30 Spooky Paranormal Stories From Former Military Personnel
1. I was by myself in the Engine Room of a submarine on the midwatch, just a newly reported sailor trying to find equipment so I could display knowledge to one of the watchstanders.
There are a number of bays in Engine Room Lower Level with narrow passages that pass through the center. I came down one of the ladders, and I swore I saw someone walk across the ship about fifteen feet in front of me. I could hear his footsteps as he walked around a corner and out of sight.
Three problems: 1. He was wearing utilities, an older, light blue blouse and dark navy slacks. Nobody had utilities anymore. They had been phased out three years earlier. 2. There was only one other person awake in the Engine Room that late at night, and he was standing at the top of the ladder behind me, waiting for me to come back up with an answer to his question. 3. He wasn’t actually there.
I wrote it off as sleep deprivation, but I’ll admit it shook me for a while.
Fast forward to four months later, I had gone out to sea with another submarine of the same type. While I was there, I met a sailor who had previously served on my ship. After a few weeks of standing watch with him, he told me a story of a sailor who had committed suicide while on watch when he served on my ship almost a decade earlier. In Engine Room Lower Level. In his utilities.
I wish I could have gotten a picture of the look on my face. I’m sure it was the definition of disbelief.
2. One of my drill sergeants actually has a creepy story from one of his Afghanistan deployments. He was infantry so being in the field and out of missions for multiple weeks wasn’t uncommon. One night while sleeping in a fighting position he dug, he felt something nibbling at his feet. He woke up and kicked it off and what he saw wasn’t any type of marsupial but a little humanoid figure he could only describe as looking just like Gollum. But being in the field with little sleep he chalked it up to just seeing things. A couple days later he and another guy and on watch and the other guy pointed out something and said “what the fuck is that” and pointed at a stone wall in the distance. My drill sergeant looked through this binoculars and crawling across the top of this stone wall was the exact little humanoid creature he encountered a few nights before.
3. As a Marine, I used to have the graveyard patrol shift at the Beirut Bombing Memorial. Part of the memorial is dedicated to a veteran’s cemetery. Oddly enough I never got freaked out being completely alone in a remote cemetery, in the middle of the night, surrounded by dense woods on all sides. It was actually kind of peaceful, to be honest.
However, one night I was patrolling near the perimeter fence where some of the oldest headstones are, when I heard the sound of a woman humming. I followed the sound and noticed a light glowing through the vines and brush of a large tree. As I approached, I could literally feel my hair beginning to lift as if there was an electric current in the air.
I pushed aside the brush and what I saw nearly took my breath away. It was an old, weathered headstone with a large cross etched into the marble. Only the cross was glowing a bright, vivid blue, like a neon bulb. The humming was also suddenly much louder and had a weird plurality to it, like it was coming from hundreds of voices at once.
Needless to say, I freaked the fuck out. I screamed like a scared little girl and sprinted back to the parking lot. I radioed the guard who was supposed to relieve me and forced him to come early, then spent the rest of my shift in the cab of his truck. I don’t think he believed me, but he stayed in his truck and didn’t go out on patrol until the sun was fully up.
A few days later, I worked up the nerve to return to the grave (during the day, of course). As I suspected, in the light of day it was a completely mundane headstone. There was no name, only the aforementioned cross. I ran my hands over the stone and checked to see if maybe there was some sort of hidden light source or solar panel, but no, it was just plain, solid, unremarkable stone. The humming was gone, too.
I eventually returned to my normal shift, but never again experienced anything out of the ordinary. I never learned whose grave that was, either, but I find myself thinking about it from time to time. It certainly sounds absurd when I say it out loud, and I suppose it could have been a hallucination or a trick of my tired brain, but I don’t believe it was. I think it was real; a ghost or spirit of some sort, but I don’t think it was malevolent at all.
