For almost 30 years, Christopher Thomas Knight -- better known as the North Pond Hermit -- lived in the forests of central Maine, emerging only to raid empty summer cabins for food, propane tanks and other supplies. In one of his first public statements, Knight dismisses Henry David Thoreau as a "dilettante" and says he enjoyed the solitude. "I never felt lonely. To put it romantically: I was completely free," he says.

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