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Hey prime members, you can binge eight new episodes of the Mister Ballin podcast one month early and all episodes ad free on Amazon Music. Download the Amazon Music app today. In late July of 1988, two hunters were walking up this steep mountain trail in Colorado looking for a place to set up for the day. As they were walking, they eventually left the trail and began meandering through the trees looking for a clearing. At some point they spotted one, but in the clearing was this really bright white thing sitting at the base of one of the trees. So the two hunters who were curious walked up to see what this white thing was. And when they actually were close enough to get a good look at it, they both immediately knew this was something no one was supposed to see. But before we get into today's story, if you're a fan of the strange, dark, and mysterious deliverton story format, then you've come to the right podcast because that's all we do. And we upload twice a week, once on Monday and once on Thursday. So if thats of interest to you, the next time the Amazon music follow button is at work, secretly sneak into their home and train their brand new puppy to bark at shadows and pee behind the washing machine.


Okay, lets get into todays story.


Hello, I'm Emily, one of the hosts of terribly famous, the show that takes you inside the lives of our biggest celebrities. Some of them hit the big time overnight, some have to plug away for years. But in our latest series, we're talking about a man who was world famous before he was even born. A life of extreme privilege that was mapped out from the start, but left him struggling to find his true purpose. A man who, compared to his big brother, felt a bit, you know, spare. Yes, it's Prince Harry. You might think you know everything about him, but trust me, there's even more. We follow Harry and the obsessive, all consuming relationship of his life. Not with Meghan, but the british tabloid press. Hounded and harassed, Harry is taking on an institution almost every bit as powerful as his own royal family. Follow terribly famous wherever you listen to podcasts or listen early and ad free on Wandery plus on Apple podcasts or the Wondery app.


Have you ever felt like escaping to your own desert island? Well, that's exactly what Jane, Phil and their three kids did when they traded their english home for a tropical island they bought online. But paradise has its secrets, and family life is about to take a terrifying turn.


You don't fire at people in that area without some kind of consequence.


And he said, yes, ma'am, he's there.


There's pure cold blooded terror running through me.


From wondery, I'm Alice Levine, and this is the price of paradise, the real life story of an island dream that ends in kidnap, corruption, and murder. Search and follow the price of paradise. Now to listen to the full trailer.


On the afternoon of June 15, 1988, a man named Keith Reinard drove down the main street of a tiny town called Silver Plume, which is located in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. In his car was everything Keith would need to live for the next three months. Silver Plume was the kind of place that most people would just pass by on the highway without even considering stopping. It was kind of a no name town in the middle of nowhere. In the 18 hundreds, it had been a booming mining town. However, now all but 140 of its residents had either died or moved away. In fact, Silver Plume was considered a living ghost town because of how close it was to being totally abandoned. But this emptiness and kind of middle of nowhere ness was exactly what appealed to Keith about this town. Keith was 49 years old and lived over 1000 miles away to the east in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. And Keith had a great life. He was married with two kids, a boy and a girl. He had a good job working for a newspaper, covering high school sports, and he had a beautiful house.


But for Keith, he felt like as good as his life looked on paper, it was missing something. There was one thing he had always wanted to do but had always put off doing, and that was to write a book. And not just any book, a book that lots of people were going to read. A great american classic. That's what he wanted to make. But there was just one problem. Keith had no idea what this big book was going to be about. And that was why he had come to Silver Plume. Keith had taken a three month leave from his job and left his wife and his kids and the city all behind to come out to this town, to hopefully, in this new, peaceful, quiet environment, find the inspiration he really needed to not only discover what this book would be about, but to sit down and actually write it. Keith's wife had not been happy about this plan. Him kind of being gone for three months, not providing any income, not helping with the kids. But she could tell Keith really felt like he needed to do this. And so she gave him her blessing.


