APRIL FOOLS’ DAY
Please note: Names have been changed to protect the identities of the victims.
On this day in 1979, a woman and four men were abducted from Grand Teton National Park. According to witnesses, a group of a dozen hikers headed out on March 29th with enough gear and supplies to return that Sunday evening.
Allison Rockford of Boulder, Colorado said all the hikers were experienced, and they had no trouble navigating the trail to Two Ocean Lake.
“We set up camp. Roger even commented it all seemed too easy.”
Roger Moore of Denver was the first to disappear. “We were just getting ready to eat. He was just gone. Everything was gone, even his walking stick,” Jeff King, also of Boulder, explained. “There wasn’t any sign of struggle.”
The remaining 11 hikers started a search until darkness fell and then huddled around a fire, they took turns keeping watch until morning.
They watched in pairs, and they disappeared in pairs as well. Griffin and Jennifer Rhodes of Douglas, Wyoming, took the first watch and when the next watch came, they were gone.
Jeff and Allison both took a turn and made it through their watch. Then Bruce Hornsby (Preston, Idaho) and Tom Wolff (Monmouth, Oregon) stood watch. They haven’t been seen since.
Before daylight returned a piercing sound filled the forest. “It was electronic, high pitched and painful,” Allison explained. “I can’t describe it any other way. We all were doubled over in pain.”
“Then it suddenly stopped, and the sky was filled with light, as bright as day,” Roger continued the description of the events. “It was brighter than day. It was blinding!”
Then, according to both Allison and Roger, the only hikers who agreed to speak with us, the light was gone and within moments, forest sounds that had been mysteriously missing from the night returned. Rustlings of nocturnal animals, an owl called and the mountain seemed back to normal.
The next morning the remaining seven made their way to the nearest ranger station.
As they made their way along the trail on the southern side of Two Ocean Lake, across the valley and nestled in a low spot, they could see an unnatural formation. It was oddly perfect; disturbingly perfect. Burned into fresh spring growth were three perfect, identical circles arranged in a triangle.
Rangers searched the area for weeks after the disappearances, but the only sign of the missing hikers that has ever been found was Roger Moore’s walking stick.
It was found at the center of the arrangement of burned circles without a mark on it.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Prepare your best pranks and practical jokes. Use #AprilFoolsDay to post on social media.
We would be fools to think we knew precisely when April Fools’ Day was originally celebrated.
April Fools Day shares similarities with other days full of fools, tricks and merry making.
Some believe the day is celebrated in honor of the trickery Mother Nature plays on us this time of year with her unpredictable weather.
The Indian tradition of Holi which is celebrated on March 31st has the same foolery as April Fools’ day as does the Roman festival of Hilaria which was celebrated on March 25th.
The earliest known reference to April Fools’ day is in Chaucer’s 1392 Nun’s Priest’s Tale. Even so, the reference is so vague, and possibly not even occurring on the first of April, leaving doubt as to whether it is the first reference.
Other scholars point to the reformation of the calendar by Pope Gregory and the Gregorian calendar we used today in the 1500s in France. The new year would take place in April, not January as it does now. The theory is that those who continued to celebrate the new year on April 1 were called Poisson d’Avril (April fish) and pranks would be played on them.
In 1582, France accepted the Gregorian calendar, but reforms had already been taking place.
In Britain in 1776, there is a clear and reliable reference to April foolishness in an article in Gentlemans Magazine. Reference to a custom in the kingdom of making fools of people on the first day of April. It addresses the day being the culmination of an eight-day feast and the beginning of a new year.
Newspapers, television, radio and social media have had their fun on April Fools’ Day. Check out all this April 1 foolishness:
- Times of London reported in 1992 that Belgium was negotiating to join Holland.
- The Evening Star of Islington advertised in 1864 a display of donkeys at the Agricultural Hall the next day. Those who arrived early soon realized who the donkeys on display really were.
- In 1950, The Progress in Clearfield Pennsylvania published a picture of a UFO flying over the town. Claiming to have “scooped” larger publications of the first ever published picture of a real flying saucer.
- In 2008, the BBC presented a documentary on flying penguins.
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