The Digression Podcast Guys

ep 11: Bringing Out The Dead

e11 Cover ArtWhat happens to the bodies after a battle? This is an aspect of military life that often goes unnoticed because we’re more focused on the living. Still, we can’t just ignore those killed on the battlefield. And thanks to the Grave Registration Service (what is now Mortuary Affairs), they’re not forgotten. These professionals ensure those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice are treated with dignity, reverence, and respect.

And they do! Just ask Kevin Bacon!

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ep 10: Haunted Military

e10 Haunted MilitaryHalloween is fast approaching and what better topic for this month’s podcast than The Top 10 Most Haunted Military Sites? Our military serves to project power around the globe and the men and women who serve are often thrust into dangerous and violent situations. Needless to say, the stress endured by these soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines can be tremendous. Who knows how this stress coupled with the violent nature military work affects a soul that is stripped from its earthly vessel? Would the retention of these souls on the grounds and within the buildings of these military sites be such a far-fetched idea? Of course it would! C’mon, there’s no such thing as ghosts, but that doesn’t mean ghost stories aren’t a lot of fun…and extremely funny!

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ep 9: Pits: The Last Full Measure

Everyday folks probably aren’t too familiar with Bill “Pits” Pitsenbarger, but now, tens of listeners of this podcast will know him and the heroic act that earned him the Air Force Cross and eventually, after a push from some old Viet Nam vets, the Medal of Honor. And for those who don’t listen to our podcast, there’s a movie coming out on October 25 that will tell Pitts’ story, but we’re gonna tell it first!

So, who was Bill Pitsenbarger?

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ep 8: Recovering the Kee Bird

On February 20, 1947, the Kee Bird, a US Army Air Forces B-29 Superfortress, lifted off the runway and into the sky above Ladd Field near Fairbanks, Alaska. It’s Cold War mission was Top Secret, would take them to the North Pole and back, and involved photo-reconnaissance and mapping of the Arctic areas as part of a Strategic Air Command effort to monitor for Soviet activity and develop attack routes over the North Pole. This was the Kee Bird’s seventh mission and it was to be it’s last, as the pilot, Lt Vern Arnett, grew disoriented in a storm over the polar ice pack and turning to the south eventually made an emergency landing on a small frozen lake in northern Greenland. Although Lt Arnett put the B-29 down successfully and with no injuries to his 11-man crew, the plane was badly damaged and would not fly. So, they settled down for what would be a three-day wait for rescue.

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ep 7: Apollo 11 at T+50-Years

The Digression Podcast Guys were 6 and 2 when Neil Armstrong stepped down from the ladder of the Lunar Module, “Eagle”, onto the surface of the moon. In fact, it’s very likely, they were asleep at the very moment the United States won the space race. In retrospect, that really sucks, but what the hell, no one can experience every major event that occurs within their lifetimes. Hell, we often understand the significance of a historical event only in retrospect (like the Battle of Coral Sea, for example). Still, it’s great to be alive now to remember the day when the underdog United States came from behind to kick some Russian ass 240,000 miles from the planet Earth:July 20, 1969, the Eagle landed! Suck it, Ivan!

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ep 6: Darwin Awards

Each year, the Darwin Awards pay tribute to those individuals who “improve our gene pool–by removing themselves from it in the most spectacular way possible.” Named after Charles Darwin, the English biologist and the father of evolution theory, these awards are a testament to the dumb shit people do to precipitate their premature demise (or that of an appendage…or two). The Darwin Awards are certainly not lost on the military. I mean, what do you expect? You have the inherent danger of live munitions and operational machinery combined with a “hurry-up-and-wait” mindset that results in a population of bored GIs on some God-forsaken piece of real estate who have nothing better to do than turn to their buddy and say, “hey, watch this shit.” And, KABOOM!

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ep 5: D-Day + 75-Years (Podcast Extra)

The year 1944 dawned over a vast panorama of invasion preparations in England. Huge quantities of materials were readied in dozens of depots throughout England. The air forces stepped up their assaults on objectives in the German defense wall. After weeks of arial preparations, the greatest war armada ever mustered on earth crossed the narrow seas between England and the European continent, preceded by showers of parachute troops at key points. The Allied High Command under Eisenhower had selected Normandy as the point of invasion, and there, thousands of troops landed on June 6, D-Day, in the face of heavy opposition.  

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ep 4: I AM THE IG!

In anticipation of State Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz report on possible FISA abuse by the DOJ and FBI, we thought we’d share some of our experiences with the inspection side of the IG during our time in the US Air Force. Jody’s perspective comes from his experiences as an asshole IG inspector with the Air Force Inspection Agency (AFIA), while Chris shares his perspective from the point-of-view of a member of the poor bastard shop chief in the inspected unit. Although Jody’s work was focused in Air Force hospitals and Chris’ worked in operational units launching aircraft, the process of compliance inspections is essentially the same, as is the stupid shit we saw and laughed at…and now we’re sharing it with you! 

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ep 3: The Maco Light and Other Ghost Stories

A hundred years and a thousand storytellers have blurred the legend of the Maco Light and we’re not going to make it any clearer. Joe Baldwin was a brakeman and was traveling in the caboose of an Atlantic Coast Line train through the little town of Maco, North Carolina, when all of a sudden it became uncoupled from its train. Was there something nefarious about this?

We don’t know. But, Joe, who may or may not have been asleep and/or drinking, realized that another train following close behind was about to collide with his car that sat motionless on the track. He ran to the back of the caboose, wildly swinging his lantern to get the engineer’s attention, but the engineer who may or may not have been asleep and/or drinking, didn’t see Joe’s light in time. And the oncoming train crashed into Joe’s caboose taking Joe’s head in the process and flinging it into a nearby swamp.

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ep 2: UFOs Over Rendlesham Forest

On the night of Christmas day, December 25, 1980, and into the early morning hours of December 26th, there were massive reports of UFO activity in the Rendlesham Forest area in the southeast of England. The forest is situated between two RAF bases operated by the USAF, Bentwaters and Woodbridge, so a crack team of USAF security forces personnel from Woodbridge were sent into the forest to investigate. They were never heard from again.

That’s not true, but they did report seeing a strange craft aloft a yellow mist. One of the Airmen took pictures of the craft, which had the film not been confiscated by the military would have provided definitive proof of the existence of UFOs. However, the siting and the spacecraft’s landing site was investigated by the local police who did indeed confirm the Airmen’s story.

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