Mysteries of Time and Space: Portals
The following story has haunted me for years. I first heard this chilling tale as a teenager and have never forgotten it. It was told to me by one of my mother's closest friends who grew up in rural 1940s Tennessee—very near where this event was said to have occurred.
As the story goes, a local farmer was working in the fields one afternoon along with his team of horses and a few farm hands. It started off as a day like any other. It would not, however, end that way.
Late in the evening, the farmer had let his helpers go home for the day while he continued to work. No one suspected anything unusual until suppertime rolled around. It was then that it was discovered that the hardworking husband and father had vanished.
A Desperate Search
The nightmare began when the man's eldest son had gone to the field to tell his father that supper was ready. The boy searched the area, but could find no sign of the farmer. The horses were still hitched to the plow that they had been pulling all day. The man who should have been driving them was nowhere to be found.
The boy knew immediately that something was wrong. His father would never have left the horses unattended unless he had been called away unexpectedly. He hollered for his father, but received only a stony silence in return. Panic welled inside the boy as he ran home to get help.
A Voice From Far Away
He returned with his mother, brother and sisters. They spread out over the field and began calling out the farmer's name. It was the youngest daughter who would be the first to hear her father's voice. He was answering her, but something wasn't right. The little girl noted that his response seemed to be coming from someplace far away.
The entire clan converged on the spot where the man's voice had been heard. They called out to him again and were relieved when they, too, received a reply. Even though his voice could be heard, no one was able to actually see him.
The farmer yelled that he was there and that he could hear their voices, but he couldn't see them. Worse yet, he didn't know where he was or how to reach them. The man's wife would later relate that his voice sounded as though it was coming from deep underneath the ground.
The family were at a loss as to what to do. They could hear the farmer and had no doubt that he was still in the field. Even so, they couldn't find him. The farmer was faced with the same dilemma. They were all sharing the same area of the field, but could not make contact with one and other.
Not knowing what else to do, they phoned the sheriff and summoned him to the field. They hoped that he would find a way to bring the farmer back to them. It was not to be.
Gone Without a Trace
When the sheriff arrived, he could offer little help to the distraught family. He assured them that he would have some men out in the field as soon as possible to conduct a thorough search. He then advised them to go back to their house and wait for news. He felt sure that the farmer would turn up sooner or later.
The search offered up no trace of the missing man. Contrary to the sheriff's assurances, the farmer didn't wander home on his own. Wherever he was, it appeared as though he was there to stay.
The Voice Fades
Day in and day out, the family would return to the field and call out to the farmer. He would answer back, just as he had done on the first day he went missing. As time passed, his voice seemed to grow more and more distant until one day when it finally ceased altogether. His faint cries for help were never heard again.
After the farmer's disappearance, the spot from which he was thought to have vanished became barren. No grass or weeds would grow there. The animals refused to walk near the area, choosing instead to give it a wide berth. It remained a dry patch of land from that day on.
Was It a Portal?
One theory floated about was that a portal of some kind had opened up in the field on that fateful day. The farmer had then accidentally stepped through the doorway only to have it close behind him. With no means of escape, he had found himself trapped forever in another dimension.
Is it possible that the farmer had realized his mistake, too late, and had remained just on the other side of the gateway in a desperate attempt to make contact with his family? As time passed, did he finally accept his fate and move on to whatever awaited him on the other side?
Whatever happened to the farmer, whether he accidentally entered another dimension or simply wandered off never to be seen again, the events of that day would haunt one Tennessee family for the remainder of their lives.
Another Place and Time
We have all had instances in which we thought we saw movement out of the corner of our eye only to discover that we are alone in a room. It's alarming, for a moment, and then it passes. Most of the time, we chalk it up to our overactive imaginations and move on. The story you are about to read was shared with me by a lady named Beth Fletcher. She heard that I write true tales of the unexplained and thought that her experience qualified. I agreed.
The incident occurred on a warm spring evening while Beth was sitting in her car waiting to pick her daughter up from gymnastics. As was her norm, Beth played games on her cell phone to pass the time. This was her unwavering routine week in and week out.
On this particular evening, for some reason, Beth happened to glance up from her game. That is when she noticed a man standing behind a large tree that stood in the yard of the gymnastics studio. The man's appearance made her immediately put her phone aside.
A Bearded, Armored Man
She could tell that he was very large in stature, even in comparison to the tree. The man sported a long beard and hair that was even longer. He was wearing a tall hat that appeared to be made of steel or metal. As strange as it sounds, she says that he was also completely encased in body armor, including a chest plate.
Beth was aware that, as she was staring slack-jawed at him, he was also observing her. She didn't know what to make of this strange man who had appeared out of nowhere. Acting completely against her nature, Beth decided to get out of her car and have a word with him.
As she opened the door and prepared to go speak to the stranger, he disappeared as quickly as he had appeared. Undeterred, Beth walked over to the spot on which he had been standing. He was nowhere to be found.
Beth noted that there were other parents sitting in their cars waiting to pick up their children. She approached a few of them and asked if they had seen the man dressed in medieval attire. Not one of them could say that they had.
What Had She Seen?
Thoroughly shaken, Beth tried to find a rational explanation for what she had witnessed. Maybe there had been some sort of costume event or festival taking place nearby that the man had taken part in. Later, she would determine that there had been no such gatherings in the area.
Beth has never found out the identity of the man she saw that evening. She can't explain how he managed to vanish into thin air before her eyes. She is also perplexed as to why she was the only one who admitted to seeing him. Beth is adamant that she was not under the influence of anything that would have altered her perception. She knows what she saw and stands by her story.
Perhaps Beth did imagine the whole scenario. Or maybe, there is a chance that she witnessed something remarkable that day. Is there a possibility, however remote, that a warrior from another place and time somehow stepped into our world? Did he see Beth and beat a hasty retreat back to where he belonged?
Anything is possible in the vastness of the universe. Maybe, unlike the farmer in the first story, the man whom Beth saw was able to find the gateway back to his own time. The mysteries of time and space truly are never ending.