Military Encounters With Unidentified Creatures
Tune in for some terrifying military encounters with unidentified creatures!Mysteries
If anyone can deal with scary situations, it’s a soldier. But even though the 9-to-5 for many military personnel involves dodging bullets and firing machine guns, some war stories are scary enough to frighten even the toughest soldiers. Especially the stories that involve bizarre occurrences that seemingly defy explanation.
Let's load our rifles and ship out to the front lines, exploring encounters with Philippine ghouls, 50-foot snakes and horrifying lake-dwelling entities, as we investigate some military encounters with unidentified creatures.
The Vietnam War was home to countless horrors; including relentless guerilla warfare, chemical weapons, and according to some soldiers, terrifying cryptids. Throughout the war, reports from both sides were made, noting battles with a different, common enemy: packs of giant, rock-throwing apes.
According to official investigations made at the time, the creatures were alleged by soldiers to be 6-foot tall and covered in red hair. Vietnamese troops called them Batututs, while the Americans referred to them as ‘Rock apes,’ after their apparent weapon of choice.
Both sides of the conflict took the Batututs seriously, and in 1974, a Vietnamese general called Hoang Minh Tha organized an expedition to catch and kill one. Unfortunately, that expedition was unsuccessful.
But in 1982, a professor at Hanoi’s Pedagogical University announced that he’d discovered an 11-inch-long humanoid footprint in the Vietnamese jungle and made a cast of it. This footprint wasn’t human, nor did it match any known primate species, though any luck in finding the creature that made it, assuming it was legit, has yet to come to fruition.
Today, skeptics have developed lots of theories to explain the Batutut, first attributing sightings to real primates like Orangutans. Orangutans certainly share the Rock Ape’s red hair. However, they’ve been extinct in Vietnam for thousands of years, with the only remaining primates being relatively small in size.
With these theories seemingly disproven, other skeptics attribute rock ape sightings to hallucinations. It’s well known that some soldiers in Vietnam dealt with the stresses of war by self-medicating, and the Batututs may have been hallucinations caused by the soldiers’ altered states of mind.
Given the similarity to the American Bigfoot, you can see how such an idea may have spread and wormed its way into the psyches of distressed soldiers in unfamiliar environments. But, until it’s proven one way or the other, perhaps it’s best to wear a helmet next time you’re venturing in the Vietnamese jungle, just in case.
The Hound of Mons
World War I was another horrendous conflict, and one of its first battles was the Battle of Mons, a fight that joined the horrors of war, with a supernatural tale. The battle was fought between the British Expeditionary Force and the German Army, and like most WWI battles, the conflict consisted of two opposing front lines, with no-man’s-land in between them.
Occasionally, soldiers would head into no-man’s-land in attempts to move up on the enemy’s position. Many of these men would never return, and their fates were only discovered when more soldiers went over the top to recover their bodies.
Normally, brave soldiers would fall to bullets and grenades, but at Mons, things were a little different. Out in no-man’s-land, several British troops were reportedly discovered with bite marks on their necks, the soldiers seemingly falling to a giant animal, not enemy fire.
As word about the unusual injuries began to spread, soldiers started to develop theories about what could’ve attacked the men. At night, meanwhile, the sounds of distant gunfire and explosions were drowned out by petrifying howls, echoing through the battlefield.
As they listened to the howls, the British troops started to believe that the No-Man’s-Land at Mons was plagued by a gigantic hellhound. This story became a wartime legend, and in 1919, a book about the Hound of Mons was written by a soldier called F.J Newhouse.
Newhouse suggested the hound was a product of a scientific experiment, where a German scientist called Dr. Hochmuller attempted to create a giant hound with a human brain to hunt and kill British soldiers. Understandably, skeptics believe that F.J Newhouse made the story up for publicity, suggesting the hound of mons has a far more rational explanation.
Throughout WWI, both sides of the conflict used war dogs to carry equipment. It’s possible that a regular dog, possibly a German Shepherd, could’ve attacked the British troops, leaving the ominous bite marks, instead of a demonic hellhound, with the truth being twisted by exaggerated rumors.
