These Two True Events Inspired True Detective: Night Country

HBO's True Detective: Night Country tells the mysterious story of eight Arctic researchers who disappear without a trace as months of darkness begin in Ennis, Alaska. Although the cases that detectives Liz Danvers (Jodie Foster) and Evangeline Navarro (Carrie Reiss) work to solve are not entirely based on a true story, two real-life events inspired This is a chilling storyline.

Showrunner Issa López, who wrote and directed all six episodes, explained to Vanity Fair in November that she drew on two mysteries that have haunted her since childhood: 1872 The Marie Celeste case in 1952 and the Dyatlov Pass Incident in 1952.

Here's what happened in both incidents.

an abandoned ship

In November 1872, the 282-ton American ketch "Mary Celeste" set sail from New York to Italy. Passengers included the captain, his wife, their 2-year-old daughter and eight crew members.

Less than a month later, the crew of a passing British ship found the Mary Celeste adrift near Portugal with no one on board. One lifeboat was missing and there were several feet of water in the hold. But the ship, which had been carrying six months of food and water, was not damaged.

Michelle K. Short/HBO

According to Smithsonian Magazine, the disappearance of all those on board remains unsolved, although theories about what happened range from mutiny to pirates, sea monsters to deadly waterspouts.

Creepy Hiking Mystery

The second case that inspired Lopez involved nine Russian hikers who mysteriously abandoned their Dyatlov Pass campsite in 1959 and froze to death in the wilderness near the Ural Mountains. When the bodies were found, some were barefoot and nearly naked, the New York Times reported. Second-rate . But no one can explain what or who killed them.

The case remains unsolved and conspiracy theories run the gamut from the paranormal to a Russian state conspiracy. However, recent research suggests avalanches may be to blame. However, Lopez disagrees with the avalanche theory.

Lilia Jones/HBO

"I don't think avalanches explain a lot of the details," she added in the Vanity Fair interview. "Even then, I prefer odd, incomplete answers. I think there's a fascination with puzzles that still have a few pieces missing, and it fascinates us, makes us angry, and keeps us thinking about them. ”

This is not another unsolved case

Likewise, Lopez said that "not all questions will be clarified by the end" in "Land of Darkness ," but she promised viewers will be given all the clues they need to answer them. She explained that if you paid close attention, "the character who committed it throughout the series was right in front of you."

Michelle K. Short/HBO

In addition to referencing various works by John Carpenter and Stanley Kubrick, Lopez also leaned toward the "supernatural flavor" of True Detective's first season.

"There's a path you can take here, 'every event has a natural explanation', or there's more at stake than we can see," she told AV Club. “I like that limited space.”