After arriving on Main street in Silverplume, Keith looked up and he saw KP cafe off to the right. It was a weathered old building that looked like it was straight out of a cowboy movie. And this cafe was exactly the landmark that Keith had been looking for. And so he pulled his car over on the side of the road. He got out. He stretched, and then he began walking towards this cafe. This cafe was the big hangout spot in silver plume for all of its 140 residents. And the reason Keith knew this was because his best friend from high school, Ted Parker, owned KP Cafe. Ted had actually been the person who inspired Keith to come to Silver Plume in the first place. He had told him about how peaceful and serene this place was, the best environment for a writer. And when Keith had told Ted that, that sounds great. I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna come to Silver Plume, Ted had told him that he also owned the store right next to KP cafe. It used to be a bookstore, but the previous tenant who ran the bookstore had talked about some big european vacation he was going on and then had just kind of vanished.


And so for months now, this storefront had been vacant. And so Ted had told Keith that while he was in town, he was more than welcome to work and write out of this vacant bookshop. And so, Keith, after walking up to the front window of KP Cafe, he looked inside and didn't see Ted. And so he decided he would take a moment and walk over to this vacant bookshop that would be his office. So he went next door. He pulled out the key that Ted had already sent him in advance. He unlocked the door, and he went inside. And right away, Keith was struck at what he saw. I mean, the place was full of books. Some piles of books were higher than his head, and many of the books looked rare and expensive. And Keith's first thought was, why did this guy who used to run this store just abandon all of this? This had to cost a lot of money. But Keith was far too excited about the next few months in getting this book done that he didn't really think too hard about whatever the previous owner had done. And instead, he just began to daydream about what the next few months would be like and how this book was going to turn out.


And as Keith was thinking about his big book project, Ted actually came into the bookstore. And when the two friends saw each other, they ran up to each other and embraced. And then before long, the two of them had gone outside and began walking around silver plume, just chatting and catching up. And eventually, after chatting and walking around for a really long time, the pair left silver plume and wound up walking onto this hiking trail that went up into the woods. Now, years earlier, Ted and Keith had both been avid hikers and outdoorsmen. But now, I mean, Keith had put on some weight, and he really wasn't a big hiker anymore, but Ted didn't really know that. And so Ted, he's leading this hike up this trail, as they're still kind of chatting and making light of things. But Keith, as he was struggling to keep up, was getting more and more anxious about this hike. And he also had a deep fear of heights. And this trail appeared to go really high up this mountain. But Keith kept telling himself that, you know, he was here in silver plume as much to write this book as he was to kind of have a little more adventure in his life.


And so he just kept on trudging along after Ted. But eventually, Keith just could not handle how high up they were getting. He was totally terrified of being able to see the valley way down below. And so he had a sort of panic attack where he lunged and grabbed a nearby tree and hugged it like it was the only thing keeping him from falling off the mountain. And when Ted turned around and saw Keith, he rushed over to him and said, don't worry. Everything is okay. He convinced him to let go of the tree. And then, very carefully, Keith and Ted walked back down the trail, back into town. And when they got down there, Ted would tell Keith he was so sorry for putting Keith in such a stressful position. And Keith kind of brushed it off and said, you know, it's totally fine. You know, no big deal. Even though this panic attack was very embarrassing for Keith, he wound up just kind of shifting his mental focus to getting settled into this new life he was going to be living for the next few months. And so, along with this office space in this old, abandoned bookstore that Keith would be using, he also rented a small apartment in the little church in town.


And very quickly, Keith developed a sort of daily routine. He would get up early in his apartment, and he would make his way over to the bookstore, and he would sit down at his computer, and he would write all day. But even though Keith was doing a lot of writing, it was not productive writing. It was mostly Keith sitting down, trying to come up with the topic for his book, not being able to do it. And then he just sort of drifted off and began doing journal entries and writing snippets of poetry. And then, before long, the day was over, and he had accomplished nothing. And so, at the end of June, roughly two weeks after Keith had arrived in town, he was sitting at his computer one morning inside of the bookshop, unable to write anything productive. And he told himself. You know what? I gotta do something to break out of this writer's block. Writer's block is when writers kind of hit a psychological wall and just can't seem to be creative. They can't write. And so Keith decided, in order to kind of get out of this funk, that he would go back up into the mountains again.


