Sunday, July 27, 2008

Gremlins on the Attack

I turned on the news Saturday morning and I heard a story that brought back to memory an old story. It was a frightening story that happened long ago which was both chilling and intriguing. This mornings news story is by no means as intense as the one from by gone days, but nonetheless quite frightening.

As you may have heard a Qantas flight from Hong Kong to Melbourne made an emergency landing in the Philippines on Friday (07/25/2008) after a hole appeared in the fuselage and the cabin lost pressure suddenly. One passenger as quoted by CNN reported, "There was an almighty crack, We dropped a bit in the air." According to the Associated Press the plane was at 29,000 feet when the incident happened and then the plane quickly descended to 10,000 feet. As of yet there is no explanation as to what exactly caused the hole to suddenly rip open at 29,000 feet but one report said that there might have been rust on the fuselage in a previous inspection. If you have not seen the report, here it is:

This brought to mind an old story that the late Charles Berlitz wrote about in his book “Charles Berlitz’s World of Strange Phenomena” on page 209 in the short article “A Massacre in Flight” Mr. Berlitz describes a story with an eerie similarity.

“Something terrifying happened in the air one day in the late summer of 1939-and to this day the incident is shrouded in secrecy.

All that is known is that a military transport plane left the Marine naval Air Force Base in San Diego at 3:30 one afternoon. It and its thirteen man crew were making a routine flight to Honolulu. Three hours later, as the plane was over the Pacific Ocean, a frantic distress signal was sounded. Then the radio signal died.

A little later the plane limped back to base and made an emergency landing. Ground crew members rushed to the craft and when they boarded, they were horrified to see twelve dead men. The only survivor was the copilot, who, though badly injured, had stayed alive long enough to bring the plane back. A few minutes he was dead, too.

All of the bodies had large, gaping wounds. Even weirder, the pilot and copilot had emptied their .45 Colt automatic pistols at something. The empty shells were found lying on the floor of the cockpit. A foul, sulfuric odor pervaded the interior of the craft.

The exterior of the airplane was badly damaged, looking as it had been struck by missiles…The incident was successfully hushed up and did not come to light for fifteen years, when investigator Robert Coe Gardner learned of it from someone who was there. They mystery of what the crew encountered in midair that afternoon in 1939 has never been solved.”

This book is a classic work with an incredible amount of intriguing short stories that deal with the paranormal. If you haven’t read it I encourage you to buy it here:

What is the connection?


No, not the fuzzy creatures you do not feed after midnight or throw water on.

Or the funky often maligned car from the 70’s.

Since World War 1 pilots have claimed to have seen strange creatures tinkering with their aircraft in mid flight. However the existence of such creatures never became widely known until British pilots in World War 2 began to make such experiences public record. The first published report of these creatures appeared in the April 18th 1942 edition 13 of The Royal Air Force Journal. You can read his account at this web site linked below

The knowledge of these creatures was popularized by author Robert Dahl in his children’s book “The Gremlins”. However Dahl’s creatures while annoying and destructive were cute little cartoon characters who were seeking revenge for the destruction of their home forest in order to build an airplane factory.

However, WW2 pilot’s descriptions of real encounters with Gremlins lack Dahl’s cute characterization. Many of them witnessed demonic creatures causing havoc with their airplane equipment. Many swore they saw these creatures maliciously tearing apart wiring or instruments before crashes during combat missions over Germany.

Famed folklorist John W. Hazen gave a personal experience with a Gremlin in the 1972 edition of Funk and Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend where he writes that upon inspecting a malfunctioning airplane, he witnessed “a parted cable which bore obvious tooth marks in spite of the fact that the break occurred in a most inaccessible part of the plane." Then he heard an unearthly inhuman voice that seemed to be rebuffing an associate which said , "How many times must you be told to obey orders and not tackle jobs you aren't qualified for? — This is how it should be done." Immdiately Mr. Hazen heard a sound that reminded him of a "musical twang" and before his very eyes another cable snapped apart with the teeth marks clearly visible.

But most of us know of Gremlins by the Twilight Zone story “Nightmare at 20000 feet” where a man sees a Gremlin tearing apart the commercial flight he is on and everyone thinks he is insane.

Ever since this episode hit the airwaves in 1963 there have been very few pilots who have come forth with eye witness activity of these creatures. Mostly for fear of ridicule, but many for fear that they will be grounded for a mental evaluation. But these demonic entities still have a fascination with dismantling aircraft in mid-air to this day.

