Tuesday, April 26, 2016

V Is for Vermont’s Bennington Triangle

This month I'm participating in the A to Z ChallengeMy theme this year is Unsolved Mysteries. Today's letter is:




On December 1, 1946, 18-year-old Paula Welden went on a hike in an area of Vermont known as the Long Trail. It was a few miles away from Bennington College, where she was an art major.


Paula Welden

She hitchhiked her way there. A local contractor picked her up and dropped her off at the trail that afternoon. She was seen on the trail by several people that afternoon. At approximately 4pm, she approached a man and asked how far the trail went. An elderly couple who were walking 100 feet behind her said they saw her turn a corner and when they got to the corner, she was nowhere in sight.



Paula was one of five people who went missing in the area between 1945 and 1950. The cases have led to the area being nicknamed "The Bennington Triangle" after the similarly legendary Bermuda Triangle. Legend goes that if you enter the woods, you may never emerge.



The last missing person was Frieda Langer, who disappeared in 1950 while hiking with her cousin. She slipped and fell in a stream, at which point she said she was going back to the campsite to change. She was never seen again.


Frieda Langer

Locals say the area was deemed "cursed" by Native Americans, who always avoided it. Over the years, there have been numerous claims about the area, including reported sightings of UFOs, hairy "wild men," and strange beasts.



Were these disappearances connected to the same killer? Or is there a more supernatural explanation?

⬅️ U Is for UFOs

54 comments:

  1. If no one has gone missing since, then I think the missing people might have been the victims of a serial killer. But if the Native Americans in the area deemed it cursed, I would certainly take their word for it and avoid the area myself.

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    1. Yeah, it doesn't sound like an area I'd visit alone, even if it's been a while since anyone has disappeared. When I think of some of the walking trails I went on alone in my younger years, in wooded areas, during a time of day when hardly anyone was out there...

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  2. It could be a serial killer or something supernatural that was temporary. Either way, this gave me chills.

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    1. It could be supernatural...probably a serial killer, sadly.

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  3. Yeah, sounds like a serial killer to me.

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    1. I'd question the hairy "wild men" if I were an investigator back then!

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  4. I'd have to agree it sounds like a serial killer hiding in the woods.

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    1. Isn't it sad that women can't even go for a walk? Even in the "innocent" 40s?

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  5. If it's a serial killer, I wonder where he was hiding, that no one saw him or heard the girls scream. Unfortunately, a demonstration of how dangerous it can be to travel alone. It's possible, perhaps a bear. But then I would think the elderly couple would have heard a struggle.

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    1. I think if it were a bear, they likely would have screamed. It's possible the killer used chloroform or something to put them out right away? Or have I watched too much CSI?!

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  6. Sounds like a serial killer, except all those women went into the woods by chance so a killer couldn't necessarily have expected to find a victim, but rather have to be in the area and hope a victim comes his way. If it was a bear or some wild animal one would expect to find some remains or evidence that they'd been eaten. I lean toward a killer but maybe the sort who relies on chance encounters.

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    1. Oh the number of girls who have been attacked/murdered while walking on trails. These guys hide in the bushes/trees and grab them as they pass. It's still spooky to me that I used to walk on trails with woods next to them...all alone. I'm guessing during that period of time, the killer just hid, waiting for opportunity. You'd think he would have chosen a less populated day with that first victim, though.

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  7. Sounds like a killer preying on young students. Easy to get away in the deep woods

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    1. Yes, so scary! I think walkers are the most at risk. Runners are harder to grab, as are bicyclists. I'm a walker! So I'll just stick to my treadmill...

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  8. Super creepy. Reminds me of Stephen King's The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon.

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    1. Ah yes! I forgot about that book.

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  9. One reason I never like going hiking or camping.

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    1. Me, either. I'll take the safety of the great indoors!

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  10. Very creepy. Makes you wonder why those five people disappeared/were taken and not any of the other hundreds (?) of people who hiked there over that handful of years....

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    1. It's possible if it was a serial killer, he was arrested on another charge and is still in jail today? Or died in jail. Or just died.

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  11. Wow- this one is fascinating!

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  12. My cousin lives in that area of VT, and we went hiking with her.. ahh!! I"m glad to report we came out alive. But this is freaky stuff!

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  13. Very scary. Now I feel less guilty about not going walking alone and not being too adventurous in a sporty way. Thanks for the post.

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  14. Really strange one indeed.

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  15. I tend to believe Native Americans over everyone else. I'll avoid that area!

    Piper Presley
    V is for Victory: Blogging From A to Z

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  16. Sounds like a serial killer who found a good spot to nab victims.

    ~Ninja Minion Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

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  17. Eerie. The Native American legend creeps me out. I think I'll avoid hiking there.

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  18. I think it's a little more down to Earth

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  19. I believe it was a serial killer targeting females. Spooks and aliens are a bit less choosy. Seems like the black females were not big hikers in the forties. *Side eye* Not exactly complaining.

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  20. Your posts remind me of the Blair Witch Project, except they are true! So creepy. I love a good mystery with paranormal overtones.

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  21. I too think there was foul play. Five years of missing women (only women) and then nothing since. Very strange. I wonder if the killer moved to a different area and then started the same behavior over. I'm guessing that was the case.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  22. I think probably a killer of some sort. I know one thing for sure, I'd stay out of that forest. Poor women.

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  23. I have the shivers now... Eeeek creepy!

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  24. Considering that Native Americans knew to beware, this is something that's been going on a lot longer than a serial killer's natural lifespan. And, since the absence of sounds of alarm discount any Sasquatch theories, I'm leaning toward supernatural. Or a naturally disguised sinkhole;-)

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  25. I like to go on hikes on my own, but there are times that I worry a bit when I'm in the woods or other isolated place and hear strange noises. I think I might avoid that Bermuda Triangle hike.

    Cheers - Ellen | thecynicalsailor.blogspot.com

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  26. Since it was a five-year timespan, I agree with most above me that it was probably a serial killer. It is sad that safety is a concern even in areas with other people around.

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  27. The curse thing is a curious part, but the fact that it was a short time period makes me think it was a human causing disappearances. Though, wow, each of your specific examples had them right near other people and no sounds or signs of struggle.

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  28. Sounds like a serial killer. I'm never going there, regardless:)

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  29. Sounds like a serial killer. I wonder if similar disappearances occurred in another nearby area.

    Love,
    Janie

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  30. Sounds like the work of a single wild hairy man if you ask me.

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  31. This one is a weird one. If the girl had been grabbed, you would think the couple behind her would have heard something or seen some evidence of a struggle
    Debbie

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  32. Hmmm- My first thought was serial killer, but I guess anything is possible. Amazing that no other information has been discovered over the years.

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  33. Blair Witch comes to mind...:)

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  34. Quick sand...yay or a swamp like monster! Gosh, this one is strange!

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  35. I have a feeling that there was a serial killer in the area. I wonder if there was a man who died shortly after the last woman disappeared because the disappearances stopped.

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  36. How scary and sad. Besides the two women, were the other missing people also women?

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  37. If it was only for a small range of time, I would suspect human involvement. Probably someone who moved away or was caught for something else or simply died.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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  38. Scary... the stuff of horror movies and alien abduction novels, or a mysterious worm hole between parallel universes. Maui Jungalow

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  39. My family used to hike the Long Trail every summer - in the 60's so it was safe. Interesting though. I never heard of the Bennington Triangle. Probably Big Foot.

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  40. My guess is Someone pulled her into the bushes. Another serial killer I'm afraid.

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