The Brown family have thrilled TV viewers through eight series of Discovery’s Alaskan Bush People as they’ve battled to stay alive in the wilderness. During that time, they’ve had some lows, such as mom Ami’s cancer of the lung, and some highs, too. But some disturbing secrets have been revealed about the Browns, and questions have been asked about their lives in the bush.
The show began in 2014, first shot close to the city of Hoonah and on Chicagof Island in Alaska and in later years in Okanogan, Washington. It follows Texan native Billy Brown and his family as they make their lives in the wilderness. And it’s quite a family – along with Billy and Ami come seven children, five of them boys.
Having wandered around the United States for a while, the couple decided to sell up and take a ship to Alaska. As winter neared in their first year there, a friend offered them the chance to stay in a cabin out on an island near Wrangell. Billy told People magazine in 2015, “We ended up stranded on that island for 18 months. The Good Lord just made us slow down. After we realized we weren’t going to die, we fell in love with everything.”
But whether the family really have stayed in the wilderness has come into question. True, there aren’t many people on Chicagof Island, but it’s not really a wilderness, being popular with tourists. And they’re alleged only to stay in the cabin when shooting; rumors abound suggesting that they lodge in a Hoonah hotel the rest of the time. Worse, papers in a recent fraud conviction suggested that they had also returned to Texas for some time.
Billy’s family life has also raised some eyebrows. It’s well known that he is on his second marriage, with two daughters from the first. But Billy claimed not to have seen his daughter Twila before she appeared on the show. Again, rumors say all is not as it appears, with stories circulating that Billy’s new family have long known Twila, with the man himself in contact with her, as evidenced by social media breadcrumbs.