it was Australia day, january 26, 1966, and scorching hot in Adelaide. the Beaumont children were en route to the beach for a day's swim. Jane, the oldest at age 9, was responsible for her younger siblings, Arnna, age 7, and Grant, age 4.
the siblings had boarded a public bus at 10:00 A.M. for a five-minute ride to the beach—a trip they completed only yesterday. their mother Nancy spent the morning with her friend, while her husband Jim was at work. Nancy told her children to return home by 2:00 P.M. for lunch.
when the scheduled time came and went, Nancy assumed her children simply missed the bus. but when the next bus arrived and the children were nowhere to be seen, the mother grew concerned.
she called the police soon thereafter. the following day, the Beaumont children were officially declared missing.
according to eyewitnesses, the three children left the beach around 10:15 A.M. they were then seen at 11:00 A.M. by an elderly woman who spotted them playing under a sprinkler. but someone else was also present: a lean, blond man in a blue bathing suit. he was first lying belly down, watching the Beaumont children play. fifteen minutes later, the mystery man was playing with them.
at around 11:45 A.M. the children were seen buying snacks at a cake shop using a £1 bill. this would be the first clue that something was amiss—the children hadn't left the house with that much money. someone must've given it to them.
the final sighting came from a local postman who knew the children well. he said he spotted the Beaumont children around 3:00 P.M., walking alone and away from the beach on jetty road. the children seemed happy on their stroll; they even stopped to say hello. while police trusted the postman's claim, questions about its timeline led authorities to believe the encounter happened earlier in the day.
in either case, after postman's reported encounter,the children's trail went cold.
the disappearance of the Beaumont children stunned Australia, and triggered one of the largest missing persons investigations in the nation's history. drowning was ruled out, as all their belongings were also missing. an appeal from Jim Beaumont was broadcast on national TV. authorities followed every lead, but every lead led to nowhere.
even paranormal investigators were called in for assistance. Gerard Croiset, a renowned dutch parapsychologist and psychic, was flown to Australia from the Netherlands. his visit caused a media circus. Croiset claimed his sixth sense led him to a warehouse where he believed the bodies were buried. the warehouse's owners, reluctant at first to participate, finally raised $40,000 to have the building demolished. an excavation commenced, but no bodies were found.
some two years after the disappearance the Beaumont parents received a series of mysterious letters claiming the children were held captive. the anonymous author said he would return the children at a designated time and place. ecstatic, the Beaumonts traveled to the pre-arranged spot, only to be met by no one.
a second letter arrived shortly thereafter, stating that because an undercover detective had been present, the author withheld the children, and would now keep them forever. twenty-five years later, forensic analysis concluded the letters were a hoax.
the investigation remains open to this day. a $1 million reward is offered to anyone with information that might crack the case.
nearly 50 years later, the question remains: what happened to the three Beaumont children that hot day at the beach?