Orion waved to his neighbors, took one step, and vanished into thin air.
Hardly able to believe their eyes, the Williamsons and the Wrens ran to the spot Orion disappeared in and searched for any sign of him. They found none. Most of the grass in the spot was gone too.
After hours of futile searching, Orion’s shocked family and neighbors went for help. A search party of three hundred men was formed, and they carefully and repeatedly combed every inch of the field. Later, bloodhounds joined the search. No sign of Orion materialized, even though the effort continued well into the night.
As news of the inexplicable vanishment spread, more volunteers and a team of geologists arrived. They dug up the field to see if the ground was in any way unstable or unusual. There was only solid rock a few feet below the surface. No holes, crevices or cave-ins, nothing that could explain the event.
Reportedly, Mrs. Williamson and her son could hear Orion’s voice calling for help for weeks afterwards, growing fainter and fainter. Each time they would rush out onto the field, only to find nothing. Gradually, Orion’s voice faded into a mere whisper, then disappeared forever.
After no amount of searching turned up anything, the judge declared Orion dead.
The following spring, it is said, a circle of dead grass appeared to mark the spot of the unlucky farmer’s disappearance.
The German scientist, Maximilian Hern, author of the book Disappearance and Theory Thereof, speculated that Orion walked into a spot of “universal ether”. He believed these places lasted a few seconds and could completely destroy all matter within them. Another scientist theorized a magnetic field had disintegrated Orion’s atomic structure and sent him into another dimension. To me, that sounds even less likely than “goblins did it”.
Years later, a traveling salesman named McHatten rewrote the Williamson disappearance. In his story, Orion’s name became David Lang, the place changed to Gallatin and the date was moved to 1880.
Even though the Lang story is fictional apart from the basic facts, it has been presented as true in newspaper aticles and books by authors who didn’t do their homework. Consequently, it is better known than the real vanishment behind it.
Image by Sam T