In the upper northeast of the United States, in the area around Glastenbury Mountain, lays a mysterious area of land. The Bennington Triangle is a part of the world where strange tales of people vanishing from the face of the planet are in abundance. One of the strangest and certainly one of the most bizarre accounts, for example, is that of James Tedford.
Tedford, a military veteran, and resident of the Bennington Soldier’s Home, was returning home, by bus, on the first day of December 1949 following a Thanksgiving Day visit with his family. Many people would testify to having seen Tedford on the bus. Including the driver, who would distinctly remember him getting on.
When the bus arrived at Tedford’s destination, however, he wasn’t there. On his seat, there was simply the bus schedule he had held in his hand as he sat. Of all the people spoken to, despite all recalling seeing Tedford on board at the previous stop before Bennington, not one of them could remember him exiting the vehicle.
The Tedford case is just one of many to come under investigation by Joseph A. Citro. It is Citro who first brought the attention of this strange piece of land to the mainstream.
Before we look at Citro’s work, however, the short video below gives a little background to this mysterious place.
The Research and Investigations of Joseph A. Citro
Researcher and author, Joseph A. Citro, is largely responsible for laying the foundations of research into The Bennington Triangle. A particular surge of strange disappearances in the last half of the 1940s caught his interest.
Experienced hunter, Middie Rivers, disappeared while leading a hunt along Route 9 (sometimes called the Long-Trail) on 12th November 1945. People would search the area for days. The only item found would be an unspent gun cartridge of Rivers’.
On 12th October 1950 came the disappearance of eight-year-old, Paul Jepson. His mother returned to her truck where she had left him while she finished a chore, to find him gone. His body remained undiscovered. However, tracker dogs tracked the young boy to the same stretch of road where Middie Rivers vanished five years previously.
A little over two weeks later, Frieda Jackson went missing while hiking in the area during a camping holiday. The Jackson case is different to the others, in that the body did eventually come to light, in May 1951. However, its location (a wide open field with no cover) was subject to a thorough search five separate times. Had it been “dumped” there by someone (or something) following the searches? Had it simply “appeared” in the same way that she had seemingly disappeared? Incidentally, the cause of death was inconclusive due to the advanced state of decomposition of the body.
The disappearance that captured the nation’s attention, however, was that of a young, local college student. Before we look at that case though, the short video below looks at some of the mysterious disappearances of the area.
The Paula Welden Incident of 1946
Perhaps the most high-profile disappearance in the Bennington Triangle area is that of nineteen-year-old Paula Welden. The FBI led the search for Welden. A reward of $5000 dollars for information leading to her recovery went out to the public.
The last sighting of the Bennington College student had been on the Long-Trail on 1st December 1946. This is the same stretch of road as the other disappearances. Numerous witnesses would recall seeing the young girl, but none of them could offer any significant clues.
Maybe the strangest statements came from an elderly couple, who very well may have been the very last people to see her. They were around a hundred yards behind Welden when she came to a corner on the trail. They arrived at the same corner a matter of seconds later, by which time, the teenager had seemingly vanished.
Some claimed that Welden had secretly crossed over the American-Canadian border with a mystery boyfriend. If she had, it must have been a spur of the moment decision. She had taken no clothes, documentation, or any money with her.
To this day she is still missing. According to Citro, and others who subscribe to the theories that something “otherworldly” resides in this area of the United States, Welden was very much a victim of “The Bennington Triangle!”
The short video below looks at this particular case a little further.
A Very Mysterious and Ominous History
It is easy to see why many people regard this area of the United States with caution – especially when you look at its history or listen to the tales of those long native to the area. Stories of strange activity go back hundreds of years.
In 1892, escaped inmate from an asylum, Henry MacDowell seemingly vanished into thin air despite a huge search for him. The search began a relatively short time after he fled the asylum, and his apprehension should have been easy. Whether his escape was successful, or he was a victim to whatever force is behind the strange disappearances remains unknown.
Local tribes speak of the area being “where all four winds meet!” Their folklore even tells of a stone that will “swallow anything that steps on it!” Do these tales actually describe some kind of portal in the area? Perhaps this portal is a naturally occurring one – something we don’t yet understand?
It is perhaps some of the reports of the first colonists to the area that are most intriguing. They spoke of hearing strange noises coming from the woodland and mountains near their settlements. They also reported extremely nasty odors and smells.
One thing often found in reports of modern day Bigfoot sightings, are unpleasant odors at the time of the sightings. And Bigfoot sightings are another phenomenon associated with this area of the United States.
The Legends of The Bennington Monster
There are many reports of Bigfoot sightings in and around the area of the Bennington Triangle. As recently as 2003 a report of a strange creature who was “hairy from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet!” surfaced.
The roots of these types of sightings go right the way back to the early nineteenth century, and a creature that became known as, The Bennington Monster.
According to legend, one rainy evening in the 1800s, a stagecoach battled its way through the Glastenbury Mountains. It steadily found its way onto the “road” that would become known as Route 9. Eventually, the storm grew so bad that travel became impossible, and the stagecoach came to a halt.
The driver decided to inspect the area around the coach, as well as his horses. It was then that he noticed something was “spooking” them. He also saw tracks in the mud. The markings were not at all familiar to him, and he went to ask the advice of his passengers. As the small party began to gather outside the carriage, a terrific bang knocked against it. Before any of them could gather their thoughts, the stagecoach was lifted from the ground and toppled completely over.
In front of the terrified group, stood a large creature, covered in hair and at least eight feet tall. Most chilling of all, however, were the red eyes that pierced each of them as the monstrosity turned its stare to them. It disappeared without further incident – the stories of its existence, however, didn’t. The Bennington Monster is one of the most discussed in folklore circles.
The short video below looks at the legends of the Bennington Monster in a little more detail.
So, Just What Is Going On There?
As you might imagine an area with so many strange legends, would also produce as many equally strange theories. And you would be right.
Given some of the strange displays of lights seen in the area, some believe UFOs to operate here. Others, citing some of the Native American legends, believe a portal of some kind resides within this strange land. Or perhaps the disappearances are connected to the Bigfoot sightings reported in the area. The vast untouched lands would provide ample cover for such a creature to remain undetected for example.
Some researchers have also pointed out the majority of disappearances seem to occur between October and December. Is this coincidental, or might that be something worth investigating?
While this “seasonal” theory might easily explain the disappearances, and link them to some kind of animal (or Bigfoot) attacks, it might also be the result of something even more calculating, and chilling.
If, as some believe, the disappearances are the work of a serial killer, what is special about this time? Why do the months of October, November, and December, seemingly present an opportunity to kidnap and murder for them?
Or perhaps this “seasonal” activity might be related to a natural phenomenon – one that is capable of transferring anyone unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity at the time, to somewhere unknown? For now, until serious scientific study meets unconventional thinking, the theories will continue.
Check out the documentary below by Matt Garland, which looks at all aspects of The Bennington Triangle.