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Vanished - Into Thin Air!



Bruce Campbell was right next to his wife when he disappeared, although she didn't see it happen. She was asleep. And perhaps so was he. It was April 14, 1959, and Campbell was traveling with his wife from their hometown in Massachusetts to visit their son some distance across the country. It was a long but pleasant drive across the U.S. with plenty of stops along the way. One overnight stop was in Jacksonville, Illinois... and it turned out to be the last stop Mr. Campbell was to ever make.

He and his wife checked into a motel and went to bed. In the morning, Mrs. Campbell awoke to find the space next to her in bed empty. Mr. Campbell had vanished, apparently in his pajamas. All of his belongings - his money, car and clothing - remained behind. Bruce Campbell was never seen again and no explanation for his disappearance ever found.

(From Among the Missing: An Anecdotal History of Missing Persons from 1800 to the Present, by Jay Robert Nash)


Here's another case of a couple in Illinois, but this time they both vanished - along with their car. It was May, 1970 when Edward and Stephania Andrews were in the city of Chicago to attend a trade convention party at the Chicago Sheraton Hotel. Edward was a bookkeeper and Stephania a credit investigator. They were both 63 years old, considered average, upstanding citizens who lived in a fine home in the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights. During the party, other attendees noted that Edward complained of mild illness, which he attributed merely to be hungry (the party only served drinks and small hor d'oeuvres).

They soon left the party and went to the parking garage to retrieve their car. The parking attendant later told authorities that Stephania appeared to be crying and that Edward did not look well. As they drove away with Edward at the wheel, he scraped the car's fender on the exit door, but kept on going. The attendant was the last person to ever see the Andrews. They vanished into the night. Police speculated that Edward, not feeling well, had driven off a bridge into the Chicago River. But an investigation uncovered no sign of such an accident; the river was even dragged for the car without success. The Andrews and their car were just gone.


A similar disappearance was reported by The New York Times in April, 1980. Charles Romer and his wife Catherine were one of those retired couples who spent half of the year in the north and half in the south, living in their summer home in Scarsdale, New York, then driving to Florida to enjoy the winter in their Miami apartment. It was on one such trip back to New York that the Romers met their mysterious fate. They set off on the long trip on the morning of April 8 in their black Lincoln Continental. Late that afternoon, they made their first overnight stop at a motel in Brunswick City, Georgia. It turned out to be their last.

They checked in and dropped off their luggage in their room. Then they went out, possibly to get some dinner. A highway patrolman might have seen their car on the road that evening. If so, it was the last anyone ever saw of the Romers or their Continental. They never arrived at any restaurant and never made it back to the motel. It wasn't until three days later that an investigation showed that their motel beds were never slept in. A thorough search of the area found absolutely no trace of the Romers or their car - no clues whatsoever. They simply vanished without a trace.

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