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Vanishing People and Mysterious Lights - Are Time Slips to Blame?

Updated on June 8, 2018
Nell Rose profile image

Nell has been an online writer for over eight years and is fascinated by the paranormal, including omens, TimeSlips, and the supernatural.

Mysterious Vanishings people
Mysterious Vanishings people


Mysterious lights in the sky, people disappearing in front of a crowd and flickering overlapping time slips. What on earth is going on?

Is it even possible that a timeslip can materialise in a crowded room or street without anyone seeing it and make people vanish into thin air?

One of the most famous of all of these was the 'Vanishing at Hanging Rock'. This was made into a film, and many believe it was pure fantasy. But surprisingly, its based on a real life story!

The story begins at a place called Hanging Rock near Melbourne, Australia.

The film was based on a book labelled fiction, but was actually based on fact.

It tells of a school party on a day trip to the isolated beauty spot, and how the day changed from laughter to horror.

Picnic at Hanging Rock
Picnic at Hanging Rock
I used to have this film, and I must have watched it at least five times. Great movie! Eerie, and very atmospheric. Well worth watching!

Its No Picnic....... at Hanging Rock

Picnic at hanging rock
Picnic at hanging rock

Vanishing at Hanging Rock.

It was Valentines day, 1900.

Four teenage girls and a teacher set off to explore a rock face in the bush. The rest of the class watched them go, and at that point there was nothing to fear of any danger. It was a nice day, all the teachers were prepared and ready to look after the girls and bring them home safely.

Its not known how long they were gone, but suddenly one of the girls returned. She was in a deep state of shock.

But she wasn't the only one to return. A week later, another girl appeared in a similar catatonic state.

At the time it was said there were mysterious lights in the sky, and a pinkish cloud seen above the rocks.

Strangely enough, neither of the girls could tell what had happened. It was as though their minds had been wiped clean.

The trouble is with this story, is that the author, Joan Lindsay, insisted that it was real. Of course it could be another Cottingly Fairies type story. Where two children insisted that they had seen fairies.

The following stories on the other hand, are much harder to explain away.

Mysterious vanishings

Eilean Mor Lighthouse.

Lighthouse mystery. What did happen to the three keepers on Flannan isles?  A new movie with Gerard Butler and Peter Mullan is currently being filmed about this strange incident.
Lighthouse mystery. What did happen to the three keepers on Flannan isles? A new movie with Gerard Butler and Peter Mullan is currently being filmed about this strange incident.
Lighthouse mystery This is the actual lighthouse where the men went missing.
Lighthouse mystery This is the actual lighthouse where the men went missing.

The Lighthouse disappearance.

On December 6th 1900 a Joseph Moore left the lighthouse for a three week leave. He was stationed at Eilean Mor Lighthouse on the Flannan Isles, which is west of Lewis in Scotland.

He then returned on Boxing Day the day after Christmas day to find that the three men in charge had totally disappeared.

There was always three people staying in a lighthouse. For the simple reason that if there were only two and one died the other would be left alone. With two others there you could guarantee that at least one would survive any problems.

But not on this day. The sea was calm, the weather had been fine. No weapons had been touched and there was no sign of any disturbance such as flooding, or turned over furniture.

But the last entry log was rather mysterious. On the 15th December the log referred to a strange storm with 'odd lights' appearing in the distance.

The log read 'We are afraid, and praying that God is overall.'

Was that a timeslip pushing through the clouds?

And what made these three hardened men so frightened?

Benjamin Bathurst's disappearance.

Diplomat Benjamin Bathurst
Diplomat Benjamin Bathurst

Benjamin Bathurst Diplomat.

One of the most famous of all vanishings has to be the case of Benjamin Bathurst. Benjamin was a British Diplomat on his way to Berlin after an important meeting in Vienna. The date was 25th November 1809.

After stopping in the town of Perleberg to collect fresh horses for his carriage, and to have a meal somewhere, he decided to go outside and wait for his assistant. He walked over to his carriage, opened the door and entered. Various people saw him enter the carriage and nobody saw anything untoward.