He would face his fear of heights, and he would get to the summit, and that clean mountain air and all the nature around him would kind of bring him back to reality and give him the inspiration he would need to just write this book. And so Keith turned off his computer. He left the bookstore. He went back to his apartment in the church. He packed some sandwiches and some water into a backpack, and then he walked from the church apartment to the nearby trail that would lead out of silver plume and up into the forest and into the mountains. It was a hot day that day, but as soon as Keith was underneath the shade of all the trees, it was very cool. And the sounds of the birds and the insects and other animals all around him was very calming. But very quickly, Keith's hike went from very peaceful and relatively flat to very intimidating and very steep. But Keith, he was determined to do this hike. He felt like it was a critical step in the creation of this book. And so he just kept on going, 1ft after another, huffing and panting and making his way up this incredibly steep trail.


And it was like with every step he took, he felt braver and braver. And suddenly he was able to look down at the valley below and not feel as frightened. And then at some point as he was walking up, he saw all these scratch marks on a tree that were obviously from a mountain lion. But instead of Keith feeling scared, he felt more brave. He felt excited. He felt like this is what he came here for, this book and adventure kind of coming together in this moment. Finally, Keith made it to the top of this trail, and he found this incredible clearing that looked down over the town below. And in this clearing was a monument to a man named Clifford Griffin, who had died at this exact spot a hundred years earlier. Keith knew Clifford's story. Back in 1887, when silverplume was a booming mining town, Clifford, who was a mine owner, came up to this exact spot in the mountains to play his violin. And then after playing it for a bit, he stopped and dug a grave, stood on the edge of it, shot himself, and fell into the hole. No one knew why he did that, but within a couple of years, the mining industry came to a halt in silverplume, and everybody just kind of vanished.


And very quickly, rumors began to swirl around the people who remained in silver plume. How, you know, their town must be cursed. And maybe it was connected to what happened to poor old Clifford. After staring at this monument for a few minutes, Keith turned his attention to lunch. He pulled off his backpack, took out a sandwich, and he began eating. And as he ate, he looked back at this monument, and he thought of another strange silver plume story, except this one hit much closer to home. It was about the man who used to run the bookstore where Keith now did all of his writing out of. This man's name was Tom Young. And it would turn out what Keith had heard about Tom when Keith first arrived in silver Plume was not entirely correct. You know, Keith had been told that Tom had been talking about this european vacation. And so the consensus was that, you know, he had left town and gone to Europe and just not come back. But the reality was, once Keith began asking around a little bit over those first couple of weeks he was there was that Tom actually had been talking about this big european vacation, but then had walked into the woods, up into the mountains where Keith was right now, where this monument was.


And Tom had just vanished, apparently, in these mountains. Tom apparently had been a very quirky guy who had come to silver plume in the 1970s to kind of start a new life for himself. He had been teaching high school students in Denver, but he apparently didn't really like doing that and wanted to start over. And so that was what drew him to Silver Plume. And in silver plume, residents always saw Tom, along with his best friend Gus, his black Labrador retriever, walking around town playing fetch. But instead of using a ball, Tom would throw a chewed up doll's head. And then on September 7, 1987, so, roughly nine months before Keith arrived in silver Plume, Tom and his dog Gus, had gone for a hike in the woods where Keith was and then vanished. Now, at first, people assumed that because Tom had been talking a lot about going on this european vacation right before he vanished, that that must be where he went. But when people checked his shop, they saw all of his books were still in there. It did not appear like he had packed things up. And when the sheriff looked into it, he couldn't find any evidence that Tom had ever bought any plane tickets to go to Europe.


And so no one really knew what happened to Tom. It was like this big mystery. And so as Keith was standing in this clearing near this monument, thinking about Tom and his story, Keith began to realize there were a lot of similarities between him, Keith, and Tom. They both, as adults, had come to silver plume, this kind of random place in the middle of Colorado, to get a sort of second chance in life. And they both worked out of the exact same storefront. And Keith had done some additional digging on Tom when he heard about this mystery and learned that they were almost the exact same age. Their birthdays were separated by one day. Also, Keith discovered that he and Tom had served in the military at almost the exact same time in the 1960s. And so, as Keith was going over all these strange coincidences and weird similarities between his life and Tom's, suddenly Keith stopped chewing his sandwich and just quickly packed everything back up. He turned and began running down the trail, going back towards town. And as he ran, Keith smiled because he realized he had just discovered what his great american classic novel was going to be about.


