Your unseen friend?
Your conscience? or whatever name you use, I'm sure you have heard of one of these terms. Do you think they are real?
Did you have one when you were young ? do you have one now?
Can you see him? or her? or is it a creature?
How did you first become aware.?
Do you speak to him? or her? or it? or do you just hear them?
My reason for asking is, the other day I witnessed an accident.
A young man walked out on to the road into the traffic and was struck down by a car killing him instantly.
As I walked away from this tragic scene I heard a lady in the crowd say " Why didn't his Guardian Angel stop him?" I took her words with me as I walked away.
That night I was reflecting on what she had said, and I wondered if I had ever had an encounter with a guardian, because of my job, dodging tragedy was a daily thing, so if they do exist? surely I would have attracted one or two by now?
So I decided to go through my log books where my memories reside just to see if I had made any "weird happenings" notes.
Two came to mind straight away, the first was when I was flying in the Southern Sudan, when I was approached by a marine Padre that I thought I knew in Vietnam but in fact I knew nothing about him and he influenced me, I mentioned this incident in my blog "Two Nuns in Africa" so I won't go over it again.
The second was Vietnam.
I was sent out to pick up two guys from a strip in hostile territory at dawn, so off I went in the Cessna 337, no worries just a quick turn around and back to base, I noticed the ground crew had placed a lunch pack in the back.
It would seem these guys to be picked up, had been on the run for days without weapons or food, that was not so good for them, but for me it meant a light pickup, which translates to short take off. (got to be a good omen)
I landed and jumped out to open the rear door, two guys immediately burst from the bush and dived into the rear compartment.
I closed the door, jumped back into the seat and gunned the engines for full power and we were away.
Just as we cleared the tree's over the the end of the strip, fate stepped in and it all turned to worms.
The aircraft was racked in small arms fire, the rear engine immediately started banging, I tried feathering the prop,but nothing happened, it was winding around like a big drag machine stealing all my flying speed,
But this is not the end of the world! if I pull up the landing gear I should get enough speed to fly home, on the front engine.
Just as this thought was passing through my mind, (at a great rate of knots) my only engine started to lose power.
My promised mortality was starting to show it's ugly face.
I placed a Mayday call," pick up complete Agman," giving my intention to attempt a landing on bald hill, or we will be along a straight line with bald hill and the strip. Look for the smoke!
The map of the area was imprinted in my mind, it told me there was a bald hill just a few clicks directly ahead, it was one of my emergency landing or crash sites I had picked out.
I gently raised the flaps out of their drag range and slowly lowered the nose and nipped a couple of knots increase in my speed, we were skimming along the top of the trees, and I'm sure we were getting a bit of ground effect lift, as I couldn't climb out of it's effect.
As the engine power continued to fail.
I had decided to go with my training and dip one of my wings into the trees, the idea being! it would rip off the wing, slow down the aircraft and it would drop down to the floor of the jungle giving the best chance of survival.
I would really have to take a deep breath to do this, because deep down it was only a theory and I had never met anybody who had tried it or survived it.
At that very moment the engine failed and we dropped into the tree tops, and then we were clear with the bald hill in front of us, covered in shell holes.
I shut off the fuel, and dumped the flap and shaved 10 knots off of our forward speed, but we going in hard, more down than forward.
First contact with the ground and by some miracle the undercarriage legs bounced us back in the air, only up to about 5 feet and then one leg dropped off, second contact with the ground was with one leg and the same side wing and that was it, we spun around into a shell hole and stopped.
I was stunned but my mind was shouting "Fire get out now!"
I gently opened my door and stood out, I was okay.
I went to open the rear doors and saw the bullet holes along the side of the plane, only one had struck the main engine( Lucky shot) but the rear had at least 6 hits and the rear door had a couple in it, opening the door I saw them both still in the same position as when they jumped in, no surprise really the whole episode only took 4 minutes.
I shook them and said "come on, all this ole girl wants to do now is burn, lets go" I grabbed a pair of legs and pulled them until he was clear of the aircraft I went back for the other guy and and shouted "shit! come on, do you want to burn? wake up" I pulled him out and onto the ground, that was when I noticed the blood on the floor of the plane,
A closer look revealed he had taken a shot to the tummy and one onto the chest, there was nothing to do here.
I turned to the other fellow, shook him back to reality and said "come on, we have to get out of here" He staggered over to his mate and said "no! we can't leave him yet, we can drag him clear" I said are you crazy? he's dead, we can't help him" he said "yes I can, help me move him"?.
So we dragged his body away best we could, by now I was getting ready to run, the guy had no dog tags, nothing and panic was starting to set in for me, being this close to a exploding aircraft was not a good idea.
This guy started praying over his mate, he had a strange accent made me think Polish.
He got up quickly and said "we can go now" so we ran and jumped into a crater.
I asked "what did he mean by, now we can go" he said "he didn't want to leave him alone until his spirit had left his body!
I replied "sarcastically, so you can see his spirit leave his body can you? " "Yes" he replied, "as a matter of fact I can"
Now you got to admit this is weird, but truthfully I saw nothing
and didn't really think much about it until now, apart from making a log book note. I just thought he was a fruit cake.
Within a short while, I was pleased to hear the beat of the helicopter
which had us back in base and into debriefing.
A gunship appeared and fired on my aircraft setting it on fire, you could see that ole girl (that saved our lives) burning from miles away.
I never saw or found out who those two guys were, nobody seem to know? rumour had it, they were deserter from the North seeking asylum but who knows, just another adventure? or was that guy a guardian angel? who knows? I don't.
Do you have an imaginary friend?
I take my life one day at a time.