I was stationed as a Marine at 29 Palms CA. My MOS was a 1371; Combat Engineer. We had been assigned to build the Marine Corps largest air strip several miles (6 miles) away from the "Main-Base" at 29, called Camp Wilson. This was a massive job (six months to build) requiring hundreds of pieces of heavy equipment, trucks, Marines and Navy SeaBees. Each day we would be shuttled from our barracks on "main-side" to Camp Wilson... After several weeks we were leaving more and more equipment at Wilson, so we built a "guard-shack" to accommodate a couple guys in sleeping bags to stay the night and "guard" the dirt. (Side note, we were seven miles from main-side and at least 10+ miles from the nearest road. The base was 100% surrounded by a barbed-wire fence as well. My point is there is NO way anyone or anything could get out there without being spotted; a car, truck or jeep would easily leave a dust trail and be heard, the desert is not easy to navigate and walking is out of the question!). When you GoogleEarth 29 Palms and go to Camp Wilson you'll see where I'm talking about. So I was an E4 Corporal and assigned to Guard-Duty at Camp Wilson. I grabbed several buddies of mine and we got a driver and headed out for the night. I had (as I recall; Harry, Butch, Willy, and ? driver...? Don't recall) with me. We made a fire and ate "C-Rats" and sat around shooting the bull... Afterward we had metal folding chairs and we leaned them up against the side of the hut and sat back to watch nothing but desert.... Guard duty is a long and boring duty, but we were all great friends and had each other to keep us occupied and amused. BTW; To set the record straight now, there was absolutely NO DRUGS or ALCOHOL involved whatsoever; it is a serious offense leading to nasty consequences! So after maybe half an hour of sitting back and staring at the horizon and mountain range several miles in the distance (it was now fully dark out) we we noticed a red light flip on as if someone had turned on a switch. It just appeared! No one said a word... At first we just assumed it was a helo (helicopter) on night maneuvers... but suddenly it moved left to right in a nanosecond covering several miles. "Did you see that...?" one of us said... "Hell yea! What was it...?" "I dunno... maybe a helo...?" "NFW, a helo can't move that fast!" Then as quickly it shot back to the original point; literally in the blink of an eye it moved! On a good day, with the wind at it's back a helo takes several seconds to move that distance, and not from a dead-stop! This happened a couple times and although we were probably a couple miles we didn't hear a sound! After maybe 20-30 minutes the light shot straight up and was gone. Again, a help can't move that fast! Harriers can't move that fast! Here's where it gets really weird! Shortly after this light was out-of-sight, one of the 5-ton dump trucks about 20 yards started! The engine just started! I mean out of nowhere the engine started! But there was no one around but me and my guys, and we were all accounted for! Now laugh all you want, but as I said earlier, we were on a secure Marine Corps base miles from any roads. And no one in their right mind is going to sneak around the desert at night to start a diesel engine! We looked for foot prints heading from and to the desert and found nothing! We looked all over the area and found nothing! This is a desert, it's not easy to run and hide! And even if it had been some buddies pulling a prank, they'd have shown themselves after the fun and games had worn off! No, there was no one there... I can't stress enough, we were in the middle of nowhere and access was basically limited to one road in and out back them. So back to the drugs and alcohol, we never discussed this with anyone simply because we were Marines and didn't want to have people thinking we were crazy or had been doing drugs and or booze while on guard duty! I'll bet to this day the other guys have forgotten it ever happened... Every once in awhile I'll be watching something about UFO's and recall my experience in the desert. Totally unexplained....
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PA Media December 26, 2021