If you ever wanted to go hiking in the unscathed beauty of Vermont’s wilderness, make sure you take with you a GPS and some sort of teleportation device. You know, just in case you venture off your trail an step into another dimension. For five years beginning in 1945, six people mysteriously vanished near Vermont’s Long Trail never to be seen again.

Along the crooked spine of the Green Mountains runs the famous Long Trail. A wilderness trail that was officially constructed from 1910 up until 1930. The trail rungs along the entire length of the state of Vermont and has become a popular hiker’s destination since its opening. However starting in 1945 there were a series of vanishings that occurred on or near the trail that have caused many to speculate a supernatural intervention.

 

Middie Rivers – Missing 1945

November 12th, 1945. During a routine hunting trip, Middie Rivers who was seventy five years-old and an experienced woodsman and hunter, and four of his friends were out hunting deer in the area, like they’ve done plenty of times before. However on this particular day, in the middle of a brisk November, Middie Rivers never returned to their camp site.

He had gone ahead of the others, reportedly heading back to the camp. After he failed to show up at the camp site, his friends began looking for him. Hours passed and so did the days. Search parties were formed that included family, state police, soldiers, boy scouts, and local volunteers. Nothing. There were no signs of Middie Rivers or his equipment found. It was as if the wilderness had swallowed him whole.  Almost a year later, college student Paula Welden would suffer the same fate.

 

 Paula Welden – MISSING 1946

Paula was a student over at Bennington College. In December of 1946 she decided to go for a walk near the trail and had informed her roommate, Elizabeth Johnson, that she would be back shortly.  After leaving her place, Paula Welden stopped the watchman from a local newspaper to ask for directions. He obliged and after he pointed her to the right direction, Paula went on her way. HePaula_Jean_Welden would be the last person to see Paula again.

Paula Welden never returned home from her walk that December. The FBI got involved, as did the state police from Vermont and Connecticut. Her case got national attention within days of her disappearance.  Nonetheless, just like Middie Rivers, there was no trace of Paula Welden found. She had simply vanished into thin air.

 

 

 

 

 James Telford – MISSING 1949

Another disappearance occurred in December of 1949. Unlike the others, this one reads like something straight out of the Twilight Zone.

telfordOn December 1st, 1949, James Telford vanished near Bennington, Vermont. The ex-soldier was on his way home from St. Albans, via bus. He was in company of 14 other passengers that day. From the reports, the passengers all attested to seeing Mr. Telford asleep in his seat. When the bus reached its final destination, Telford had vanished.

There were no signs of the ex-soldier anywhere inside the bus even though his belongings were still on board. The only thing left besides his luggage was the bus schedule sheet that lay on his empty seat.

No one has seen Telford since.

 

Paul Jepson – MISSING 1950

October 12th, 1950. Eight year-old Paul Jepson had wandered off near the area of Bennington. Where four years earlier Paula Welden vanished. Paul’s mother had asked him to stay inside the truck while she tended to the family’s pigs. The feeding took only a few minutes but when she had returned to her truck, her son had vanished.

jepson

The local police was called and a search party was formed. Bloodhounds were used in the disappearance of the eight year-old but the trail ran cold once the hounds got deep into the trail. No trace of Paul Jepson was ever found.

 

Frieda Langer – MISSING 1950

Two weeks after Paul Jepson’s disappearance, fifty three year-old Frieda Langer also disappeared.

October 28th, 1950, Frieda Langer and her husband went on a camping trip near Long Trail. They were accompanied by other family members. While out hiking, Frieda and her cousin, Herb Elsner, ventured off on their own. The two had come across a stream in which Frieda had fallen into.

She was completed soaked. She told her cousin that she was going to run back to the camp site for a change of clothes. It was around 4:30 P.M.

Herb waited for her cousin for about an hour before decided to walk the short distance back to the camp. Upon arrival, he learned that Frieda never made it to the camp. She never came out of the woods.

The snow had fallen and blanketed the Galstenbury area. The area where Frieda had vanished. Months passed and there were no signs of her until May of 1951. When the receding snow banks exposed the mummified remains of Frieda Langer.  Unlike the rest of the missing, hers was the only body ever found.

