The Mysterious Disappearance of David Lang

The disappearance of David Lang is one of the most interesting stories of Middle Tennessee. Some claim Lang was abducted my an invisible UFO, some claim he slipped into another dimension, and still others claim the story never happened at all.

The story goes like this: It was a warm afternoon on September 23, 1880. David Lang was a prominent owner of a horse breeding farm just outside of Gallatin, TN. He left his house and began to walk across the field towards his barn, with his wife and two children watching. At the same time, Judge Austin Peck and Lang's brother in law rode into the farm. Suddenly, Lang simply vanished into thin air, in the plain sight of his wife, children, brother-in-law, and Judge Peck! They immediately began to search for him, but were unable to find any evidence of him. Neighbors were called in, and search parties organized, but no trace of David Lang was ever found. Studies of the field found no holes or underground caves that he could have fallen into. Lang had simply vanished off the face of the Earth!

About nine months after this event happened, the children went to the spot where their father had vanished. They noticed that the grass had all died forming a circle where Lang had last been spotted, and no animals or insects would go near it. One of them ventured into the center and heard the faint sound of their father calling for help. They rushed to get their mother, and she heard it too. Years later, the daughter, Sara, reported to have received a letter in their father's handwriting which simply read "help, help, help..." over and over. Sara turned to Spiritualism for help, and told her story in the 1930s. It has since became one of the greatest legends in Tennessee.

Some though are not convinced. They say that the fact that the story was not told until over 50 years after it happened makes for a rather large margin of error. Like all legends, there are also some varied accounts which tend to dilute the credibility. Still, this story remains fascinating, and if it is accurate, it is one of the most incredible stories in the world.

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©2002-2005 John Norris Brown. Part of John Norris