Those who know a thing or two about The Bennington Triangle consider it the smaller cousin of The Bermuda Triangle. History explains that not even native Americans would venture into this Vermont location unless they were disposing of the dead.
Tens of people have mysteriously disappeared in the area.
Native tribes strongly believed the place was cursed. These ancient tribes also believed that an enchanted stone existed in the area to swallow a man whole.
Based on the strange happenings that have been connected to this creepy place, it seems like the native Americans were on to something.
The phrase "Bennington Triangle" was coined by an author, Joseph A. Citro, in 1992 during a public radio broadcast. The area includes Glastenbury, a ghost town that was at one time a vibrant logging community.
As we speak, no one has solved the mysterious disappearances in the Bennington Triangle in Vermont, although many have tried. Some people believe a serial killer is behind the mystery, while others claim paranormal forces were involved.
The truth is that nobody can prove any of these claims.
The townspeople disappeared after the area's logging, and the mining boom went down towards the end of the nineteenth century. The site was not particularly hospitable, as the terrain was very tough and the growing season too short of making settling there a bliss.
In a Ripley's Believe it or Not! cartoon from 1936, it was revealed that only three members of the Mattinson family were left to occupy the entire town at the time. The town was officially unincorporated in 1937, and the 2010 census revealed that just eight people lived there at the time.
Today, the area has become incredibly remote. However, The Bennington Triangle is still connected to many unsolved murders, strange sightings, and mysterious disappearances.
Middie Rivers Disappeared During A Hunting Expedition
Middie Rivers was a 74-year-old local hunting guide when he disappeared back in 1945 in The Bennington Triangle. He was showing four hunters the way around the woods in Glastenbury.
What made his disappearance strange was that he was a knowledgeable guide who had the skills to survive and later reappear. After an initial search, a more serious search attempt was made, which involved 300 locals and soldiers dispatched from Fort Devens in Massachusetts.
However, even after eight days of meticulous searching, the big search party did not get any evidence offering clues as to how Rivers had disappeared.
Rivers was never found.
Paula Welden Disappeared In The Bennington Triangle While Hiking
A year after Rivers disappeared, Paula Welden also went missing. She was an 18-year-old student studying at Bennington College. As other students went home for Thanksgiving, she decided to hike along the Long Trail.
The last time she was seen, which was on Sunday, December 1, 1946, she was wearing red, which is pretty easy to spot. Welden was just entering the Long Trail close to Glastenbury Mountain the last time she was seen.
When she did not attend classes on Monday, a search party of over 1,000 people started looking for her, including people from law enforcement departments. A reward of $5,000 was also offered, but she was never found even though aircraft was used.
Her father even criticized the authorities for not having proper methods to handle the case. Fortunately, Welden's plight helped inspire the formation of Vermont State Police seven months after she disappeared.
To this day, Welden's case is still unsolved.
James E. Tedford Disappeared While Inside A Moving Bus Within The Bennington Triangle
Three years after Welden's disappearance, another strange disappearance happened. This time, people thought paranormal forces operating within The Bennington Triangle were responsible.
James E. Tedford, a 68-year-old man, got on a bus to Bennington. He visited his relatives in St. Albans, Vermont, but he disappeared while still on the bus.
The driver claimed that the man was still in his seat during the last stop before Bennington. In other words, the man disappeared while still inside a moving bus, leaving his luggage and a bus timetable behind!
That means the man vanished while the bus was on Route 7 and traveling through The Bennington Triangle. In that same year, three hunters also went missing on the mountain.
Paul Jepson Disappeared After He Was Left Inside A Pickup Truck
Barely a year after Tedford's disappearance, an 8-year-old boy went missing. Paul Jepson was inside his family's pickup with his mom, who left briefly to take care of pigs at a dump she and her husband tended.
When she returned, the boy was nowhere to be seen, creating yet another mysterious disappearance within The Bennington Triangle.
Hundreds showed up to help search for him, and bloodhounds picked up a trail that suddenly disappeared at a crossroads. For this reason, it is believed that a motorist might have abducted him.
Other theories later emerged, including a suggestion that the parents had used the boy as dinner for the pigs they took care of. His father also suggested that he might have disappeared into the mountains since Jepson "talked of nothing else for days" before he vanished.
Frieda Langer Disappeared While Heading Back To Camp
Before people could even come to terms with the boy's disappearance, Frieda Langer, a seasoned 53-year-old hiker and survivalist who knew the area well, went missing in the Somerset area.
She was hiking with her cousin Herbert Eisner but decided to follow a stream back to camp, where her husband was resting with an injured knee. She was going back for a change of clothes after she slipped and fell into a stream.
After this decision, her cousin and her husband did not see her again. Hundreds of people looked for her, as well as helicopters from the Coast Guard and the U.S. Army.
Six months later, they found her body near the Somerset Reservoir, an open area the search team had combed meticulously when she first disappeared. However, this became the only disappearance in the Bennington Triangle where a body actually turned up.
The body was too decayed to offer any clues as to how the woman had died.
Some People Think Supernatural Forces Are To Blame For Bennington Triangle Disappearances
Considering the mysterious disappearances that have happened at Bennington's Triangle, many people have tried to explain what is going on. Apparently, a UFO was sighted in the area, which has helped fuel the theory that paranormal activity has something to do with the disappearances.
Lack of evidence has given the paranormal theory a lot of credibilities, especially given the strange things that have been reported in the area over the years. For instance, strange figures have been sighted, planes have crashed unexpectedly, navigation errors have been reported, and terrifying voices have apparently shown up on dead-air radio.
Allegedly, a worker bludgeoned a colleague to death with a stone after voices told him to attack. After he was sent to an asylum, he fled and disappeared.
Five years after the incident, a hunter, John Harbour, was shot, dragged several yards, and his fully loaded gun was left beside him. That murder is still unsolved today.
Those who think supernatural forces are at work in The Bennington Triangle claim that there is a wormhole, or a portal, in the area that can swallow people whole.
For instance, a team was in the area when the weather changed drastically. Although it was sunny when they started their journey, a huge thunderstorm began suddenly, and when they finally made their way back to their flats, they found out that the surrounding area was completely dry. Locals insisted that a thunderstorm had not passed through the area.
Was a Bigfoot Behind The Bennington Triangle Deaths?
According to some people, a Bigfoot known as the Bennington Monster might have also been responsible for the disappearances. The monster was described as being more than 6 feet tall, covered in hair from head to toe, and had at one time knocked over a stagecoach onto its side before fleeing into the darkness.
The stagecoach was filled with people, and the creature left behind footprints that were too large to be human. The creature roared before running away.
The theory reemerged once more after Carol Herrick died in 1943. Herrick was hunting, and when his body was found three days later, there were huge mysterious footprints around him. Investigations revealed that he had been squeezed to death.
After that, the story of another monster living in Somerset emerged in 1967. The wild creature apparently lived in a cave, and he would occasionally go to Glastenbury and other settled areas to harass women. The monster would pull his ratty coat open to flash his nudity as he waved a pistol to scare people away before fleeing back to his cave.
Was This The Work Of A Serial Killer Operating In The Bennington Triangle?
Others think that the disappearances indicate that a serial killer was at work. Unfortunately, there is little evidence to support this theory.
The fact that the victims span all ages and cover all genders contradicts patterns often seen among serial killers. Therefore, the serial killer theory is still not that effective at explaining the disappearances.
These criminals don't tend to be so indiscriminate in their choice of victims. In any case, some of these people vanished when very close to their friends or other witnesses, which means abducting such people would be an unjustifiably huge risk for a serial killer this successful.
Even if the killer were opportunistic, who would kill whatever person crossed their paths, the circumstances around some of these deaths would be less than ideal for the commission of such crimes.
Were Wild Animals Killing These People?
According to another theory, the people died after they met with wild animals such as a lynx, a bobcat, or a catamount. The problem with this theory is that these animals are typically not aggressive towards humans, and the catamount was last seen before 1940 and is currently considered extinct.
In any case, animal attacks often leave tons of evidence, even when carried out by big animals like bears. If animals were responsible for these deaths, that would have been apparent in the authorities' investigations.
Other Explanations For The Bennington Triangle Disappearances
Generally, the disappearance of people in The Bennington Triangle remains a mystery, and a solution is still a long way off. However, there have been certain similarities between the cases. For instance, these people disappeared between 3 pm and 4 pm, and most of the disappearances happened during the last three months of the year, during winter.
That has led to the assumption that these people probably died of hypothermia after being overcome by freezing temperatures. Cold temperatures can make people burrow into small spaces to escape the wind, making them hard to find.
Some experts also believe that some of these people disappeared into mine shafts left in the area when mining stopped many years back. That might explain why the people were never found.
However, questions remain as to why the deaths stopped so abruptly.
The Bennington Triangle Today
Thanks to the strange things that have happened in the Bennington Triangle, many people have been drawn to the area. The destination has also inspired books and movies.
Today, it is estimated that as many as 40 people have disappeared in this mysterious place.
However, daring hikers still like to explore the Long Trail, which overlaps the Bennington Triangle. The hike takes about two to four weeks to complete, although hikers are careful to avoid the winter months and the summer mudslides.