If You See a Downed Aircraft in the Everglades, Avoid It

📅 Published on November 26, 2020

“If You See a Downed Aircraft in the Everglades, Avoid It”

Written by Scott Wilson
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


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About three years ago, a buddy named Will and I went kayaking and slough slogging (think a combination of hiking and swimming) in the Loxahatchee remnant of the Everglades. I had just gotten engaged to my girlfriend of seven years and he was celebrating three years of avoiding painkillers and sticking to weed that started after our third amigo, Cory Walton, passed away from an overdose. Will had been partially responsible, having fled instead of calling the police to avoid trouble and had never forgiven himself. I had difficulty with it from time to time, so I tried to consider not hating him for it a burden to work on and he agreed to work on his painkiller habit.

So we had brought some shrooms and weed with us to really enjoy the wilderness. Our friendship went back more than fifteen years, all the way to our High School group of hooligans so I couldn’t just give up on him. My name is Jason Grover and this is the story of what I and my friend found in the swamp.

We paddled out with our old kayaks from the Arthur R. Marshall Park in West Palm Beach, Florida. We planned so that we could camp a few miles in, grill up some fish, and enjoy mother nature. We decided to go much deeper in than we normally did, but our adventures had become a ritual since Will started getting clean and we had a variety of GPS devices so that we didn’t go missing like so many others. After four or five hours we noticed it was getting dark and Will suggested we find a good spot to camp.

“Hey, man, check out this tunnel,” Will suggested, pointing at a waterway that went below a thick canopy of trees that formed a tunnel-like structure.

There were plenty of invasive species, like Australian pine, climbing fern and Brazilian pepper in the areas we had passed, but we must have gotten pretty deep because I hadn’t seen a single invasive species for nearly an hour. There was a skinny woman dressed in all white standing on a patch of land covered in tall grass, but she wasn’t facing us and walked into the grass when we came near.

“Hey, lady! Is there good solid ground here?” Will tried to ask, but she didn’t respond or return. He shrugged and we decided to go through the verdant tunnel ahead of us.

Most of the canopies were formed by mangrove and cypress working together to horde what passed for solid land in the natural state of Florida and this one was particularly thick. This one was so thick that it blocked out the sun almost entirely for about four hundred feet, creating a dark tunnel of tropical colors with only occasional holes for the dark orange and purple sunset to cast light through. There were tons of strange purple bromeliads, beautiful flowers that formed nest-like structures to grow from the crevices of trees and branches so that they would not need soil.

“Wow, what the fuck do you think brought it down?” Will asked. I looked at him in incomprehension until he pointed at a spot in the canopy above us.

In addition to the vines and flowers, letters could be seen through a rare area that wasn’t covered in foliage. The canopy had been formed by a downed aircraft, and a big one by the looks of it. The Everglades used to enjoy a similar reputation to the Bermuda Triangle and it wasn’t uncommon at all to find old military service planes here and there throughout the wetlands. This particular wreck looked ancient, so it didn’t surprise me that we had never heard of it.

“Welp, a pity we don’t have any choice in exploring the fuck out of this, it’s going to eat into our time,” Will quipped happily.

“Yeah, we pretty much have to,” I said, after I had recovered from my shock.

“Yeah, I’d say so,” he said with a triumphant laugh. “AbandonedPlaces is going to absolutely shit its pants.”

I nodded in awe as we realized that what appeared to be a cockpit lay some distance ahead of us. A severed wing had propped itself up against a particularly hearty pond cypress tree that seemed to partially wrap itself around the metal, as if embracing it.

We set up camp, putting up our mosquito net over a natural lean-to created by the wing of the downed aircraft and setting up every insect repellent known to man. On closer inspection, the formerly robust-looking tree that had seen some better days. The words “La Cigu” were spray-painted near the cockpit of the plane, but the vines obscured anything else. I would have camped elsewhere but Will wanted to get a mosquito net up quickly and thought it looked cool.

