UPI -- November 3, 1976 -- Carlysle, TN  Authorities continue to search for Matthew Sayer (14), Michelle Webster (15), and Ryan Singleton (14) who have been missing since Halloween.  When last seen on the 31st at 8pm, the three had been observed walking towards the Carlysle Bog.  The three friends had apparently thought it would be exciting to visit this location as local legends report the locale to be haunted.

"I heard them talking about it during school," said classmate Rhonda Hawkins.  "They were goading each other into going, especially Matt, saying Ryan and Michelle were too chicken to go.  Nobody really thought they'd go there."

Searchers have been looking for any sign of the three, but so far have turned up nothing.  "At this point it is not even clear that the three made it to the Carlysle Bog or if something happened to prevent them from reaching their destination," said Sheriff Henry O'Rourke.  "We are still hopeful that we will find them safe and sound.  However, the searchers must be cautious as the Bog is full of quicksand and can be quite treacherous.  We don't want to lose anyone in trying to find those teenagers."

No trace of the trio was ever found.


"Local College Student Disappears, Possibly Abducted" by Alicia Grimes, Associated Press Writer.  July 13, 1979, 3:20 PM EDT.

CARLYSLE, Tenn -- Maryville College students had their classes cancelled today as the search for missing college sophomore, Betty Binfour continues.  Ms. Binfour was last seen Thursday by her roommate, Tina Hastings, as they left the college dining hall at approximately 5 pm.  

"She had been upset all day (because) she had gotten a phone call from the guy she had broken up with earlier in the week," Tina stated.  "She said she was going to go out to the Carlysle Bog area to clear her head and do some hiking.  She was really into nature and loved to go into the woods and things like that.  (She) said it helped soothe her."

Ms. Binfour's car was located with the keys still in the ignition at the outskirts of the bog. 

 The Carlysle Bog gained some notoriety three years ago when several junior high students disappeared in the vicinity, fueling stories about the locale being haunted or cursed.  No clue as to the whereabouts or fate of those teenagers was ever found.

Sheriff Henry O'Rourke told reporters, "At this point we do not know if Miss Binfour is lost in the swamp or if she was abducted before she entered the location.  We will continue to search for her until we find her, however.  There is every reason to believe we will find her safe and sound any minute now."

The above photograph was taken by Tina Hastings of Betty Binfour at a previous excursion into the Carlysle Bog.  As of this date Ms. Binfour remains missing and is presumed dead.


The following is taken from a longer article in the paper, The Carlysle Chronicle, April 2, 1980:  Dr. Rodney May has been reported missing by his wife yesterday.  Dr. May, a professor of biology at Maryville College, had gone out into the Carlysle Bog early in the morning to collect fungi for one of his graduate courses.  His wife, Geena May, stated that he was often fond of hiking in the Bog and had been known to even take his classes there at times.

"He always said he found it very peaceful walking through the swamp.  He knew the stories about the place being haunted and all that, but he was a scientist and didn't believe any of it of course.  Rod was part of that search party that looked for those poor kids several years ago.  Rod figured it was quicksand that got them, no ghosts or any nonsense like that.  If you watched where you walked, it was totally safe, he'd always insisted," Geena said.  

"It doesn't look good," stated an anonymous source in the Carlysle County Police Department.  "His jacket was located several feet from a large quicksand pool.  It doesn't mean he's in it, but if he is his body will never be found.  Those pits are bottomless."


Missing since April 1, 1980


The following is an entry taken verbatim from the journal/diary of Kandy Washington which was given to the Carlysle County Police Department by her older sister Carly.  

"September 25th, 1988...I was out in the Carlysle Bog again last night.  I'm not sure whats going on or why I feel like I've gotta keep going back.  Its like I'm addicted or something.  When I was younger I remember hearing the stories about how the place was haunted.  I knew about all the people who had disapeared in the place.  But it didn't stop us kids from going there to play and stuff and it was like it was never any big deal.  It was just a good place to go play hide and seek and guns and stuff and then later on it was just a good place to sneak to with the boyfreind when we needed to be alone.

"In the past month, though it has been diffrent and I dont know why.  About a month ago I was smoking some weed out there with Denise when I thought I heard something and got spooked.  Denise didn't hear anything though and she just laughed and said I was getting pairanoid.  Pot does that to me sometimes so I just laffed too but I really wasnt thinking it was funny and didn't hang out there long after.

"So why did I keep going back there in the weeks after that?  Its like I can't help myself and something keeps calling me back.  I feel like a junkie sorta and if I try not to go there I get all antsy until I go and walk.  Its weird going there.  I don't want to say too much about it cos I feel like writing it down will make it seem more real and not just my imagenation.  I keep hearing things diffrent voices and stuff.  

