In June 1962, brothers Clarence and John Anglin and Frank Morris attempted to escape from the inescapable water-bound prison, Alcatraz, located on Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay on the coast of California.
Made popular by the movie, Escape From Alcatraz, starring Clint Eastwood, this escape attempt is noteworthy in that the three men were never found and it is still unknown whether or not they actually made it across the bay to the city of San Francisco. Signs point to a successful escape, despite the FBI's determination that the men likely died due to exposure in the bay.
Initially, four men were to be part of the escape, but the fourth man was unable to dig through the wall in his cell to the unused service corridor behind the cell walls, which left him in the lurch when the time came for the men to make their flight for freedom. They had spent months making papier-mache dummy heads with soap, toilet paper, and real human hair, which they placed in their beds on the night of their escape to fool the guards during bed checks. They made their way to the shore of Alcatraz Island where they inflated a raft they'd patched together out of raincoats and tarps and set sail for the San Francisco shoreline.
Following the escape, remnants of their raft and the Anglin brothers' personal effects were found on Angel Island. The FBI stated that no cars were stolen in the Bay area and concluded that the drift of tides and the temperature of the water would indicate that the men succumbed to the elements.
In a National Geographic documentary, it was reported that footprints were found near the raft and a car WAS stolen from the San Francisco area following the escape, despite the FBI's claim that no cars were reported stolen. Also, one would wonder - if the raft pieces and personal effects made it to Angel Island, why would the tides have supposedly taken the men out to sea? It seems the tides would've taken them right where they wanted to go.
In 2003 the TV show MythBusters attempted the escape on a raincoat raft and deemed it to be possible, so why wouldn't three men have made it in the same fashion?
As for the escapees themselves - they go down in history as possibly succeeding in their escape. Alcatraz was called an escape-proof prison, and despite many attempts by numerous inmates, no one had ever gotten off "The Rock" alive...or did they?