Three police officers continued to search Thursday for an American professor who disappeared on a small volcanic island in Japan.
Japanese authorities had scaled back the search for Craig Arnold, an award-winning poet who has been missing for 11 days. At one point, teams of rescuers scoured the island on foot, while others searched from helicopters. But the search had dwindled by Thursday. On April 27, the 41-year-old assistant professor from the University of Wyoming did not return from a hike to a volcano on Kuchinoerabujima, an island in southern Japan, the school said. “The only clues that [searchers] have found were indications that he had begun the ascent — footprints on the trail,” said Peter Parolin, head of the university’s English department, citing information from Arnold’s family. Kazuko Watanabe, the owner of the inn where Arnold was staying, said he had a cup of tea before leaving on his hike but did not seem to take food or water with him. Search efforts normally end after three days, but the hunt for Arnold continued after a friend claimed that the professor’s Facebook account was accessed for about a minute last Thursday, a police spokesman said. Arnold, a creative writing professor, was doing research for a poetry and essay book he is writing about volcanoes, Parolin said. Arnold wrote two award-winning volumes of poetry — “Shells,” chosen for the Yale Series of Younger Poets in 1999, and 2008’s “Made Flesh” — according to the school. His work has been anthologized in several volumes of the “Best American Poetry Series,” and his awards and honors include a Fulbright fellowship and the Joseph Brodsky Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, according to the University of Wyoming.