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Search for Man Walking with Cross in Connecticut Update

“Have you seen a man walking by here with a ten foot Jesus cross over his shoulder recently?” I asked a young girl in light blue nursing fatigues. I had just turned off on RT 1, immediately over the Connecticut border with Rhode Island: ground zero in my search for Tom Helling — the man [...]

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“Have you seen a man walking by here with a ten foot Jesus cross over his shoulder recently?” I asked a young girl in light blue nursing fatigues.

I had just turned off on RT 1, immediately over the Connecticut border with Rhode Island: ground zero in my search for Tom Helling — the man who is walking across the USA with a full sized cross over his shoulder.

“No, I think that would be something I would remember seeing,” the young nurse answered with a laugh.

I thanked her politely and began looking for someone else in the street to ask. But the nurse redoubled on her walk by me, turned and asked a very poignant question:

“You were serious by asking that question, weren’t you?”

No, I just thought that it would just be a really good pick up line . . .

And so the first day of searching for Tom Helling and the Cross Walk continued down RT 1 into Connecticut. I focused my inquiries on people selling cigarettes, as I have regularly found street side cigarette vendors to be the best people to ask directions from in any country of the world. So I searched for gas stations and quicky marts . . . and then ask the people working  counters if they happened to see a man walking by with a ten foot Jesus cross over his shoulder any time in the recent past.

Most of the recipients of my questions look at me as though they could not figure out if I was putting them on or if I really was so odd as to go around asking such a question seriously.

Needless to say, most of these cigarette vendors were not much help. If they had spotted Helling and his giant cross, they would remember it.

They, apparently, had not.

I felt like Henry Morton Stanley searching in the African bush for Livingstone. Only Stanley found Livingstone the first place he looked for him . . . I did not have such luck finding Tom Helling. Though Stanley did have to travel unbeaten paths through the hinterland of Africa, fight hostile tribes, overcome a dozen sicknesses, and walk a thousand miles. . . whereas I just drove my Subaru 350 miles down highway 95 to Connecticut.

I think we are even.

After traveling more than 20 miles into Connecticut with neither sign nor a confirmed sighting of Helling, I turned around and began working my way back towards Rhode Island. At this juncture, I felt that it was important to get a confirmed sighting to base my search off of — even if that meant backtracking.

I reentered Rhode Island, pulled up to a Mobil On the Run gas station, and stormed in through the door. There was a long line leading up to the man behind the counter. I half heatedly leafed through the local paper to see if any of the reporters had caught wind of the Cross Walk, I read the cashiers name tag: Glenn, his name was Glenn. Good to know.

I eventually waited out my way to the front of the line — Americans actually wait in line, which is probably one of their weirder habits. But soon enough I was talking face to face with Glenn.

“I just have a question.”

“Ok, go ahead,” Gleen helpfully encouraged me.

“You haven’t seen a guy walking by here with a a ten foot Jesus cross over his shoulder, have you?”

“Yes,” Glenn answered matter of factly, “I saw him on my way to work yesterday morning.”

Really?” I questioned. I wanted to be sure that I was not the one being put on now.

“Yeah, really.”

“So you saw him on Sunday morning?”

“Maybe it was Saturday, yeah it was Saturday morning. He was walking towards . . . ”

In my excitement I did not confidently get the location that Helling was reputedly walking towards, but it sounded something like “Granite Hill.”

So I wrote “Granite Hill” down in my notebook, thanked Glenn, and carried on in my search for Tom Helling, the man walking across the USA with the giant Jesus cross.

I looked at my road atlas, but could not find any sign of a “Granite Hill” anywhere on it.

Maybe he meant Groton Hill, I thought to myself. It seemed to make sense, as I was just outside of Groton.

Connecticut road map

Connecticut road map

So I searched for Groton Hill, and when I could not find it, I figured that it was just some local nickname for some insignificant little hill in Groton.

I continued on my search down Rt 1. No sign of Helling, and a problem:

Rt 1 meets up with Interstate 95 as it crosses over a bridge. I went over the bridge and determined that it would be very difficult for a man to have walked on the interstate over it —  even with complete faith in the Lord.