Either way, meeting your doom after hearing ferocious growling coming through the fog of no man’s land, that’s a pretty scary way to go.
The Kandahar Giant
In 2002, a squad of US Army soldiers in Kandahar, Afghanistan went radio silent after venturing into the mountains on patrol. After days without contact, a special ops squad was deployed to find the missing troops, flying out to their last known location.
The squad started to hike through the mountains, discovering a landscape full of dust, stones, and eventually, a trail of broken US military equipment, leading up a winding path. The unit followed the trail, and before long, the broken equipment was joined by human bones, scattered among uniforms and radios.
Reaching the end of the trail, the squad happened upon a giant cave with more bones and equipment piled up around the entrance. The task force assumed they’d found a Taliban hideout, and as they prepared for combat, a giant spear came flying out of the cave, fatally hitting one of their men.
As the soldiers looked around in shock, a 15-foot giant burst out of the darkness, storming towards them. The squad opened fire on the monster for 30 seconds, before it finally fell to the ground. Once the chaos was over, the unit requested 2 helicopters to pick them up and collect the dead creature.
The monster was flown straight to an airfield, where it was shipped off to parts unknown in a C-130 plane. Meanwhile, the special forces squad were forced to sign NDAs, and write an after-action report that excluded any mention of the monster, simply referring to it as an ‘enemy combatant’.
The story was kept secret until 2016, when one of the soldiers anonymously stepped forward to share his story via a now-deleted YouTube video. As the story broke, folks began calling into the radio show Coast to Coast AM with George Noory, claiming to have been stationed in the area at the time, backing the story up.
That said, the radio show isn’t exactly known for its factual integrity, and it didn’t take long for the Department of Defense to speak up, stating ‘we do not have any record or information about a special forces member killed by a giant in Kandahar.’
Interestingly, a special forces soldier called Dan, the same name as the man allegedly speared by the giant, was confirmed to be killed in Kandahar in 2002, but his cause of death was officially an explosive.
Some folks think this proves the story is nothing but a hoax, while others allege it’s proof of a government cover up, the authorities claiming that Dan was killed by an explosive to hide the true cause of his death: a giant living in the mountains.
Operation Wandering Soul
In Vietnamese folklore, if a person isn’t properly buried, then their soul may become a ghost, forced to wander the earth for eternity. In 1969, during the Vietnam War, this supernatural superstition became a reality, when a number of Viet Cong soldiers started to hear ghostly voices calling out to them in the jungle. They sounded a little something like the clip below.
The troops would hear children crying for their fathers, men screaming in pain, and phrases like; ‘it’s hell… I’m in hell, don’t end up like me!’, alongside whispered encouragements for the soldiers to cut their own lives short.
These sounds were absolutely horrifying, but here’s the kicker: it turns out, they were caused by G.I.’s, not ghosts. The voices were part of a real U.S. Military tactic called ‘Operation Wandering Soul.’
The US employed South Vietnamese civilians to say these phrases on tape, before playing them out loud on speakers placed in the jungle and on helicopters. The tapes were a form of psychological warfare, aiming to utilize local superstitions to persuade the Viet Cong patrols to flee or surrender out of fear.
In some cases, this worked, however, more often than not, the Viet Cong soldiers would fire in the direction of the voices, hitting the soldiers and helicopters holding the speakers. Well, that backfired, literally.
The Legendary Kraken
With the seas being filled with very real behemoths like the giant oarfish, it’s no surprise sailors love telling stories about sea monster encounters, spinning yarns about sea serpents, mermaids, and of course, The Kraken. But is there any truth to these tales from the blue?
During WWII, a British Navy soldier called A.G. Starkey was night fishing off the deck of a naval trawler in the Indian Ocean, when he noticed a large circle of green light, sitting under the surface. A.G reeled in his line and squinted at the orb, when suddenly, it moved, revealing itself to be the eye of what seemed to be an absolutely colossal squid.
Starkey ran to the other end of the trawler, observing that the squid stretched the entire length of the 175ft ship, its tentacles extending beyond the end of the boat. To put that in perspective, the largest giant squid ever officially recorded was 59-feet long, a third of the size of Starkey’s alleged specimen.
