- Amanda Eller, the hiker who was lost for more than two weeks in a Hawaiian forest, said in a Facebook video that she was irresponsible to go into the woods without her mobile phone, water, and preparatory tools.
- She also clarified on earlier comments she made describing her experience as “extremely spiritual.”
- “I understand that my comments earlier on about this being a spiritual journey may have bypassed the details of what really happened,” she said. “I did at the end of this experience of mine find the silver lining in the bigger picture as to what was happening, but this was never intentional and I did not set out that day on a spiritual journey. I set out that day to go through a simple hike through the woods.”
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The woman who was lost in a Hawaiian forest for 17 days posted a Facebook video over the weekend admitting that she acted irresponsibly when she embarked on the hike without her cell phone and water.
“I realise that I was irresponsible, that I should have had my mobile phone with me, that I should have had some water with me, some kind of preparatory tools that you bring with you when you go hiking,” 35-year-old Amanda Eller said in the video, posted on the FindAmanda Facebook page. “I am completely aware of that and my circumstance, this situation, is hopefully making other people very aware of the preparation that they need when they choose to explore Maui in different ways.”
In the seven-minute video, Eller’s legs are wrapped in bandages – from injuries sustained during her ordeal in the Makawao Forest Reserve in Maui – as she rests on a couch. While she said she wanted to “stay out of the limelight,” following the incident, she acknowledged she needed to “make a statement to clear some misunderstandings.”
In the wake of her rescue, Eller faced criticism for describing her journey in the woods as an “extremely spiritual” experience. “I never felt alone, and I never felt fearful. It was an opportunity to overcome fear of everything,” she said at a news conference last week.
In the video posted on Friday, however, Eller clarified on those remarks.
“I understand that my comments earlier on about this being a spiritual journey may have bypassed the details of what really happened,” she said. “I did at the end of this experience of mine find the silver lining in the bigger picture as to what was happening, but this was never intentional and I did not set out that day on a spiritual journey. I set out that day to go through a simple hike through the woods.”
Eller’s disappearance in early May sparked a major rescue effort, and she was ultimately found by three rescue workers – Troy Helmer, Javier Cantellops, and Chris Berquist – deep in the forest. She survived on berries and even spent a night in a wild boar’s den for shelter.
She said she initially set out on a 3-mile run but later opted to hike because of fallen trees that hindered the route. After spending time meditating, she lost track of the path that led to her car.
“After a couple hours I got disoriented and frustrated and picked a direction to go that I thought… it was a different direction than I had tried and I felt that that was the direction of my car,” she said in the video. “So clearly it was the wrong way and I continued to go that way. Had I had my cell phone with me that would not have been the case so that was my irresponsibility and for that I apologise.”
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