4. Navy. When I was in groton CT, for basic enlisted submarine school. I was roving the barracks at night. I had a UI(under instruction), so I was showing him the ropes. What to check and and how to check. It was mainly fire extinguishers and secured doors. Well on the second or third floor of the barracks there is a recreation room with a TV and chairs and a piano. Mind you everyone was asleep and it was 0200 in the morning. Well I decided to go and see if I remembered how to play the piano a little. We decided to continue to finish the patrol so we started walking down the hall when we heard a single piano note go off. We both heard it while I was in mid conversation so we kind of looked back, and than we both looked at each other to see if we both had heard the same noise. We shrugged it off as our imaginations running wild. But as soon as we got to the end of the hall and opened the door to the stairway a sharp key note was heard coming from down the hall in the direction of the room with the piano. We left the floor as soon as possible and later shared the story with some shipamates and they told us story’s of sailors that had died in the barracks.
5. My dad’s stories. He served in the Taiwanese Marines as a drill sergeant.
Much of the ground in Taiwan saw violence under occupation, and it was rumored his base was built on or near a mass grave. Needless to say he’s had a few paranormal stories.
He had a guy report to him in the morning exhausted but frazzled; the night before, he had been on guard duty, overlooking the firing range. The targets on the range were a mix of clay and wood figures, cut and drawn to look like an enemy soldier aiming a rifle at you. According to the guard, when he’d been bored out of his mind staring out over the range, he saw clear as day one of the clay soldiers wearily lay down his rifle and exclaim “..Damn, I’m tired…” The guard said he passed out from fright.
During the evening, when training was over, the sergeants for the most part had the time to themselves. My dad liked to go snake hunting during dusk, when the heat was rising from the ground and the snakes came out of their holes. So one evening he sets out, carrying a bag, a nice long stick, and a flashlight. As he was making his way across the field, zig zagging in a search pattern, he found himself getting closer and closer to an old, decrepit outhouse that’d been abandoned as it was too far from the main base. As he got within a few yards of it, he was hit with a sudden feeling of apprehension; something told him going near the outhouse was a bad idea. At that moment, his flashlight, aimed right at the construct, went out. He fiddled with the battery, smacked it, thought “Fuck, better get a new battery,” and turned around to head back. The moment he turned and faced the main base, the flashlight flickered back on. “Great, time to keep hunting.” The moment he turned to face the outhouse, it flickered off again. Faced the base, it flickered on. He did this two or three times, got the message, verbally apologized for intruding, turned and walked calmly back to base.
The base itself was surrounded by forest and mountains, the natural terrain of Taiwan. One day a soldier was reported missing; as the day went on, it was clear that he’d either deserted or was in serious trouble. A man-hunt/rescue team was organized and most of the base was out searching for the guy as the rain started to come in. As night fell they called it off, and got ready to try again tomorrow. They found him in the morning, huddled in a wet, dark cave, scared speechless and out of his mind. No one was sure what he saw to cause him to freak out, and they never found out; they shipped the guy out soon afterwards.
Finally, one of his years on the base, it was hit with a huge typhoon. Typhoons are pretty regular in Taiwan, especially during the summer, but this one was going to set records. Everyone hunkered down and reinforced the base as best they could, and it held well, and after days of relentless rain and wind, they emerged to survey the damage. One of the trees on base had been hundreds of years old; it sat on a hill and overlooked the base, and so had been the site of a Buddhist shrine set at its roots. Now the roots twisted and turned into the air; the storm had torn the tree from the ground. And yet, the shrine itself was untouched; even the red silk covering, with nothing weighing it down, hadn’t moved an inch despite the winds that had finally torn the great tree from its hill after hundreds of years. The soldiers took this as a sign that despite whatever would be thrown against them, their spirit would remain strong and unmoved.
