Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Through The Sands Of Time.........



Last week I revealed in a post seven things that you may not have known about me. I did this because Inger, over at Desert Canyon Living, had given me an 'award'.

One of the things I revealed was that I had been abducted when I was 16 years old, along with my brother who was 13.



.........the year was 1966 and it was late spring. The year before my parents bought a house in Dartmouth which is the city across the harbour from Halifax where we had lived since I was born. 

I was just finishing up my last year, grade 12, at St. Peter's High School. This school was brand new to me in September and I felt like 'a fish out of water' for most of the year. But here it was May already!



I had gotten a call from my Halifax friends who were of course still attending my 'old' high school, St Patrick's High. They wanted me to go to a semi-formal dance at the school on a Friday night. I agreed that this would be fun and that I was sure I could get a car for the evening.

I had asked Dad, who was always good for a car if we, my sister Jo-Ann and I, asked for one. You see, my Dad was a cars-salesman and always  had cars at his disposal....heaven for us at this age!!!! He said he would get me one. Great!



A day or so before the dance, my brother, Dennis, announced that he was going to a dance at his 'former' junior high in Halifax on the same night. He needed a 'lift' to and from. OK with me.

Friday evening came and I dropped Dennis off at his location agreeing to pick him up at about 11 P.M. I really can't remember much about the dance I went to other than it was good to spend some time with all my friends once again.


So I picked up Dennis and I headed towards the bridge that links the cities of Halifax and Dartmouth. As we were approaching the bridge I noticed that there was a teenager 'thumbing' a ride whom I assumed needed a ride across the bridge.




I pulled over next to a wall that separated the bridge traffic from another street. The boy hopped into the back seat. But, before he closed the door he signaled to three of his friends to get in as well!


I knew this was potentially not a good thing and told them that I had only stopped for one of them. They assured us that all they wanted was a lift to as far as we were going. I started to think very quickly and thought that I would drop them off at the foot of our street. I didn't want them to know where we lived.


So to the foot of the street we arrived. I pulled the car over to the curb and said that this was as far as we were going. In an instant, one of them grabbed me by the throat and pulled me back towards
the back seat.....all along my foot was trying to press on the brake to keep the car from moving
forward.


Dennis had been hauled into the back seat by one of them and held in a head lock with  a knife to his throat!! The guy who held me jumped over the seat into the front with me.  He said to drive!


I did and was watching poor Dennis in the back through the rear-view mirror looking terrified! I said they could have the car if they let us go. No doin'. They said to head the airport.




The airport was about a 45 minute drive from Dartmouth. So I drove, thinking that Dad was having a fit with worry because we were late which was unusual for us. My main concern was getting us out of the car safely.


It was getting late by the time we got near the airport and it was pitch dark. In order to get to the you needed to turn off the main highway. They said to keep going past! I was getting a little panicky by now and starting to fear for our lives actually.


All of a sudden one of them said to stop the car. I pulled over onto the shoulder and they said to get out! They warned us not to say a thing or else they would find us and we'd be sorry. I thought, YES! Dennis and I jumped out as fast as we could and started to run along the shoulder back towards the airport which we could see in the distance.




But before we could get very far the boys turned the car around in the middle of the highway and headed right for us! Seriously, they wanted to hit us! They tried this a couple of times until they squealed off into the night heading for Halifax.


We needed to get to a phone to let Dad know what had happened and that we were alright. The only place was the airport. So we ran across a very long marsh towards the lights in the distance. By this time it was after 1 A.M. and I wasn't sure if we could get inside of the place. 


We looked through some doors and could see that the only people there were a couple of RCMP officers talking with each other. For some reason I told Dennis not to say anything to them until we spoke to Dad. I found a pay-phone and called Dad.




He was by the phone and answered immediately. I told him what had happened and he said he'd be there right away. I really can't remember if the RCMP officers approached us on not....I don't think so. They just looked over at us occasionally.


Dad arrived and we told him the whole story. It was about 3 A.M. by the time we got back to Dartmouth and Dad had already called the police to report what had happened. They wanted him to bring us into the station. Dennis and I were exhausted by then.


The detective wanted to see us separately. I was first and I told him exactly what had happened. Then it as Dennis' turn. He told them what had happened.




Problem was we had different accounts of the same story! The 'time line' was not the same. The stories were different enough to cause the detective to suspect the truth of our story. He told us that we were lying. And that we actually had hit a car around 11 P.M. and panicked and made up this whole thing!


I was tired and furious at this accusation! My Dad had to warn me to be careful of what I may say to the detective. But I wouldn't retract my story and said that it was what had happened. It was 5 A.M. by the time he said for us to go home and he would be in touch with my Dad.




Too long story short.......the boys had ditched the car in Halifax and it was not damaged. This fact made it clear to the detective that we didn't hit another car that night. The police knew who to question because by mid Saturday afternoon they had the boys in custody! One of their parents called Dad and pleaded with him not to press charges. He didn't, but his boss did because it was a company car that we had and it was stolen.


