By Ashleigh / Aug 29, 2022
A Weekend Of Hell
The Elliots were distraught. Their grand plan lay in tatters and it was obvious now that they had made a serious error in judgment. They were sold a dream and all it took was two days to realize that their dream was over.
There had been warnings but the couple had ignored them; a decision they regretted dearly now as they held each other close and huddled together, waiting for the nightmare to end.
How It All Began
When Brett and Georgia Elliot tied the knot, all their friends and family agreed they were a perfect match. As a pair of writers/bloggers, both had managed to carve out successful careers without ever needing to ever step foot in an office.
The couple put off having kids for the first few years and decided to use that time to travel together. After doing the whole condo living thing for a while, the pair soon realized that they were not like most couples their age.
Not Your Typical Couple
Both being natives of Maine, prior to being married, they had been together for five years. They had a lot in common. While condo life had its charms, the couple realized they were different from typical couples as both preferred being outdoors.
To them, condo living was a safe choice but felt utterly boring at the same time. After discussing it at length, the Elliots made a decision that most of their friends and family considered unconventional.
Against The Grain
While most couples their age were all willing participants in the “rat race”, Brett and Georgia felt that there had to be more to life than simply “living for the weekend”.
Although both were only 26 years old, their success had enabled them to put aside some savings. The pair decided to travel together for a few months. Neither expected that their lives would change so much as a result of that decision.
They Found Their Calling
In the weeks that followed, Brett and Georgia toured the country together before doing a few weekend getaways in the Caribbean and South America.
Love and Road
After spending all that time living in island paradises, both realized that this was the only life for them. After returning to condo life, it became apparent to the couple that they needed a drastic change.
It Changed Them
Brett and Georgia’s travels had inspired both of them to seek a new life. Going back to the bustle of city living had suddenly become intolerable to them. They both knew that their ideal life was away from the suburbs.
Fortunately, the nature of their jobs meant they were able to work from anywhere. With this in mind, the couple began planning their future life.
Their Dream Life
Brett and Georgia imagined their dream life to be one where they could have the ordinary comforts of a home while being surrounded by nature and open space for miles around them.
It Was Ideal
It wasn’t going to be easy to find a place that offered such unconventional living standards but they were determined to make this dream a reality. After scouring the net for months, the couple was ecstatic when they came across a listing that seemed perfect in every way.
Maine was known for its beautiful islands. While most of these were publicly owned and accessible, the couple knew that there were also many privately owned islands.
They had never considered this option as it was also well known that private islands were naturally very expensive. When the couple came across a listing for one that was a “huge bargain”, they could hardly believe their luck. There was, however, one catch.
The ad listed the entire island, together with the 500-square-foot cottage house that came with it for under $350,000.00. With stars in their eyes, they were immediately seduced by this incredible price.
When the owner stipulated that potential buyers had to first spend a night on the island to see if they could “rough it out”, the Elliots actually considered this part to be a bonus. It wasn’t long before they learned why this condition was part of the deal.
They Were Excited
Brett and Georgia were initially unfazed by the owner’s warning that living on the island alone was not easy. After all, the pair had been on many hiking and camping trips and had spent time in some very remote regions of the world.
They were confident that they were capable of “roughing it out” and signed up to spend a trial weekend on the island immediately. Once there, it quickly became apparent that they had made a grave mistake.
Not What They Expected
Reaching the island by boat, at first, the pair were thrilled with the size and untamed beauty of the island. The cottage also appeared to be more than sufficient for their needs. Noticing a document with a list of warnings and disclaimers, the couple soon realized that there were a lot of issues to overcome.
Dean Tyler Photography
Chief among these was the fact that with no indoor ablution facilities, they would have to brave the elements and use outdoor facilities. Things soon went downhill when the weather began to change.
It Became A Nightmare
Before settling in, they decided to try exploring a bit but the howling wind, rocky terrain, and choppy waters made it impossible to go very far. While outside, a terrible storm suddenly erupted and as they rushed back inside, Georgia slipped and badly injured her leg.
Back inside, the storm battered the little cottage. Their food and blankets were in an outhouse that they could not get to. With no phone signal or means to communicate with the outside world, the couple realized they were trapped for the night.
It Was A Huge Mistake
Aside from Georgia being injured, the pair were soaked, freezing, hungry, alone, and afraid. They had no choice but to find a corner of the cottage, huddle together, and try to see it out. By the next morning, the storm raged on.
Brett tried in vain to reach their food but had to abandon the trip due to the treacherous terrain and weather outside. Deeply regretting their choice to spend two nights here instead of one like the owner had advised, the couple faced another agonizing wait for help.
After yet another full day of being trapped inside the cottage, the next morning brought relief. The storm finally ended and the couple managed to get some food. By the time the owner arrived to fetch them, they could not wait to get off the island.
He helped Georgia nurse her injury with a first-aid kit. Apologizing for the horrific experience, he also reminded them that he had tried to warn them; this island, although beautiful, was far from being a comfortable place to live.
Home At Last
After finally reaching home, Brett and Georgia suddenly had a newfound appreciation for the basic comforts that their condo afforded them. It was a harsh lesson but they had learned from it.
