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Tuesday, October 11, 2022

The Hohenfels Monster

Hohenfels - Hohenfels Training Area (HTA) is a Combat Maneuver Training Center, located in the municipality of Hohenfels in the district of Neumarkt in the region of Upper Palatinate (German: Oberpfalz) in Bavaria, Germany. HTA the largest maneuver area available to US troops in Europe is approximately 45 miles southeast of Grafenwoehr Traing Area, and less than 60 miles from the border of the Czech Republic. Hohenfels takes its name from the rock formations prevalent in the area and literally translates into the English Language as "high rock" or "high cliff."

HTA covers 40,000 acres and lies in the Frankenalb, (Franconia Alps) which is part of the Jura range that stretches from Switzerland to Bayreuth. The terrain consists of a series of low ridges, twisting valleys, meadows, woods, and some flatland. Typical of HTA are the dolomite outcroppings, which rise above limestone plains and deep cut valleys. Geological surveys state that the valleys of the training area are waterless (Not by my experience) stretching for miles, and are surrounded by cliffs up to 75 feet high. Greater than 40% of HTA is covered with woods consisting mostly of pine, fir, and beech trees. Vegetation is typical of the Jura. There is a wide variety of wildlife (Alpine Birds, Bear, Boar, Hirsch, Lynx, Red Stag, and Roe Deer). Caves abound in the Jura Mountains.

The Hohenfels Monster

First Report (Jones’ experience)
Second Lieutenant (2LT) Jones reports that during machinegun team training members hear vocalizations, discover footprints/tracks, and observe a large upright hominid-like bipedal creature down range.

Second Report (Livingston’s and Hodgkins’ experience)
Roughly two weeks later while leading a night patrol Specialist Four (SP4) Livingston, SP4 Hodgkins hear vocalizations, observe a large upright hominid-like bipedal creature while utilizing ANTAS PVS5 Night Observation Device (NODs) goggles, and accidentally physically run into a second creature. Pandemonium ensues as patrol members break formation and retreat breaking bush through the dark forest. Members of the patrol return piecemeal to the platoon’s perimeter excitedly reporting their experiences of the run-in with several unknown large upright creatures. Livingston and Hodgkins (The point man, and the radioman) continue to retreat through the forest while producing multiple SPOT reports over the platoon radio net of their continuous contact and observations of the creature. Units in close proximity picking up on the activity tune to the platoon’s radio frequency to listen to the incoming reports. Finally after a more than an hour after the other members of the patrol return Livingston and Hodgkins enter into the platoon’s perimeter and personally relay their incredible story.

Bravo Company located on our right flank on Bald Mountain begin reporting activities of vocalizations and sightings minutes after Livingston and Hodgkins return. This radio chatter continues all through the night.
Similar night activities of the phenomenon continue in the valley between Observation Post 19 (OP19) and the nearby mountain ridge. OP19 lies within a twisting valley of meadowland divided by a series of swift current streams running parallel to a series of ridgelines. The meadowlands are vegetated by high-growing grasses, rushes and sedges, and scrub surrounded by forests of pine, fir, and beech trees. The grasses reach as high as a tall man. The forest floor is carpeted by composting leaf debris and detritus covering several inches of rich heavy soil.

Local civilians at a nearby fish hatchery and gasthaus (Guesthouse and restaurant) corroborate our reports with similar stories of their own observations.

Report Three (Hall/Kohler)
Leading a night convoy in black-out drive (No headlights. No taillights. Limited internal and dash lights. Only diffused blackout drive markers two at the front and two at the back of each vehicle. Visible out to a limited number of meters. Not easily visible from the oblique. Not visible to an aircraft flying above 400 feet) SP4 Hall (My driver) and I utilizing NODs observe a large upright hominid-like bipedal creature cross the range road 100 meters in front of us. The next day hall and I return with Sergeant First Class (SFC) Latham and using saplings along the side of the tank trail as scale determine the creature’s height to be greater than 7.5 feet.

Report Four (Emory/Hall/Kohler)
Hall, 2LT Emory, and I set up bivouac in the “bowl” (Hollow) below Bald Mountain, an area with numerous caves.
I discover a heap of bones with lateral breaks hidden in leaf litter and compost beneath an overhanging ledge.
Emory sites a creature several hundred meters above our position on a ridge observing us. Emory calls this to Hall’s and my attention. We see it also. After a few minutes it moves out of site.
Emory transfers back to his own company.

Report Five (Hall/Loggins/Kohler)
Bivouacked off a logging trail overnight Sergeant (SGT) Loggins pitches a canvas tarp over the top of the Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) so he may sleep on the flat-top out of the rain. During the night Loggins' sleep is disturbed by a strange array of noises (Ranging from wood knocking to moans, growls, and gibberish). Loggins observes a tall upright figure move around from the driver’s side hatch to the center front of the trim vane. Though Loggins adjusts his position to view the figure in front of the APC the open crew commander’s hatch and the 50 Caliber machinegun mount block his line of sight. Then something pokes Loggins in the back. Loggins remains prone and rolls over under the tarp and his eyes slowly adjust in the din to focus on the upper silhouette (head and shoulders) of what first appears to be a Masonite cut-out human target. Loggins believes it’s someone playing a joke. However, when Loggins reaches to grab the target he grabs a handful of hair instead. The creature growls and reaches toward Loggins. Loggins, astounded and frightened rolls away and locating the crew commander’s hatch pulls himself through headfirst and slithers quickly into the APC. Hall and I are awakened amidst the commotion of Loggins’ retreat from the roof and fall into the APC. Listening to Loggins’ heavy breathing, and blathering plight something thumps the side of the APC. I unlatch the combat door on the ramp which swings heavily open hitting something midway making another loud thump. There is a loud scuffling sound in the wet compost of the forest floor as something large moves away. Hall or Loggins switch on the interior lights. In the glow of the light Hall, Loggins, and I all see a large biped peering out from behind the bole of a tree ten feet away. Flashlights glaring we watch the biped back away into the gloom.

