New England Myths & Legends: The Mystery Of The Bennington Triangle

There is an area of southwestern Vermont with so many mysterious disappearances and spooky sightings that it has earned itself the nickname, “The Bennington Mystery Triangle.” Between 1920 and 1950, at least five people vanished in the area, never to be seen or heard from again.

The “mystery triangle” is centered around Glastenbury Mountain and includes the towns immediately surrounding it, especially Bennington, Woodford, Shaftsbury, and Somerset. The area was once a thriving logging community until the late 19th century.

Local Native Americans are said to have regarded the Glastenbury area as “cursed” and avoided it. Since being unincorporated by an act of the state legislature in 1937, the area around Glastenbury Mountain has been rife with UFO sightings, tales of wild, hairy humanoid creatures, strange lights and sounds, and even a “man-eating rock”!

74-year-old Middie Rivers was a mountain guide in the area. While leading a group back to their camp on November 12, 1945, he strayed ahead on the familiar trail and simply vanished. Despite extensive searches, no trace of the man or his fate were ever discovered.

College student, Paula Welden went hiking on the Long Trail one day in 1946 wearing a red sweater. Though other folks on the trail reported seeing her go into the wilderness, she never came back out and no trace of her has ever been found.

In 1949, James E. Teford got on a bus in St. Albans. When the bus reached Bennington, his belongings were still on the bus’ luggage rack, but the man was gone and never seen again. There is no official evidence that supports the theory that he went missing in the Bennington Triangle area.

On October 12, 1950 8-year-old Paul Jepson went missing while his mother was feeding some pigs. Paul was told to wait in the truck, but when his mother returned, he was gone. His scent was followed by dogs, but it was lost on a highway. Some believe he was eaten by the hogs and no trace of him remained.

Frieda Lander disappeared on October 28,1950 when she separated from her cousin during a hike. She supposedly headed back to change after getting her clothes wet, but never returned to the camp. A massive search was mounted by police, volunteers, firemen and military. Her body was found the following May in a field that had been searched extensively in the previous months. This led to many questions as to why she was not discovered before, and raised suspicions of UFOs.


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