07/13/2004: "A missing friend, Fred Frontier"technorati tags: sad
I watched an interesting (I thought, though some hated it) new series pilot on the USA network called The 4400, which is a cross between the x-files and the x-men. 4400 people from all over the world have disappeared over the past 50 years and in a flash of light, they all reappear with no memory of where they have been. Unable to hold them due to civil liberty concerns, they are released into the public where it starts to unfold that they all have a series of unique special powers. A male/female team from the Department of homeland security (think mulder and scully, she's even a science officer) have to go out and investigate the strange events that surround the "returnees". It's a great premise and I'm interested to see where it will go.
The thing is, watching it reminded me that my friend Fred Frontier is still missing and it's going on over a year now. Fred was one of the most bizarrely wonderful and truly unique individuals I've ever met...(besides Tess Flickinger). He was an icon at the University of Alaska Anchorage while I was going to school there. He and I worked on the UAA ornamental grounds crew together. I always liked partnering up with him because we would get into the best political and existential arguments. My favorite memory was when he and I were in a big landscaping truck on a little UAA trail near the library where we weren't supposed to be. He backed up and rammed into (breaking in half) a beautiful young tree.
We just looked at each other with our eyes open really wide and both agreed to get the hell out of there and never speak of it again.
He also had wonderful pot latch parties...his contributions were always these wild concoctions of stuff that may or may not have mold growing on it...stuff like bananas and olives in rice...whatever he had on hand all mixed together.
He was always leading the charge on some big campaign or another, he was charismatic and although many people found him strange, I think everyone felt compelled to listen whenever he spoke.
I hadn't seen or heard from Fred in years, though I often would check his personal website to see what adventures he was getting into...he had no problem taking the road less traveled.
His most recent trip was to go to Taiwan for a year to teach English. He arrived fine, even checked in with the institute he was supposed to teach for, but disappeared before his first day of work. There is a mystery surrounding his disappearance, you can read about it at the Missing American Fred Frontier A Collective Investigation website.
His mom has been over in Taiwan since shortly after he went missing. Her devotion and undying hope are unbelievable but kind of heart breaking too. All kinds of articles have been written about his disappearance, and benefits have been thrown for him in Anchorage, Juneau, and Seattle, to help support his mom in Taiwan and to help her hire a private investigator. Donations are welcomed!
When Fred first went missing I had a very bad feeling about it but I hoped for the best, with each month that goes by it gets harder and harder to hold onto that hope. I've posted the above links and the following photo, in the slim slim slim chance that someone might recognize him, or have some idea of his whereabouts or fate. If you do have any information, anything at all, please send an email to: email@example.com Thanks.