Mysterious Trips into the Woods
Vacation is a rewarding experience for us, getting away from a busy life and tiring work we have in the city for a little while. Some people travel to pristine beaches to feel the breeze of sea air. Others go to the wilderness to be with nature, feel the calmness of the trees, and find peace of mind.
However, sometimes the wilderness is not what we thought it would be. It can be dangerous and scary, mostly if something horribly went wrong. Here are some mysteries that happened to travelers who lost contact. They went missing for some weird and unexplained reasons and their whereabouts have been tagged as unidentified.
The 1998 Case: Disappearance of Derrick Engebretson
On December 5, 1998, on a cold night and ravaged high winds of Bonanza, Oregon, an 8-year old Derrick Engebretson was abducted by Frank J. Milligan. Derrick, his father, and grandfather went for a trip to Winema National Forest. After reaching the heart of the forest, a massive sand storm has hit the place. That lead to the boy being separated from his father and grandfather and he goes missing.
Soon after, when the sand storm abated, they looked for the boy and couldn’t find him. They contacted the authorities to locate Derrick. When the authorities failed to trace the boy’s whereabouts on their initial search and rescue operation, they concluded that it could be an abduction. That was after finding the boy’s belongings not far from where his father last saw him.
The authorities continued to search the area, and after the extensive search, the boy was never found. However, a local witness told the police that he saw a man carrying an unconscious boy when he passed them by in his car while going on his way home.
Four years later, in 2002, a case was reopened when an inmate came forward. He told the authorities that one inmate who is identified as Frank J. Milligan, a child rapist, told him stories of his past crimes. One of which was about a boy being abducted in the forest. He bragged about how he abducted, raped, and murdered the boy.
Upon summoning Milligan to testify the story, he was kidnapped and raped and later was murdered at the same time when Derrick went missing. Milligan said that he buried Derrick’s body somewhere that he only knows about. With this, the police repeatedly searched to find the body, but nothing was found, thus making Miller not guilty. The case of Derrick’s disappearance remains unsolved until now.
The Axeman of Cline Falls State Park
Two friends and Yale students Avra Goldman and Terri Jentz, decided to go on a cross-country cycling trip in 1977. Exhausted on their long journey, the pair decided to stop by at Cline Falls State Park to rest and spend the night. While at their peace, the women were awakened by a sudden truck coming crashing unto them.
At first, they thought it was just an accident, so they quickly came near to help; however, they were shocked when a man with a huge ax came out of the truck and violently attacked them.
The axeman left, leaving the two friends badly injured; however, Jentz could get help from a car passing by and rescued them to the hospital. The truck came back a few minutes later, but he returned back knowing that the women were gone. An official inquiry to know about the culprit’s whereabouts, but the authorities failed to identify the motive of the attack of the axeman.
UFO Sighting at Falcon Lake
Stephen Michalak, a 51-year old Polish man, claimed that he had an encounter with an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) at Falcon Lake in Winnipeg, Manitoba, while he was hiking the area on May 20, 1967. According to Michalak, he saw two glowing silver orbs flying around above him, one of which landed on a rock while the other just flew away.
Out of curiosity, he approached the said object and shockingly witnessed a bright light shone from the object, and a door opened along with a muffled voice. He tried to touch the object, but it knocked him off and put his shirt on fire. It took him 9 hours to get out of the forest while his body was severely burned, which caused him to suffer first-degree burns, including his stomach that gave sulfuric stench.
A few weeks later, Michalak and experts returned to the exact location where the object landed to investigate the phenomenon in the area. Based on the study of the experts, they found traces of radiation on the rock formations. Despite the detailed testimony of Michalak, it was not proven to be an object of an alien-life form; however, the incident left a mark on his body and scarred him for the rest of his life.
The Mysterious Disappearance of Keith Reinhard
Keith Reinhard, 49-year old, was a Sportswriter for Daily Herald Chicago and lived a busy but happy life. In 1988, Reinhard decided to go for a short holiday leave to have a trip to Silver Plume. Upon staying at the place for a little while, Reinhart heard the infamous story of the Bookshop owner’s disappearance, Tom Young.
According to the local story, Tom Young went missing with his dog when they traveled to the forest a long time ago. Reinhart was intrigued by this story and started to investigate it, so he ran to Young’s bookstore and researched his life so Reinhart could write it for the feature story.
He found out that Young’s body was found with his dog along with the gun beside them. Police had concluded that Young committed suicide; however, Reinhart was not satisfied with this, so he decided to travel in the forest to look for further shreds of evidence.
Just about to get weirder, Reinhart was seen leaving for the forest without the proper camping equipment. The locals were worried that it was the last time they had seen the man get help for rescue, and the plane they used to look for Reinhart crashed, and the pilot died.
After this, Reinhart was never found and still tagged as a missing person. All the mysterious events in the forest were all unsolved; the locals decided to restrict the forest for camping activities.
David Tyll and Brian Ognjan’s Terrifying Disappearances
November 22, 1985, David Tyll and Brian Ognjan, both were 27-year-olds from Detroit, went on a hunting trip to Northern Michigan. The men were planning to stay at Tyll’s cabin when they arrived at the place. However, both never arrived at their destination and went missing.
The Ford Bronco they drove also went missing, and apparently, they never got to purchasing their hunting licenses, so it’s unlikely they just disappeared like a bubble. The case was dormant for 18 years until 2003, when a local witness named Barbara Boudro was subpoenaed by the authorities and shared the shocking story.
Tyll and Ognjan stopped by a local bar, Linker’s Lounge in Mio. The two got into a hot fight with Raymond and Donald Duvall, the two brothers known who have lived in the surrounding woods. The Duvall brothers allegedly beat the two men to death outside the bar while they begged for their lives.
Tyll and Ognjan were hardly beaten up, unable to see and helpless;. The Duvall brothers chopped off their body parts and fed them to their pigs. The local people in the community mostly had seen the incident. However, they never reported it to the authorities as they were afraid of the brothers who were intimidating and vicious characters.
They were summoned to the court, and in their defense, they denied that they killed Tyll and Ognjan. However, other witnesses came forward and testified that they were beaten and had chopped up the two men. Even though there was no physical evidence to prove the incident, the Duvall brothers were still convicted of first-degree murder. Both were sentenced to life imprisonment. As to David Tyll and Brian Ognjan’s disappearances, their bodies were never found.
Williams, D. (2016, September 9). Mysterious trips into the great outdoors that went horribly wrong. Outdoor Revival. https://www.outdoorrevival.com
Warder, R. (2014, December 9). 10 Mysterious Trips Into The Wilderness That Went Horribly Wrong. List Verse. https://listverse.com/
Philip Aristoteles is a freelance Content Writer and a self-confessed bookworm. Apart from writing different content for businesses and creative outputs, he’s also fond of writing poetry that delves into topics such as love, self-discovery, and mental health. He likes classic films and loves to do reviews of them.
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