So here was the situation: did Helling manpower it on the interstate over the only bridge spanning the thin bay, or did he walk north and go around the bay?

The answer to this question was critical to my success in finding Helling. If he went north and around the bay, that means that he could be on pretty much any road going west. Success in my journey was based primarily on the premise that Helling would not stray from Rt 1.

If Helling stayed on Rt 1, I know that I could find him — somehow, someway. If he walked around the bay, then the challenge of my mission expodentiated a dozen fold.

I kept going on Rt 1. I stuck to the plan. No Helling. The day began to grow late, I grew weary from sitting in a car all day long. I scoped out a decent place to sleep for the night — inside of my Subaru hatchback in a hotel parking lot — and made way for a mall.

I needed a place to walk — a place to find the internet. After setting up in the food court, I began pouring over other road maps of Connecticut.

To my despair, I found a town called “Quaker Hill” at the apex of the bay.

Helling, it seems, took the long way around . . .

The search for the Cross Walk will continue into day 2. I am now bobbing for a solitary apple in a barrel that just became over filled with lemons.

Read how this journey in search of Tom Helling and the Cross Walk began at, A Cross America: Spiritually Intoxicated Ex Addict Walks from Maine to Mexico

Read more feature stories at, Backpack Journalism


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Filed under: Connecticut, Journalism

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3719 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: New York City

30 comments… add one

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  • someoneinwestchesterny August 13, 2009, 11:31 pm

    We saw a man walking with a huge cross down Route 1 in Rye NY on Tuesday August 11, 2009. It was after 10:00pm. We thought we were crazy, yet somehow we knew if we googled it…we would find someone else who had seen this. I don’t know if its the same man, but we really did see a man with a cross walking South on Route 1.
    Just an additional note, the cross had a wheel on the base…

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  • pam January 14, 2010, 3:20 pm


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  • Nikki January 17, 2010, 3:28 pm

    Hi Pam I just seen a man walking down Hwy 17 in Winter Haven (almost in Gordon Heights) it was Thrusday at around 9 pm on Jan 14th 2010. I stopped and took his picture but couldnt give him a ride. Just wondering if you have your picture posted? Maybe it was the same man?

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  • Guy June 17, 2010, 11:12 pm

    I saw a man carrying a 4×4 cross on TX Hgwy 146 June 16 2010. I stopped to ask why he was doing this. “Man, because Jesus told me to”, was his reply. We gave the guy 2 bottled waters and he prayed an incredible prayer for my family as we all held hands in a circle. We embraced, we got back in the truck and continued on to Galvesron. It was a cool experience

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  • Will July 27, 2010, 8:57 am

    OMG!!!! This man hasmade it all the way here to Lithonia, GA. I spotted him just about 20 mins ago.

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  • denise August 7, 2010, 12:42 pm

    My husband spotted him yesterday and again today. This man is on I-20E headed toward Augusta, GA. Does anyone know how many states this man has crossed and what is his goal.

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    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com August 7, 2010, 1:11 pm


      There are three articles about Tom Helling’s cross walk in my featured articles section at, Backpack Journalism

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    • patti August 7, 2010, 9:25 pm

      I too spotted him today, walking on I-20E headed toward Augusta, GA. He was dressed in a clothing like Jesus wore and carrying his cross. I pray for his safety walking down the busy interstate.

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  • Keisha August 7, 2010, 9:03 pm

    I saw him today around 11am on I-20 east between Augusta and Columbia. I was amazed at what I saw. Had to look it up.

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  • jennifer August 24, 2010, 7:23 pm

    I saw a man this morning around 8AM in Aonia, GA on Highway 78 walking toward Washington, GA with a cross. Is this the same guy?

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  • Jon Lester August 26, 2010, 4:33 pm

    He’s in Lexington, Georgia right now, in the bakery across the street from my store. I am videotaping now to catch him coming out. I really hope he doesn’t come into my store but I guess I’ll deal with him if he does.

