North Sea Ejection

The North Sea, 22 NOV 1975- Captain Jim Evans (33), pilot and Lt. George Kuprian (29), WSO flying an F-4D Phantom II (66-0256) call sign  “Trest One” were conducting air combat training over the North Sea,  60 to 80 miles east of Great Yarmouth. Nearest…” (Great Yarmouth is a coastal town in Norfolk, east England).  Trest Two was flown by Frank Chuba.  Trest Three was flown by Ed Daniel. The aircraft was assigned to the 492nd TFS (48th TFW), RAF Lakenheath, UK.

Trest One suffered a compressor stall followed by a fire in the right engine.  Prior to ejecting , Captain Evans coordinated with Drayton Center to dispatch a rescue helicopter to the scene from RAF Mildenhall.  He then ordered the remaining flight Trest One and Two to establish a high and low RESCAP.  At this point, Evans headed west to the English coast.  This was when the second engine quit.  When the flight controls seized up, the crew ejected.  The ejections were successful and neither airman suffered injuries.  The remaining flight, Trest Three (Lead) and Trest  Two immediately established a RESCAP over the downed crew and followed them as they entered the water. Both crewmen were seen getting into the life rafts.  The sea conditions were six to nine foot swells with a water temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The survival of Evans and Kuprian, wet and cold in the bitter weather was in serious doubt.

The rescue became complicated when both the rescue helicopter and a UK Coast Guard ship responded.  Ed Daniel coordinated with the helicopter while trying to direct the ship to the survivors with no radio contact with the ship.  All the while working with Trest Two trying to maintain visual contact with the survivors. He also had intermittent radio contact with  Captain Evans who was coordinating his own rescue.

THIS IS THE RADIO TRAMSMISSION THAT DAY

Video by cowlovecow

Evans and Kuprian were both picked up by the British Helicopter. Kuprian never made it to his raft. In fact of the two under arm inflatables,  only one inflated. The chopper accidentally saw him going to pick up Jimmy. Definitely  “Angels on his shoulder”.

Ed Daniel remained on RESCAP until relieved by another flight of F-4’s from RAF Lakenheath.  It was estimated that the RESCAP would be BINGO fuel at 3000 lbs and have to return to base.  Daniel left with 1100 lbs remaining and never made it back to RAF Lakenheath.  After 80 miles, he diverted to a nearby runway.  The aircraft flamed out just after leaving the runway.

I have yet to find the Investagation Board’s report on this mishap.  If you have a copy, please drop it in the comments.

This mishap happened “on the weekend of 22/23 NOV 1975”.  Using my F-4 experience, if there was weekend flying they’d fly on Saturday to give us all of Sunday to fix whatever they, the pilots broke.  Therefore I placed the date of the mishap as 22 NOV 1975.

 

 

 

 

 

The Morbach Werewolf

Came across this just shy of Halloween.  However while stationed at Hahn AB and living near Morbach, I was at more than one cocktail party where this was discussed.

 

In May 2011 I posted The Morbach Werewolf, which included the early history of the beast and a few of the modern anecdotes and statements. I recently received a narrative from a retired USAF Staff Sergeant who was stationed in the area. This narrative includes the actual events in 1988. I investigated and received confirmation on the locales and unit placements communicated to me in the statement and in a subsequent email. What follows is the true story of the Morbach Werewolf:

In 1988 I was the assigned Security Supervisor for the Wenigerath Munitions Storage Area. Although it was just on the other side of the Village of Wenigerath we called it Morbach. We were assigned to Hahn Air Base and not Morbach. Morbach isn’t even a base, it is a town just down the road on the B327. As we drove through Wenigerath, I was driving the bus, some of the guys noticed that the candle in the shrine was not lit and there was a full moon. We all knew of the local legend. We sort of just laughed about it.

When we first came on duty my patrols would do a sweep of their assigned sectors. As I was in the Security Trailer with the security controller (radio dispatch) reading the previous shifts logs, one of my foot patrols found 3 dead deer within one of the wooded areas and radioed us. When I arrived on scene I noticed that their throats were damaged and 2 had their entrails and hind quarters eaten along with what appeared to be their internal organs (liver, heart). We did have wild boar in and out of the area and these were a small barking deer species. We placed a call to the local Forest Meister so he could remove the deer carcasses.

I went back to the Security Control Trailer to phone the base on the incident. After that I radioed all patrols for an area briefing at Control. As the patrols rolled in we heard a low level but loud growl/howl coming from the direction of our only alarmed structures to the west of our location. I radioed the foot patrol assigned to that area since they were still enroute. As I did, they came running out of the darkness yelling “Did you guys hear that?!” About that time it howled again. Low, deep, long and loud. It sounded like it was within our fence line. I called the entry control point to see if they had permitted any K-9 patrols in the area. They said no and also reported the howling. One of the guys said “What if it’s the Werewolf?” We all kind of giggled but then it howled again. This time from the center of the site but this howl was unreal. It vibrated you inside. Hard to describe.

The Shrine

I called the base and updated them that we had a breach of some kind of animal. Sounded like a large dog or possibly a wild animal. They stated that the Forest Meister had been called and was on his way. I asked the patrols if they wanted me to turn on the area lighting. They said no. The area lighting usually made matters worse since they casts too many shadows and ruined your night vision. As it was with the full moon we could see pretty good. I issued Night Vision Scopes to two of the patrol leaders. They mounted on our M-16′s. I informed them that they did not have permission to “Lock and Load”. Since it was peacetime (Cold War) we carried our weapons with a loaded magazine, weapon on safe and no round in the chamber. When it was about to get noisy, lock and load meant to charge your weapon (jack a round in the chamber) and get ready to ‘Rock and Roll Baby!’

I took one of the foot patrols with me (strength in numbers) and headed to the perimeter in case it tried to circle my guys. I went by the fallen deer to show the patrol. When we got there I noticed that the third deer had also been snacked on. I immediately called all the patrols. It had come back and fed on the third deer. About that time one of the mounted patrols (vehicle), had made contact and was pursuing a large dark K-9. We ran in a circular route as to try to out flank whatever it was they were chasing. The Entry gate radioed me saying that our K-9 patrol had arrived. I had them dispatch to the western fence line since that’s where we were all going. The pursuing patrol radioed that it was turning towards the Command Trailer. Here’s a funny part. Alpha Control radioed that he was locking down and wasn’t opening the door ’til daylight.

I took the foot patrol and headed to the fence line since we had 2 patrols going to Control. The K-9 patrol was already there and I dispatched him to the alarmed structures to stand by. I did this since they were between Control and the perimeter fence. When we got to the fence I put one of the guys near the fence line and I with the patrol leader headed to a small hill to over-watch his position. I asked for status reports because I could hear a lot of yelling. They said it was coming toward us. I radioed Control to turn on our sectors lighting. Our area was mostly open with trees on the right side. We switched off our scopes and in that instant that we reached to turn off the units our guy on the fence started screaming. We turned in time to see a huge dark mass clear our 9 foot fence! It quickly faded from our perimeter lighting into the darkness. I asked for the area lighting to be turned off. I walked further up to the hill and switched on my night scope. I looked in the direction it had run. Since the magnification was weak I really didn’t expect to see anything then I saw it. It was leaned up against a tree looking at us on it’s hind legs breathing heavily. I yelled 2 o’clock 200 meters! Then it turned and faded into the trees. Only one other patrol leader saw it.

It was now 2:30 am. The Forest Meister arrived at the entry gate. I had to sign him in. I asked the K-9 unit to foot patrol the fence but the dog had retreated to his kennel and would not come out. I put all units back on active patrol and to remain extra vigilant. As I escorted the Forest Meister to the dead deer I explained what had happened. He listened carefully and seemed to be absorbing it all in. He took pictures of the deer for records then bagged the bodies. He said that it didn’t appear to be the work of wild boar. It had all the markings of a wolf attack. He said wolves usually didn’t kill their prey, they usually died from shock and blood loss. They would knock it down and start eating the hind quarters with the animal still alive. This one killed them then ate them as evidenced by the neck injuries. I asked if they could jump 9 foot fence. He said this one could and laughed.

The guys were jazzed to say the least. We had a group meeting around 4:00am. I said that I needed written reports by the shifts end at 6:30 so to take turns patrolling. Alpha 2 (Command Trailer) opened his door even though it was still dark out. I remember sitting there sipping some coffee saying “Are they going to believe this?” He said we were all going to “piss in the bottle”. That meant a Urine Analysis to see if we were on drugs. We laughed about it.

When we got back to the Armory I was pulled aside by my Flight Chief and Shift Commander. I briefed them on what had happened. My Flight Chief asked me to take home the statements and proof read them first then to turn them in before Guardmount.

When I arrived I noticed that the roster had been amended. We were all going back to Morbach. It was very rare to have the same patrol twice let alone the entire area. On the bus ride out there we were pretty much quiet. I stopped the bus at the alter to make sure the candle were lit and the old guy awake. Thumbs up! The Flight Chief showed up around mid-night and we had a pow wow. He said we had two choices. We could turn in the statements but omit the “werewolf” references or shred the statements and have me write in the log book that a wild animal had killed some deer in the wooded area behind the ammo building and that the Forest Meister had been dispatched…end of story. As we all looked at each other. He stated that our PRP would be called into question. PRP is a program that enables us to work around Nuclear Resources. To lose your PRP cast a dark cloud over you plus you got crap details while you were being re-evaluated. Took up to 45 days. So we opted for the later.

Some of us choose not to talk about it, but obviously some did. It really happened. It wasn’t some story to scare the jeeps. Jeeps are FNG’s, rookies, etc. Was it a Werewolf? Was it an endangered European Wolf? Was it a coincidence that the candle was out that night of a full moon? You decide. As for me…I’ll say this. The above statement is true to the best of my knowledge. D

The Werewolf Book: The Encyclopedia of Shape-Shifting Beings

A Lycanthropy Reader: Werewolves in Western Culture

Timothy Green Beckley’s Big Book of Werewolves: In Reality! In Folklore! In Cinema! And In Lust!

Werewolves: A Field Guide to Shapeshifters, Lycanthropes, and Man-Beast