3 Spooky Listener Stories
Heather, AF Veteran
Driving back from White Sands National Park to Luke AFB at night.
White Sands National Park is about 225 miles south of Albuquerque, NM or about 95 miles north of El Paso, TX
Known for its amazing white sand dunes
Luke AFB is about 25 miles west of Phoenix, AZ
Saw an airplane in the clear desert sky. Asked hubby joking around what kind of plane (he had eagle eyes and during the day could ID any bird). He glanced and said it was not a plane. I stared at it trying to convince myself it was a helicopter but it didn’t seem right. Hubby and I went back and forth. Phoenix is a city in a bowl so from the outside of it you can see right over. As we were nearing its limits this UFO literally went from “here” to over the White Tank Mts. in a blink of an eye.
The White Tank Mountains are 30-40 miles west of Phoenix
Then it Hovered over the mountain for a moment- then gone. Chills! Luke/Phoenix has a ton of UFOs on record and the news there would report on them. Luke is being watched by aliens!
AM – Navy Veteran
We had a ghost who lived back aft on my first ship. Michael. He liked to blow the man overboard whistle and freak out the aft lookout.
That was damn near 20 years ago now lol not sure I remember a lot more than that. He really just liked to play games, nothing scary.
I heard there was a contractor death when she was built in the area Michael likes to hang out.
Linda Kay Barto, SSgt
Dates of service:
1970-1972, United States Air Force
1986-1995, North Carolina Air National Guard
1995-1997, United States Air Force Reserves
In the 80’s, I was working as a commercial artist at a community college in North Carolina. Police visited me at the college and asked if I would help solve a murder. An unidentified body had been discovered in a wooded area, and they wanted me to draw a portrait of what I thought the victim had looked like before her face had been blown off with a shotgun at close range. Practically nothing was left of her face, so, as I studied her body, I spoke to her and asked her to reveal herself to me so that I could help get her identified. I looked ahead, and a faint, ghostly image appeared before me. She said nothing as I quickly sketched her features, and then she faded away.
I delivered the drawing to the police, and they were able to get the woman identified that day. They even brought me a photograph borrowed from the family so that they could show me how closely my drawing had captured her. The family had marveled at how I had accurately depicted the new hairdo that their mother had gotten the very day she was killed. The woman had lain in the woods for several days of rain, and her hair had been soaked and muddied, so I could not see that hairdo on the body. I saw it on the vision.
The killer was soon caught, and I wish my part of the story had ended with the portrait, but more visions were to haunt me. Every night after that, I would wake up to someone poking me, and then I would see demons leaning over me. I would scream and swat at the demons until they faded away. They became so real that I eventually became afraid to swat at them myself because I was scared I would actually make contact with a real being, so I got my husband to swat at them for me. Whenever I woke up screaming, it scared him as much as it did me. I believe that my calling that woman back from eternity somehow summoned those demons. I have no other explanation.
Finally, one night as I was getting ready for sleep, I prayed for God to send me a guardian angel to keep the demons away. I fell asleep but then suddenly awakened with a knowledge of some presence in the room. I looked up and saw an angel who was taller than the ceiling, but somehow, I could see beyond the ceiling to see all of him. It startled me at first, but then I realized he was the angel I requested. After that, no demons ever poked me again.
Not long after that, I read a story in The Lost Books of the Bible in which a man saw an angel, and, in that story, his vision was the same as mine. The angel was taller than the ceiling, but he was visible beyond the ceiling. That story helped solidify the fact that I had indeed seen a guardian angel.
Lt. Col. Michelle I. Macander
LTC Macander is from Clifton Park, NY and comes from a family with a history of military service, her father, uncle and grandfather all served in the Marine Corps.
She grew up with a strong interest in serving in the military. Michelle, the Marine Corps, looked like the toughest and most challenging branch.
LTC Macander went to college at Georgia Institute of Technology. She initially planned to be a chemical engineering major, but after meeting with an ROTC instructor, she was sold on the Marines.
Michelle graduated in the year 2000 from Georgia Tech with an international affairs degree. She Joined the Corps at then completed a year training as a combat engineer.
Originally Michelle’s path was to become an intelligence officer. After her first experience with demolitions she changed her plans. After that all she wanted to do was be a combat engineer.
Obviously the combat exclusion rule was still in effect when Michelle joined the Marines. We talked previously about how the ban was lifted in 2013, but the Marine Corps was the slowest of the branches to open those jobs up to women.
Engineers were different than the other combat arms in the fact that women could serve in their ranks, however they were limited to where they could be assigned.
Her first deployment was to Iraq, right after 9-11, with the Marine Wing Support Squadron 372 out of Camp Pendleton. She worked to repair runways and building base camps. She had a great time doing her job. She described some of the craters they had to fill in on the runways as being 50 foot across. She loved doing her job and the experience she gained from being in the deployed environment.
In 2004, deployed again to Iraq with the 9th Engineer Support Battalion and served as a liaison to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
After LTC Macander’s third deployment, she a takes the job at the University of Colorado as a Marine officer instructor. There, she spent her time giving back by mentoring future Marine officers for the next three years.
Michelle was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in October 2013 and was assigned to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton.
She deployed in 2014 to Afghanistan where she served as a counter narcotics officer in Kabul.
If I can go back to the integration of women into combat arms again for a moment, the Marine Corps asked for a waiver to integration. They had a few test units that failed miserably and they held those up as examples that this wouldn’t work for them. Fortunately, in 2015 the Corps request to keep some jobs restricted to men was denied. In 2016 the Department of Defense approved the Corps’ plan to open up all combat jobs to women.
This process of integration was much slower in the Marine Corps than it was in the Army, but regardless, women began entering these fields. In 2019 these previously all male units of the Corps saw a 60% increase of women.
LTC Macander returned to Camp Pendleton in July 2017. She is working as an engineering advisor for a three star General. During this time, a position came open and she put her name in for it.
She was selected to command the 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division.
I love how she described that moment in her life. She said that she didn’t think she was going to get the job. She hoped for it, but didn’t expect it to happen, so when it did She says she did some “yelling and a little bit of swearing”.
LTC Macander had been in war zones as an engineer and even though she was not in a division combat job, those experiences helped her rise to the top. This is where the women in the infantry will be delayed. They are starting from the ground up, right? Starting from scratch, however they also have the other fields to help show case that yes in fact women can do these things.
She took Command in Jun of 2018 and served as the battalion commander for two years.
During that time, more female Marines have been able to successfully navigate into combat positions at Camp Pendleton.
“I set a climate that I’m proud of,” Macander said. “The Marines are trained and are a better unit than when I found them.
“It’s a more balanced battalion. A good unit does everything well. We had a family environment and Marines took care of those to their left and right.”
In June of this year she turned over Command and headed to War college.
The 1st Combat Engineer Battalion has more women serving in key positions, they have the first female executive officer in the 1st Marine Division, female primary staff members, as well as the battalion medical officer.
LTC Macander know that she paved the way for women to follow behind her, but is also realistic about the fact that it is going to take a while. This isn’t going to happen overnight, but you know what? Its happening.
And since I like to pass their advice along any time I find it, here is LTC Macander’s advice:
“Be yourself. Don’t try to be something you’re not, I didn’t change anything when I took command. I think the Marine Corps is a metronome. Perform to the best of your ability and there will be opportunities going forward.” LTC Michelle I. Macander
Another topic that I wanted to talk about is the pressure LTC Macander put on herself.
“There was definitely internal pressure,” she said. “Everything I showed up for, I made sure I was prepared. At every exercise, I was wire-tight. I was going to be the face of females and I wanted to make sure I was ready.”