The following written confession was submitted via email:
“… In Qatar I was finishing up my deployment. It had only been 6 months and 1 month to go, but it had been a long six months. I had some down time so I went to the showers. No sooner than turning the faucet knob, I heard my Staff Sergeant asking another Airmen if I had been in the shower. So I quickly soaped my body and just as I was finishing rinsing Sergeant slid the curtain and began briefing me for a post that I was personally requested to man. It was very odd, I know I'm a free body right now, but I'm not that well known and this was a very high security area. So I gathered my gear and headed to the armory for my weapon and transport to arrive.
Expecting an armored Humvee, as we always traveled in, I was surprised to see a taxi from the city of Dubai pull up. Not thinking that this was my transport, I just stood there. Focused on this vehicle, it had obviously been allowed on base, but very weird to see a taxi in this area of the base. A Saudi Arabian man was the driver. He was a civilian, but seemed to carry himself as if he worked for someone, maybe powerful. Probably worked for us. Anyway, The man stepped out and asked for me personally … I asked him if I could ask him his name, but he just kept walking passed me, and walked into the armory where he made contact with someone. He then walked out and my Sergeant leaned out of the door and said go with him, man the post and closed the door. I hesitantly followed the man to the car where he asked me to sit in the back and unload my weapon. I did get into the back seat opposite of him so I could see him, and I removed the magazine from my weapon, leaving a round in the chamber.
We then crept of the base, out of the heavily manned gates and into the darkness of the desert. The desert here is more like what we see, maybe out west here. We traveled in darkness with very dim headlights for I remember like 35 minutes or so. I didn't make conversation or press him for questions. I focused on my surroundings and his body behavior. We began approaching a light, at this time I am already tired. I had been awake for 14 hours and the post I was to relieve would be a 12hr plus shift, so I remember thinking when I saw the small light, man I'm going to fall asleep and go to jail. As I watched the light and as we got closer a very surreal feeling began to wash over me. I'm not sure if it was just the strangeness of the whole taxi driver or if it was just that I was tired but I felt like we were approaching a dream. Like we were leaving reality and going into an isolated realm.
As we reached the destination, we both exited the vehicle. I immediately placed the magazine back into my weapon, and waited for the driver to walk on ahead of me. I double checked I had everything and followed the driver to the post. I noticed that the post was a very small, mobile shack. It had a window, a sign in sheet with very few names and a pen. The man I was relieving was and Army staff sergeant. He looked at my rank and asked me my security clearance. He then contacted his control via radio and looked at me and nodded. Then he followed the driver back to the taxi. I observed the shack, and stepped out to the Area of Responsibility to begin my shift.
I looked back at what I was securing. The whole area is surrounded by c-wire, kind of piled and arranged as a border around the area, then a buffer zone and then another border of c-wire in which stood about 4' high but was spread out about 5'. There is a very large, sand colored tent in which is being used as a SCIF, or a sensitive compartmented information facility, in the middle of all of this backed up against a hill that is about the same height as the tent . It stands about 10' tall in the center, but looked to be 30' wide by approximately 50' long. The tent, was more like a building. There was no noise coming from it and I heard that they are camouflaged to radar and aerial photography. I noticed what looked like large transformers and IT equipment, also camouflaged. I saw large dollies used to move these units around, and I noticed that all of the cables converged into these sealed tight holes going into the tent. It was poor lighting and I didn't want to seem too nosy so I focused on the area surrounding the post and stood, stationary at a position that gave me maximum view of all avenues of approach. Maybe I did glance at the vastness of the stars periodically. Besides the night felt very surreal. I wouldn't say bad energy. But very quiet, very weird. I felt like I was on the set of a movie and everything around me was actually props, and even the sand wasn't real. I began imagining that I was somewhere else. I imagined that I was actually looking at the sky from my childhood home.
Suddenly two men in army uniform walk out of the SCIF, the sign in sheet seems to have no sign out area so I try to engage these men. I notice they have brass so I salute and ask for their names. They are talking and they both salute, but ignore my question and just keep walking. I see no vehicles except for a white Ford Escape that they do not approach but keep walking into the dark. Now, I'm not completely sure how far from Dubai, or another SCIF or base we are, but I am stumped as to why they were walking this distance. Anyway, I go back to work and all is well. After about 8 or 9 hrs of nothing, no sign ins or anything I am standing next to the door of the shack staring at the beautiful, awe inspiring sunset. It was so beautiful that it made me think of god and thank god for this beautiful sunset.
As I am doing this, I am feeling the most beautiful, feeling I have ever felt, a man gently lays his hand on my shoulder. This did startle me a bit, but my body did not jump. I looked back at him then turned around to see an older man. A white man, with white parted hair. He looked to be in his early 70's. He had the most welcoming smile on his face and he just opened up his arms. I felt a feeling that I will never be able to fully describe. I felt like I just walked up to my actual older brother, Micheal in the middle of the dessert, 3000 miles from home. But yet, I did not know this man, not at all actually. Never had saw him sign in. I never even noticed him coming out of the SCIF. I did hug him back. Actually I embraced him and felt a love from him I had not ever felt from even my own parents. He placed his hand back on my shoulder and looked straight into my eyes. And with a very humble tear in his eyes he began to explain.
He did speak English, however he was in civilian clothing, I guess what you would expect a 70 year old man to wear, like dress pants and shoes, with a dress shirt and jacket. I believe it was like a navy blue jacket, maroon shirt and navy blue pants and black shoes. He had an accent, however it was super weird. I had never ever heard an accent like his. It was almost gibberish but also very clear. I know. He explained to me that he was so excited to have this chance to see me. He said that we are great friends. We have lived many lives together. He said you are my brother, my best friend, my father, my husband. He stated, that we have lived many many experiences together. As he's explaining this to me he has his hand on my shoulder the whole time. I begin to feel an extremely weird almost Deja Vu feeling. And I feel such a connection that his presence feels eerily familiar. I remember feeling almost dreamlike and so overwhelmed with emotion that I was crying. Not hysterical, but just listening yet in a like hypnotic trance.
He just kept going on about our life's together until we were interrupted by two army officers walking up to the gate, I hadn't noticed but they had just pulled up in a white ford eacape, I never even heard them. They were fast approaching when the man looked at them looked at me and said, so patiently. " what a pleasure to have gotten this chance to see you, he gave me a half hug, looked me in the eyes, then looked into my shack and said give your' family a call. In my mind I said I wish, and I began to ask him his name when he turned around and just so persistently began walking back to the tent. He was going in the door when the officers said hey Airmen we don't salute here or what. I snapped to, apologized and signed them in.
When I went back to the shack however, I found a phone sitting on the desk. An old school, corded landline phone that had dial tone. I understand that I had to use a certain number to dial the states and thought I was out of luck when I found the number on the face of the phone. So I called my mom, then my brother, and many more people until my shift was over.
To this day that shift feels like a dream. Mixed with all of the other experiences I had in the service, that night sticks out the most, but is the most blurry. I have told myself the facts so many times since that day that I know that these are the facts. But the memory is getting fuzzier and fuzzier every time I think of it. This day changed my whole life. My whole outlook on reality. It made me realize that I am not my body. I am my mind, and possibly even bigger than that. Whatever this is, it's here for us, so no matter how your life turns out, you will always have more time …”
Have you ever experienced the mysterious man in the desert, or someone like him? If so, share with us in the comment section!