As Starkey stared at the monster in horror, the squid dived down into the ocean, disappearing into the depths below. Starkey ran to tell his fellow soldiers, and before long, the story started to spread, with sailors believing that Starkey had encountered the Kraken of legend.
Not everyone believes the tale though. Lots of people questioned why Starkey didn’t tell anybody else on the boat to come and look until the creature had disappeared. The lack of witnesses is pretty suspicious, but given that over 80% of the ocean has never been mapped or explored by humans, is the possibility of a squid of this size so impossible?
Congo Giant Snake
As a flying ace in the Belgian Air Force, Remy Van Lierde had seen his fair share of combat. Despite this, the pilot’s scariest flight undoubtedly came in 1959, when he came across a monster in the jungles of the Congo, allegedly spotting a 50-foot-long snake, slithering between the trees.
Astonished, Van Lierde flew his helicopter back around to have his passenger snap a photo. As Lierde approached, the snake lifted its head 10 feet into the air, preparing to lunge at the helicopter. Thankfully, Lierde escaped striking range and fled the jungle.
When he returned to Belgium, Lierde’s story received a lot of attention. However, skeptics weren’t convinced, arguing that the captured photo was misleading. Lierde claimed to have taken the photo from a helicopter, and that the plants around the serpent are large trees and bushes.
However, the greenery could easily be strands of grass and weeds, and the snake could in reality be small-scale. While some chicanery could be at play, the existence of a 50-foot snake isn’t entirely far-fetched.
In 1912, a group of explorers found the largest snake ever recorded, a 32-foot reticulated python, living in the Indonesian rainforest. Of course, even if a 50-foot snake could exist, it doesn’t mean that Lierde spotted one, and for many, the lack of any reference for scale in the pilot’s pic equates to a lack of proof.
The Lake Baikal Mystery
Now for something with a little more dependable proof: official declassified government documents. In 2009, the Russian Navy declassified its records of some Cold War UFO sightings. One of these sightings occurred in 1982, when a group of seven military divers were receiving training at Siberia’s Lake Baikal, the world’s oldest and deepest freshwater lake.
Despite forming 30 million years ago, Baikal’s 5,400-foot depths have never been fully explored, and secrets seemingly lurk beneath the surface. As training began, the divers slowly descended into Baikal’s depths.
The dive was routine, but when the soldiers reached 50 feet, they radioed to the surface in shock, having reportedly encountered a group of vaguely humanoid creatures, swimming in silvery suits with large helmets on their heads. The divers radioed back to the surface, explaining what they’d found, and they received an order to capture the entities.
However, at this point, the divers went radio silent. As the officials on the surface started to panic, the divers washed up on shore, their scuba equipment destroyed. All of the divers showed signs of decompression sickness, a deadly condition that occurs when ascending from deep water to the surface too quickly.
While four of the divers were able to be placed into decompression chambers nearby, devices that could potentially save the divers by ‘recompressing’ them, there wasn’t room for everyone. As a result, three of the divers perished right there on the beach.
The whereabouts of the surviving divers are unknown, and the strange beings that the divers encountered were never seen again, shrouding the incident in mystery. But whether the unlucky divers were killed by aquatic aliens or just a freak accident, something strange definitely happened under the surface of Lake Baikal.
The Haunted Joint Base
This next terrifying tale comes from Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C. One night in 1980, a security policeman was working on the base, tasked with guarding the main gate.
As he stood by his patrol car, he felt a sudden uneasy urge compelling him to take a look at one of the fighter jets sitting in one of the base’s hangars. As he looked at the jet, he felt an icy finger scratch the back of his neck. He drew his gun and spun around but nobody was there.
Laughing, the guard shrugged it off and turned back to the base’s main gate, but to his utter confusion, the gate now appeared miles away, the tarmac stretching into the distance. Shaken up, he ran back to his car and tried to climb inside, but as he opened the door, he felt the finger again, scratching him all the way down to his spine.
He spun, his eyes falling back on the fighter jet or more specifically, the figure that was now sitting in the cockpit. The ghostly figure was dressed as a fighter pilot, and as the guard watched on, as it lifted the visor on its helmet, revealing a pair of dark, empty eye sockets.
