New Evidence Shows Alcatraz Prisoners Survived The Prison Escape to try out one
of their premium plans right now. Some of you might have heard about a little
island that lies just 1.25 miles (2.01 km) off San Francisco. The only reason you’ve likely heard the
name is because arguably the United States’ most infamous prison was located there. The prison closed down, but tales keep being
told. That prison has been home to some of America’s
most notorious criminals, and not for a second did the authorities think any of them could
ever escape. That’s because even if a prisoner did make
it to the edge of the island it was thought there was no way anyone could make it to land
through the frigid and choppy water. The FBI believes that the only people that
did ever get to the water died there. Full stop. Game Over. It was impossible. But, that might not be the case. Before we tell you about the recent revelations
that might have proved that the FBI were wrong all along and indeed some men made it through
the water and onto land, we think we should tell you about the escape itself. It’s worthy of a movie, and that’s why
myriad movies have been made partly based on this brazen escape. The year is 1962. There have been twelve escape attempts before
this year and all of them failed. Not only did prisoners with escape in mind
have to break out of their cells, but they had to scale high walls and get past armed
guards, and then there was the dangerous waters of the San Francisco Bay. And as we said, the last hurdle was thought
to be insurmountable. But four men this year weren’t the type
of guys to shy away from a challenge. Their names were Clarence Anglin, John Anglin,
Allen West, and Frank Morris, and on June 11 they made perhaps the most daring prison
escape attempt ever. You’d be right in thinking that two of these
men were related. They were actually brothers, and like the
other two men they were career criminals. We won’t go into their backgrounds much,
but it’s important we give you a few details as this might give you a clue as to how these
men might have survived. For instance the two Anglin brothers were
said to be inseparable as kids, and from a young age, as early as 14, they were both
toughing it out as laborers. After that the duo decided that robbing banks
was easier and less strain on the back, and their criminal career started. But the important thing we should mention
is that both these guys when just little kids were said to enjoy swimming in Lake Michigan
during winter. It’s said they impressed people around them
by their incredible swimming ability but also the fact they could swim when there was still
ice in the water. Another thing we should mention is the fact
that Frank Morris was said to have a very high IQ. We aren’t saying he was a genius, but an
IQ of 133 isn’t bad at all. So we have strength and we have brains, and
it just so happened in 1961 these guys were placed in cells adjacent to each other. Now we see the plot thicken. It was Morris who was the brains of the operation,
and he enlisted the two brothers who no doubt told him that surviving the water would be
a cinch. They did not wing their escape, however, and
over six months devised and orchestrated their plan. What they knew they needed to do was widen
the ventilation ducts in their respective cells. These ducts were two small for them to crawl
into, and so with sharpened spoons and stolen saw blades as well as a drill they had fashioned
from a vacuum cleaner, they got to work. That was a noisy business, making the hole
bigger, but the guards didn’t hear a thing as Morris spent most of the night playing
his accordion. The guards weren’t suspicious because they’d
heard this sound before. The thing was, as the holes widened it looked
like a mess in the wall, so what the guys did was paint a piece of cardboard the exact
same color as the wall and stick it over the hole in the daytime when they weren’t working. You see, what these men knew is that when
they got through the hole they would hit a utility tunnel, a place far away from any
guards. After a while they could easily get to this
tunnel, but that didn’t mean they could just escape. Even though two of the men were great swimmers,
they knew swimming that distance at night would be hard or impossible, so they devised
to make a raft. This took a few months and the raft was made
out of at least 50 raincoats that the men had stolen or other prisoners had given them. They also made paddles out of wood and bolts
and had life jackets. Those life jackets were also made out of raincoats,
with the men using a process called vulcanization, a process to heat rubber, to make the seams
stick so that they could be blown up. It was the same for the raft, the men could
make sure no air got out and they could in time inflate it. But what we like the most is what the guys
did to evade suspicion when they were in the tunnel working on the raft. They of course couldn’t just go missing
from their cells, so they made dummies. We’ve seen pictures of the heads and they
are unbelievably lifelike, considering what they had to work with. The heads were made with cement, skin-colored
paint, and the best bit, human hair they’d collected from the prison barbers. It makes you wonder just how creative and
industrious these men could have been had they not chosen a life of crime. It took about six months to get the raft finished. Now we have the problem of actually getting
to the water. This got off to a bad start for West, because
he had used a kind of cement to keep his grill in place. What he hadn’t reckoned on was the strength
of this cement and he couldn’t even get his grill off on June 11. He was left behind, and his confession is
why we know so much about the escape. The other three men got into the tunnel, collected
the raft and the rest of what they needed, and then they made their way to the roof. We are told from there they scaled down a
kitchen vent pipe which was around 50 feet (15 meters) high. They then climbed two fences which were covered
with barbed wire and were 12-foot (3.7 meters) high. It seems for that they just used their strength,
and 12 feet isn’t too hard to climb. Now they were in a blind spot from the guards,
and this is where they could inflate the raft. That’s a lot of blowing for a pair of human
lungs, but the guys had the concertina from Morris’ accordion. That’s the thing you push and pull that
acts a bit like a human lung. The guards only realized the next day that
the men were missing, and so the escapees had plenty of time to make it to land. The question is, did they make it? An investigation led to a paddle being found,
but also bits of raincoat being discovered on the nearby Angel Island Beach. Did this mean they got there, or just mean
it had floated there? The FBI said that night the currents were
really strong, and after many years of trying to find the men they closed the investigation
in 1979. The men had died, that was it. The end. But over the years siblings of the two brothers
would come forward and say they had been contacted by their brothers. Countless other people would lead police on
a wild goose chase, saying they were the escapees or they had been contacted by the men. It’s said at one point the Anglin brothers
might have attended a funeral of one of their other brothers, and there have even been sightings
in Brazil. It’s been called one of the greatest unsolved
mysteries in American crime, and to this day U.S. marshals say they still get leads as
to where these guys are. But the fact is, there hasn’t really been
any substantial proof that the guys made it, well, not until a recent bombshell hit the
media. That’s because in January 2013 the FBI received
a letter, a letter they didn’t tell the media about for a while. They decided to repress it, but they reopened
the case. This is how the letter started: “My name is John Anglin. I escape[d] from Alcatraz in June 1962 with
my brother Clarence and Frank Morris. I’m 83 years old and in bad shape. I have cancer. Yes we all made it that night but barely!” The problem was that any DNA analysis was
inconclusive, but still, something just rang true about the letter. The writer states that the brains of the group,
Morris, died back in 2008. The writer was obviously one of the surviving
brothers. This is what he told police:
“If you announce on TV that I will be promised to first go to jail for no more than a year
and get medical attention, I will write back to let you know exactly where I am. This is no joke…” If the brothers did survive, now they would
be in their late 80s. Morris would be 91, but he might have died
if that letter is real. One thing to note, though, is that one FBI
investigator who’d been with the agency for over 20 years told the media when the
letter was released that just saying the raft failed and it was impossible to swim wasn’t
exactly conclusive. We know these men could swim well, and these
days we know many athletes can swim through that water and spend a long time in it. It’s hardly an inhuman task to swim in San
Francisco Bay. Then there’s the fact that investigators
say well, we would have found them, they’d have committed other offenses. That’s hardly convincing, too. The writer of the letter added that he had
lived around the USA after the escape and if the letter is real it seems he did become
a law-abiding citizen. That or he just never got caught committing
a crime. There’s other stuff, too, such as what the
nephew of the brothers said many years later, “My grandmother received roses for several
years after the escape,” he said to the media. That nephew added that the authorities should
allow the writer of the letter to come in and let him be treated, but it seems the authorities
had no interest in doing that. Well, this statement was released, so it seems
there is some interest: “The US Marshals Service has not completely given up. It has publicly stated it will ‘continue
to pursue the escapees until they are either arrested, positively determined to be deceased
or reach the age of 99.” And I’ve got an idea for something that
might help the Marshalls track them down – A great looking website. With Wix, you can be sure that your site is
going to look great and be memorable whether you’re trying to find prison escapees or
just put together a great personal site. It doesn’t matter if you’re a design guru
or if this is your first website, Wix has the tools you need to get a great looking
website up and running in just minutes. Their selection of hundreds of fully customizable
templates lets you drag and drop your way straight to fantastic, or you can dive right
in with their robust design tools and build a fantastic looking site from the ground up. Plus with Wix you can be sure that your site
is going to be available, and look great on any device! Try out wix today by visiting the link in
the description or going to This is where the story ends. All we want to ask you is do you think these
men survived and do you think that letter is real? From what we can see on forums and social
media, it seems about 50 percent of people think they died and 50 percent think they
survived. We even found people claiming to know they
are alive. Tell us in the comments what you think. Also, be sure to check out our other video
What Was It Like to be Jailed at Alcatraz?. Thanks for watching, and as always, don’t
forget to like, share and subscribe. See you next time.

