Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Paranormal Guide Presents: Unsolved Mysteries - The Bennington Triangle

Situated in the north-eastern United States, and making up one of the six in the New England region, Vermont is one of the smallest North American states and is one of the oldest. The state has a long history, and was once inhabited by two major Native American tribes: the Abenaki and the Iroquois. A major mountain range named the Green Mountains runs from south to north through it, and the small historic town of Bennington is situated near the heavily wooded Glastenbury Mountain, one of the many peaks in the range that happens to lie within the Green Mountain State Forest. It is this area that has long been regarded by these two tribes as a place where evil, vengeful spirits lurked and is an area they have avoided for centuries.

Glastenbury Mountain, as well as Bennington, have long been associated with strange goings on, ranging through Bigfoot/Sasquatch encounters, poltergeist activity and U.F.O. Sightings. Glastonbury, part of the Green Mountains, is even said to be home to a man-eating stone, that apparently the natives were very aware of and warned others about ,as it was said to have been behind quite a number of undocumented vanishings.

For years many Fortean researchers and authors have extensively studied the area, and one such investigator, by the name of Joseph A. Citro, has spent many years looking into the various strange and bizarre occurences said to have occurred in Vermont. Citro is the creator of what is the Bennington Triangle theory, which essentially is an idea that in the state of Vermont is an on-land version of the Bermuda Triangle, an area said to encompass the mountain, the state forest and the surrounding towns, some of which are now derelict and deserted. It is within this area that many paranormal and occult events are said to have occurred, however Citro, in his books, has focused on a series of disappearances that seem, in small ways, to be connected by coincidences.

In the five-year period between 1945 and 1950, five people disappeared in this so-called triangle, four of which were never seen or heard from again. The first "victim" was a 74 year-old local guide and hunter by the name of Middie Rivers who, while leading a group of hunters up a mountain trail in November 1945, walked ahead and vanished within earshot of the group. They all happened to be on the Long Trail, a hiking trail that runs the length of the state through the Green Mountain Range.

It would be just over a year later, in December 1946, that an eighteen year-old college student by the name of Paula Welden set out for a hike on the same trail near Glastenbury Mountain - an elderly couple were to be the last two people to see her as she rounded a bend on the track,and she too would vanish into thin air.

Three years later, on the exact same day Paula Welden disappeared, a man by the name of James Tedford vanished between stops on a bus route just before reaching Bennington. His belongings were still in the above luggage rack and a bus timetable was found on the seat he had sat in. Many witnesses swore he was still on the bus before the Bennington stop and were left scared and confused.

In October 1950, a young boy vanished while his mother fed pigs nearby. A search was undertaken immediately and in some stories, although the boy was never found, bloodhounds supposedly led the party to the area where Paula Welden had disappeared four years previously.
Just over a fortnight later, a middle-aged woman named Frieda Langer disappeared while returning to her campsite after a hike. Her body would be discovered seven months later in May 1951 near a reservior. She would be the only one of the five that was ever found dead or alive, and strangely, nobody could determine a cause of death due to a prolonged exposure to the elements.

In all of the cases (except for James Tedford) large search parties were formed, including local police and the F.B.I. and it was theorized that a serial killer was perhaps kidnapping and killing these people. The media began referring to said murderer as "The Bennington Ripper", however a lack of evidence would quash the notion of a human perpertrator some time later. Theories abound to this day, with some cryptozoologists believing that these people may have been abducted by a Sasquatch native to the area. There are some who believe they fell victim to a more mundane and known creature: a mountain lion who perhaps found regular food sources scarce and began attacking humans. Another theory is that UFO's and their alien pilots took them, but if that's the case, why return Freida Langer?

There are also some who believe that James Tedford may have been sucked off this planet by a roaming wormhole, but why just him?

Is there something to this theory?

Were these people victims of bizarre phenomena such as wormholes or extra-terrestrials?

Or taken by a lonely Bigfoot?

Or is there a more down to earth answer?

Matty Sweeney of @marvels and the macabre with matty 2015

Put together by Ashley Hall - The Paranormal Guide2015

Photos: The Long Trail at Glastonbury Mountain.

Inset left: Paula Weldon.

Inset right: The search for young Paul Jepson.

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