The Transdimensional Gas Station

Ringo

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I think I might have done but in a rather hasty post. I asked here first for a Top 10 places to visit and got a whole host of responses.

@Frideswide Found it in the British Isles thread:
I'm back from a huge road trip to the UK. I managed to visit a few fortean places.

Stonehenge
Rendelsham Forest
Mawnan Smith and the church
The Witchcraft Museum at Boscastle
Marsden Bay (no Shoney)
Bodmin (but no beasts)
Tintagel Castle

The most fun was Mawnan Smith actually. I had to ask the lady working in the local shop which church was involved in the legend. She kind if took a step back and raised an eyebrow, in a kind of "stick to the roads" kind of way.

The church and churchyard is lovely and I had it all to myself. There is however a path/trail behind the church which leads down to the coast and there were loads of people laughing down there. It kind of spoiled my beasty hunting.
 
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Swifty

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:hoff:

Just doin' my job, Ma'am.

No seriously, thank you for your thanks. I enjoy driving around on strange and unusual quests. A few years back I did a road trip whilst in the UK to lots of Fortean places. I love the idea of being on an adventure. I'm not really expexting to find or solve the mystery. I just want to add more pictures and info for you guys who can't get there.
Don't forget when you came to Cromer and we missed each other by a waking distance of about 5 minutes .. I'm still gutted I didn't get to meet you lot, I was working in The Albion Pub at the time a mere two streets away from the top of the slope!.
 

OrsonSwells

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I think I might have done but in a rather hasty post. I asked here first for a Top 10 places to visit and got a whole host of responses.

@Frideswide Found it in the British Isles thread:
That's really interesting. I'm looking to go somewhere for my 50th soon and I think I'd like to visit somewhere Fortean!
 

Ringo

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Don't forget when you came to Cromer and we missed each other by a waking distance of about 5 minutes .. I'm still gutted I didn't get to meet you lot, I was working in The Albion Pub at the time a mere two streets away from the top of the slope!.
That's right! I tried to message you and I even called you but I couldn't get through for some reason. But we may return, so be afraid...be very afraid. I dreamt about you a few days afterwards. We were drinking in a back alley pub courtyard and you showed me round your massive house.

That's really interesting. I'm looking to go somewhere for my 50th soon and I think I'd like to visit somewhere Fortean!
It was loads of fun. had the kids in tow so I didn't get to really explore the places I wanted to. It was more of a fleeting visit to each site whilst they whinged and complained in the backseat. My fondest memory however was telling them ghost stories as we drove over the foggy Yorkshire moors.
 

Swifty

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That's right! I tried to message you and I even called you but I couldn't get through for some reason. But we may return, so be afraid...be very afraid. I dreamt about you a few days afterwards. We were drinking in a back alley pub courtyard and you showed me round your massive house.



It was loads of fun. had the kids in tow so I didn't get to really explore the places I wanted to. It was more of a fleeting visit to each site whilst they whinged and complained in the backseat. My fondest memory however was telling them ghost stories as we drove over the foggy Yorkshire moors.
The back alley pub courtyard sounds like The Wellington Arms to me (a hang glider crashed into it a few years back funnily enough. He wasn't hurt), our house is one of the old railway men's cottages but I could show you round a massive country mansion that me and the Mrs are given the keys to baby sit every January, it used to be owned by the Barclay family of Barclays Bank fame, Elizabeth Fry used to live and preach there. I can't get you pissed up if the kids are going to be there sorry (not that I think you would lol). We could sneak off somewhere definitely mate.
 
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bob61

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Hi all! This is my first post on this forum, and before I go any further I should perhaps apologize in advance for any misspellings and deformed sentences; English is not my first language.

The event I´d like to tell you about took place quite a few years ago, in the early nineties. Somehow, I´ve managed not to think about it for all this time. Recently, however (following somewhat of a crisis in my life), I´ve started to realize how fundamentally strange this experience really was, and how deeply it actually affected me. I´ll try to provide as much detail as I can possibly drag from my (admittedly foggy) memory, so bear with me if my account seems windy and overly pedantic.