As the security guard watched in horror, he heard the creature call out to him, ‘come closer, come closer.’ A fog started to form around him, enveloping the guard in darkness, as he stared into the spirit’s eyes. The next morning, as soldiers on the base started to get up for breakfast, they heard wild screams, coming from the hangar.
As they entered, they found their security guard locked inside the cockpit of the jet, screaming like a madman. It took the engineers four hours to cut him out of the plane, as the locking mechanisms had seemingly broken, and the guard was never the same after the incident.
This harrowing tale was featured in Bolling Air Force Base’s newspaper in 1990, however, it’s worth noting that it was published on Halloween. This, combined with the fact that the security guard is referred to by the name ‘Jess Kidding,’ indicates that the paper may have been playing a Halloween prank on its readers.
Either way, the ghost story is absolutely terrifying, swapping haunted houses for something even more threatening, a haunted fighter jet.
The Morbach Monster
Up until its closure in 1993, Hahn Air Base was a U.S. Air Force installation in Morbach, Germany, a pretty municipality with a dark local legend. The legend dates back to 1810, when, according to locals, a werewolf was killed in a village in the region called Wittlich, the creature’s remains being buried under a road just outside town.
Whether that part is true or not is certainly debatable. But what’s definitely true is that a candlelit shrine was built near the alleged gravesite, and some locals believe that if the last of the candles ever stop burning, the werewolf will return.
The candle stayed lit until 1988, when Hahn Air Base was up and running, filled with American troops. Late one night, the base’s sirens started blaring, indicating that something had triggered an alarm around the perimeter.
The on-duty soldiers went to investigate the disturbance, and they all witnessed an 8-foot-tall canine-like creature, covered in fur, standing on two legs inside the base. By descriptions, it was very similar to an odd, as-yet unexplained creature, captured on CCTV outside a Texas zoo in 2022.
In 1988, though, on spotting the soldiers at Hahn Air base, their creature leapt over the 10-foot-tall fence and ran into the woods, disappearing out of sight. The soldiers quickly grabbed a tracker dog to search for the thing, but as soon as the dog arrived at the woods’ edge, it cowered in fear, refusing to enter. The soldiers then retreated to the base, baffled.
The next morning, the soldiers headed into the nearby village of Wittlich, where locals informed them of something that made their blood run cold. It turned out, the shrine’s candles had all stopped burning the night before, the flame dying around the same time as their encounter with the were-wolf-like creature.
Luckily, the local who noticed had promptly relit the candles, his action, the soldiers estimated, likely coinciding with the moment that the creature inexplicably fled into the woods.
Today, the story has become a local legend, and before Hahn Air Base was closed in 1993, American soldiers would tell it to new recruits, warning them to stay out of the woods surrounding the base.
Of course, this tale was more than likely just a way for soldiers to haze newbies. But if I was stationed near Wittlich, I’d definitely carry a book of matches, and keep a close eye on those candles burning in that shrine.
The Helmand O.P. Rock Haunting
In 2009, the US increased their military presence in Afghanistan, shipping out more troops to fight the Taliban. This force included a squad of 8 marines that were stationed at Observation Point Rock, or O.P. Rock, a tiny observation post in the middle of the Helmand desert.
The squad took the O.P. over from a group of Welsh soldiers, who left the U.S. Marines with an ominous, cryptic warning: ‘If you dig anything up, put it back where you found it.’
One night, the marines’ Corporal Lena was on guard duty, when his radio started crackling, a voice cutting through the static. Lena grabbed his radio and listened, realizing that the voice was speaking in Russian. Suddenly, the voice cut out, leaving Lena confused and frustrated with his faulty radio.
The following morning, the squad decided to dig a trench around the inside of O.P. Rock for cover. As they started digging, something incredibly unsettling occurred. They hit metal, finding a pile of Russian military equipment, pottery shards and human bones. It turned out, they’d uncovered a mass grave, sitting underneath their feet.
After refilling the trench, no further strange happenings or discoveries occurred, that was, until a few weeks later. Lance Corporal Zolik was on midday watch and had been sweating under the desert sun for hours, when suddenly, he grew freezing cold, and a voice whispered in his ear, hissing something in Russian.