It was the winter which made the mosquitos less of a problem, but not enough of a difference, the swamp could exsanguinate a cow in thirty minutes without enough Deet. I couldn’t blame him for wanting to get it ready. Once the sun was down we decided to make a fire and warm up our dinner consisting of some fish we had caught, muscadine grapes, purslane, spiderwort, swamp cabbage, betony, young cattail stalks and ringless honey mushrooms, which we added together with some lettuce and ground provisions to make a gigantic weird salad which was quite delicious. In addition, Will decided to rush ahead with some magic mushrooms, although not even close to a full dose. Just enough to make the scenery a little weird, I assumed.

After some time we noticed some soft blue lights and the sounds of people talking and laughing in the distance and figured we must not have been too far from civilization after all.

“Cool, maybe our neighbors might like to party,” Will suggested. There was a wild peel of a woman’s laughter that encouraged us to believe that this was at least possible.

After enjoying our salads Will decided that he wanted to explore a bit. Despite it being late, I couldn’t blame him.

He headed straight for the cockpit of the downed craft. It had broken off from the fuselage and was lying face down in the water, which didn’t exactly bode well for the pilots. One of the wings had been thrown several hundred feet ahead. Despite not being able to get the door into the cockpit open, he was able to find something interesting.

“Dude…how did we not hear about this?” He asked, in amazement.

“It probably went down years ago, the Everglades are full of these wrecks.” We had even passed an ancient Cessna that nature hadn’t taken nearly as much of a liking to.

“No, it doesn’t look like that’s the case,” he said, pointing to a laminated piece of paper that had survived the crash intact. At the top of the page was the date, only three months prior to us finding it. A list of passengers showed nineteen passengers were originally on the list.

“What the fuck?” I asked, in audible amazement. I set up a floodlight on the interior of what was once the craft and immediately saw that despite mother nature’s ferocity, there were many signs that it had once recently maintained life. Several first aid kits were still in the craft, only two of them open and only one missing its contents, some rations that had been untouched and still in their packaging. Near the wing we had not camped under there were signs of a campsite.

After unpacking and preparing our camp, we decided to hit out before the sun went down to see as much as possible of the mysterious wreck.

There was only a single sign of death, a skeleton that we hadn’t noticed in one of the darker areas of the fuselage that we had kayaked through. Its arms and legs held it to the wall of the fuselage by vines, allowing the partially shattered torso to sag slightly as if it had been crucified. It looked like it had been picked clean and now had a beautiful bromeliad growing from one of its eye sockets, making it look like it had one dark purple and green eye that still watched us with an amused expression. There was a hole in the ribcage and most of the bones around it wrenched forward slightly, if it weren’t for the downed aircraft I would have suspected a gunshot.

“Holy shit, dude!” Will said with an incredible sense of awe as he snapped photo after photo. “We have to check out that campsite!” He was clearly thrilled. Despite the creepiness, he seemed ecstatic, I hoped the trip went well for him.

Will took as many pictures as possible, especially of the beautiful skeleton, before we got back in our kayaks and maneuvered to the campsite on the opposite side of the fuselage, amidst a group of small, grassy islands. It seemed strangely far away from a lot of decent, even partially covered places to sleep, being out in the open on a small, easily submerged island generally the worst spot to camp in the Everglades.

Will set up a floodlight so that we could see the area better. It had been a while since a fire had been started there, but there was another corpse, this one not nearly as picked clean. It was wearing a bright yellow sundress and still had some desiccated flesh sticking to the bones. Most of the skeleton was curled into a fetal position, but one of its arms was several feet from it and one of the legs had been shattered. A few feet away from the scene was a now extremely rusty revolver. I guessed and looked around the skeleton and sure enough, deep in the sand, there was a bullet where someone must have shot this woman in the leg for some reason.

“What do you think happened?” Will asked, and at first it seemed like a stupid question, until I thought about it. There were plenty of rations left in the plane, plenty of ways to avoid exposure, and she seemed to have a radio. There was no reason for whatever happened here to happen. I grabbed the rusty gun, just in case something attacked them.

“It looks like someone shot her in the leg? Where is everyone else from the crash? Why the fuck wasn’t this in the news?” I asked aimlessly, as Will was more wrapped up in his trip. We checked around the area of land, but I didn’t see anything. I was about to suggest leaving, but Will began taking pictures of the wing, specifically the motor on the wing.

