Believed to be taken by a Bigfoot or something else, upwards of 10 people over time, have all but disappeared. The area they went missing from, is known as the Bennington Triangle. There simply were no traces of any them found, after they went missing initially.
Bennington Triangle, is the phrase first used by author Joseph A. Citro during a public radio broadcast announcement back in 1992. This describes specific areas, where these people all went missing between the years of 1920 until 1950.
Due to the number of reported sightings, in this Bigfoot region, some believe these people were taken by these large hairy bipedal creatures. Otherwise, speculations lead to another kind of bestial attack happening, such as a mountain lion being responsible. The locations where these people went missing, didn’t appear to show any kind of signs of a struggle. So, a mountain lion attack, is not really all that likely.
This eerie string of missing-persons cases—have still puzzled people, trying to solve them years later. The area itself, is covered with dense wooded patches of land, located in the southwestern part of Vermont. There have been reports about UFO activity here as well. Perhaps these people were abducted by aliens or by something else, such as a man-eating stone.
The first disappearance
The very first disappearance, took place during November 12, 1945 when 74-year-old Middie Rivers disappeared while out on a hunting expedition. Middie was far ahead from the rest of his group, when he vanished into thin air. The only thing found, was a single rifle cartridge in a nearby stream.
Some think he just fell into the water and drown somehow. Perhaps he slipped, striking his head onto a rock. The location where this happened, was at the Long Trail Road area, where Vermont Route 9 is located. Interesting enough, Middie was a very experienced hunter and fisherman. He was also quite familiar with the local area.
The second disappearance
When 18 year old sophomore Paula Welden disappeared on December 1, 1946, she went out on a hike along the long trail. A number of people watched her wander away including Ernest Whitman, a Bennington Banner employee, who actually gave her directions.
An elderly couple was behind her while she was walking along the trail. Reportedly, she was only around 100 yards away from them by best estimation. When she turned the corner part of the trail, she was gone never to be seen again. A $5,000 dollar reward was offered and the FBI assisted in trying to locate her. Rumors mention that she became a recluse living in the mountains. Others think she moved to Canada with her boyfriend.
The third disappearance
A man named James E. Tedford was the third to disappear from the area on December 1, 1949. To the date, it was exactly 3 years later, since Paula Welden vanished. James was a resident of the Bennington Soldiers’ Home. Previously, he was in St. Albans visiting with his relatives. Strangely, while riding on a bus before his last stop in Bennington, he seemingly vanished into thin air. All that was left behind were his personal belongings left on the bus on a luggage rack. A timetable was also found on his vacant seat.
The fourth disappearance
A young 8 year old boy, was next to vanish without a trace on October 12th, 1950. His name is Paul Jephson. After accompanying his mother in a truck, his mother left him unattended while she fed some pigs. It was about an hour before she returned.
She looked around everywhere for her son and he was nowhere to be found. The boy had on a bright colored red jacket, which certainly would have made him easier to spot. From what is known, the boy’s scent was picked up by bloodhounds in a search…which evidently led to the same spot of a nearby road where Paula Welden was last seen on the long trail.
The fifth disappearance
On October 28th, 1950, A 53 year old lady named Frieda Langer, was next to go missing sum16 days later, after 8 year old Paul Jephson did. This event took place, after she left her families campsite located near the Somerset Reservoir along with her cousin Herbert Elsner. While the two of them were hiking Frieda fell into the stream nearby.
She told her cousin Herbert to wait while she went back to the campsite to change into some dry clothes. He waited as she never returned again. After several weeks, there were search and rescue patrols conducted over the area. Frieda was nowhere to be found. A total of 5 searches were made, involving helicopters as well.
On foot there were well over 300 people looking for her. On May 12, 1951, her body was found near Somerset Reservoir. This area was previously searched however no cause of death could be determined due to the condition of her remains. Frieda Langer is the only person to date who’s body was been recovered. No connections to any other crime have yet to be determined. It is still unknown what killed her and how she died exactly.
Whether or not it was Bigfoot, aliens or something else, this area has been dubbed as a dangerous place to roam alone during the day or night. There are somethings which can’t be explained by rational logic. Sometimes we have to think outside the box and consider all of the possibilities. There have even been books written about the strange phenomenon happening here as well. Also, this has appeared on William Shatner’s WEIRD OR WHAT? program back in 2012 where the Bennington Triangle was showcased.