I’ve been an airport security officer for 10 years now. In my line of work I meet and see many strange and interesting people. Unfortunately, I sometimes meet dangerous people. I’ve seen about all there is to see, and foolishly thought that human beings are the only thing that we should fear. Last month, my understanding of what I should fear was shaken to the core.
Hanger #12 houses our planes that aren’t ready to fly. Most of these have some minor maintenance issues that have yet to be addressed, and some have had their issue fixed but haven’t undergone the inspections to be flight-ready. Anyway, it was at this very hangar that a maintenance worker reported hearing strange noises. When the noise was heard the second time, he was actually inside the hangar. Apparently, it was coming from inside one of the planes.
“It was loud, whatever it was.” Quincy said nervously. “Maybe just cuz it was quiet at the time, but I didn’t imagine it. Out of nowhere, I heard what sounded like shouting from inside the plane.”
“Actual voices this time?” I inquired.
The previous reports were laughed off as there was not a specific sound identified. It could be easily dismissed as anything...or nothing. When we realized the second report was also from Quincy, we thought he’d just been working too much. Seeing as the same person reported a third time, I had to acknowledge it as a pattern. And the more I thought about it, Quincy was a straight shooter. But still, he could just be hearing things.
“Look, I know what I heard! I’m not crazy. Go check it out, please. There could be people squatting in there, who knows? All I know is I’m not spending another minute working on that plane until I know what’s making sounds in there.”
His sincerity coupled with the possibility of some stowaway meant one thing...I was obliged to check. Considering he felt comfortable enough to tell me about it, I gave it some thought.
No one was working near him at the time and it was dark outside. This meant a high likelihood of someone skulking around unnoticed and if it was someone’s idea of a prank, we had to take unauthorized personnel seriously. So I consoled him with a pat on the shoulder and told him I’d take a look.
“Oh, and tell somebody to fix the heat in there while you’re at it!” He shouted after me as I walked away.
I gave him a casual, dismissive wave. He was generally grouchy and annoyed so I didn’t take his complaint seriously. He was just practicing some jaw gymnastics.
Walking out into the housing area, I did get sort of a spooky vibe. This was further out from the bustle of the main hub. Hangar 12 was near the back, with woods bordering most of the fenced area.
In fact, the closer I got to the hangar, the more I felt unsettled. The atmosphere combined with a possible intruder put me on edge, and I gripped my flashlight tighter as I made my way into the hangar.
“Hello?” I called.
I made my way to the exterior of the plane Quincy was referring to and called out once again.
Still no reply.
The clunk of my boots echoed loudly as I ascended the stairs, and I laid my palm against the holster of my firearm.
As I stepped into the fuselage, I immediately felt my body tense at the drop in temperature. Quincy wasn’t jusr badgering me, it really was freezing in here. It didn’t make any sense...there was no temperature regulation inside the plane that could keep it this cold. There was only A/C in the hangar, and it felt fairly warm before I set foot inside the plane.
Putting aside the oddities, I swept the beam of my flashlight back and forth over the seating area. I slowly made my way down the aisle, shining under the seating and into any nooks and crannies. I repeated this process until I went all through the first class area, finding nothing.
The eeriness of the quiet must have gotten to me, because I felt my pulse quicken as I reached for the sliding curtain that separated first class into coach. Maybe it was the possibility of the unknown, but something in me expected to see something on the other side. The shtick noise of the curtain practically echoed throughout the cabin.
I went through the same process in coach as I did in first class, only I felt more unnerved as I made my way to the end. What was it that Quincy heard? Could someone really be stowing away somewhere, waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting victim? I brushed the paranoid thoughts aside, focusing on the task at hand.
I made it to the end of coach and to a small alcove with cabinets for blankets and other such items. Opening them up, I found nothing suspicious or any indication that someone had been poking around.
There was a small hatch used for additional storage. Now looking at it, I realized that someone could easily hole up in there if they wanted. It wouldn’t be comfortable, but it would work In any case, I felt obliged to check.
My gun ready, I pulled the hatch up and looked inside to find—
Breathing a sigh of relief, I turned back around to leave. There was nothing more to check. I’d soon be telling Quincy to stop this nonsense with imaginary sounds.
And that was when it happened...
I stepped out of the alcove and lit up the coach cabin and my torch light revealed....someone’s head?
The revelation made me almost drop my flashlight, and I fumbled it for a moment before moving back to the person again.
Very confused, I braced myself as I darted the beam around the cabin, hoping it was a weird trick of the light. My mind raced with the horrific realization of more anomolies.
Every....single...seat was full.
My skin was wahsed in cold prickles and I shuddered. This didn’t make any sense. There was absolutely NO ONE here. I didn’t see or hear anyone—or anything—move. They were all just...here.
I stood for a moment in shock and awe, rubbing my eyes to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating. But here they were right in front of me.
The first course of action was to say the thing everyone says in horror movies when they think someone’s in their house. As silly as it was, I still said it.
“Who’s...there?” I called out, my voice sounding so small and meek.
As if to answer, my radio made an ear-piercing whine and I scrambled the controls to turn it off. Yet, no matter what I did...the whining continued. Then, it went dead silent.
I tried the controls again, but it was completely dead.
“My radio’s acting up. Can anyone hear me?” I said with the talk button mashed in.
Not only did no one answer, the silence in the plane got more....silent? I can’t explain it any better than that. Another moment passed as I stood there waiting for an answer from someone
I fell to the floor so quick I didn’t register it. I was standing there one second, on the floor looking up the next. Every single passenger had stood up and began screaming at full force. It was like they were...
And as quickly as they had appeared, they were gone.
I slowly pulled myself up us with the aid of an armrest. I gulped and nervously looked around once more. All the seats were empty again, as they should be. My radio chirped to life.
“Yeah, we hear you loud and clear.”
“Okay…uh, thanks. Just checking. My...radio’s acting a bit buggy.”
There was no way I was telling them anything about what just happened, especially over the radio.
Feeling like I awoke from a dream, I sauntered out of the airplane and hangar. Soon, I was back to my post where Quincy awaited me.
“So? What’d you find?” Before I could even begin, Quincy summed me up. “You heard something, didn’t you?”
“What I’m about to tell you doesn’t leave this conversation, go it?” I whispered. “Not that anyone would believe me.”
“Yeah, sure thing.”
So I relayed the entire story to Quincy, who listened with ripe anticipation. He believed me and even confirmed that the screaming did sound like a group of people. But what did it all mean?
The entire rest of my shift, I was plagued by the experience and wondered exactly what it was I saw. It took me less than a week of research to figure it all out.
There are times I wonder if I should have been a detective. If there’s a problem or situation that doesn’t make sense, I sink my teeth into it. I can’t let go even I tried, and this experience was no different. So that being said, this is what I was able to find.
The plane that Quincy was working on turned out to be up-cycled. I looked up all the parts that were used on the aircraft. Turns out most of the parts were recycled from one particular aircraft out of our boneyard. The plane those parts came from had crashed years ago, killing every single passenger on board.
The low temperatures, the air feeling like a vacuum, the screams.....it all came together now.
I had been given a small glimpse into those poor victim’s last moments in life, and in the process, changed mine forever....