Tragic Details That Have Come Out About The ‘Alaskan Bush People’

The fight with cancer

Billy had a tough fight on his hands when he developed that infection, but it was nothing like what his wife had to face in 2017. In April that year, Ami learned the devastating news that she had Stage III non-small cell lung cancer. It was a horrific time for the reality TV star, and she had to go through four months of treatment to cure herself.

The chemotherapy really took it out of the woman, and her family naturally feared losing her. However, in January 2018, they were delighted to discover that she’d managed to get rid of the cancer. It was an astounding achievement, given that her chances of survival were apparently just 3%. Unfortunately, it seems not everyone was thrilled for Ami because they didn’t believe she was ill in the first place.

Accused of lying

Social media soon erupted with accusations that Ami’s cancer had never been real. Viewers believed that the disease had been faked so that the show could create tension and emotion for the latest season. Some of the stuff that was said about the Brown matriarch was horrific, and the fact that people thought she was lying hurt her pretty badly. After all, the last thing she wanted after enduring cancer treatment was to be told she was faking it.

Thankfully, her doctor confirmed to People in March 2019 that Ami’s cancer had been genuine, and that she’d been successfully treated for the disease. While the family appreciated the medical professional speaking up, though, they hated that people hadn’t believed them in the first place. Just because the show had some questionable moments, that didn’t mean that everything was fake.

Goodbye mom

The last few years haven’t been the best for Ami. After fighting cancer and having people doubt her illness, she then had to deal with losing her mother. Earlene Branson passed away in November 2018 at a time when she and her daughter weren’t really on speaking terms. Apparently, the pair had been estranged for years, with Ami supposedly never accepting her mom’s attempts to reconcile.

Obviously, despite their strained relationship, losing her mom was still quite a blow for the Brown matriarch. After all, with Earlene now gone, there was no chance of them ever being able to patch things up. That knowledge can be hard for a person to live with, and it can often lead to a lot of regrets. Unfortunately, there was nothing that Ami could do about that now.

Head of the family

‘Alaskan Bush People’ wouldn’t be nearly as enticing to watch if the cast of the show weren’t all family members. Their relationship to one another is what often drives some of the drama, and it’s not uncommon for Billy Brown to be at the head of it. As the father of the family, he has a leading role in the series and is sometimes the cause of all their grief.

Before he was roughing it in the wild, though, he was actually part of an upper-middle-class family. Things took a turn for the worst after he lost his parents in a plane crash, and it wasn’t much later that he was marrying Ami and moving to Alaska. That was when he found work as a commercial fisherman, something that helped once he went off the grid.

His loyal companion

Billy and Ami have been in love for a long time, although it appears that their relationship hasn’t been without its drama. Apparently, the matriarch of the family was only 15 when she tied the knot, while her husband was 26. That’s according to her marriage certificate, anyway, which was unearthed by Radar Online.

No matter what her age was, though, she’s clearly built a good life for herself with Billy and their children. She’s even done well to keep her life relatively private, despite being on one of the Discovery Channel’s most popular shows. Avoiding the media isn’t easy, even if you spend your days living in the wild. Of course, Ami hasn’t managed to steer completely clear of the tabloids, especially in regards to her health.

A vacation scandal

While the Brown family might supposedly spend their days living in the Alaskan wilderness, they do visit other places from time to time. That includes jetting off to Hawaii, with the family pictured in Maui a few years ago. The problem with their trip was that it apparently happened at the same time that Earlene was visiting Alaska. She was supposedly in the area to see her daughter one final time before passing away.

However, the Browns were nowhere to be found because they were busy sunning it up in Maui. While this might seem a little shady on the family’s part, according to Juneau Empire, this was all a publicity stunt by Ami’s family. Her brother and nephew supposedly knew the Browns would be away, so they organized the trip to create some drama.

Allegations from the past

The brother who allegedly organized this failed meeting between Earlene and Ami is the same man who’s had a lot to say about his sister. According to Les Branson, there’s a good reason the mother and daughter became estranged, and it’s all because of Billy. The pair’s relationship began crumbling apart after Ami left home and married her husband when she was only 15.