When his assistant arrived, he opened the door to climb in and was surprised to see the carriage was empty.

There was a huge search for him. They dredged the river, searched every inch of the woods nearby and even sent a message to Napoleon to see if he knew anything about the diplomats disappearance.

The reason for this was that Britain was at war with France, and Napoleon was the first suspect. But as he remarked later he had no reason for taking that man as he wasn't important enough!

So was this a timeslip or a kidnapping? Remember, there were witnesses to the fact that he was seen entering the carriage, but nothing after that.

Strange eh?

Brian Shaffer

Brian Shaffer missing from bar.
Brian Shaffer missing from bar.

Brian Shaffer Medical student.

Coming more up to date, we have Brian Shaffer who was a medical student at Ohio University. It was 2006.

One evening Shaffer met up with friends in the Ugly Tuna bar. At 2 am most of his friends had long gone, but as he was still chatting to two women the last of his friends decided to leave him to it.

Just before they set off home, one of them decided to take a last look to see if Brian was ready to go. He looked round the door, and seeing that he wasn't there, went home.

That was the last time any of his family or friends saw him.

The strange thing was the fact that CCTV recorded him entering the bar. But it didn't see him leave!

A boy goes missing....

Damien McKenzie photo of Damien flanked by his parents.
Damien McKenzie photo of Damien flanked by his parents.

The mysterious case of Damian McKenzie.

Damien McKenzie was a ten year old boy who completely disappeared 1974. His disappearance has to be one of the most bizarre ever told.

He was with 40 other students on a camping trip at Victoria Falls. Based at Steavenson waterfall on the way up the hike to the top of the falls they realised that Damien was missing.

Panic ensued and everyone was sent off to try and find him. They even used police dogs and trackers.

Soon they spotted his footprints in the dust and quickly followed them hoping to find him injured but safe.

But then something weird happened.

His footprints suddenly stopped. It was as though someone or something had snatched him up.

There were no suspicious people in the area, and more to the point he was not seen being abducted.

He simply vanished. Completely. And was never seen again.

Was it a time slip or maybe aliens? Who knows?

Of course there could be a rational explanation. But what that is nobody has ever found out.

Owen Parfitt outside his house.

Painting of old man sat outside
Painting of old man sat outside

Now you see him........!

In the small town of Shepton Mallet in England back in the 1760's there lived an old man by the name of Owen Parfitt. He was in his 70's and totally crippled with arthritis or rheumatism. He couldn't even walk around his house without having help.

He spent most of his time either in bed or sitting outside by the main door. He shared the house with his sister.

One day when the weather was getting colder, Owen decided he wanted to sit outside but as it was cold he put on his big coat and settled himself.

His sister looked after him, then after settling him down and making sure that he was okay, went back in doors to finish of her chores.

She could see out of her window and the many people walking past, and across the road her neighbor waved at her as she hung washing in her front yard.

A while later, the sister went back outside to check on Owen. But when she got there she only found his coat sitting on the chair.

To start with she believed that maybe one of the neighbors had taken him somewhere, so she quickly ran round and banged on the doors.

But he was nowhere to be found. The law was called and they searched the whole area.

But Owen Parfitt was never found and the legend was started that he was taken by the devil in return for a pact he made years before!

Diderici the missing prisoner

Generic prisons of the 19th century
Generic prisons of the 19th century

And last but not least.......

In 1815 in the Prussian town of Weichselmunde at a local prison there was a man named Diderici who as doing a ten year stretch for impersonating his employer to steal money.

His employer had died recently and Diderici had dressed in his clothes and gone to the bank and tried to withdraw a huge amount of money.

One day when Diderici was being taken through the prison grounds in chains while attached to the other prisoners, something most bizarre happened!

In front of the wardens and other prisoners, Diderici started to disappear. Literally.

As his onlookers gaped in astonishment Diderici began to fade more and more until in the end his manacles fell to the ground empty!

A huge enquiry ensued with over 30 witnesses. But nobody could explain what happened.

