Paranormal activities of Kadena Airbase
The Japanese island of Okinawa is the site of many supernatural occurring and paranormal activities. Join us in this post as we walk amongst the paranormal activities of Kadena Airbase.
Patsy Schneider's experience
The midday sun was relentless as it beat down on the nursery's play area, much to the jubilation of its occupants who were out enjoying the remainder of their afternoon break. But whilst the smothering heat appeared to invigorate and energize the children as they race from one adventure to the next, it seemed to have exactly the opposite effect on the adults who trusted with their care. As she made her way around the restricted patch of asphalt ensuring that each of the youngsters was sufficiently hydrated, Patsy Schneider was finding it ever more difficult to keep pace with her juvenile charges.
Breaking into a brief jog, she managed to catch another minor and was in the process of applying a liberal covering of sun lotion, when something unexpected caught her eye. Over in the far corner of the play area, one of the children had his arm drawn back and had apparently thrown something up and over the wooden fencing. Finishing her current task, Patsy began to thread her way through the crowded playground observing the child again picking something up from the ground and tossing it over the fence into the yard next door.
Drawing closer to the boy, she recognized him as Angelo Conti, whose father was a senior NCO attached to the 19th Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron, which had recently deployed to the base. On closer inspection, the items at his feet were the die-cast toy cars he regularly brought to the nursery with him from home, and he proceeded to throw a further two before she managed to reach him.
Patsy tactfully questioned the boy, wondering out loud if he would be sad at the end of the school day when he realized that he couldn't get his cars back. Angelo announced that he was giving them to the children who lived next door, as they didn't have any toys of their own for play with. It was a statement which immediately sent a shudder through the young teacher's body. She gently explained to Angelo that he must be mistaken, as there weren't any children next door and that nobody had lived there for a long time.
This statement was met with a warm-hearted smile from the youth, who replied that there was a little boy and a little girl next door and that they had asked to borrow his toys. As Patsy processed what Angela was telling her, she was startled by the shrill whistle which announced that playtime was over. Collecting his two remaining cars, the young boy dashed off to the main building, leaving his teacher staring pensively at the wooden fence paneling which separated the playground from the small neighboring property.
Encountering the ghosts
Explaining to one of her colleagues that she would be a minute or two late in rejoining the children, Patsy made her way next door, negotiating the wild foliage which surrounded the boarded-up building. Once she reached the point where she estimated Angelo's cars must have landed, she began to reach through the long grass and weeds, hoping to recover them. She had been searching without success for several minutes, when there was a sudden and unexpected noise just behind her. The unmistakable sound of a young girl giggling immediately caused the teacher to stopped in her tracks. There was a moment of silence followed by the sound of two children whispering only a few feet away from where she was.
Patsy turned in the direction the sounds had come from only to find the overgrown yard completely deserted. There was no place for anyone to hide and equally no sign of any children. But a few feet away, directly in the middle of the trail of flattened grass which marked her path across the yard, were actual Angelo's cars. There were seven of the toys, all arranged in a perfect circle, pointing inwards to face one another. Realizing that it was impossible for the small boy to a throw the cars so that they landed in such a fashion and that someone or something must have arranged them whilst her back was turned, Patsy felt a sickening feeling rising up from the depths of her stomach.
As she stared at the toys, she realized that the yard was now eerie silent without even the sounds of passing traffic or birds noticeable. Ever so slowly, one of the toy cars started to rotate, until it pointed away from the center of the circle directly towards her. With a cry of pure terror, Patsy ran screaming from the yard, just another in a long line of people to experience something deeply unsettling at the air base's most notorious building.
History of Okinawa
On the morning of April 1st, 1945, the United States Tenth Army attacked the Japanese island of Okinawa, with the intention of using the location as a staging post to finally bring an end to the Pacific Campaign. The battle which followed would continue for 82 days and feature some of the bloodiest and most savage fighting of the Second World War. One of the most crucial elements of the American battle plan was the seizure of the Yara Hikojo airfield, which had recently been constructed by the defenders near to the village of Kadena.
By the end of the third day of fighting, the badly damaged fourteen hundred meter air strip was in American hands and work could begin on restoring it to operational use. Over the next six months, Kadena Airbase gradually increased in terms of size and importance to the American forces. Initially used to deploy fighter aircraft in support of further localized operations, it eventually became a key outpost in preparation for the massive bombing campaign, designed to end on yielding Japanese resistance.
With the war over following the deployment of atomic weapons, the United States elected to retain the facility which remains operational to this day. In the years which followed the end of the conflict, the steady and disconcerting number of reports were submitted to the military police in relation to inexplicable incidents which had taken place on the Airbase. It soon became apparent to investigators that these issues were centered on one of the accommodation buildings designated "Number 2283".
It became increasingly difficult to house airmen and their families in this particular dwelling for any length of time, due to the bizarre occurrences that were allegedly taking place there. A number of families reported hearing a woman singing softly to herself around the house, only to find the rooms empty where the voice have been coming from. Sometimes, taps would be found running in the bathroom despite there being no one inside the house. One resident even reported encountering the ghost of a young Japanese woman washing her hair in the bath, who promptly vanished when he tried to communicate with her. But as disconcerting as these occurrences were, far more tragic events lay in store.
The Number 2283 ghosts
During the1970s, an officer who had recently been posted to the base with his family was housed in Number 2283. The man's mental health quickly deteriorated to the point where he killed his wife and children before ending his own life. This horrific incident subsequently led to an immediate increase in the number of reports of paranormal activity at the dwelling, to the extent that nobody was prepared to live there. Neighbors reported that the phone inside the house could be heard ringing at all hours of the day, only for the staff who were sent to disconnect it to discover that it had already been removed and there was no longer even a phone inside.
