Lanky being in the pine forest

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I’m in a European military. Okay-okay, it’s actually a state-sponsored volunteer militia, but that still counts.

Some years back on a rainy fall weekend, my unit attended a field exercise in some forest in the middle of nowhere. Our regular squad leader was not present, so we got stuck with Mike (not his real name), a tall well-built man who had been around the proverbial block many times and seen more than his fair share of weird shit prior to signing up for the militia.

I won’t bore you with all the events that led up to this, but because of reasons, Mike had most of the squad stop and dig in at their current position before assembling a small fireteam (which included my humble self) to accompany him deeper into the woods to do some reconnaissance. We shed all excess weight for increased agility and moved out.

No more than a few hundred meters from our initial position, we came to a small clearing in the forest. For whatever reason, this place was dead silent and riddled with all kinds of debris (mainly the remains of dead trees). Suddenly, the silence was broken by unintelligible yelling. We immediately hit the deck thinking we’ve attracted enemy attention, but didn’t see any movement or hear gunshots.

The noises continued, alternating between distorted yelling and the sound of a child weeping. After twenty or so seconds, everything went silent again. Thinking the coast was clear, I extended my neck to inspect the surroundings and immediately wish I hadn’t.

What I got was a brief glimpse at an abnormally thin humanoid running into a deeper part of the woods in a freakishly stilted manner.

Didn’t really get a good look at the bastard, but it seemed like some kind of nightmarish glitch from a video game.

Nobody else saw this thing, but the strange sounds and overall eerie surroundings were more than enough to convince us to get the heck out of there. “Gives me the f-ing creeps”, said the ever-so-stoic Mike in a hushed whisper.

As we returned to our squad, many remarked that we seemed visibly shaken and asked what took us so long. Turns out we were gone for close to an hour despite the strange incident only lasting a few minutes tops. Mike didn’t want to look like a lunatic, so he made up some BS about difficult terrain and a barely evading enemy patrols. The day went on as normal with nobody bringing up the bizarre encounter.

I never told anyone about seeing a weird figure, but I did briefly mention the spooky sounds to one of my squadmates who wasn’t present at this specific exercise. He brushed it off as a low-level psyop conducted by the opposing side using a jeep fitted with large loudspeakers. A perfectly rational explanation, except for just one little problem – there was no sign of such a jeep when all participating vehicles were lined up in formation after the event concluded.

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