5 – Lost Boy Larry – (1973)
The strange ‘Lost Boy Larry’ case divides opinion as to whether it involved a distressed young boy or was simply a cruel hoax. On August 7, 1973, CB operators in New Mexico were shocked to receive a call from a young boy who was pleading for help. He said his name was Larry and was trapped in a red and white pickup with his father who was possibly dead. He claimed they were hunting rabbits but the truck was involved in an accident and the vehicle overturned.
Other CB radio operators said they heard the transmission and a frantic search for the boy began. The big problem with the case is that the young boy never gave his last name and offered varying reports about the condition of his father and the nature of the accident. In one communication, he said his father died from a heart attack in the accident, but in a later call, he said his dad was alive but unconscious.
The operators were frustrated to find that the signal kept fading in and out. The atmospheric conditions resulted in Larry’s pleas being heard in Wyoming, California and several other locations. The authorities began their search in New Mexico, and thousands of volunteers started to search for the missing boy. His signal grew ever weaker, a sign his battery was running out. To make matters worse, practical jokers got involved and made calls where they mimicked his voice.
On August 12, no one had found any sign of the boy or his truck, and his signal disappeared for good. Authorities came to the conclusion that the entire escapade was nothing more than a hoax. During the search, one rescue worker said the boy called himself David during a call. Larry also claimed to have seen the search lights of an airplane as it looked in Albuquerque’s Manzano area. An army sergeant claimed he spoke to Larry for three hours on August 12 but did not get any information on the boy’s condition or location. The search was called off on August 13.
While those who spoke to Larry believe he was real, the evidence suggests it was a hoax. It is unlikely that the battery would have lasted that long and a CB radio signal in the truck would surely not have been strong enough to reach across the U.S. and into Canada. Also, if the truck was upside down, the antenna was almost certainly broken. On the other hand, if it was real, then a young boy and his father died all alone in the desert.