The Man Who Vanished into Thin Air

For over a century the mysterious disappearance of David Lang has left researchers perplexed. The events that transpired are more comparable to a Twilight Zone episode than a missing persons case. Yet oftentimes the truth is stranger than fiction. After all, similar occurrences continue to happen to this day. Hundreds of eerily parallel cases are described in the Missing 411 book series. Perhaps the best way to determine what is currently happening is to take a look further back in time.


During the afternoon hours of September 23, 1880, a farmer by the name of David Lang and his wife Emma exited their Tennessee home. Playing outside were the couple’s two children: eight-year-old George and eleven year-old Sarah. They watched while Mr. Lang crossed the field and approached his animal stables. At this moment a horse and buggy traveling down the road became visible. Occupying the carriage was Judge August Peck, a family friend, and his brother-in-law. When the youngsters saw who had arrived they immediately stopped playing and eagerly ran towards the vehicle. Judge Peck was known for bringing gifts whenever he came to visit.

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David Lang was a Tennessee farmer who vanished into thin air.

Although these guests were unexpected, the couple was delighted to see them. Mr. Lang waved as he turned around and walked back towards the house. Suddenly something unbelievable happened mid-step: the man completely vanished into thin air. One moment he was there and the next he simply ceased to exist. His utterly shocked wife screamed in horror. She, her children and friends all witnessed this bizarre disappearance.

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Judge August Peck was a well-respected member of the community.

Hastily the three adults sprinted to the area where Mr. Lang had been last seen.  Despite painstakingly scouring every square inch of ground, nothing turned up. Emma Lang had now become incredibly distraught and was brought inside in attempts to calm her down. An emergency siren rang and alerted local neighbors who quickly formed a search party. Concerned lantern-equipped citizens worked feverishly into the late evening hours.

Detectives, police officers and bloodhounds arrived at the scene. They stomped their feet trying to locate any craters to no avail. For weeks crew members thoroughly investigated the pasture but there were no signs of the lost farmer. A land survey showed that beneath the soil was solid limestone free of sinkholes and caves. There were not any wells, marshes, quicksand, trees or boulders present. Now the plot had thickened. How could a fully grown man simply dematerialize during broad daylight, never to be seen again?

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The disappearance occurred on a farm a few miles outside of Gallatin, Tennessee.

Several months later George and Sarah Lang noticed a strange anomaly precisely where their father had disappeared. There was a perfectly formed circle about fifteen feet in diameter where all the interior grass had turned yellow and stopped growing. Even stranger was the fact that resident animals refused to walk through this specific spot. Creatures such as vermin and insects completely avoided the area. When George placed a noisy cricket inside of the circle it immediately fell silent and swiftly jumped out. Upon leaving, the arthropod began chirping loudly once again.

Puzzled, the daughter decided to call out to her beloved parent. Both she and her brother were astonished when they heard Mr. Lang respond by faintly yelling, as if calling out for help. Soon his voice began to fade away before dissolving into silence. Excitedly the pair ran off to fetch their mother. She too could recognize the distant voice of her husband. For four days the family listened intently to the far-off replies until they eventually became inaudible.

After the events that transpired, Mrs. Lang passed the farm to a family friend.

There was never any memorial or funeral service held, perhaps due to wishful thinking that he may someday resurface. Mrs. Lang was never the same after her husband’s departure. Given the haunting memories that surrounded the farm combined with her fragile mental state, she decided to move away. After she and her children left the property was turned over to Judge Peck to rent out. Out of respect for Mr. Lang, the field was left untouched and remained that way until his wife’s passing.

Fifty-one years later Sarah Lang was interviewed by mystery novelist Stuart Palmer. In 1953 the story gained public attention after it was published in Fate Magazine, a popular publication that featured obscure topics. According to Fate, their story “How Lost Was My Father?” was a direct derivation of the previous 1931 account. Harold T. Wilkins released Strange Mysteries of Time and Space in 1958 and Frank Edwards wrote Stranger than Science one year later. Ultimately since few records have been located, investigators are left to study the work of these authors.

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For over a century researchers have wondered where David Lang went.

Whatever happened to David Lang remains a baffling mystery. Some speculate that he stumbled into another dimension. Others believe the man was abducted by aliens in a forcefield-concealed UFO. Skeptics say that the entire story is a work of fiction and nothing more than a mere hoax. As the decades continues to pass it becomes increasingly difficult to discern what really transpired that day. Given the number of strange disappearances that continue to occur, this is might be a case that should not be so easily dismissed.


What do you think happened to David Lang? Share your thoughts in the comments section if you have a theory of your own!

The Haunting Tale of S.S. Ourang Medan

For centuries legends of ghost ships have fascinated the masses. Haunting true stories of the Mary Celeste and Flying Dutchman perpetuate an age-old mystery. There are countless cases of unnerving oceanic anomalies, as seen in film, literature and through oral recollections. One of the most disturbing of such tales is that of the S.S. Ourang Medan. Her ultimate fate is nothing less than bizarre and continues to perplex modern-day mariners.


Located in the Indian Ocean, between Malaysia and Sumatra, is a trade route known as the strait of Malacca. Each day nearly two hundred and thirty ships navigate this narrow stretch of sea. It is one of the busiest ports in the world responsible for transporting a quarter of the world’s traded goods. Pirates plagued the area for years and stories of vanishing boats added to Malacca’s mystique. One particular vessel would give the channel a chilling reputation which remains over seven decades later.

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The Strait of Malacca is one of the busiest ports in the world.

In June of 1947 passing barges received a series of troubling SOS signals. While the source of the call was unknown their message was clear and concise: “All officers including captain are dead, lying in chartroom and bridge. Possibly whole crew dead.” Following the distressing message was an eruption of Morse code tones which could not be deciphered. A final bone chilling statement was then made: “I die,” accompanied by a deafening silence.

All nearby ships were instructed to remain alert and report anything unusual to authorities. Despite the cooperation of many seafarers, nothing out of the ordinary was initially discovered. Dutch and British commanders worked hastily to triangulate precisely where the alerts had been transmitted from. They were able to pinpoint Ourang Medan in a remote part of the ocean, miles away from all established shipping lanes.

An American merchant vessel, Silver Star (formerly known as Santa Cecilia), was closest to the estimated location. Crew members immediately set off on an altered course and headed towards the distressed boat since its message had been so dire. Only a few hours later she was visible drifting aimlessly on the horizon line. Upon closer inspection of the hull it became apparent that there was not any visible external damage. Several attempts were made to contact the occupants to no avail.

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S.S. Silver Star was the closest ship to Ourang Medan’s estimated location.

When the apprehensive rescue party embarked the ship they were greeted by a nightmarish scene. Littering the deck were dozens of corpses. Each man had an expression of sheer terror with bulging, panic-strickened eyes and mouths agape in silent screams. Every deckhand’s arms and legs were extended in distorted positions as if they were trying to fight some unknown source. Even the resident dog had his lips peeled back in an aggressive teeth-exposing snarl.

Silver Star’s squadron anxiously meandered through the interior. Inside of the bridge they found the captain’s body. Remaining officers were discovered dead in the wheel house and chart room. Engineering staff remained at their designated stations and the operator who made the initial emergency call was sprawled out over his transmitter. Just like their comrades on the upper deck, these men also had looks of utter horror and bizarre limb contortions. While it was obvious all crew members had suffered agonizing deaths, it remained uncertain what caused such grisly demises.

Equally mystifying was the state of the deceased. Although an SOS had been recently made, the bodies were decomposing at an alarmingly unnatural rate. Even stranger was the frigid temperature engulfing the entire barge. During that hot summer day temperatures had reached well over one hundred degrees. Readings performed upon the schooner revealed a bone-chilling forty degrees. The entire search team were completely perplexed as to what had happened to those poor souls aboard Ourang Medan.

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Temperature readings performed on the vessel were over 60°F lower than the surrounding area.

A decision was ultimately made to tow the watercraft back to port. However, shortly after departing smoke began to billow from the tethered boat’s lower deck cargo hold. Immediately a quick-witted commander cut the connecting rope. That critical decision would save countless innocent lives. Within seconds Medan exploded with such tremendous intensity that she was propelled from the water. Pieces of the vessel began to break apart as she sank into the murky abyss, never to be seen again.

