The Steven Kubacki Encounter And The Reappearance Mysteries

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
October 3, 2018
Last Updated
September 30, 2021
Estimated Reading Time
8 min read
Posted in
Supernatural, Disappearances

If there is anything stranger than people disappearing seemingly literally into thin air, it may be the several cases where the said person reappears, sometimes miles away and almost always with bizarre, albeit hazy, accounts of their mysterious journey. What’s more, on many occasions these mind-bending reappearances occur where search teams have already searched. Not just once, but multiple times. That they simply could have been missed is almost an impossibility.

A picture of a tree with hands grasping it from each side

Just what happened to Steven Kubacki?

We will look at perhaps one of the most fascinating of these cases, the strange disappearance and reappearance of Steven Kubacki in Michigan in the late-1970s in a moment. And as we will examine later, these occurrences are dotted about throughout history. And that is just the history we know about. How many similar accounts stretching further back in time went unrecorded is anybody’s guess. As is just what is behind these bizarre encounters that have both the minds of the mainstream and the fringe arenas still searching for answers.

The Strange Disappearance Of Steven Kubacki

It isn’t the most recent case but the encounter of Steven Kubacki is certainly one of the most intriguing. [1]

Perhaps even more so when you realize that the location of Kubacki’s strange incident lies within what has been known for well over a century as “The Michigan Triangle” – a stretch of land and water that has a number of missing people, planes, and even boats to its name.

One morning in February 1978, while a student in the Michigan area and close to Lake Michigan, he declared he was going skiing near the frozen lake. A day later, when he had yet to return, his family would file an official missing person report. A huge search effort was put in place to track down the missing student. Eventually, Kubacki’s skis and poles came to light on the beach of Lake Michigan. Furthermore, footprints assumed to be his, headed out towards the lake. Then, right on the water’s edge, they stopped.

There was no indication as to where he had gone. No breaks in the ice were located anywhere. It appeared he had literally vanished right on the sport. Even stranger still, later in the day of this discovery, after already having performed an extensive search of the area, Kubacki’s backpack suddenly appeared, near to the skis. And most certainly in an area that had already been subject to a search.

That, though, was the last anyone heard or saw of Steven Kubacki. That was until fifteen months later when the entire plot around his bizarre disappearance took an equally bizarre twist.

A lonely path in the forest with a figure far in the distance

The Kubacki case still perplexes researchers today

A Survivor Of The Michigan Triangle?

On the 5th May 1979, the doorbell on the Kubacki family home rang. Steven’s father opened the door, shocked, overjoyed, and overwhelmed to see his son standing before him. He welcomed his long, lost son into the house. According to what little he could remember, Kubacki had awoken in a field in Pittsfield – around forty miles away. Furthermore, he was dressed in clothes that were unfamiliar to him. He also had on his person, a strange satchel, inside of which were several strange maps that he didn’t recognize. Perhaps even stranger, he was over 700 miles away from the place his skis and backpack were discovered near Lake Michigan.

Following the incident, despite relatively intense media pressure, Kubacki refused to speak of the encounter. He had no memory of it. And furthermore, he “didn’t have any psychological problems” as a result of his experience. Whether this is true, or whether Kubacki simply doesn’t want to speak of his encounter, only he will truly know.

The entire area has a history of strange activity. In 1921, for example, the Rosa Belle ship was discovered overturned in Lake Michigan. All eleven of the crew had seemingly vanished. There was damage to the ship, but no indication as to what had happened.

Even stranger, on 28th April 1937, Captain George Doner, on board a schooner on Lake Michigan, would seemingly vanish from his cabin with the doors and windows locked from the inside. When concerned crew broke the door to enter, he was nowhere and there were no signs of an exit out of the room.

In 1950, Northwest Airlines Flight 2501 also vanished over Lake Michigan. It was presumed crashed, although no wreckage or bodies ever surfaced.

Electromagnetic Portals?

It isn’t just the apparent Michigan Triangle where these strange disappearances, and indeed, reappearances are taking place, [2] however. On 14th October 1990, for example, in Alder Creek in St. Maries, Idaho, eleven-year-old Casey Holiday would vanish while walking his dog.

Search teams, with trained search dogs, would go over the entire area but to no avail. However, again despite the area already having been searched, he was eventually found, alive and well, if dazed, in the bed of a nearby creek. Bizarrely, his socks and shoes were missing. He had no memory of what had happened, where his shoes were, or where he had been.

Incidentally, in the immediate moments prior to his disappearance, a bizarre storm developed which is quite often the conditions in other strange vanishing cases. This has led some to wonder if electromagnetic forces are perhaps creating portals or rips into other dimensions.

Even more recently, on 22nd September 2012, 53-year-old Linda Arteaga and her brother, Eddie Huff, were hiking in the Arkansas Ozarks woodland. Then, things turned strange. Eddie returned to their destination claiming he had left his sister at a relative’s house. However, upon the realization she wasn’t there, a search for her began. She was eventually located deep in the forest, seemingly extremely disturbed from her encounter.

According to Linda, her brother had become injured somehow and she had gone for help (although she was uncertain about the actual circumstances of the separation). She would claim that she soon found “other hikers” but that she couldn’t speak with them. Try as she might they simply acted as though they couldn’t hear or see her. She could also see “very weird people” like “shadowy figures” hiding in the bushes.

A misty scene with a search party preparing to go to work

Despite thorough searches many people are not discovered for some time, if ever.

