What happened to Polly Melton? Was it foul play or did she just walk off from her current life to start a new life elsewhere? You decide.
THELMA PAULINE “POLLY” MELTON, DISAPPEARED SEPTEMBER 25, 1981, GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK, NORTH CAROLINA
On September 25, 1981, 58-year-old Thelma Pauline Melton (Polly) started down the Deep Creek Trail in the Smoky Mountains with two companions. She liked the cliffs and expended as much time as she could in the Smokies. She adored hiking the Deep Creek Trail and had been hiking it for almost 20 years. She was exceptionally aware of this particular region of the park. As they reached the park Bob parked their Airstream trailer and stayed inside while Polly and her two companions readied for a leisurely hike (Bob was 20 years older than Polly and in bad fitness, he wasn’t able to join in on the hikes). The trail they were walking is summarized as ‘easy’ so there weren’t any challenges to face in the path of tough terrain.
Polly Picked Up
As the hike began, Polly unexpectedly picked up her pace and stepped ahead of her friends (around 4:00 pm) rapidly leaving them behind. The friends saw her walk over a little hill and go out of sight, and they inferred they would see her back at the trailer. At around 4:30 pm they made it back to the trailer. Bob was inward but Polly was nowhere to be found and Bob hadn’t noticed her since she’d left for the hike.
Polly’s two companions went back to the region they last saw Polly and they started searching for her but were incapable to locate anything that indicated in the way that she may have gone. She was reported disappearing at 6:00 pm that evening, and a much bigger search effort was soon underway.
Over that week, some 150 people scoured for Polly, as well as numerous search dogs. At one point a dog alerted to a tree that was downed, and searchers think she may have halted to rest there for a moment. They didn’t pick up on her odor in any other area.
Not so much as a trace was discovered of Polly.
According to her day-to-day routine, not much extraordinary happened on the day Polly went disappearing. The only thing extraordinary was that she decided against going to the volunteer job she went to every day, passing out meals to the elderly. The day before that, nonetheless, it was reported that she made various phone calls using the work phone. It was told she never used the phones in the 4 years that she had been volunteering. Law enforcement was incapable to trace the phone calls so we don’t understand if they were in any way related to her disappearance.
Her pastor did express that she had been battling with a bout of depression after her mum had perished earlier in the year, and it was presumed that she was remotely suicidal. She has prescribed Valium in 1979 as a muscle relaxant but had quit taking them before 1981. Yet, her spouse’s bottle of Valium was found to be missing after she vanished, but it’s never been assumed that she was the one who took them. Her pastor also indicated that he thought Polly may have been having a relationship with another man at the time. This has also never been verified.
In April 1982
Possibly one of the most interesting things about this disappearance is that in April 1982, a check was written presumably by Polly Melton and cashed in Birmingham, Alabama in her name. Googling her name directs to the obituary of a man who perished in 2013 who resided in Birmingham. It also listed that he was preceded in death by two sisters. One of which had the name, Thelma Pauline Melton Coincidence? Or perhaps, just maybe it was Polly.
The only assumption, but most believe, including me, Polly schemed to vanish that day. I think she was depressed and exhausted with the life she had, living with a husband that was sick and couldn’t join in the actions she enjoyed. She met someone and on the day before she went missing, she organized everything utilizing the phone at the place she volunteered. That day, she accelerated her pace so that she could get in front of and leave her friends behind so that they wouldn’t notice where she went. Her lover was waiting for her and she fled with him, leaving her former life behind in the cliffs she so dearly adored.
What say you?