep reading, and Keep Growing.