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  • Semuel Maysonet September 1, 2010, 4:01 pm

    I just saw the man in Gainesville, GA on HWY 129 on Monday August 30, 2010.. then I saw him today leaving gainesville, ga on HWY 369 headed towards Cumming, GA…I was going to stop him, but he had a pace going. It seem that a wheel is attached to the bottom part of the cross to assist with the effort. It also appears that he has a sleeping bag and things attached towards the end of the cross…..Where is he going? Where will he end up?

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  • Adam September 7, 2010, 1:30 pm

    Hey saw him on the 30th of august walking towards downtown San Diego

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  • Brooks September 15, 2010, 2:40 pm

    OMG… I saw this guy on my way to work this morning in Chamblee GA walking down Buford Hwy and I heard about him from a friend who saw him on I-20 a few weeks ago near Augusta!!! LOL…Unbelievable!!!

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  • Jon Lester September 15, 2010, 8:49 pm

    Turns out the guy I saw in Lexington last month is Roy Scott. Without saying what I think about it, let me just link to his story here:


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    • Powell September 19, 2010, 8:41 am

      I saw a man Friday morning, September 17 walking up Hollowell Parkway toward 285 in Atlanta, GA. After Googling it, I believe this is Roy Scott. It really made me think about what I’m doing for the Kingdom of God? This guy left Augusta, GA with 75 cents in his pocket and is reaching more people than I could even imagine.

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  • Powell September 19, 2010, 8:58 am

    If you see Roy Scott walking across the US carrying his cross, feel free to add your sighting to this public Google Map I set up. http://bit.ly/c2TFGx

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  • Tara Wysner September 25, 2010, 7:59 am

    I saw a man carrying a cross on Thursday afternoon about 4:00 P.M., 09-23-10, in Douglasville, GA along Hwy 78. He was heading west.

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    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com September 25, 2010, 10:16 pm

      It is not Tom Helling, the man that this article is about.

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  • Angela September 25, 2010, 10:50 pm

    I saw him in Villa Rica GA on HWY 78 on Thursday afternoon

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    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com September 25, 2010, 10:55 pm

      This was a different guy walking with a cross.

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  • ADAm October 4, 2010, 1:23 am

    saw it on my friends facebook where he also saw the guy carrying a cross on I-20. he lives in anniston, alabama

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    • ADAm October 4, 2010, 1:23 am

      this was on Sept. 30

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  • Walden Barney December 31, 2010, 12:50 pm

    Hi there everybody… I’m trying to figure out who this guy that I saw is. Do any of you know if he is the same guy you folks are talking about? I video-taped this cross-bearer hoofing it southward along a highway in Oregon on May 18th of 2010 …take a look & see if it’s the same guy, or maybe you have some idea who this one is (would like to at least get the link to the high-def video to him… he might like to have it for his “memoires” or some such thing. Take a look & see if you can identify him:


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  • Carol Parga February 3, 2011, 10:59 pm

    I stopped a Man carrying a cross down 59N through Marshall, TX and bought him lunch at
    El Chicos restr/ His last name is Moss he said he has been carrying the cross for 20yrs/.he was heading to I 20 to go west.

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  • valerie wrice February 22, 2011, 11:35 am


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  • Kristen White March 4, 2011, 12:07 pm

    My husband & I saw him walking with the cross on Feb. 25th around 8:00pm (completely dark) outside of San Saba, TX. I immediately started googling trying to figure out what I just saw walking in the dark on the side of the road.

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  • Tawny Bowman May 11, 2011, 8:54 pm

    Wed. May 11, 2011 @ 5:30pm in Fallon, NV. I saw a man carrying a cross while pulling a type of wagon. He was headed East on Highway 50 coming from Reno headed towards Utah.

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  • Therese August 20, 2011, 3:01 pm

    Hey there, didn’t read all of the comments up there, but I think you’re guy was referring to Green Hill, RI, which is where I saw him. He was heading south on Rt 1, entering Charlestown, which would have been your next town after Westerly. Sorry, don’t know the exact date, just googled him randomly today and found your article. -Therese

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