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Study: Alcatraz Prison Break 50 Years Ago Could Have Succeeded

1 minute read

Three Alcatraz inmates tried to leave the historically inescapable island prison on a raft fashioned of raincoats more than 50 years ago and were never seen again. Many assumed the group perished in the frigid waters of the Pacific Ocean, but a new study shows how they might have survived.

The study, conducted by a group of Dutch researchers, uses an interactive model to show where the 1962 jailbreakers might have landed if they departed at the right time and under the right conditions. In the absolute best-case scenario, the group would have landed just north of the Golden Gate Bridge and escaped into Marin County.

But the group also could have drifted out into the Pacific Ocean or eastward into the San Francisco Bay. In either case, their chances of survival would have practically zero given the cold temperatures on the water.

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Write to Justin Worland at justin.worland@time.com