The saga of Ose Mountain appears to be over.
In an effort to take back the homestead, Ose and his new, younger wife – Elie-Mae Blair (aka Ellie White and Eleanor Ribera) – squatted in the cabin on the slopes of what Duane calls Ose Mountain in one of the remotest corners of the state in October.
That adventure ended with a U.S. Army helicopter rescuing the couple from the wilderness about 100 miles south of the Central Alaska city of Fairbanks and flying them to the hospital there.
Ose’s daughter, Minnesotan Carol Hansen, and other relatives have tried to separate the old man from Blair-White-Ribera who they fear hooked up with him solely in hopes of getting what money he has left after his former wife, Rena, died.
For a time, Ose’s new wife joined him in the Facebook tirades against family members.
In a post on a page Ellie-Mae maintained as Ribera, she wrote this:
“Keep the prayers coming my brothers. These women Carol, Amber and Susie are HUGE demons that wreak havoc and destroy my whole life… evil and evil women who steal my books and pictures and then say bad things to the people who write as it is me….. and threatening to kill me, to drive home and destroy me, and threatening to arrest me for NOT talking to them to answer 50000 phone calls and 300 text messages per day and tell others that I write nasty mail 3000 letters before the day… i dont want anything… just be haters. evil demon haters taking from the scripture I want to do.. from writing sermons and words of encouragement to others.. to try to save as many as we can. ….. right??”
The post would appear to have been intended for Ose’s page where Fairbanks friends of the old man said it appeared Ribera had been regularly posting as Ose.
The Carol mentioned in the post is Hansen. Amber Rae Ose is married to a son of Duane’s brother and has helped Duane out in the past. She in 2014 set up the Facebook page “Ose Mountain Alaska” to promote several books Duane has written about life in the Alaska wilderness.
Duane and Blair/White/Ribera’s Facebook attacks on the Ose family, the victors in the English show “Win the Wilderness: Alaska,” and others continued into November and then their Facebook pages were closed or went private.
The couple largely faded from sight until Wednesday when the Fairbanks Police Department turned to its Facebook page to ask “for the public’s assistance in helping locate Duane Arthur Ose. Duane is 78 years of age with a left eye patch. Duane was last heard from by a family a few weeks ago however was seen at the Super 8 Motel in Fairbanks on or about 11/29/20.”
Today the post was updated to report that “it has been determined that Mr. Ose flew out of Fairbanks on 12/7/20 on a flight to the Midwest. He is not believed to be missing at this time.”
Hansen said today that she suspects he is in Minnesota, his old home state and where he and his former wife, Rena, were living before her death. Rena pioneered Ose Mountain along with Duane and came to be beloved by the Ose family.
She and Duane were living in Redwood Falls, Minn., near Ose relatives before her death.
Alaska love affair
Not long after she died, Duane met Blair/White/Ribera online and agreed to hook up with her in Fairbanks where they were reported to have married, though that has not been officially confirmed.
Neither Duane nor his new wife have responded to requests for interviews over the past couple of months. Back in September, Hansen said, her father “packed up his apartment…(and) put all his stuff in his car that is parked at a friend’s house.”
She is expecting he will eventually show up to claim those possessions. Today she messaged that she hadn’t “heard from anyone that knows him or would drive them. It may be a few days before we find out what their specific plans are and if she is even with him.”
The last time the family saw Duane was in a video Blair/White/Ribera sent them about three weeks ago. Fairbanks’ Peggy Billingsley, an old friend of Duane and Rena, said the video appears to have been shot in The Banks Alehouse in Fairbanks.
With the pandemic raging in the northern city – as it is in much of America – it is not a good time for an old man with co-morbidities of which Duane has several to be dining out.
Billingsley said she watched the video and “was dismayed. That is not the Duane I knew.”
Other old friends of Duane who saw him on the streets of Fairbanks said the once tough as nails Alaska Bushrat is now so frail he appears to be teetering on the edge of death.
Hansen fears she will never see her father alive again. The family turned to Alaska Adult Protective Services for help when Duane was still in the state, but officials decided he was still capable of caring for himself and refused to intervene.