In the winter of 1999, a man disappeared in the countryside. His tracks in the snow suddenly stopped, his dog was acting strangely, refusing to leave the part of the road from which he had disappeared, and the day before, all the dogs in the village were barking at the same time.
Čechočovice is a small rural village in the Vysočina Region of the Czech Republic with a population of only 279. This small, unassuming village, however, would be home to one of the strangest disappearances in Czech history.
Very little is known about 55-year-old Vladimír Bastl, other than the fact that he was born in either 1943 or 1944 and worked as a handyman in the village of Krahulov. At 3:00 AM on January 14, 1999, Vladimír woke up to walk to Krahulov as he had work in the morning.
As it was January, snow had just begun to fall, but that didn’t stop him from taking the same route to work he usually took, walking along Czech motorway I/23 from Čechočovice to Krahulov.
Four witnesses would state that they had seen Vladimír walking along the road shortly after he had left the confines of the village.
1 to 2 hours later, another worker noticed that Vladimír had yet to arrive at work, observing that the building he was meant to do repairs on was deserted, with its lights off and no signs of Vladimír having ever showed up.
The worker called her boss, who headed over to Vladimír’s home and found his unfinished breakfast and an unfinished cup of coffee on his table. He let Vladimír’s dog off its leash in hopes that it may be able to find him.
The dog led him down the road where Vladimír was seen walking, with his boss noticing the footprints in the snow before the prints abruptly stopped.
However, once the dog got to the end of Vladimír’s footprints, it began to behave strangely—cringing, growling, and barking—refusing to leave that area of the road. Eventually, Vladimír’s boss had to pick up his dog and carry him back into the village.
Once the sun came up, the police were informed, and an extensive search effort was launched to find Vladimír.
The residents of Čechočovice to Krahulov and Vladimír’s relatives, assisted by the police, firefighters, and the Czech army, searched the area and forests. The Steklý pond was also searched, but to no avail.
The search was called off but in the spring after the snow had melted, search efforts were resumed in an effort to recover his body but also failed to find any trace of him.
The official position of the police was that someone had struck Vladimír with their vehicle before frantically placing his body in their car and disposing of him somewhere. Critics of this theory believe it is unlikely as there would be signs of something being amiss in the foot prints or evidence of blood on the road.
Nowadays and even back then, his case is viewed a bit differently with the Supernatural and a possible alien abduction being suspected. The main suspicions originate from all the oddities such as his tracks and trail in the snow abruptly ceasing and the lack of any signs of a vehicle collision at the scene.
But to ufologists and those believing in the supernatural the most compelling oddities are the bizarre behaviors of the animals in the village such as the behavior of Vladimír’s dog upon reaching the end of Vladimír’s footprints and its refusal to leave the area and three days after the disappearance his dog suddenly left without warning and for seemingly no reason.
It wasn’t just his dog. According to residents and first-hand accounts every dog in the village at the same time no matter where they were would begin to bark non stop which was something very unusual especially for the “local conditions.”
The barking lasted for a very long time and the villagers described the sound as somehow “different” the barking would soon stop however this all started shortly after Vladimír’s last reported sighting.
One more thing worth noting is how his family mainly his cousins and parents believe in this line of thinking. They had been deeply interested in both the UFO phenomenon and spiritualism with Vladimír seemingly the only one in the family to have no interest in the topic.
This idea seemed to be mainstream at the time: a Czech newspaper published an article entitled “Uneslo jej UFO”, which translated into English means “He was abducted by a UFO.” Some others who lean towards the supernatural aspect also speculate that he may have experienced a time shift or traveled to another dimension.
It is interesting that after so many years and efforts, the man’s body was never found.
Officially, his case is still considered open by the Czech police, but there have been no further updates in over 20 years.