posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 09:22 AM
I've had an interest in ghosts/pilots for a number of years also. There used to be more information available in the years after WW2, based on old
books I've read. Most of those books are sitting on private bookshelves, forgotten, out of print now. A lot of ghost-sightings were detailed in
memoirs, written by ex-servicemen on whom such incidents had left a deep impression. It's more difficult finding that sort of information these
days: a lot of it has drifted into obscurity.
If you can get hold of some of Lord Dowding's books, you'd find those interesting I think. Dowding had a number of paranormal experiences during
WW2 in particular and after the war, he pursued the interest, wrote about it and agitated for official recognition of the validity of post-death
communication. At the time, many thousands of people claimed they had been contacted by dead loved ones who'd died during the war. Much of the
information communicated in this way proved to be accurate. In the end, the Anglican Church was under pressure to comment, leading to a lengthy
investigation headed by Archbishop Cosmo Lang. The 'judges' chosen were stacked in favour of scepticism, but in the end, ten of these apparently
went on record as 'believers', based on the results of their investigation, and the other two claimed to be 'on the fence for the sake of
balance'. During the war, medium Helen Duncan was imprisoned for establishing contact with a dead British sailor who provided information which at
the time amounted to a security risk. It's said that then Prime Minister Winston Churchill visited Duncan in jail and obtained information from her.
After the war, Churchill arranged for Duncan's release. So there was certainly a lot of interest in the paranormal, ghosts, after-death
communication etc. during and after the war years.
One of my family members was a member of the British Glider Pilot Regiment during WW2. He was killed in Normandy on D-Day, but in the weeks prior, he
told members of the family that Dowding and several RAF officers and glider pilots were engaged in seances. The men were barracked on Salisbury Plain
I think it was. They were restricted to barracks for several weeks prior to D-Day. The RAF pilots had a close relationship with Glider Pilots which
is how my glider-pilot uncle came to be involved. According to him, dead RAF and Glider Pilots 'came through' at the seances and provided
information which established their identity. They detailed the moment of their death and apparently accurately predicted who would die in the
future. My uncle was informed that he'd die on D-Day. He was so convinced of the validity of the information that he told the family. He died as
During research into his death (several unexplained elements, even today) I read many books about glider pilots. Should explain that in excess of 80%
of applicants to the Glider Pilot Regiment were rejected. The standards were extremely high and the training was incredibly hard. Glider pilots had
to be able to fly powered and unpowered aircraft; they had to be expert in armed and unarmed combat; they had to know how to live off the land; they
had to master complicated math; they had to be able to drive a variety of vehicles and possess expertise in a wide variety of firearms, possess second
and third language skills, etc. Gliders were nicknamed 'flying coffins' because it was basically a one-way trip. Every operation was tantamount to
a suicide mission. Most glider pilots were drawn from civilian professional ranks: chemists, medical doctors, solicitors etc., and in my uncle's
case, architecture. So they were practical, of proven intelligence and demonstrable courage -- not the sort of men expected to lapse into fantasy or
exaggeration about ghosts.
Most of the books about Glider Pilots are crammed with tension and incredibly risky exploits, but one I remember in particular was written after WW2
by an ex-Glider Pilot who'd survived D-Day and Arnhem. He said that when his glider came down in Normandy on D-Day, the load shifted and drove him
and his co-pilot forward so that their legs were crushed. The nose of their glider impacted into the ground at the same moment. All around him were
crashed and burning gliders. He lapsed in and out of consciousness for a few moments after impact. When he regained consciousness, he realised his
co-pilot was dying before his eyes from blood loss and other injury. It was then that he saw men whom he believed to be nurses, moving from one
crashed glider to the next, all over the glider-strewn field. He screamed out to them to come and help his co-pilot, but they didnt' acknowledge
him. It was then that it dawned on him that the 'nurses' were actually Glider Pilots, which was strange, because on D-Day, all Glider Pilots had
been instructed to make their way immediately to transport, after they'd landed, so they could be ferried back to England ready for another Channel
crossing to Normandy. So why were these Glider Pilots spending time helping the wounded ?
As the injured pilot lay there in his crashed plane, some of the Glider Pilot nurses made their way towards him, stopping at nearby crashed gliders to
pull men from the wreckage. He said their faces were peaceful but sad as they took away one man after another. They were clearly identifiable as
Glider Pilots, but there was something misty about them. At the time, he thought the mistiness must have been caused by smoke.
When the man regained consciousness in hospital, his first thought was for his injured co-pilot. Doctors told him his co-pilot was dead. The man
protested and said he'd watched the Glider Pilot 'nurses' drag his co-pilot from the cockpit, but doctors assured him there had of course never
been any Glider Pilot 'nurses'. It was then that the man realised that what he'd witnessed had been the ghosts of Glider Pilots, who'd come back
to help the new dead from their Regiment to 'cross over'. In other words, the ghostly Glider Pilots had come to collect their own.
The injured pilot, like many surviving Glider Pilots, distinguished himself in a professional career. He certainly had no need to go public with what
he'd seen. But he said it would have been less than honest of him not to mention within his book, the ghosts he'd witnessed. He said the memory
had stayed with him, very clearly, throughout many decades after the war's end.