As far as I remember, my story took place in early July of -93. I was 18 y.o. at the time and worked for the summer at the civic department of the smallish county (kommun) of Mjolby (in mid-eastern Sweden), doing mainly street and park maintenance.

Me and a co-worker had finished work for the day pruning hedges and mowing lawns in a remote community some 10 english miles (15 km) away from our home office, and were on our way back. The road we were driving along (in a Volkswagen mini-bus) went through a quite rural area, fields and scattered bits of pine forest. There were (and still is) only a few, separated farm houses and cottages along the road, which is the only tarmac road in that area – all roads that connects with it along that stretch are either gravel roads or dirt paths. That summer alone, we must have driven along that road at least a hundred times, so we knew it quite well by that time.

After driving approximatively 5-7 kilometres along this road, my co-worker (who was driving) happened to notice that we were running low on gas - in fact, the needle of the gauge didn’t even move from its bottom position. The car was still running smoothly, but we doubted we could run on petrol fumes for another 10 km or so. At this point we had entered one of the few places along the road where it was flanked by woods on both sides (the area is otherwise fairly open, mostly farm land).

The car was equipped with a long-wave radio (this being before the time of mobile phones), so we were discussing whether to radio the home office in case we got stranded and needed some gas brought to us. In the end, however, we decided to keep on driving as long as possible, just in case the gas we had would be enough to take us home. Come to think about it, I seem to remember that that stretch of road lay in some type of radio shadow. The regular radio stations always broke up at some point along that road, although I can’t remember if we had the radio on on this particular occasion.

Anyway, we kept on driving for a few more minutes when suddenly we come upon a small collection of buildings on the right side of the road – a farm house in a pretty dilapidated condition, covered in grubby Eternit plates (I’m not sure of the English name, but it´s an asbestos-like synthetic substance which was used extensively in house exteriors in the 50:s and 60:s). In front of the house, right up against the edge of the tarmac of the road, sat a long, shed-type structure covered in corrugated metal plate and roofed with tar paper. On the short end of the shed, facing the way we were coming from, was an old, orange-striped gas pump. Set into the side of the shed was an open door and a large, grimy window cluttered with cans of motor oil and other stuff. In this window hung a large plastic sign saying, simply, “Gas”.


As I mentioned, we’d both travelled along this road many times, but never noticed this strange-looking gas station before. However, there were no eldritch feeling of strangeness or anything – we simply wrote it off as a trick of the mind that neither of us had seen it before, or had thought about it earlier. After all, sometimes you fail to notice mundane things until you actively search for them. I certainly didn’t reflect much over it at the time, just feeling relieved that we’d be able to get some gas and get home.

We stopped alongside the gas pump, and after finding the mechanism locked with a padlock, I went inside to find whoever ran the place. Inside was a small, square room bisected by a counter, behind which stood shelves with oil cans, bottles of car wax etc. Even though there was only one window, the area was pretty brightly illuminated by a naked fluorescent lamp. As there was no one in sight, I called “Hello” or something and after a while a strange little guy emerged from a door in the back wall. In retrospect, I set his age at about 60-70 y.o, but he could have been somewhat younger, I suppose. When you’re 18 you have a tendency to simply label anyone above age 50 as “old”, I guess?

I distinctly remember he had a brownish Greek-fisherman cap on (you know those with a button on the front?) and that he had those coke-bottle glasses, with thick rims of black plastic. His eyes were magnified to at least twice their natural size by those lenses. I seem to remember he was dressed in a black/white chequered shirt and beige pants, held up by bracers. You got the impression that there’d been a long time since his last bath, as what little hair you could see looked pretty greasy, and his clothes were all grubby and wrinkled.

