The Unexplained: Did they simply walk into the unknown?
July 24, 2021
Sara Marie Hogg
Do people wander into an otherworldly portal or vortex and suddenly disappear from the face of the earth?
Would it surprise you to learn that the continental USA has within its boundaries two, possibly more, Bermuda Triangles? The most talked-about is the Bennington Triangle. Its perimeters are quite vague, but it is basically in the Glastenbury Mountain area of Vermont. This area is made up of the remnants of old logging towns and industrial districts that went into decline. The towns of the area are Bennington, Woodford, Shaftsbury, Somerset, and what used to be Glastenbury and other ghost towns.
The big mysteries hovering over this area occur in the time slot starting in 1945 and moving into late 1951. There are old-timers that are convinced there are even more disconcerting mysteries that occurred here back into the times of its Native American inhabitants.
The more recent mysteries were all combined in a package as a legendary puzzle during an interview on public radio. The New England author who did this gave the mysterious area its name: The Bennington Triangle. It was Joseph A. Citro that put together the denotation of this southwestern area of Vermont where some people that wandered into the otherworldly portal, vortex—or whatever you want to call it—vanished off the face of the earth. Not only that, but the vanishings were remembered by several of the nearby people as: here one second, gone the next. It was uncanny how fast they vanished and without a sound.
Besides the revelations by Citro, several other works exist about these creepy disappearances, if you are interested in delving further, just do a search and you will find books and articles galore.
Between November of 1945 and well into 1950 there were five distinct disappearances.
The first disappearance on record was Middie Rivers, on November 12. He was an experienced mountain guide. On this day he was employed by four hunters to guide them up the mountain. Coming back down, Rivers got ahead of the group a way—they made an effort to catch up—but never did. The experienced guide was gone for good. All that was ever found was a rifle cartridge that was resting in the creek bed. Was it his? Most thought it was his and that it fell out of a pocket when he bent over or something. No one in the area was more familiar with that patch of land than Middie Rivers.
The next disappearance was on December 1, 1946, when a Bennington College coed dropped out of sight. The pretty eighteen-year-old Paula Jean Weldon set out on the Long Trail. Her hike was in the general area where Middie Rivers disappeared. Many area citizens had seen her start off on her hike, including a newspaper employee.
Everett Whitman of the Bennington Banner gave her explicit directions. Along the same trail was an elderly couple. They were 100 yards behind her. They watched her turn a corner on the trail and when they reached the same spot, she was gone. Massive searches were conducted and large rewards were offered for information: nothing! Ever. Rumors of Canada and a mysterious boyfriend were unfounded. They were red herrings.
In December of 1949, almost three years exactly from Paula’s disappearance, there was another bizarre vanishing in the Bennington area. James Tedford, a veteran, was a resident of the Soldiers Home in Bennington. Oddly, he was riding on a bus when he disappeared.
He was seen by many on the next-to-last stop the bus made—riding in his seat—then by the time of the bus arrived at the next stop he was not there. His things were still there on the bus seat and some of his luggage in the rack. No one had seen him disappear or go anywhere—here one minute, gone the next.
Paul Jephson, only eight years old, was the next missing person. He disappeared when left in a truck for a short time by his mother as she traipsed off to feed some pigs, a regular chore. When she returned to the truck, her little boy was gone. He had been wearing a highly visible red jacket. Bloodhounds followed his scent to the exact area where Paula had disappeared.
Frieda Langer vanished 16 days later. The 53-year-old woman left a family campsite with her cousin to take a hike. On their adventure, they fell into a creek and Frieda got soaked. She told her cousin-companion that she was going back to camp to change to dry clothes and she would come back and catch up with him.
She never returned. Her remains were found later in 1951 in an area that had already been combed many times for clues of her disappearance. They could gain no worthwhile clues or cause of death from her long-dead body. These five vanishings have not yet been connected to each other.
The second mysterious US Triangle is in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, and is thus known as The Bridgewater Triangle. Examination of its eerie properties is food for thought for another time, another place.
Sara Marie Hogg is the author of The Scavenger’s Song. Please click HERE to find the book on Amazon.