List of reported sightings of Constance Eakins since his disappearance
—March 28, 1974. While hiking in the Grotto Gigante, a young
laborer named Giancarlo Furlan saw a giant boulder several hundred
feet in front of him shift in the darkness. A moment later, the boulder
turned toward him, turned back, and then started moving, with a herky-jerky
motion, deeper into the cave. Furlan later swore that it was a giant
mountain-demon that he had seen but there was much speculation among
Eakins fans that the demon was in fact the missing author, traveling
through the grottoes of the Carso. Furlan, it should be added, never
left the city limits of Trieste again.
—August 31, 1977. A Slovenian photographer and member of the
Royal Geographical Society named U.I. Premri glimpsed a creature
he later described as “exactly like a human being, walking
upright and stopping occasionally to uproot some dwarf rhododendron
bushes and from them gain sustenance.” Premri, who at the time
was near the top of the Carso, roughly ten miles from Medeazza, later
reached the spot where he sighted the creature. Lying there on the
ground was a page torn from Eakins’ second memoir, Gashes.
—March 5, 1983. Ms. Gettes in St. Rose, Louisiana,
was out walking her dog at three in the morning. When she reached
The Constance Eakins Museum on Vine Street, she saw that a light
is on in the upstairs window, the room where his childhood desk was
displayed. Ms. Gettes noticed that a large, looming silhouette was
visible behind the drawn curtains, heaving silently. She stopped
in her tracks; her dog barked; and the light went out. She ran away
and never turned back. The night in question would have been Eakins’ 65th
—April 2, 1989. Following rumors that the Swedish
Academy would award Eakins the Nobel Prize, Anders Liljeroth, a Stockholm-based
columnist for Dagens Nyheter, wrote a controversial editorial
in which he demanded that if Eakins did not formally accept the prize,
then he ought to be declared dead. And if he were declared dead,
then he would have to forfeit the award. In his next column, Liljeroth
categorically withdrew his statement. A colleague at the newspaper
claimed that Liljeroth had received a menacing phone call from a
man with “heavy mouth breaths” who identified himself
as the writer Eakins. Liljeroth neither confirmed this statement,
nor gave any other explanation. Shortly after the incident, he died.
—October 11, 1993. A food critic named Rutherford was on a
dining trip through Italy when he stopped for a meal at Café Mezzanotte
in Trieste. He heard excited conversation coming from the kitchen
concerning a famous guest who had eaten a meal there several hours
earlier. When the critic asked for the identity of the previous diner,
a waiter shrugged and said something about a “large” writer.
Several minutes later the chef, visibly shaken, came over to explain
that there was no more food left in the kitchen and that the restaurant
had to close.
—January 22, 1998. A six-year-old boy named
Tivio Lonzano disappeared during a camping trip in the Dolomites,
near the Slovenian border. A search team could not find him and after
two weeks, the boy was declared dead. Yet three months later the
boy appeared, naked, standing in the middle of the Piazza Unita.
No one saw how he had gotten there. He was perfectly healthy—and
even seemed to have gained weight—but he could not understand
his parents when they spoke to him, or anyone else for that matter.
After several rounds of psychological examination, doctors discovered
that the only language he understood was Esperanto, and in this strange
tongue he repeated a single sentence, over and over. An Esperanto
expert was summoned to translate the boy’s utterance: “There
was a man up there, up there a dark man was staring at me.” Fans
will recognize this, of course, as the opening line of Eakins’ novel, Better
Days Will Haunt You.
—June 19, 2010.
An Auckland Eakinsian scholar spots on television an "agued and weeping" Constance Eakins in the West Stand of Mbombela Stadium
during New Zealand's draw against Italy in the World Cup.