It was going to be about tomorrow.


From wondery. This is the spy who. This month, we opened the file on Oleg Lellin, the spy who saved Mi five. Leland's actions changed the course of the Cold War. In the 1970s, a Russian who defected to Britain after being caught in a love affair that shook the world. His actions triggered the biggest removal of spies by any government in history. It's a story of an overstretched security service in need of a win and a covert plan to bring catastrophe to Britain's streets. Follow the spy who on the wondery app or wherever you listen to podcasts, or you can binge the full season of the spy who saved Mi five early and ad free with Wonder E.


I'm afour Hirsch.


I'm Peter Frankopan.


And in our podcast legacy, we explore the lives of some of the biggest characters in history. This season, we delve into the life of Alan Turing. Why are we talking about Alan Turing?


Peter Alan Turing is the father of computer science, and some of those questions we're thinking about today around artificial intelligence. Turing was so involved in setting and framing what some of those questions were, but he's also interesting for lots of other reasons. Aphwa.


He had such a fascinating life. He was unapologetically gay at a time when that was completely criminalized and stigmatized. And from his imagination, he created ideas that have formed the very physical, practical foundation of all of the technology on which our lives depend.


And on top of that, he's responsible for being part of a team that saved millions, maybe even tens of millions of lives because of his work during the second world war, using maths and computer science to code break. So join us on legacy wherever you get your podcasts.


For the entire month of July, all Keith did was write. He was in his office seven days a week typing away. And then at night, when he went back to his apartment, his neighbors would see the lights on all night long at the end of July. So by this point, Keith has been living in silver plume for about a month and a half. Two hunters from silver plume began hiking up that same mountain trail that led up into the mountains and into the forest that Keith had gone on recently and found his inspiration for his novel. And so these two hunters are making their way up the trail, and at some point, they leave the marked trail and begin kind of meandering through the trees. And as they're walking, they're kind of looking for a clearing to set up for the day. And at 1.1 of the hunters happens to look up, and he sees there's this really bright white thing sitting at the base of the tree in a clearing. And so these two hunters make their way up to this bright white thing, and as soon as they're looking down at it, they realize they have very likely stumbled on a crime scene.


At their feet was this green tarp that was partially exposing this white skeleton underneath. And when they pulled back the green tarp a little bit, they saw it was a human skeleton and a dog skeleton kind of lying next to each other as if the two of them had lied down and died there. But what was immediately apparent to these two hunters is that both the human skull and the dog skull had gained holes in them like they had been shot. And several feet away from the skeletons was a rusted pistol. And so these two hunters, after staring at the scene in front of them for a couple of seconds, they took a mental note of where they were on the mountain. And then they turned around and headed back down to town to tell the sheriff. And when the sheriff went up with his deputies to go search the scene themselves, they very quickly identified that these remains belonged to Tom Young and his dog, Gus. And the sheriff also found out that that pistol that was found several feet away from the two skeletons had been purchased by Tom just a few days before he had vanished.


And so the sheriff decided that what must have happened is Tom brought his dog up into the mountains, and after shooting his dog, Tom turned and shot himself. This was a suicide. Case closed. But this explanation didn't make any sense to the people of silver plume. First of all, Tom loved his dog Gus. Gus was basically like his child because Tom didn't have any other family, and so why would he hurt his dog? Also, Tom was not acting remotely like someone who was going to commit suicide. In the days leading up to his death, people saw him at the grocery store buying a whole bunch of groceries. He talked endlessly about how excited he was about this big european vacation. And then there was this one other thing that also made suicide seem very unlikely. When those two hunters had discovered Tom and Gus, they were partially covered by that green plastic tarp. But it looked very much like the wind and kind of nature in general had blown the tarp off of them, revealing the white bones that the hunters had seen. But what that meant is that very likely that tarp at one point had been totally covering their bodies.