6. Submariner here. There are few things as unnerving as wondering about the engine room from 2330-0530 alone on watch. When the boat is largely shutdown in port it becomes a very quiet place. The roving watches usually make it an hourly game to speed through their log rounds, especially in the lower levels. One particular in port period, the boat was moored in Pearl Harbor and a few people started complaining about a real uneasy feeling. I was on the mid-watch as the SEO on evening and a Senior Chief came back to do his required 0300 tour. We saw him walk past maneuvering on his way to shaft-alley. This particular Senior Chief was the crusty old salt type, and would usually spend a bit of time just sitting in the lower levels of the engine room alone and contemplate life, so we expected as much. What we didn’t expect was him to literally run into the maneuvering area a few minutes later. The man was pale faced, and breathing heavily. We sat up straight, our eyes as wide as his thinking we were about to have to announce and fight some ship casualty. He slumps into the EDO chair. A few tense, and silent, moments go by. We’re on pins and needles. He finally opens his mouth and tells us about the “fucking ghost in shaft-alley.” Swears a sailor passes by him as he’s sitting on a trash can in shaft alley. His first response was to call out to the guy, see who it was. But then he realized this guy isn’t dressed right. He describes what this guy was wearing, the old WWII naval uniforms. So he quickly gets up to catch up to the guy, and he does. Catches up to him all the way aft. The guy turns towards the Senior Chief. Looks right at him. Then turns away and literally walks through ass end of the boat. It’s now that the Senior Chief decides it’s time to leave shaft-alley, and promptly does so. Swears up and down that he knows what he saw. I sure as hell wasn’t about to leave maneuvering that night to find out for myself.
7. Stayed in barracks the Germans used to house Polish prisoners of war. I’d regularly put things in places only to find them in the middle of the floor after leaving the room.
8. A friend of mine went to Afghanistan and got stationed in an area that was used as a base by the Soviets. He swears that sometimes when he was on sentry duty he could hear whispers that didn’t sound like English or the local languages. He’s convinced he heard Russian.
9. We wrote it off as some of the instructors messing with us but while training at JWTC, there was a blood curdling scream in the middle of the night. Definitely sounded like a woman. The Lt in charge made us do a quick accountability check then he started radioing the training center to see what the hell happened. The instructors went out from their compound, did some checks but didn’t find anything. They said it’s not the first time they had units out there calling in to report the same thing.
10. US Navy photographer here. In the deepest parts of the ocean, you will often steam past small boats that are empty or seemingly empty. Sometimes they look like they got loose and no one looked for them. Sometimes they looked disgusting like someone lived in them until they couldn’t. Sometimes it’s obvious someone is still in them but they haven’t moved for weeks…
11. I was working the night shift in an old SCIF that was originally built back in the 50’s. I was starting to feel sleepy so I went for a walk to wake myself up and ended up getting lost in the maze of underground tunnels, finding myself in a part of the complex that obviously hadn’t been used in decades. Everything looked like it was just left there and forgotten one day, eerily frozen in time.
I was extremely tired and stressed out from work and that really didn’t help me to be able to rationally retrace my steps. Everything around me seemed like something was hiding in the shadows and watching me.
It took a long time, but I finally made it back to my position and didn’t tell anyone what happened. Luckily it was the night shift and no one noticed I was gone.
A year later we got a new guy, and in the middle of the night shift he got up and went for a walk. A couple of hours later he came back looking like he’d seen a ghost. I just gave him a knowing nod, and he knew I knew exactly what he just went through.
12. Not my story, so I’ll tell it as best I can: this happened during a rotation at the National Training Center sometime in 2015. A battle was occurring at night, a light appeared in the sky and for ten minutes or so there was silence. This may not seem too interesting until you look at the numbers and statistics, you’re looking at massive amounts of people and equipment during a rotation, constant radio chatter, vehicle noise, people talking, etc. and suddenly just nothing… then the light seemed to make a couple strange turns, one being around 90 degrees, and split and disappear.
13. I worked in Arlington National Cemetery while I was in the army. The Tomb Guards always talked about seeing or just hearing soldiers marching some nights. We were cataloging graves one night when I thought I saw a soldier in my team up ahead, so I called him over. He answered from behind me. When I looked back, the other soldier was gone.
14. In Basic Military Training, trainings are not carried out on Thursdays. There’s a very well known tale, which is supposedly explains why this is so. Sometime in the past(1970s if I’m correct),soldiers were having their training in the forest at night.When they did a headcount, they realised that 1 person was missing. This caused a search party to be sent out. When they found his body, it was hung from a tree, with his field pack items displayed in the mud. They found his intestines torn out and lined behind the tree in a “stand-by bed” order. This actually made the news, and if you dig around for it, you could probably find it in the archives(The Straits Times I think).