I told him (I can’t remember the exact words) something along the lines that we needed buy some gas, and he just looked at me for an uncomfortably long time, so I thought he hadn’t understood what I had said. I started to repeat myself, but he cut me off, pretty curtly, after a few words, with a kind of rapid, stuttering manner of speech. Either my memory betrays me, or I never heard just what he said to cut me off. Probably was something like “yesyesmumblemumble” (although in Swedish, of course); and nodding exaggeratedly (sp?) as he talked. He started to rummage around beneath the counter, still muttering indistinctly under his breath, and finally produced a key on a piece of string. With the key held out/up on a straight arm (a really odd gesture), he came out from behind the counter with some speed and pushed (quite rudely) past me out through the door. He had this strange, sort of lurching kind of locomotion you sometimes see in old alcoholics (an observation I only made years later, in another job).

Anyway, he unlocked the pump and we drew perhaps 150 SEK worth of gas (which took a long time, since the pump was ancient and weak). The old guy stood and looked on, all the while rocking from side to side, almost like he had some motorical dysfunction or something. My friend and I just sort of looked at each other several times, not knowing what to make of this guy. Once the car was filled up, we pooled our loose cash and just piled it in the hands of the old guy until he seemed satisfied. Once he’d put the money away in a pocket of his pants, he withdrew a wad of blank receipts from a breast pocket, filled one out very carefully with a ballpoint, and handed it over. My friend took it without a word and put it in his wallet, and we said goodbye, got into the car and left, rather quickly. While we were turning onto the road once again, the old guy walked out to the edge of the tarmac, waving both hands in the air (in a good-bye gesture, I guess).

When we drove away, I lent forward and looked in the side mirror, seeing him in the distance, still waving and rocking to and fro.
We didn’t really speak a lot on the way home, but there was no feeling that something was amiss or anything. The only strange thing that happened was that the car started to run raggedly just a few kilometres after leaving the gas station, the engine misfiring in the manner it does sometimes when one or more cylinders fail to ignite (anyone who’s owned a Volkswagen will recognise the phenomenon). We commented on it and said that the old guy probably gave us diesel instead of 96-octane petrol. Indeed, the car’s exhaust gradually turned into a thick black smokescreen trailing behind us, like it does when you pour diesel into a petrol car.

By the time we arrived at our home office, the car coughed and spluttered constantly, so we took it to the civic department’s repair shop, by now convinced that we had been sold diesel instead of petrol, and rather pissed because we’d have to empty the gas tank by hand (which is quite messy). A guy at the repair shop helped us out with a hand-pump, emptying the gas tank into a large plastic tub. The stuff we pumped out of the tank was neither pinkish (as petrol) nor clear (like diesel oil), but a milky, opaque orange. It didn’t smell right, either, but almost sweet, like turpentine.

The repair guy (an old fox who probably knew everything there was to know about mechanical stuff) commented that the fluid looked like something called “war-time gasoline”. Apparently, during WWII, petrol was scarce, and an alternative needed. The solution was produced by a crudely refined fuel oil mixed with turpentine (or perhaps ethanol), on which old petrol engines could be run, albeit not very smoothly.

The guy asked us where we’d got the gas, and we told him, chuckling, about the strange gas station, even adding that we’d never noticed it before. Now, I really expected the guy (as he was really familiar with all the strange people of the area) to laugh along with us and tell us all about this strange old guy we’d met. Instead, he looked totally confused and said something like: “What gas station?”, and it was like a bubble had burst.

All of a sudden I was overwhelmed by how strange it was that we’d never seen this gas station before, and I became increasingly certain that, on every previous time we’d driven along that road, it hadn’t been there at all! Glancing at my friend’s face, it was obvious he was thinking the same thing.

We started asking the repair guy if he was really certain about this, and so on, but he maintained that, as far as he was aware, there was no gas station on that stretch of road. He actually began to look quite spooked as my friend and I became more and more agitated.

Eventually we left to change out of our work clothes and decided to take my friends car, drive back the way we came from and see if we could find the gas station. We actually drove the entire way back to the town we´d worked in that day, and back again, without ever coming upon the small open area where the gas station had been. It´s difficult to describe the feeling we had when we returned, we both were spooked, scared and exhilirated (sp?) all at the same time, you know? I sat in the passenger´s seat with the reciept we´d got from the strange old guy, and to me that mundane piece of grubby paper just seemed to emanate an almost palpable strangeness. I had some serious trouble sleeping for several nights after this, spending lots of my waking time going over this in my head.

