Bennington, Vermont was the location of several disappearances of people between the years of 1920-1950. Here is a summary of the who, what when, where, and …well, no one has the answer to why.
“Bennington Triangle“ is a phrase coined by author Joseph A. Citro who was referring to the area in southwestern Vermont from which people disappeared. Citro wrote a book, Shadow Child, in which he discusses the disappearances and relates similarities to the disappearances in neighboring Massachusetts referred to as the “Bridgewater Triangle.”
Glastenbury Mountain is the main focus of discussion in the mystery triangle. Also included in the discussion are the neighboring towns of Bennington, Woodford, Shaftbury and Someerset. These towns were thriving areas but began declining in the late 19th century and are all now ghost towns due to an act of state legislature in 1937.
Prior to the disappearances in the 1940’s, reports of strange happenings were talked about, especially the disappearance of Paula Jean Welden. Just 18 years old when she disappeared in December of 1946, Paula was a sophomore at Bennington College. She went for a hike on Long Trail and was never heard from again. She was seen by an elderly couple that day and they stated that they witnessed Paula turn a corner on the trail and then was out of sight.
Middie Rivers, 74 years of age, vanished on November 12, 1945 from the Bennington area while she was out hunting. She was leading a group of hunters up into the mountains. She got ahead of the group on the return trip back and was never seen again. Her disappearance was also on the Long Trail Road area. Middie was considered to be a very experienced guide as well as a hunter and fisherman.
James Tedford disappeared in December of 1949. James was a veteran and a resident of the Bennington Soldier’s Home. He was returning home on a bus after visiting relatives in St. Albans, Vermont. Witnesses reported that James boarded the bus and remained on the bus until the last stop before arriving in Bennington. He vanished somewhere between the last stop and Bennington. All of his belongings were still in the luggage rack and his bus timetable was found on his seat. There were reports that he was depressed about returning to the home.
Frieda Langer was 53 years old when she went missing on October 28, 1950. After slipping into a stream near her campsite, she told her cousin, Herbert Elsmer, that she would change her clothes and catch back up with him. When she did not show, her cousin returned to the family campsite where searchers looked for Frieda for the next two weeks. Searches also included helicopters and aircraft. She was not located until May 12, 1950. Her body was found near Somerset Reservoir, an area previously extensively searched. The cause of her death could not be determined due to the condition of her body.
Paul Jepson was only eight years old when he vanished on a small pig farm while outside with his mother close by. He was told to stay in the family truck but evidently got out. The date was October 12, 1950. Paul’s mother left him unattended while she fed the pigs and was gone for one hour. Paul was nowhere to be found when she returned. Although Paul was wearing a bright red jacket, he was never found by search teams. One story reports that a bloodhound tracked Paul’s scent to a local highway where, according to the locals, Paula Welden had disappeared four years earlier. No official connections were ever made between the cases although there was speculation at one time that the disappearances were the result of a serial killer in the area.
What do you believe happened? Leave me a comment!