New York - Newcomb

About Newcomb, New York

When I first read this missing persons case in David Paulides book, Missing 911, I immediately had a mental image of the area where 8 year old Douglas Legg disappeared in 1971. I never thought the large family lodge in the middle of the Adirondack Mountains would still exist today almost exactly as it was that tragic day over forty years ago.

Douglas was on vacation with his extended family on their 13,000 acre private estate near Newcomb new york. Douglass' relative was a wealthy banker who owned a large, three story log cabin lodge on the edge of Newcomb lake. On July 10th, Douglas walked down the pathway leading away from the lodge to meet his uncle for a hike. Concerned about poison oak, his uncle sent him back to the lodge to change into long pants. On his way back, just a few feet from a small bridge, Douglas spoke with another group of kids enjoying the water at a small beach on the lake's edge.

That was the last time anyone ever saw Douglas.

The search for Douglas was huge and no cost was spared to find him. In addition to hundreds of local volunteers, specialized search and rescue, and multiple dog teams were flown in from all over the country. At one point, even the military joined the search.

Many of the search dogs picked up Douglass' scent and tracked it straight through the woods for 15 miles to a nearby mountain called the High Peaks. The trail then continued for another 15 miles through dense forest to the city of Lake Placid where it ended after having gone around the city as if to avoid it. The searchers commented in news articles that the scent went through the roughest terrain they could imagine and many of them made very little progress each day due to the undergrowth where the scent was located.

After a lengthy search, not a trace of Douglas was ever found. Shortly after the search ended, the family sold the lodge and the land to the state of New York. It has since been turned into a state park that anyone can visit if your willing to walk or bike the five miles to get there.

Pano #1 was taken on the bridge where Douglas was last seen. From here it's about 400 yards to the lodge and 6 miles in the other direction to the park entrance near Newcombe. Just off the end of the bridge is a short path to the lake where the other children spoke to Douglas before he went back to the lodge.

Pano # 2 was taken midway between the bridge and the lodge. This is the area Douglas would have walked and disappeared. In another interesting note, searchers also commented on the large number of "bear-like" tracks that were spotted near the lodge in this area. In one case, the reporter even commented on the caution and fear some experienced searchers had when coming across these unusual tracks. If you read Missing 911, you'll see that many of the cases involve searchers finding similarly large tracks they assume are from a bear.

Pano # 3 was taken at the entrance of the lodge at the end of the trail.

Pano # 4 was taken just inside the lodge in the main living area. Directly outside is a path that leads down to the lake. While shooting this, it occurred to me that this was probably the main area where the search was organized and carried out.

Pano # 5 was taken farther back in the lodge in the kitchen. Notice the large cast iron cooking stove, warted heater, and sink.

Pano # 6 was taken in a bathroom area that connected to a series of bedrooms. It was very near the back entrance to the lodge.

Pano # 7 was taken on the edge of the lake near the end of a pathway from the lodge. In the distance, over the lake, you can see the top of the High Peaks mountain area. This area is over 15 miles away and the area where Douglass' scent was tracked. Lake Placid is another 15 miles away beyond that.

Is it reasonable to assume that Douglas Legg just got lost on the trail back to the lodge and in a confused state made his way through 15 miles of dense forest directly to the top of a 5000 foot mountain and then on again for another 15 miles of to Lake Placid where he then walked around the city?

It may also be easy to assume Douglas was the victim of a bear attack. However, when a bear attacks, there are signs of a struggle and a lot of noise. Bears do not grab people and walk 30 miles through the woods.

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