“Alright, there might be an award or something for this!” Will said with delight. I turned the corner and found what had let him in a good mood: the propeller on the rig was filled to the brim, and I mean all the way, with the dead corpses of birds. Most of them were just skeletons and feathers, and the mass of twisted birds looked like a horrible Halloween prop.

“Yeah, we should contact authorities right away, just so we look alright.”

Will was a good guy, but he tended to be extremely focused on his search for personal luxuries, often to the point of causing problems for himself. You had to remind him from time to time. He was about to respond when suddenly we heard a loud shriek coming from our campsite.

“Aww, man, I hope this doesn’t turn into a bad trip,” Will said.

I didn’t want to make things worse by telling him that we clearly had picked the wrong spot to camp. As we swung our kayaks to head back out to our camp, we heard chittering, bizarre laughter. Someone ran through the tall grasses and said something along the lines of “I wish we had picked some up the last time we were at the store.” in a high-pitched, slightly nasal woman’s voice as if in a normal conversation.

“Hey! Hey! Hello!” I shouted. Will looked confused. “Where did that come from?” he asked.

Suddenly another voice rang out. “It was just a telemarketer, get some rest.” Whoever it was had a New York accent and was somewhere behind us, but when we looked there were only some water grasses.

I flashed my light in the direction it came from but saw only shadows moving. I started paddling away from whoever was speaking and towards the camp. Will looked terrified as we headed through the plane again, especially at the skull, which seemed to regard us with the same hostile amusement it had when we first met it and was now considerably less cool.

“Alright, maybe we oughtta just get the fuck out of here. Someone here wants to fuck with us. I’m sorry man, I hope this doesn’t fuck up your trip,” I said with as much firmness in my voice as I could muster.

“Yeah, yeah, it’s cool, it’s cool,” Will said, very obviously to himself as much as to me. He was shaking pretty badly and seemed to have some difficulty following me. I had to keep him from tipping over repeatedly.

When we got to our lean-to camp, it was obvious someone had been through our stuff, but none of it was destroyed. Instead, all of our belongings had been laid out neatly outside of our tent in overlapping circles, like an insane Venn diagram. Much of the vegetation and scrap in the surrounding area had been cleared away. I could now see that the spray paint on the side of the aircraft said “La Ciguapa” in a desperate hand. Strange symbols now covered the cockpit as well.

“La Ciguapa,” I said aloud. I remembered a friend of mine telling me it was a mythical demon from the Dominican Republic, but he had described it kind of like a mermaid.

“Dude, what the fuck?” Will said, rushing to our tent to check for further damage. His flashlight lit up hundreds of bizarre symbols that had been painted on the interior of the mosquito net.

“I understand that the schedule is tight, but this meeting is a priority.” Came a stern woman’s voice from the far distance.

“Dude, do you think those are the people who survived the crash?” Will asked, not even bothering to speak to whoever it was.

For once he had the right idea and I hope he stuck to it. I just shook my head. I was shocked that anyone could survive a crash like that, but something was now clearly wrong with those fucking people. I would get them help later once the authorities came by. I hoped that Will wouldn’t suggest going to speak with them.

“Well, where did the bodies go then?” he asked, quietly. There was a chance that the tail had broken off, sucking people out, but it was hard to tell. And why had that skeleton been shot in the chest? Will sounded like he was breathing hard enough to hyperventilate, so I had to calm him down before he panicked further and then call the authorities, as if it was going to be easy to help us out there.

“Dude, where did the bodies go, why did we not hear about a missing plane, what the fuck happened here?” He was freaking out, and it was raising the chances of both of us dying. He took out his cellphone and tried to make a phone call, but stared at his phone oddly after a moment.

“I can’t get any reception to open a browser and when I try to make an emergency call I heard was some woman singing in Spanish!” he cried, almost in despair.

“Let me get in contact with the authorities. It’s cool, dude. Just chill out a second. Just chill.”

I took out my own phone and tried to use every emergency system I had in place for this situation. My phone essentially told me to fuck off, even for emergency calls. I found our radio equipment, surprisingly undamaged, among the bizarre circles. Will smoked a joint the size of his forearm, which was a relief to see considering his own situation.

