Here’s a very obscure and interesting fact about prison that a lot of people don’t seem to know: it’s hard to escape. I know this must seem mysterious and inscrutable, but it’s true. They built these things to keep people in. Guards, walls, snipers, barbed wire, fences, moats, guard dogs, cameras, floodlights, even the ocean — all designed to keep prisoners inside until the system says otherwise.
Still, there are more escape attempts a year than you might think. Predictably, most of these attempts were made through Dikembe Mutombo in Geico ads. Inevitably, a guard blocks you, wags his finger and plays a charming prank, “Not at my house.” This causes many jailbreak attempts to fail, and there are very bad results at best.
Perhaps the most famous prison escape attempt in U.S. history, the 1962 Alcatraz escape by Clarence Anglin, John Anglin, and Frank Morris is still the subject of debate. The inmates hatched an ingenious plan which first began with six months of carving holes in their cell walls using discarded saw blades and homemade drills, hidden with cardboard covers and Morris’s accordion music. Concealing their absence with papier-mâché heads tucked into their blankets, the trio escaped through their tunnels, out of the building, and into the San Francisco Bay on a homemade rubber raft.
After an exhaustive search, the FBI was couldn’t confirm whether the men successfully navigated the frigid waters and made it to safety. They believe that most likely the men drowned. Since then, an unsteady trickle of material and circumstantial evidence has come forth, both supporting and refuting the men’s survival. A number of sightings of the men have cropped up, mostly in the American south and in Brazil, but nothing has ever confirmed the men’s continued existence.