Another one is at Basic Training as well. Like the USMC, we get shipped off to a little island. Instead of going to Parris Island, we’re sent to Tekong. At the ammo dump, the CCTV is blocked by a piece of cloth. This is supposedly because you can a ghost floating above the wall of the ammo dump.
15. My brother’s barracks were haunted by a drill sergeant when he was at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. He said that the spirit wasn’t malicious or anything, he would just watch over the soldiers and pace up and down the aisle between their beds at night. Sometimes they felt cold spots and a few of the guys (including my brother) actually saw him—we was wearing WW2 era fatigues.
The ghost would follow them if they got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom or something and make sure that they got back to their bunk okay, and once my brother woke up in the middle of the night and the ghost was peering over his bed looking at him. He said that he got the feeling that the ghost hadn’t moved on yet because he was worried that something would happen to one of the soldiers if he wasn’t there to look over them. When my mom went out there to visit, she felt someone really cold touch her leg when she walked past the area that the ghost liked to hang out in.
My brother also had something really weird happen in My. Fuji once. They were doing land navigation training in the middle of the night and all the sudden everything went dead silent…even the crickets stopped chirping. Then their compasses started spinning around and he swears that they passed the same road twice even through they were walking in a straight line and hadn’t changed direction. He said that Mt. Fuji is a really eerie place at night and a lot of his friends experienced weird stuff there too.
16. My husband and I were stationed in Germany, as in we were both enlisted at the time. The little shitty apartment on base was haunted. We would set things down in the kitchen go to the living room and you would just hear things being rearranged. We could be sitting on the couch not moving upstairs neighbors are out, things would move. We figured “eh it’s only moving kitchen stuff let’s ignore it” then the heat wave hit.
Now Germany doesn’t have AC. You have radiators for the winter and windows that either angle forty five degrees or open depending on how you turn the handle. So his first full summer there my second it was so hot we couldn’t both sleep on the full sized bed because there wasn’t space to get away from the sweaty heat producing being so I was on an air mattress on the floor. One morning I wake up and the bed is almost completely deflated and so I open my eyes and there is a person in my face. Like leaning directly over me almost nose to nose. I scream they vanished. I told my husband he was either getting us a bed we both could fit on or I was going to request a barracks room because that thing never bothered me when he was sleeping with me.
After that I never saw it again, but the slamming noises in the kitchen got louder and more frequent as if it was throwing a fit.
17. One time at an Air Force Base in the ROK we had a power outage at night, all of us walked out of our hangar doors to take a see what the problem may have been and we saw a very, very large triangular shape passing over our hangar. It was a clear moonless night previously and when we went outside to look around we noticed the starscape being covered then slowly uncovered. No sound associated with the event other than normal sounds of the location. I’ll never forget.
18. Is a dude vanishing spooky enough? I was on one rooftop on post with another marine and on the building next to mine was a dude smoking a cigarette. I looked to my partner to mention it but when we looked again he was gone. The roof access door for that building was very rusty and loud so there’s no way he snuck out in those few seconds it took to get my partner’s attention.
19. Girl hung herself in a space right around the corner from where I sleep. I wouldn’t go in that space for about 2 days after. When I did I opened the door and a super loud screeching/screaming noise came out from somewhere. There are a lot of noises on a navy ship but this one came out the second I closed the door. Needless to say I have yet to return to that space.
20. My grandfather in WWII had a past life experience. When he arrive in Nice, France for the first time he remembered it like it was his home town – street names, layouts etc.
21. Breach and clear of an abandoned hospital with no electricity at 2am in an active combat zone.
No lights inside the entire building outside of our mounted tac lights. Beds and medical equipment strewn everywhere. Extremely unnerving.
