Goodbye Duane

The saga of Ose Mountain appears to be over.

All indications are that the 78-year-old Duane Ose has left the state and given up on his attempt to reclaim the remote Alaska home he sold as part of a reality TV deal with a British film company.

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.

At the time, Ose was believed to have fallen and broken his back, but his injuries turned out to be a bladder infection and dehydration.

Treated and discharged at the start of November, he turned to Facebook to rail against those who had tried to help him and against family members who had tried to come to his aid. 

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.






31 replies »

  1. Is anyone living in the house now? If not, how long before it just falls to pieces due to lack of maintenance?

  2. I felt the younger couple should have won. duane should have decided if he was finished living there, selling or giving his home away, it has to be done whole heartedly and with love. You can never GIVE something with conditions or your expectations attached. I feel in part the couple that won, already had a sucessful farm and were looking to this as also a realestate investment into their retirement and estate. the young ones would have gotten a good start of a future and attracted new ideas and prosperity to the mountain.

    • You’re wrong about the winners. They were planning to use ose mountain as a base for rehabilitation of veterans. So everyone lost out here. They won the property fair and square. Emily has MS and all the stress and lies that Duane has bandied about can not of helped her condition

  3. I’m not understanding why anyone doesn’t comprehend CONTRACTS??? Duane and Rena signed a F’king contract. British couples compteted, fair and square for prize of owning the home. The end. TF is the matter with you people talking about give it back? Legal owners won and excluding the Pandemic which prevented them from traveling back to THEIR legal property won, it sounds like Duane and that HAG of a Grifter wife are responsible for roadblocks for the British couple moving back….

    • Do not like the name calling, however I agree with the contract unless there were conditions in the contract. The pandemic is a convenient excuse. If they were not serious about selling their successful ranch and moving permanent to the Alaska home, then they lied for the conditions of being on the show voiding the contract. However I’m guessing Dwayne’s new wife is a piece of work and is just in it for the land investment knowing Dwayne’s not going to be around for long. Manipulating the old man in the marrying her because the wife in Alaska gets everything.

      • I doubt there was a contractual requirement they move to Duane’s old homestead if they won. They’d have to be fools to sign a contract like that. It’s tough living out there. I’d doubt anyone involved in that unreal “reality TV” show was planning on living their permanently. Dwayne (or his late wife) even had the sense to stop doing so in his senior years. Cutting and hauling wood to stay warm in the Alaska Interior, even if you’re living in a 8X10 cabin, let alone a big house, is a bitch. Anyone who doubts that should give it a try.

  4. What people fail to realize here is the Ose’s didn’t just give the house away. They sold it to the BBC who then made the program and the give away. Then Try to say He wanted it back?? Squatted in it and took up with someone else after his wife died thinking they were both entitled to have it back…. Not sure what is going on with it all now. But sad the legal owners are not living the dream they are entitled to.

    • I don’t about the “living the dream” part. It’s a hard life out there. But the rest of it is, yes, bad behavior on the part of the previous owner.

      • The couple who won were planing to use the mountain and house to help rehabilitate veterans and provide counselling, therapy, and life skills. A lot of people have missed out because of Duane and his new wife.

  5. I just watched the reality show myself and I think they should be some have clause in there that if they don’t keep the place up and maintain the way of life it should be given back to the man and his wife that built that place after being on a mountain and building your own place living there for 30 some years I knew as soon as they left I knew something happened when I was watching it and I think the people that ended up with the cabin they should get the cabin back to the man they did not have their Blood Sweat and Tears and that cabin it just makes me sick the couple that’s in the cabin now let them stay in the guest house give that man his house back I am really passionate about this and pissed off I would have put some type of clause in there just in case something did ended up or I could change my mind does it not work that way with mothers who wants to let other people adopt their child they have so long to change their mind and they can get their baby back so if you can do that with a baby why can’t you do it with the house those people don’t know nothing about living in Alaska how to get food please keep update on this thank you

