In the early 1800’s a minor British diplomat and his attendant were making their way across a broken Europe under false names when he disappeared without a trace.
This article covers the mystery of the Benjamin Bathurst disappearance…
In 1809 the majority of Europe was in a bit of a mess – neighbor was fighting neighbor causing simple journeys to become quite an adventure.
On November the 25th Benjamin Bathurst and his attendant were making one of these dangerous journeys across Europe. They were worried about standing out as British so they both took on false names in a bid to stay ‘under the radar’.
After eating a hearty meal, Bathurst found a quiet lounge to the side of the inn and started to work on correspondence. A few locals witnessed him sitting by the fireplace writing and then hastily burning portions of writing.
The Benjamin Bathurst Disappearance
At about nine in the evening Bathurst and his attendant were informed that the chaise was now set up with fresh horses. They decided that it made sense to travel under the cover of darkness when most people would have retired to bed.
Bathurst left the inn first with his attendant less than five meters behind him. He then took the long way around the chaise examining the horses before getting to his side of the carriage.
Bathurst’s attendant decided to follow the diplomat to make sure he was comfortable getting into the carriage. When he got to the door of the vehicle there was no sign of Bathhurst.
The attendant quickly rounded the chaise but could not find his master anywhere. He went back inside the inn and gathered a large group of locals to help him search for the missing diplomat.
The group helped him search the local area for over an hour but there was no sign of the British diplomat anywhere.
Communication was not exactly effective in the early 1800’s so it took several weeks for the news of the missing diplomat to reach Britain.
On November 26th the local Perleberg authorities were informed about the disappearance and they immediately searched the local river bed. They found no sign of Bathurst.
The next day the authorities decided to carry out a house-to-house search to see if they could find an answer to the mystery. During these house raids they came across Bathurst’s heavy coat in a outhouse.
The family that owned this particular outhouse was named Schmidt and they were well known in the area. The respectable family denied any knowledge of how the coat had ended up there.
On December 16th a report came in from two local women who had been taking a walk through the nearby woods. They had come across a pair of pants which were later proven to belong to Bathurst.
The pants had two bullet holes shot through them but there was a lack of any blood evidence. This indicated to authorities that the clothing had been shot after it was taken off the diplomat.
Bathurt’s wife eventually got wind of his disappearance and traveled to Perleberg herself to find out what had happened to her husband. Once she arrived she immediately put up a high reward offer for anyone who had information on her husband’s whereabouts.
The reward was cancelled after several days due to the amount of hoax responses from local opportunists.
There are several theories on what happened to Benjamin Bathurst but none of them manage to explain how he disappeared within a blink of an eye. If you have any thoughts or opinions on the Benjamin Bathurst disappearance please leave them in the comment section below.