History is peppered with intriguing tales of people who, for all intents and purposes, inexplicably vanish from the face of the earth without a trace. These stories – some of the most fascinating in the annals of the unexplained – vary from being well-documented to having the flavor of mere legend and folklore. This is the top 10 bizarre disappearances.
The Disappearance Of Oliver Larch
The story of Oliver Larch (Sometime known as Lerch or Thomas) follows a similar narrative to that of David Lang (item 3). According to his narrative, Larch was on his way to collect water from a well one winter when he vanished; leaving nothing behind but trail of footprints in the snow which terminated abruptly, and a series of cries for help that appeared to come from above. In some tellings, Larch’s story is set in late nineteenth-century Indiana, in others, it is set in North Wales. One particular recurring citation of this variant was as Oliver Thomas of Rhayader, Radnorshire, mid-Wales and the date is given specifically as 1909.
In 1975, a man named Jackson Wright was driving with his wife from New Jersey to New York City. This required them to travel through the Lincoln Tunnel. According to Wright, who was driving, once through the tunnel he pulled the car over to wipe the windshield of condensation. His wife Martha volunteered to clean off the back window so they could more readily resume their trip. When Wright turned around, his wife was gone. He neither heard nor saw anything unusual take place, and a subsequent investigation could find no evidence of foul play. Martha Wright had just disappeared.
The Norfolk Regiment
Three soldiers claimed to be witnesses to the bizarre disappearance of an entire battalion in 1915. They finally came forward with the strange story 50 years after the infamous Gallipoli campaign of WWI. The three members of a New Zealand field company said they watched from a clear vantage point as a battalion of the Royal Norfolk Regiment marched up a hillside in Suvla Bay, Turkey. The hill was shrouded in a low-lying cloud that the English soldiers marched straight into without hesitation. They never came out. After the last of the battalion had entered the cloud, it slowly lifted off the hillside to join other clouds in the sky. When the war was over, figuring the battalion had been captured and held prisoner, the British government demanded that Turkey return them. The Turks insisted, however, that it had neither captured not made contact with these English soldiers.
The Stonehenge Disappearance
The mysterious standing stones of Stonehenge in England was the site of an amazing disappearance in August, 1971. At this time Stonehenge was not yet protected from the public, and on this particular night, a group of “hippies” decided to pitch tents in the center of the circle and spend the night. They built a campfire, lit several joints of pot and sat around smoking and signing. Their campout was abruptly interrupted at about 2 a.m. by a severe thunder storm that quickly blew in over Salisbury Plain. Bright bolts of lightning crashed down on the area, striking area trees and even the standing stones themselves. Two witnesses, a farmer and a policeman, said that the stones of the ancient monument lit up with an eerie blue light that was so intense that they had to avert their eyes. They heard screams from the campers and the two witnesses rushed to the scene expecting to find injured – or even dead – campers. To their surprise, they found no one. All that remained within the circle of stones were several smoldering tent pegs and the drowned remains of a campfire. The hippies themselves were gone without a trace.
The Village That Disappeared
An individual that vanishes is one thing, but how about an entire village of 2,000 men, women and children? In November, 1930, a fur trapper named Joe Labelle made his way on snow shoes to an Eskimo village on the shores of Lake Anjikuni in northern Canada. Labelle was familiar with the village, which he knew as a thriving fishing community of about 2,000 residents. When he arrived, however, the village was deserted. All of the huts and storehouses were vacant. He found one smoldering fire on which there was a pot of blackened stew. Labelle notified the authorities and an investigation was begun, and which turned up some bizarre findings: no footprints of any of the residents were found, if they had vacated the village; all of the Eskimos’ sled dogs were found buried under a 12-foot-high snow drift – they had all starved to death; all of the Eskimos’ food and provisions were found undisturbed in their huts. And there was one last unnerving discovery: the Eskimos’ ancestral graves had been emptied.