The Unsolved Disappearance of Paula Jean Welden
Paula Weldon was the eldest of four children born to the famous industrial engineer, architect and designer William Archibald Weldon and his wife Jean Douglas. Paula was a 1945 graduate of Stamford High School. In 1946, he was a sophomore at Bennington College in North Bennington, Vermont. Her college dormitory was the Dew House, which still stands today. She studied art, but her results were not so good, so she was interested in switching to botany. Paula was an average student who studied according to her parents’ interests. Engaged in square dancing and hiking with groups of friends. Watercolor, oil, pencil, He was an art student with an interest in charcoal sketching. She assists a mural painter and has done black and white photography. She enjoyed skating, bicycling, hiking, camping, swimming, square dancing and playing guitar. She had a special interest in botany. She was physically fit and an experienced hiker and camper. Paula once said she was interested in visiting Everett Cave on Mount Anthony. She had a special interest in botany. She was physically fit and an experienced hiker and camper. Paula once said she was interested in visiting Everett Cave on Mount Anthony. She had a special interest in botany. She was physically fit and an experienced hiker and camper. Paula once said she was interested in visiting Everett Cave on Mount Anthony.
She was also taking a job in the school dining hall. On December 1, 1946, she worked two shifts that day.
Back in her room, she talked for a while with her roommate, Elizabeth Johnson. Then, she told Johnson, ‘I’m busy studying and going for a long walk.’
According to Johnson’s recollections, Paula left around 2:45 p.m. She wore a distinctive red coat with a fur collar, jeans and lightweight sneakers. Whether it was a cold, snowless day and thought it would get colder at night, or because she was only out for a short time and didn’t feel the need for heavy clothing, is still a mystery to this day.
Danny Fager, the owner of a petrol station opposite the college gate at the time, later reported that he saw a beautiful, light, young woman in a red coat. Fager said the girl ran over the edge of a gravel pit near the college entrance and then ran back down. Then she went out of sight. (On the basis of this statement, the whole gravel area was later bulldozed and examined, but nothing was found.)
Paula was seen by Louis Knapp of Woodford. His description matches Paula’s. She got into his car. While getting into his truck, the girl slipped and fell. ‘Be careful,’ warned Knapp. It was just before 3pm. The stop she got on was Highway Route 67. She was dropped off on Route 9. No further words were spoken between them until Knapp dropped her off. After thanking Knapp for the ride, Paula moved on.
The girl was next seen in Bickford Hollow about 45 minutes later. One was Ernie Whitman, the keeper of the banner, and he warned Paula about climbing the mountains at a very late hour. Anyway, she went into the forest. Apart from him, 8 other people have reported seeing Paula.
After the main road, there are footpaths and forest trails. In some places, bushes and other things grow and obstruct the forest journey. Those who walk on the forest path sometimes cut the undergrowth. It is a place where even the experienced can get lost. Not only that but there are multiple paths. Some paths join and then diverge. There are shelters after going some distance. This temporary resting place will not provide shelter to wild animals and humans except to provide shelter from nature in times of need. There are springs and ponds at various places inside the forest. This route is said to stretch all the way to Canada. After four o’clock it starts to get dark. After 5 o’clock there will be fog followed by snow. Travel is not possible after that time.
Night fell and there was no sign of Paula Weldon anywhere. Johnson, her roommate, was alarmed, but it wasn’t until the next morning that college president Louis Webster Jones informed him of Paula Weldon’s disappearance. He called Paula Weldon’s parents. It is heard that Paula Weldon’s mother fainted after hearing this. While her father W. Archibald went straight from home to Bennington to begin the search for their missing daughter.
Abe Raskin, a local taxi driver, said he had taken a student to the bus station on Sunday afternoon, but could not identify her as Paula. There were many buses she could have taken. There was a bus to places like Pittsfield, NYC, Albany or Burlington. As it was very busy that day, the clerk at the station informed her that no one according to her description was noticed.
