We ran screaming...
Wow! Thank you so much for this website! I have told my camel spider stories to many disbelieving people over the years, and now I am vindicated! Back in 1996 I was a still in the US Air Force working as an explosive detector dog handler (K9). Just after the Khobar Tower bombing in Daharan, I got sent to the newly reopened Prince Sultan Air Base which was in the middle of nowhere as I could figure it. My job was to use my dog and search incoming trucks onto the base for explosives which put me on one of the entry control points to the base. These entry points were about the most isolated parts of the base, at the end of a long dirt road through the desert (don’t ask) at the edge of a never-ending fence line (I guess incase we found what we were looking for). There were no structures out there, just a few of us Security Police, some cots, camo netting, and a light-all unit. I worked the night shift, and the trucks stopped appearing after midnight, so there was lots of down time for us to worry about things that go bump in the night.
Not long after I arrived, I was working at one of these points when I first saw one of the most horrifying creatures
I've ever seen. Like from a bad monster movie, a camel spider came creeping out of the darkness. One of the guys who first noticed it let out a yell like we were under attack. Though not as big as the ones in the "famous Iraq" picture, this thing was monstrous to a New Jerseyain such as me. It just sat there at the edge of the light cast by the light-all unit, and I swear it was sizing us up. None of us had ever seen, or heard of a camel spider, so we did what came natural, we threw rocks at it. This definitely did not have the expected or desired result. Instead of running off, it was clearly agitated by the rocks impacting nearby. The closest guy was at least 15 feet away, but this mutant seemed to be searching for the source of the rocks, rotating left and right, scanning its horizon, seeking a target.
When a rock finally found its mark and beaned it in the head (head, or whatever), this thing freaked out and blasted off towards the nearest guy at an unbelievable speed. At this point all bravado was lost, and the command post across the desert must have thought a group of Girl Scouts were being attacked as everyone ran in different directions screaming hysterically knocking over cots, tent poles, etc. The monster attacked the guy it was after (long since forgot his name, but not his face that night) by somehow attaching itself to his leg. A bloodcurdling scream pierced the night air “AAAAAAAAAHHH GETITOFFMEEE!!!!!!” In the mayhem and thrashing about, the spider hit the dirt, only to get up and regroup. Another guy ran over and ambushed it, and stomped it into the ground. There was a second of relief until he picked up his foot. The spider had sank into the soft sand relatively unharmed, and emerged from its grave exceptionally pissed and went after its new enemy number one. After some more chaos, screaming, and foot stomping (sort of a crazy-looking frenzied line dance) this armor-plated arachnid finally succumbed to the US issued desert boots. Not to sound too gruesome, but any avid monster movie watcher knows never to leave the dead monster intact, because it will come back to life and get you, so using an e-tool (folding shovel) the spider was chopped up and its parts spread out into the desert where hopefully they wouldn’t find each other and regenerate.
After that night no one cared about insurgents or terrorists, but rather all were on extra vigilance for more of these abominations, and we all prayed it didn’t have a bigger brother. I just wish I had a camera, because those that haven’t been there have no idea.
Sorry for my long-winded story, but to all those who didn’t believe me…HA!
And to take a line from one of my favorite movies that applies directly to Camel Spiders: “My mommy always said there were no monsters - no real ones - but there are, aren't there? Why do they tell little kids that? “
“We'd better get back, 'cause it'll be dark soon, and they mostly come at night... mostly. “
AJ fron NJ