I helped out in a Christian Bookstore owned by one of the members of my congregation for a few months a couple of years ago. His wife had passed away suddenly and he was overwhelmed. One night we began to talk about the paranormal. As an ex-naval officer during the first Gulf War he told me he had seen things he could not talk about. His quote was “I’ve seen things that come straight out of the X-Files.” while working on a certain Aircraft Carrier in the Gulf. I prodded and prodded but he refused to tell me any details about UFOs or what exactly he meant by the comment in connection with the Government conspiracy theme that ran through that Television program. But he did tell me that he and a few fellow servicemen onboard did have encounters with little creatures of amazing power who have a fascination with airplanes. He had never fully seen them himself, but one time he witnessed a little shadowy creature tear a hole in aircraft like it was made out of aluminum foil to get at inside components. The creature dashed over the nose of the plane and disappeared. A pilot friend of his swore that he saw a small impish creature trying to rip off a flap of a F/A 18 Hornet of his wingman on their way to a sortie over Iraq in the late light of the setting sun. One minute it was there and as he turned to double check what he had just seen the creature had vanished. Within a few minutes the co-pilot had to return to the carrier because his plane was becoming unresponsive.

He also told a me a few years ago that he had a few friends who had investigated the fatal crash of Senator Paul Wellstone in 2002 who noticed some very strange markings on the exterior of the craft. It was as if something with claws had torn open the plane in mid flight. Search as I might I can find nothing to back this claim up. But there are many on the web who see conspiracies of varying orders surrounding the Senator’s plane crash.

So what happened late Thursday night as this plane flew from London to Melbourne?

Shotty workmanship and maintenance on Qantas’ part?

Or something else?

Oh for the good old days when the only thing we had to worry about when we flew was the poor quality of the food being served in-flight.

Until next time,

Pastor Swope


Anne said...

As an update, I read something just a couple of hours ago that says that they have ruled out corrosion as the cause for the hole.


Bryony said...

Now this is FREAKY. im scared of flying as it is...

Richard said...

Pardon me for butting in, but the Berlitz piece reads like the aviation version of the miner story that you followed until it vanished in a puff of smoke.

And could the Wellstone story be classified as that rare beastie, the 'Friends of a Friend,' or f(s)oaf, tale?

Truthfully though, if malicious aerial gremlins do exist, one wonders why they've avoided Air Force One these last seven years.

Oh wait, gremlins are into evil....

Now I get it.

I love a mystery solved, don't you?

Pastor Swope said...

Hi Richard and thanks for the comment,

You are not butting in, your comment is very welcome. As I stated at the outset of the writing this blog anyone can call me out on anything and I will be more than happy to state my reasoning or purpose for what I wrote.

You are absolutely correct about the possible veracity of the 1939 story. However I did not stoplight this as an investigation into the late Mr. Berlitz's story, I just used it as a reference point to the topic of Gremlins that might seem to have a connection to the Qantas mishap.

I did want to highlight Mr. Berlitz's work which although does have numerous stories that cannot be verified it still is a terrific read and a classic paranormal work.

In fact I am trying to investigate a number of Mr. Berlitz's stories at this time as I did with the Dixonville mining story. Leads are very few and far between. But personally for me before I call shenanigans I like to have at least a little evidence that the incident did NOT happen. So I truly cannot call the 1939 incident as reported by Mr. Berlitz a false report. It is just unsolved at this time and with no verifiable evidence it does sound a little suspicious. But still it is frightening as all get out, is it not?

As to why gremlins do not attack Air Force One? In general I do not usually like to get political on this blog, that is not really the purpose of this site. However if I remember correctly Air Force One has had some strange mechanical failures during various presidential terms over the last 50 years, including this current one. Air Force 2 has had some as well over the past 5 decades. Just the same type of odd malfunctions at the last minute that cannot be explained as the old WW2 stories from those pilots of bygone days.

But as a personal note on the general topics of politics-I in general do not trust ANY politician. Even when they start out trying to serve our country, the power corrupts them. Like the old adage says, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely". I can't think of any system in our world today that has more absolute power in every facet of our lives as does the United States Government.

Thanks again and feel free to comment regularly! Your comment was very well thought out and to the point!

Pastor Swope said...

BTW everyone I do not know if you have been following the story but they are now blaming an oxygen tank explosion for the hole in the Qantas jet.