Weldon’s father arrived in Bennington and soon organized a large group of volunteers from all corners of the community, including local residents and members of Bennington College and Williams College. Classes at Bennington were suspended to allow all students to participate in the search. However, by the evening of December 2, the college students returned frustrated with no results.
A well-known engineer in his home state, Weldon used his influence to call state police from New York and Connecticut. At the time, Vermont did not have its own state police force, and unfortunately, the search for Paula Weldon was not as thorough or well-equipped as it should have been.
There was a state investigator named Almo who was put on the case within days of Paula’s disappearance. He took over the search with deputies from the New York and Connecticut police departments. Glastonbury began combing the woods for Paula. Rewards of up to $5,000 were offered for information. No trace of Paula was found.
From abandoned wells to deep mountain fissures, the area offers all manner of mundane routes that a person might miss.
Their efforts were futile as days passed and there was still no sign of Paula.
Ora Teletier, a waitress at the Modern Restaurant in Massachusetts, made a revelation that she saw a girl matching Paula’s description at 9:30 p.m. Monday.
She was with a 25-year-old man who was drunk. She says the man, who is 5′ 8′ tall, was drunk and abused her. While the young man was at the counter, she motioned for the attendant to come closer. He approached them and asked how far it was from here to Benningtle. Massachusetts is 300 km away from Bellington. She told the attendant that she came here with $1,000 and now has nothing. In light of this, the police conducted a house-to-house search. Hotels, railway stations, bus depots etc. have been sifted through.
Strangely enough, this touched Mr. Weldon; He disappeared for 36 hours to follow the lead. However, no one knew where Mr. Weldon had gone until he returned to Bennington. This led some to assume that Mr. Weldon had something to do with his daughter’s disappearance.
A female employee at the college said she saw Paula crying in a washroom on Thanksgiving evening with a letter in her hand.
A forester on the eastern slopes of Glastonbury reported hearing what he thought was a woman’s screams on Thursday. The searchers reached Searsburg and entered through Somerset and searched the area, but found nothing.
A train conductor suspected that he had seen her in South Carolina, but that turned out to be wrong. Even though I got many clues, I couldn’t find her alone.
Apparently, Paula was expected to go home to Connecticut for Thanksgiving, but she called her parents and told them she would be staying in Bennington. Apparently, according to Johnson, she and her father had had an argument shortly before her disappearance, and Johnson retracted her first statement that Paula was ‘not upset’ to say that she was in fact very depressed.
Many speculated that Paula’s depression centered on a distant lover, with her father at one point hinting that his daughter had a boy from her hometown who ‘wanted to call her’ and that might be suspicious. But he could not provide any proof to support it.
Paula’s father condemned the irresponsibility of those leading the search, particularly the fact that no records were kept of the first 10 days of the investigation. It didn’t go unnoticed by a small army of reporters from across New England who descended on Bennington to cover the story, and the negative press the state received in the weeks following Paula’s disappearance helped create the Vermont State Police in a law.
On December 16, Paula’s father packed his daughter’s belongings and returned to Connecticut.
As soon as Weldon left, out-of-state reporters also said goodbye to Vermont, although the story continued to be covered as front-page news until late December. Volunteer search parties resumed expeditions along the Long Trail, but by early January severe weather and hopelessness called off their efforts. Any evidence of Paula Weldon, if it ever existed, has faded over time.
Nine years after Paula’s disappearance, a lumberjack comes forward. He claimed he was at Bickford Hollow when Paula disappeared and knew where her body was buried. Attorney Reuben Levin questioned the man repeatedly until the man admitted that it was all made up for publicity. Later in 1968, a skeleton was found. Investigators were excited, hoping to finally close the aging cold case. But again their hopes were dashed; The remains were found to be much older than Paula.
Weldon’s disappearance remains unsolved; Since 1946 there has been no trace of her whereabouts.