The Danger of Research


She vanished in the winter of 1990, coming to Bodie to research the history of the town. A snowfall hid Vancouver Martin’s tracks, and it was assumed that she had become lost in the ensuing blizzard.

The state park service towed her truck. Her family showed to it claim it after notified of her disappearance.

However, it wasn’t her family who showed up to claim it, but herself. She was a careworn woman, ragged, wary, and her story was plain.

She claimed that she’d heard a woman crying and had gone to help her. She never found the woman, and Vancouver Martin almost didn’t make her way out of the long-abandoned town.

She said she had walked endlessly for three years but refused to speak of what she saw, with whom she spoke, or what she had been forced to do to survive.

“But you were missing only nine-days,” the junior ranger said.

Vancouver Martin, her eyes vacant, said nothing.

“Are you going to write that book you were planning?” the senior ranger asked.

“Not that one,” she answered.

When she finished filling out the paperwork, Vancouver Martin stood up, left the office, got in an Uber, and never looked back.

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