Here are some of the stories of men who have mysteriously disappeared into the wilderness never to be heard from again.
MILLS AND FRASER
Both Mills and Fraser were old West Coast prospectors who had once worked on the Ring River goldfields many years earlier. On this occasion, the men were prospecting for osmiridium but were of the belief that gold would also be discovered in the area.
Search for the two men commenced on 19 June 1923. An axe belonging the missing men was found on top of one of the Sisters Hills, and also found 400 metres lower down the hill on the side of a creek pick and shovel in a bag. Several prospecting holes were also noticed.
The search continued into the third week of July to no avail and it was assumed that the prospectors perished while endeavouring to cross the Henty River.
Seven months after the search concluded, gold was discovered in the vicinity of where Fraser and Mills had disappeared.
Tressini was a man employed in the construction gang building a bridge over the Henty River on the overland track from Zeehan to Queenstown.
On 11 October 1923, Frank Emmerton was returning from Queenstown when he encountered Tressini. Tressini explained that he was on his way from Mount Balfour to Queenstown. All the food Tressini had was a little tea and sugar so Frank gave a small quantity of provisions and directed him to the construction camp at the Henty River about six kilometres away. Tressini never reached the construction camp nor Queenstown.
Tressini had lived the life of a hermit out in the bush between Whale’s Head and Sandy Cape for 25 years. He was at a fair age of between 60 and 70 years.
Several weeks after the encounter, Zeehan Police received information that a man answering the description of Tressini had passed the Farrell siding on the Emu Bay railway line walking in the direction of Burnie.
But was he ever truly found is the question.
Despite the intensive search, Connolly was not found. A large search party of old and tried bushmen went out from Mount Farrell and searched in every direction right up to Barn Bluff.
In December 1901, nine months after Connolly’s disappearance, human remains were recovered from Mount Pelion and recognised as those of Thomas Connolly.
Eric McCormack, a foreman in charge of R J Howard’s timber mill at Zeehan, left his home at 10:30 pm on the Saturday, 6 August 1949. Being a keen sportsman, McCormack took a gun and two hunting dogs with him when he left home. When he failed to return, search parties began combing the district around Zeehan. The dogs did, however, return home two days later.
The search was soon confined to Little Henty River where a matchbox bearing timber measurements thought to be in McCormack’s handwriting was found. Parties searched for kilometres up and down the river and many old mining shafts were dragged and lakes drained (Lake Fisher and Montana). There was an element of danger to the searchers with the honeycombing of the area by abandoned mining shafts. Later the search was extended to the Renison Bell district.
McCormack was never found. He was married with a family of five children.
THOMPSON AND McKINNON
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