The Gulf Breeze Six
On July 9 1990 six intelligence specialists from the 701st Military Intelligence Brigade, stationed in the joint US Army/NSA listening station in Augsburg, at the time in West Germany, deserted together.
These soldiers held high security clearances (Augsburg at the time was the most important NATO listening post, intercepting and analyzing Soviet communications) so a giant manhunt began immediately to no avail.
On July 14 1990 a patrolman from the Gulf Breeze (Florida) Police Department stopped a van with a broken taillight.
One of the soldiers (the only one without a driver's license, of all things!) was at the wheel. He checked the man's identity on his onboard computer and did his duty: he arrested the man for being absent withou leave.
He talked with his superior on the radio, asking him to contact the nearest Military Police unit, and drove him back to the station. When he arrived with the prisoner he was in for a shock: the soldier was not to be charged, nor interrogated, nor anybody was to talk with him. The Gulf Breeze Police was to hold him until Military Police arrived.
a few days later four of the other soldiers were picked up at the home of a local bookstore clerk and psychic, Anna Foster. The sixth soldier, a woman, was found a few days later camping on a beach. Nobody paid attention to her since Gulf Breeze was awash in strange characters, atracted by latest UFO "flap".
All six were taken to Fort Benning, Georgia, and the US Army sent out a press release saying that the six soldiers were members of a cult named The End of the World and had left their posts in the burning belief that they had been charged by an higher authority to kill the Antichrist (whose identity was never disclosed) and greet the flying saucers that would carry the heavenly hosts to Earth.
It was not explained how six AWOL soldiers could leave Germany, cross the Atlantic, buy a dilapidated Volkswagen van in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and drive unmolested to Florida while the Interpol, the German authorities, the US Customs, the FBI and pretty much everybody else was looking for them.
A few days later a strange message appeared on a number of US newspapers (I quote verbatim):
FREE THE GULF BREEZE SIX.
WE HAVE THE MISSING FILES, THE
BOX OF 500+ PHOTOS AND
THE PLANS YOU WANT BACK.
ANSWER CODE AUGSBB3CM
Three days later the six soldiers were taken Fort Knox, Kentucky, cleared of espionage charges and issued general discharges. It could have been a joke or even somebody trying to get his five minutes of fame but it has been suggested that the six soldiers stole crytical material from their post and perhaps even a vital encryption key, turning them over to an accomplice in case things got wrong. If this was the plan, it worked: the Gulf Breeze Six went on to become major stars in both the UFO and Fundamentalist circuit. Nobody ever pressed charges against them.
One of the most accepted theories is that these soldiers had proof that NATO knew that Iraq was about to invade Kuwait and allowed the invasion to happen for political reasons. There are other, very elaborate theories hinting at the "usual" psychological warfare project gone wrong. Others simply say that they went back home to fulfill their mission of killing the Antichrist and got lucky.
Whatever the truth this is one of those case that just make you wonder if all those talks about conspiracies are just tall tales.
"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"
-Kalevala, Rune XIII-