Oh and my brother swears that he saw a 15 foot tall huminoid running extremely fast while on guard duty at night in Africa. He said the dogs they had on base freaked out and ran off when they saw it. He told me a handful of soldiers witnessed it that night.
22. Kinda fitting since the anniversary of the Cole bombing was October 12th. I was fortunate to serve on the 2010 deployment for this fine war vessel since my ship was still being built dow In Mississippi. As part of being in engineering department it is basically drilled into your head of what happened on the ship and the people who fought to keep the boat from sinking. For me the creepiest things I got about to seeing was misplaced items I’ve set down and sometime later the item would be in a different location.
23. I have to preface this to give context, and I’m tired and on my phone so this may be messy, and kind of long, so I apologize. At the time I was working nights in the munitions storage area, which is fenced off with barbed wire. The whole area is pretty spread out, with multiple buildings, and definitely large enough that you generally drove around to get to other buildings. Due to the nature of the job, the buildings are spread out with clear space between them.
Anyways, the only people in the bomb dump on this night are the roughly 8 or so of us in my shop, and one guy in control that night. He was in another building, and we had a direct line to him on what we called the “batphone” (relevant later.) This is summer in SC, and about 2 or 3am, so the air was warm and VERY still. No breeze at all, and we had the break room door open while we watched a movie (we were on flightline support standby, and nothing was going on.)
Now, the rumor was the small building we worked out of had been built by German POWs during the war, and I know for a fact that there were some there back then. It was small, with a main break room, small dispatch office through a doorway, and a couple offices off of that one. There were two doors, one in the break room and one on the same side of the building in the dispatch office, roughly 20-30ft away from each other. Both had push bars on the inside, but only the break room door could be opened from the outside, as the dispatch door’s external latch was busted, and only the internal bar worked. Well, all of us, minus the guy locked down in the control building (for security), are in the break room, when suddenly ka-thunk loud as shit from the dispatch door in the next room. It was like someone was rushing through, slammed the push bar and the door swung open, then swung back shut after a couple seconds with a slam.
We all look at each other like “WTF?!”, and start to check it out. We had Maglites in our crewbooks, so a few guys grab them and sweep around the building from both directions, another guy calls the controller on the batphone, who picked up and denied that he was fucking with us. There was no way he could have messed with us and made back to his phone in time, let alone doing it without being seen or heard. Anyone with experience knows how sound CARRIES at 3am in the SC summer. You could hear the beeps from code keys being pressed hundreds of yards away, no joke. No way he hoofed it back to his building anywhere near fast enough, gone through the halls, punched in his code, and got to the phone in time.
But the shit that got me, was that damned bar. The door simply DID NOT open from the outside, and we ALL heard that bar get pushed in hard, the door swing open, hang there for a couple seconds, then shut. And there was absolutely NO breeze, and had there been, it would’ve blown past US sitting in front of the only other door. Fucking weird.
As an aside, there would be random times that I would go to pick up a trailer or something behind one of the other shops at the far end of the bomb dump, and as soon as I stepped out of my truck to do my inventory, I would get a SUPER bad vibe. I’m talking the heebie jeebies like no other, and as best I can describe it, it felt like something was right above and behind me, and just HATED me being there. Just seething anger, rage, and hate, and it wouldn’t go away until about 15 minutes after driving away from that building. One night, another driver who had arrived there shortly before I had for a trailer asked if I had a weird feeling there, which sure as shit I did, so I know at least once someone else corroborated it.
All of this was on mid-shift, which was 11-7:30am. I heard a few other people’s stories about weird shit that would happen at night, but since they aren’t my stories, I can’t vouch for their veracity. The only other thing that happened to me there, was I swear I caught the clear silhouette of a guy walking in an open field between igloos. As I turned to punch my gate code in, in the corner of my eye I distinctly caught the motion of two legs and an arm sticking out, like someone mid-stride. When I turned back, it was just an empty field. That one could have just been my mind playing a trick, but man, that place could be fucking creepy. It’s been damn near 15 years, but still gives me chills to think about.
