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New Guinea Experience

Jack Hollands, Vienna, Austria
January 2006

This story goes back to 1974 when I was 6 years old and living in New Guinea.

My dad had accepted an offer from a friend to settle on a plot of land outside of town and moved the family there two years earlier. The site had been part of a large military hospital during the war and there was lots of traces strewn about from those times.

One late afternoon I was playing on a low hill overlooking our house when I noticed two men walking past me with blank expressions on their faces, as if in a trance. Being surprised by their sudden presence I tried to attract their attention without success and then I noticed they were wearing Australian khaki type uniforms which I thought was even stranger than their behavior.

A few months after this while I was fast asleep in the night I was wakened by someone stroking my face and whispering my name. As I was still sleepy and it being dark I thought it was my dad and started to smile at him when I realised that I was looking at a illuminated face floating in mid air. For the next 12 years after that I only slept completely covered by my blanket, not a pleasant thing to do in the humid tropics. After all that I finally faced up to my fears, so much so that I spent my final night alone camped atop a mountain surrounded by the deposited bones of the clan whose spirits keep watch over that piece of land.

Jack Hollands, Vienna, Austria
00:00 / 01:04
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