Christopher Knight (picture shown above) told police he had lived undetected in the woods for 27 years, spoken to only one person in that time, and not made a single purchase since the mid-1980s.

But Knight knew how to steal, authorities said, and how to stay hidden even though his tent lay within 600 yards of the nearest cabin.

Such is the singular world of the man dubbed the North Pond Hermit by the long-spooked residents here, where Knight is believed to have committed more than 1,000 burglaries for food, fuel, tools, and clothing since he left a computer-technician job and retreated to the forest. Now, the 47-year-old is residing in the Kennebec County Correctional Facility in Augusta, facing burglary and theft charges, as banjo players rhapsodize about him and bewildered Mainers shake their heads at the thought of 27 winters in the open.

Until Knight’s arrest in April, police had been stymied time and again in their quest to find the elusive hermit. Searches had been conducted in the woods, and troopers slept overnight in the camps. Wildlife cameras in this part of the Belgrade Lakes captured only rare, fleeting images of a man who seemed too well-dressed to be a survivalist. “The problem was this guy was a myth and legend for years. No one knew if he was actually real,” said State Trooper Diane Vance, who arrested Knight at a camp for disabled children and adults. “In conclusion, yes, there is a hermit.”


Through trial and error, Knight learned how to live through the harsh Maine winters in a campsite obscured by thick trees and ringed by large boulders. He stockpiled enough food in the fall to last until March, deliberately put on extra weight for the winter, and traveled only at night.



  • Doc

    Why didn’t the local residents make a “special” meal for him to steal.

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