Hall, Loggins, and I hear another APC diesel Cummings engine grinding its’ way toward us. This APC stops several hundred feet away and parks. The combat troop door swings open. Light from the vehicle’s interior spreads out into the forest night. Several soldiers emerge and begin the business of settling in for the night. They unstrap five gallon Jerrycans and position them to support the weight of the combat ramp. The combat door is closed and the ramp is lowered to make a level two foot high platform. The soldiers string up a canvas tarp for a roof and in all of about five minutes they have a flat dry shelter. After awhile they quiet down. Sometime later we hear commotion coming from the area of the other APC. Its’ engine starts and the combat ramp is lifted. All goes quiet again. In the pre-dawn I approach the other APC and knock on the troop door. After receiving no answer I slowly open the troop door to see the business end of a .45 Caliber pistol. A moment later a very relieved Colonel (COL)  Laboa lowers his pistol and asks if I observed anything unusual during the night. Laboa and I share experiences of what we heard and saw earlier that morning and last night and agree to keep the information out of the rumor mill (Though I’m relatively sure that several hundred soldiers were already privy to similar vocalizations and sightings). Hall, Loggins, and I move our APC back to the bowl. Loggins transfers back to his own team.

Report Six (Hall/Latham/Kohler/Patrick)
Loggins transfers back to his own team and vehicle just a few hundred meters downhill from the bowl. SFC Latham and SFC Patrick join Hall and me, and we swap stories of the previous night’s events. At nightfall Latham and Patrick build a campfire. While collecting wood Latham and Partick report unusual sounds and movement in the woods. Hall and I are called away to attend a meeting in the valley. Latham and Patrick elect to stay with the campfire. When returning an hour-and-a-half to two hours later Hall and I are flagged down by Latham and Patrick down the trail from the campfire at one of the others platoon APCs. Latham and Patrick rejoin us and relay a strange story of being pelted by stones and retreating downhill from the campfire. We continue back up the mountain and rebuild the campfire. Around midnight we here wood knocking and thumping sounds. A stone thrown through the branches hits the open combat ramp clattering into the APC. Hall raises the combat ramp. Peering out top deck’s combat troop hatch we witness several more stones hit the area around the campfire.

In the morning Corpoal Lucas and SGT Loggins report similar occurrences and discovery of footprints/tracks. Lucas requests to return to main post to purchase Plaster of Paris to make casts. Which I allow. Lucas also reveals he has his video camera in his gear, and will video the casts and the footprints/tracks. The Lucas casts measure roughly 16 inches long and 7 inches wide.

NOTE: Activities of the phenomenon occurred in conjunction with the annual 2nd Infantry Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment (2/28 INF), and 3rdInfantry Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment (3/8 INF), Grafenwoeher/Hohenfels “Switch” exercise (Range training at Grafenwoeher Training Area and then maneuver training at Hohenfels Training Area). Jones was assigned to the 1stInfantry Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment (1/13 INF) stationed at Baumholder. Baumholder units were pushed behind in schedule due to other Eighth Infantry Division (Mechanized) units encountering heavy seasonal rains.

The 2/28 INF and 3/8 INF units parked their tracked vehicles on tank pads in the cantonment area and soldiers were bused back to Lee barracks, Mainz-Gonsenheim for nine days until the Baumholder units could clear HTA. All the 1st Infantry Brigade soldiers were then returned to cycle through offensive and defensive phases of maneuver training and then to perform umpire administrative duties for sister units cycling through maneuver training. Therefore the reason why crews and vehicles were switched around. This training cycle began in late March 1984 and ran through early June the same year. Similar activities of the phenomenon occurred during the following Graf/Hohenfels Switch during the following two years (1985 and 1986).

Soldiers from other units and from other divisions reported similar activities. During training at Fort AP Hill, Virginia, USA in the summer of 1990 Major Measley corroborated similar experiences at Hohenfels while he was assigned to the Berlin Brigade during the 1970s.

What Has Occurred
What comes of this… Well for me and these men there would forever be giants in the woods. We would continue to investigate at Hohenfels for the next two years until all of us had been rotated back overseas to the Continental United States. We would pick up our investigation back in the states at different Army Installations with just as much success as Hohenfels. We had begun with a single sighting that had become a multiple simultaneous sighting with similar experiences of events and phenomenon over a three year period of something clearly strange and unusual involving a cryptid creature but with little or no final knowledge what it is/was.

There was no comprehensive study to understand the phenomenon by competent scientific professionals has taken place.

Skepticism and efforts to debunk the phenomenon come from entirely outside the witness community, and are formed entirely from opinion and/or emotional denial of possibilities and physical evidence.
Skeptics and debunkers come from entirely outside the credible professional community and formulate myopic lens effect and mirage style hypotheses as answers.


This post by TCC Team Member Stephen Kohler. Stephen is a 12th Generation New Englander. Retired Combat Disabled Veteran, 25 Years Honorable Service in the Army as Enlisted, and an Officer. Researcher at the Pentagon. Bigfoot enthusiast, Soldier, Teacher, Writer, Outdoorsman, and Horse Tender.

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