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Lair of the Beasts: Manufacturing Monsters
Creatures That Never Were
By Nick Redfern
March 24, 2012
While I am absolutely certain that our planet is indeed home to a whole host of strange and weird beasts that almost defy description, some of them don’t exist in the literal sense; but, rather, incredibly were the creations of none other than the Pentagon!
No, I’m not talking here about some weird science-fiction-like scenario focused on monstrous gene-splicing in a super secret, underground, government-controlled laboratory. What I’m actually talking about is something that, in many ways, is far, far stranger than even that.
During the early 1950s, psychological warfare planners within the American military began spreading tales of blood-sucking, monster-vampires being on the loose in the Philippines. The reason: to terrify the superstitious, Communist Huk rebels that at the time, were engaged in an uprising in the Philippines.
The operation was a truly ingenious one that was coordinated by a certain Major General Edward G. Lansdale. Born in 1908, Lansdale served with the U.S. Office of Strategic Services during the Second World War. Then, in 1945, he was transferred to HQ Air Forces Western Pacific in the Philippines; and, in 1957, he received a posting to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, working as Deputy Assistant to the SoD for what were vaguely termed as “Special Operations.”
At the specific request of President Elpidio Quirino, Lansdale was assigned to the Joint United States Military Assistance Group to provide assistance and guidance in the field of Intelligence, to the Philippine Army, as the latter sought to squash the Huk uprising.
And it was while lending assistance to President Quirino that Lansdale had the bright idea of exploiting a local legend for psychological warfare purposes – namely, that of the deadly, predatory and monstrous Asuang Vampire that was said to roam the Philippines. A very strange “special operation” had well and truly begun.
Lansdale, whose book In the Midst of Wars: An American’s Mission to Southeast Asia, told the fascinating saga in all its weird glory, said: “To the superstitious, the Huk battleground was a haunted place filled with ghosts and eerie creatures. A combat psy-war squad was brought in. It planted stories among town residents of an Asuang living on the hill where the Huks were based. Two nights later, after giving the stories time to make their way up to the hill camp, the psywar squad set up an ambush along the trail used by the Huks.”
He continued: “When a Huk patrol came along the trail, the ambushers silently snatched the last man of the patrol, their move unseen in the dark night. They punctured his neck with two holes, vampire-fashion, held the body up by the heels, drained it of blood, and put the corpse back on the trail. When the Huks returned to look for the missing man and found their bloodless comrade, every member of the patrol believed that the Asuang had got him and that one of them would be next if they remained on that hill. When daylight came, the whole Huk squadron moved out of the vicinity.”
And, as a direct result of these very strange and near unique actions, key, strategic ground was taken out of the hands of the Huk rebels. That a blood-sucking monster was brought to life, and quickly and deeply influenced the outcome of a military engagement, despite the fact that the very same monster never really existed in the first place, is without doubt extraordinary. Monsters, then, are not always what they appear to be…
Nick Redfern is the author of many books, including Final Events, The Real Men in Black, and Strange Secrets.