Deciding to put the disastrous idea of living off the grid behind them, the couple eventually decided to stick with their comfortable apartment. They knew now that adventures were better suited for vacations and not everyday life. Not surprisingly, the island is still for sale. But it’s not the only prime piece of real estate that nobody wants to set foot on…
A Sinister Secret
When the summer rolls around in Massachusetts, thousands of Americans pack their bags and swarm to Martha’s Vineyard to enjoy the luxury resorts.
But just three miles away from the holidaymakers lies another island that nobody dares to visit. Aside from the occasional rabbit or seal, this island is completely deserted. And there’s a frightening reason why.
This island out in the Atlantic ocean is aptly named Nomans Land. In stark contrast to Martha’s Vineyard, you won’t find any restaurants, hotels, or resorts here.
Public Domain Wikimedia Commons
In fact, there are no human souls here at all. But just why is nobody willing to set foot on – let alone develop – this prime piece of real estate?
The houses just three miles away in Martha’s Vinyard are worth more than a million apiece. Nomans Land is situated in a prime position. Surely someone has tried to snatch it up over the years?
Nobody wants to touch it. The reason why this seemingly idyllic island has been left to its own devices is due to the terrifying truth lurking beneath the surface.
Once Upon A Time
The eerie island wasn’t always deserted, though. Before the British Colonization, Nomans Land belonged to the Wampanoag people. In 1602, an English privateer named Bartholomew Gosnold arrived on the island’s shores.
At that time, Nomans Land was controlled by Chief Tequenoman – that’s how it got its name: a contraction of Tequenoman’s Land. But now, even the descendants of the Wampanoag people are forbidden to set foot there.
Ancient Burial Sites
The modern descendants of the Wampanoag people have been fighting a legal battle to allow them access to the island for many years.
You see, there are many Wampanoag burial sites on the island, but they are forbidden to visit or pay their respects to their ancestors. And there’s a horrifying reason for that.
Today, a handful of scattered ruins are all that’s left of the people who once inhabited the island. Here and there, you’ll find a few crumbling stone walls that mark where the houses and farms once stood.
Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons
They are the only things left to testify that there was ever a human presence on Nomans Land. Where did they all go?
A Dark Past
On the surface, the shores of Martha’s Vineyard, Nomans Land, and indeed this entire part of Massachusetts look tranquil and inviting.
But when you begin to dig below the surface, you’ll find that this area has a dark and troubling history. One such story is about the predators that roam these Atlantic waters.
Lurking In These Waters
In 2018, a 26-year-old man named Arthur Medici was attacked by a great white shark while he was surfing off the coast of Cape Cod. Indeed, the attack changed Cape Cod forever.
Fellow surfers observed a giant eruption, followed by the sight of a huge tail whipping out the water. The water turned red, and Arthur was gone. And there’s a great twist of irony to the whole tale.
Ironically, Martha’s Vinyard was used as the set for the 1974 Steven Spielberg horror, Jaws. Since the movie premiered, the fear of the fearsome predators lurking in the waters became very real.
The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries has been studying the migration of great white sharks for the last decade. Their conclusion? The number of these predators in Cape Cod has more than doubled in the last ten years. So, is it this fear that keeps people away from Nomans Land?
A Rich History
Martha’s Vineyard, as described by tourist brochures, is a haven of tranquility. Tourists are promised peace, serenity, quaint genteel towns, and vast tracts of pristine beaches lapped by gentle waves.
After the island was colonized, it became a hub for whaling. Sailors trawled the surrounding ocean for valuable blubber until the whaling industry collapsed. After that, Martha’s Vineyard became a tourist destination for the wealthy and shot to international fame as the town depicted in Jaws as Amity.
Still, thousands of wealthy Americans flock to nearby Martha’s Vineyard every summer – the fear of sharks does nothing to stop them from enjoying the luxury resorts and beaches.
Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection – Flickr
It’s not the fear of sharks that stops anyone from setting foot on the deserted island three miles away, either. It’s something much, much worse.
In 1942, the island was embroiled in a different kind of conflict when Japanese forces launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. We all know what followed.
U.S. Navy – Wikimedia Commons
As American soldiers swarmed to Europe to help their allies, the Navy built an airfield on Nomans Land’s southern shores. But this wasn’t destined to be a place just for planes to refuel…
A Ticking Timebomb
Today, Nomans Land is littered with unexploded bombs. These sleeping giants are the reason nobody is allowed to set foot on the island. But that didn’t stop the occasional naturalist from exploring the strange abandoned place.
YouTube – Green Mountain Film Company
One such naturalist, Gus Bed David, traveled to the island’s shores in 1973 – while the bombing range was still active.
Ben David continues to visit the island and is always floored when he observes the natural fauna and flora thriving there.
HarveyHenkelmann – Wikimedia Commons
Even though he’s spent more time on Nomans Land than any military personnel, the naturalist believes the island should be left alone – even an operation to remove the undetonated bombs would destroy entire habitats beyond repair. And other naturalists agree with him.
A Human-Free Zone
Biologist Stephanie Koch is fighting to keep Nomans Land a human-free zone. “I think it’s important to have a few places that are completely prohibited from the public,” she told Boston.com.
Flickr – Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection
But some other naturalists disagree. After all, the island is a ticking timebomb – and an ecological disaster waiting to happen. In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.