Real Name: Middie Rivers, Paula Welden, James Telford, Frieda Langer, Paul Jepson, Martha Jones, Frances Christman
Nicknames: No Known Nicknames
Location: Bennington, Vermont
Date: November 1945 to December 1950
Occupation: (Welden) Student
Date of Birth: (Welden) October 19, 1928
Height: (Welden) 5'5
Weight: (Welden) 122 pounds
Marital Status: Unrevealed
Characteristics: (Welden) Blonde hair, blue eyes, grayish color scar on left knee, small scar under left eye brow, a vaccination scar on her right thigh, cleft chin and upturned nose.
Details: Long Trail is a wilderness path that runs around and through the ridge of Mount Glastonbury of the Green Mountains near Bennington, Vermont. For five years, seven separate individuals have vanished or met dire ends in this area. The first person to vanish was deer hunter Middie Rivers on November 12, 1945. He knew the area extremely well and was in the company of four other hunters. He was reportedly heading back to camp ahead of the others, but after he failed to return from hunting, search teams of the state police, soldiers, boy scouts and local volunteers combed the area looking for signs of the seventy-five year-old hunter but to no avail. In December of 1946, blonde, attractive Paula Welden from Bennington College told her roommate, Elizabeth Johnson, that she was going for a walk. The last person to see the eighteen-year-old girl was the watchman at the local newspaper who gave her directions, but despite another search with the help of the FBI, State Police from Vermont and Connecticut, soldiers from Fort Devens and nationwide publicity, not a trace of her was ever found. On December 1, 1949, James Telford vanished near Bennington, but possibly not necessarily on the trail. He was arriving in town from St. Albans, sleeping on the bus en route, but when the bus departed town, he was no where to be found, leaving behind his belongings. On October 12, 1950, eight-year-old Paul Jepson from Shaftsbury wandered away from a wooded area where his father had parked his truck close to where Paula Welden had last been seen. A search with bloodhounds ended abruptly at one spot on the trail, suggested the boy might have been abducted. On October 28, 1950, two weeks after Paul vanished, Frieda Langer went on a camping trip near the trail with her husband, Max. She went hiking on the trail with her cousin, Herb Elsner, and then tried making back to her husband alone to be never seen again. Despite a worried search for the 53-year-old resident from North Adams, Massachusetts, she failed to turn up. When Martha Jones vanished on November 6, 1950, it was initially believed she had run off to live with her boyfriend in Virginia, but when this turned out to be in error, a very late search was made for her on the trail with no results. The last of the six was Frances Christman who set out on December 3, 1950 to visit a friend three miles away. When she failed to arrive, it was believed that she too had vanished on the trail.
On May 12, 1951, the body of Frieda Langer was finally discovered in a spot believed over-looked by previous search parties, but many believe she was dumped there much later by persons unknown. Her cause of death is unrevealed.
Suspects: None known. Speculation has ranged from a serial killer to a Bigfoot in the area.
Extra Notes: This case originally ran on the May 17, 1996 episode.
- Long Trail at Unsolved Histories
- Bennington Triangle: Strange Disappearances In Vermont
- Paula's case on Wikipedia
- Paula's case on the Charley Project