We actually did a bit of research in the days following this experience, talking to 5 or 6 people we worked with and who we knew had a good knowledge of the area and its history, but no one had ever heard of this gas station, nor had there ever been a gas station there at any time within the last 50 years, either. Since our questions led us nowhere, we lost interest after a while and life continued on a normal. At the end of that summer, I left the area for school and didn´t think about it for a long time. Occasionally, I´d get flashbacks, and feel again that falling sensation of strangeness, but I still managed to distance myself from that memory. I certainly didn´t tell anyone else about my experience. I did, however, keep the receipt and still have it to this day.

Several years later ( I believe in -95 or -96) I got into a discussion with my maternal grandfather (who had lived and worked in this area) and told him the story. He responded by saying that he´d had a "strange experience" on that same road, when working as a book-courier in the 60:s or 70:s, but refused to say anything else (he was a devout Baptist, and not comfortable discussing this type of thing). I tried several times to get him to tell me what it was he had experienced, but whatever it was, he took it with him to his grave when he died in -98.

This was the situation until early spring this year, when certain changes in my life prompted me to return to and attempt to resolve my feelings concerning this experience. I´ve finally realized just how much this has affected me, and how big an impact it has had on the way my life turned out. I mean, it´s hard to feel certainty of anything after an experience like this, isn´t it? Anyway, earlier this year I had the opportunity to return to "my old haunts" (heh) for a few days, and found myself with some time on my hands, so I decided to try to investigate the matter one more time. I drove along that road at least 10 times in a few days, but still saw no gas station. I were, however, able to find out who owned that stretch of woods where I believe the station appeared to us. Sadly, this turned out to be another blank, as the family I talked with had never heard of any gas station anywhere along that road.

So, I realize this post is probably a bit longer than it deserves, but I´ve made an effort to be as precise as possible and to incorporate every detail that I can trawl from the murky waters of my memory.

I do have a few ideas as to what really happened that day, but I´d like to hear the opinions of the forum before I post those. That´ll probably become just as massive a post as this one.

Let me know what you think!

Regards,
David
i'd love too experiance something like that .
 

Sollywos

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i gave a radio interview today concerning the mississippi-style juke joint ive built ... i described it on air as "like the transdimensional gas station" ... the kind of place that appears unannounced, and isnt there the next time you pass by ...
Brilliant!! Love it!!

Also as an 'American Pickers' addict I could picture just what your transdimensional juke joint looks like! Which side of the pond are you? I'm in the UK.

Sollywos x
 

CuriousIdent

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i gave a radio interview today concerning the mississippi-style juke joint ive built ... i described it on air as "like the transdimensional gas station" ... the kind of place that appears unannounced, and isnt there the next time you pass by ...
I would genuinely love it if this phrase entered popular use outside of these boards...
 

Sollywos

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Did anyone notice if hits for this thread went up after Henry's radio interview? I think I'll drop 'transdimensional gas station' into the conversation with anyone I suspect of having an interest in Fortean stuff, a sort of Masonic hand shake 'ah so you are one of us let's converse a while' :friends:

Sollywos x
 

Sollywos

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Damn this illusive gas station!.
Right so I've just had a horrible bout of summer flu, snugged up in bed for a day or two before I felt well enough to even read.
Decided to give 'Quantum mechanics for beginners a miss' brain not up to it and picked instead a crime novel which had plenty of scenes of detectives rushing round the Swedish countryside and forests. All well and intriguing but my cough mixture, paracetamol and fever addled brain kept complicating the plot by looking out for That bl00dy gas station!!!!!

Got excited at one point when I spotted a likely candidate and wondered why the detective didn't stop for a closer look and it was when I was imagining logging in to this thread and sharing the new lead that I remembered I was actually reading a story ..... duh.

