Police have maintained contact through a PVC pipe, and have been able to get Ethan medicine as well as coloring books. Police confirmed Dykes' identity on Friday.
The survivalist movement has gained steam in recent years as many Americans fear economic or political apocalypse, a trend now accompanied by TV shows like "Doomsday Preppers" about people who build bunkers and stash food in preparation for disaster.
While on the whole peaceful, and in many ways understandable, the movement has also contributed to a simmering paranoia that has subsumed some adherents.
"How do you know if you are preparing to survive and overcome realistic scenario or just obsessing with doom and gloom, maybe even focusing on very unlikely or even impossible scenarios while ignoring much more realistic and more probable events? It’s a thin line. People have obsessed and ended up losing not only their time and money, but also their families because of this," blogger FerFAL wrote on The Modern Survivalist blog last year.
Survivalism has been tied to violence recently. Nancy Lanza, the slain mother of Newtown, Conn., school shooter Adam Lanza, was known to friends as a survivalist who had stocked up on firearms and food in anticipation of a social and economic meltdown. Last year, a survivalist in Washington State, Peter Keller, killed his wife and daughter before holing up in a multi-storied wilderness bunker, where he was eventually found dead by police.
Known as "Mean Man" to some of his neighbors, Dykes' behavior had long raised concerns. The underground hostage standoff may have been sparked by a scheduled court hearing for an incident in December where Dykes fired shots at neighbors after a yelling match where he claimed the neighbors’ truck damaged a speed bump along the dirt road where he lives. Dykes was charged by police with menacing, a misdemeanor.