"And I dream about the place at night though they may seem more like nightmares really.  I was following this blonde girl and the next thing I knew I was in quicksand.  I'd be sinking really slow and then she turns around and smiles at me and I smile back even though I dont feel like smiling except I do feel like smiling because while part of me is scared part of me is almost excited about it.  Then the quick sand swallows me up to my nose and I wake up.

"I'm going again tonight but I think I need to see a shrink or talk to somebody about this soon.  Something very wierd is going on."

This was here very last journal entry.  She is presumed lost in the Carlysle Bog.

A photograph of Kandy found in an undeveloped roll of film in her camera.  Presumably this was taken in the Carlysle Bog, although the photographer is unknown.  Kandy Washington has been missing since September 25th, 1988.


"The Carlysle Bog claims yet another victim" by Tami Rodriguez, Associated Press Writer.  June 14, 1994, 10:10 AM EDT.

CARLYSLE, Tenn -- Just two days ago on the 12th, Angie Townson, 30, walked into the Carlysle Bog and has vanished without a clue to her whereabouts.   Her boyfriend, Chuck Fountain, notified the police that she was missing yesterday.

"We had an argument over something stupid and she stormed off into the woods.  I told her to come back but when she's (upset) she's hard-headed.  I thought she'd come back later that night, and when morning came and she still wasn't home I dialed 911," said Chuck.  Authorities state they do not consider Mr. Fountain a suspect in her disappearance at this time.

Although there are no signs of foul play at this time, the Carlysle Bog has gained a reputation as being something of a local "Bermuda Triangle".  At least six individuals have disappeared in the area in the past 15 years.  A swamp taking the lives of that many individuals is not necessarily alarming in its own right, but the fact that there has never been a trace of any of them found has led to a local mythology about the place, suggesting it might be haunted.

"It's not haunted," said Deputy Willy Ford.  "It's a swamp and you can get lost if you don't know your way around it.  I'm sure if Miss Townson is out there, we'll find her."


Above is a videocapture of Angie Townson from the video "Missing Person" which recreated her disappearance and theorized fate.


The following is a personal correspondence, shared with permission, that I received from an actual resident of Carlysle, TN whom I shall keep anonymous.  Let me tell you, the internet makes tracking folks like this down so much easier than it would have been back in the day.

"Dear Mr. ---------,

I found your email interesting and would be happy to share some of what I know about the Carlysle Bog.  I can see you have done your research quite well already and you are quite right about the reputation the place has around here.  Sad to say that place continues to be responsible for more disappearances and I suspect as long as folks are foolish enough to venture into the place it will continue to claim more lives.

Your research has only touched the surface and there have been more disappearances than I care to count.  I will share what I know of some of the more recent and more disturbing cases, however.

In August 1999 two college students, Samantha Jane Lix and James Ian Will decided to venture into the swamp to make a documentary.  Following the typical pattern they disappeared without a trace.  The usual search was conducted, but by now few hold out hope for finding anyone, alive or otherwise, when they vanish in the Carlysle Bog.  

However, this time there was a disturbing difference.  Evidence of their fate was found, although I am not knowledgeable as to the complete circumstances regarding how the evidence was located.  The point is, video footage that the two of them took while exploring the Bog was discovered in September 2000.  It had been submerged in mud for a year and so was obviously damaged in places.  Yet it left no doubt that the two of them would never be seen again.  Although the original tape is in the custody of the Carlysle Police, bootleg copies have found their way around and I'm sending you a copy.  I find it disturbing to watch, but given your interest in this area, thought you might find it useful in your research.

Sadly, it doesn't even end there.  In May 2001, Lily Faith Renier and Carl Joseph Lark got a copy of this same video I am sending you and decided to do a little exploring of their own.

You guessed it.  Two more gone.  

But get this, three years later, in February of this year, a videotape was anonymously sent to the police and, you guessed it, it was the footage the two of them shot before their disappearance.  It's hard to watch the footage, knowing what is going to happen to the two of them, but again, I'm enclosing this for your viewing as well.

Is there a mysterious force leading folks to their doom in the Carlysle Bog, or is it just quicksand?  The latter clearly is the agent, but if there is something more sinister behind it, well, I'm not one to say.  You can watch the footage and decide for yourself.  I'll be sure to keep you appraised of any future disappearances, though, god willing there will not be any.  I also hope viewing this footage will help you decide against your foolish idea of exploring the area yourself in the future.  If there's anything else I can help you with, please don't hesitate to ask.


Sgt. E----H-----------



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