Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 251/365 Now You're Here, Now You're Not

Ambrose Bierce was an American journalist and short-story, best known for his short story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" and his satirical dictionary The Devil's Dictionary.

In October 1913, Mr. Bierce departed Washington, D.C., for a tour of his old Civil War battlefields. By December he had traveled through Louisiana and Texas, and crossed into Mexico, which was in the throes of revolution. In Ciudad Juárez he joined Pancho Villa's army as an observer, actually participating in the battle of Tierra Blanca.

Mr. Bierce is known to have accompanied the army as far as the city of Chihuahua.

After a last letter to a close friend, sent from there December 26, 1913, he vanished without a trace.

Unexplained disappearances appear throughout history. Most, although often repeated, are eventually proven to be hoaxes.

But there are those few instances that have no explanation.

Consider the Mary Celeste, discovered sailing in December 1872 abandoned and unmanned in the mid-Atlantic. The crew were never seen or heard from again, and their fate remains unknown and unexplained.

Or the four B-47 Stratojets that left MacDill Air Force Base (near Tampa, Florida)on March 10, 1956, for a non-stop flight to an overseas air base, completing their first aerial refueling without incident. After descending through solid cloud to begin their second refueling,one aircraft (manned by Captain Robert H. Hodgin- 31, commander, Captain Gordon M. Insley-32, observer, and 2nd Lt. Ronald L. Kurtz 22, pilot) failed to make contact with the tanker. Neither the aircraft or wreckage from it were ever found.

And, finally, the odd disappearance of Frederick Valentich in 1978. While piloting a Cessna 182L aircraft to King Island, Australia, Valentich reported an unusual aircraft was following his, and his last words were "It is hovering and it's not an aircraft". No trace of Valentich or his aircraft was ever found.

Some theorize that unexplained disappearances might be the result of tears in the fabric of reality, with people or objects passing out of our world,and into another,simply falling into the fourth dimension.

Others propose that there are certain locations around the globe that are linked to magnetic vortexes,places where the boundaries between our dimension and the next is thin enough for people to pass through given the right conditions.

One wonders whether the 19th century crew of the Mary Celeste, the crewmen of the B-47 Stratojet, Frederick Valentich, and, of course, Ambrose Bierce, all ended up in the same "other" dimension.

Was it in the past? The future? Or side-by-side with our time? Are they are watching with their faces pushed up against a glass wall of time, as our world goes on without them?

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