When I finally got a line of communication up, all I heard was a woman’s voice, singing a strange sounding song in a language I didn’t recognize. I speak Spanish fluently, and whatever I was listening to had nothing to do with the language. It didn’t even sound like a Romance language. Every channel that should have been useful seemed to play it endlessly. I tried not to mention anything, but Will probably noticed the look of frustration, and began toking more rapidly for it.

“Hey, dude, maybe we should ask those people for help. There are some more, over there.” He pointed in the distance ahead of us and I noticed lights blossoming some ways away. A cold chill went up my spine and I remembered the nonsense phrases that were uttered in response to us asking for help. And the gun near the woman.

“They didn’t seem very helpful. I’m going to set up a PLB first.” A personal locator beacon, or PLB, was something you wanted if you were going into the wild, whose only job was to send out a powerful S.O.S. that was difficult for search and rescue teams to miss. Then I fired up our satellite messenger, which should have allowed me to have access to Facebook and Twitter. Except this time nothing loaded correctly. I turned the thing off, the on again and it came out worse. Every single thing I read was in some weird language, bizarre syllables spelled out on otherwise blank webpages. I couldn’t even use it to send an S.O.S., so I kept the PLB in my pocket.

“Get anyone?” Will asked, with obvious fear in his voice. Getting him to calm down was difficult enough when he wasn’t on shrooms.

“The S.O.S. beacon is working, just give it some time dude, it’s cool. We may end up camping out here while we wait.” I hoped he would listen to what I said for once, because if he lost his shit we could have ended up in trouble out there. Death was not something I wanted to think about, but it was absolutely a possibility, especially with Will not being helpful. I was happy he was smoking weed just to keep him out of the way. He must have loved it too, because nearly an hour went by before I heard from him again.

“Dude…look.” He said, barely above a whisper. At the very far edge of the clearing, more than 600 feet away from us the woman we had seen much earlier was standing quietly. Just like before, she was standing with her back to us, moving around as if she was working on something that we couldn’t see. Her white blouse and khaki shorts hung from her body and she was utterly emaciated. Both of her hands and her legs were jet black with what looked like incredible bruising. A long river of black hair flowed to the ground. She was muttering strange phrases mixed with the strange song I had heard on my phone. I quietly tried to turn off my lights and warn Will, but it was too late.

“Hey, lady, do you need any help?” Will asked, shining his flashlight on her before I could motion for him to shut the actual fuck up.

A long, horrifying shriek emerged from the woman and she began to run at us at an incredible speed while still backwards. Without thinking twice, I took the gun out of my pocket, hit the safety, and pulled the trigger in its general direction, but if I hit it didn’t seem to do anything. Instead, I couldn’t hear anything and the fucking thing flew out of my hand. Will took a moment, staring in shock, but eventually followed my cue of running to the kayaks. Before I did, I noticed that the woman’s feet and knees seemed to move in a way that implied they were facing us.

“Shit, shit, shit, shit!” I couldn’t hear the words coming out of my mouth, the ringing in my ears covered everything up. Will was shouting something to me that I couldn’t make out as he pushed his kayak out with him lying on top of it instead of in it. I struggled to use my paddle to push myself as far away from the land as possible, and almost landed in the water in the process, but managed to keep my ship right. When I looked back, I noticed small, pale hands sticking out of the water in front of where Will was moving his kayak and knew they were going to be able to catch the small craft.

I slowed down and reversed just slightly, allowing him to slide onto the top of my kayak right as two pale bodies shot from the water, hair covering their faces, and grabbed the kayak. It was amazing mine didn’t simply go under.

Will was screaming something and I paddled as hard as I could as Will cut loose any extra weight that he could find, including the only supplies we had that weren’t on the island. We managed to make it to the aircraft and when I looked back, the woman was still standing there as well as two others, a man and a younger-looking girl. All had their backs facing the kayak they were tearing apart, matted hair covering their faces.

