December 1, 1946. Eighteen year old Paula Welden, a
sophomore at Bennington College, set out from her dorm for a short
hike on the Long Trail. Many saw her go, including Ernest Whitman,
a Bennington Banner employee who gave her directions. She was even
alleged to be seen on the trail itself by an elderly couple that was
hiking 100 yards behind her. According to them, she turned a corner
in the trail, and when they reached the same corner, she had disappeared.
landed her on the cover of the Bennington Banner for 42 straight
days and sparked a massive manhunt that involved authorities,
students, the FBI and even a clairvoyant. Despite this, no trace
was ever found of her.
December 1, 1949. When it comes to disappearances,
the case of Jamed E. Tetford is perhaps the strangest. A resident
of the Bennington Soldiers' Home, Tetford was in St. Albans
visiting relatives when he boarded the bus to return home. Witnesses
confirm he got on the bus, and was on it at the stop before
Bennington. There were supposed to be 15 passengers on the bus
when it pulled into Bennington, but only 14 actually made it.
Somewhere along the line, James E. Tetford, asleep on his seat,
had vanished, leaving his belongings in the luggage rack and
an open bus timetable on his vacant seat. It was three years
to the day after Paula Welden disappeared, and Tetford was never
Columbus Day, 1950. Paul Jepson, 8, was playing
while his mother tended to the family pigs. When she came out
to look for him, he was nowhere to be seen, despite his bright
red coat. Hundreds of volunteers combed and re-combed the area,
but young Paul had vanished. According to his father, the child
had expressed a strange "yen" to head up into the
mountains a few days prior to his disappearance. And according
to local legend, bloodhounds had tracked him to the exact spot
near the highway where Paula Welden was last seen.
October 28, 1950. Not three weeks later, Freida Langer
joined the list. The fifty-three year old Langer left from her family's
camp near Somerset Reservoir to hike with her cousin. Shortly after
leaving camp, she slipped and fell into a stream. Telling her cousin
she'd head back to camp to change her clothes and catch back up with
him, she set out . . . and vanished. She never showed back up at the
camp, and several massive searches of the area turned up nothing.
Like all the ones before her, Freida Langer had disappeared without
a trace . . .