Sollywos x
 

EnolaGaia

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Damn this illusive gas station! ...
Got excited at one point when I spotted a likely candidate and wondered why the detective didn't stop for a closer look and it was when I was imagining logging in to this thread and sharing the new lead that I remembered I was actually reading a story ..... duh.
If you really want to go looking for candidates, you can use Google Street View to retrace the most probable route and look around for buildings along the road which might be the elusive station. It takes a while, and the time will simply melt away ...
 

Austin Popper

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It would no doubt help if one did the looking in whatever dimension that particular old gas station normally inhabits. I suppose if you need to convince yourself the lads were mistaken somehow, you might find something to build that scenario around, whether or not it had any relevence to the story. It helps a lot to not be very fussy about details. I don't see much room for such a mistake in the original narrative. Seems to me the story is a real experience that has no mundane explanation, or it's fiction. Seeking some "evidence" for some other explanation seems to serve mainly to maintain the boundaries around one's comfort zone.

It's a great story. I'm happy to leave it at that. There is really no way to prove anything about it one way or another.
 

Sollywos

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If you really want to go looking for candidates, you can use Google Street View to retrace the most probable route and look around for buildings along the road which might be the elusive station. It takes a while, and the time will simply melt away ...
It's not that I'm that concerned about finding it, its just that if I find myself in rural Sweden I'll look out for it, which is what I was doing! I can tell you the experience of finding myself wrenched from a bitterly cold Swedish forest to the comfort of my own bed with no recollectiion of the journey was indeed ... well fortean!

'sides I need no encouragement to spend even more time on google earth street view than I already do! lol

Sollywos x
 

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It's a great story. I'm happy to leave it at that. There is really no way to prove anything about it one way or another.
well thats not necessarily true, as locating an authentic structure would open up the potential opportunity to, confirm or disconfirm ... likewise if a photograph (contemporaneous or anachronistic) were identified ... and then theres the receipt
 
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henry

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if a representative structure were identified in a convenient location or upon an isolated but viable route, say by young ringo on one of his trips, and the original poster could be located and could confirm the relevance, thus revising and resolving the original account ... that would deal with the material strangeness would it not, plus also render the receipt irrelevant
 

Austin Popper

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if a representative structure were identified in a convenient location or upon an isolated but viable route, say by young ringo on one of his trips, and the original poster could be located and could confirm the relevance, thus revising and resolving the original account ... that would deal with the material strangeness would it not, plus also render the receipt irrelevant
Of course it would not. When was the last time you read the original story?

Could one of the people who think it's worthwhile looking for this phantom gas station give a brief version of what they suspect actually happened, given the OP is not a creative writing project? I lean toward fiction, but if you think something actually happened that day, I'd like to hear what you think it might have been.
 

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what wouldnt it deal with for you, the transdimensional aspect would be dealt with, how had they managed to miss it that day and every day since ?
 

Ringo

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Could one of the people who think it's worthwhile looking for this phantom gas station give a brief version of what they suspect actually happened, given the OP is not a creative writing project? I lean toward fiction, but if you think something actually happened that day, I'd like to hear what you think it might have been.
I have driven those roads in order to add more information to a thread which was abandoned by the OP years ago. I'm just looking at the area involved in the story as you would maybe visit Whitechapel after hearing of the Ripper Murders. The difference being that a lot of you could access Whitechapel for yourselves. There aren't many here who have cause to find themselves in Västra Harg. But I do. So I'm dutifully having a look and reporting back.

Somethings I have thought of:
1. I suspect, if he is telling the truth, that the OP was wrong in identifying where the Gas Station was. His description of the route does not match the actual journey or the coordinates given.
2. It may not have been a Gas Station. It is a common hobby amongst people living in certain parts of Sweden to collect old American cars, petrol pumps, gas signs, oil cans etc and even build recreations of petrol stations and gas pumps in their gardens. However, I believe that they found a farmer who just happened to have an old pump and who sold them some old petrol.
3. Them asking to buy Gas would be a strange thing to the farmer hence his confusion. But then he remembers his old pump, unlocks it and pumps enough to get them back to town.

I have travelled each of the roads in to and out of the village in question and can find no signs of any existing or abandoned structures which could match the description. So either the OP is mistaken about where it happened, is lying about the whole thing or did indeed have a time slip.
 

