I was pretty sure Norwich told me it was commercial aircraft? I even replayed the call and sure enough they said it was a commercial plane crash, not a military one. Weird. I decided not to worry about it too much. I called the chief and assistant chief (head of NCRZ) and they gave me approval to initiate a response. Before launching the response and putting things in motion the chief wanted me to check one last time with the air force base, to get any other details that I might need. I really couldn’t believe it, I was dispatching on a plane crash. I was nervous because I knew I’d have my hands full for the rest of the shift, and things like routine medic calls or suspicious persons complaints would become a major pain. But I was excited, it was something I know I probably wouldn’t ever do again. Word got around, and by this time I had practically five entire fire stations waiting to go out on this airplane crash. I went ahead and gave the base a call.
The same man answered, “______ Air Force Base.’
‘Hey it’s _____ dispatch, our supervisors confirmed NCRZ. Any other details on the crash before I send it out?’
‘What crash?” It was an almost immediate response.
I awkwardly paused. “Uh, the plane crash?’
‘What plane crash?’
‘The plane crash south of 40, I literally just talked to you like six minutes ago.’
‘Sorry, but what plane crash are you talking about? I’m confused here.’
‘The plane crash south of U.S. 40, you wanted me to launch an NCRZ response.’
‘We don’t have any plane crashes, I’m sorry but I don’t know what to tell you.’
‘Can I speak to a supervisor?’
I was put on hold for maybe a minute when someone finally picked up. It was a different man, and I explained myself. However I got the same answer.
‘What plane crash? We don’t have any reports of a plane crash in the area.’
By now I was frustrated, thinking I was fooled or going crazy. I said ‘thanks bye’ and hung up. I also decided to give Norwich a call back. I could tell it was dispatcher Boyer, the same lady I talked to when all of this began.
‘Dispatch,’ she answered.
‘Hey, it’s _____ I just got done talking to the base and they’re telling me apparently there isn’t a plane crash now. Do you know what’s going on?’
She paused, and her tone changed. ‘What plane crash?’
She answered like a robot. I wanted to explode. At this point I pretty much yelled at her through the phone, ‘You called me probably about a half hour ago, you told me about the plane that went down in the area and _____ Air Force Base wanted us to respond! They asked me to start NCRZ and I woke people up at four in the morning for this. I have crews awake and sitting at multiple stations ready to be dispatched to a plane crash. I talked to you twice on the phone before. Are you serious right now?’
‘Sir I really don’t understand, what plane crash are you talking about? I’m not familiar with any plane crash and I don’t think I can help you.’
I hung up. I was frustrated and tired. I immediately told the chief and had asked to have the recordings marked so they could be saved longer, because I was not going to be responsible for making a big mistake. Not one involving a fucking plane crash, at least. The chiefs and supervisors were just as confused as I was, and would end up getting the same answers from the base and the airport.
At first I got the impression that maybe they were joking with me. But I honestly just don’t see that happening, not from an airport or a base that belongs to the United States Air Force. I checked names and phone numbers, and they were all authentic and belonged to who they were suppose to. I just have a really weird feeling in my gut that something strange happened that night. Someone in the military obviously told Norwich to keep their mouths shut. They managed to do it pretty quickly, too. I was relieved to not have to go through the lengthy process of NCRZ and managing a rescue response that huge. It’s a handful. The rest of the shift was uneventful. For the next few weeks I talked to my friends about it and couldn’t get it out of my head.” — zacht180
23. We drove down a never-ending road
“My daughter and I still wonder what happened. We were traveling along the 401 (Ontario Canada) from London to Kitchener. We’d done this trek many many times over the years. My daughter has to pee bad. We are coming up to the 1st Kitchener off ramp so I tell her that the next ramp is ours and we’ll be home in 15 minutes tops. So we keep going, watching for our exit which should be no more than a few minutes, but it doesn’t come – we keep going and going and going, all countryside – finally an exit comes up – but it’s not the one we’re expecting – somehow, although we hadn’t thought so much time had passed, we had missed at least 4 exits – while watching for them and passed through 2 cities without seeing them. We ended up having to stop at a Tim Horton’s to pee and driving back home another way.” — implodemode