But of course they were very sure Saturday afternoon that it was corrosion as well. We shall see what they come up with when a full investigation is concluded.

Let's see if the FINAL explanation hold water (or oxygen).

ant721 said...

Two days ago the word 'gremlins' came up in relation to some technical problems. This lead me to ponder how this word came to be in relation to avaition folklore. I was very surprised to see this article now! I love syncronicity!!

cryptidsrus said...

Great story, Swope...

BTW, I heard on CNN a few hours ago that another Quantas flight was forced to land due to "problems" with its landing gear. Odd coincidence, if that.

Guess these creatures don't like Aussies...sheesh. If that's what this is all about.

You didn't mention the Gremlin movies---why not? Sure, they're not technically about the "airplane" type of Gremlin, but these Gremlins were also into wrecking things. Although I don't think folkloric, traditional Gremlins multiplied by getting wet and fully transformed by being fed after midnight. I guess that is Hollywood license applied to make the plot "more interesting." I would also (sadly) have to disagree with you regarding the best-known representation of Gremlins. At least for MY generation, when one thinks about Gremlins, one thinks Gizmo and Stripe and the rest. Many have the seen the Twlight Zone episode with Shatner and the movie segment with Lithgow, but not everybody under 25. Again, sad but true. You may disagree and I understand.

"Older" generations (no disrespect intended) may tend to associate the term "Gremlin" with the "creature in the plane" from Richard Matheson's imagination, but younger ones think of the GREMLINS theme song when they think of the term at all.

One final thing---you forgot an equally famous Gremlin---the one who tormented Bugs Bunny in the old, famous Looney Tunes cartoon from 50-plus years ago. I'm sure most have seen it, right?

(Although---even that little gem of a cartoon may disappear as well from modern radar screens---most networks don't show the Classic Toons anymore---if they do, they're heavily edited to conform to modern concerns and current reference points. I guess that's inevitable. Regrettable, nevertheless.)

DaveO said...

I'm an investigator of the strange and sometimes paranormal circumstances. I do believe "gremlins" and other entities have caused some problems with aircraft in our history on occasion, but realize that airplanes are also man-made, which translates to quality imperfection. Your car breaks down, the blender cuts out, the TV screen goes blank. Not everything can be blamed on supernatural intervention.

Sir Bikes A Lot said...

I'm suprise there called gremlins, it makes me thingk since these accidents take place in the air, shouldn't they be called Gargoyales.

Richard said...

Here's a more detailed explanation about the oxygen tank theory. Evidently an oxygen cylinder is missing from the plane. The cylinder normally sits in an area adjacent to the hull breach. There is also a 20 cm hole in the cabin floor above where the oxygen cylinder sat. The theory appears to be that the oxygen cylinder exploded causing both the hull breach and the hole in the cabin floor.

Whether gremlin or mundane oxygen cylinder, flying still seems to be a risky business. I know, I know, pure irrational emotionalism, not borne out by any facts.

Oh well...

Pastor Swope said...

Dear Daveo,

Thanks for the Comment. Yeah things do break down on their own but this one is just a little odd as how they handled it from the beginning.

And I did have a car that had a gremlin in it. Had to be. The car dealer said it wasn't a lemon, but it kept breaking down every few weeks.

Pastor Swope said...


I didn't mention Gremlins from the movie because they just were too darn cute before being fed after midnight.

My wife bought a Furby a few years ago and after a few days with that thing around the house I could never watch the movie "Gremlins" the same way ever again....

Pastor Swope said...


Maybe the gremlins exploded the oxygen tank? :)

Anonymous said...

It sounds as though a widget was doing some OJT with an older gremlin?
There is a theory that the ecology and social stucture of gremlins is not all that different than that of the military.
On an unrelated note: Was there anything mentioned about Foo Fighters?

Anonymous said...

I think there has been more than just these two incidents in the news lately...I seem to remember a 'crushed' nose cone on another commercial airline flight, with no plausible explanation...And no 'pilot' interview. Do you know anything about that one?

Pastor Swope said...

A recent headline:
Investigator: Qantas Cockpit Flight Recording Lost During Mid-Air Crisis,2933,393043,00.html


Gretchen said...

It's an interesting theory. When I hear it, all I see is that old Twilight Zone episode. :)

There are more mysteries out there that the establishment will never allow to become known because of the panic it would cause.

Anonymous said...

This article got me to thinking about the various reports, particularly from Mexico, of flying humanoids. Some have been photographed. I wonder if they are one and the same.

cryptidsrus said...