I paddled us through the aircraft and saw that the strange flower growing from the skeleton was now glowing with a powerful blue light, just like the ones we had seen in the distance. Will and I stared in awe and horror as we realized what had become of the survivors. I wondered if perhaps the flower was the real culprit. It wasn’t unheard of for some parasites to force their prey to perform labor, perhaps this was a similar mechanism.

We paddled for at least half an hour, only to find ourselves returning to the aircraft again. This time, a man stood just off to the side, not facing away from us, wearing absurdly bagging clothes. We kept quiet and left, but kept coming back, again, and again. Another one eventually appeared on the edge of the aircraft, a child by the looks of it, who stood up as we neared. We left quietly every time.

Without our GPS units, our chances of finding a way out were seemingly non-existent, and with Will laying on top of my craft if one of those things chased us again we would probably be joining them or getting eaten or who knows what. Will began to sob uncontrollably as we realized we had gone in a circle for the fourth or fifth time. I was fucking exhausted and there were more of those things, those people, every time we came near.

“Will. We have to go back.” I could see shock and horror cross his face.

“No, no man, don’t. Let’s just keep trying.” I could barely hear his words over the ringing in my ears.

“If we don’t get our GPS map, we’re never going to be able to figure out how to leave. Something is fucking with us. It’s keeping us here. We need that thing,” I said, knowing that sternness had crept into my voice. I could see his lips forming the word “no” over and over again, and it pissed me off. “Do you want to die out here, Will? Because they’ll be happy to help. Let’s just do this, and get it done with.” He seemed to quiet down after that. I paddled in silence for another fifteen minutes before we reached the edge of the aircraft again.

“Okay, we’re going to do this as quickly as possible,” I told him, and he simply nodded in terror.

We didn’t see any more of them around the exterior of the aircraft. I paddled through the green tunnel until we came to the edge of the clearing where our belongings had been left. Will’s kayak was ripped to shreds on the edge of the water. No one creepy backwards people, though. We landed as quietly as possible, and Will slid off of the kayak, allowing me to get free. Our stuff was in circles again, but this time different circles. I looked through the one closest to us and found some batteries, but nothing else useful.

Will poked around, but didn’t seem very focused. Instead, he was watching the woods around us as he half ambled over to the wing where we had built our camp under. Hopefully he was looking for supplies and not weed. I went back to searching and eventually found a radio and GPS system. I put in the batteries and it kicked to life, albeit in a strange language. The map was still visible. I also grabbed the gun, which although it had fallen, hadn’t gone far. Thank God La Ciguapa didn’t care for them.

From every direction, that song was now flowing to us, slowly and steadily getting closer. I stared in horror as first one, then two, then at least half a dozen emaciated bodies came from the woods. Each had blackened arms and legs, turned all the way around. There were two that were very close to the kayak and the gun didn’t have many bullets left.

Before I could think about it, I shot the tree that was holding up the airplane wing. The wing came down with a sickening crack and a tremor, landing on top of Will. He screamed a long, impossible scream, and even from the distance one of our floodlights illuminated dark pink foam that had started to flow from his mouth. I backed away from my friend as he flailed pitifully against the structure which had surely crushed his ribcage.

“I got better! Please help me! I got better!” Will screamed and gurgled.

The backwards people came rushing to him, and at first, it looked like they were going to help, but then the screaming intensified. As they ran to him I could see their faces, frozen in fearful grimaces, their eyes no longer seeing, their limbs blackened and turned around. They flocked to Will and seemed to be tearing the flesh off of his bones in strips, and I ran to the now undefended kayak.

“I’m sorry!” I screamed as I fled, but the only response was the singing growing louder.

I managed to get out of there, and got home the next morning. By then, Park Rangers were out in the exterior area, but didn’t seem to be searching for anyone. They drew their weapons at me when they saw me, but lowered them after a tense moment or two of me begging for my life. They sunk my kayak and told me not to mention any of what happened to anyone. I mentioned Will but they just shrugged and said “He’s gone now.” They had me fill out paperwork saying that he drowned on accident and that there wasn’t going to be an investigation and told me to never come back.

I plan on keeping that promise, and you should probably avoid the Everglades, too.

Rating: 10.00/10. From 1 vote.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

Written by Scott Wilson
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Scott Wilson

Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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