    • Robin… you didn’t read the article at all. Rena is very unfortunately dead. The family of Duane Ose never ever said the people who won shouldn’t have the cabin. Duane never ACTUALLY wanted ose mountain back, he wanted Rena back. And his new “wife” wants his life insurance and a property she also didn’t put blood sweat or tears into just to say she was worth anything. Which according to google, Duane’s children, & this article, she wasn’t worth a d—n. I think your comment was extremely infuriating because you clearly didn’t research what those poor people have been through and chose to comment kinda off topic on something you clearly didn’t read. I was extremely emotional. Like sobbed for the Ose’s as they were handing the keys and heading out. Finding out about Rena after was equally heartbreaking. But imagine being Emily and Mark who fought hard and worked hard and got pooed on in the end and then they have to read things like this to add insult to injury. Yikes. I wish everyone the best but mainly Mark & Emily.

    • For God’s sake — ever hear of “punctuation”…?
      Like, um, a comma, maybe, or even better, a period?
      That’s one helluva rambling run-on mega paragraph you’ve got there, “Robin”…

    • That poor old man Dwayne lost his wife of 30 years Rena. Some slippery scam artist went after him and twisted his grief. The old couple sold the place to the film company. They then did the show.
      It is very easy to manipulate some one when they are grieving and the new wife would have inherited it when Dwayne dies if he got it back. So hopefully that witch is out of his life and not using him . Depends if he has money left from the sale. So sad.

  6. Some of these comments are unbelievable! Does anyone remember the Casey Kasem saga? The new “bombshell blonde” separated him from his family and loved ones? He too was elderly and sick, while this witch took all his money and prevented the children from seeing him or know where he’s buried? This will make a fantastic movie one day, but in the meantime I implore Rena to come to Duane in his dreams to kick his ass and wake him up, while she also goes to Ellie-mae (scumbag who should be charged with Elder Abuse) dreams and torments her to go back from whence she came! While the Brits come back to OSE Mtn and claim their property!

    • Well said, watching the reality show Mark and Emiley should be in that cabin. That is there’s now.

    • Have recently spoken with Duane. His intention is to continue defending the Ose Mtn Legacy that his over 3 decades in residence on Ose Mtn authored

  7. Sorry— But the 2 prior commentators simply don’t get it. Having come to respect Duane for his noteworthy achievements as an Alaskan Mountain-Man, I know his Story to be of interest to his many friends— family included.

    My prayers are with Duane as his Story continues to unfold

  8. Having come to respect Duane for hiis noteworthy achievements as an Alaskan Mountain-Man, it’s disappointing that the 2 prior commentators are so unable to appreciate the Duane Ose Story

    My prayers are with Duane as his Story continues to unfold

  9. Who could possibly care other than the principals? We only care here because he is an ALASKAN! An old person loses their marbles and then….we have a story repeated a thousand times or more a day throughout the world. I do not understand this ghoulishness.

    • But WE care because we’re NOT Alaskans! Because fundamentals of the Alaskan way of life/survival were admired, learned, experimented and acquired by some willful outsiders, who then got treacherously repelled by those who represented those values! (Duane at least)
      Because Alaska is the country of extremes, and the English couple are not, but they wanted to live by the rules of those who deceived them.
      That’s what makes this story very interesting. To us outsiders anyway.

  10. Hi Craig, so glad you’ve been following up on this incredible story about willpower, resilience and courage, then the beauty of that Alaskan couple’s belief in old country values, and finally how it all went to pieces and crashed before the power of greed.
    Keep up the postings about it !

  11. God Speed Ole Timer! This whole story (not Craigs article, but the story) is just “tabloid trash”. I mean, how much money does Duane have? If it is less then $200,000 it is worth every penny to have Ellie around. Beats giving it to a nursing facility. Any more than that I can see his “caregiving” kids all trying to wriggle their hands in the cookie jar..
    I am still trying to figure out why this whole story is even a story? Good lord, wait until Otto starts to go. Sheesh!!

    • “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.
      At the time, Ose was believed to have fallen and broken his back, but his injuries turned out to be a bladder infection and dehydration.”

      Bryan wrote:
      >>>>If it is less then $200,000 it is worth every penny to have Ellie around.
      >>>>Beats giving it to a nursing facility.


      • Absolutely! I would rather die in the wilderness cabin, than waiting for death in a nursing home!

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