Sunk Without a Sound
The Tragic
Colorado River
Honeymoon of
Glen & Bessie Hyde

by Brad Dimock

304 pages
2 maps, index
Over 160 photographs
Trade paperback

Limited to 2000 copies
Five Quail Books
Back of Beyond Books
Ken Sanders Rare Books

Like The Perfect Storm on a whitewater river, or Into the Wild in the depths of Grand Canyon, this adventure / mystery / biography details the true story of Glen and Bessie Hyde, who vanished on their 1928 honeymoon river trip through Grand Canyon. When they did not appear at journey's end, Glen's father launched an exhaustive search of Grand Canyon. Although the boat was soon found upright and fully loaded, no trace of the honeymooners was ever found. They had vanished from the face of the earth. Or had they?

In the fall of 1971, an elderly widow joined a Grand Canyon rafting tour. Toward the end of the trip she announced she was Bessie Hyde, and that she had killed her husband, hiked out and started life anew. In 1976 a skeleton with a bullet in the skull was found at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Its size, age, and accoutrements all looked suspiciously like Glen Hyde's. In the following twenty years, yet another man and woman came to light, each surrounded by bizarre coincidences and suspected by some to be Glen or Bessie Hyde.

Flagstaff, Arizona, author Brad Dimock spent two years searching for the truth behind the Hyde mystery, digging through archives, traversing the continent, following each clue and lead to its end-even going to the extreme of replicating the Hydes' archaic scow and taking his own bride on a harrowing trip through Grand Canyon. Dimock, who has spent more than thirty-five years as an international whitewater guide, spins a yarn as only someone who has stood around a thousand campfires can.


This mystery takes us down a wild river into a hole in the ground and then flings us at the heart of a lost country. Glen and Bessie Hyde make us tremble as they face those jagged rocks and that last wave. And they fill us with envy for the freedom, guts, and joy of the funky and hardscrabble America they knew in their bones and we only know of as rumor. Brad Dimock deserves a medal for bringing them back alive to confront us all. And it's a helluva read, too.

Charles Bowden
Down by the River; Inferno; Blue Desert;
Blood Orchid; Desierto

Brad Dimock cannot know the Hydes' story without knowing the river. He places us inside their adventure by placing us inside his own, a ride on the wild Colorado in a replica boat that resembles a sort-of-floatable wooden horse trough. His writing is clear, suspenseful, and keenly edged-prepare for delicious outbursts of dry wit-and his compassion for Glen and Bessie makes the story: how a dream, a boat, and a river of terrifying beauty could blind any one of us to our own fatal innocence.

Ellen Meloy
The Last Cheater's Waltz; Raven's Exile,
The Anthropology of Turquoise; Eating Stone

Sunk Without a Sound, despite its tragic subject, is engaging, beautifully and impeccably researched, and delightfully written. Dimock's tour de force is not only an essential addition to Grand Canyon literature but a fine reading history on any terms.

Ann Haymond Zwinger
Wind in the Rocks;
Run, River, Run

Brad Dimock has carefully peeled away the layers of mystery and shone light on those haunted faces of Glen and Bessie Hyde. What he found in the course of two years of methodical research has emerged as a compelling tale of love, romance, adventure, and devotion. And the mystery has only deepened.

Roy Webb
Call of the Colorado; Riverman;
If We Had a Boat

A damned good book.
Hard to put down.

Tony Hillerman
Western Mystery Master

What's fascinating about both history and wilderness is the element of mystery. We'll never know--nor should we--about everything. But we can thank Brad Dimock for lifting the corner of the veil and telling one heck of an exciting story.

Roderick Frazier Nash
Wilderness and the American Mind

An enthralling story--especially for those who know the river.

Colin Fletcher
River, The Man Who Walked Through Time

With a gift for storytelling and the obsession of a sleuth, Brad Dimock captivates us with the kind of mystery only reality and a great river can invent.

Bruce Berger
There Was a River

It's a mesmerizing tale, skillfully told, and almost certain to be recognized as a classic in the field of outdoor adventure writing.

David Lavender
One Man's West; A Fist in the Wilderness

Elegantly written, wonderfully researched, and intricately plotted, Sunk Without a Sound has all the allure of a great mystery novel.

James Aton
The River Knows Everything;
River Flowing from the Sunrise

Book of the Year 2005

Finalist 2002

Brad Dimock was born in Ithaca, New York and received a Bachelor of Arts from Prescott College in 1971. He spent much of the next three and a half decades as a boatman in Grand Canyon and rivers throughout the world.

Fearful of real work, he began writing in the mid-1990s. His work his appeared in many magazines and anthologies, and he has authored, co-authored, edited, or foreworded nearly a dozen books. He is the only three-time winner of the National Outdoor Book Award.

He still works as a river guide in Grand Canyon for Arizona Raft Adventures. He lives, writes, and builds whitewater boats in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Dave Edwards photo