Special Forces operations still happen on Christmas Day.
|Place: Somewhere in the Middle East (Classified Operation.)
Situation: Recently we were ordered out on a reconnaissance mission to determine the cause of some clandestine activity occurring in a certain sector of our area of operations or AO (classified).
Personnel: The patrol consisted of myself and four other long-range recon Rangers and one specialist (an Aussie scout).
Mission: December 25, 2…My patrol and I departed on the mission around 18:30 hours (6:30 p.m. civilian time). We parachuted in using a HAHO (High Altitude High Opening) drop 18 miles from our objective. For you non-military types, this means we parachuted out at 10 thousand feet opened our parachutes and glided 18 miles to the area we were designated to recon.)
After securing our gear, sending a situation report (SITREP) to headquarters (HQ), and checking personnel and equipment, we started out for our sector of surveillance that was about six clicks away. (3.5 miles for you Americans.)
Ten minutes into the mission we spotted a suspicious aerial object that appeared to be following us. It resembled the lights of a helicopter but there was no residual noise accompanying it.
A COM check with HQ noted that no friendly air support was in the area so we had to assume it was a product of ongoing enemy activity. I called for Air Support backup just I case and HQ put two Warthogs on standby.
We cautiously continued in the direction of our objective with the bright object following our six.
Two miles short of our mission objective the point man gave the signal to hit the dirt. He spotted enemy activity at our two o’clock position.
As I peered over a large rock I engaged my night vision device and spotted three characters in what appeared to be bathrobes leading heavily loaded camels. They possessed no individual weapons such as AK-47’s or RPG’s and I could see no evidence of crew-served weapons such as mortars or 51 Cal. Machine Guns.
This was either a reconnaissance party like ours or they were what they appeared to be, local yokels engaged in suspicious late night activity. They were following the moving light.
Signaling my team to advance in overwatch mode, we started tailing the camel jockeys who appeared to be in a daze. Although they had no hand held radios that we could see, they seemed to be communicating with the moving light for the light suddenly shot ahead of us and settled over a low hill.
A sudden bright light from the object lit up a barn in a cave on the side of the hill and we noticed a lot of suspicious activity around the immediate vicinity.
When we were within 300 meters of the barn, we went into a 360-security perimeter and watched as the three camel leaders continued on up the hill.
Several men who appeared dressed as shepherds and a tall man dressed in a bathrobe met them. He led them into the barn structure. Obviously, this was a rendezvous’ of some kind. The three camel drivers were probably arms suppliers and the man in the barn a terrorist agent buying weapons.
We slowly made our way up the hill until we could clearly see what was going on inside the barn.
We were shocked by what we observed. I tried to get a signal to HQ but none of our radios would work. We even tried a special satellite link-up but to no avail.
I had no other recourse but to signal the patrol to head for our primary extraction point, which was about two miles down in a secluded valley.
After Action Report: I was severely reprimanded for not obtaining positive ID of the camel drivers and especially of the man in the barn.
My commander said we missed a good opportunity to bust a possible terrorist supply transaction. He could not understand why I gave the command to abort the mission without demanding proof of identity and a thorough search of the loaded camels and barn area.
What could I possibly tell him…the truth? He’d never believe it!
For what we saw in that barn was a baby in a manger with a golden light over him.
His mother was sitting nearby and the three camel drivers were offering them gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
The voices of unidentified celestial persons singing could be clearly heard.
A voice in our heads said, “Behold my son… in whom I am well pleased.”
If I put that in my official report…well, I’d be heading for that white padded room in a hurry dressed in a wrap-around-white coat.
Somehow, we were witnesses to the birth of the King of Kings, over 2000 years after it happened.