In the end, the authorities closed the file and blamed it on an act of God!

Disappeared - Timeslips Aliens or,......Murder?

The mystery continues.

There are many theories about what has happened to these people. In the case of the prisoner I did wonder if he had somehow got hold of a prisoners coat and hat and conned the other guards and prisoners into thinking he was a guard.

As for the case of Owen sitting outside his house, perhaps his sister wasn't quite so happy to live with him!

The one I feel most sorry for is Brian. He went into a bar and somehow disappeared.

The young lad who disappeared at the waterfall is probably the most puzzling of all. And sadly may never be solved.

So, what do you think happened?

How or why is the question.

Some people believe that there are pockets of time or other dimensions overlapping our world. Whether that is possible or not, we will probably never know.

Either way, something very strange happened to each and every one of them.

Of course it may be a simpler explanation such as murder or abduction.


Be careful where you walk, you just never know what is round the corner!

© 2018 Nell Rose


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    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 years ago from England

      Thank you so much Tim, that's very kind of you to say so. Yes you may be right about the Dark Matter. One of these days they may find it.

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

      Tim Truzy 

      2 years ago from U.S.A.

      Hi, Nell,

      I've heard of some of these cases, and it is amazing to realize how much we really don't know about the world we live in. The prisoner and the ambassador gave me the creeps.

      I remember reading scientist now believe that our solar system, orbiting the galactic plane of our Milky Way, may encounter Dark Matter. They have found major extinctions seem to corelate with the time it takes for our sun to orbit around the galaxy. Maybe just a bit of dark matter found these people.

      Who knows?

      But your stories were interesting, well researched, and told with a writer's precision and skill. No bias. Just the facts.

      Loved it.

      To a talented, prolific, and thought provoking writer,

      Much respect and admiration,



    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 years ago from England

      Thanks so much SP. I love all this sort of stuff. Quantum Physics, and time travel!

    • Stephen Austen profile image

      S P Austen 

      2 years ago from Qualicum Beach, BC, Canada

      Very interesting, Nell. I have some good books which refer to some of these and other bizarre disappearances. Jenny Randalls wrote one that I like called "Time Storms." On a humorous note, The Two Ronnies even did a skit on this subject where a couple end up in a medieval village. I can still see Ronnie Barker, dressed like a peasant and biting on a pound coin remarking, "This be counterfeit." Thanks for keeping us all interested by the mysterious! Best wishes, Steve.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 years ago from England

      Hi Yves, thanks so much! yes its pretty weird isn't it?

    • savvydating profile image


      2 years ago

      OMG! I was especially struck by the prisoner who disappeared into thin air, with so many witnesses surrounding him! If that isn't mind boggling, I don't know what is. Eeek!!!

      I hope no one I know ever vanishes before my eyes. I'd be horrified for a lifetime!

      Quite an article, Nell. You always keep us fascinated.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 years ago from England

      Ah shame! I will have to check online to see if I can find it! Thanks quicksand.

    • quicksand profile image


      2 years ago

      I once read a story about a strange looking man who had appeared somewhere from out of the blues, was seated on a park bench clad in clothes so strange that it could not be associated with any era of any known culture. He had spoken in a language that had not resembled any any known language.

      I could not finish the story as the buzzer sounded indicating that the library was about to close for the day. That book belonged to the "unborrowable" category.

      On my next visit that book was missing. Unborrowable maybe, but certainly not unpinchable!

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 years ago from England

      Hi Zulma no I don't think so. It must feel weird to suddenly slip into another world or whatever. I do wonder what happened to them. Thanks as always.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      2 years ago from United Kingdom

      This was a great read. I've never heard of these cases and was fascinated by the possibilities. I wonder if these people even knew what was happening to them. Did they even have time to shout to let someone know something was going on?

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 years ago from England

      That is amazing Galaxy! unless of course she slipped past with the new clothes in her bag! LOL! thanks for reading.