I get ya, Pastor.

I wouldn't watch that movie anymore, either.

Too kitschy.

Richard said...

OK PS, since we're speculating freely, why stop at gremlins?

Maybe a Bigfoot was flying by in his invisible ufo with his big feet hanging out & he accidentally kicked a hole in the plane.

Or maybe a a Shadow Person was climbing out of a misplaced wormhole and hit his oversized shadowy mellonhead on the passing plane.

Maybe it was a hurtling chunk of dark matter/anti-matter/does it really matter that plunged through the unfortunate plane. Kind of like a mini Tunguska event.

Maybe a mechanically inept terrorist/CIA agent/demonic spirit planted a poorly constructed bomb that sort of went pfffffffffft instead of BOOOOOOOOOM.

Maybe God had a bad experience using that airline for transport to Lourdes and just...y'know...smote the unlucky bastards.

So many manufactured mysteries, yet so little time.....

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks for the Comment Richard,

You never know.I've seen stranger things happen.

Like someone giving Mike Myers millions of money to make "The Love Guru".

Or people thinking that a Black Hole is a racial slur.

Or a group of high paid administrators with a lot of power thinking that allowing the Government to spy on their people will ensure Democracy for the next generation.

I guess everything is relative to individual perception...

Wherever you go,
There you are...

Anonymous said...

Pastor Swope, in the history of Hollywood, crap like the Love Guru isn't exactly anomalous.

I once had a black radio talk show host berate me because I used the phrase "blackly ironic."
Again, racially touchy folk aren't exactly anomalous.

Americans have been buying boatloads of crap from their elected leaders for as long as this country has existed.
It has always had a fascist streak a mile wide running up its back.

If you doubt, look up the attempted fascist coup against FDR, the early US eugenics movement that taught Hitler everything he knew about genocide, and the uncomfortable merging of military & corporate power that has kept pudgy America neck deep in Big Mac's & cheap consumer goodies.
Bush & co. seem like business as usual to me.
Americans always swallowed the "fear" pill quite willingly.

The only folk who find the last 8 years of Bush rule to be some kind of glitch in an otherwise spotless American record of freedom loving just have been paying attention.

I'm long windedly wondering at your point, cause I missed it.

Pastor Swope said...

Hello Anonymous,

My point was summed up in the statement:

I guess everything is relative to individual perception...

I thought that was quite clear, was it not?

Be it in everyday life or while wondering of the phenomenal, everything is organized by that persons preconceived world view and to what level they pay attention to their surroundings.

Gremlins or just an oxygen tank?

I juxtaposed the concept that Richard brought up which presupposes that we are speculating freely with the concept of things happening all around us everyday that do just not make rational sense.

I did not and do not intend this blog to be a political platform.

My thesis is that we are surrounded with the mysterious and it is not irrational to connect mysterious events with paranormal phenomena.

That is the primary focus of this blog.

All else is merely expanding upon that theme.

I appreciate antithesis.

It often brings forth synthesis.

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Anonymous said...

My grandfathers freind flew in world war 2 he was about 19 he flew a bomber he said one morning i think it was christmas day 1942 he was on a routine bombing run when all of a sudden he started hearing weird unearthly scream com from a empty gun turret that had been shot all to hell he said then he said he kept smelling this weird smell like no other smell he had smelled before he said that is was so bad it made is eyes water then all of a sudden his plan just went into a nose dive then he said the screams turned into unearthly laughter and he heard a demonic voice tell him he was going to die he pulled out of the nose dive and he heard a gunshot come from the back of the plane and his fellow airman say i got the bastard and then where did he go then his engines rent to smoking holes where being ripped into the wings he was forced to make a emergency landing in enemy territory that all of the story i can remember Pastor swope wat is you comment on this

Anonymous said...

My Dad was in the Navy 1942-46, and I inherited some of his books, including a little book called, "Japan and the Japanese", published by the Infantry Journal. It's a book intended to help our fighting men understand the enemy.

Well.. in that book, there is a picture, taken probably a few years before the war, of some Japanese warlord, holding something in his lap. You can't see the whole thing but it looks like the top of a western-style PENTAGRAM.

What is a Japanese warlord doing with Western witchcraft symbols, right before WW2? We know that the Nazis were occult obsessed, perhaps the Japanese were too.

At any rate, I'll bet that's where the gremlins come from. They're released by enemy witchcraft.