On a number of occasions, military police officers who were driving past the address at night noticed an unnatural glow coming from behind its drawn curtains and were inevitably unable to locate the source of this light when they then entered. During one such encounter, a lone MP was dispatched to Number 2283 one evening following a report that bangs and clattering noises have been heard inside. Having entered the address, the soldier was shining his torch around the living room when he realized that there was someone standing next to him who had apparently entered the room through a solid brick wall.
As he spun round, the light from his torch illuminated a Japanese soldier, clad in ornate battle armor. As the samurai's hand dropped down to the sword and its waist, the airmen screamed out in horror and ran from the address. His colleagues were quick to make light of his account, until two other officers reported having encountered a ghostly armored warrior traversing the base.
Now unable to house residents in the building, the authorities instead repurposed it for storage, but the issue stubbornly persisted. Airmen attending Number 2283 to collect supplies reported the sounds of children laughing and running through the rooms. Over time, personnel housed in the surrounding accommodation claimed to have heard similar sounds emanating from the air vents in their houses. Eventually, the staff at the daycare center which was located alongside the haunted building formally requested that it be torn down, as it was allegedly having a negative effect on the mental health of the children in their care.
A number of the youngsters told their teachers that they were friends with the children who lived in the house next door, to the extent that their parents refused to let them attend the nursery. The base commander eventually acceded to the demand and ordered that the building be demolished so as to extend the play area of the nursery. This work would take far longer than planned however, as the contractors who are allocated the task reported severe nausea and headaches to the extent that they could not continue with their work. It would not be until 2009 that the cursed residence was finally destroyed and all trace of it removed from the ground it once stood upon.
The 12th Marine Regiment
Kadena is not the only location on the island to be the scene of unsettling paranormal incidents. Camp Hansen, which is situated half an hour's drive to the northeast of the airbase was constructed during the 1960s and is home to the 12th Marine Regiment. It is built on the site of another airfield, which was captured by American forces during the battle of Okinawa, having incurred heavy losses from Japanese snipers and mortar teams.
Not long after the base was completed, a sentry was on duty in the early hours of the morning at the Gate 3 guardhouse, during a severe thunderstorm. As he sheltered from the driving rain in the open entrance to the guardhouse, he noticed a marine dressed in a poncho slowly making his way up towards the gate. Stepping out into the downpour to greet the approaching soldier, he suddenly recoiled in horror. The man was dressed in a blood-soaked World War II era uniform with severe facial injuries. As he reached out with one blood slicked hand towards the sentry, there was a flash of lightning and then he was gone leaving no trace that he had ever existed. The ghost of the unknown soldier continued to visit marines who were allocated overnight guard duties at Gate 3. On one occasion, a terrified young sentry felt a tap on his shoulder and turned to find a bloodied Marine holding a cigarette out in front of him asking for a light. Eventually, the base authorities decided to close down the Gate 3 guardhouse and keep the gate itself secured at all times.
Banyan Tree Golf Course is located a stone's throw from Kadena Air Base and was the site of a Japanese field Hospital during the war. Down by the beach, there is a cave which few local residents are brave enough to enter, where the sounds of crying and wailing have been heard echoing out across the water. A number of nurses from the hospital are believed to have taken their own lives there out of fear of the invading American forces, and the deaths of several local swimmers have been attributed to their vengeful Souls.
A similar phenomenon has been reported to the north at Maeda point, the site of another wartime field hospital. Over the years, spectral figures have been observed throwing themselves from the cliff tops, but vanishing in midair and never landing in the swirling waters below. It is believed these are also the spirits of Japanese soldiers who elected to take their own lives in order to avoid capture. Several of these alleged spirits have been captured on film by tourists who are visiting picturesque location.
Can it be that these manifestations are somehow linked to the protracted battle which took place there nearly 80 years before? Given the proximity of these apparitions to sites which played key roles during the conflict, it is difficult to argue that there is not some form of mysterious connection between the wartime events and these modern-day hauntings. The sheer scale of suffering which took place during the invasion of Okinawa set it aside from similar battles in the campaign.
Its own losses aside, the 10th Army documented over 140,000 bodies in the aftermath of the operation of which nearly a third were civilians. Controversy still rages over the number of these victims who were either forcibly deployed against the American forces or executed by the Japanese Army for refusing to fight. Is it possible that some powerful force was generated as a result of such a large scale and tragic loss of life? And that it's somehow prevents the souls of the departed from leaving the field of battle? Or are the individuals who refused to move on to the afterlife unable to do so out of confusion or even anger?
The fact that so many of the witnesses to these incidents are service personnel acts as something of a double-edged sword in terms of their plausibility. On one hand, the stigma and ridicule attached to a professional witness claiming to have encountered a ghost makes it hard to understand why any soldier would make up such a story. On the other, members of the Armed Forces have something of a propensity to embellish mundane encounters which then become ever more fantastic with each successive retellings. A certain percentage of these occurrences can be attributed to the mental stresses and strains, which naturally accompanied the undertaking of military duties so far from home. But the sheer volume and similarity of the Okinawan encounters does seem to indicate that something very much out of the ordinary is occurring there. As always, it is our sincerest hope that whatever force seemingly compels the souls of the wartime dead to remain on this earth eventually frees them and allows them to move on to a place of peace.