Posted by Alex Alexander • February 25, 2016
Can people disappear into thin air? The following story about David Lang, a Tennessee farmer, may just give you second thoughts about how you answer this question.
In 1880, David Lang was walking through the field on his far,, in full view of his wife, his two children and a passing buggy carrying two men. These witnesses all said they saw Lang making his way through the field in front of his home.
Lang vanished into thin air. It happened in a split second. One moment he was walking through his field and the next he was gone.
At that moment, Lang’s wife and children ran from their house to the spot where he disappeared, the two men in the buggy did the same. The witnesses figured Lang had fallen into a hole, but when they arrived at the spot where he disappeared, they found the whole field to be level, with no holes and Lang to be gone.
Neighbors and friends joined in a search of the whole field that ran well into the night. But, no one found any sign of Lang, nor any disturbance to the field. David Lang had just vanished.
No one could explain the strange disappearance of a man in broad daylight, witnessed by several people. Some say vegetation in the area where Lang disappeared turned yellow within a 15-ft circle, ever since the disappearance. None of the animals would graze in that section of the field any longer and nothing would grow there.
Several months after the disappearance of David Lang, as his children played near the area where he disappeared, they reported hearing him call out for help. The children reported that Lang’s voice sounded very distant and, after awhile, it disappeared, never to be heard again.
Fact or Fiction
Is the story of Lang’s disappearance fact or fiction? Several researchers have attempted, but haven’t been able to discover any records showing that a David Lang or the Lang farm near Gallatin, Tennessee ever existed. Some researchers believe the story was a creation of the renowned writer Ambrose Bierce.
Bierce published a collection of short stories titled, “Can Such Things Be?” in 1893, and there is a story titled “The Difficulty of Crossing a Field” within the collection. In the story, Bierce describes how a plantation owner vanishes in front of witnesses.
The story idea also appeared in mystery novelist Stuart Palmer’s story published in Fate magazine in July 1953. Palmer credited the origin of the story to David Lang’s daughter, Sarah, recounted the incredible incident to Palmer.
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