August 2, 2020, 04.16 PM

Over the years, people from around the world have traveled to the bus, located about 25 miles (40 kilometers) from the town of Healy, to pay homage to McCandless.

Two women have drowned in the Teklanika River on such visits to the bus, one from Switzerland in 2010 and the other from Belarus nine years later.

There have been 15 other search-and-rescue missions since 2009, state officials said, including five Italian tourists who needed rescue last winter. One had severe frostbite.

The draw of the bus became too much for state officials, who arranged for the Alaska Army National Guard to remove the bus with a helicopter last month as part of a training mission.

The former Fairbanks city bus is sometimes called Bus 142 or the Magic Bus. It was later used to house construction workers building a road in the area.

It was abandoned in 1961, and became a shelter for those using the backcountry to recreate or hunt.

The department received dozens of suggestions for use of the bus that came from individuals, museums and institutions nationwide, with varying plans to preserve, exhibit, monetize or memorialize it, Feige said.

The department decided to consider the university’s proposal, which had several advantages.

It’s just one of three official state repositories, and the only one in the Fairbanks area able to accept and curate state-owned historical items.

The museum also has the staff to restore, curate, and display the bus.

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