It was apparently clear to her loved ones that Billy wasn’t right for her, with the man supposedly exerting a lot of control over his wife. Les told Radar Online that Ami wouldn’t talk much because her husband wouldn’t allow it. She allegedly couldn’t speak up without permission, a claim that hasn’t been backed up by anyone else. Who knows if there’s any truth to it or not.

Feuds within the family

It’s not just with extended family that the Browns have had some drama. There’s been plenty of fighting between the stars of the show, with the siblings often falling out with one another. Usually, these disputes have been small things that they’ve managed to get over relatively quickly. However, there have been a few occasions when the tension has seemed like more than just a minor spat.

For instance, Noah and “Rainy” once had a fight so problematic that it made its way onto social media. The older sibling called out his sister for being a “child” and suggested she “spends her days cuddling bunnies and playing with her dolls.” He claimed that, because of her age, she knew nothing of the stresses that everyone else faces, and accused her of simply being lazy.

Lucky to be alive

There have been some crazy moments in the lives of the Brown family ever since they became TV stars. However, one of the most bizarre incidents occurred back in 2017 when Matt was nearly taken out by a refrigerator. The man thought it was a good idea to store gunpowder and a cannon fuse together because he wanted to make bear repellent.

Unfortunately, the stuff caused an explosion, blowing off the refrigerator door and hitting Matt in the process. The injury was pretty horrific, leaving him scrabbling for a towel and some tape to stop the bleeding. According to People, once he got to the hospital, it took nine staples to fix the damage. Of course, stitching his head together wasn’t going to help him recover from the embarrassment of his careless behavior.

Troubles with the law

For most TV stars, problems with addiction start after they become famous. However, in the case of Matt Brown, things have been a little off the rails since before ‘Alaskan Bush People’ began. The oldest of Billy and Ami’s children has faced numerous issues because of his vices. He even ended up on the wrong side of the law back in 2013 after allegedly driving under the influence.

According to Radar Online, he was arrested for his actions and later bailed out by his father for $250. Although Matt has often come off as the fun-loving member of the family, he has some of the darkest demons on the show. That’s never stood in the way of him helping the series to become a huge success, though.

Technologically savvy

Considering that ‘Alaskan Bush People’ is based around a family living in the wild, you’d think that they’d have virtually no communication with the outside world. Modern technology is supposed to be something that’s foreign to them, especially for the kids who have supposedly grown accustomed to this new way of life. However, people like Joshua – or “Bam Bam” as he’s usually known – have proven that’s not the case.

The man has never been much of a stranger to the internet, developing an online presence before the TV series even existed. Like most others his age, he wanted to enjoy having the world at his fingertips. Unfortunately, once ‘Alaskan Bush People’ was commissioned, he couldn’t exactly go around acting like a computer whiz, given the premise of the show.

Living to the extreme

Solomon Freedom Brown is a fitting name for someone who spends time living in the wild. However, despite the appropriate name, Billy and Ami’s son prefers to go by something even more outdoorsy – “Bear.” Considering that the man is one of the more active and “extreme” members of the Brown family, we can see why he felt that nickname was more appropriate.

His desire to live life on the edge apparently came courtesy of an accident during his childhood, which left him incapacitated for months. Once his body was healed up again, he supposedly found that he was more confident than ever. He dared to do things that no-one else would, which naturally set him apart from his siblings. Of course, he’s still tried to be there for his family when it’s mattered.

A modern man

Considering that the Brown family is supposed to be bush people, a lot of them are surprisingly familiar with the technology of today. Gabriel, or “Gabe,” is another of Billy and Ami’s sons who knew his way around the internet before the show came into their lives. We suppose that’s understandable given he was already in his 20’s before he began living in the wild.

Just because he was supposed to give up modern necessities on the program, though, that didn’t mean he never knew about them in the first place. What’s more, “Gabe” has continued to make use of technology ever since ‘Alaskan Bush People’ began airing. He’s sustained an online presence like several of his siblings, presumably because he wants to keep in contact with his fan base.