 

Martha Jones – MISSING 1950

She vanished on November 6th, 1950. The report did not go out initially because it is said that her parents believed she had run off with her boyfriend to Virginia. However when the parents got in contact with the young man, he assured them that it wasn’t the case.

A massive search effort was made near the Glastenbury area within the next few days. However like the rest of the disappeared, nothing turned up.

Sixteen year-old Martha Jones had joined the others, apparently vanishing into oblivion.

 

Frances Christman – MISSING 1950

December 3rd, 1950. Frances Christman disappeared from the face of the Earth while on her way to visit a friend who lived half a mile from her. It had only been a few weeks since Mrs. Langer vanished on October 28th and the townsfolk were already on edge. When the news of Frances Christman’s disappearance hit the newspaper, many were already speculating that a serial killer was lose in the wilderness of Vermont.

Serial Killer or another dimension

Regardless of the various speculations, only one body was recovered during the 5-year disappearance streak. The rest of the missing souls have not been seen since they vanished a half a century ago.

So what’s so special about these Vermont disappearances? After all, people go missing everyday. Not just in Vermont, but all across the world. The weirdness lies within the area of Bennington, Vermont. The area dubbed as ‘Bennington Triangle’.

Every Fall and Winter, for five years, people began disappearing on or near Long Trail. Most of them were hiking alone in the woods when they vanished with the exception of James Telford, who was near the area but traveling by bus.

Could the explanation be as simple as a serial killer stalking the trails in the early 1940s? Maybe. Or could something else be at play? Something…otherworldly.

A serial killer(s) is more likely to be the explanation for the rash of disappearances. However it’s important to note that only one body has been recovered. The rest of the missing have not been seen since. Dead or alive.

You then start to think about the strangeness that exists in our world. About the stories of alien abductions and inter-dimensional portals and such possibilities. Can this really happen? Especially when you think about the case involving James Telford and his sudden disappearance from a crowded bus en route. You then start to think…what if?

 

 

 

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Based in Brooklyn, NY, I write about all things creepy and strange. My book based on the real haunting of Doris Bither (The Entity 1982 movie) will be released soon. Got a question? Drop me a line.

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  • IThinkso

    Recalling the incident for the first time, more than a decade ago. …was on the road (driving) somewhere in Vermont heading back to Nashua, New Hampshire. The road must be VT Route 9, after looking at the map. It was still day light, may or may not be close to sun set…was on the phone.

    Flagged by the descending hiker (fully loaded) from the possible trail above, who was about to touch down on the shoulder, … stopped several yards ahead after passing the hiker, started backing to catch up with the hiker.

    When approached, realized, … about to deal with young female hiker. Asked, where she is heading?… some general place in one of the towns ahead. Though still on the phone, during travel, asked, what she do? … HEALER, … Healer!? And what is healer? … don’t remember any of her explanations, during further conversation, except some specific experiences she said she had during working in the family barn, “she has felt the presence of (invisible) entities around her”.

    By the time we approached close to her general destination, she seems to have changed her mind and directed to be dropped in front of her actual destination.

    There are nothing but mundane reasons, with touch of these misguiding entities, for all of these disappearances.

  • R. A.

    I’m not so sure about that. What mundane reasons resulted in James Telford vanishing from a moving bus?

    These cases match a profile of disappearances from all over the world. The work on this subject is being done by Dave Paulides and is very interesting(not to mention disturbing). Look up “Missing 411”. Some of the Bennington Triangle cases are in his books on the subject.

  • IThinkso

    The literal meaning of “Vanish into thin air” and “disappear without trace” is unknown to men, … without divine intervention.

    Traveling alone, without any friend or family; No eyewitness, the time the transition took place; The state of the conscious mind, unknown; Who cared, to discover the missing part, at the final destination.; 150+ miles, no stopping, no rest areas.; No ordinary citizen. …..

  • Ralph Hunter

    Please proofread

  • R. A.

    Ah. I think I may have misinterpreted your initial comment.

    If I understand your meaning properly now, then yes, I agree.

  • IThinkso

    Agreeing, that human conscious can be altered externally, particularly by (invisible) entities? http://www.ghostheory.com/home.html and also “The Whispering Mind: The Enduring Conundrum of Consciousness” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7RL__ZgdEw

  • R. A.

    Absolutely.