In observance of Memorial Day at a time that when we should stop and pay homage to our brave and fallen warriors who gave their lives so that we can enjoy the freedoms we so easily take for granted. Few of us realize that a strange aspect of war comes into focus. In the realm of life and death often met on the battlefield, in the air, and at sea are compelling stories of our enlisted men and women who are deployed into harm’s way so that our liberty should be preserved.
Warned by the voices of the dead
During World War I and World War II in the midst of the fog of war this well known phenomena was experienced consistently. As soldiers took up defensive positions at Bastogne in the face of German Panzer offensives bizarre reports among servicemen were rumored. As soldiers remained in their fox holes feverishly dug out with entrenching tools awaiting the enemy the voice of the unknown spoke. As German artillery rained down upon the GI’s the uncertainty of being killed by a direct hit from an incoming shell haunted the desperate Americans.
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The GI was met with a deadly proposition. Either he could remain in the relative shelter of his fox hole minimizing the chances of being hit by shrapnel, or wait for a direct hit from an artillery shell as it’s deadly trajectory brought it in from overhead with its chilling characteristic whistling sound! Many times US troops were literally disintegrated if they waited too long to leap from their fox hole as an incoming shell descended upon them. There was another choice, which could prove just as deadly, and that would be to climb out prematurely from his fox hole and be killed by the concussion of the blast in close proximity of the explosion near his position. Either way, the choice was, at best, a deadly one.
Yet, many soldiers reported hearing the voices of their beloved deceased family members urging them to leave their fox hole at the last second saving their lives as they escaped assured death when the shell landed in that very position! Some men said they heard the voice of their mothers either living or passed on. Others said it was the work of God, and Jesus had warned them to climb from the shelter of their fox hole so that they exited their position escaping certain death. Other GI’s reported the presence of an angel literally tugging at them to depart from their foxhole prior to the whistling artillery shell exploding where thay had just crouched in fear! This bizarre experience was reported on many fronts and in many theaters of operation as German and American forces slugged it out across Europe.
Who was flying them?
Fate magazine at one time was a rich source of paranormal history as was demonstrated by the letters that came in from subscribers who had lived during World War II and fought in it. There were bizarre stories of B-17 Flying Fortresses having been shot up by German ME-109’s or Focke Wulf 190’s being abandoned as the crew were forced to parachute to the ground below often times in enemy territory. This happened frequently as the heavily defended air space over German strategic targets inflicted horrendous casualties among the US Army Air Corps. Yet, an eerie circumstance manifested itself in the embattled skies of Europe. Unmanned B-17’s and B-24 Liberators were witnessed returning to the allied air fields unoccupied! The bombers were had literally flown themselves back to friendly lines empty of a crew. On some occasions even a dead crewman had still remained in the aircraft but had not been in any position within the airplane to fly it. Authorities puzzled over this ghostly aspect of the air war with some officers attributing auto-pilot settings accounting for the phantom arrival of these empty aircraft, but this clearly did not answer all such incidents.
Author, Charles Berlitz, asked the question in his book “Limbo of the Lost” if these machines had been driven by the psychic intentions of their crews? Were these flying machines still responding to the will of their masters once the crews had been forced to abandon the aircraft? Why hadn’t the bombers simply crashed as a result of the grievous damage inflicted upon them by the two 8 millimeter wing mounted machine guns and 20 millimeter cannons used on the ME-109? These questions still remain strangely unanswered.
From beyond the grave
Many women who had just married their young dashing boyfriends who went off to war found sadly months later that their new husbands were reported killed or missing in action. Even though they remarried some time later they reported being visited by their deceased aviator husbands years later. One lady who had remarried had never forgotten her distinct impressions of her fallen husband. When she had dated him prior to their marriage he had always smelled of oil and aviation fuel on his leather jacket after coming in from training with his unit. She testified that decades later she had been paid a visit as she smelled the same petroleum odors she had noticed when her World War II aviator husband had been alive. Other widows of their war time husbands admitted similar experiences.
Some spirits never die
Many of us have seen provocative film footage of what appears to be the apparitions of Civil War era soldiers making their way across the old national park battlefields at night. Witnesses have reported seeing the semi solid and yet misty figures of Yankees and Confederates prowling over the rugged landscape of land that was once hotly contested between both armies in bloody conflicts that caused more casualties than any subsequent world war or police action overseas since. The discharge of flint lock rifles, the cries of the wounded and dying, all have been eerily experienced on these old killing grounds.
Annihilation on Corregidor
On the island of Corregidor where General MacArthur once held out with his beleaguered forces as the Japanese Imperial Navy and occupational army pressed on their attacks during their conquest of the Philippines in the days that followed the Pearl Harbor tragedy, the paranormal lurks. Here in the old concrete tunnel system that still remains decades after the bloodshed as they stand in testament to the bloody fighting and unceasing bombardments by Japanese invaders, the unknown often pays a visit. Filipino locals as well as tourists have reported the cries of the wounded, shadows of US servicemen and naval personnel scurrying along the tunnels in the throes of battle. Some people have reported fresh blood stains appearing on the concrete walls of the tunnels where US forces ill equipped to fight a war hunkered down and awaited the inevitable savagery of the merciless Japanese army.
A commander chosen by God?
If we go back in time further to the time of the American War of Independence with the British we are reminded of incredible events that point to a super natural source of origination. General George Washington, the Commander in Chief in memoriam, and president of the Constitutional Republic was a focal point of paranormality that boggles the mind. Not only did the young officer of the Continental Army Washington display an amazing ability to avoid wound or injury in over 200 known battles he led his men through, but he was the recipient of an awe inspiring vision in his hour of need as he contemplated the slim chances of his army while in the bitter winter at Valley Forge.