And so between that and the fact that the gun was located several feet away from where Tom was, it seemed to the people of silverplume that probably somebody else had shot and killed both Tom and Gus, covered them up with this tarp, and then dumped the gun several feet away. Adding to the theory that this was a murder, not a suicide, were the rumors around town that there was this nuclear weapon production facility somewhere near their town, and apparently they were illegally dumping radioactive materials into these old abandoned mine shafts near and in silver plume. And people thought, you know, maybe Tom, who had military training, he was actually in the special forces, in the military. Maybe he had gone out and done some snooping around and discovered this illegal dumping operation, and that got him killed. When Keith heard that Tom and Gus bodies had been discovered up in the mountains, it was absolutely devastating for Keith. Even though Keith had never actually met Tom, he still felt like he had a bond with Tom. I mean, he was obsessively writing about Tom and learning everything about him, and he also had all these similarities with Tom.


And so it was a really big deal to find out that Tom and Gus were dead. But the silver lining to this tragedy was that Keith was now armed with more information about Tom and his dog. And suddenly, the ending to his big novel became clear. And so Keith got right back to work on August 3, 1988. So a couple of days after Tom and Gus's skeletons were found up in the mountains, the town of Silver Plume held a memorial service for Tom and Keith. He would attend this service, and as he listened to the people of Silver Plume talking about Tom and how he had come to Silver Plume to get this second chance at life, Keith couldn't help but feel like it was almost like he was watching his own memorial service, because Tom's life so closely mirrored his own. And then as he was listening to more and more people talk, Keith started to feel like there was no way Tom killed himself. That can't be what happened. Something else happened to Tom. And Keith was confident that through his research and through doing this book about Tom, he would figure out what happened to him and his dog.


As soon as the memorial service ended, Keith quickly slipped out and headed back to his apartment. And when he went inside, he looked around at all the stacks of papers and maps and books that he was using to put together this novel. And he knew that out of all this chaos around him, this novel really was becoming a thing. He was doing it. He was gonna get this book done. But he knew there was one more thing he had to do before he could finish this book. And that was he had to go back up into the mountains. So a few days later, on August 7, at around 430 in the afternoon, Keith walked inside of KP Cafe and strolled up to the counter where his buddy Ted Parker was sitting there reading a book. Keith paid for a drink and then announced to Ted that he, Keith, was going to leave this cafe and go right up into the mountains again. And so as Keith told Ted his big plan for this hike he was gonna go on, Ted just felt totally confused. Ted's looking at Keith knowing this guy is not a confident climber.


I mean, they had gone on that one hike partway up the mountain and Keith had had a panic attack and had to go back down again. Also at the top of the mountain, it was like 12,000ft of elevation where the temperatures would be near or below freezing. And here Keith was just wearing a flannel shirt and jeans. He had no other equipment with him, no other warm clothes. Also, the route that Keith was describing to Ted would take at least 6 hours round trip. And it's 04:30 p.m.. Now. And so Ted's thinking, you know, Keith is going to get trapped up in the mountains in the middle of the night. And so Ted finally says to Keith, I hope you're joking. But Keith would say, I am not joking and in fact, I'm leaving right now. And then, before Ted could even protest, Keith turned around and while sipping his drink, just casually walked out of the store and began heading towards the mountains. And Ted, you know, he thought about stopping Keith and really talking some sense into him and getting him not to do this hike. But ultimately Ted decided to do nothing.


And he told himself that he would just check on Keith the next day. And so the next morning, Ted, instead of going to his cafe, went first to the bookstore next door to see if Keith was in there. But when he got to the door, it was clear Keith was not inside. And the door was locked, and everything was dark. And so, trying not to panic, Ted hopped right back into his car, and he drove over to the church apartment where Keith had been staying. But again, Keith was not there. And right away, Ted is like, oh, my goodness. Keith is stuck up on the mountain right now. Exactly what I thought was going to happen has happened. And so right away, Ted rushed to the sheriff to tell him that Keith was missing. And after hearing what Ted had to say, the sheriff would end up launching one of the biggest search and rescue efforts in the history of Colorado. Within 24 hours of being informed of Keith's absence, there were hundreds of people, professional searchers and just locals, who wanted to help combing this mountain trail looking for Keith. There were planes overhead.


