1. I was by myself in the Engine Room of a submarine on the midwatch, just a newly reported sailor trying to find equipment so I could display knowledge to one of the watchstanders.
There are a number of bays in Engine Room Lower Level with narrow passages that pass through the center. I came down one of the ladders, and I swore I saw someone walk across the ship about fifteen feet in front of me. I could hear his footsteps as he walked around a corner and out of sight.
Three problems: 1. He was wearing utilities, an older, light blue blouse and dark navy slacks. Nobody had utilities anymore. They had been phased out three years earlier. 2. There was only one other person awake in the Engine Room that late at night, and he was standing at the top of the ladder behind me, waiting for me to come back up with an answer to his question. 3. He wasn’t actually there.
I wrote it off as sleep deprivation, but I’ll admit it shook me for a while.
Fast forward to four months later, I had gone out to sea with another submarine of the same type. While I was there, I met a sailor who had previously served on my ship. After a few weeks of standing watch with him, he told me a story of a sailor who had committed suicide while on watch when he served on my ship almost a decade earlier. In Engine Room Lower Level. In his utilities.
I wish I could have gotten a picture of the look on my face. I’m sure it was the definition of disbelief.
2. One of my drill sergeants actually has a creepy story from one of his Afghanistan deployments. He was infantry so being in the field and out of missions for multiple weeks wasn’t uncommon. One night while sleeping in a fighting position he dug, he felt something nibbling at his feet. He woke up and kicked it off and what he saw wasn’t any type of marsupial but a little humanoid figure he could only describe as looking just like Gollum. But being in the field with little sleep he chalked it up to just seeing things. A couple days later he and another guy and on watch and the other guy pointed out something and said “what the fuck is that” and pointed at a stone wall in the distance. My drill sergeant looked through this binoculars and crawling across the top of this stone wall was the exact little humanoid creature he encountered a few nights before.