The Legend of Ranger Nightwolf

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One of my best buddies from college was in town the other night. He has spent the last couple of years in the Northwest United States working at various National Parks, guiding rich people through the mountains, wilderness and what not. After working at a National Park in Alaska, he decided to ask management if there were any urban legends or cool stories about the area like hauntings, monsters, crying babies, people being weird. The kind of stuff that builds the premise for crappy horror films.

What he told me is one of the best and funniest legends I have ever heard in my life.

He told me that occasionally, random women will come all the way to this National Park (which he says involves a flight all the way to Alaska, and a two hour drive to the small city of 300 people where the park is located. It takes a lot of time, money, and effort just to get to this destination) to pay their respects to a man they believe died on the park grounds, named Ranger Nightwolf.

My buddy told me that the park has an entire file full of printed emails, letters, and other exchanges between a mysterious man named "Ranger Nightwolf" and various women, that they now have to present to the women who come all the way to the park to pay their respects to him, to show the women that Ranger Nightwolf is in fact a myth, and that no man named Ranger Nightwolf has ever worked at the park.

So here's the story...

There is this anonymous man out there that calls himself Ranger Nightwolf. He signs up for random dating websites, meets these women online, gets to know them and what not, states that he works at this National Park in Alaska, and establishes an intimate, long distance relationship. After Ranger Nightwolf builds a strong emotional connection, promises a woman the moon, and makes plans to meet the woman in person, the man throws a twist into the mix: He has an anonymous emailer, or uses a different host name, to send the woman a story about how Ranger Nightwolf died in a horrible climbing/hiking accident on the park grounds.

The National Park has never really investigated the issue, and my buddy said that he researched the subject on the Internet one day and found nothing. It is unknown who Ranger Nightwolf is, how many women Ranger Nightwolf has contacted, or what the motivation behind Ranger Nightwolf is. All they know is that numerous women have visited the park claiming that they were "Ranger Nightwolf's lover", and that they wanted to see his place of work and pay their respects. Every time a woman comes to the park, management has to pull the file out and deliver the heartbreaking news: Ranger Nightwolf is not real.

As my buddy told me this story, all I could imagine is Nightwolf from Mortal Kombat on

I have heard and read various online dating stories and nightmares, but this one by far is the champion. I do not claim to know anything about Ranger Nightwolf. I personally suspect that he is a random guy that either

A) Is a total prankster that likes to lure random women on various dating websites just to see how far he can go before he pulls the chair out, or
B) An insecure man who meets women that he loves, and after impressing them with the lie that he is this outgoing outdoors guide, he gets insecure and pulls the plug with the death story

I like to assume Part A, because I doubt if it were Part B that the man would use the same exact story and excuse with every woman. Pathological liars generally find other things to lie about, and if he is using the park ranger story every time, why stop there and not use other lies to impress women online? Anyway I could spend all day overanalyzing the myth and thinking of possible explanations.

I just think that if it is Part A, and if it were a man that is pulling a fast one on unsuspecting women that use online dating services, that having them come all the way to the park to visit his work has to be the greatest unintentional prank of all time. Think about it: Ranger Nightwolf probably gets such a kick out of toying with these women emotionally if he continuously does it. He probably has no clue that some (if not all) of these women spend the time, money, and effort traveling to his place of work to pay their respects. That would be like if you purchased various amounts of empty land throughout the country, and then discovered that the lands were rich in oil and gold.

That is the legend of Ranger Nightwolf. I don't know if this is potentially the greatest online dating story of all time, the funniest outdoors myth of all time, or the worst idea for an "Unsolved Mysteries" story of all time. Regardless, I think it is hilarious, and solute Ranger Nightwolf for all of his accomplishments.

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