Despite having at least 2 horses shot out from under him, 4 bullet holes in his uniform jacket, and musket ball fragments in his hair, General George Washington was miraculously left unscathed. Even though his men and officers died around him in the heat of battle from skirmishes with the French and their Indian allies to the Redcoats who were anxious to finish off their rag tag Continental Army counterparts, Washington escaped being mortally wounded or even being scratched. This leads many to believe that George Washington was protected by angels and that his part in the creation of the United States of America was written in destiny as it was God’s will.
Miracle at Valley Forge
In the bitter cold of the winter that made the suffering at Valley Forge legendary as the Continental Army languished on the verge of disarray and desertion, General George Washington contemplated the dire state of his position with the British. During an evening as his officer staff awaited his orders and speculated that surrender was eminent, Washington went for a walk along with his horse in the frozen forest that surrounded the Valley Forge encampment. The great general weary of the burden he carried, weary of his awesome responsibility to a fledgling nation that teetered on the edge of tyrannical rule.
As General Washington knelt in prayer he was startled by the appearance of an Indian he vaguely remembered as a chief he had fought against during the Indian Wars and realized after speaking with this mysterious figure, realized that this person had been dead for as many as 5 years. The enigmatic Indian disappeared as quickly as he materialized but not before he advised the general that he would prevail. As Washington stared down into the snow he was stunned to see visions of a future America of strength and great achievement advocating human rights and inspiration to the people of the world. The American general realized that he must succeed in order to allow the legacy of this nation’s future to be realized Washington became immediately awestruck upon seeing these incredible visions that foretold of great things to come for America.
Upon returning to his quarters in a commandeered country home that served as Continental Army HQ, Washington sent word to his officer staff to assemble for a meeting. Once there his men met the sudden enthusiasm of their leader with suspicion. They asked what news from a courier, what event had suddenly emboldened their great general? Washington simply stated that nothing in the way of good news or bad had influenced his mood, and that his officers were to create new exercises and tasks to improve the morale of the men. Ultimately, Washington, his army, and the great nation of America would emerge victorious in lieu of this supernatural occurrence.
Little Big Horn
General George Custer, “Yellow Hair” as he was known by the Indians as well as “Iron Pants” too as he was known to tirelessly pursue his enemies thought he had little reason to fear the Indian nation. Little did he know that his relentless pursuit of the combined forces of several Indian tribes would lead to his demise. His obsession had placed him a day ahead of the rest of the Union Army with only 264 men at his disposal. In the weeks prior General Armstrong Custer had allowed his sense of invincibility to cloud his judgment. He had always ridden at the head of his charges unscathed by the enemy. Against the Confederates Custer had held off a determined attempt by the rebels to cross the Potomac River and take the nation’s capital. Under his leadership and at the cost of taking 70% casualties the ambitious cavalry captain had saved Washington DC from a Confederate occupation with his heroic leadership.
That foreboding feeling
Yet, at the Little Big Horn, Custer had under estimated his foe. Emboldened by weeks of retreat by his elusive Indian prey, the determined US Cavalry general was lured into a trap. With what seemed to be nothing to fear and just another routine mission of flushing out the enemy, the soldiers followed the orders of their general, but something was not right that day. According to accounts there were omens and feelings of dread among the troopers. These young man had been driven hard over the previous weeks with little food and water and were under fatigue, but that did not explain the apprehension that had permeated the ranks of the troopers. Something was afoot and they did not know exactly what, but as far as they were concerned it was not good.
Failure to render assistance?
Prior to the ultimate engagement and terrible defeat of General Custer and his immediate command, his two junior officers Captain Benteen and Major Marcus Reno barely escaped with their lives after being ordered to form separate columns and advance on different regions of the battle zone. Why neither officer attempted to come to the aid of General Custer was a major point of contention during the court of inquiry three years later. Did this behavior by the two officers indicate just how strangely influenced the troopers were that day?
“We were at their hearths and homes,” Captain Benteen stated, referring to the Sioux, “their medicine was working well, and they were fighting for all the good God gives anyone to fight for.” This surprisingly spiritual statement given by Benteen gives us insight into the supernatural aspect of the Battle at Little Big Horn.
Perhaps the amazing vision claimed by Chief Crazy Horse who was Chief Sitting Bull’s right hand leader best sums it up. Crazy Horse told of his incredible glimpse into the future sharing his vision of a great victory over the white warriors and striking a paralyzing blow against the US Cavalry!The Indians were tired and angry over the continued pursuit of the US Cavalry, yet they knew they had little chance to succeed as time went on. General Custer had attempted to befriend the Indians prior to the bloody battle at the Little Big Horn and had warned the Indians they would be better off giving up, but fate would deal the US Cavalry one last tragic poker hand. The tables would briefly turn in favor of the Sioux on that fateful day in history spurred on by the clairvoyance of one Chief Crazy Horse. Although the American Indian is known for his spiritual demeanor, was that really what decided the outcome at the Little Big Horn? Many analysts would be prone to agree.
Such are the fortunes of war. Sometimes they are dictated by strategy and superior tactics while other times the fortunes of war are influenced by forces we know little about that challenge our beliefs. Perhaps not every battle fought for whatever reason can be attributed purely to the efforts of the warriors and their great leaders, but by the super natural, the unseen, a realm that science understands little about even today.