In the summer of 1990, I was twenty years old. I had decided to take a break from college and join the U.S. Army. During one of our final dress green inspections by my company commander, I blacked out just as he stood in front of me. My drill instructor was angry, and told me it was because I had “locked my knees”. But a week later I was in a military hospital with an infection in my head. The whole left side of my face was swollen and for three days I was in and out of consciousness.
I remember waking up now and then and seeing different faces as doctors would come look and try to figure out what exactly had happened. They would talk, but their voices were very muffled and I couldn’t talk very well at all. I still have no memory of even being released from the hospital. The next thing I can remember is that I was now at my Advanced Individual Training and apparently in good working condition.
In January of 1991, I had completed all of my training and was assigned to an Engineering battalion. I was promptly deployed to the Gulf War a few days later. My platoon was selected to move forward into Kuwait city to help with restoration missions. I was an Electrical Engineer and my tasks were getting power back on at two hospitals.
The first memory I have of something strange happened when I was walking through a dark corridor at the first hospital. I was assessing the situation and looking for the power center, where I would hopefully find backup generators.
I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. Tension was high, because this was still a combat zone. After a careful search, I found there were no enemies. However, I wasn’t alone. The walls began to ripple like they were underwater and I saw jellyfish darting about. Most were small, like the size of a softball and even a golf ball. Some were bigger, around my size, and they appeared to be walking on their tendrils.
I just stood there. I know my heart must have been pounding, but I couldn’t feel it. The jellyfish moved about as if I wasn’t even there. Either they didn’t notice me or didn’t know (or care perhaps) that I was seeing them. When I thought about retreating, I then realized I was paralyzed. I couldn’t feel my feet or move my legs. I don’t even know how I was standing but it didn’t feel like I could fall down.
This seemed to go on for several minutes, and then suddenly there was a very loud snap and all of the jellyfish just instantly vanished. The walls were no longer distorting and I could definitely feel my heart pounding now.
I continued to stand there for a few more minutes. No military training gave me any reference on what to do in this situation. Eventually, I calmed down and continued on my mission. Nothing else strange happened after that, but I played the experience over and over in my head, and was pretty spaced out while I worked.
Luckily for me there were no accidents involving electricity that day, either.