First off many people or reports that relate to Owen Parfitt’s disappearance use a different title. I prefer this one because of its kinder nature to the missing person involved. Also, for any of you who have really been following me for the past several weeks on these disappearances then I would like to inform you or something. The last blog on this subject will also help to be an insight into the world of “Desert Shadows” when the time comes for the proper book in the series to reveal itself. It won’t give anything away but will allow you to understand a little of the historical or prior myth and back story that I do apply to my books.
Now back to the main topic of discussion. Owen. Well as many of you know some of the tales have been debunked or at least people have claimed to have debunked them over time. This one however, remains fairly open to debate still and I find it very intriguing.
Who, Where, When:
Well the ‘who’ would be Owen Parfitt? He was an elderly man in his sixties who lived in Shepton Mallet, England. A town in the southwestern parts of England. The year of course as in many of these cases varies somewhat. The date of June, 1763 is more specific than the date the other reports use of 1768 alone so I prefer to follow by the more specific. Owen was left disabled from a severe stroke that hit him in his elder years and he relied on his sister and a friendly neighbor to assist him in activities of daily living.
Well one thing that always adds to these stories is the climate. No matter what it is I can find the eeriness in the setting alone to intensify my emotions or fears with the event that took place the day this man disappeared.
The story starts out simply as they usually do with ordinary life. Owen was left outside on the porch by his sister while she attended to normal duties of the day inside the house. This way Owen could get some fresh air and enjoy the outdoors a little bit and to the extent that his stroke unfortunately left him limited too.
There was some work being done on a local farmhouse, barn, or a building, (depends on the report), some say it was farmers in the field. These people, or witnesses, were also within earshot of Owen, along with his sister and the friendly neighbor. So someone would have heard something if Owen made any attempt to get someone’s attention. In theory.
The afternoon went from a nice warm day where Owen did not need to wear is coat that day and simply used it to sit on for cushion. He often did this. As the sister and neighbor noticed a storm beginning to approach over the horizon she went to bring Owen inside and out of the weather.
I can only imagine the stillness the storm brings in from a once warm day being pushed into a colder setting with the sky suddenly turning darker. It seems that whatever seemed to be a leisurely or non-priority task becomes so stressful when a storm starts coming in. Whether that’s covering something up, finishing a project outside that you thought you had all day to do, or in this case, finding someone you thought would be right there.
That’s exactly what happened.
When his sister went out to get him he was simply gone. Nothing left of him but the coat that he so often sat on for comfort. When she and the neighbor asked the workers they say they neither heard nor saw anything.
An investigation went on for Owen and a search did follow resulting in no evidence of his disappearance. Later in 1813 when some construction work was being done a corpse, or skeleton, was excavated and thought to be his. This was shot down from other reports. All the way up until 1933 there were cases reworked and evidence looked at again with still no conclusion. No debunk. Many people looked into this and of course the rumors and tales spread like wildfire across the countryside of old England. Still the stories float around from time to time but nothing as of yet has revealed any solid conclusion to his fate.
Thanks for Reading,
Joshua Crane Dowidat