Military and the Supernatural

Hello again readers, I am back again this week for better or worse depending on your tastes. A conversation with one of my daughters spawned this week’s theme for me as she has recently sworn into the Army and ships out this summer shortly after her graduation. I decided I would try and dig up some stories or tales of military interactions with the supernatural and strange. When available I will relay the soldier’s tales as told by them… So sit back and poor yourself a little something to drink and let’s check out what kind of craziness our fighting men and women have experienced.


This first tale I have to tell was relayed from an Adolph Schäfer, who served in the armed forces in Germany. His story came from when he was in boot camp still. One evening around 5pm, the cadets were out doing drills when they heard “strange noises” coming from a nearby building. They largely ignored them and went about their drills until about 8pm the power grid began acting sporadic and flickering all over the base. This should not have raised too big of an eyebrow if the power systems had not just been inspected.


The Drill Sargent being sure that is was just a generator issue order Adolph and 3 other cadets to go and inspect and fix if possible. The cadets made it to the basement where the 3 generators that ran the base were stored at and discover two of them were just fine, but oddly one had been turned off. But it was when they came across the third generator that things took a strange turn. Here is what Adolph had to say:

“The third generator was the largest main source of power in the base. The first thing I noticed were the scratches: this seemingly super-hard-to-break hunk of metal had what I think were scratches and cuts – claw marks – piercing its outer metal shell like a buzzsaw. So deep, the scratches had cut the cords inside and had damaged the batteries as though they were paper. After a moment of thinking I knew this couldn’t have been a person doing this, seeing as nothing any cadet had could cut through that tough metal so easily, I immediately rushed up the stairs to tell my drill sergeant, hoping he would know what to do. He told me, “The most we can do is tell base command and put someone guard the door, and have the generator replaced. Good thing reporting this, cadet Schäfer.

After getting a pat on the back, I resumed my daily training routines without anything too odd happening. But some hours later, sometime in the night (I can’t be exactly sure when), I heard scratching noises, but not from the basement, they were too close and too loud… as if they were in the sleeping quarters. After that moment of realization, I opened my eyes and looked around. I saw what I thought was someone in the corner, going through a bag… But, when I looked around the room, sheer terror came into me: all the bunks were full, every one.

 “Wait….the hell?”, I thought to myself. But, then, as if it had heard what I was thinking, the “thing” in the corner turned to face me. It was a pale grey, with no nose, and claws like razors. This thing was skinny and two feet taller than my six-foot self. After that I just froze in a blank stare of horror. In my mind seconds turned to minutes, minutes turned to hours and hours turned to days….I think I passed out of terror, because all I remember after that is waking up to my buddies and sergeant looking at me, while talking to me, telling me I looked sick. And I felt sick too, like all energy from me was drained for days on end.”


Now if you thought that bizarre, a witness by the name of Jerry Aberdeen who had served a tour in Afghanistan had this story to tell:

“I was attached to 2/3 INF 3 SBCT at FOB Patriot. A call went out on the radio that FOB Diamondback (the airfield) was under attack. Everyone on every FOB from, Courage, Blickenstaff, Patriot and Marez jumped into the closest vehicle and headed to the airfield to counter the attack. I was in a vehicle with some other infantry guys, an engineer and a PsyOps guy. When we got to the airfield we saw some dudes trying to climb over the wall. The gunner opened up on them and the rest of us took up a position in a ditch on the other side of the road and opened fire. There were three of us side by side, the engineer, the PsyOps guys and myself. We fired and one guy and he dropped from the top of the wall (hard to tell who actually shot him). Right after he fell there was stream of black smoke coming out of him. The engineer made that comment that he must have been wearing a suicide vest and it malfunctioned. A few seconds later the black smoke grew larger and started to take a human looking form. What happened next all three of us saw and there was no doubt. The now fully materialized black smoke was standing upright and now had red smoky glowing eyes and a weird looking mouth. The damn thing actually smiled at us and turned to, sort of run but it just dissipated after it took a few steps. Very hard to describe how it all happened. All three of us just looked at each other wide eyed for a second or two. After it was all over we only spoke about once then never again.”


The next one is a shorty but a goodie. It’s reported by a L.W., a pilot of a B-17 in WWII telling of his face to face encounter with a Gremlin while flying a mission:

“So I am very aware of my surroundings, and as I go higher, I notice an unusual sound coming from the engine. The instruments went nuts. I look at my right and I see an entity staring at me. Then I look at the aircraft’s nose, and there it is another one, hanging in there. Dancing lizards. I was perfectly fine…my senses were in good shape, but the weird things were still there looking at me. They kept going at it, pounding the plane with all their might. They appeared to be laughing, with their big mouths open, looking at me, hitting the plane with their long arms, trying to pull stuff. I have no doubt in my mind that they were trying to crash it. I managed to stabilize the flight and I saw the critters falling off the aircraft. I don’t know if they fell and died, or if they jumped from my plane to a different one. I have no idea.”

L.W. is the only pilot to report these beings but his tale is one of the more common ones to get passed around. One of the reasons the term ‘Gremlins’ have survived and become a part of our common lexicon is due to the frequency of these little beings being spotted and reported during aerial missions in WWI and WWII.


I will round this off with a tale from the Vietnam War. This one was reported by a Corporal in the US Army who was 2nd in command of their squad and was assisting in setting up a bivouac just south of the demilitarized zone. While on night patrol they ran into what they at first thought was enemy activity close to their location. They hid in the brush and waited for the activity to pass and then went on down the path until they came to a large wall made of stacked stone. From a distance they saw what looked like a cleanly carved cave entrance which was not the norm for the North Vietnamese to do so they thought it best to investigate.


As they got closer the air began to fill with a putrid smell like “rotting eggs and human decay” that seemed to be coming from the cave entrance in front of them. The smell was so bad and so intense that some of the soldiers on the patrol began to feel ill and vomit in the bush. A rumbling noise began to come from the cave as well and the soldiers decided to take up position and wait to see if they could tell the origin of the said noise. As the sun came up, this is what the Corporal reported seeing:

“Just then we noticed movement in front of the cave. A being (I first thought it was a man) moved through the entrance into the clearing in front of the cave. As it stood up from a crouch it stood at least 7 foot high and started to look in our direction. At that time, another similar-looking creature was moving out of the cave. They were making hellish ‘hissing’ sounds and looking directly at us.

The only way I can describe these beings is that they looked like upright lizards. The scaly, shiny skin was very dark – almost black. Snake-like faces with forward set eyes that were very large. They had arms and legs like a human but with scaly skin. I didn’t notice a tail – though they wore long one-piece dark green robes along with a dark cap-like covering on their heads. I never noticed if they had anything on their feet.

No one gave the order – it seemed like the entire squad opened fire at once. Every piece of vegetation between us and them was quickly sheared away. I yelled out a cease-fire order – at the same time I was looking in the direction of the cave. There was nothing there. We immediately checked our flank in case these things circled around us – but there was nothing.

As we approached the cave, ready to resume action if needed, it became apparent that the beings had escaped – most likely back into the cave. It was soon decided to set charges and close the cave entrance.

When we returned to camp we all seemed to be in a daze. There was little discussion of the incident and we were never debriefed – so I know the sergeant never filed a report. Then again, if he did, it was kept quiet by the brass.”


I hope that you enjoyed this dip into some odd military history. Hopefully if you all enjoyed this, I can share a part 2 to this subject as there is a wealth of stories out there that beg to be shared. Take care and be safe out there.