24. Supernaturally, I can only think of what was rumored to be some haunted living quarters at Duke Airfield, an adjacent site to Eglin Air Force Base down in west Florida, and spending some time there on sweet detachment to the Air Force’s security during early Iraq War.
Was coming out of the bathroom in that living quarters on a break (I don’t even say ‘latrine’ anymore. Wow, it’s been a long time), and saw this young women that just looked like she was tired and disgruntled at something . The look on her face, the way her hair was a little bedraggled, the wrinkles on her clothing.
Saw her go left, the same way I was going to head outside. I turned the corner, didn’t see her. I went outside, didn’t see her. Couldn’t have been 10 seconds behind her.
Asked my Air Force counterpart in the patroller outside out of curiosity if he’d saw a tired-looking female come out before me, and he said no, no one had.
Admittedly, we weren’t on the clock, we were parked in a living quarters parking lot, so my counterpart probably had his nose in something like his logbook or adjusting the radio to not have seen her.
Still, that was one fast-mover to leave the outside exit area before I could get eyes on her again. To this day, there’s just a little bit of wonder left over that she actually was the ghost and she vanished around the corner. I can’t even recall hearing the front door open and close, either. Distance, probably.
25. Okinawa. There are places on the island that the local national gate guards will not stand a post on during certain times of day because of dead Japanese soldiers during the war. There are also supposedly places where again dead Japanese soldiers will walk up and ask for a cigarette. Never saw it personally, but you never know.
26. When I was deployed, we worked out of this ancient dock from the Vietnam era. I worked graveyard so there was never any people there at night except mission essential for any missions we were running. We would randomly hear footsteps walking down the small hallway that was a dead end. Our door was the last one before the little bit that was the dead end. No one ever walked past our door but there was always the foot steps. One night there were wet footprints down there and it wasn’t even raining outside.
27. I saw a UFO when I was in basic training at Fort Leanordwood. I was walking from one building to another to start my firewatch shift when I noticed something as bright as a star make a zigzagging pattern at impossible speeds and then disappear over the horizon. I had never been more clear headed and sober in my life so I’m sure I saw something.
28. Used to be F22 Avionics for the USAF (2A3x2) no shred, at an undisclosed base, a light appeared above the flightline moving in odd ways and hovering. We called it in to our #1 and he called other AMUs to ensure there were no sorties being flown that we didn’t know about. Shortly after F22s and 16s were scrambled and could not intercept the object. It disappeared into the night. We saw this go down from our flightline. Shortly after, we were informed that this never happened.
29. My best friend’s grandfather worked in some unspecified but very high security shit. He refused to talk about most of his experiences, but any time the subject of aliens/ufos came up, he’d get extremely serious out of nowhere and basically force the conversation to be changed. My friend said it was very unnerving to see the fear in his face. One time, my buddy finally pushed him on it and asked him if he believed in aliens, and his grandfather just said, “If you honestly think we’re alone, then you’re ignorant as shit.” The sincerity that was in his voice still bothers my friend.
30. First and foremost i’m going to say that i was not a believer originally but many of these experiences changed my mind. I recently separated the Air Force but before I did I was a controller for 7 years with a few thousand hours worth of control experience. (similar to air traffic control) This specific story happened on my third deployment and has left me baffled ever since. Over my deployments controlling downrange I have had many strange things happen but none that stood out like this.
This specific event happen over the course of a week around new years of 2016 during the night time. It started off as a regular shift controlling, I had a few CAS assets working different taskings around the country, a few UAV’s and of course a few tankers. Weather wise in country it was cloudy and overcast and because of that I didn’t have a lot of other traffic and wasn’t projected to get much throughout the shift.
Perfect i think. Controlling aircraft as many of you know can become very stressful very quickly, but your workload always varies and two shifts are rarely ever the same. I sat this specific position for my second deployment now and was easily nearing 1500 hours, I know few other things in life better than I know that airspace. It was a difficult position at times and these weather days were a blessing.
As time passes and I stare at my scope i started to notice something. I started picking up a radar only track from the southwest of the country that was tracking northeast. I didn’t get a mode C on the track so the altitude I was looking at could have been way off. (we use mode C altitudes in aviation because they are altimeter generated on the aircraft itself) Because of weather effects radar can be way off depending on the distance the “track” is from the radar itself. This track appeared to be at 45k feet and flying around 115 kts. This struck me as odd because that’s a very slow speed for an aircraft to be flying that high. with radar only IF that truly was an aircraft it could have been anywhere between 30-45k ft. Again a huge difference which is why we use mode C.
So as time passes I began to trouble shoot, i interrogated the track (requested all modes and codes) but nothing came back for it. I think to myself that the system itself must have put random track data on weather. This can happen at times on bad weather nights and depending on which radar is interfacing with our system. I shrug it off and drop the track from our data base as i was certain that nothing could have been there because no civilian aircraft fly where that track originated and i had full accountability of my assets and so did all my fellow controllers.
So after another 5 minutes, another track originates. I think to myself ok that’s odd… the track appeared to continue on a 020 heading at around 115 kts. I still showed it at around 45k feet. I go over to another scope and sure enough, there it is. All of the scopes were showing this same track. I interrogate it again and sure enough no codes.
I speak to my shift supervisor about it and he shrugs his shoulders and continues sipping his coffee. Because of how slow it was I decided to ask other units in the AOR if they could also see this track. Now without getting into detail, different radars operate in different frequency spectrum’s. Civilian and military radars of different kinds, be it ground based, air based are as you can imagine different in design and nature but generally all work the same.
I am aware of what kind of radars I was using so I reach out to a unit I know that uses a different kind and sure enough, they also see this track at 45k feet moving along around 115 kts. This is where it started to get strange to me. Because a system anomaly can happen, but another unit was also seeing this independently from us so something was there. So now two ground units see this, I reach out to AWACS (Airborne radar) I give them a position of the track and sure enough they see it too. 45k feet at 115 kts.
I again alert my supervisor and he too thinks it’s strange. At this point many different units with different radars are all see this thing. Downrange right now we have some of the most difficult airspace with many different countries all competing for airspace and targets. At this point i am not thinking UFO’s, I am thinking this could be Russian or god knows.
So not long after my set of F16’s check in with me as they are ready to refuel. I get the go ahead from my supervisor to conduct an intercept because of the position of the track relative to the fighters. I explain to the fighters that we have a radar only track with the identification of “Bogey” and that if they have the fuel for it i need a VID (visual identification) The Viper tells me they need to refuel first but would right after.
About 15 minute later or so, the vipers check back in and I walk them on to the bogey. I clearly see the track about 30 or so nautical miles away from them as they start their intercept. Now vipers are the jack of all trades and master of none in a way fighter wise. Their air to air capability is good but not the best, but at this range they should have no problem seeing this track and yet they continue to ask me for bogey dopes. (point outs)
25 miles. “Clean” viper tells me, which means he see’s nothing on his sensors. 20 miles. silence. 15 miles, another clean call followed by another point out. As soon as the vipers come within 10 miles. POOF! the radar track vanishes. The vipers never saw anything, mind you they were wearing NVG’s and all of their systems were reported operational. This left us baffled because we had observed this track and so did others for about an hour now. As soon as the Vipers returned to their original tasking and were about 30+ miles away from the bogey it re-appeared. At this point we are all looking at each other funny because even if you don’t suspect UFO’s or Russians. That is strange.
Over the course of the next few shifts i would once again see this track on and off following about the same profile. Radar only anywhere from 30-45k feet and around 100-130 kts. But the following two shifts i didn’t have any assets to conduct an intercept. We reported this anomaly up our chain but were told to keep an eye on it.
This was until the fourth night. I happened to sit the same shifts every night but other controller saw this track too and we would speculate on what it could be. Once again this track appears on screen but this time a little different. Same profile but it appeared to be flying a zig-zag pattern north to south. Again we ask other units if they see this and sure enough, same story. At this point we were joking that the other units must have thought that we were smoking something and that we were surely going to get drug tested lol.
