Sunday, April 1, 2007

A Mysterious Disappearance

David Lang's 2 children, George, 8, and Sarah, 11, were playing in the yard just a few miles outside of Gallatin, Tennessee with a wooden wagon pulled by wooden horses when Lang and his wife came out of the vine-covered brick house. Lang probably talked to the children about the toy, which he had bought for them in Nashville that morning. Then he began to walk across the pasture, which was burned brown by a dry spell. At this time, Judge August Peck and Lang's brother-in-law came driving up the lane in a buggy. The judge saw Lang in the field and was just going to shout to him when it happened. Lang vanished from the earth. One minute he was standing in an open field, on which there was short grass but no trees, stones, or fences. The next minute he was simply gone.

Mrs. Lang and the 2 men went to the spot where Lang had disappeared, thinking that he might have fallen into a crack in the earth. But they found no such crack. Mrs. Lang became hysterical and was led, screaming, into the house. Someone rang a huge bell, which brought the neighbors to help. Soon scores of people were searching the field and nearby land, but to no avail.

A surveyor and geologist who examined the field later found limestone bedrock just a few feet underground. There was no fracture in this bedrock.
For a month the search went on. Curiosity seekers came to gawk. All the Lang servants except the cook quit in fear.

A year later, the grass where Lang had disappeared had grown high and thick in a circle 20' in diameter. Not one of the farm animals would graze there, and it seemed free of insects. It was as though an ominous presence hovered over that piece of ground.

One day in early August, 1881, Sarah and George approached the green circle of high grass. Sarah called out, "Father, are you anywhere around?" There was no answer, but she repeated the question 4 times. They were about to walk away when they heard a faint cry for help, a cry that came out of nowhere. Quickly the children ran and got their mother, who returned with them to the spot and called as they had done. Her husband answered. For several days, the family returned, and each day when they called, the answering voice became fainter, until finally there was no response at all.

Mrs. Lang never fully recovered, and there was never a funeral or memorial service for Mr. Lang. Mrs. Lang eventually left the farm and allowed Judge Peck to rent it out, with the exception of the field in the front of the house. That pasture was left untouched as long as she lived.

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