Posts Tagged with…

Reader Comments

  1. caspian farman-farmaian

    i hate the info graphics show.

    it has terrible animation

    and terrible information

    and is a rip off of simple history

  2. Gabriel Perry

    My grandpa told me during the escape , he saw the men on the raft floating to safety. He kept it secret because he didnt want to spread it and get them caught? I dont know. I didnt understand at the time but i remember it and i do now.

  3. Oculus Angelicus

    After all the knowledge we know about the prison and how the prisoners were treated, they should be given pardons for not only having to deal with the system at the time, but for also making the escape from the most infamous of prisons. Having said that, they still owe a debt for their crimes, a debt that they did not serve, so really I wouldn’t give them a pardon based on the fact that they have been and still are felons living on the lamb.

  4. maria burford

    I found this out last year . One of the angling brothers sent a letter in 2015. They still sent Christmas cards from Brazil after they escaped

  5. ______••

    They probably died in my opinion because whenever you want to buy something or get a job you have to use and ID and people would probably not risk letting them go

  6. The Beast 627

    Every year or so there is a thing called escape alcatraz, anyone can sign up and u take a boat to alzatraz and u swim fro alcatraz to land, nearly everyone that signs up actually finishes, so its definetly possible to swim from alcatraz

  7. Rj Millz

    There are pictures of the escapees living on a farm, I forget what country 🚜 many years later. The brothers sent the pictures to there living cousins in the US 🇺🇸 I believe. The cousin showed authorities the pictures to taunt them further. It was on television 📺.

  8. 10k subs with no videos Challenge

    Honestly, after reading so many books and watching so many videos about navy SEALs, I think it would be fairly simple for one of them to escape

  9. KillerRoyale -_-

    133 iq is impressive ,i just took one and im dumb asf i got a 100,but i hope it dosent mean anything bisides my lack of spatial orientation

  10. I am a meme

    They should have known people would escape. They thought the Titanic wouldn’t sink, BUT IT DID. And they thought no one could escape Alcatraz BUT PEOPLE DID!

  11. Brandon Swales

    Wait, if west couldent open his grill because of the cement and he was in the same room as another escapee, how did the other escapee get out?

  12. keith green

    I always thought they made it. I remember reading that the bodies almost 70% of people that die in the SF Bay are found so you’d think that if they drowned at least one body would’ve been recovered.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *