Selma, Alabama. 1854.
It was the days of horse buggies, large fields, and dirt roads. Neighbors always willing to help one another out.
Orion Williamson was your typical farmer. He lived with his wife and son on the outskirts of Selma. Their home was surrounded by pastures, farm animals, and kind neighbors.
The day wasn’t an unusual day. It was a hot afternoon in July. The Williamson family was taking a break from chores, enjoying the fresh air, sitting on their porch.
The family’s farm manager, Andrew, could be seen in the distance. He was tending to the horses across the field. Orion remembered that he needed to tell Andrew something, so he stood up to walk in his direction. His wife and son remained basking in the Alabama sun.
Meanwhile, one of the neighbors-Armour Wren-and his son were passing by the property in their buggy. Per usual, they stopped to wave at their friend. Orion returned the gesture, took another step, and then vanished.
The Williamson family and the neighbors all witnessed the incident, none of them believing what they saw. Being on opposite sides of the field, both parties took off running to where Orion had been standing moments before, but the farmer was nowhere to be found. They searched for hours, but there wasn’t a trace of Orion Williamson anywhere.
Word quickly spread about the missing man, and hundreds of people came to help in the search. Every inch of the fields were checked. This went on for days. Geologists would even offer assistance by looking for caves or holes. Something to explain the sudden vanishment. Every attempt would prove fruitless.
For about two weeks following his disappearance, Mrs. Williamson and her son would hear Orion’s voice calling to them from the exact spot he vanished. They even slept near the voice, hoping for some kind of resolution. Eventually, though, his voice would fade to a whisper and then to nothing at all.
In the Spring, following the disappearance of Orion Williamson, a circle of dead grass appeared in the field where he was last seen.
Ambrose Bierce, a journalist and American Civil War veteran, wrote a piece called “The Difficulty of Crossing a Field.” Ironically, he would also disappear under unknown circumstances in 1913.
Reports show this wasn’t the only time someone vanished into thin air. There’s a story from Tennessee in 1880 where David Lang, also a farmer, disappeared when walking through his field.
An unstable universal ether was responsible. This was a theory that was proposed by Aristotle during ancient Greek times.
A magnetic field transported the farmer to another dimension.