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Desert Mischief


I have had only a handful of experiences during the course of my 38 years that can be labeled as unusual, unsettling, or potentially supernatural. Most of these experiences have faded, and become brittle over the years. Any sense of import I may have pinned to them has been diluted with the usual litany of explanations that develop through maturity and dimming memory. I may, in future postings, backtrack to reveal those fleeting shadows; although I feel they are more likely the result of what has proven to be a very overzealous imagination. The experiences I am about to describe make up the sum of the only moment in my life where my waking and rational mind has been primarily stumped and acknowledged by a another present. I am not convinced, but allow that they may be supernatural in origin.

The latter years of my 20 year long military career were spent based out of Ft. Bliss, Texas. Although this was my duty station, I actually worked approximately 30 miles northeast, across the state line at McGregor Range, New Mexico. This training facility sits in a wide, flat valley in the high Chihuahuan Desert. It is as desolate as it sounds. The nearest town isn't much more than a glorified trailer park about 15 miles away, and you can travel a long distance with nothing more than tumbleweeds, cactus, and mesquite to keep you company. I have found another reference to this location (paranormal-wise) in the now dormant Shadowlands site, so I suppose there is a precedent for strange-happenings.

My experiences occurred over the course of two years (2011-2013) in our Battalion HQ, which was nothing more than a pre-fab, sheet metal cube on a raised framework. This small building consisted of a large conference room in the center, surrounded by cubicles on three sides and private offices on one. This building was also no more than 5 years (educated guess) old.

My unit conducted various live-fire training exercises to prepare National Guard and Reserve service members for deployment overseas. During the conduct of these ranges, one of my duties was to monitor all activities via radio as a form of back up safety net. This would require hours of active observation approximately from 6:00 AM and finishing at 2:00 AM the next morning on any given day. This duty was usually performed alone, so initially a majority of my experiences were singular. It usually consisted of the occasional random sounds: creaks, thumps, knocks, shuffling. The desert brings extreme heat, chilling cold, strong winds, and monsoonal storms that could explode out of nowhere. Throw these forces at a small metal building and you can have all of these sounds. I am well aware of this and may have fallen victim to them once or twice, but find that explanation too tidy.

The innocuous sounds became more complex over time. Now, I would hear the occasional series of footsteps and the rattling roll of an unoccupied office chair. This would prompt me to do a quick run through the building to see if any of our trainers had returned unannounced; interestingly enough, I was alone. Yet, I have an active imagination that may have betrayed me. Those sound became common enough, but two experiences completely rendered my explanations ineffective.

One afternoon I had returned to my office to tie up some loose ends after the rest of the Battalion had been released early. I was in the building alone with all of the lights out, except for my office. The building is windowless, so there is really not much other ambient light. While focused on my work, I was startled out of my chair by a loud crash and clattering from the back of the building. I hustled out into the hallway turning lights on as I went. I circled the entire building and confirmed I was completely alone, even checking the latrines. The sounds I had heard originated from a large wooden replica of the Corps of Engineers castle. The castle was constructed of segments of 2x2 wood blocks, held together by 3 inch nails. Half of the entire castle had separated and been blown across the floor.

The second highly unusual event occurred late one evening. I was waiting around the building for the return of one of our senior training Sergeant's whose office area was a cubicle on the back-side of the building. While waiting, I was conversing with our automations/computer specialist whose area is a small nook, directly on the other side of the senior Sergeant's cubicle (separated by 3 inches of aluminum and fabric). Other personnel were coming and going, so he could step in completely unnoticed. Ironically enough, I was discussing with the specialist some of the odd experiences I have had. As we were talking, we both hear an office chair roll rapidly across the floor right next to us in the next cubicle. We look at each other and said, "Someone came back" and ran around the corner to catch them. We rushed into a completely empty cubicle. My companion's eyes went wide and he visibly paled. I immediately asked him to acknowledge that he also heard the chair move across the floor. He quickly agreed and then insisted with a rush of expletives that we never discuss this again.

I am unsure how many personnel may have experienced things there, although a few acknowledged hearing mysterious footsteps in the middle of the night. I hope that none of you find this story too lengthy, or too dry, but it is what it is. I don't even think I could embellish it. If anyone on this site has ever been to McGregor and had an unusual experience, please post it in the comments. I would be interested in hearing more about it.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Maus, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Maus (1 stories) (2 posts)
10 years ago (2014-03-24)
Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I cannot say that I think this "manifestation" is tied in any way to a type of emotional overload, or former comrade. The more I contemplate the situation, I tend to lean more towards some form of impersonal energy. There doesn't appear to be any intent, or premeditation to what is going on. It seems to simply be odd things happening at random moments.
Shady4u (2 stories) (188 posts)
10 years ago (2014-03-22)
Your account was quite an interesting one. I wonder if its an entity which wanted your attention and maybe wanted to prove its presence when you spoke of it. That's the best I can think of. I wouldn't say that your story is lengthy because the more it is detailed, the better the quality stands. Very well written. Thank you.
Triskaideka (2 stories) (388 posts)
10 years ago (2014-03-22)
I have many friends and family in the military. I'll ask around. 😊 Very interesting story and well-written, too! Thank you for sharing this.
Femaelstrom (1 stories) (56 posts)
10 years ago (2014-03-21)
Ever consider that it might be a "former" comrade, come back from the veil & trying to get your attention?
Griff84 (5 stories) (289 posts)
10 years ago (2014-03-21)
Hi Maus, unfortunately I am not military, and can not help you with similar experiences.

I just wanted to say I really enjoyed your account. Its well written and I believe truthful. I wonder if emotions in the building could be intense at times? Perhaps that could be a reason your 'visitor' is there? Who knows.

Thank you for sharing this 😊
Swimsinfire (11 stories) (556 posts)
10 years ago (2014-03-20)
That was cool BECAUSE it was dry. Millitery bases seem to get a lot of activity. I hope lots of our millitery posters comment. Good story.

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