To this day I have never picked up another hitchhiker. And I have often wondered why Dennis' story was different from mine. I asked him this but he always claimed that that was how he saw it. I think he was so scared and  was still in shock when being questioned by the detective.


              Sand at the dunes on Conrad's Beach today.

23 comments:

  1. What a story, I read it with ... what is it called...baited breath ... sounds funny, but you know what I mean. I am so glad you and your brother were OK. So these were other high school kids? They could have run you over and for what. I love the way you set up the story. I said it to Ron on Sophie's post -- blogging is turning you guys into professional photographers and story tellers. How great is that? I will be careful with awards in the future, I promise!--Inger

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  2. wow, I had chills just reading this. I can't imagine the fear that you and your brother felt. Thank God you are/were o.k. I know that changed you for the rest of your life for I have a similar story but can't seem to share it. To this day my parents never knew, nor does anyone else. Glad you were so brave.

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  3. Holy crap! That must have been a terrifying ordeal. Glad it turned out okay! And yes, never ever pick up hitchhikers! Or go hitchhiking yourself, for that matter.

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  4. What a story! If you had been raised by my father, you would have NEVER picked up a hitchhiker! To this day, I've never been on a motorcycle either - my father showed me enough pictures of squashed head!! Fear will do that to you!

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  5. Oh my gosh, Jim. How terrified you must have been. Thank goodness those boys didn't hurt you. I bet you had nightmares for a good many years afterwards.

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  6. Oh! you poor things -what a terrifying ordeal, bet you had nightmares for a long time after that ?

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  7. Holy cow!! I am sure your brother was just so terrified. Our brains can only take in so much when we are under that kind of pressure. Mercy me...

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  8. Louise, yes I had a couple of weeks of `looking over my shoulder`where ever I went.

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  9. Wow, what a story. I'm so glad you were both not physically hurt, though I'm sure it took it's toll in other ways.

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  10. I'm glad it came out ok, you can see, why parents get gray. Waiting for that phone to ring when one teen or another is late coming home. Did you get another car for a while after that?

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  11. Oh my gosh... What a story!! It's too bad that there are people out there that can't be trusted... I'm glad those boys were caught.

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  12. Holy cow!!! xxxx! I need a hug just from reading that - I can't imagine living that. I'm so glad you and your brother weren't hurt.

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  13. OMG. I felt really scared just reading that...it must have been truly awful. xxx

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  14. felt a bit sick ( I guess you know why) when I first read the begining of this post...

    jim...scary
    x

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  15. I know this is different from what everyone else is saying but "What a great dad you have". I mean, his first instinct was concern and not to flip out on the two of you for being late. And from what I read, he genuinely believed your story which I'm sure was reassuring to the both of you. Especially so after the officer thought that you were lying teenagers. So bravo to your dad! And I'm also glad you made it through. I mean, I don't think that Ron would do well as a single dad.
    Your Friend, m.

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  16. The dance you'll never forget. These types of events help us to take in all things in life with a little more appreciation. For a night of "fun" on their part, you're left to wear an eternal scar. Some would become bitter. You seem to come through it as a loving person who's a better man than any of them.

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  17. Jim, I couldn't get through this story fast enough!! I'm so glad that no one was hurt (including the car) and you didn't panic during the whole ordeal, and stuck to your story! It shows what a person of honesty and integrity you were (and are) at a time when others doubted you and it may have been easier to just let the detective influence you.

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  18. Bloody hell Jim, that is one scary (but amazingly interesting) story. So what did Dennis tell the police? Why was his story different? I am asking because I am feeling the injustice of the way the police treated you. PAH!!

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  19. Annie, as far as I can remember it was the 'time-line' that was different.....nothing drastic like major points but details. They really wanted to 'solve' the accident story ASAP, I guess.

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  20. Jim, how awfully terrifying this must have been - for you, your brother and your parents. I am so sorry that this happened to you, and am glad that you never picked up another hitchhiker. I hope that you had a safe place to go to deal with the aftereffects. I think I would have had nightmares, terrors, etc.
    Bless you!

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  21. Wow... what a story! I am glad you guys were okay.
    I've been around police a long time & I think the cops suspected you and your brother were trying to concoct a cover story.
    Hey... they were Wrong! :)

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  22. wow, that is very scary of a story! i am so glad you werent hurt either of you. you had angels watching over you that night.

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  23. this was a dire situation and your brother being 3 years your junior, at that age, they are more impressionable. but even with adults, rarely do two witness accounts match up perfectly, unless it has been rehearsed, which might make some people believe this is a lie and covers up something else. i know this was another era and people were more trusting somewhat...
    i grew up in the big city and my parents always told me never to go with strangers, and if i had had a car, they would surely have said never to pick up anyone... too many dreadful things happening here in the city.

    you got lucky!!
    silly boy...
    :/~
    HUGZ

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