Mr. romantic

As the youngest son in the Brown family, Noah might have been at a disadvantage. However, it seems that his age has never stood in the way of anything for this man. In fact, before the show even began, his romantic skill was apparently already well established. That was on top of his handyman talents, something that undoubtedly helped him catch the eye of several lucky ladies.

Unfortunately, neither of these things could help Noah recover from an injury he reportedly experienced mere months before filming ‘Alaskan Bush People.’ The incident left him walking with a cane, something that may well have dented the man’s confidence. However, that didn’t stop him from falling in love with Rhain Alisha, who he married in 2018 and had a child with in 2019.

Devoted to animals

While Noah might be the youngest of Billy and Ami’s sons, he’s not actually the youngest sibling in the family. He has two sisters who were born after him, including Snowbird, better known as “Birdie.” Considering that the Browns had only had boys up to that point – and five of them, no less – the birth of a girl probably came as a surprise to them.

Still, that didn’t stop the family from embracing “Birdie” and her love of animals. She’s definitely the Brown with the softest side for wildlife, with the woman apparently once caring for as many as a dozen pets at one time. She was a mother to three cats, five turtles, two dogs, a frog, and a squirrel, which must have been a lot of responsibility. We don’t know how she managed it.

Quite a mouthful

Raindrop “Rainy” Brown is the youngest of the Brown kids and the only one to have been born this century. When ‘Alaskan Bush People’ began, she was still just a kid about to go through her teen years. That can be difficult enough for anyone to deal with, but “Rainy” has appeared to cope just fine with living in the wild.

She quickly developed the nickname “Bush Barbie,” something that came about because of her love for Barbie dolls and other pink things. The name was definitely easier to say than the one her parents gave her when she was born – Merry Christmas Catherine Raindrop Brown. We’re not sure what inspired Billy and Ami to call her something so long-winded, but we expect no-one uses her full name very often. It probably takes too long to say.

Close to civilization

If you’re going to make a show about living in the wild, it’s probably a good idea to get as far away from civilization as possible. After all, you can’t really call yourself bush people if you still have close contact with the outside world. However, it appears that the Brown family opted not to separate themselves completely from the rest of society.

In fact, they were so close to civilization that, in the first season, there was a pizza shop nearby. It was actually the owner of this establishment who helped the family out when winter conditions nearly threatened their lives. Although having help nearby was no doubt appreciated, viewers still questioned the show’s authenticity with the Browns being so close to the rest of society.

Coming and going

The point of ‘Alaskan Bush People’ is that the family lives in the wild and attempts to make do with what they have. However, according to the social media group, Alaskan Bush People Exposed, the Browns aren’t even at home that often. Whenever the cameras aren’t rolling, they apparently set themselves up at Icy Strait Lodge in Hoonah.

Locals have previously reported to Radar Online that they’ve seen family members on the premises before, and not on a one-time basis. Supposedly, the Browns fly to their place in the woods by boat plane when filming, then fly out again once their jobs are done. If that’s true, then ‘Alaskan Bush People’ does a terrible job of airing the truth to viewers. However, there have been worse lies spread by reality TV shows before.

No supporting evidence

It didn’t take long for people to get hooked on ‘Alaskan Bush People,’ probably because the show was full of drama from the very beginning. With Billy making claims like that the government burned down his old cabin, it was hard for viewers not to get drawn in. Of course, you can’t make an accusation like this and expect everyone to take you on your word.

Even if the Brown’s former property was “in the wrong location on public land,” that doesn’t mean the government forcibly got rid of it. Unfortunately for Billy, he couldn’t back up his claim, and later on, he started to backtrack on his initial allegation. He changed his story to “My cabin burned and I wasn’t home,” possibly to avoid legal trouble with the government.

