The stars of Alaskan Bush People have been documenting their eccentric “wilderness” lifestyle for 13 seasons now. However, fans have started questioning how honest the family is with depicting their lives. Do the Browns really live in isolation in the middle of Alaska, or is the entire show fake?
The family, who live out in an isolated part of the state, are known to shun modern society in preference for a simple life in “the bush.” But according to several sources, including locals who know the family and fans with savvy investigation skills, some pretty surprising, ahem, exaggerations have been uncovered about the Browns and their story.
Radar Online reported that late patriarch Billy Brown, Ami Brown and their seven kids — Noah, Snowbird, Rain, Joshua, Solomon, Gabriel and Matthew — actually live in a hotel in Hoonah, Alaska while filming. Neighbors Jay Erickson and Becky Hunnicutt claimed they saw the Browns coming and going from Icy Strait Lodge at all hours.
“All of the boys have their own rooms,” Hunnicutt told the outlet. They added that production crew members from the Discovery Channel series often kick back at the lodge as well.
During the “Fight or Flight” episode, fans were given this opening message: “The Discovery Channel was given permission to document the life of a secluded Bush family. During production, an incident occurred and filming was stopped.”
The crucial scene shows the family roused at night by what sounds like two gunshots fired outside. The men rush out, heavily armed, when a third gunshot seemingly goes off. “This land is not worth dying for,” Billy told cameras.
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According to Anchorage Daily News, however, Alaska State Troopers said no one affiliated with Alaskan Bush People seems to have reported any shots fired. Hmm …
From jail time to fraud, there are a lot of reasons why fans would think the family is faking for TV. Keep scrolling to see all of the clues.
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They don’t live in the middle of nowhere.
In fact, the Browns' cabin isn't as remote as they'd like you to believe. During season 1, the famous family had distant neighbors and even a pizza shop, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
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They stay in comfy hotels in between filming.
According to Radar, locals have spotted the Browns at a cozy inn. They said the Browns and the production crew spend most of their time at Icy Strait Lodge.
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Noah’s “date” was actually an actress.
On the show, Noah dated a woman named Karryna Kauffman, but fans found her IMDb page shortly after the episode aired.
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They were sentenced to jail once.
Back in 2016, Billy and his son Bam Bam spent 30 days in jail for lying on their Permanent Fund dividend applications that said they were living in Alaska when actually they were not. And that wasn't their first run-in with the law. In 2014, they were charged with 24 counts of unsworn falsification and theft for, once again, lying about living in Alaska in order to get government checks. The charges were eventually dropped since they both pled guilty.
Since the charge, the family has said it was a misunderstanding, but many fans have come forward to reveal that they've spotted the Browns staying in rentals in Los Angeles and Colorado in between tapings of the show.
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The Browns possibly didn’t build their Browntown cabin.
According to Billy, the family's cabin was built with his "bare hands," but once the cabin burned down, the family lost everything. However, according to commenters on Facebook, the Browns' new cabin was built by locals, not the family. "They are portraying themselves as something that they are not," the source wrote. "They do not live in the bush — they only go there to film scenes. They have been living in Hoonah with the Discovery crew. Locals are building their cabin.”
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The family lives in a lodge in-between tapings.
Probably the most damning is the revelation that the Bush family stays in cushy lodgings when they're not filming. The family is so comfortable there, oldest son Matt is often seen hanging out at the lodging's bar. “Matt is very good with the ladies, charming and funny. A natural flirt,” a source told Radar. “He even has memorized pick up lines!”
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Where the Browns are living now.
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Billy Brown has denied the show is “fake.”
“What can you say to people like that?” Billy once told Radar. “We call them ‘bobs in the basement.’ That’s just what we call the people who sit behind the computers and don’t have a life. I actually feel sorry for those people when they don’t have anything else to do.”