But then the bogey changed its direction and took a heading towards a tanker about 150 or so miles away. Now we were nervous because Russian activity isn’t uncommon and tankers ( KC135’s ) are defenseless. They are flying gas stations and if worse came to worse, couldn’t defend themselves. So I right away receive approval to pull a set of Vipers off tasking to intercept. I recognized that these vipers were the same from the previous night. The flight lead had an unmistakable deep voice with a southern drawl.
I explain the bogey track and knowing the situation in the AOR the vipers get serious because right now we are likely all thinking Russian. I point out the track and the vipers intercept. 40 miles. “clean” says viper. 30 miles. Still silence. At this point i had every controller in the room on my frequency listening in. You could hear a pin drop. 20 miles. “Clean” says Viper 2 this time. 15 miles. 10 miles. But this time the bogey doesn’t vanish. still silence. around 8 and a half miles i hear Viper say “Radar contact” At this point our hearts dropped and my resting heartbeat must have been around 120 easy. Vipers pull the intercept and i ask for more data but don’t hear a response.
Viper two calls out and says it’s not an aircraft but can’t seem to give me any more data. We are stumped at this point. They come around again but the flight lead loses the bogey on his sensors but can’t seem to acquire it visually. At this point they are within just a few miles of each other. We call the intercept off and tell them to return to their original tasking but as they flow back viper 2 tells me that he was able to snap a few pictures on IR and recorded the object. Now fighter pilots are known for their cool, confident voices over the radio. It’s all you have and it’s all your credibility. Both of these pilots seemed very uneasy and somewhat spooked, which in turn made me nervous.
The bogey continued on its heading until we lost radar contact and eventually the Vipers returned to their base. We reported the information up and continued our shift trying to make sense of what just happened. As soon as I got off shift I called over to the Viper squadron and asked the desk officer to have the flight lead call me when they get in. A few more hours passed and as I am sitting at my desk in the office the phone rings.
I pick up, it’s viper. I introduce myself as the earlier controller and we get into it and i explain the situation from the days prior. Initially the pilots were confused and joked that we must have been seeing things but as I asked him to describe what he saw and he was somewhat at a loss for words. He said that even though he was only a few miles from it he was unable to actually acquire it on his radar or visually but that they were able to see it through their pod in FLIR mode. (forward looking infra-red) He described the object as a black upside down triangle that radiated a lot of heat.
I was stumped and so was he. This is an experienced aviator and i had the feeling that he had seem something that left him worried to say the least. He said he couldn’t identify it and that once they were basically on top of it it vanished from their sensors. We conclude the call and i wait for the files. I receive them and sure enough there it is, a black upside down triangle shaped object that was emitting heat. I showed my fellow controllers and we were all a little freaked out. We are very well aware of what technologies we and our allies posses and this did not look like anything we had ever seen. I understand that there are classifications that go well beyond my prior access but there are read in programs for this stuff. Again it could be well above my pay grade but not in that AOR to say the least.
Anyway a few days go by and many different units try to get a hold of my office trying to get us to forward them the “UFO” data from the fighters but we initially are told to hold it close and wait for further guidance. We joked that we would soon see the men in black. Days go by and the track once again appears on scope and we keep an open dialogue with the viper squadron about it until abruptly one day they stop responding to our emails and calls about it. We are later told to drop it and forget about it as well.
Now I was initially a skeptic but I still think about this all the time. The pilot said what confused him the most is that at altitude it’s cold, really cold. Yet this black triangle didn’t appear to have any method of propulsion but still gave off infra red heat signatures and was flying against the wind at altitude. He said it performed and maneuvered unlike anything he had ever seen before.
I don’t know what those pilots saw and I am not sure they did either. This isn’t the only strange thing that’s happened during my deployments but the most memorable for sure. My guess is that if aliens really are visiting us it would make sense for them to be in that airspace down range. We are currently using the most sophisticated technologies we own there and if they wanted to get a true measure of what we are capable of studying us and our technology there would make sense to me. But you be the judge, UFO or secret military project? both are possible but for many reasons in my experience i’m leaning towards something not from this world.