    • GALAXY 59 profile image

      Galaxy Harvey 

      2 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great article. I love stuff like this, I love that the world is full of strange things and mysterious happenings. Years ago I worked in a clothes shop, just as we were closing a woman asked if she could quickly try on a dress. I showed her to the changing room and waited outside for her, and waited. After five minutes I checked the room and it was empty! To this day I don't know how she got past me or if she ever did.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 years ago from England

      Thank you Dora, thats very nice of you to say so.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

      I subscribe to your warning; strange things do happen. The concept of time slip is new to me, but then I'm always learning from your articles.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 years ago from England

      Thanks so much moonlake. yes I totally believe in Timeslips so much has happened over the years. thanks for reading.

    • moonlake profile image


      2 years ago from America

      I know there are ufos I have seen them. There could be time slips and so many people who disappear and never found we really don’t know what happened to them. Enjoyed your stories I will have to watch for that movie.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 years ago from England

      Thanks RedElf good to see you!

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 years ago from England

      Yep I totally agree with you Suzette, there is so much out there that we do not know. Thanks as always.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 years ago from England

      Yes it was really strange wasn't it Peggy? I would love to have seen it! thanks as always.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 years ago from England

      Thanks as always Bill, yes I totally agree with you.

    • RedElf profile image


      2 years ago from Canada

      Fascinating tales - I had just been reading about Brian Schaffer on another site. So sad about his family.

      Thanks for an excellent and eerie read.

      @Paula - no, I'm sure there are a couple of my ex-es in there too. Awesome!

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      You write the most interesting articles, Nell. This one is fascinating. My thoughts were aliens, because I do believe aliens are making contact with Earth. Time slip? I now believe in that too because of Outlander. That is fiction of course? But I think possible. I think there are dimensions of time we haven’t discovered yet.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Many people do believe in extraterrestrials and alien abductions. If true, that could explain some of these disappearances. The one in the prison yard where the man suddenly started fading away and then disappeared in front of many witnesses was certainly eerie.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I actually have a pretty open mind when it comes to this stuff. I don't think we are even close to understanding the universe. We think we are so smart as humans but there is a ton of knowledge we are still lacking.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 years ago from England

      Hi Paula, LOL! me too! thanks my friend!

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 years ago from England

      Thanks Jackie, always good to see you.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 years ago from England

      Hi Flourish, that's it exactly! thanks as always.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      2 years ago from Carson City

      Nell.......Totally fascinating! I love these kinds of stories and you do such a wonderful job of creating them. Too mysterious for me.....drives me batty! Although, I do know what happened to Diderici. I cannot understand how you got photo of all my ex-boyfriends in one place! Lovely group of darlings, don't you think? I've always been good at picking them!!

      Nell, you have a gift at bringing your readers such out-of-the-ordinary tales and this one has left me stunned! WOW!! Good to see you, girlfriend.

      Peace, Paula

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      2 years ago from the beautiful south

      Lot of mysteries out there and much fun to hear about Nell. Thank you for sharing those with us.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      2 years ago from USA

      The whole space time thing befuddles me. It’s like a synesesia of physics. If a person can disappear it makes you wonder what else can?

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 years ago from England

      Thanks Linda, I love my mysteries, lol! thanks as always.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 years ago from England

      Thanks Genna, yes me too! obviously some will have a normal explanation, but the others are really weird.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 years ago from England

      Hi Mary, it would be great finding out the truth wouldn't it? thanks again.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 years ago from England

      Hi Road, thanks as always.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      2 years ago from England

      Thank you so much Frank, glad you liked it.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The stories that you've shared are all interesting, Nell. Natural explanations or not, they are very puzzling!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Oh, Nell...I loved this. I have always been fascinated with our concept of time, and how we define its role and dominion over our lives. There is so much we don't many mysteries we cannot explain.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      What fascianting stories you've told here Nell. I can't find any explanation for these and only depend on speculations. I wonder really how these things happen.

    • RoadMonkey profile image


      2 years ago

      We most certainly do not know what is round the next corner. Hope it's not a time slip. Enjoyed that.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      2 years ago from Shelton

      Nell Rose this was fascinating.. just an amazing read.. honestly.. wow


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