There were tracking dogs. I mean, this was a really big deal. And by this point, Keith was very well known in silver plume. It's a tiny place. Everybody knows each other, and everyone knew that, you know, he was working on this big book. And so people were really worried about Keith. He was one of theirs. But also the townspeople were very creeped out by the fact that, you know, Keith, who they knew was very similar to Tom. They knew he was writing about Tom. They knew that Keith was working out of the same storefront that Tom had been in, that now Keith had apparently vanished under the exact same circumstances as Tom. He had wandered into the woods, and that was it. And so it just felt like, how could they have these two people go missing in the exact same way? It just wasn't adding up. On August 9. So two days after Keith had gone missing. And so by this point, he's still missing. Ted and some friends decided they would go to Keith's apartment and look around and see if maybe there was some clue as to where Keith went or what he was going to do on this hike?


And so they went into his apartment, and Ted's friends began fanning out and looking in the bedroom and looking through all the papers and documents all over the floor. And Ted sat down at Keith's computer. And so Ted fired it up. And as soon as it loaded, there was just this one document on the desktop, and it was the book that Keith was writing. And so Ted clicked on it. And right away, after reading just a couple of lines, he was yelling for his friends to come over here and look at this. And one by one, each of these guys came over, and they just could not believe what they were looking at. From the first page of Keith's book, it was clear the setting for his book was silver Plume, except he renamed it White Plume. He had created all these fictional characters as well that were obviously based on real people, but had renamed them as well. But that was not what shocked Ted and his friends. What shocked them was the main character of this book. His name was Guy Gypsum. Guy Gypsum was a military veteran who had come to white Plume looking for a better life and an opportunity to be closer to nature in rural Colorado.


Guy was almost 50 years old. He loved to go hiking, and he worked out of a storefront that was right next to the only cafe in town. Guy Gypsum was both Keith and Tom at the same time. Keith basically had taken Tom's life and Keith's own life and merged them to create this composite character. And when Ted and his friends scrolled to the bottom of this document, they realized that Keith had written an ending for Guy Gypsum's character. These are the final words in this document. Guy Gypsum changed into some hiking boots and donned a heavy flannel shirt. He understood it all now and his motivations. Guy closed the door and then walked off towards the lush, shadowless Colorado forests above. Five days later, the search for Keith was called off. He was never found. Some people say Keith wandered up into the mountains and accidentally died of exposure and someday will find his remains somewhere in the forest. But others say after reading that final line in Keith's book, that Keith did all this on purpose. I mean, he literally lived out the final part of his book. He put on his boots and his heavy flannel shirt and his jeans, and he wandered off into the lush, shadowless Colorado forest above and killed himself in order to perhaps get closer to Tom Young, the man he had kind of become obsessed with after learning they were so similar.


And the man he kind of, like, meshed his own life with and created this weird composite character of these two lives. I mean, it seemed like a guy that had kind of spiraled into madness in writing this book and decided that death was the only way to finish the novel. And still others say, you know, maybe there really is some kind of secret illicit operation happening in or around silver plume, that radioactive waste getting dumped into the mines that, you know, Tom discovered and that got him killed. And Keith, in researching Tom, also discovered this illegal thing, and that got Keith killed as well. But all of those things are just theories, because today, officially, there is no answer as to what happened to Keith. His case is still open.


Thank you for listening to the Mister Ballin podcast. If you enjoyed today's story and you're looking for more bone chilling content, be sure to check out all of our studios podcasts. Those are Mister Ballin's medical mysteries, bedtime stories, and run fool. Just search for Ballin Studios wherever you get your podcasts and you will find all of them. Also, there are hundreds more stories like the one you listen to today, but in video format on our YouTube channel. And our YouTube channel is just called Mister Ballin. Go check it out. So that's going to do it. I really appreciate your support. Until next time. See ya. Hey prime members, you can binge eight new episodes of the Mister Ballin podcast one month early and all episodes ad free on Amazon Music. Download the Amazon Music app today. And before you go, please tell us about yourself by completing a short Survey hey Mister Ballin fans, here's some great news. You can now listen to all Ballin studio shows ad free on Amazon Music. Thats right, you can listen to shows like Run fool, bedtime stories, and Mister Balin's medical mysteries without any ads. What's more, you get access to the Mister Ballin podcast, strange, dark and mysterious stories one month early and ad free.


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