In 1944, a murder of German U-boat sailors (well, what would you call them? A flock?) tunneled out of the Papago Park prisoner-of-war camp in Arizona. Their plan wasn't exactly movie material, but it was daring enough to make even Steve McQueen crap in disbelief. The U.S. government launched the largest manhunt in Arizona history to round up the POWs, but they were fairly sure of their success from the start. The camp was located in the middle of the Arizona desert -- God's great and endless garbage can -- for a reason. With nowhere to run and only Arizona to run to even if they got away, most of the escapees either gave up or were quickly apprehended.
But after an entire month of searching, three prisoners, including one NCO named Johann Kremer, were nowhere to be found.
Artist's rendition of Japanese Internment Camp in Poston, Arizona in 1942
So did they hightail it to Mexico? Get a neck tattoo and a job at 7-Eleven to try to blend in with the rest of the Arizonans? Nope: Turns out they got away by never leaving in the first place. Kremer and his pals enacted a daring escape and immediately settled in a cave near the prison. When they needed food, Kremer would just sneak out to one of the labor details that had been sent out of the camp, wait until the guards were distracted, and then switch places with one of the prisoners. The prisoner would spend the night in the cave while Kremer would march back into the camp unnoticed by the guards, who were presumably either face-blind or just really racist against white people (we do all kind of look the same, with our hair, and teeth).
Phoenix New Times
And the eerie blue hue that blankets us every waking hour.
Once back inside the camp, Kremer ate dinner with the other prisoners, loaded up on all the food he could lay hands on, and got a good night's worth of non-cave sleepin'. The next day he'd march right back out with the labor party, switch places with another prisoner, and head back to his cave with the pilfered supplies.
So to recap: Johann Kremer successfully broke out of prison ... by repeatedly breaking into prison.
Alex has no internet presence but would like you to check out this awesome album of electronic music by JugularNotch, which you can totally download right now!
Related Reading: Speaking of badass fugitives, have you heard about the naked time traveler who (sorta) terrorized Indianapolis? Or the serial killer who escaped DURING HIS TRIAL by asking to use the library? We've got plenty more daring tales of unbelievable escapes where those came from.