"Bob could’ve done anything with my life if he wanted to…
"ALASKA HAS ALWAYS BEEN A FAMOUS last redoubt for seekers, dreamers, hustlers, and ne’er-do-wells, and the man who appeared in McCarthy as Pilgrim certainly deserved his place among them. Born Robert Allan Hale to an affluent and well-connected Fort Worth, Texas, family in 1941, he arrived in Alaska trailing a lifelong reputation as a mystical and adaptable Svengali who had followed an improbable tour through American political and celebrity culture. His bizarre rap sheet of alleged misdeeds included the murder of his first wife, the daughter of former Texas governor John Connally; a conspiracy to blackmail President John F. Kennedy; and the rumored abduction of a woman he held captive on a New Mexico ranch belonging to the actor Jack Nicholson.
It was places like McCarthyplaces where the rules of the civilized world gave way to the freedoms of wildernessthat Hale had always sought. He’d frequented San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district in the late sixties and had run in the same Los Angeles circles as Charles Manson and his Family; he’d taught transcendental meditation on an Oregon commune and had embarked on a vision quest in South America. He thrived wherever people were seeking answers and willing to listen to the ones he offered. Friends, neighbors, and family remember Hale as a master manipulator, possessed of a mesmerizing charisma."
Robert Allen Hale: Papa Pilgrim, The Darkest Place from Outside Magazine (7 pages)>>
A shorter article on Papa Pilgrim:
"He came to Alaska at the head of a sprawling, picturesque clan – the last true wilderness family, as he put it when he battled the local park rangers. Robert Hale presented himself as a pious, Scripture-thumbing patriarch who just wanted to raise his 15 children far from the sin and temptations of the modern world. He settled in the mountains near McCarthy and called himself Papa Pilgrim."
Anchorage Daily News article>>