The Perplexing Case Of Amber Rose Smith

Back in Michigan, in Newaygo County, in the summer of 2013, a two-year-old girl, Amber Rose Smith, would vanish while standing in front of her home in broad daylight. Her father watched as she played with the family’s two pet dogs. He would quickly go inside the house, only for several moments, but when he came back only the two dogs remained. There was not a sign of Amber Rose, nor where she might have gone.

An immediate search got underway, with hundreds from the community volunteering to help to try and find the missing girl. There was, however, no sign of her anywhere. Then, the following day, once more, in a location that had previously been searched, she was discovered in the middle of a road two miles away from her home. Her age would mean she couldn’t convey the circumstances around her disappearance. She was, though, in a state of “shock and disorientation”.

Needless to say, everyone involved or even aware of the case questioned just how such a young child had gotten so far, so fast, avoiding a hundred-plus manned search team, not to mention the temperature would have dropped in the dense woodland at night, even in summer. Whether Amber is able to remember in the future, or even willing to divulge the events of that strange twenty-four-hour period remains in question.

The “Real-Life Mr. Wolf” Account

These strange encounters are not just contemporary occurrences. There are numerous such events from the 1800s, for example. Such as the tale of a three-year-old girl from Northern Michigan in 1868. While sitting with her father at a lumber camp run by him when she would vanish without a trace. He would recall how she was there one moment and then gone the next. The panic-stricken father obtained the help of two local hunters and proceeded into the woods to search for the young girl.

They would call out her name for hours until the dark of night took over so that the search had to stop. They returned from the woods, the young girl still missing. The following day, the girl’s father and the two hunters set out into the woods once again. At first, there was no sign at all of the girl’s location. Then, the sound of a young girl’s voice began to reach them from nearby, although sounding “muffled or muted”.

The two hunters went in search of the voice, eventually coming up on a river. It was as they were approaching the river bank that they heard a large splash and witnessed a “dark shape” apparently swimming away from them to the other side. Moments later they noticed the missing girl standing on a log nearby. They would note how she was missing several items of clothing.

At first, the girl was unable to speak of the incident. However, she would soon speak of the large figure – “Mr. Wolf” she claimed – who had held her prisoner near the water. He had, apparently “eaten her hat and taken her shoes”. Furthermore, she was to remain there forever. Although it sounds like a fairy-tale, it is an intriguing account.

A mystical picture of girl with a lonely shed in the woods

Strange disappearances have happened for centuries

Vanished From “Right Under Their Parents Noses!”

In August 1897, six-year-old Lillian Carney was picking blueberries with her mother in Maine when she simply vanished. Over two-hundred people would join in the search for her. Her discovery came just short of forty-eight hours later, “dazed” and in a “trance-like state”. She would state to her parents that she had been in the forest where “the sun had shone the entire time”. Nobody is sure what she meant. It is certainly strange given the apparent overcast, cloudy conditions at the time of the disappearance, not to mention a good portion of that time was spent in the darkness of night.

Might she have been in some kind of artificial structure? Might the account be one of alien abduction? Was “the sun” some kind of constant, artificial light of the ship? Or might the impending weather again suggest some kind of transportation into another realm or dimension? Perhaps the constant light was the result of some kind of rip in space-time? As outlandish as those notions are, no more than how a young child could simply disappear from “right under the nose” of her parents for two days and then suddenly reappear again.

The following year, on 25th August 1898 another incident bore remarkable similarities to that of Lillian Carney. This time, three-year-old Alice Rachel Peck would attempt to follow her mother as she picked berries. However, while doing so she became lost. Her mother raised the alarm and a search party went out into the surrounding land and woods. She was missing for three days before her discovery five miles away. The young girl was in a trance-like state, but not for long. She soon remembered walking barefoot along a strange road. And that “the black man” guided her back home.


Although the exact location is unclear, another intriguing account from 1898 is that of the young boy known as “Wafford”. He would claim to be practicing archery near a river when he suddenly felt the urge to “catch fish” from the water. He would go the bank of the water and set up stone traps. As he was doing so “a stranger” appeared out of the woods. He said to Wafford that he looked tired and he should accompany him back to his home for dinner. Wafford would claim the stranger looked pleasant enough and so agreed.

Once there, he ate with what he presumed was the stranger’s family. When he saw one of his own friends there he became completely at ease. After dinner, he played with the other children and eventually fell asleep at the house. The following morning, refreshed but concerned that his family would be worried about him, he thanked the family and said he must return home. In response, the kind stranger led him outside to a junction in a path. There was an orchard one side and a large cornfield on the other. The stranger explained which way to go to reach his destination and then sent him on his way.

Wafford did as told, but then he turned around to wave goodbye once again. When he did so, the stranger was no longer there. And bizarrely, so was the orchard and the cornfield. He spun around completely and found himself in the middle of the forest, trees all around him. Shortly after, his family and their search party found the confused boy. Incidentally, his friend he had seen would state he had “never been to such a house”.

The video looks at the Kubacki-case. Just one of many incidents that defy explanation.


1 The Mysterious Disappearance of Steven Kubacki, and his Odd Reappearance 15 Months Later, Cool Interesting Stuff
2 Bizarre Tales of the Almost Vanished, Brent Swancer, Mysterious Universe, September 6th, 2016

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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1 Comment

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  • lecharles says:

    i believe he went thru time vortex and do not remember what happened for real

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