An unsolved disappearance in a town plagued by darkness.
In 1988, journalist Keith Reinhard began writing a novel on the mysterious disappearance of Silver Plume, Colorado resident Tom Young.
Soon afterward, Keith Reinhard also disappeared.
He has never been found.
Today, a series of bizarre speculations, rumors and sinister theories about what actually happened to Keith and Tom have given rise to a story of legend in the small community of Silver Plume – a town already haunted by an odd history of darkness and death.
During the summer of 1988, journalist Keith Reinhard took a three-month leave of absence from his job and moved to the tiny Colorado mountain town of Silver Plume to write, reflect, and regenerate.
With his 50th birthday approaching, Keith was determined to recapture his youth, overcome his fear of heights, and begin writing a novel.
Keith Reinhard was fascinated with the history of Silver Plume - a former mining town haunted by a century-old pattern of bizarre disappearances and death.
Reinhard became obsessed with the mysterious disappearance of Tom Young, another Silver Plume resident who vanished the year prior. Young had occupied the same storefront that Keith now operated. Working within these same walls, Tom Young became the basis of Reinhard's novel.
At 5 PM on August 7, 1988, Keith closed up his shop for the day, telling friends that he was hiking to the top of nearby Pendleton Mountain - a hike Reinhard knew would take at least six hours.
He never returned.
Despite one of Colorado's largest land and air search missions, no trace of Keith Reinhard has ever been found.
Today, the truth behind Keith Reinhard's mysterious disappearance is still fiercely debated: Did the disappearance of Tom Young have any relationship to his own? Is it possible Keith set up his own disappearance? Did he commit suicide? Was he murdered?
Keith Reinhard Timeline
001 | AUG 6, 1988
Keith Reinhard attends a party held at the KP Building in Silver Plume, Colorado.
He is seen talking with an unidentified female.
002 | AUG 7, 1988
Despite having a known fear of heights, Reinhard tells Silver Plume residents he's going to hike to the top of Pendleton Mountain, a 12,500 foot peak. Keith was last seen leaving town at 5 PM.
003 | AUG 8, 1988
Keith Reinhard is reported missing.
Colorado’s Alpine Rescue Team launches a massive search and rescue mission on Pendleton Mountain.
004 | AUG 9, 1988
Reinhard’s unfinished novel is discovered on his personal computer. The final paragraph sounds like a description of his own disappearance.
005 | AUG 11, 1988
During an air search, a Civil Air Patrol plane crashes into Pendleton Mountain killing the pilot, Terry Leadens, and badly injuring the spotter, Don Drobny.
006 | AUG 14, 1988
After sevens days, the search for Keith Reinhard is called off with no resolution. It was the largest search and rescue mission in Colorado's history.
007 | JAN 31, 1990
Unsolved Mysteries airs a segment on the Reinhard story, focusing on speculation Keith may have staged his disappearance. Police receive 270 calls from across the country, but no evidence is found.
008 | MARCH 10, 2014
Production of Dark Side of the Mountain begins in Silver Plume, Colorado.
Residents of Silver Plume don't take kindly to the term "ghost town."
But there is no better description for the once-bustling mining center. Since the 1890s silver crash, its population has plummeted to a mere 130, largely a melting pot of transplants from around the country - teachers, artisans, and builders.
The town has an eerie, windswept vacantness. Steep canyon walls sandwich the valley in shadow. The north side of town receives as little as two and a half hours of direct sunlight a day in winter; the south doesn't see the sun at all for about six weeks a year. To add to its darkness, Silver Plume is haunted by a century-old pattern of bizarre and mysterious death.
A granite shrine looming on a cliff above town serves as a reminder of its macabre legacy.
The monument commemorates Clifford Griffin, the brother of the Englishman who owned the 7:30 Mine. Every evening at dusk, legend goes, Griffin stepped out of his hillside cabin to play his violin - until one night a shot rang out. Townspeople say a suicide note was found in his hand, but some suspect to this day that he was murdered.
Because Griffin's death was kept out of the newspapers, legends rose like a cloud of ghosts.
For more than a century these yarns have multiplied. Suicide stories. Murder stories. Griffin pining away and killing himself because he had killed his own fiancee in England years before. Or his brother killing him for the mine. Or the foreman killing him for his job. And who knows what else. But that’s part of what makes Silver Plume unique. Secrets. Folklore. Legends. It’s a place where stories get told.
Keith Reinhard's untimely disappearance has become yet another bizarre footnote in a town already shrouded in mystery.
THE VOICE OF A MISSING PERSON BROUGHT TO LIFE
Dark Side of the Mountain explores the lingering mystery surrounding the unexplained disappearance of Keith Reinhard and the haunting legacy it has left on the tiny mountain community of Silver Plume. With personal insight from Reinhard’s own letters, stories, and poems, the film paints a vivid reconstruction of Keith’s unfinished novel in his own words – writings that have been lost for over two decades.
Using first-person testimony from Reinhard’s family members, friends, and Silver Plume locals, Dark Side of the Mountain is the chilling true story of a man whose mysterious disappearance blurs the line between fact and fiction.
Director / PRODUCER / Editor
Eric Walter has been drawn to the exploration of the unexplained, urban legends and the unsolved for his entire life. Best known for his breakthrough documentary feature, My Amityville Horror, Walter is actively engaged with independently investigating some of history’s most notorious unsolved crimes, cold cases and reports of real-life unexplained phenomena.
Walter’s work often highlights the blend between reality and fiction, a focus that continues to fuel his passion for nonfiction filmmaking. He seeks to tell true stories of ordinary people who believe in the unexplained.
In 2014, Eric founded Film Attic, Inc., an independent production company specializing in nonfiction films that explore the darkest edges of documentary.
Christine Irons is an Austin native now residing in Los Angeles. She started producing with the "Wrecked" segment of the film, Six in Austin. She was also a producer on the award-winning indie, Sexless.
Christine co-produced the documentary feature, My Amityville Horror, released by IFC Films. When not producing features, Christine works in unscripted television with a focus on true crime.
Lexy Altman is a Southern California native with 8 years of experience in film and television. She currently works in non-fiction television and documentary development at Condé Nast Entertainment. Previously, she has worked at Red Wagon Entertainment as well as under director Garry Marshall.
Rebecca Breithaupt was raised in the Midwest and is drawn to capturing the unique stories of salt of the earth people through creative nonfiction. Rebecca’s first documentary feature, My Amityville Horror, opened to favorable reviews both domestically and internationally, and her documentary series, Straight White Guy Listening, is currently in post-production. In addition to her film work, Rebecca is the Device Producer at Ayzenberg Group, creating online content for all things Microsoft including HoloLens, Surface, Education, Edge and Band among others.
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