Austin Popper

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I have driven those roads in order to add more information to a thread which was abandoned by the OP years ago. I'm just looking at the area involved in the story as you would maybe visit Whitechapel after hearing of the Ripper Murders. The difference being that a lot of you could access Whitechapel for yourselves. There aren't many here who have cause to find themselves in Västra Harg. But I do. So I'm dutifully having a look and reporting back.

Somethings I have thought of:
1. I suspect, if he is telling the truth, that the OP was wrong in identifying where the Gas Station was. His description of the route does not match the actual journey or the coordinates given.
2. It may not have been a Gas Station. It is a common hobby amongst people living in certain parts of Sweden to collect old American cars, petrol pumps, gas signs, oil cans etc and even build recreations of petrol stations and gas pumps in their gardens. However, I believe that they found a farmer who just happened to have an old pump and who sold them some old petrol.
3. Them asking to buy Gas would be a strange thing to the farmer hence his confusion. But then he remembers his old pump, unlocks it and pumps enough to get them back to town.

I have travelled each of the roads in to and out of the village in question and can find no signs of any existing or abandoned structures which could match the description. So either the OP is mistaken about where it happened, is lying about the whole thing or did indeed have a time slip.
If I were in your situation, I'd be driving those roads too. It's just that the story is very rich in detail and does not leave room for the fellows being that badly mistaken unless they were idiots. A story that's rich in detail and so internally consistent but none of the details match up with Real Life is, in my estimation, highly suspect from the beginning.

The idea there is a building out there somewhere with a weird old guy who might have sold some substance that was not gasoline, with all the other details coming even close to fitting in, is based on assumptions that are sitting on nothing more than a hope of finding a way to say, See, this kind of thing just doesn't happen. It just does not come close to fitting the narrative. As I have said before, the only reason I think the original story might be true is that I've had my own similar experiences, though mine were far less interesting. The story reads like fiction. Anyone who has ever looked for a fictional town on a map should be suspicious. Nothing from the OP later in the thread changes any of that.

This discussion interests me because I think it gets us a bit closer to the heart of Forteana. The various reactions to it speak volumes (to me) about the nature of our local reality and how each of us processes it. I personally suspect that such "glitches in the matrix" happen all the time, and that our ways of dealing with it provide us with wide latitude when it comes to mashing our experience into something coherent and comfortable for us. For the most part, I think that's necessary for our sanity at least currently. Once we collectively acknowledge that our reality is not nearly as concrete as we like to believe, we can progress in our understanding of it. As long as we rely on Venus, weather balloons, hallucinations, infrasound and whatever other excuses we can conjure up to explain Weird Shit, we'll live in denial.
 

EnolaGaia

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Based on my own experiences with Swedish back roads and rural highways, I agree with all 3 of Ringo's points.

I've actually done the Google Street View tour of the main route matching the OP's account. There are multiple buildings along the way that might have been shops / farmers' garages / etc. at which the incident could have occurred. However, there's always at least one specific point in the OP's description that doesn't match in every one of the candidate sites I discovered.

For example ... There's an old building obviously configured as a garage, but not situated directly on the road, or there's a garage-style building sitting right on the road but on the wrong side (given the alleged direction of travel).
 

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A key point for me is that the boys were familiar with their route but were surprised to see the gas station there. When they went right back to look for it, they found no trace of it. In order for them to be mistaken, they would both need to be far too incompetent to grow into someone capable of telling the tale so well in the OP. That's not the only thing that makes me say it was either a genuinely strange experience pretty much as described or it's fiction, but it's important. Finding what someone else believes to be a suitable candidate of a building on a route they might have traveled is little more than wishful thinking, in my opinion.
 

EnolaGaia

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Oh, I agree ... The only reason I did the search was to kill a lot of unexpected idle time and to rule out the possibility there might have been an obvious candidate location along the most probable route that was simply ignored / forgotten / overlooked later.

Personally, I suspect they weren't following the most probable route on that one occasion, and the mysterious station's presence / absence resulted from conflating different routes taken at different times.
 
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