It’s not their land

According to the Brown family, the land that their home “Browntown” is built on belongs to them. That’s a claim that Billy made on an episode of ‘Alaskan Bush People,’ with the father stating they have a “Special Use Permit” for that area of the Tongass National Forest. However, it seems that Billy might not have told the truth when he admitted ownership on the show.

According to someone who supposedly works for the US Forest Service, the family is “leasing a private in-holding.” Although their permit allows them to access things like the dock and road system, they don’t own the land itself. Instead, they apparently have a seven-year lease on a section of private land which belongs to relatives of Hoonah’s mayor.

Origins of the bush people

If you need proof that ‘Alaskan Bush People’ isn’t necessarily what it makes out to be, you just have to look at the program’s origin. Apparently, the show came about because Billy published a book in 2007 entitled ‘One Wave at a Time.’ He wanted to see his work translated to screen, so he looked into how to turn it into a movie or TV series.

Living in the wild was a major part of the story, so he was hoping to recreate that experience with his family. That’s how he and the rest of the Browns ended up moving to the Alaskan wilderness. They had a production crew at their disposal who were supposed to film their experience for a one-season documentary. However, when those four episodes became a hit, the show was born.

Everyone’s a vlogger

We know that several members of the family were very tech-savvy before the show began, and it seems that their knowledge extended to things like YouTube. Many of Billy and Ami’s kids have actually established themselves on the video-sharing site, using it for a variety of reasons. Some have taken to it to discuss their father’s books, of which he now has several.

Others have used YouTube as an opportunity to talk about their lives, providing a surprising insight into how normal they are. Although these people might have become famous for venturing into the wilderness, it seems that their day to day lives aren’t anything exceptionally different. They’re much more like the rest of us than you might have thought, which is quite a pleasant surprise.

Online and operational

The Brown family hasn’t always been known as the Alaskan Bush People. Initially, they were referred to as the Alaskan Wilderness Family, and they even had their own website to go with it. This was something that “Bam Bam” apparently made on a whim, according to Channel Guide Mag. Billy told the publication that the site had been established to promote his children’s books, and that it had been made while visiting “harbor shacks.”

This was supposedly the only place where they could access the internet, although the situation wasn’t exactly ideal. Still, “Bam Bam” managed to get the site up and running, and his creation wasn’t too shabby. In fact, it looked so good that some people wondered whether the family had received professional help with establishing themselves online.

Deception at its finest

You might think it would be hard to find love when you supposedly spend your days living in the wild. However, most of Billy and Ami’s kids have fared perfectly fine when it comes to looking for love. Several of them are now married and building a family together, despite their unconventional claim to fame. Obviously, we’ve seen some of these relationships develop on the show over the years, although it’s possible that not everything has been true to life.

According to Reality TV Scandals, the show has gone to bizarre lengths at times to add some romance into the mix. That includes allegedly duping Christina O’Malley into thinking she was going on a dating show when she spoke to “Bear” on the program. According to O’Malley’s mother, the producers deceived her daughter and then manipulated the footage.

Her greatest role

Gabe wasn’t the only one who supposedly had some fake romantic drama on the show. It seems that someone Noah once went on a date with was also not what she appeared to be. Viewers of ‘Alaskan Bush People’ will probably remember when Noah had one of the most awkward dates ever with Karryna Kauffman. Their time together was hard to forget, given that the Brown sibling spent part of it singing about his ex-girlfriend.

However, while this might have made for uncomfortable viewing, it was allegedly fake. That’s going by what people found out about Kauffman online, anyway. It appears that she’s a budding actress who’s had various small roles, according to her IMDB page. It’s possible that she was introduced to the show simply to play a part, rather than actually being romantically interested in Noah.

The source of the shots

As we said before, the first season of ‘Alaskan Bush People’ was full of drama. That’s how it became popular to generate a second season and nine more after that. One of the biggest conflicts in those first few episodes centered around the Browns and their neighbors, with the latter supposedly wanting rid of the former. This appeared to culminate in several gunshots allegedly being aimed at the family as a threat.

