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Solving a 78-year-old disappearance

George Wilson vanished without a trace after getting off a bus in 1941. Now, one Nova Scotia man is trying to figure out where he went
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HantsCounty
The location of Armitage Road in Lower Burlington. (Google maps)

George Wilson vanished without a trace after getting off a bus in 1941.

Now, one Nova Scotia man is trying to figure out where he went.

Paul Saunders is a longtime resident of Lower Burlington, Hants County.

"On and off since I was five years old," he says.

He lives in a log cabin near Armitage Road, right where the bus dropped George Wilson off that night around 8 p.m.

"They got off the bus here coming from Halifax," he says of Wilson and his travelling buddy, Graham Burgess.

The men were heading home for the holidays in the midst of a major snowstorm.

Burgess -- who lived closest to the bus stop -- arrived first, while Wilson kept walking.

But Saunders says he never made it home.

"There was a very, very large search and George was never found," he tells NEWS 95.7's The Sheldon MacLeod Show.

However, Saunders has a theory about where he may have ended up.

"There's a hole in the marsh in there, and it was our swimming hole," he says. "I always thought that perhaps he drowned in that hole."

Recently, Saunders was talking with Burgess' younger brother Earle, who still lives in the area.

"He told me that George Wilson had a metal strap on his leg because he was shot during the first World War," he says.

"So now I've geared up a metal detector and magnet, and we're going to go in and see if we can find the metal part," Saunders says.

Within the next few days, Saunders and a friend will set up a worksite at the swimming hole, which he says is about the size of a backyard pool.

"One of us on each side and we're putting a piece of bailer twine across with a reel in the centre," he says.

Saunders hopes to find the piece of metal and bring it to the surface with a magnet, solving the mystery of Wilson's disappearance once and for all.

He talks excitedly about the possibility of something news-worthy in the small community of Lower Burlington.

"Just nosy, to be honest," he says. "Something interesting to do."




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Victoria  Walton

About the Author: Victoria Walton

After graduating from journalism at King's, Victoria Walton now works in the film industry and as HalifaxToday.ca's weekend editor.
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