Since this enigmatic occurrence countless investigators have searched for answers. Some have made connections to the infamous Philadelphia Experiment and suggest covert military testing is to blame. Others speculate that the ship was transporting Tabun, an extremely toxic nerve-suppressing chemical manufactured during World War II. Skeptics question whether these events ever took place.

An official US Coast Guard report was released in a May 1952 issue of Proceedings of the Merchant Marine. As time continues to pass the truth of Ourang Medan becomes increasingly difficult to ascertain. She and her crew took their secrets with them when they descended into the dismal depths. With modern sonar technology constantly evolving the wreckage may eventually surface. Until that day arrives, this is a case that will ultimately remain unsolved.

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With advancing technologies are we getting closer to discovering the shipwreck?

What do you think happened to Ourang Medan? Share your theories in the comment section, I’d love to hear other opinions on this mysterious topic. 

El Chupacabra: Science Fiction or Undiscovered Species?

Chupacabras will always hold a special place in my heart. They are the namesake of this blog and one of the few cryptozoological critters that supposedly inhabit Florida. Many believe that the emergence of such an entity is a relatively new phenomenon. Yet tales of such cryptids date back to many centuries ago and are shared amongst several different cultures worldwide. In fact, the Ancient Mayans wrote of a monster by the same name in 1400 BCE. 

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Ancient Mayans wrote of a creature that went by the same name.

Chupacabras first entered mainstream attention during the mid-1990s. A farmer in a rural Puerto Rican town discovered eight of his prized sheep dead. Each had three strange triangular puncture wounds on their chests and were completely drained of blood. Throughout the following months several other locals reported similar slaughterings of goats, sheep, chickens and pigs. When the media got a hold of these bizarre stories they dubbed the creature “El Chupacabra,” which is Spanish for the goatsucker.

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Stories of El Chupacabra received mainstream attention after eight sheep were killed mysteriously in Puerto Rico.

These attacks quickly spread to other counties including Brazil, Columbia, Argentina, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and North America. Witnesses describe the fanged beast as around five feet tall with enormous glowing red eyes. It has a solid build with a reptilian-like appearance and sharp quills running along its back. Some say that the creature is green and hairless while others recall fur covering the body. When El Chupacabra is nearby there is often a foul odor present, similar to many reported Sasquatch sightings.

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Chupacabra sightings occur throughout South America.

One of the most infamous encounters with this legendary animal happened to a Puerto Rican housewife named Madelyne Tolentino. In August of 1995, she saw the being outside of her Canóvanas home. According to the woman, it was a four-foot tall bipedal being that resembled an alien and moved like a kangaroo. Each hand had three clawed fingers. Instead of a snout there were two small air holes and spikes covering its spine. During this confrontation there were three other observers present: Tolentino’s mother, ex-husband and his coworker.

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Madelyne Tolentino’s sketch of what she witnessed outside her window. 

At the time of this incident one hundred and fifty farm animals, including pets, died from mysterious puncture wounds. All of the bodily fluids appeared to have been sucked out. Similar to many cattle mutilation cases, these cuts appeared to be created by something with laser-sharp precision. Even modern-day surgeons would have difficulty replicating such lacerations. UFO sightings frequently occur within close proximity to where the cryptid is spotted. For these reasons some speculate that El Chupacabra is an unknown species of extraterrestrial.

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Are Chupacabras related to extraterrestrials?

Others feel that misidentification is to blame. Predatory cats or mangy coyotes could be responsible for this legendary beast. In the United States, carcasses of alleged Chupacabras received DNA testing. Blood analysis revealed common mammals such as dogs and raccoons to be the perpetrators. Some of these animals have parasitic infections which cause a loss of fur and an odd appearance. Conspiracy theorists believe that our government is to blame and the creature is the result of secret genetic experimentation projects or a biological warfare weapon.

Many supposed sightings are misidentified dogs, raccoons or coyotes.

Despite the FBI completing two thorough Chupacabra investigations, we are still no further to solving this mystery. Possibilities range from an elaborate hoax to a legitimate living breed worthy of scientific merit. With 15,000 to 18,000 new species discovered on Earth each year, it’s entirely plausible that an unidentified carnivorous species might be roaming the jungles of Puerto Rico. Until a definitive answer is found cryptozoologists will continue the pursuit of this legendary animal.