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People Who Vanish

One Summer Long Ago


Orion Williamson Winked Out of Existence

On a beautiful summer day in Selma Alabama, Orion Williamson enjoyed a lazy sunny afternoon with his family on the front porch of their farmhouse. Little, did he know, in a very short time, his life on earth was about to end. But it would not end in a normal way. He would not die of a heart attack, suffer an injury, or get trampled by his horses. It was 1854, so even treating illnesses and accidents during that time was not that great. Medicine, in that era, was in its infant stage compared to present day. Also our understanding of time and space was not that well known back then either.

As the July sun moved across the sky and the shadows shifted, Orion left the porch so that he could move his horses into the shade. As he walked through the ankle high grass, his neighbor, Amour Wren and his son happened to be passing by and were on the opposite side of the field when Orion’s time on this earth or in this dimension ended. Orion waved to his neighbors and then vanished.

When the neighbors and Orion’s family went to the spot where he disappeared they found a small patch of grass missing. Later, a few hundred volunteers, along with dogs, searched the field well into the night. They found no sign of Orion. Days later, experts came to the sight speculating the possibility that he fell into some kind of cave or sinkhole. When they dug at the spot where he vanished, they found nothing, only solid ground with a rocky foundation layered on top with a few feet of soil.

Four people witnessed the horror that day. Amour and his son, and Orion’s wife and son. For the Williamson family the terror would not simply end with his disappearance. For weeks after, they would hear Orion calling for help. Gradually, his calls for help would grow fainter until they would eventually stop.

What did happen to Orion Williamson? There have been a few ideas on what happened to him. A more modern explanation is that aliens abducted him. Scientists of his day speculated that he may have stumbled into a rare spot of “universal ether” lasting only a second, destroying all the matter in his body. Even during that time in the mid 1800’s, others speculated that he did pass into a parallel world.

The parallel dimension idea seems to be the best theory, if you could call it a theory since there was no flash of light, no rush of air, or nothing that looked like a doorway to another world. There simply was nothing. If Orion did enter a parallel dimension what is it like there? Maybe this question should not be asked since he was calling for help for weeks after. It sounds like this parallel world is not a happy place.

Voices from Nowhere and Everywhere

The calling for help is not exactly unique in Orion’s case. Nearly 25 years later it would happen again. It involved a 16 year old boy who lived in Quincy, Illinois. His name; Charles Ashmore. On a cold day in November of 1878 he went to get water from a nearby well. He never returned. There were footprints in the snow but they stopped. When Charles vanished, there were no witnesses to the event but for months after his voice could be heard calling out for help. It seemed like his voice came from nowhere and from everywhere. It too became faint and eventually stopped by the middle of the next summer.

More Recent Vanishings

People vanishing is not limited to the distant past, nor is it that rare. For example, in the 1970’s a professor at the University of the Andes in Venezuela vanished on campus while getting into his car. With the car door open, he waved at some students and then entered the vehicle. He closed the door and that was it. The car never moved. It was empty. This incident was reported in one of the largest Venezuela newspapers.

Another, even more recent disappearance occurred near the Ohio State University campus in 2006. Medical student Brian Shaffer was attending a local bar. It was the beginning of spring break so many of the students began celebrating. It seems he entered the bar and then left sometime later. It was recorded on the bar’s surveillance camera. Later, the footage showed him re-entering the bar near closing time but no sign of him ever leaving. He simply vanished. The police could not find any foul play. In a bizarre twist, his girlfriend called his cell phone number months later and it rang a couple of times. It did not go to voicemail. However, after contacting the phone company, they blamed it on a computer error.

Are all of these disappearances related to parallel worlds or is there something more sinister going on? One area where many have vanished has taken place in the woods, in state and national parks, and even in other secluded or wooded areas around the world. On the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia people have vanished. Some have been found later, dead. Their bodies discovered in hard to reach locations far from where they vanished. Some have even lived through it and were found dazed and confused, also far from the point where they disappeared. The local people say that the abductions are being carried out by “Jin” which are evil forest people. If this isn’t weird enough, the locals say that to protect yourself, do not wear bright clothing, especially the color yellow. Individuals that wear black or grey should be protected or overlooked by the evil people.

There also have been many stories similar to Indonesia taking place in the forests of the northwest throughout the United States and Canada.

If you go out in the forest, don't wear any clothes with the color yellow.

If you go out in the forest, don't wear any clothes with the color yellow.

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BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on August 03, 2021:

I used to watch those shows also. Every now & then I catch an old one.

Worm holes? Sounds like another interesting write for you.

Take care.

Gene W Strasser (author) from Lake Orion, Michigan on August 03, 2021:

Hello Brenda,

Thanks for the comments.

This topic is frightening. Just recently, after posting this Hub, I happened to see one of the episodes, "Weird or What" with Willam Shatner. I know the show aired more than ten years ago but I obviously missed this particular one. It did deal with people who have disappeared and one the the theories was disturbing. One physicist theorized that wormholes can open up and swallow you. Where you end up nobody knows but he mentioned that most likely you will be ejected into the vacuum of space.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on July 29, 2021:


I love the way you put this story together.

It definitely sparked my interest.

It's unbelievable, but yet I've heard many stories about this happening.

Is it another dimension where we can still see our loved ones but they cannot see us.

Who knows?

The one in Ohio though has alot of theories. I'm not convinced that he just vanished.

Great write. I enjoyed reading this one.

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