It's been a very, very long time since I've used this site, to the point I'd almost forgotten I had an account on here.
In the years since I posted my first story I've had quite the number of experiences, so I figure I'd try to break them down into sections.
This section will deal with my run-ins with some of the long forgotten servicemen still knocking around in the bush and suburban factories long after the conclusion of WWII.
Salisbury, QLD. Late 2018.
I had just started a new job at a large automotive accessory factory in the outskirts of Brisbane. I worked the afternoon shift, which meant I'd clock in at 2pm and finish up at about 11 or 12. My first few weeks were pretty uneventful. That was until I had my first encounter with "Bobby".
I was working alone in the rear section on a sweltering summer evening, standing at a table wrapping some weathershields in plastic for shipping. Behind me, clear as a bell, I heard someone say "Hiya, John" in a Southern accent. I didn't work with any Americans, so this struck me as very odd. I brought it up at smoko and one of my co-workers explained "Oh, that's just Bobby. He's harmless." After work that night, I did some research on the factory I worked in and discovered that the little industrial estate it was in was quite the hive of activity during WWII. Our factory, specifically, was a large tank repair workshop for the Americans operating in the Pacific theatre in from '43-'45.
Slowly, I noticed more and more activity around the factory. Because there were only 5 or 6 people working during the night we only used the front half. Over the course of the night you'd hear the odd knock, or bang in the back section. Occasionally you'd hear a shout, or see a shadowy figure move around in the shelving. Some nights, an awful smell would waft from the screen printing section. One night in particular a co-worker and I could hear a whole conversation going on down the back, in distinct American accents. Then, late one January night as I was taping up some boxes I noticed some movement down at the far end of the factory. Someone was walking towards us, quietly. I pointed them out to my co-worker, who also turned to look. It was a young guy, probably about my own age, fairly skinny and dressed in a pair of ragged looking coveralls, with a leather helmet tucked under his left arm. He kept walking until he was about 40-50m away, looked towards us and then faded out of existence, as though he'd never been there. My co-worker and I looked at each other in stunned silence.
Then, there were the upstairs offices and the "bunker". While the atmosphere downstairs was never dark, the offices were a different story. We never saw or heard anything up there, but it just felt off, like we weren't supposed to be there. It was a similar feeling in the "bunker", a WWII-era air raid shelter that'd become storage for our cleaning equipment. Although I never experienced it, a few of the women I worked with told me they'd been grabbed or touched while in there and as a result, refused to go anywhere near the place.
While chatting with a family friend a year or so later, I discovered that during the war his family had housed a few officers that had worked at the repair depot. The screen printing section had been where they'd hosed out the tanks before they started repairs. The crews used to do a pretty good job cleaning them out in the field but often by the time they reached proper repair shops here the bits they'd missed were getting pretty ripe. The dark atmosphere in the offices upstairs was probably the result of an officer who had shot himself after finding out his son had been killed in Italy. As for the bunker, no-one really knows about that place.
Wacol, QLD. June, 2020.
One of my hobbies is metal detecting, especially on WWII sites. The particular bit of bush I was working through at the time had been part of Camp Cable, one of the biggest US camps in the country at the time. It was also used by Aussies during Korea and possibly into the early days of the Vietnam war. I'd set aside a weekend to go for a bit of a fossick through what was left, and arrived at around 9am on what was a pretty crisp winter day (to avoid the snakes). I wandered into the bush, put my headphones in and went for a sweep. After about 2 hours and a dozen or so fired.30-06 shells I decided to stop and have lunch. I picked a nice spot by a creek, sat down and tucked into my sandwiches. While I was eating, I noticed something moving off in the bush on the other side of the creek. It was pretty indistinct, but it looked like figures moving from right to left between the trees. I figured it was probably just some other people wandering through the area and went back to detecting. After another few hours I was getting pretty tired and figured I'd come back the next day to have another stickybeak. While I was trekking out I saw the same hazy figures again, moving between the trees. I still had plenty of daylight left, so I went and checked it out. I crossed the creek and wandered across to roughly where I'd seen the figures. There was nothing obvious to show that anyone or anything had ever been there. Had a group of people been through there the grass would have been disturbed, and it's a long way from the designated walking trail. What I did notice, though, were rows of logs marking out the boundary of the old camp areas and roads. After that, I called it a day and went home. The next day I saw the same thing again a few times, but I figured that as long as I was doing my thing and they were doing theirs I'd leave them alone.
Archerfield, QLD. October 2020.
This brings me to my latest experiences, which is what prompted me to look up this site again after all these years. My new workplace is another WWII era warehouse, with another set of ghosts. These ones are far more mischievous than the ones at the old place, probably because it was staffed by the Aussies during the war. Much like the old place, it took me a while to notice some of the weird goings on. Every now and then I'd be assembling some pieces of furniture, put down my tools for a second to adjust something, then go to pick them up only to find that they've been shifted, usually to the desk behind me. On night shifts, it's not unusual to smell cigarette smoke and see the faint red glow of someone smoking way down the back of the warehouse. Initially we'd send someone down to go yell at whoever it was that was smoking (since the place is full of cardboard, timber and flammable liquid) but there was no-one there to be yelled at. Sometimes we'll be prodded and poked, and it's not unusual to hear random shouts of "Oi!" coming from empty sections of the warehouse. The forklift drivers out the back say they've seen someone standing out the back in a singlet and khakis just watching them work, then walking off out the back (there's only one way in and out of the container section, and it's surrounded by a 2.5m barbed wire fence). 3 of my co-workers and I all saw someone dressed in period clothing walk through the racking one night, wave to someone, then continue walking. Despite all the weirdness, it never feels scary or sad. We're pretty sure whoever is here likes having us around still.
Anyway, that's all I have for now. Thanks for taking the time to read all this and feel free to comment!