In 2008 I was 19 and deployed to Afghanistan. I was at a small post in the southern area of the country. It was very mountainous, and not very populated. We had men who weren’t in uniform coming in and out several times a week never staying for more than 2 days. We were all pretty positive the were special forces of some sort or maybe CIA contractors. They didn’t have much interaction with any of us pretty much ever they stayed in their groups.
There were a lot of rumors going around that they were doing some psychological warefare things. Like ambushing and killing all but one in the dark. Butchering corpses and leaving them infront of suspected villages. Burning things down just you know crazy things to mess with people.
Well about my third week at this posting we were told in the morning they wanted us to check in on a village not too far from us. They have been complaining about us killing goats and skinning them. Which really wasn’t that uncommon, we had complained all the time to try to get money and other things from us in repayment. Then we had a report of a patrol in the area see a bunch of women and children carrying a lot of things rushing away from the area. Kinda suspicious activity.
The next morning we set out before the sun was all the way up. The village was a little less than an hour drive from us. The whole area was pretty flat in a valley most of the way there, but about 2km from the village you have to take a small dirt single track road up the mountain. The entire village was on top of a small mountain but in like a big bowl. It was just maybe a dozen small walled off houses and sheds no more than 40 people lived there.
Well as we spit up and approached the village our comms freaked out, all we heard was static. But four of us heard voices. They all said it was like 100 people were all talking at once you could hear it but couldn’t make out what was being said. That lasted for about a minute. The other group radioed us and said they 3 of the 6 of them had heard clinking metal and a harsh loud scream, a wet gurgling scream. Then mid scream it just cut off and went silent. We radioed back and reported what happened. We were told to continue on our radios are encrypted there was next to no way anyone could have gotten in to them.
Not even five minutes later it happened again but this time to more than half of us, we heard people talking while breathing heavily like they were running so many voices all at once like had to rip my headset and helmet off like many of the others. It was bad we were out in the open all in a panic. We reported it again but one guy said he heard what was kinda like Farsi(Persian) another said kinda like Latin and I swear what I heard was in Russian. We were told it might just be interference switch channels and keep on task.
At this point we were maybe 30 meters from the entrance of the village it’s a pretty big open area on this mountain not much to hide behind besides the buildings. Someone noticed a thin blood trail leading into the village. We took note and continued on. When we stepped into the village we saw a puddle of dried brown blackish blood. Before we could even register what we saw three military aged med stepped out and opened fire at us.
We all dove for cover, I ran behind this 1-1.5 meter high wall surrounding a small building. As soon as I dropped to my ass a man stepped out of the building and shot at me. I panicked, this was my first time being shot at, I shot at him atleast 8 times 2 of which smacked him in the chest. Someone from the other side of the wall on a building was firing at me so I ran to hide beside the building the man just came out of. I took cover next to the man listening to his gurgling heavy last breaths.
After all was said and done we had reinforcements arrive, we put down 8 me And wounded 2 more. Nothing on our side. While everyone was taking the required pictures and what not an Army patrol came by with 4 of the women from the village. They said they found them hiding in a near by town begging for help. They had to pretty much carry the women back they refused to return.
We split the women up and began to question them, they admitted the men were gathering and getting things together to attack a patrol, someone had promised them a great reward. But they were crying all terrified to be back. Our interpreter asked what has them so shaken? Is it because of the fight? They said the morning before as the sun was coming up they saw what looked like a bloody man walking up. Some of the women went so try to give aid when they stopped and screamed. As the man walked closer he was naked from head to toe no hair and no skin. Each step he looked like his knees would buckle and collapse. He had no eyes and no muscle around his jaw. His head just swung around loose like nothing ridged to hold it up as he walked. They said he was slow and jerky. They could hear him breathing it was wet and heavy like he was drowning.
The men hearing the women scream and run, grabbed some weapons some were muskets some tools. As he walked closer they saw his belly was slit and things were just swinging from his gut. The men began to fire at him. The thing didn’t notice, didn’t stop didn’t even flinch and chunks of him were ripped off. He finally stopped when the men were reloading and opened his arms like he was going to hug someone and screamed, screamed so loud they had to cry. The men closest to him began to bleed from their eyes and ears and finally collapsed. The next thing they knew he was gone. Just vanished into a light red mist. The men who fell were gone too, not a trace no foot prints or anything just the train of blood into the village.
We all kind looked at Eachother like that’s bullshit no way. We kind ignored it and continued on with documenting and cleaning up. After several hours we were leaving, I was infront with 6 other men, we were all talking about the radio thing when one of us just stopped and yelled for us to drop. We all listened and spread out dropping low. Their are is wide open and empty there is nothing to hide behind. But there in the middle of the dirt track was a horse with its legs cut off flush at the joints with its head twisted upside down. Something was sticking out of its belly and it has something carved into its skin.
We thought it was an IED so we went through the standard processes. And cleared the area. When were were sure all was well we finally aproched it. It has a 1 meter long shard of a broken mirror stuck in its side. Arabic letters carved into it. The half of the horse facing away from us was skinned. So cleanly there wasn’t a drop of blood or a cut into the meat.
We asked our interpreter what the Arabic words said, he said it isn’t Arabic but kinda like Farsi but not at the same time. He said he thought it said “look” “look” “don’t look”
We were all freaked out. We went back and reported everything. Our CO listened to the entire story and after a long silence that felt like half an hour said”it was nothing, exhaustion and stress from your first engagement” “be careful who you tell, people will begging to question your mental fitness”
Later when some of us went to shower there was yelling. The guys who were out there with us said they saw that their faces had no skin in the mirror. We calmed them down and moved them out so we could shower. I was the first one done and went to shave when I saw a red skinless person in the corner of the mirror.
That was 11 years ago yesterday. I still sometimes see him in the mirror. Hell in my bathroom I don’t have a mirror at all. I go to a barber once a weeek to shave me. The last time I shaved my self my daughter was in watching me when I saw the man in the corner of my eye right next to her. She saw him in the mirror too and ran off screaming.
What makes this all crazy is in that deployment 3 of us from that day were killed in an IED two were critacly injured in another. Our interpreter was killed with his family in his home. 4 killed themselves within 3 years of returning home. That’s 8 dead and 2 injured just like the villagers. I’ve only told maybe a dozen people about this. Only one or two believed me. I can’t find anything like this anywhere in the world. I know the area had a lot of history like the Russians had a base where we had ours in the 80s some say Alexander the Great marched his army in that valley too.
I don’t know what to think of it I need to know more about it. It’s been bugging me for years.