Reverend Dr. Eric Bellman was an Oxford clergyman and the leader of the ill-fated Bellman Expedition of 1871.
Bellman and an assortment of eight local people of his party including a banker, a lawyer, various shopkeepers (a butcher, and a lacemaker, Miss Beever, the expedition's only female member) and a shoe-shine vendor, who had previous military experience, investigated the peculiar "hole" near the countryside of Oxford that led to Miss A.L.'s disappearance to another world in 1865. The expedition's goal was to ensure that once exploring the "hole" it must be remained sealed to prevent any unlucky person (especially children) who fell into the aperture and suffered the same tragic fate as A.L..
In April 1871, Bellman's group located the hole approximately a mile away from Godstow, where A.L. had disappeared. Bellman observed the hole and noted that it would sometime randomly and unpredictably vanish and reappear. On April 23rd, the party descended into the hole in the style of mountaineers. After three hours had passed, the hole vanished. Their party reappeared in October at the same place of A.L.'s reappearance, completely and hopelessly insane, minus one member (the baker) and the banker strangely, and fatally, transmogrified to no longer digest the real world's food much like A.L.'s condition. Neither Bellman nor his party could comprehensively tell anyone of what happened on their journey, including a journal of their travels was written in cryptic poetry. The authority were very unsure on whether trying Bellman and his colleagues for being responsible for the baker's absence on the possible account of murder, but it was decided that their mental state made them unfit to plead and they were quietly incarcerated in a nearby mental institution.
By 1901, Eric Bellman was the sole member of the expedition twenty-five years earlier that still remained alive. He was visited by Mina Murray, who was sent to inquire on 'Snark Island' that was written on his journal. Bellman remained elusive during their conversation. When Murray questioned on the fate of the missing baker, he only mentioned that "... the last word he said was 'Boo'." In the end Bellman angrily pointed to a perfect map to Snark Island in Mina's Journal, though the page was blank.
Eric Bellman and his party are the characters from Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark.