Page 23 - The 'X' Chronicles Newspaper - May / June 2019
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10 Mysteries Of The Bennington Triangle 23

            10 Creepy Mysteries Of

           The Bennington Triangle

                  Continued from Page 21

          Welden’s red coat made her easy to spot, but
          baffled searchers later couldn’t find any sign of
          her or her brightly colored clothes. Her case
          became the most famous disappearance, mostly
          due to the fact that it caused Vermont to found its
          own state police force. With no police of their
          own, Vermont had only one state investigator to
          put on the case. Police from New  York and
          Connecticut were eventually called in by
          Welden’s father, but she was never recovered.
                 In 1949, three hunters went missing on
          the mountain. That same year, James E. Tetford
          went missing while on a bus trip from St. Albans
          to the town of Bennington. In 1950, eight-year-
          old Paul Jepson went missing from his
          Bennington home. Police dogs were able to
          trace his scent to the highway but no further. He
          was, coincidentally, wearing a red jacket similar
          to Paula Welden’s coat. That year would see the
          last of the disappearances with Frieda Langer.
          She disappeared while hiking with her cousin
          and friends. Her clothes had gotten wet during a
          hike and she went back to camp to change. searched. Perhaps someone was extremely lack substance.  Worse still, they’ve changed
          When the group realized that she had never successful in abducting and killing people near drastically over the years. Writer Joe Durwin has
          arrived, a massive search was launched. the highway or on the mountainside. And, like covered the strange folklore in his column
          Volunteers, police, firefighters, and the military many other killers, maybe that person “These Mysterious Hills” and explains how the
          all joined together to search, but she was never succumbed to the desire to show off when they mythos of the  Triangle has changed with the
          found alive.                                   moved Langer’s body into the open. It would times.  When newspapers first reported on the
                                                         explain why no traces have been found of the Bennington        Triangle    phenomena,      the
          6. Remains Lost And Found                      other victims and why Paul Jepson’s trail went explanation was tied into Native  American
                                                         cold on the highway. It would even make sense legends. In the 1990s, the explanations shifted to
          Only one body was ever recovered from the      in  Welden’s case, since she hitchhiked to the UFOs and other ideas popularized by  The X-
          disappearances on the mountain. Frieda         mountain and may have accepted a ride home as Files. In the early 2000s, the myths circled back
          Langer’s body was found the following May.     well.                                           to Bigfoot and the Bennington Monster. Durwin
          Search parties had previously heavily combed           As appealing as this explanation is, there isn’t overly critical of the supernatural, though.
          the field she was found in, leading authorities to  are a few problems. The first is that Langer and The stories are important to him. They keep the
          speculate   that   there   was   foul   play.  Rivers went missing on the mountain near memories of those who disappeared alive and
          Unfortunately, her body was too decomposed to  friends. It would be extremely risky for a serial inspire people to think critically.
          give any insight into her cause of death.  The  killer to abduct someone with their friends
          advanced decomposition only made someone’s     within earshot. The second problem is that the 3 Practical Explanations
          decision to move her there more mysterious,    victims don’t follow a pattern. Serial killers tend
          though.  The process would have likely been    to have a type. It would be extremely rare for  In all the research that has been done to answer
          messy and conspicuous.                         one to pick up two elderly men, an 18-year-old  the maddening questions of the Bennington
                 Far more odd than the discovery of      woman, an eight-year-old boy, and a 53-year-old  Triangle, some practical answers have been
          Langer’s body are those that were never found at  woman. An opportunity killer who is fine with a  found.  They make sense, even if they aren’t
          all. There is dangerous wildlife on Glastenbury  wide range of victims wouldn’t fit the same   entirely satisfying. One explanation is
          Mountain, but their attacks leave behind tons of  profile as one who would be willing to risk  hypothermia. Temperatures on the mountain can
          evidence. Bears don’t usually swallow a person  grabbing Rivers or Langer near their parties.  drop very low, and the disappearances did all
          whole. Search parties were frustrated to find no                                               happen in the winter.  When experiencing
          signs of the missing people whatsoever. Both 4. Supernatural Explanations                      hypothermia, people might engage in terminal
          Welden and Jepson were wearing bright red                                                      burrowing.[9]  This is a survival behavior that
          coats that should have been easy to spot on their Without the serial killer theory, the next most drives people to find someplace small and
          own. Rivers and Langer seemed to disappear interesting explanations are the supernatural remote to huddle. It gets people out of the wind
          suddenly without being too far from their ones. Each has its own flavor of strangeness, and and may provide enough warmth to help slow
          companions. Tetford’s case is odder still, since it’s hard to judge which is the wildest. High on the process of freezing to death, but it usually
          he disappeared from a bus. He was surrounded   that side of the spectrum is the man-swallowing kicks in too late and just makes it hard for the
          by witnesses but still vanished between stops.  boulder hidden among the cairns at the person to be found.
                                                         mountain’s peak. No one knows how the cairns           Another explanation has to do with the
          5. A Serial Killer                             were assembled there or when, but they area’s history as a mining town.  The
                                                         probably don’t actually eat people. Probably. mountainside is littered with unmarked mine
          The pattern of the disappearances has led some  However, this description of people being shafts that may cause hikers who go off-trail to
          to suggest a serial killer was responsible. All of  swallowed whole into a rock may have sparked plummet to their deaths. Both of these can
          the people who vanished did so within the      the cross-dimensional wormhole idea.  And explain why the missing people were never
          winter, which suggested something other than   disappearances coupled with odd lights, sounds, found. One more complicating factor is the odd
          chance was at play. The first disappearances left  and odors may have led to UFO conspiracy wind pattern on the mountain.Most places have
          no trace at all, and Langer’s body was         theories in the area.                           a wind pattern that influences how plants grow.
          discovered in a place that had already been            But the supernatural explanations tend to
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