The Unsolved Grand Canyon Disappearance Of A Couple On Their Adventurous Honeymoon

Glen and Bessie Hyde went missing on their honeymoon in 1928. They were two of the many people who have disappeared from national parks. What was supposed to be a record-breaking boat trip through the Grand Canyon turned into a mystery that remains unsolved nearly 100 years later.

The adventurous couple's disappearance spawned many theories - some credible, some unbelievable. Several people have claimed to be Glen or Bessie over the decades, though each time investigators could not verify the claims. No one has ever discovered the bodies of the missing couple.

Glen and Bessie were young and in love, and had their whole lives ahead of them. All of it was lost on the Colorado River in 1928.


  • The Last Person To See The Couple Alive Traveled In Their Boat For A Day

    After stopping for supplies in mid-November 1928, Glen and Bessie encountered a man who was most likely the last person to see them alive. Adolph Sutro, grandson of a famous San Francisco mayor, asked if he could ride along with them, and they allowed Sutro to join them for the day.

    A little while later, Sutro disembarked, and nobody ever saw Glen or Bessie again.

  • Rumors Say Friction Existed Between Glen And Bessie

    Many of the campfire stories Grand Canyon guides tell revolve around possible foul play between the newlyweds. While most historians believe the couple succumbed to the rapids, there are also clues that point to disagreements. Grand Canyon local Emery Kolb spoke with Glen and Bessie when they hiked out of the canyon for supplies in mid-November. He claimed that during their talks, Glen insisted he wanted to finish the trip, but Bessie seemed ready to quit.

    Many conspiracy theorists believe Bessie's husband forced her into completing the river trip, and that things turned ugly between the pair. On the other hand, Lisa Michaels, an author who used Glen and Bessie's story as the basis for a book, believes Bessie most likely enjoyed the adventure and the new experiences that came with it.

  • Rescuers Found Their Boat Intact And Fully Stocked

    One of the most confusing aspects of the Hydes' disappearance was that rescuers discovered nothing out of place. After the Hydes failed to arrive in Needles, CA, on time, authorities began a massive search of the Grand Canyon. They couldn't find the couple's bodies, but did discover their boat fully intact.

    Rescuers expected the rapids would have smashed the boat to pieces, but it was drifting aimlessly down the river. All the pair's supplies were still on board, including Bessie's camera and diary.

  • Someone Also Discovered A Skull With A Bullet Hole

    Nearly 100 years after the disappearance, Glen and Bessie's bodies remain missing. As exhaustive as the search for the couple was in the early weeks, rescuers found no clues as to what happened other than their empty boat.

    When local boatman and photographer Emery Kolb passed away in 1976, his grandson discovered a skull with a bullet wound among his personal effects. Many people familiar with the Hyde case speculated it may have belonged to Glen, but researchers eventually ruled it out.

  • They Encountered A Photographer On The Canyon Rim

    After conquering several tricky sections of their route, Glen and Bessie hiked out of the canyon on the Bright Angel Trail to replenish their supplies. On the canyon rim, they encountered photographer Emery Kolb. Kolb later said he had a conversation with the couple about their journey and asked them about life jackets, which they didn't have.

    He also took a now-famous photo of Glen and Bessie. Little did he know, it would become the last known photo of the pair.

  • Glen Made Their Boat Himself
    Photo: Unknown / Wikipedia / Public Domain

    Glen Made Their Boat Himself

    While Bessie had no experience with river rafting, Glen had taken several boat trips with friends and family while growing up in Idaho. After a trip in a wooden scow with an Idaho river guide, Glen decided to build a similar boat for his honeymoon trip. It took him only two days and $50 to construct the wooden vessel.

    It was a far cry from the inflatable rafts used by river runners today. The couple loaded it with supplies - but no life jackets - and named the boat Rain-in-the-Face.