Soldier Gives as Reason He Disappeared: Orders From Ouija Board
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) _ When Vance Davis and five of his friends went AWOL, it was reported that they had gone to a Florida beach to await the Second Coming of Jesus Christ in a UFO.
No way, says Davis.
″How ridiculous can you get?″ he says. ″Jesus Christ is Jesus Christ. Why would he come in a flying saucer?″
No, says Davis, the reason they left their Army intelligence posts was quite simple: Ouija Board spirits told them they were needed to help lead the world through an impending cataclysm.
For two years, since the six turned up in Gulf Breeze, Fla. - unleashing one of the weirdest stories of 1990 - they have remained silent.
But Davis now says he wants to tell his story to set the record straight and because, according to the Ouija Board, race riots in Los Angeles were to be a signal the group should go public. The others will come forward, one by one, depending on public reaction to what he has to say, Davis said.
The six former intelligence analysts, all with top-secret security clearances, were reported missing from their Augsburg, West Germany, base on July 9, 1990.
They were arrested five days later after one was stopped for a broken tail light in Gulf Breeze, a beach town known for reported UFO sightings.
Two weeks later, they were honorably discharged from Fort Knox, Ky., after an Army investigation found no evidence the soldiers from the 701st Military Intelligence Brigade had been involved in espionage.
As punishment, they were reduced to the lowest rank and forfeited half a month’s pay for ″the offenses of AWOL and forged leave papers,″ the Army said. Military officials refused to discuss the investigation.
Davis, originally from Valley Center, Kan., had the rank of specialist. Others in the group, with ranks and ages at their arrests, are: Pfc. Michael Hueckstaedt, 19, of Farson, Wyo.; Pfc. Kris Perlock, 20, of Osceola, Wis.; Pfc. William Setterberg, 20, of Pittsburgh; Spc. Kenneth Beason, 26, of Jefferson City, Tenn.; and Sgt. Annette Eccleston, 22, of Hartford, Conn.
It all began innocently in November 1989, Davis says.
″We decided to do some experimentation into things,″ he says. ″We wanted to see if there was something actually to it - ESP, parapsychology, ghosts, Tarot cards.″
Davis says the members of the group ″hit brick walls″ until finally they tried a Ouija Board.
″Someone showed up,″ he says. ″I’m talking spiritually.″
In the months that followed, Davis says, several spirits talked to the group, predicting the Gulf War and the 1990 Iran earthquake.
″At the end of May we were told we might think about trying to get out of the service because there’s going to be some serious things occurring in the next five years, and being in the service would not help us grow and become what we were supposed to become,″ Davis says.
What they were destined to do, he says, is teach and prepare people for the coming world chaos.
″This will be the changing of the Earth and Jesus is involved,″ Davis says. ″He will come back, and Rapture″ - the fundamentalist Christian belief that believers will be swept to heaven before the world ends - ″is real.″
Davis says that when the group couldn’t find a legal way out of the Army, the Ouija Board told them, ″Leave, just leave.″
Stunned, they decided to put their faith in the board’s message that ″things would work out.″
″We had top-secret clearances and never did anything wrong in our life,″ Davis says. ″Being AWOL was the furthest thing from our mind.″
But on July 3, 1990, they hopped a flight from Munich to Atlanta, making their way to Gulf Breeze to see two friends, a psychic and her housemate who would become Vance’s wife, Iris.
After their arrest and release from the Army, the group split up. Davis, 27, lives in Albuquerque with his wife and 8-month-old daughter, does odd jobs and gives seminars on ″self-sustaining lifestyles.″
″With everything we were told that’s supposed to be occurring in the next five years, we want to be here to help,″ Davis says.
The changes, he says, include numerous earthquakes and volcano eruptions - including a major eruption of Mount Rainer in Washington state - the devastation of New York City by gas leak, and food and race riots in every major U.S. city that will lead to martial law and economic collapse.
″When all this occurs, we’ll be gone again,″ Davis says. ″The six of us will be somewhere else. People will be looking for us and they won’t be able to find us.
″After the thing occurs, we’ll come back out again to help put the pieces back together.″
But meanwhile, Davis says, the group may write a book, follow up on a possible movie deal, and - if offered - do an advertisement for Parker Bros., maker of the Ouija Board.