Six Missing Hours

car

I have always loved hearing people’s stories. And because I have such a poor memory, I am one of those rare people who almost never says “Oh, that’s okay; you already told me this one”.  If the story is a good one, I want to hear it again and again. And each time it is retold, I ask many questions and often walk away with a brand-new tidbit to savour and ponder.

My brother-in-law often talks about his Dad, M_, whom I only met a few times and barely knew, as he passed away a good many years ago now. The stories my brother-in-law tells of his Dad have always fascinated me. By all accounts, he was an interesting man. He worked for many years as an overseer for large pulp-and-paper companies. His last job was as our town Superintendent. As the town supervisor, he had a great many responsibilities which ranged from the smallest, to the most significant, details. An honest, keenly-intelligent, logical and very practical man, he always improved the procedures of any place he supervised. Known as ‘The Whip’ at one place he worked, he was fair but extremely firm. If you did your job to the best of your abilities, you had nothing to worry about. But if you shirked your responsibilities or worse, tried to milk the system, you could and would be fired, whether you were upper management or blue collar.

M_ was not given to flights of fancy and he was not given to tall tales. He was an extremely pragmatic and reliable man. His word was his bond. The running joke was that you could set your watch by him: he used to laugh that he was so punctual, the hour of sleep he lost in the spring would only be recovered when the time changed in the fall and he finally gained the lost hour back again. If he told his wife he would be home at 5:00 p.m., she knew she should be concerned if he still hadn’t shown up by 5:05.

Of all the stories I have heard about M_, the following is by far the most interesting to me, mostly because he would have been the least-likely person to make it up. Some time back in the seventies, he had spent a quiet evening with some friends at his hunting camp deep in the woods, an hour out of town. He had told his wife he’d be home by 10:00, so promptly at 9:00, he left his friends at the camp and set out along the old dirt road in the direction of home. He hadn’t gone too far when he noticed some lights off to one side through the trees. An avid hunter, he knew every inch of the forest surrounding his camp and he knew there shouldn’t be any signs of life in that section of the forest. Curious, he brought his old green Volvo to a stop in the middle of the narrow dirt road. Leaving the engine running and the lights on, he got out of the car, stepping a few feet away but leaving the driver’s door open.

There is an inexplicable break in his story at this point, because his next recollection was of driving down the dark dirt road, with the car headlights off, on his way back into town. When he got back onto the main highway, he found it curious that there was no traffic on the road, to speak of. Clearly unsettled, he purposely drove by the homes of two of the men who had been at the camp when he left, and saw their trucks parked in their driveways with all the lights in the houses out for the night. Now thoroughly perplexed, he took a slight detour downtown to check the time on the big clock sitting in the town square.

It was after 3:00 a.m.

He hurried home to find his frantic wife standing in the doorway, asking him where on earth he had been and why he hadn’t called to let her know he would be so late. She was beside herself.

From the time he had stepped out of the car on that old dirt road until he suddenly found himself driving down the dirt road, headlights off, on his way toward home, he had somehow lost six hours.

While he never recovered any memory of those lost hours, perhaps 7 years after the incident, he became plagued by nightmares which bothered him for the remainder of his days. Two marks that had appeared on the back of his neck on the night of the incident would reappear each time he became agitated. On one memorable night, he woke from a nightmare and took off running, stopping only when he slammed hard into the door frame of the closet. In his final years, around twenty years after the incident, he developed Alzheimer’s and died soon after, childlike and unrecognizable. Before his memory failed, however, while he never told anyone about the content of his nightmares, he – the most pragmatic and least fanciful man anyone knew – admitted that he suspected he had been abducted that night.

Before you, the reader, scoff at this as the ravings of an old man who was losing his memory, keep in mind that he lived in a place where everyone knew his name and everyone recognized his vehicle. When he got out of the car that night, he parked in the middle of the dirt road. The road was too narrow for a car to pass around him. His friends, who somehow got home hours before he did, would never have gone by his vehicle without checking on him.

The only explanation is that his vehicle was not there when they left the camp after he did.

Oh, yes. And the car radio never functioned after that night, nor did the dashboard clock, which inexplicably stopped at 2:23…

Source of photo

Patti Moore Wilson © wednesdayschildca.wordpress.com

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Author: Patti Moore Wilson, wednesdayschild2

I write what I feel. And I rarely know exactly what I feel until I write. I have lived long enough to have known many joys and many sorrows. I have made many mistakes; I have forgiven myself for a few… I have learned that there are lessons in every step of this journey, if we only take the time to pay attention… I hope you will feel free to pick and choose the stories that resonate for you…

13 thoughts on “Six Missing Hours”

  1. I am such a cynic, Patti. I want to apologise for what seems like this closed-minded side of me. If I were faced with a similar tale, I would never be the head-on-hands type listener, a fact, I suspect, is well known (I don’t get told jack!). But I’m not in the market to humiliate another human being (or alien) and would NEVER scoff at anyone, belittle them or be publicly judgmental either! I try not to be too vocal about stuff that makes no logical sense to me and I won’t be swayed on that.

    But it does make for a great story! 😏 x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh bless your frankness and your honesty, Allane!!! I have a very healthy cynicism and try never to naively take such stories at face value. That said, I do believe there are many, many things we humans just cannot explain or fully understand. Quite a number of weird and wonderful things have happened to me personally, but up to now, I have been very careful about telling my stories. When (if) I do start sharing a few of them, I want my reputation for NOT being a teller of tall tales to precede me. This is the only first-hand account of a story such as this that I have ever heard and I only trusted the story because of how deeply I trusted the source (HE is not a teller of tall tales either). And I am willing to accept that there COULD be another explanation, even as I am inclined to believe something very unusual happened that night. Again, thank you SO much for your honesty… 💕

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  2. This is super interesting. I think there are things that happen beyond our understanding and logic. 6 hours is a long time to be missing…and for someone so precise…it is baffling, alright. Now, you got me imagining stuff…hahaha…Great story, Patti. Thanks for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha….go for it, Patti!!! I have a few that I have experienced myself…but I am trying to make sense of them before I actually write about them. Yeah…they are that weird! Hahaha… Have a beautiful day, Patti.

        Liked by 1 person

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