The Vanishing Man

Story by David Etherington

While on a brief holiday on the south coast of N.S.W. Australia, about 100 Ks south of Sydney, I experienced for the first time what I considered some sort of contact with the unknown.

My wife and I had booked into a very ordinary and really rather shabby motel not far from the beach. It was about 1pm on a hot and sticky summer's day and we decided to check out the small town and have some lunch. This done we began to stroll back to the motel. I must emphasize that it was in the middle of the day, the sky was faultlessly blue and the unpolluted air offered limitless visibility.

As we walked along, looking forward to a dip in the ocean a man of nondescript appearance, perfectly ordinary, and of average height approached us from the opposite direction. I suppose we were at about four meters from him at this point. To our left and the approaching man's right there ran a small lane, the man turned right and began to walk down this lane. No more than a second or two elapsed before both my wife and myself were in a position to look down the lane.

Casually gazing and expecting to see the back of the retreating man I was surprised to notice that he had disappeared. I should have left it at that and assumed he had simply entered some entrance to the building on the side. However, mildly curious, with time on my hands I decided to check it out.

On the left was a solid brick wall with no openings at all (not even a window.) On the right of the lane was a solid brick fence, at least four meters tall and seemingly impossible to scale. The lane itself terminated in a small rectangular car park, some distance from it's entrance no way the man could have covered the distance to the end of the lane between the time we saw him turn the corner and the time we were gazing down the lane itself. In addition to this I walked to the car park and all was quite. There were not even any parked cars.

The funny thing about it was that neither my wife nor I found it particularly strange at the time. It was only later when we were discussing it back at the motel that we even began to suspect we had experienced something strange and beyond, a reasonable or rational explanation.