However, in reality, it seems that things turned out very differently. According to Hoke, he was the one responsible for the shots, but they weren’t from a weapon. Instead, they were caused by fireworks that he aimed at a helicopter hovering above his house. It’s presence was causing his son distress, so he attempted to alleviate the problem.

Sabrina’s secrets revealed

Cows aren’t necessarily a traditional pet unless you live on a farm. However, the Browns felt that this animal was precisely what their home needed because it would provide them with a constant source of milk. That’s why Billy opted to buy one in Hoonah and bring her to “Browntown.” Of course, transporting the animal – which was named Sabrina – back home was easier said than done. At least, that was according to the show anyway.

In the episode, it looked like escorting her from Hoonah was backbreaking work that almost seemed impossible. However, according to the Lynden Tribune, the cow was transferred directly to “Browntown” by Edelweiss Dairy, where she remained for a month. After that time, Sabrina was adopted by someone else, presumably because the show had no use for her anymore.

Addictions don’t quit

Matt’s addiction problems are something that have affected him for many years, and they’ll probably be with him forever. No matter how long he manages to stay clean, there will always be thoughts in his head that attempt to derail him. Unfortunately, these worked against him several times during his tenure on ‘Alaskan Bush People.’

On several occasions, the TV star disappeared off to rehab, starting with his first stint in spring 2016. Matt knew he had a problem with drink, and he wanted to get ahead of it before things turned ugly. Unfortunately, around two and a half years later, he found himself back in rehab again. He was reportedly there for 30 days before leaving, but within a few months, he was checking in for the third time.

Family tensions

Struggling with his drink addiction has been difficult for Matt, and his family has done their best to support him through it. Unfortunately, problems like this can often interfere with relationships, and it appears Matt’s issues may have separated him from some of his loved ones. According to Radar Online, the reason the Brown sibling apparently wasn’t at Gabe’s vow renewal ceremony in June 2019 was due to family tension.

He and his father were allegedly fighting, so it was in everyone’s best interests for one of them not to attend. It’s not clear whether that’s true or not, but Matt wouldn’t be the first person to fall out with his family over an addiction. This kind of thing happens all the time, and it’s only through getting clean that relationships can begin to heal.

In a dark place

Matt isn’t the only one who’s faced struggles over the years, with “Rainy” also having issues with her mental health. Unlike her brother, though, her problem has been with depression. She first admitted to her problems a few years ago when she revealed that she’d been struggling with getting out of bed in the morning. She apparently had no desire to be “healthy or motivational” and ended up not doing anything for four days straight.

She described herself as a “husk,” something which naturally caused concern for her supporters. However, the youngest Brown sibling did share that she was trying to think optimistically. She advised her followers to “stay strong” and listen to their bodies whenever things get them down. Rather than listening to their “dark feelings,” she said that they should do “what [they] know is right for [them].”

Touch and go

It’s not just the family’s mental health that has struggled during their time on the show. The Browns have also faced various health issues, too, with Billy nearly being struck down by an upper respiratory infection. According to Country Living, the illness landed him in hospital, with Bear also admitting that his father was in “really bad shape.”


Thankfully, Billy was able to come out the other side of the infection as good as new. However, things were very touch and go for a while, leaving the family fearing they’d be without their patriarch. We’re not sure what ‘Alaskan Bush People’ would be like if Billy weren’t around anymore. The show would probably come to an end if he passed away because it simply wouldn’t be the same without him.

Taking what wasn’t theirs

You wouldn’t think that a family that lived in the wild would struggle with a lot of legal drama. However, it appears that the Browns have faced a lot of trouble in the past over falsifying certain information. The problems happened when they applied for money from Alaska’s Permanent fund, something that residents of the state receive “from investment earnings of mineral royalties.”

The family was paid more than $20,000 of this cash, even though they hadn’t lived in the state for the required period of time. As a result, they were charged with “60 counts of first-degree unsworn falsification,” amongst other things. Although most of the family were held responsible for this, Billy and “Bam Bam” took the fall for it. They cut a deal that earned them jail time and got everyone else off the hook.