Zolik spun around, but he was alone, albeit thoroughly unnerved. The following week, Corporal Lena was on night watch, when he saw a silhouette out in the desert. Lena grabbed his night-vision goggles, spotting a soldier staring back at him from a distant hill.
Lena looked away to call out to his sleeping comrades about the potential enemy threat, but when he looked back into his goggles, his heart almost stopped. Somehow, in a split-second, the soldier had moved 300-feet closer, now standing in the middle of the desert.
Strangest of all, Lena switched the goggles to thermal imaging, and discovered that the figure didn’t give off any body heat. As Lena flicked between night vision and thermal, he was comforted to feel one of his fellow soldiers tap him on his shoulder.
Relieved to no longer be the only one awake in this creepy scenario, Lena turned around to explain the situation, but nobody was there. The rest of his team were still fast asleep on the other side of camp.
Events like this continued for 60 days, and by their last night at O.P. Rock, all the soldiers believed they’d experienced something supernatural. On the marines’ final watch, the stillness of the night was suddenly broken by the eruption of machinegun fire.
The soldiers ran for cover, when they heard the sound of an RPG being fired towards them. They prepared for an impact, but it never came, and the gunfire suddenly stopped. The squad held their defensive position until they were sure the gunfire had ceased, before carefully clearing the outpost and surrounding areas.
The outpost, it turned out, wasn’t damaged at all, and the surrounding desert was completely empty, devoid of enemy fighters and spent ammunition alike, showing absolutely no signs of combat whatsoever.
The realization slowly dawned on the squad that the attack was just another baffling illusion. When morning came, the replacement squad arrived, allowing the soldiers to finally leave O.P. Rock.
Once back home, Corporal Lena started researching the outpost, discovering that it was occupied by a squad of Russians in the 80s. It turns out, while serving at OP Rock, these Russians were wiped out by the Mujahideen, and had been buried on the site.
Lena’s squad had unwittingly spent two months living on top of a giant tomb, and Lena felt their occupation atop what was effectively a huge pile of bones explained their bizarre ghostly experiences.
Alternatively, it’s possible the squad really were under attack, in the form of psychological warfare from Taliban fighters who knew about the spooky spot’s past. Either that, or the soldiers shared a collective, paranoia-induced delusion, or even made the story up to entertain themselves before sharing it with the SyFy channel, who were responsible for sharing the tale with the masses.
Aswang, the Vampire Ghouls
For this next tale, we find ourselves in the Philippines, and buckle up, because things are about to get a whole lot scarier, and more real, than anything we’ve investigated so far. Between 1942 and 1954, a communist insurgency group known as the Huks led a long-lasting rebellion against the Filipino government.
Before long, the USA was called in to support the Filipino government’s armed forces. These Americans included Edward Landsdale, a Major who’s widely considered to be a true pioneer of psychological warfare. Upon arriving in the Philippines, Lansdale soon learned of Aswang, a term describing shapeshifting ghouls of Filipino folklore.
As combat escalated, Landsdale put this knowledge to a bizarre, and pretty disturbing, use. He got his men to visit local villages and circulate rumors that a shapeshifting vampire lived in the hills nearby.
As these rumors started to circulate, Lansdale stationed his men in the hills, waiting for a Huk patrol to enter the area. Eventually, a Huk patrol walked past, allowing the G.Is to snatch the last man, drag him into the undergrowth, and dispatch him.
The men then poked two holes in the deceased soldier’s neck, hung him upside down to drain him of his vital fluids, and placed his remains back in the path. When the next Huk patrol came and discovered their fallen ally, they fled the region, spooked by the clear signs of the vampire hiding in the jungle.
Landsdale’s weaponization of the Huk’s superstitions was praised by the military. But I’m not sure we should congratulate someone for committing a potential war crime to impersonate Dracula. Either way, for those Huk soldiers, the unidentified creature lurking in the woods was in fact the monster we all know best: mankind.
If you were amazed at these tales of military encounters with unidentified creatures, you might want to read this article about the most amazing unexpected military finds. Thanks for reading!