The phrase for the area was coined by Joseph A Citro, an author, in 1992 when a radio broadcast discussed the area in Southwestern Virginia in which people had gone missing. A number of people went missing between 1920-1950 and has similar characteristics to the ‘Bridgewater Triangle’ in nearby state Massachusetts.

12th November 1945 – 74 year old Middie Rivers disappeared. He was with four hunters and got ahead of them but he never showed up again or met with the other four. It was a local area that he was familiar with so it felt as though there was little to suggest he had got lost.

1st December 1946 – 18 year old Paula Weldon disappeared, she went out for a hike. She was seen by a couple and they say she was 100 yards ahead, she went around the corner and they too walked that way but when they got around the corner they found no sign of Paula. She never showed up, nor any trace, despite a $5000 reward and the FBI’s involvement.

1st December 1949 – James Tedford a veteran went missing three years to the day later. He had been visiting relatives and was returning home on the bus to Bennington Soldier’s Home when he went missing. He was according to witnesses, on the last stop before his destination. His belongings were still in the luggage rack, the open bus timetable was on the seat and he was nowhere to be found.

12th October 1950 – 8 year old Paul Jepson was with his mother in a truck. She left her son in the truck to go feed the pigs, she was gone for about an hour. When she got back he was gone, search parties were formed and with Paul in a bright red jacket he should have been easy to spot.

28th October 1950 – 53 year old Frieda Langer and her cousin Herbert Elsner left the family campsite to hike. She slipped and fell into a stream and said she would go back to change her clothes if he could wait there. When she did not return he went back to the camp and was told that she had not been back there, and for the next two weeks search parties extensively combed the area. 12th May 1951 her body showed up in a spot that had been searched very well at the time, there was no chance for it to have been there at the time. Unfortunately due to the time lapse a cause of death could not be determined.

A quick analysis of these and I would conclude that given today’s forensics there might well have been clues, also there have probably been other missing people cases locally over the years but they had been singled out as a phenomena suddenly making them extra-ordinary as a collective.

Paul Jepson may not have vanished, he may well have been kidnapped, for instance if he had been taken away and the abductor was gone by the time the alert was raised that would mean he was another victim of child abduction and not so much a paranormal/mystery event.

Frieda Langer’s mystery might also have a more mundane and grizzly explanation. Abducted and killed away from the scene with the speculation high and searches constantly going on, there is a chance that the killer waited and kept the body concealed until the hype died down enough to dump it back there.

However given the the disappearances seem to have stopped after a spate that went up until the 1950’s, one may have to wonder why.

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